As training camp progresses and the regular season gets closer, there’s a lot going on that may be tough to keep track of. Our goal with this series is to keep you updated on any fantasy-related injuries and positional battles, while also throwing in some tidbits that may prove useful for your fantasy draft. Expect to see these updates on Mondays and Wednesdays right up until Week 1.
If you missed the first installment from Monday, you can check it out here.
New England Patriots
Is Gunner Olszewski the future Julian Edelman replacement?
Another note: This speaks to the Patriots' talent at WR but also his development, Gunner Olszewski has looked like the second best WR in camp behind Julian Edelman, though N'Keal Harry made a push today.
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) August 24, 2020
The only three things that are guaranteed in life are death, taxes, and the Patriots churning out slot receivers on a conveyor belt. Many thought it was a foregone conclusion that Hunter Renfrow would end up in a Patriots uniform last season; Instead, they passed on him and waited to sign Gunner Olszewski as an undrafted free agent instead. Gunner impressed the team enough in camp to make the team but landed on IR soon after, so he didn’t make an impact in his rookie year. Now he’s back and doing everything in Patriots camp from catching passes to returning punts. He won’t be fantasy relevant this year but, since Edelman is no spring chicken at 34 years young, he’s worth keeping an eye on.
Devin Asiasi leaves practice with an injury
Rookie TE Devin Asiasi received medical attention on his ankle/foot and spent the rest of practice on the sideline. A situation to monitor moving forward.
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) August 25, 2020
With Matt Lacosse opting out for the season, rookies Devin Asisi and Dalton Keene are competing with Ryan Izzo for starting TE reps, and by all accounts, Asiasi has been in the lead as of late so this is a tough pill to swallow. Hopefully it’s something minor and he can get back out there soon.
N’Keal Harry is back on the field
N’Keal Harry is off another strong start. Just hauled in nice back-shoulder grabs vs. Joejuan Williams (in 1-on-1s) and Jason McCourty (in 7s).
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) August 25, 2020
Jarrett Stidham to N’Keal Harry in a 1-on-0 throwing drill. Nice grab by Harry. pic.twitter.com/Hw8O8NPs66
— Andrew Callahan (@_AndrewCallahan) August 25, 2020
N’Keal Harry blocked Michael Jackson into the ground and put a little extra on it. Jackson popped up and took a swing. Things are getting testy.
— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) August 25, 2020
Fighting is bad, mmmkay? But not in this case. To me, fighting in training camp is a good thing because it ups the intensity at a time that otherwise could be pretty dull. It gets the juices flowing and it shows that players are competing and that they care. Michael Jackson is fighting for a roster spot and N’Keal Harry needs to prove that he’s worth the 1st round pick New England spent on him last season. He had missed three days of practice with a lower-body injury and the local media had really started giving it to him. Well, he showed up on Monday and Tuesday ready to compete. It’s great news for him and great news also for a team desperate for a star WR.
Malcolm Perry stock UP
Not only does Perry have a chance to make this Dolphins’ 53-man regular-season roster, he has a strong opportunity to play a vital role on the team’s offense during the 2020 season.
As we mentioned before, Perry had the early highlight play of Monday’s practice, catching his 70-yard touchdown pass down the sideline from Tagovailoa.
Although Perry, a college quarterback who often ran the option at Navy, later had a fumble during practice, he is growing quickly acclimating into his role on offense.
On a team that lacked serious playmaking ability a season ago and could lack considerable depth on offense, Perry’s skill set is a welcomed sight.
Perry is the kind of player Dolphins offensive coordinator Chan Gailey will have fun drawing up plays for this season. It will only be a matter of time before Perry completely grasps the offense and the Dolphins unleash him.
So who is Malcom Perry? He had 2017 rushing yards on 295 carries in his senior year and averaged 7.1 YPC in his career. He did have 22 catches in his career for 470 yards and 3 TD. He ran a 4.63 40 yard dash and measured in at 5-foot-9, so his measurables aren’t elite but this guy is a football player. Watch his feet in these three GIFs, courtesy of Flame Highlights on Youtube.
This guy is a playmaker and it sounds to me like Miami has a potential steal on their hands. Will he be fantasy relevant this year? Probably not, but it’s a name worth keeping an eye on at the very least.
A.J. Green returning to practice on Wednesday
It may not be for 11-on-11 for everyone, but theoretically, for the first time tomorrow we will see A.J. Green, John Ross, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate all out there together with the WR group.
That's going to be a welcome sight for #Bengals coaches (and Joe Burrow).
— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) August 25, 2020
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen A.J. Green competing against other football players. He had started doing drills on the side during practice but it sounds like he’ll be able to practice with the rest of the team starting on Wednesday. I’m excited to see how he looks after missing all of last season – his current ADP (68) is still too high (in my opinion) for a guy who hasn’t played competitive football in a year and a half, but I still want him to succeed.
Jonnu Smith and Ryan Tannehill are already on the same page
It’s clear that Tannehill & Jonnu Smith have a connection. #Titans
— AtoZSports Nashville (@AtoZSports) August 25, 2020
This shouldn’t be a surprise after the two were spending ample amounts of time throwing together during Quarantine. This is the time of year where we hear about Quarterbacks who develop relationships with their receivers/tight ends and how that can help that player’s fantasy stock in the upcoming season. Well, last year the combo that developed the most chemistry in the offseason was Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews and we all know how that worked out. I’m not saying that Tannehill/Jonnu will be nearly as good as Lamar/Andrews, but they can still be really good if they’re on the same page. Jonnu’s ADP is currently at 151 which seems like great value to me.
Draft Jonathan Taylor
Be ready to snatch up Colts rookie RB Jonathan Taylor whenever you have your fantasy draft. He’s going to really help you out this season.
— Mike Wells (@MikeWellsNFL) August 24, 2020
What he said ^^
There’s nothing quite like a good looking Butt
Jake Butt continues to look good. #9sports
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) August 25, 2020
Still not drafting him in fantasy, though.
Los Angeles Chargers
Mike Williams to miss time to begin the regular season
#Chargers WR Mike Williams is expected to miss two to four weeks with his shoulder injury, source said. Coach Anthony Lynn said today he doesn't know if Williams will be ready for the Sept. 13 opener vs. the #Bengals.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 25, 2020
Tough news for Mike Williams, as the Chargers offense will need all the help they can get with new QBs Tyrod Taylor and Justen Herbert. Hopefully he can return sooner rather than later.
Las Vegas Raiders
Tyrell Williams has a torn labrum
#Raiders WR Tyrell Williams has a torn labrum in his shoulder, sources say. He’s going to try to play through it after rehabbing for a few weeks. A tough task, but the big-play WR will attempt it.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 24, 2020
It’s unfortunate that Williams is injured, and it’s kind of surprising that he’s going to attempt to play through it. This should effectively drop him from all fantasy consideration. The biggest beneficiary of this news is none other than Bryan Edwards, who should now get a lot of run with the first-team offense. At his current ADP of 208 (which is surely going to rise in the next couple weeks), he’s a steal, but don’t overpay for him.
Derek Carr embracing his leadership role?
Mayock said he’s “been pleased with how Derek (Carr) has taken over this football team.” … Going back to the player workouts at the Vegas parks. “That’s been awesome.”
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) August 25, 2020
This would be a very good development for a team that has spoken often about not having an identity last season. Leadership at the QB position is extremely important, especially with so many young players at the skill position. It’s time for Derek Carr to step up and lead this team.
Blake Jarwin SZN?
it’s very obvious Dak loves attacking downfield with his tight ends. I saw him go downfield 4 times to 3 different TEs. one of which was an absolute rope to Blake Jarwin, splitting the safeties in the process
— David Helman (@HelmanDC) August 25, 2020
Blake Jarwin is a guy I love this year – too much attention is being focused on their WRs when the TE has been such a proficient weapon in Dallas for so long. Granted, new coaching staff, new TE, whatever. This tweet gives me hope.
Washington Football Team
Antonio Gibson is still killing it in camp
Should have also included RB Antonio Gibson in this. The third-round rookie is a natural ball carrier with speed and power. Showed that skillset on his first two runs today with the starters. https://t.co/PoRFMZ5Bd3
— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) August 24, 2020
Between Bryce Love and Antonio Gibson, the Washington Football Team has to be feeling good about the future of their backfield. It remains to be seen which of the two will get the most work in the regular season, so keep an eye on their ADP these next few weeks. Gibson’s has crept up into the mid 80’s, which seems a little high to me for a guy whose immediate ceiling is the #2 back. He’s going ahead of guys like Matt Breida, Phillip Lindsay, Tarik Cohen and Latavius Murray, who are also considered #2 backs on their respective depth charts but they’ve all actually had fantasy success in the past. Love’s ADP of 131 is much more friendly, and he’s the guy I will be targeting out of Washington’s backfield.
TE Logan Thomas is a red-zone target
TE Logan Thomas has caught 4 TDs from Haskins the past three days in the red zone. When Washington gets inside the 20, expect Haskins to look his way.
— Kyle Stackpole (@kylefstackpole) August 25, 2020
The former starting QB for the Virginia Tech Hokies joined the Washington Football Team this offseason after converting to TE with the Lions last season. Ron Rivera sought him out after watching some tape, and it sounds like Thomas could be in their plans for this season.
“I had a chance to watch some pretty good tape on him when he was with Detroit, and we really felt that this is a guy who has the skill set we’re looking for to be one of our tight ends,” Rivera said. “We’re going to be a group that we’re going to use one tight end, two tight ends, maybe three tight ends just depending on circumstances, situations. He’s going to be lining up in the down position; he’s going to be lining up in the up position. He’s got enough athleticism that he can be dynamic. We’re pretty excited about who he is.”
He measures up at 6-foot-6, 250 lbs and ran a 4.61 at the 2014 combine.
From Curt Popejoy of Bleacher Report, shortly after the combine:
Thomas might want to consider a different path to NFL success. With his body and physical gifts, Thomas could think about a move to tight end. This isn’t ideal, but if you look at his combine numbers, they compare favorably to the top tight end prospects in this draft. Thomas has massive hands, which should translate to being a solid receiver.
It looks like that different path has arrived. His current ADP is 352. Is Logan Thomas this year’s Darren Waller? Mark Edwards? Eric Ebron? I’m currently working on a Going Deep piece about Thomas that should drop next week, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, here’s some GIFs to enjoy.
Green Bay Packers
AJ Dillon – Maybe not the best PPR option
AJ Dillon with a drop on a simple crossing route. Remember he caught only 21 passes in 3 years at BC
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) August 25, 2020
As I wake up every morning to the sounds of the AJ Dillon hype train passing by just outside my window, this was a good tweet to see. I was unaware that he only caught 21 passes in his collegiate career. Worth remembering in PPR leagues when you’re looking for a deep sleeper.
Mike Davis is the front runner to back up Christian McCaffrey
"(Mike Davis) seems to be the front-runner to claim the backup role behind Christian McCaffrey. Davis told The Athletic last week it was “refreshing” to get a clean slate with a new coaching staff, which has seen him emerge as a dual-threat, No. 2 back." https://t.co/7fFr0pvOqS
— Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom) August 25, 2020
This is the same Mike Davis that rushed for 514 yards with Seattle in 2018, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Obviously McCaffrey is the lead dog in this backfield but one would think his usage would drop this season after an unreal 403 touches last season. If Mike Davis is in fact the backup then he’s a must grab at the end of the draft for anyone who rosters McCaffrey.
Kenyan Drake seen walking around camp in a boot
I know all you fantasy football folks are freaking out right now, but to clarify the situation in Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake: Kingsbury said he's in a boot today because of general training camp soreness. If he broke his foot or ankle, I think he would have told us that.
— Bob McManaman (@azbobbymac) August 24, 2020
Was in a walking book around this time last summer too. Just trying to stay consistent lol no worries I’m good 🤞🏾
— Kenyan Drake™ (@KDx32) August 24, 2020
There was a bit of concern on Monday that something was wrong with Kenyan Drake, but he quickly shot it down with the above tweet. We can all sleep easy now.
Los Angeles Rams
Robert Woods: Time Traveler?
Robert Woods just entered a different plane in the space-time continuum to snag a catch across the middle between several defensive players.
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) August 25, 2020
This would be an interesting development if true. How can defenses cover Robert Woods if he’s in an entirely different dimension? Does this move him up to a 1st round lock? I’m tempted to say yes.
(Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire)