Training Camp Notes: August 20th
August 21, 2016 | Chris Manni
Up and Down Day for the Bills and their “Mafia”
Arguably the most surprising and fantasy relevant news of the day was the release of second year back Karlos Williams. According to Vic Carucci, Williams was gaining weight during training camp leading Bills management to question how much he wanted to play football. One report says his weight is around 260 pounds. With that being said, if Williams gets back into shape and proves that he is committed to football, he will get another NFL chance. There are a number of teams who could use a talent like Williams including the Washington Redskins who seem to have a talent and availability issue at RB.
The second item out of Buffalo was Marcell Dareus entering a rehabilitation facility. Already suspended for the first four weeks of the year, this creates questions on his availability for Week 5. It is clearly not ideal from a football standpoint but from a personal standpoint, get well Marcell.
Luckily for the Bills, there was a game yesterday to talk about. The Bills beat the Giants, 21-0, highlighted by Tyrod Taylor’s 13 yard TD to LeSean McCoy. The newly rich QB has impressed this preseason and remains a top late round QB target.
Get in on the Week 1 DraftKings Freeroll! $100K in Prizes!
Two of the more encouraging performances came out of the AFC South. Andrew Luck didn’t throw an incomplete pass and ran twice for 12 yards. According to HC Chuck Pagano, the most encouraging thing about Luck’s performance was his decision to slide at the end of his runs. We all know Luck has been getting a UFC-level beat down the last few years so protecting himself is good for everyone including your fantasy return on investment.
Thus far this preseason Blake Bortles looks poised for another big year. Slinging darts to Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, and TJ Yeldon, Bortles’ projected regression from 2015 is beginning to look overblown.
In one of the more impactful games yesterday from a fantasy football perspective was the 49ers 31-24 win over the defending champs. Carlos Hyde for the second consecutive game operated as the primary three down back. This is providing Hyde owners and optimists some hope that Shawn Druaghn won’t be handling all of the third down work. We need to tune into the 49ers third preseason game to see if this trend continues. If it does, it will push Hyde into the back end RB#1 discussion.
On the other sideline, CJ Anderson looked like the workhorse RB we all hoped he would be last year. With the passing game still struggling for a leader and identity, Anderson looks like a great value pick at his current ADP. Additionally, Devonte Booker replaced Anderson as the clear handcuff. If you pick Anderson, I would highly recommend handcuffing him with Booker. Even if you don’t draft Anderson, Booker is one of my favorite “draft and stash” lottery tickets.
If you don’t know who Tajae Sharpe is, it is time to get acquainted. The rookie out of THE University of Massachusetts, has earned the trust and confidence of Marcus Mariota, HC Mike Mularkey, and the Titans brass. Last week, the Titans shipped Dorial Green-Beckham to Philadelphia. On Saturday, we got a glimpse into why. Mariota and Sharpe lit up the Panthers with six catches for 68 yards earning praise from teammates and coaches alike. After the game, I went back into my Greg Cosell film study notes where Cosell praised Sharpe’s ability to run precise routes and flash reliable hands. Sharpe, who fell to the fifth round due to small school and small hands concerns, has shown he is someone we need to pay attention to. Even though the Titans project to be a run-heavy team, I recommend moving Sharpe up your draft board to the late WR4 area.
Another rookie that stood out was Houston’s Will Fuller. Fuller torched the Saints with four grabs, 73 yards, and one touchdown. Fuller has showed consistent ability in college and in the first two preseason games to separate from coverage. This ability has also shown he can separate from his own competition for a starter role in the Texans’ offense. With a run-heavy approach, stud DeAndre Hopkins demanding consistent targets, and a projected up-and-down Brock Osweiler, Fuller remains a highly volatile option in year-long leagues but a cheap upside play in daily leagues if you can predict the week he explodes.