September 1st Training Camp Fantasy Notes
September 1, 2015 | Ian Goldsmith
The fantasy football world (and all fans of the Kansas City Chiefs) collectively held its breath today when Travis Kelce injured himself during practice on Monday. Kelce, who missed his 2013 rookie season after having microfracture surgery on his knee, has been widely considered a top 4 (at worst) fantasy TE entering the 2015 season. Ian Rapoport gave everyone a bit of relief when he tweeted that Kelce likely only rolled his ankle. The team will update his status on Tuesday. Hopefully he’ll just require some rest and will be able to get back on the field soon.
Beloved Buffalo Bills’ running back Fred Jackson, still highly productive at age 34, was let go by the only team for which he’s ever played. He was once again an overlooked fantasy back in 2014, compiling 1026 combined rushing and receiving yards. His 66 catches were the 3rd most for any RB last year, behind only Matt Forte and LeVeon Bell. The long time Bill would have “done anything” to retire in blue. Though he – and his teammates – were understandably saddened, Jackson kept positive, noting that “The Old Man isn’t done yet!” Indeed, though his age may seem a deterrent, he has limited wear and tear compared to many of his younger contemporaries. He won’t be a free agent for long. UPDATE: Jackson is flying to Seattle today to meet with the Seahawks. He is expected to sign and reunite with former teammate Marshawn Lynch.
Are Trent Richardson’s days in the NFL numbered? The former Alabama standout and #3 overall pick was let go today by the Oakland Raiders after a poor showing in camp. Richardson, who was brought to Oakland in the offseason to backup Latavius Murray, could not do enough to pass the likes of Roy Helu and rookie Michael Dyer, even though the Raiders had invested $600K of guaranteed money in him. I’ve always hoped that Trent could finally get things going, but it seems as if he simply can’t push himself to give 100%. I’m sure he’ll land somewhere eventually, but even the media circus that Ray Rice might bring may seem more palatable for teams than Richardson at this point.
Kirk Cousins is Washington’s QB of choice for Week 1, though who knows how long he will get before he’s bounced for Colt McCoy, even if he plays well. Cousins has shown flashes of solid play in his brief career, but he’ll need to cut down on the turnovers (23 in 14 career games, only 9 of which he started) if he’s to hold onto the starting role. Robert Griffin III is almost certainly done with the team at this point, although Jay Gruden was full of lip service on Monday, saying that his future is with the team. For his sake, I hope that he’s able to leave the team. He has the physical talents, but he could really use the Aaron Rodgers treatment – sitting behind a star QB for a couple of years – before starting in the league again. Griffin’s pocket awareness, even when the offensive line is playing well, seems to be diminishing. A change of environment could be the shot in the arm he needs to refocus and become the threat he was in his rookie year, but I digress. Alfred Morris did not excite me when RG3 was the starter, and he is even less attractive to me now with Cousins at the helm, especially with Matt Jones impressing so far this preseason.
Jacksonville may be without their new TE for the first three weeks of the season. Julius Thomas might need surgery on his right hand, which he broke in the first week of the preseason. While I love watching my fellow Viking (Go PSU!) play, it’s getting harder to justify his current ADP, which is the consensus 6th TE, according to FantasyPros. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jason Witten and Jordan Cameron, the 7th and 8th TE’s taken in drafts, respectively, pass him within the next few days.
Tyrod Taylor will be the starting QB for the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. While I’m still not targeting him in redraft leagues, the former VT Hokie is an intriguing, albeit risky, play on daily fantasy sites. On DraftKings, his Week 1 price currently sits at the QB minimum of $5,000. While I wouldn’t touch him in cash games, he could represent GPP gold in the opening week.