Training Camp Notes: August 2nd August 3, 2016  |  Justin Edwards

It looks like 80% of these training camp write-ups are going to be mentioning one of the Raven’s skill position groups. What a cluster….fudge.

Running back back back back by committee or Running back by committee?

Over the last three seasons the Giants’ backfield has been a mess for fantasy (and often real life) football. Three different running backs have lead the team in rushing yards, Rashad Jennings last year (863 yards), Andre Williams in ’14 (721) and Andre Brown in ’13 (492. Wait, let me check that again. Yep, 492. Hold on, that can’t be right….Yep, 492.). Over that span the Giant’s running back committee has ranked incredibly poorly in Football Outsiders’ DVOA, finishing as the 23rd group in both 2014 and ’15 and the 30th ranked group in 2013. Well things are finally changing for the better, apparently. Despite a running back depth chart that reads like a scroll, the Williams-Vereen-Perkins-Darkwa-Rainey group will be officially headed by Rashad Jennings who finished the year as the “lead” back over the last four games and racked up 521 total yards (4.8 YPC) and 2 scores. While Jennings could/should fit in well as the RB3 or possibly your RB2, keep in mind that last season was the first time he’s ever played 16 games or carried the ball more than 170 times.

Cinci’s Nasti First Couple Days

Locking up fullback/H-Back/tight end Ryan Hewitt through the 2019 season has been the only good news out of camp over the beginning of the week for Cincinnati. While Tyler Eifert is still sidelined on the PUP/NFI list and may even begin the season on the IR/PUP list many of us in the preseason DFS community might have been giving a glance at Tyler Kroft. In not so inspiring news, Kroft left the field on a cart yesterday with a hyperextended knee. An MRI will follow up this morning but this is a huge shot to the Bengals’ depth chart at the TE position if both Tylers are down. The aforementioned Hewitt has had 27 targets in 31 career games and will absolutely not take the pass-catching route running role if both Tylers are out.

The outlet of extra targets should be fed to Tyler Boyd, Brandon LaFell, and Gio Bernard. Not to mention it’s just one more reason to own all of the AJ Green as you can. On the other side of the ball, Cincinnati’s ’16 first round pick William Jackson suffered a torn pectoral muscle in Monday’s practice. While operating as the Bengals’ fifth or sixth cornerback thus far, he was expected to contribute mightily in special teams.  The injury typically takes several months to recover from so he will miss his entire rookie season, in all likelihood.

Spent Richardson

It was worth a shot, Baltimore. The former no. 3 overall pick was cut from his fourth team in the past four seasons, his spring injuries preventing him from hoping over anyone in the Ravens’ very extensive running back depth chart which is now down to Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, Terrance West, Kenneth Dixon and Lorenzo Taliaferro; all of which have at least an outside shot to touch the ball this year.

With both Dixon (knee) and Taliaferro (foot-PUP) spending recent training camp days on the sideline Terrance West has used his opportunity and (literally) ran with it; looking “explosive” in the process.  Something something, he lost 15 pounds, blah blah blah, making cuts faster. I don’t really care how much he weighs, but I will eat up the coach speak from John Harbaugh when he compliments his cutting ability and pass protection. “…He’s making really good reads. He’s quick through the hole, he’s quick into the hole…” Now we’ll have to wait and see what kind of hole he can dig out for himself in this crowded backfield.

You don’t have a role in this offense, brotherrrr

Chris Hogan was one of the more intriguing free agent signings of the offseason, as any pass-catcher that heads into the Patriots efficient, high-scoring offense typically is. Up until Sunday Hogan has had the chance to act as the team’s no. 1 WR while both Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola are nursing their injuries on the PUP. That dance in the limelight ended Sunday when he went down with a shoulder injury of his own. It likely won’t keep him out for too long but he’ll need every chance he can get to be a consistent producer for New England. According to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots will run a massive number of 2TE sets, and he’s not sure Hogan would be used in a 2WR set, going as far as saying he’s a 2B, 3A or even a 4A. Ouch. It would seem that Hogan v Amendola will have to meet in the squared circle to decide who will take over the WR2 role and give us fantasy points. Just don’t forget about Malcolm Mitchell.

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