August 10th Training Camp Fantasy Notes
August 10, 2015 | Chet
Todd Gurley is limited to “work on the side” and will more than likely remain that way for the remainder of the preseason. Jeff Fisher hinted that the lack of August reps won’t impact much of Gurley’s regular season workload but it’s still a little concerning that a rookie RB will need to open the 2015 season with a blind eye in terms of working with the players around him at full speed. While the rookie could no doubt produce some nice weeks for you later in the year, there is no question that this will be a heavy RBBC, at least for the first month of play. His current ADP has him coming off the board in the 4th round as the No. 20 ballcarrier. While his upside is certainly there, I wouldn’t want to pay that price for a player who might only give me 10 weeks of solid fantasy production.
Possible future member of the elusive “how did I squander a career at age 25” club, Aldon Smith was arrested this week, marking the fifth time since being drafted in 2011. He was released from the 49ers on Friday afternoon, another crucial piece of their defense after losing a slew of high contributing vets already this offseason. That list includes five retirees, two of which were linebackers (Willis/Borland) and one five-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman (Smith). What had been a top-12 fantasy defense and great streaming option over the past few years has undoubtedly taken too many hits to be a viable option this year, and depending on how they start the season they may even be a great defense to stream against.
Lamar Miller truthers should find some solace in the way things have gone thus far in Miami Dolphins camp. Miller caught himself a long 35-yarder from Ryan Tannehill before lining up in the slot and taking care of a mismatch against a 245 pound linebacker for 20 more yards. Lamar didn’t surpass 20 carries once in 2014 yet still finished as fantasy’s no. 9 running back and his 52 targets from Tannehill didn’t hurt that cause. The drafting of Jay Ajayi could cut into Miller’s ceiling but the threat seems to be fading more and more with each day of practice; the rookie fighting for the backup role with Damien Williams and LaMichael James is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury. It is unknown at the time of this article exactly how long he will be out and for his sake he needs to get as much work in as he possibly can because as it stands he might barely be the no.3 running back. Ajayi has had some fumbling issues and more importantly, he is giving no love in the pass protection area of his job, forcing Dolphins’ VP Mike Tannenbaum to remark:
“There are things we like about him, but if he can’t pass protect, he will never be active. I don’t care how talented he is between the tackles. If Jay Ajayi can’t pass protect, he won’t be active.”
As of now we can expect Lamar Miller’s top-10ish projections to remain intact.
Another Dolphins rookie facing some adversity is the 14th overall pick, DeVante Parker. How much this former Louisville receiver can help Ryan Tannehill, the Miami Dolphins and (most importantly) our fantasy teams is still up in the air as he recovers from foot surgery that replaced a screw following the 2013 broken foot that stole half of his senior year. He isn’t expected to participate in any preseason games and couple possibly miss the season opener. It will be rough to draft a guy before seeing him face off against professional talent but he could make a great pick if you already have a solid WR core, especially in Best Ball leagues.
The Buffalo Bills quarterback competition is a situation that should reap none of us any fantasy value outside of deep 2QB leagues and things aren’t getting any clearer over at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, New York. Following Saturday’s scrimmage Rex Ryan remarked “I was hoping to see something pop through there, but it didn’t.” He’s quite correct, for what it’s worth; EJ Manuel went 5-11 for 104 yards, Matt Cassel 2-6 for 27 yards and Tyrod Taylor 8-13 for 77 yards. These are, of course, silly preseason numbers but you can see where ol’ Rexie is coming from. Matt Cassel is likely to get the start for the first preseason game and has the leg up to begin the real season behind center as well. This doesn’t bode too well for Sammy Watkins or moody ass Percy Harvin as Cassel hasn’t produced a productive WR year since 2010 when he managed to get Dwayne Bowe 72 receptions and 1,162 yards while checking down to running backs for a whopping 101 receptions. If LeSean McCoy can retain health throughout the season and get himself back into the passing game like his 2009-2013 seasons with Philadelphia he can get a huge fantasy boost over his disappointing no. 11 finish among fantasy running backs last year.