Thursday, July 30, 2015


NFL training camps opened en masse on Wednesday, with the holdout coming together Thursday as the 2015 fantasy football season will now start to come into focus.  With all that said, let's start checking in on the daily items that are of interest to those of you who will be drafting leading up to the opener. 

-This is one peanut stand that has never been on board the whole ridiculous "Josh Hill is the next stud fantasy football tight end because he will take Jimmy Graham's place in the starting lineup" chatter.  One publication even had Hill number 6 overall already among tight ends which is absurd.  This from a guy who has hardly played since being drafted.  Well it didn't take long for Saints head coach Sean Payton to follow my lead in throwing cold water on this story as he said Wednesday that Hill will not be used anywhere near the way Graham was.  Noting the stark differences in athleticism alone, Payton seemed to suggest Hill will be nothing but a low-end complementary piece to the passing offense.  Points for Marques Colston and Brandin Cooks and negative points for Hill who should be nothing but a very late round speculative pick which his current ADP says he is not.  In that case just pass him by.

-Joseph Randle was spoken of highly by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones Wednesday in terms of his belief that the young back should be able to handle being the number 1 runner on the team in replacing DeMarco Murray.  Darren McFadden is also in camp but Jones seemed publicly intrigued by what Randle could bring.  Randle only has value in fantasy football standard formats due to the fact he doesn't catch the football and McFadden should not even be drafted as he has had three miserable seasons in a row both on and off the field with his rampant injuries.

-Tre Mason is set to be the main ball carriers for the St. Louis Rams early on as rookie Todd Gurley continues to recover from his torn ACL last season.  Gurley will be handled with kid gloves after the Rams used a first round pick on the speedster last May.  Mason meanwhile comes off a solid rookie season where he should he can be a big play guy.  While Mason did disappoint as a receiver, he figures to remain involved even when Gurley is ready to go.  Ultimately though Gurley is the guy who will get the higher end of the carries from November on when fantasy football titles are decided.

-Rookie WR DeVante Parker is on the PUP list to start camp after undergoing surgery on his foot to have a screw replaced.  The Miami Dolphins think Parker won't need the PUP list to begin the season which would cost Parker the first six games but missing Week 1 and maybe even Week 2 is possible.  Not the start Parker wanted to say the least.

-Early reports out of San Francisco indicate the team will employ the dreaded running back committee in the team's backfield after Frank Gore signed as a free agent with the Indianapolis Colts.  I find this tough to believe as second-year power back Carlos Hyde seems fully suited to be the primary ball carrier but Reggie Bush does figure to be heavily involved on third down and in the passing game.  In standard formats you draft Hyde as a RB 2/3 and avoid him in standard. 

-It was nice to hear Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson publicly state that he plans to "open things up" in terms of the team's passing game this season after being a run-dominant unit in 2014.  That is tremendous news for wide receivers A.J. Green and Mohamud Sanu, not to mention QB Andy Dalton who sunk to bench status at best a year ago when the Bengals rode the power running of rookie Jeremy Hill and the shiftiness of Giovani Bernard to control games on the ground.  Dalton could ascend back to low-end QB 1 status given the fact the Bengals are loaded with offensive weapons such as Green, Sanu, Bernard, Hill, Marvin Jones, and Tyler Eifert.  Meanwhile Green could easily push back to the 90-catch mark under this plan also. 

-Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White is one to avoid this season in fantasy football as he admitted that his chronically sore knee was drained in June and will have to be drained again prior to Week 1.  White is hobbling around as he approaches his mid-30's and Julio Jones has firmly replaced him as the number 1 receiver in the Falcons passing offense.  While we were big fans of White in the past, even we have to admit he is a guy you want to have someone else deal with this season. 

-Joique Bell was a surprising PUP entry Wednesday as he is still not ready to get onto the field after offseason knee/Achilles surgery.  This gives rookie Amir Abdullah a prime chance to showcase his stuff and stake his claim to the starting RB job for the Lions as Bell has averaged less than 4.0 yards per carry each of the last two seasons.  Something to watch early on as camp gets going. 


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