The Rotoworld player news feed has likely been bookmarked for seasons now, assuming you’re at all serious about your fantasy football game. With training camps arriving, and the proverbial firehose slowly being opened more and more with each passing session (hat-tip to the legendary Sigmund Bloom), it’s important to be aware of the news and notes – no matter how small they may appear on the surface – as there will be ramifications and ripple effects throughout depth charts as we work through the offseason and eventual preseason games. Here’s what has stuck out to me:
WR Parris Campbell, IND (146.2): Campbell’s route-running has been impressive early on. Color me shocked. The timeline (see: “Draft Twitter”) was divided last season given Campbell’s depth of target. There were questions and concerns about his ability to get open at various levels of the field (reminded me of discussions around Curtis Samuel‘s prospect not too long ago). Continue to monitor Campbell’s progress closely, because his draft slot and the Colts’ evaluation was notable. Currently tabbed as the WR3, it wouldn’t necessarily surprise if he pushes Devin Funchess sooner rather than later. He’s coming off boards in the 12th round currently.
WR A.J. Green, CIN (35.0): I nearly dropped my phone when I read the news. Just heartbreaking for a player who was set to completely smash his third-round ADP prior (a toe injury and eventual surgery cut his 2018 campaign short). You likely have to tick Andy Dalton down. Then again, new money de facto WR1 Tyler Boyd is coming off a strong year and has shown the ability to carry the passing game (at least that’s what the new cash would suggest). Expect his targets to tick up. Someone like Tyler Eifert could step up in the intermediate as well. Initial timetable for recovery was 4-weeks, but Adam Schefter has suggested it’s more like 6-to-8 weeks. Schefter also notes that field conditions are perhaps to blame, as opposed to Green’s soon-to-be 31-year old body simply breaking down on him.
WR D.K. Metcalf, SEA (127.4): Metcalf is running opposite 2018 breakout Tyler Lockett early on in Seahawk’s training camp. His 64th overall draft spot says that’s about right. Metcalf is clearly a gifted athlete, but there were (are) questions about his ability to run a full route tree given the concerning three-cone. Seattle did not share those same concerns, and catching passes from Russell Wilson should feasibly make things that much easier. I prefer someone like Marquez Valdes-Scantling (128.8) around that same range, but you can tell yourself a story about Metcalf’s big play ability.
RB Derrick Henry, TEN (36.8): Most, such as myself, are banking on Henry as a pure volume play, evidence by his dominant close to the 2018 season. A walking boot may hinder that. Regarding the injury and possible recovery: NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport says the team isn’t worried about it, so I guess neither should we?
WR Miles Boykin, BAL (527.7): Boykin was Breakout Finder-favorite for obvious reasons. He’s dripping with raw athleticism and potential. In redraft leagues, he’s currently free, coming off the board as the WR106 (if that ADP even makes sense). To be fair, first-round selection Hollywood Brown is still on the mend and as a whole, the Ravens’ wide receiver room is bottom-of-the-barrel (so, context is key). It’s easy to see why a freak like Boykin could quickly rise to the top, however. His rise will be tied to Lamar Jackson‘s ability to grow as a passer too, of course.
WR Trey Quinn, WAS (433.3): As free as the aforementioned Baltimore player, Quinn is currently the WR84 in redraft leagues. He’s in line to soak-up all the slot work and could quickly see his target share blossom given the unsettled Redskins pass-catching group. Other options in Washington include fourth-year bust Josh Doctson and unproven-yet-intriguing rookies Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon (both players that deserve your attention this year and long-term). Quinn turned in a 114-1236-13 campaign his junior year before heading to the league.
WR Will Fuller, HOU (82.6): A healthy Fuller is a monster boost to an ascending Texans offense, one piloted by the (also) now fully-healthy Deshaun Watson. Watson’s play is elevated with Fuller on the field, where the deep threat looks like a game-breaking option. I worry about his current 6th round ADP getting a little out of hand, so let’s hope the headlines stay understated from here on out.
WR Dede Westbrook, JAX (104.2): Westbrook nearly doubled his targets from 2017 to 2018 (51 to 101) and more than doubled his yardage (339 to 717), all while being hamstrung in an underwhelming Jacksonville passing offense. The ceiling isn’t much higher under Nick Foles, but he does present an upgrade at the quarterback spot no matter how you want to slice it up. Early camp reports have highlighted Westbrook’s chemistry and nearly instantaneous go-to rapport with Foles, while also heaping praise on the former Sooner’s sure hands. He’s a third-year breakout candidate, or as much as one could be in Jacksonville and under Foles. The talent has been there all along, so I’m buying in the 8th or 9th rounds.
RB D’Onta Foreman, HOU (124.8): My favorite choice to eventually takeover lead-back duties in Houston, Foreman showed up to camp in excellent shape and once more looks the part of an explosive, feature back (which is especially noteworthy and encouraging given the type of injury he is returning from). He’s a target in the 10th-or-later rounds, and an obvious candidate for Zero RB drafters. Allow my good friend Mike Braude to add more context:
WR John “Smokey” Brown (218.8) has been a stud in early work at Bills camp. His elite ability deep is a perfect pairing with Josh Allen. Expect his ADP to correct itself over the coming weeks.
WR Donte Moncrief (149.8) appears to be the player to own, not James Washington, opposite certified-stud and Steelers’ WR1 JuJu Smith-Schuster. I’m not sure Ben Roethlisberger can support two high-end wide receivers at this stage in his career (and given the updated landscape in Pittsburgh), but there’s plenty of vacated targets post-Antonio Brown (35.7% vacated).
TE Matt LaCosse (453.8) is currently the TE40 and now set to occupy the Patriot’s TE1 chair which has been profitable in the past. Clearly not anywhere near a Rob Gronkowski-level talent, there’s still reason to throw a dart given the fluidity amongst Tom Brady‘s pass-catchers.
RB Theo Riddick (278.0) was released by the Lions, somewhat surprisingly. I imagine the satellite back lands on his feet sooner rather than later. The move simply clears the path for second-year runner Kerryon Johnson to properly stunt this season.
RB Kalen Ballage (170.6) has been all the buzz down in Miami and could push Kenyan Drake for lead-back duties with a new staff in town. The Dolphins are an offense I’m shying away from, and this backfield situation seems messy enough, but hard to ignore Ballage’s opportunity in the 14th round.
RB Chris Carson (56.6) will continue to keep Rashaad Penny on ice in Seattle, on a team that will look to run the offense through the ground game once more in 2019.
TE Jordan Reed (162.2) looks to be back (for real this time). He’s a bargain given his previous production at his 14th round ADP. I can’t help myself.