News from Training Camp: 8/26/2020

Ben Brown highlights some noteworthy tidbits from Training Camp.

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

 

AFC East

 

New England Patriots

 

Is Gunner Olszewski the future Julian Edelman replacement?

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

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

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.

 

Miami Dolphins

 

Malcolm Perry stock UP

From Safid Deen of the South Florida Sun Sentinel

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.

 

AFC North

 

Cincinnati Bengals

 

A.J. Green returning to practice on Wednesday

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.

 

AFC South

 

Tennessee Titans

 

Jonnu Smith and Ryan Tannehill are already on the same page

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.

 

Indianapolis Colts

 

Draft Jonathan Taylor

What he said ^^

 

AFC West

 

Denver Broncos

 

There’s nothing quite like a good looking Butt

Still not drafting him in fantasy, though.

 

Los Angeles Chargers

 

Mike Williams to miss time to begin the regular season

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

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?

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.

 

NFC East

 

Dallas Cowboys

 

Blake Jarwin SZN?

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

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

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.

From Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post:

“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.

NFC North

 

Green Bay Packers

 

AJ Dillon – Maybe not the best PPR option

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.

 

NFC South

 

Carolina Panthers

 

Mike Davis is the front runner to back up Christian McCaffrey

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.

 

NFC West

 

Arizona Cardinals

 

Kenyan Drake seen walking around camp in a boot

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?

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)

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