Training Camp is back and so is fantasy football. Whether you’re already starting to prep or if you are planning on winging it at the last minute, the season will be here before you know it. With just 3 weeks until the start of the season, stay ahead of the game and up to date with our Thursday Training Camp series that will continue through the preseason!
Names to Watch
Terrace Marshall Jr. (Panthers, WR) – TMJ is having an impressive training camp and finished his first preseason game with 88 receiving yards. He has shown flashes of how great he can be and is carving out a stable role in the Panthers’ offense. Also monitor fellow rookie Shi Smith in all dynasty formats.
Quez Watkins (Eagles, WR) – Watkins stays on our watch list due to his incredible preseason that has transformed him from competing for a roster spot to competing for the #2 role. Watkins could very likely beat out former first round pick, Jalen Reagor, and have a much larger than predicted target share.
Jerry Jeudy (Broncos, WR) – Add Jeudy to this list of breakout candidates as the sophomore has been absolutely torching defensive backs during training camp. We could see Jeudy take over as the top receiver of this offense, which makes him an absolute steal in the mid to late rounds of redraft leagues.
Jacob Eason (Colts, QB) – Eason had a fantastic showing in the first preseason game and has elevated his stock to a stash in dynasty formats. It is becoming evident that Eason would likely be the Week 1 starter if Wentz is out, so he could be high risk, high reward potential if you’re looking for some Wentz insurance.
Juwan Johnson (Saints, TE) – Johnson isnt a huge name by any means but is a guy worth monitoring following his change from WR to TE. The Saints lost Jared Cook this offseason, who has played a mighty large role over the years. The TE void is a big one in the offense, especially considering the fact that gunslinger Jameis Winston is likely going to be the week 1 starter. Adam Trautman will likely play the role as the starting tight end with Taysom Hill making frequent appearances, but Johnson could be a solid stash in dynasty leagues or a late round pickup due to the potential alone.
Patriots: Cam Newton vs. Mac Jones
Although Mac Jones has had an impressive camp, it is likely that Cam Newton opens the season as the QB1. However, don’t be surprised if his leash is extremely short as we saw him ride the pine on several occasions last year when his backup was the far inferior Jarrett Stidham.
Drew Lock vs. Teddy Bridgewater
This competition is probably the closest in the league, but as of now I am thinking that Drew Lock will defend his job. He has had a solid training camp and had one of his best career performances in the preseason last week. Keep an eye on this battle, but as of now I am leaning Drew Lock. If he stalls or falters, expect Vic Fangio to throw Bridgewater into the mix.
Trevor Lawrence vs. Gardner Minshew
Although this has been labeled as a “competition” by rookie head coach Urban Meyer, I am not buying it. This job has been Lawrence’s since December. Sorry Minshew, but you’re done.
Andy Dalton vs. Justin Fields
Fields has been lauded for his 2 TD performance in his first NFL action, and followed it up by saying the game was much slower than he expected. Unfortunately for Fields the game speed will be much quicker against legit NFL players rather than a bunch of 2s and 3s (and maybe some 4s mixed in). Dalton is the smart option here and likely will be the week 1 starter, however, that in no way indicates that Fields will not take over at some point.
Jameis Winston vs. Taysom Hill
The obvious choice here is Winston, however, Sean Payton fumbled this choice several times last year, which ultimately lead to the Saints demise. I don’t think he is bad enough of a coach to legitimately start Taysom Hill, but if he is then it won’t last long. Not only would Hill be one of the least efficient passers in the current season, he would historically be one of the worst in the HISTORY of the league. Payton has made some horrible decisions in his career (and somehow only won 1 Super Bowl with a top 3 All Time QB), but if he someone named Taysom Hill the starting QB I’d be surprised.
Tyrod Taylor vs Davis Mills
This is hardly a competition, but it is intriguing that the Texans took Davis Mills in the early third round. The most important factor regarding the Texans QB situation is that it is becoming clear the Deshaun Watson will likely never play another snap for the team. It appears that Taylor will get the initial nod, but if the Texans falter like they should then expect Mills to be thrown into the fire for a chance to be the next franchise guy. It is also worth noting that Tyrod Taylor paved the way for both Baker Mayfield and Justin Herbert.
Sleepers – High Floor Edition
Tyrell Williams (Lions, WR) – He may not be the flashiest of sleepers and you likely know his name, but Tyrell Williams appears to be the top target for the Lions’ offense this season. The volatile offense may not be the most dependable fantasy options, however, any WR1 in the NFL is well worth a mid round pick.
Chris Conley (Texans, WR) – Another name that may seem to have limited upside, but Conley is likely going to be a starting receiver for the Texans. Snap share alone should provide an excellent floor for a guy you can take in the late rounds. Many fantasy owners may elect to draft a higher upside rookie, but Conley is the safe pick and provides your team an excellent insurance plan.
Hunter Renfrow (Raiders, WR) – Renfrow is far from a sexy pick, but he it’s easy to forget the dude has 105 receptions in the last two seasons. If you’re just looking for a guy who will be on the field getting targets, then Renfrow is solid value.
Todd Gurley (Free Agent, RB) – Gurley has yet to be signed to a team but is likely holding out for the right opportunity, which likely requires a starting spot or large role guaranteed. His stock is at it’s all time floor right now, so using your final roster spot on Gurley will likely get you more points that some unknown that is buried on a roster. Be patient as Gurley will find a job soon enough and cash in on the value while it is low.