2014 NFL Training Camp Report: August 22nd
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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Why I Am Not That Into Travis Kelce
While the rest of the fantasy football universe is going crazy for Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, I offer the following sentiments: meh. Kelce is a big, strong and fast TE who fits really well as the “move” type of field stretcher that we’ve seen become very effective in New Orleans, New England and anywhere Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner are hanging out. The problem with Kelce is that he is not in any of those style of offenses.
The Chiefs threw the ball just 31 times per game in 2013. This is well below the NFL average of 36.4 pass attempts per game. Of those pass attempts just 49 were completed to TE’s. This is one of the worst ratios in the NFL. Andy Reid’s offense has never been very TE friendly. Sure there are matchups in which they’ll take advantage of weaknesses in the middle of an opposing defense but this style is far from consistent.
Furthermore, Kelce is still a raw TE. He doesn’t block very well which limits his snaps considerably. No matter how well he does in the preseason, Kelce is still behind Anthony Fasano on the depth chart and that is not going to change anytime soon. Drafting a backup TE on a team that doesn’t throw the ball much and historically doesn’t use the TE position is a terrible idea.
Still Not Worried?
Those who choose to not pay attention to offensive lines and how they effect fantasy football won’t care too much about this next bit of news. Sometimes I wish that I could be so daft and unknowing but alas it is in my genes to pay attention to the details that produce important outcomes.
Presumed starting RT Donald Stephenson has been suspended four games by the NFL for violating their policy on performance enhancing drugs. Stephenson will miss the Chiefs first four games now and leaves this offensive line in pure disarray.
You should recall that the Chiefs already lost their starting LT in Brandon Albert to the Dolphins in free agency, their starting LG Geoff Schwartz to the Giants and RG Jon Asamoah to the Falcons. To top it all off first overall pick Eric Fisher, who has been moved over to the LT spot has had a very disappointing camp. Fisher is still not the same player since having shoulder surgery last season.
Overall this Chiefs O-line is a catastrophe. I am not going to avoid Jamaal Charles because of this but I absolutely have curbed my projections for him in 2014. You just cannot expect similar numbers this year after all of the issues the Chiefs have up front. Those who won’t listen to this are doomed for failure. May God have mercy on your souls…
I Don’t Like Him Anyway
I suppose that I should comment on the video of Buccaneers WR Mike Evans taking a roundhouse swing at a dude outside a south Florida nightclub. Supposedly the video is from April but has just come to light now for some odd reason. The video could have impacted Evans draft stock to which he went seventh overall to Tampa Bay.
The bottom line here is that Evans is a rookie receiver on a team that doesn’t throw the ball a lot and has Josh McCown as its QB. This is not a great fantasy situation no matter how you slice it. It is possible that Evans would receive some sort of punishment from the NFL as a result but one game at the most would be expected. Mike Evans is a WR5 or WR6 in fantasy football this year.
On The Hot Seat
It’s funny how quickly things change in the NFL. A couple of weeks ago we were talking about Eagles RB Chris Polk being the must handcuff for LeSean McCoy in all league formats. Now after Polk has missed the last few weeks of camp with a slightly torn hamstring he is on the roster bubble in Philly.
The trade for Kenjon Barner and the play of undrafted free agents Henry Josey and Matthew Tucker have put Polk well in the background in the Eagles backfield plans. This is why we as fantasy football players need to always pay attention to who is practicing and how well all summer long. Things change so quickly in this game that you can never let your guard down.