NFL Training Camp Report: August 21
Justin Mason runs down what's going on around NFL Preseason and Training Camps here in the early part of this week.
DeVante Parker ’s status for Week 1 in “up in the air” according to to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN. Parker has been an industry favorite as a sleeper for multiple years now, but that shine has now faded, as he has struggled with route running, getting off of press coverage, and health. He now is a forgotten about commodity. The upside is still there for the 25-year-old, but at least now there is no price attached. His health woes keep him as a player to avoid for now though.
Jimmy Smith has been suspended for four games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy regarding domestic violence. Smith missed four games in 2017 due to violating the league’s policy on PEDs and the result was Baltimore’s defensive backfield struggling in his absence. With matchup versus Buffalo, Cincinnati, Denver, and Pittsburgh to start the year, the Ravens may get off a bit easy as the first three do not sport the best passing games, but this is a bit of a boost to those teams’ passing and receiving options nonetheless.
Nyheim Hines suffered his fourth fumble of the preseason in Monday night’s preseason game. Hines has a nice combination of rushing and receiving ability, making him a nice sleeper play in an underwhelming backfield, but he will not see much playing time if he cannot hold onto the ball. With Marlon Mack struggling with health right now, this is a big boost for Jordan Wilkins ’ fantasy value.
Matt Kalil ’s availability for Week 1 is in doubt after having his knee scoped on Tuesday. This would be a big loss for the Panthers who are already struggling with loses on the offensive line due to injury and free agency. This is a definitive downgrade for Cam Newton , C.J Anderson, and Christian McCaffrey .
Ronald Jones is continuing to struggle for the Buccaneers according to multiple sources. Bucs RB coach was quoted as saying that there is “probably a reason” that he isn’t more involved in the passing game. Jones’ ability to catch the ball has always been in question but couple this kind of talk coming out of camp with the fact that he has looked awful in the running game and appears to be behind on the depth chart to Peyton Barber , than it would appear that the previous hype on the second rounder was foolhardy to say the least.
T.J. Yeldon has dropped weight this offseason in an attempt to make himself quicker and more explosive he said at practice this week. This comment may be in response to coach Doug Marrone saying he wants fellow back Leonard Fournette more involved on third downs this year, which would cut into Yeldon’s playing time.
Pete Carroll said that Doug Baldwin will be ready for Week 1.
Panthers rookie wide receiver was cited for speeding in a work zone on August 10th. Apparently, he was driving 113 mile per hour in a 65-mph zone. Hopefully coach Ron Rivera can inspire him to keep the explosiveness on the field as he has looked great thus far.
Don’t Sleep On’em
Keelan Cole has seemingly emerged as the No. 2 wideout in Jacksonville training camp, as he has been receiving the majority of starter reps alongside Marqise Lee . Many appear to be “sleeping” on Cole according to current ADP trends, but that might turn out to be a mistake, as he averaged right around four receptions on seven targets for 74 yards per game from Week 9 on last season. Over those eight games, Cole also found the end zone three times while averaging 19.3 yards per reception.
You can also get Howard Bender & Jim Bowden’s take on Cole from today’s Fantasy Alarm Show on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio by checking out the Audio Clips section.
James Washington is a player on the rise this preseason in Pittsburgh. The second-round selection (60th overall) out of Oklahoma State hauled in five passes for 114 yards and two scores in this past Thursday’s matchup with the Packers and, as a result, has been bumped up to the Steelers’ second-team offense.