2014 NFL Training Camp Report: August 20th
Jeff Mans takes a look around NFL training camp 2014 and picks out all of the fantasy relevant information you need to stay ahead of the competition
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Here is the Training Camp Report for Wednesday August 20th:
Hey Man, It’s Legal In Colorado
By now you have heard about Pittsburgh Steelers teammates Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount being arrested for marijuana possession earlier this afternoon. Obviously this is immensely concerning not just for the Steelers but for fantasy owners too. So what does this all mean? Let’s get into it.
Le’Veon Bell will be punished pretty significantly considering he was not only in possession of the marijuana but was also driving under the influence. This is going to be a minimum of four games for Bell due to both offenses.
LeGarrette Blount will likely see a lesser punishment since he was charged only with possession. If I were to venture a guess I would say that Blount ends up with a two game suspension while Bell gets twice that in four games.
The big question is whether or not the NFL hands out the punishments this season or next. It is strange how erratic the NFL can be when it comes to dispensing punishments. They prefer to hand out suspensions at the beginning of the regular season so the timing here could be really unfortunate for the RB pair.
The thing to do for fantasy players now is downgrade Le’Veon Bell. I have been saying all summer that he wasn’t worth a second or even a third round pick to me anyways considering he will be splitting carries with Blount and Dri Archer. So, now with a possible suspension looming, Bell isn’t worth more than a fifth round or later pick. Sadly, Blounts value actually doesn’t drop all that much. He will likely get two games as the starting RB for the Steelers now and then will completely miss two games as well. So, I am keeping him steady at this point in time.
Now It Makes More Sense
When the Eagles traded a conditional seventh round draft pick to the Panthers for RB Kenjon Barner it didn’t make much sense outside of Chip Kelly wanting as many former Oregon players as possible. But with the news that backup RB Chris Polk is actually suffering from a partially torn hamstring the deal makes more sense. Polk is unlikely to be back for the first few weeks of the regular season and could be limited well into the season.
Darren Sproles is not an every down option and without Chris Polk the Eagles has a pretty strong need for a backup RB. LeSean McCoy is battling a minor (for now) case of turf toe so the Eagles pulled the trigger to acquire Barner.
Barner put up video game like stats while playing for Chip Kelly at Oregon. But despite a 4.39 40-yard dash at the scouting combine, Barner fell to the sixth round where the Panthers made him their fourth string RB. It has got to be a blessing for Berner to get out of Carolina and sync back up with this up tempo Chip Kelly offense. Barner immediately becomes fantasy viable again though I am not drafting him in a standard 12 team league just yet. If Polk gets put on the IR or PUP list then I can buy more into Barner.
The Decision Is In
Finally Cleveland head coach Mike Pettine made up his mind and has decided to go with Brian Hoyer as the Browns week 1 QB against the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Hoyer didn’t play very well this summer but still was far superior to Johnny Manziel in just about every aspect of their game.
Manziel simply isn’t mature enough right now to be an NFL player let alone a starting QB. Between being late to meetings, flipping off the opposing team, partying it up in Vegas and leading with his head in slides there just isn’t much that Manziel does right these days. His skills are NFL average at best and thus he is going to really have to step it up to prove to his coaches and teammates that he can play at this level.
As for Hoyer, he will do well enough in leading the Browns offense at the beginning of the season. At times Hoyer has played really well and demonstrated some high level ability. It will not help to not have Josh Gordon to lean on in the passing game no matter who is under center. But Hoyer is going to have to make the most out of Jordan Cameron, Miles Austin and Nate Burleson if he is to hold onto the QB1 job.