NFL Training Camp Battles: August 30
Sean Mitchell breaks down all of the training camp battles around the NFL and what they mean for fantasy football.
Welcome back to another edition of the Fantasy Alarm Training Camp Battles article for the 2020 NFL season! We are getting even closer to Week 1 and are just a couple of Sundays away now. Let’s see what’s shaking about in the camps for this past week!
INDY COLTS – RB Battle
This is one of the more popular stories still on-going as the Colts look to be going with the “hot-hand” approach still, however, we have seen a couple reports from camp this week. More so, the most important one being that everyone’s darling Jonathan Taylor has had a few concerning dropped passes in camp lately, and this has brought up quite a bit of attention, not only in the passing game, but also in passing protection. It was already notable that Nyheim Hines would likely be the pass-catching back out of this trio, but many thought that Taylor would be “THE” every-down back. With Frank Reich already stating that Marlon Mack is to be the starting running back for Week 1 on early downs, now with Hines likely to play most pass-catching downs with his sure-hands, where does this leave Taylor at the moment? Interesting one to see Week 1, and how this backfield will operate.
MIAMI DOLPHINS – QB Battle
After we all were quite quick to speculate with the absence of veteran journey-man Ryan Fitzpatrick for last Friday’s practice, we all learned that Ryan was absent due to the passing of his mother. This story did not even come out until just a few days ago, after Ryan and Head Coach Brian Flores were seen at practice with arms around each other’s shoulders in mourning. We do send our condolences to the Fitzpatrick family, along with Ryan. On the football side of things, as we hate to rush to the business aspect of life, however, it is what it is, and it has also been reported that we may see rookie QB TuaTagovaila earlier than expected. Tua could be getting the start in Week 1 if Fitz is likely to be out on bereavement.
NEW YORK JETS – RB Battle
I know this isn’t exactly a battle per say, however, in the last few days more and more reports have come out of Jet’s camp suggesting that Frank Gore could more than likely eat quite a bit in the starting RB Le’Veon Bell’s usage and production. There are also reports speculating that this situation could even turn into somewhat of a 60/40 snap percentage split with Bell taking the higher dosage, and Gore spelling him more than expected. Head Coach Adam Gase has been known to be quite the wishy-washy pest when it comes to playing just one guy in his offense. Bell has been reported to having some hamstring tightness, which has allowed Gore to see more and more work in camp. This has already created quite the stir on the fantasy-front, as Bell’s ADP (average draft position) has started to take a bit of a fall. Bell is now sitting around a 43 ADP, and guys like Jonathan Taylor, David Johnson , James Conner , and even Todd Gurley are being drafted before him as of late. Interesting situation to monitor in Week 1.
DETROIT LIONS – RB Battle
In last week’s training camp article, we highlighted the praise that rookie running back De’Andre Swift had been getting from starting QB Matt Stafford, and since thenSwift has been battling injury, and has not seen the field very much at all in camp lately. This has risen the likes of Kerryon Johnson being the front-runner for the Week 1 starting job at running back for Detroit, and also moving up back-up running backs in Ty Johnson and Jonathan Williams with Bo Scarbrough also being absent from practice lately. We all also saw the article reporting that Kerryon Johnson is still wearing the knee brace on his then-injured knee from last season, and that many speculated this may mean he is still a bit tender on the knee and being super cautious. This could be an interesting story to follow, as Swift and Scarbrough continue to sit out of practice heading into Week 1.
D’Andre Swift sure looks like the real deal when he’s been out on the field. Problem is he’s barely been out on the field lately, and won't be on Friday either as he continues to battle injury https://t.co/vTB41sXuvi— kylemeinke (@kmeinke) August 28, 2020
CHICAGO BEARS – QB Battle
It was reported earlier this week that one of the two QBs in this battle for the Bear’s starting job between Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles had taken a bit of a step forward, or a small-lead, if you will in camp. It has been reported a few times that it looks like Nick Foles has taken a lead in this battle in Bear’s camp over Trubisky. There has nothing been stated officially, so this is mostly from beat writers in the Bear’s camp, but many are pretty certain that Foles will likely be the starting QB come Week 1 for the Bears. In the article cited below, it was argued that “Foles is an accomplished veteran with plenty of experience. He might not be elite, but he’s a safe option and won’t turn the ball over excessively. He probably has more upside than Trubisky right now, too.” Thus, saying that even though Trubisky may have a slight advantage with knowing the offense and playbook, Foles trumps him by a good margin with being a veteran starting QB in the league already and having that experience is a huge boost to an offense that looked anemic mostly all of last season under Trubisky
CINCY BENGALS – RB Battle
This also isn’t much of a battle, but more of a look into a certain situation that has arose in Bengal’s camp. Starting running back Joe Mixon has been absent from practice over the last few days in what is being labeled as a “minor injury.” Most have been speculating that this could be a potential hold-out scenario, as Mixon was reported to be working on a new contract with the Bengals before the 2020 NFL season. In the event that Mixon does NOT get the contract extension he is seeking, this could throw a huge wrench into this Bengal’s backfield. Many have already been touting back-up running back Gio Bernard in the last few days, and his ADP has been one of the biggest movers lately in fantasy bestball drafts, as he has moved up to 211.2 ADP, being drafted before guys like Lynn Bowden Jr., Darwin Thompson, and even Jets camp star in Frank Gore . Interesting situation to keep on eye on heading into Week 1.
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM – RB Battle
It has been pretty clear that Adrian Peterson will likely start out the 2020 NFL season as the number one guy at the running back spot for this Washington team, however, there has been lots of speculation surrounding rookie running back Antonio Gibson surpassing the veteran running back in Peterson sooner, rather than later. Even Head Coach Riverboat Ron Rivera has stated that Gibson “has the skill-set of a Christian McCaffrey .” Gibson has been reported getting lots and lots of reps in practice lately, and the biggest impact, mostly being with the first-team in doing so on many of those reps. Gibson has also been one of the biggest movers in terms of ADP lately, now sitting with an ADP around 84.9, which has moved him ahead of guys like James White , Jordan Howard , and even Tevin Coleman . Very interesting situation, and Gibson could be a potential rookie break-out this season if he is going to be used all over the field as reported.
Training Camp is extremely important and the battles that take place can have a major impact on playing time when the regular season starts. You can learn more about how important these battles are in the Draft Guide with: 2020 NFL Draft Guide: Training Camp Matters, written by Justin Vreeland.
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