FANTASY FOOTBALL: TRAINING CAMP BI-FOCALS
Des Boodram - @boxscoreprophet
We are mere days into camp, and football fans everywhere couldn’t be more excited. Never has a 2nd string RB and the amount of carries they get in 7 on 7 drills been a bigger deal. In the age of social media, every microscopic accomplishment by every fringe player is popping up on social media. Fans are constantly posting training camp footage, not because it’s exciting, but because they are excited. We have become so football deprived in the off-season, every 6-yard run, or pass defended is a big deal. But there’s redemption here, because thus far there are a handful of observances I have made (mostly on Twitter) that may have some fantasy relevance. As you prepare for the season, it is my responsibility to bring these to your attention, provide some color, perhaps an opinion, and then leave it for you to decide. Here are some players that have caught my attention, that I will be putting a slightly larger lens on this pre-season.
Brandon Marshall is going to be a matchup nightmare for opposing DBs this season. He will almost always receive single coverage and if healthy should go right smack dab in the middle of the 5th round. With Sterling Shepherd on the mend, Marshall now becomes a possession receiver, and monster red-zone target. I’m watching him, because I need him to be 100% healthy on draft day, because sick and injured players are not welcome on my roster. I’m hoping the Giants keep their playbook to themselves and Marshall’s name isn’t mentioned a single time in the next 4 weeks.
TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE
Get Ahead with Danny Woodhead, especially in PPR leagues. This guy has value written all over him with Kenneth Dixon out. Ravens beat writers are howling at his usage in camp drills noting that he’s part of every offensive set where there’s a RB in the backfield. He’s got some figuring out to do in a new offense, and I’d like to see him play in a couple of quarters this pre-season. He never looks like much, but always hits value.
NEW ENGLAND SHELL GAME
OJ has a better chance of finding Ron and Nicole’s killer than I do of picking which of the four RBs will start from week to week in New England. You and me both know Bill Belichick doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your fantasy team so naming a starter and sticking to it provides little advantage in New England’s system. Mike Reiss has reported that Mike Gillislee has easily looked the best. Yours truly says if he is labeled as the goal line back there is no better distinction in New England, not even being named the starter. It’s counter intuitive but the less Gillislee plays in the pre-season the better. Also if you are a Pats fan and don’t follow already Mike Reiss is easily one of the most trustworthy follows on Twitter and I won’t hold it against him that he’s at ESPN. Keep a tight eye on this one.
SON OF SAMMY
Sammy Watkins when healthy has always been great. Normally I would prefer to take a drink offered by Bill Cosby before drafting Watkins, but I think he’s let enough people down already that he could be had a discount. Again I don’t want injured players on my roster… and every year someone from the ALL INJURY TEAM doesn’t get injured and blows it out of the water. This year Watkins is that guy and his volume more than justifies his price. Keep one eye on Super Sammy this month.
THE BUTLER DID IT
Brice Butler is the 2nd best receiver on this team, and Terrence Williams is about as exciting as industrial paper towel. I am admittedly digging deep here, but wanted to give you guys… and girls something to think about in D-town. If he wins the job, which isn’t guaranteed, he has legit value… a big IF you will have to monitor.
**** Alright gamers who are you keeping an eye on this pre-season*****