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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

FANTASY FOOTBALL TRAINING CAMP WRAPUP: MATT FORTE=STEVEN JACKSON ATLANTA FALCONS

Another day around NFL training camps brought forth a bunch of fantasy football relevant information.  Let's get to all of it.

-The New York Jets seem fully intent on going with a strict 50/50 split between Matt Forte and Bilal Powell.  This is what our own Eric C. Wright reported weeks ago before camp even started, with Forte playing on first and second down, while Powell works on third down.  Forte is already battling a hamstring injury in camp and has a ton of tread on his tires already as a rare bellcow back with the Chicago Bears the last 8 seasons.  Now at the dangerous age of 30, we continue to maintain that Forte's name brand outstrips what he will actual produce in 2016.  Also those 100-plus catches he had in 2014?  While Forte is about as good a pass receiver as there is in the NFL among running backs, forget that lofty number ever repeating as it was squarely in outlier territory.  Meanwhile Forte looks like Steven Jackson soon after he left the St. Louis Rams and signed on fumes with the Atlanta Falcons.  Beward.

-Carolina Panthers second-year wideout Devin Funchess continues to draw raves in camp as he gets set to further increase his rapport with QB Cam Newton.  Funchess has nowhere to go but up in 2016 after an up-and-down rookie campaign a year ago that got better as the season went on.  However don't go too crazy drafting Funchess as the return of Kelvin Benjamin mean he and tight end Greg Olsen will get the majority of receptions in the offense. 

-All signs point to Rashad Jennings being the primary ballcarrier for the New York Giants this season and he deserves to be such after by far being the most effective runner on the team last season.  While the Giants stupidly and ineffectively used a four-man committee behind QB Eli Manning that included Orleans Darkwa, Andre Williams, and Shane Vereen, Jennings finished the season strong once he started to get the majority of work and averaged 4.4 a carry.  Yes Jennings is 31 but his tires still have a lot of tread left after being little used earlier in his career.  While overall the Giants backfield seems like a mess, Jennings is on the border of RB 2/3. 

-It looks as though Sammy Coates will be given every opportunity to be the wideout opposite Antonio Brown to begin 2016. Woefully inadequate as a rookie a year ago, Coates is earning a lot of praise in camp and seems to be besting the competition for the outside spot in the suddenly potent Pittsburgh Steelers passing attack. 

-The Detroit Lions think that Eric Ebron is set for a big jump in production in his third season in the league.  Ebron was a high first round pick for a reason and the Lions want to make it a point to get him more involved in the passing attack this season with Calvin Johnson off into retirement.  While I wouldn't reach for the moon for Ebron, he is a good upside pick very late right before you get your defense and kicker.

-David Johnson is universally considered a locked-in top three pick in almost all fantasy football leagues this season but Arizona Cardinals OC Harold Goodwin said both guys are "even" when it comes to their running skills.  This set off some minor alarms that maybe Chris Johnson will eat into David Johnson's workload to the point that it will jeopardize his standing as an early round pick but we don't see it just yet.  We would feel more comfortable going with Todd Gurley at the top but Johnson still should be a beast. 


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