NFL Training Camp Battles - August 15
Brett Talley has updated some of the more notable training camp battles as we near the end of the preseason.
Weeks 2 and 3 of the preseason are where we really start to get some clarity about who is winning the training camp battles. The first team offenses play the most in these two weeks, and the players who get the most reps with those units are obviously more likely to have a higher usage rate when the games that count start. This time next week we should have even more to discuss, but for now we’ll hit some recent camp news.
When we took a look at the most fantasy-relevant camp battle for each team prior to the beginning of camp, we highlighted the receiver battle in Buffalo. The Bills brought in John Brown and Cole Beasley , and it’s no surprise that those guys look like the top receiving options.
Josh Allen played 18 snaps last night. WR counts:— Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan) August 9, 2019
John Brown 17
Cole Beasley 13
Andre Roberts 11
Zay Jones 9
Isaiah McKenzie 1
Robert Foster 0
The third spot is up for grabs, and it’s kind of shocking to see Robert Foster getting zero snaps with Josh Allen on the field given that he had a solid seven-week stretch last year with 511 yards and three touchdowns. It seems Brown may end up being the only WR from Buffalo that is viable in standard leagues, and Beasley should also be an option in PPR leagues.
San Francisco 49ers
There have been reports that Dante Pettis has been disappointing and may not have a starting job sewn up. But this article from The Athletic’s Matt Barrows makes it seem like Kyle Shanahan may just be trying to light a fire under Pettis’ ass. Pettis is actually trending up in ADP per our ADP report so people aren’t buying the negativity. Pettis is going as WR35 in the late seventh/early eighth round. He may well end up being the No. 1 receiver there, but his ADP needs to drop a little before he’s worth the gamble. One name going later than Pettis is Dede Westbrook , and he’s the clear No. 1 receiver on his team.
Royce Freeman was a popular pick in fantasy drafts last season, but we all know that Phillip Lindsay took that job and ran with it. At the beginning of camp there were surprisingly positive reports on Freeman, and the Broncos signed Theo Riddick , which meant Riddick could take a good chunk of third down work. Well, Riddick is out six-to-eight weeks with a shoulder injury, and Lindsay played a few more snaps with the first team offense in their first preseason game, so order may be being restored. Lindsay is going as RB23 right now in the late fourth round on average, which is entirely fair given his upside.
Two weeks ago,we were talking about Kalen Ballage working with the first team in practice. But when the Dolphins played their first preseason game, it was Kenyan Drake who played nine of the 13 snaps taken by the first team offense. Drake was being drafted in the fourth round early, but his ADP has fallen to the end of the fifth or even the top of the sixth round. He’s a nice value at that price. For the record, Ballage is still plenty worth a gamble outside the top 100 picks. He’s going in the 11th round on average.
I want Mark Andrews to be a thing. I wrote about him both in the pre-camp article and two weeks ago. But when the Baltimore offense ran 16 snaps in their first preseason game, Andrews played six snaps, same as Hayden Hurst and four fewer than Nick Boyle . Andrews will surely lead the tight ends in pass routes run, but he’s not going to reach the upside I’m hoping for unless his snap count increases.
If all three of Washington’s running backs were healthy, that might be a mess of a backfield for fantasy purposes. However, news came out this week that Derrius Guice still isn’t cleared for contact after missing his entire rookie season with a knee injury. Guice currently has an ADP in the 70’s, but Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson , who are going between picks 140 and 170, are excellent values at those spots.