- The Devonta Freeman bandwagon just got more crowded with word that his ascension to the top of the Falcons running back depth chart may happen sooner rather than later. Stevan Jackson is 31 and is no guarantee to return to the Pro Bowler he used to be.
- Further confirmation that Arizona running back Andre Ellington will get 20+ touches per game. Ellington was blocked by Rashard Mendenhall last year but with Mendenhall retired, there is no one to stop Ellington from being the Cardinals work horse.
- For however long Browns running back Ben Tate can stay healthy, he might be in a time share with rookie Terrance West.
- Even with the signing of LaGarrette Blount, Le’Veon Bell is still expected to see over 300 touches. Bell is one of the few, young running backs that can be relied on for a few years which makes him a RB1 in dynasty leagues.
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- Stop me if you heard this before but receiver Kenbrell Thompkins is looking good in Patriots camp. Any receiver in New England will be a risk thanks to the crowd they’ve accumulated.
- Raiders receiver Andre Holmes is also looking good in camp. He has far less competition in Oakland and could be a starter sooner rather than later. However, he doesn’t exactly have a quarterback that’s shown to be reliable for 2014.
- Expect the Ravens to tone down the passing and become a more run-based offense under new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. This is great news for Bernard Pierce and Ray Rice owners.
- While Packers running back Eddie Lacy made a great impression his rookie year (as noted yesterday), Green Bay would like to limit his touches to keep him fresh. It’s good and bad for dynasty owners of Lacy as they’d like him to last but still want to rookie-level production he produced. In the end, having Lacy be effective for longer is the better choice.
- Anyone expecting a bounce back year from Jets running back Chris Johnson should probably reel those expectations in. He will not be a workhorse this year or any other.
- Rookie receiver John Brown is making a good impression in Arizona where the third receiver spot could be valuable. With an aging Larry Fitzgerald, it’s also conceivable that Brown could see more action down the road.
- As if he needed more hype, Packers running back Eddie Lacy looks better than ever in Green Bay. Lacy had over 300 touches last year and should easily match that again. He’s a top five dynasty running back.
- On the heels of a glowing report, it looks like Jets rookie tight end Jace Amaro still has ways to go. He struggled in minicamp while adjusting to an NFL playbook. He’s still high on dynasty boards but his 2014 production expectations should be reigned in.
- No surprise that the Giants brought in Rashad Jennings to be a ‘bellcow’ according to general manager Jerry Reese. Jennings could flirt with RB1 status this season but anything beyond should be considered a bonus.
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- Now we have some definitive dates on Knowshon Moreno’s knee after undergoing a scope. Doctors give him 4-5 weeks before he sees action again.
- Expect the Carlos Hyde bandwagon to get more crowded after he displayed feature back capabilities in practice. He’s squarely in the first round discussion in rookie drafts and could challenge Bishop Sankey for top back.
- Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar has lined up all over the field in OTA’s and could provide some Darren Sproles-type production under new coordinator Scott Linehan. Still just 25, Dunbar could be a valuable piece in a high-powered offense.
- Expect Bernard Pierce to be the starter in Baltimore should Ray Rice receive a multi-game suspension. Pierce has had an up and down career so far and is a complete gamble at this point.
- A name to keep on your radar is Bengals linebacker Emmanuel Lamur. He’s expected to play all three downs for a very good defense and could rack up plenty of tackles.
Ol Stylos asks,
I have Vernon Davis, DeSean Jackson, Vincent Jackson, Matt Prater, Josh Gordon, Colin Kaepernick, and Jay Cutler and need to keep two. Who should they be?
First order of business is to cross Matt Prater off the list. Sorry, Matt.
Second, let’s break it down by position:
- Quarterback – Jay Cutler, Colin Kaepernick – I think quarterback is a premium position and if you can get a good, young one you have to do it and Kaepernick fits the bill. At 26, he has a long shelf-life while the coaches should be taking the training wheels off this year. Reports have already hinted that Kaepernick will pass more thanks to the trade for Stevie Johnson and a healthy Michael Crabtree. He was already a top-1o fantasy quarterback last year and there’s no reason for him to regress. Meanwhile, Cutler is already 31 and while he might have the better fantasy offense, hasn’t played a full 16 games in five years. The choice is easy for me.
- Wide Receiver – DeSean Jackson, Vincent Jackson, Josh Gordon – After a breakout year in 2013, Philadelphia released Jackson, allowing him to sign with the Redskins. The downgrade in offense is obvious combined with the fact that he might only be the third option in the passing game. Meanwhile, Vincent Jackson has quietly been a top fantasy receiver with five 1,000-yard seasons in six years with two different teams. He’s definitely the most accomplished of this group but that doesn’t necessarily translate to dynasty success going forward. Jackson, already 31, now has first round pick Mike Evans to compete with along with second round pick Austin Seferien-Jenkins. I could see another year or two of above average output from VJ but not much after. The real conundrum is what do you do with Josh Gordon? If Gordon were playing, he’s be your keeper, no questions asked. But with a looming suspension, possibly for a full year, I couldn’t justifying keeping him especially when you only have two spots. Which leaves…
- Tight End – Vernon Davis. If you check out our dynasty wide receiver rankings, Davis is firmly entrenched as the 7th best tight end, higher than either Jackson and even Josh Gordon now while his offense, as noted above, is expected to pass more. Among the players available, Davis is the only one that could be considered elite and give you an advantage over most teams in your league.
So there you have it – we go all 49ers with Colin Kaepernick and Vernon Davis. I think you can get a quality receiver in your rookie draft to make up for the lack of a keeper but Kap and VD should keep you competitive for years to come.
- Austin Seferien-Jenkins hasn’t been able to practice thanks to Washington’s graduation schedule which means he’ll start off behind incumbents Tim Wright and Brandon Myers. ASJ probably won’t contribute much in his rookie year but should be on the radar in the second round of your rookie drafts.
- Confirming what was thought before, Giants tight end Adrien Robinson has yet to distance himself from the competition. He should be avoided in dynasty leagues.
- If you have any chance of grabbing Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson for a reasonable price, do it now. He’s going to be featured a ton this year.
- In the, as of yet, unresolved tight end situation in Green Bay, rookie Richard Rogers may be pulling ahead. If Rogers keeps this up, he could be another highly rated tight end to grab in rookie drafts.
- Ravens rookie linebacker C.J. Mosley played with the first team in practice and OTA’s and should be the week one starter. Him and Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier will battle for the top IDP rookie.
- Expect Vikings running back Adrian Peterson to have more catches this season with Norv Turner in town. Adding any value to Peterson is a plus as he approaches the dreaded running back wall.