NFL Training Camp is a busy time of year. This is when the coaches implement their system, playbooks are drawn up and every position on every team is up for grabs. Injuries are as common as practice cones and tackling dummies. If you blink, you could just miss the preamble to a breakout season. Fortunately, I’ll be keeping up with all of it in order to ensure Fantasy Alarm Nation stays in the know all summer long.
Remember that if you have any questions you can hit me up on Twitter @Jeff_Mans:
ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?
Football is finally back. Tonight kicks off the first of a string of 24 consecutive Sunday’s that we will be able to watch an NFL football game. Then there is that one week hiatus before the big game in February but I think that you get the idea.
So, to honor the game tonight and the return of games, I’ve decided to piece together a little synopsis of way out there players who are having great training camps so far. Yeah, it’s early but as I have pointed out on multiple occasions the first step to a breakout fantasy season is by making a name for yourself during camp.
Here are some of the names you should know:
Alex Collins, RB, Seahawks
Collins was the teams fifth round pick out of the University of Arkansas. He was a heavily recruited player coming out of high school and was a three year producer for the Razorbacks before declaring for the draft after his Junior season. The Seahawks drafted three RB’s this year and many including my radio partner Ted Schuster believes Collins is the best of the bunch. He has had an outstanding camp and has been the only reliable back in camp with Thomas Rawls on the PUP list and CJ Prosise sitting out due to a hamstring injury. Collins has the perfect blend of size and speed to be a feature back at the NFL level. He and Prosise are likely battling to be the handcuff to Rawls at this point but that would be a very valuable fantasy commodity indeed.
Keith Marshall, RB, Redskins
I wrote about him in yesterday’s Training Camp Report after he completely set the Redskins practice on fire by running clean over CB Quinton Dunbar. Marshall is easily one of my favorites in terms of rookie RB’s and should be the handcuff to Matt Jones this season. Remember his name because you’ll be screaming it later.
Tajae Sharpe, WR, Titans
Sharpe has been one of the best players in Titans camp so far this summer and that is absolutely no exaggeration. The coaches rave about his football IQ and his maturity. He was only a fifth round pick but played for a heavy passing volume program at UMASS. He led the nation in receptions last year (111) and caught a pass in every game he ever played while in school. He has excellent chemistry with Marcus Mariota and has been running with the first team offense for the last six days. There isn’t a faster moving WR up the rankings this summer than Tajae Sharpe.
Geremy Davis, WR, Giants
The problem with New York teams is that politics sometimes plays a greater role even with their sports teams than just pure skill or performance. Davis has easily outperformed Victor Cruz, Dwayne Harris and Myles White this summer but for some reason hasn’t been given as much time as those other guys. Dare I say that Davis has been every bit as impressive at second round pick Sterling Shepard, who has also had a great camp so far, but you aren’t reading about that in the New York papers or blogs. Davis is one of few Giants receivers with actual size and that is going to come into play at some point if this offense is going to fire on all cylinders and not stall out in short yardage situations.
Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs
I wrote about Hill’s impressive performance for the Chiefs this summer back on August 3rd here in this space. He’s done little to slow down that excitement since having mixed in with the first team offense in three wide receiver sets this week. Hill was the Chiefs fifth round pick which was surprising considering he is undersized and was charged with domestic battery against his then pregnant girlfriend. As horrific as that incident was, the Chiefs organization claim they did all of their homework on Hill and strongly believe this was a terrible mistake and not condusvie of who the young man is. I am going to personally hold my reservations about him and say that I am not nearly as sure as the Chiefs are about the quality of the man here. But Tyreek Hill the player is charging up draft boards as we speak and thus we all have to be aware of exactly what we are looking at with this kid.
Cameron Brate, TE, Buccaneers
Brate has been running as the Bucs TE1 pretty much all summer long and yet the latest ADP data shows BOTH Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Luke Stocker being taken ahead of Brate. While I think that Seferian-Jenkins demotion to the third team offense is more about motivation than anything else, we have to take note of this depth chart assignments. ASJ just cannot seem to stay on the field and even when he does he is proving to be a very one dimensional player. New Tampa Bay head coach Dirk Koetter simply isn’t going to tolerate that no matter how high of a pick you are.
OTHER NAMES TO KNOW
Trevor Siemian, QB, Broncos
Terrance West, RB, Ravens
DeAndre Washington, RB, Raiders
Eli Rogers, WR, Steelers
DeAndre Smelter, WR, 49ers
Chris Givens, WR, Eagles
Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Patriots
Quinshad Davis, WR, Lions
Justin Hardy, WR, Falcons
Devin Fuller, WR, Falcons
Tre McBride, WR, Titans
Xavier Grimble, TE, Steelers
We will be discussing each of the names on this list all this week on the Fantasy Alarm Show on SiriusXM radio. Tune in each weekday between 4-6 PM ET or listen anytime with SiriusXM On Demand.