Archive for category Training Camp

Twitter Roundtable Vol. 1

Once upon a time, a group of people with a passion for football, a knack for fantasy sports and a major addiction to social networking came together and decided ‘If we’re going to waste so much time talking football, we might as well put this in a format people can actually follow!’

And so the happy band gathered together from across the Twitterverse to provide you, gentle reader, with the most pressing answers to the biggest questions in Fantasy – and a hopefully enjoyable way to kill some time.

 

In each article we will discuss a different topic – sometimes a few of them – and hopefully give you the edge you need as you execute your Fantasy season.

 

This edition’s panel includes the following fine football minds:

 

Matt Schauf  (@mschauf63) started writing about football for the expansive audience of metropolitan Oneonta, N.Y., back in 2002. After a couple of years of catering to his three readers there, he got picked up by ProFantasySports.com to be an IDP specialist. Soon after, Matt became the lead football writer for PFS and SportsBuff.com. You can now find his work there or at RapidDraft.com, where he also provides the strategy for the “Hollywood” character in the industry’s first single-player fantasy football game. His IDP writing can also be found at SportingNews.com and in preview magazines for Sporting News, Rotoworld and Football Diehards. In addition, Matt runs the industry news site FantasySportsBusiness.com, which was named best new site of 2008 by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.

 

Ginny Loveless (@GBGinny) is a staff writer at Football Diehards and is part of the weekly fantasy football recap crew. She has been a staff & guest writer at numerous other fantasy football websites, including FOXSports.com, over the past five years and her article, “The Magic Touch”, which premiered in last year’s issue of Fantasy Football Draft Book, was a finalist for the Fantasy Sports Writers Associations Best Fantasy Football Article in Print. This beer-drinking, brat-eating, cheesehead will give you her best tip at being successful in fantasy football: numbers don’t lie. Stick with the facts and you’ll do alright. However . . . a little luck never hurts.

 

Jared Ferree (@WYFShow ) hosts the “What’s Your Fantasy” radio show/podcast on Blogtalkradio’s Fantasy Sports Channel with Raymond Summerlin.  He is also a frequent contributor to www.lindyssports.com with both fantasy player rankings and general fantasy football articles. 

 

Jim Day (@Fantasytaz) is a retired Biotech Engineer who has been playing Fantasy Football since 1992. Seriously addicted, Jim plays in about 30 Fantasy leagues a year, with most of these being large roster IDP Dynasty leagues. He has been writing for FF sites since 2000 when he started with Xpertsports.com. Jim started Fantasy Football Whiz in 2007 just as a place to have some fun and conversation with fellow league mates and any other fantasy fanatic that wanted to talk FF. It’s a small site, but is growing every year. Besides The Whiz, he also owns and acts as head engineer for Ultimate Recording, a 96 track, fully digital recording studio (im’s other love).

 

Parag Gheewala (@vote4parag) is an average guy with a day job who loves fantasy football and is also the mastermind behind Mockumentary, which started as his Twitter commentary on the first Twitter Fantasy Football Mock Draft. It quickly lead to Top 10 Fantasy Football Tweeter status. Parag loves the interactive and instant nature of Twitter, but the blog allows him to provide more in-depth comments when needed. Follow him on Twitter and via Mockumentary.

 

Andrew Garda (@ThunderingBlurb ) has been writing about football for the last eight years, covering everything from Fantasy to College to the NFL. He’s written for such sites as Draftguys.com and BleacherReport.com, but for the last year and a half has also had his own site at ThunderingBlurb.com. He’s also been podcasting since before they had a name for it and despite that making him feel quite old, continues his own weekly show The Thundering Blurb Football Show every Wednesday (10pm EST) on BlogTalkRadio.com.

 

Joshua Torrey (@jmtorrey) is an Electrical/Computer Engineer working out of Austin, TX. A die hard Steelers fan & fan of not just football but football strategy, Joshua enjoys breaking down game tape and team schemes to predict long term fantasy success. He is also a contributor to FantasyDC.com. He has 5 tattoos, showered yesterday and is eating meatloaf for lunch.

 

Today’s question resonates pretty hard as teams begin Training Camps.

 

There are a bunch of players who could have fantasy value stuck, but are currently stuck in limbo as we watch and wait for August Training Camp Battles to be decided.

 

Of the following, which will have the most impact on owner’s seasons and bear watching most closely?

 

a)      Shaun Hill vs Alex Smith

b)      Jamarcus Russell vs Jeff Garcia

c)      Tim Hightower vs Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells

d)     Michael Crabtree vs Josh Morgan

e)      Mark Sanchez vs Kellen Clemens

 

If the one that is most critical isn’t here – what is it?

 

Matt Schauf – RapidDraft.com

Among these five, the highest-impact is easily Hightower vs. Wells. The three QB battles don’t occur on teams with high-profile fantasy receivers (Jerricho Cotchery being the most important there) and don’t include players that anyone should be looking at for serious starter value in 2009. Hightower, on the other hand, went for 10 touchdowns last year before showing that he apparently wasn’t ready for a starting gig. Did the Cardinals really spend a first-round pick on insurance behind him for year two? I don’t believe so. I think Wells should get drafted first, even if he doesn’t open the season as the starter. In many leagues, both will be selected before any other player on this list.

I don’t think Morgan-Crabtree is really a battle, as both should be talented enough to win starting gigs in San Fran if healthy. Morgan should be the No. 1 for 2009 by virtue of his experience and Crabtree’s shortened prep time thanks to the foot surgery.

More significant than the other battles listed here, I think, are those in the Denver, Indy and Baltimore backfields. Each situation will yield multiple value players, but the workload breakdown remains unclear in each case. For the record, I’m drafting Knowshon Moreno first among players in these backfields.

 

Parag Gheewala – Mockumentary

I agree.  The hardest part about making projections is not determining the winner of “battles”, but rather reading the minds of each coaching staff to determine playing time allocation.  I’m most interested in:
1. Addai v. Brown.
2. Rice v. McClain v. McGahee
3. Hixon v. Smith v. Nicks.
4. McCoy
5. Graham v. Ward.

 

Ginny LovelessFootballDiehards.com

The most critical training camp battle out of everything listed here would be Hightower vs. Wells in my opinion, simply because that backfield has the potential to have the most impact on your fantasy roster.  I opine the exact sentiments as Schauf here: “The three QB battles don’t occur on teams with high-profile fantasy receivers (Jerricho Cotchery being the most important there) and don’t include players that anyone should be looking at for serious starter value in 2009. Hightower, on the other hand, went for 10 touchdowns last year before showing that he apparently wasn’t ready for a starting gig. Did the Cardinals really spend a first-round pick on insurance behind him for year two? I don’t believe so. I think Wells should get drafted first, even if he doesn’t open the season as the starter. In many leagues, both will be selected before any other player on this list.”   Couldn’t have said it any better.  :thumbsup:

After that battle, what I am most interested in is what’s going on in Tampa Bay between Earnest Graham and Derrick Ward.  Tampa will be forced to rely on its running game this season and between Graham and Ward, someone has got to step up.  Graham was injured last season, had ankle surgery and says that he is now 100%.  But, to me, he is still an injury concern —- back off  Bloom  (Sigmund of Footballguys.com), I know you don’t agree here  ;-) —-  I’m not saying he is fragile, or injury prone….just that he is an injury concern to me. The year in which players return from a season where they had a serious injury are always injury concerns for me– I prefer simply to err on the side of caution.   

Anywho…  Graham desperately needed someone to share time with – Warrick Dunn and Cadillac Williams contributed what they could last year but both players are virtually done. After his three 100-yard games in September last year he (Graham) was slooooow.  Ward is an excellent player to pick up the slack much like he did in NY. From all the reports I have come across, the two will be splitting carries. I can see Ward easily reaching 1000 yards (like in NY) and catching passes whilst Graham gets more of the goal-line touches and TDs.

 

Jim Day – FantasyFootballWhiz.com

I can’t agree that Hightower-Wells is the biggest battle. It isn’t a battle at all. Wells takes the job and the only thing that stops him is injury.

To me one of the biggest camp battles is in Indianapolis for the #2 WR position. Most are assuming that 3rd-year WR Anthony Gonzalez will win that spot, but there has been a lot of talk out of OTAs that 2nd-year WR Pierre Garcon was outstanding and might battle Gonzalez for the spot. This is the battle that I will keep an eye on in training camp because whoever wins this race will be a very viable WR2-3.

 

Matt Schauf – RapidDraft.com

I like Garcon, but that’s not a battle. Gonzalez is the No. 2 wideout in Indy. The battle in Colts camp is Brown-Addai for carries.

Interesting potential battles at linebacker, too, for IDP folks. Keiaho could well be out of the lineup with Clint Session looking like a sleeper and even Philip Wheeler intriguing for deep leagues.

 

Jared Ferree – What’s Your Fantasy Podcast

I agree with the Wells – Hightower having the most affect on fantasy owners rosters, but agree with Taz, that I don’t think it is much of a battle at all.  I feel that Wells is the superior back and should get the starting gig and that the Cardinals didn’t use a first round back as insurance for a guy who averaged less than three yards per carry – I am looking directly at you Hightower. 

I think Hill – Smith is interesting just because of how affective Hill was down the stretch of last season.  Smith could put up really nice numbers on a week to week basis and be a very solid backup with upside. 

Personally, I could care less what happens in the Tampa Bay backfield because I think that team doesn’t produce a solid fantasy option at any position this season – maybe TE, just because 600 yards and 5 TDs is good for a TE and that could be possible for Winslow. For some reason I just see all the carries in Tampa Bay getting split over a lot of different guys, limiting all of their potential.    I kinda feel the same way about the situation in Baltimore – let someone else worry every week about whether McGahee (editor’s note – McGahee is already on the PUP as of 7/28/09) will get the most carries this week or will it be McClain, or will it be Rice, or will it be someone else. I don’t want that headache every week. 

 

Andrew Garda – ThunderingBlurb.com

I like two battles here – Shaun Hill/Alex Smith is an intriguing one with Frank Gore, Josh Morgan, Michael Crabtree and several other offensive weapons hindered or helped by the outcome. You got the sense early that the staff likes Hill who, as Jared mentioned, finished solid in 2008. But the overall franchise loves Smith and continues to back him strongly. Smith also looked a tad better towards the end of OTAs.

This battle will be decided prior to the third preseason game and could make a difference for the fantasy value of several players. Of course, that’s not even counting which of the two will actually start and be viable for your team.

The Addai/Brown battle is also intriguing. Addai just can’t stay healthy and we know Brown will be getting some of his carries even if Addai manages to stay healthy. The question becomes – how many carries will Brown get to start? My gut feeling is Brown will have the majority by mid-season, but a strong camp by him could start him off with a big enough chunk to obliterate most of Addai’s already sinking value.

 

 

Josh Torrey – FantasyDC.com

I’m not sure that Crabtree & Morgan are really going directly at each other. But that’s beside the point; I don’t think Crabtree contributes much this year either way. So this is not the biggest battle.

I agree with other sentiments that Chris Wells should walk away with the Cardinals RB job easily. The Whiz is now back to HIS playbook and making the calls. He loved the Bus more than Parker (in Pittsburgh) and I think he’ll fall in love with Chris Wells.

Similarly, I’m not sure that the Shaun Hill battle is truly a battle either. Hill should also run away with this one as the PR for Alex Smith is in the dirt now. The 49ers are looking to make their move to Santa Clara and Smith is not the face they want going in. It’s better to struggle while looking like your searching for the answer (new coach, new QB) than struggling will refusing to admit past mistakes (drafting Alex Smith).

Therefore the winner of this question is Mark Sanchez vs Kellen Clemens! I’m leaning towards Sanchez here. The guy has so much experience at this point against NFL caliber D (at USC) & then a brutal camp against NY (Rex Ryan’s scheme). I think the guy could be more battle tested than the average Rookie QB. One COULD make the completely illogical argument that a great practice defense made Big Ben & Flacco the early successes that they are today. I won’t. But I’m throwing it out there for people to laugh or get uptight about.

 

 

 

So there you have it, the opinions of some of the finest minds the Twitterverse has to offer. We’ll have another installment later this week and be on the lookout for many more all season long. Make sure you never miss another Twitter Roundtable by following @ FFroundtable on Twitter.

 

If you want to hear more of what all these people have to say, definitely check out the websites they work for – each has an incredible amount of very tight information.

 

Every opinion is another tool to give you an edge over the rest of your league.

 

Thanks to all those who contributed today – and those who are working hard for more great discussion coming your way soon!

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Late Sunday Week Primer

Hey guys

Hope you had a good weekend – between some computer issues and the imminent kickoff of both college football and pro football seasons, the Blurb was quiet this weekend for the most part.

Here is a quick look at what’s on tap, then a brief weekend update for you:

This week we’ll have much more Training Camp news as well as the beginnings of some college discussion. Both The Thundering Blurb Podcast and The Drive Block will of course be in full effect. And I am hoping to have at least my top 10 college rankings by Friday. That and Friday night/Saturday morning I hope to have delivered some on the spot Cowboys camp news as well.

So as always pretty quiet.

Here’s the weekend update:

Carolina Panthers
The Panthers have suspended wide receiver Steve Smith for 2 regular season games for his altercation with Ken Lucas, and it will be interesting to see how hard he drops in drafts. Hopes were high for him in the Fantasy community but there is no way you can draft him where he was going, often as people’s #1 wr. And now you know why we tell you a draft prior to preseason games is a bad idea.

However, if he drops long enough for you to grab him as a #2 and you can grab some good filler guys to back him up, he should be very productive after he gets back in the groove by week 3. So play up his suspension in your leagues and see if you can snag him as he tumbles hard. Overall he should be much better than last year, but you also have to worry about how he reacts to this.

Denver Broncos
Brandon Marshall has received his punishment from the league and it’s about where I thought it would be – I said 4, reduced to 2, and it’s 3, likely to be reduced to 2. Marshall is another guy who may tumble hard come your draft day and this will, like Smith, keep him from being someone you can grab as a #1 but might drop enough for you to grab later after you have a good #1, a good Rb and another guy in either category. When he comes back, Cutler will be very happy to see him and target him often.

Kansas City Chiefs
This might be irrelevant depending upon how you view the pass game in KC, but rookie Will Franklin has apparently passed by Maurice Price and Jeff Webb. Devard Darling is all that stands between him and starts, so consider a late flier on him – though if pickings are better elsewhere, remember the KC pass game will likely top out at ‘meh’ with sprinklings of ‘yuck’.

And brace yourselves -
Green Bay
Favre arrives in camp Monday. He was reinstated today after the Hall of Fame festivities were done with. It looks liek the competition is on and Aaron Rodgers took to the fight with 7-of-20 passes for 84 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception at the Packers’ Fan Fest scrimmage Sunday night. Yeah, that’s not a great start to this is it? Oh and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel saying that the Pack called the Vikings about Favre being available in trade – and I still say if that happens then Ted Thompson might as well sign his letter of resignation. The two times Favre would lead the Vikes against the Pack would do it for him, if he wouldn’t. But man, wouldn’t that make Bernard Berrian and Sidney Rice owners happy?

More tomorrow throughout the day as we continue spinning Training Camp and the NFL for you every single day.

ps- just watched the Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford – and I have rarely been so perplexed by a flick.

Training Camp Updates

A little later than I have been trying to achieve, but here ’tis.

Carolina Panthers
So I blinked and missed that receiver Steve Smith had gotten into a fight with cornerback Ken Lucas. Apparently at one point Lucas one on one knee when Smith punched him in the face.

Damn.

Lucas left the field with a face injury and Smith is not in camp today, though that was apparently planned anyway. His agent says he (Smith) realizes he made a big mistake. No word on Lucas’ state right now. I like to see fire in players in Training Camp but damn…..

Detroit Lions
Tatum Bell is out today due to ‘personal reasons’ (insert your own joke here – it’s too easy) and so Kevin Smith is running with the first team today. This isn’t a shock, that he’s #2 in front of Brian Calhoun. With only the inconsistent Bell to beat, he should have a significant amoutn of carries from the get-go in Week 1. A lot of people dislike the 450 carries last year in Central Florida and worry he may burn out. But as he is IN NO WAY anything more than a #2 or 3 on your Fantasy Team, you should be able to ride him early and if he keeps it up all season, then you have some nice bonus points.

Look the guy is going – on average – about 30-35th RB off the board. Every pick in the first three rounds will not be running backs. You can easily pick up a solid #2 and Smith for the upside. Personally I am not too worried about his legs this year anymore than any other rookie back (they tend to wear down over a Pro campaign – it’s rare one doesn’t) so it shouldn’t be a shock if he does. But think about this- maybe Smith, having toted the rock so many times last year – will not wear down. Maybe he has already got the fortitude worked up. Food for thought.

Miami Dolphins
This doesn’t shock me – nor should it you – but quarterback John Beck is still struggling. According to this blurb on Rotoworld a local writer has dubbed him ‘Checkdown’ as that’s his favorite play. (For what it’s worth, Brady Quinn in Cleveland is having the same problem – not with the name, but the lack of down the field aggressiveness.) I said it during the 2007 draft, revisited it during this year’s draft and will say it here again for the cheap seats – this is why Tedd Ginn Jr was a bad pick. You went for a special teams player with upside as a receiver instead of the position of need, quarterback. Now as I pointed out, Quinn (who was sitting there to be picked) is having similiar problems, but Quinn and John Beck are not similiar quarterbacks and not of the same value.

And this is why Bill Parcells got brought in to fix this disaster. Bedk is worthless on your fantasy roster. He will continue to struggle and I think find himself in danger of losing his gig within the next two years, if that. Again, should be no revelation, especially if you have heard me spout on this before.

Washington Redskins
A day late and a dollar short, I now have a guy to watch that better fits Cecil’s question during the Drive Block last night. According to the Washington Post, Colt Brennan will start the second half of Sunday’s Hall of Fame game tilt with the Indianapolis Colts. Brennan is recovering from off-season surgery on his hip (and a severe Draft stock tumble) but is supposed to be ready to go. he’s years away from being a factor but i am curious to see what he can do, now that he’s healthy and had a chance to get acquainted with the offense.

That’s all for now folks – back later with an afternoon review!

Thundering Blurb Stampede part 2

So consider this an early Tuesday post -

And now the rest of the teams –

Atlanta Falcons
Joe Horn is showing up though unhappy to be remaining in the ATL….. The Qb competition is open between Chris Redman, Matt Ryan, DJ Shockley and Joey Harrington. Hard to say who will win – I am a proponent of shelving a high draft pick rookie QB unless you are desperate to save him a pounding…. But Atlanta is desperate for a new face of the franchise, although they also have a shaky O-line…..

New York Giants
David Carr is medically cleared to practice. Take that for what it’s worth which – based on last season is nothing… Plaxico Burress had his ankle looked at and should be practicing soon. Given his playing through injury last season, worry not. Worry about his contract concerns maybe…

Jacksonville Jaguars
Wide receivers are dropping like flies – first Reggie Williams (sprained knee) and Jerry Porter (hamstring surgery), now Dennis Northcutt is out with a strained back. Looks like Mike Walker, Troy Williamson and John Broussard will get some good looks this Training Camp… Now it makes sense that Matt Jones is still around…. One of these guys could turn out to be a good vertical threat, though how busy he will be is unknown….

New York Jets
Laveranues Coles has looked healthy so far this Camp and will likely be productive not matter the QB – look at his TD stats the last few years, you might be surprised…. Chad Pennington looks better than Kellen Clemens so far though apparently it is more that Clemens looks bad than Pennington looks good. So you still probably want to stay away….

Detroit Lions
Shaun McDonald will likely be out until near the end of preseason. Shouldn’t matter – his ability to yeild Fantasy points should be marginal behind Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams and without Martz there to throw every down…

Carolina Panthers
DJ Hackett and Muhsin Muhammad are splitting first team time in camp. This is going to remain an issue as they might end up both doing just enough to be tempting yet worthless for Fantasy purposes. Hackett is more explosive but Muhs has been here before and was getting more early OTA reps… Pick your poison and one might pay off, but damned if I know who today…..

New England Patriots
Looks like Jordan will be more Sammy Morris/Kevin Faulk than replacing Laurence Maroney who still needs to be consistent all season to be a reliable Fantasy running back…

Oakland Raiders
Ronald Curry continues to impress in Training Camp. I dislike Javon Walker, I think if there is a Raider receiver to own, Curry is it….

St Loius Rams
Steven Jackson is still holding out – according to ESPN and NFLN (I guess via the AP wire) HC Scott Linehan is keeping in touch via texts but isn’t sure wher his star RB is. Maybe the reports they might want McFadden were less smoke and mirrors than I thought. I’m not worried yet, but if you have a draft now, depending on the board, you may take a hard look at other backs. I won’t jump the gun and say avoid as a few missed weeks won’t hurt Jackson – a vet. He’ll be just a little fresher come December. Still, how serious is he and how long will this go on?….

Baltimore Ravens
Mark Clayton is running as the #1 and is looking to bounce back from a bad 2007. Of course, if you are drafting ask yourself – who is throwing?….. Willis McGahee is back to practice with his knee taped (probably a precaution). Ray Rice might be a good handcuff, depending on how McGahee looks over the next few weeks…..

Washington Redskins
Battle of the Rookie WRs: Right now, Malcolm Kelly is hurt as is fellow rookie Devin Thomas. Likely, neither will play in Sunday Nights Hall of Fame Game…. Jason Campbell is looking very good and very accurate in practices. Consider him a part of your QBBC….

New Orleans Saints
The offense is looking good, but the defense is missing some weapons. First rounder Sedrick Ellis remains unsigned and top DB Mike McKenzie is being eased into the practices due to ACL surgery…. Neither was a sure thing IDP hit, but people were looking at them for soem bench depth…..

Seattle Seahawks
TJ Duckett is moving to the fullback position. Good news for Maurice Morris and Julius Jones owners as they will at least split carries. Bad news for those who believe that THIS TIME, Duckett would break out….. Nate Burleson is still the only wideout of the Big Three (Nate, Branch and Engram). Engram is engram and should catch up quick IF and WHEN he reports. Branch is an injury problem and they have no clue when he’ll be back. Avoid Branch like the plague…..

Pittsburgh Steelers
Big Ben Roethlisberger will get more no-huddles this year, which he wants and should keep D’s hopping…. Rookie RB Rashard Mendenhall looks to be stepping into the expected short yardage/receiver role we expected after the draft….

Houston Texans
Is it the end of July already? Must be because Chris Brown is already beat up…. Rookie linebacker Xavier Adibi is looking impressive in camp so far. If you haven’t had your start-up Dynasty Draft, keep an eye on him….. Andre Johnson is looking healthy and ready to go as well – draft away. He remains (if healthy) a top flight Fantasy receiver…

Tennessee Titans
Justin Gage and Justin McCariens are the starting wideouts going into camp. That’s all that needs to be said for the pass game….. Rookie Chris Johnson is signed and will likely be Vince Young’s big hope for yardage through the air. I’ve liked the pick, despite the fact they needed a receiver and didn’t draft one. Johnson will be that guy and LenDale White will be the pounder….

Minnesota Vikings
No Brett Favre yet and won’t be… Jackson is looking ok – so far, so good…. Chester Taylor remains a guy who could get some good carries but draft him only as an ADP handcuff or in the hopes Peterson gets banged up and his owner needs your help….

That’s all for now – more tomorrow – shorter bursts I swear…

The First THUNDERING BLURB Training Camp Stampede

Sorry for the lateness of this post – there has been a little illness in the house that I needed to deal with.

As such, let’s do a quick Adam Shefter-like ‘Around the NFL’ – a Stampede of opinions as it were? (See what I did there? Herd? Blurb? Stampede? Is this thing on?)

Let’s get this quick hits started with the news that just won’t go away -

Green Bay Packers
Favre still clings (allegedly) to the illusion he can force an outright release. It’s foolish for him to think the Pack will let him go and potentially end up with Minnesota or Chicago. He’s not foolish. He really doesn’t seem to want to play in Tampa or New York. But he needs to get his head together and decide if he really wants to play. But this is classic Favre. He can’t figure out what his priorities together (play, not play) and deal with the fact he is NOT in charge. Which he is not.

Jamie Dukes just compared him to Brooks in Shawshank Redemption – the guy who couldn’t make it outside prison and hung himself. Uncomfortable……

San Francisco
Vernon Davis is still being touted as an important option for the 49rs offense and he could see the targets and points volume that normally go to the #3 reciever in a Martz offense… Michael Robinson sprained his right knee this weekend and a MRI revealed he might need it scoped…. Ashlie Lelie is still waiting for his MRI results on his knee, and the longer, the worse his odds to make the team…

Chicago Bears
New contract in hand, Devin Hester is in camp and starting at reciever….. Kevin Jones hasn’t started practicing yet but the club wants him to drop some wieght during camp. I still think he gets brought along slowly, primarily in spot duty and 3rd down work for a while, unless rookie Matt Forte stumbles badly….

Cincinnati Bengals
Chad Johnson has come to an agreement with the team that they will review his contract after the season, but he’s out with an ankle sprain right now…. Defensive Lineman Antwan Odom is sprained his foot this weekend and there is no set time for him to return – just what the Bengals need this season – more defensive injuries…..

Buffalo Bills
Running Back Marshawn Lynch will not face a suspension for his hit and run earlier this year, good news for late first round picking fantasy teams everywhere….. Fred Jackson has been splitting carries with him – there’s your handcuff…. Roscoe Parrish is working the slot for what that’s worth – the points will be to Lee Evans and James Hardy and let me again pimp Steve Johnson as a late season surprise (or sooner)……

Denver Broncos
The Broncos are still awaiting any news of Brandon Marshall and any upcoming suspensions… In case of suspension, break glass: Darrell Jackson and Keary Colbert would be your starting wideouts…. Jackson is practicing ahead of Colbert right now…. Selvin Young still looks like the starting RB, Anthony Alridge is working hard to catch on as a Special teamer – check out what Frank Schwab of the Colorado Springs Gazette said about Alridge back in June (cecil says the transcription is comign for reading)…

Cleveland Browns
Donte Stallworth is back from his hammy injury, but still has questionable Fantasy value behind Edwards and Kellen Winslow….

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jeff Garcia came into camp, despite his issues with his contract and said if Favre shows up a competition is ‘nothing new’ and he’ll fight for a job as he always has…. Joey Galloway is still sidelined by a bad groin pull though the team might also be letting the vet catch a few extra days of rest as well… Carnell Williams says he is targeting being back the first part of a season as ‘a good goal’. Stay away on draft day……

Arizona Cardinals
JJ Arrington is runnign with the 4th squad… sorry I lost interest, what was I saying? …Tight End Leonard Pope practiced for the first time since he dislocated his ankle last season but may have lost his starting job….

San Diego Chargers
Philip Rivers has looked to have a stronger arm post-surgery in camp so far…. It’s hard to say whom to use as a handcuff for Tomlinson and both Darren Sproles and rookie Jacob Hester are playing well in camp….

Kansas City Chiefs
William Franklin, chosen in the 2008 Draft at spot 105, has looked good enough to pass Jeff Webb and might get Devard Darling before the camp is done…. After signing a pretty good sized contract, Linebacker Demorrio Williams isn’t getting alot of quality reps, stuck behind Napoleon Harris and Donnie Edwards – this is an important IDP camp battle…

Indianapolis Colts
Still no Manning, but they have Jared ‘Pillsbury Throw Boy’ Lorenzon so it’s OK…

Dallas Cowboys
Sam Hurd and Miles Austin are fighting for the #3 spot – Isiah Stanback is falling behind. My money is on Austin. With Crayton in the slot, the #3 spot could be productive…

Miami Dolphins
Ronnie Brown is practicing twice a day – good news for his knee recovery and hopefully he survives contact… David Martin has been workign as starting TE in camp so far, of course, we expected him to do well last year and he didn’t….

Philadelphia Eagles
Brian Westbrook joins the chorus of folks openly desiring a new contract – so he says in a press conference Monday… Left Defensive End Victor Abiamiri is out with a wrist fracture for the forseeable future – competition for his spot comes down to Juqua Parker and maybe Chris Clemons.

I’ll be back with more later or tomorrow morning and we’ll his the rest of the camps…

Camp Notes – 7/24

Here’s a few pieces of news from various camps around the NFL – as of this weekend, everyone will have opened camp and we’ll be off and running!

Westbrook and Sheppard Both Show to Camp
Well, the worries of Westy not showing up and possibly causing a ruckus are not coming to fruition – Westbrook is too much of a leader in the clubhouse for that to happen. The Eagles will probably try to make something happen for him this season, but for now, he’ll play ball. Any worry you had for his fantasy value should vaporize. Lito Sheppard is also unhappy with his contract but he showed for two very different reasons – 1) Asante Samuel doesn’t make him expendible but does enable the Iggles to tow a hard line with him and 2) Starting opposite Samuel could make his numbers improve quite a bit, allowing him to make even more bank down the road. I think a lot of IDP owners are looking at Samuel – don’t forget Sheppard. He might be a sneaky guy to target late in your draft or auction. Not huge numbers to come, by any means – but he could get targeted more than Samuel.

LaMont Jordan Countdown Starts….. NOW
Jordan and his agent have been waiting for Davis and Kiffin to dump the once highly touted RB on the roadside for months now, even farther back than the Draft and the arrival of Darren McFadden. Why it’s taken so long for us to see it happen is anyone’s guess – but when it comes to Davis, just be thankful they haven’t hired a guy who runs a bed and breakfast to run the defense. Cause that would be madness. Anyway, Jordan and his agent were threatening to appear at Training Camp and force the team’s hand (if he shows up the Raiders have to allow him to play – or escort him off the field and pretty much release him quickly thereafter). Rumor has it the Saints and Lions could be interested – I like ProFootballTalk’s idea better and it would make for some entertaining TV. Regardless, as PFT points out, Jordan will join a ton of unemployed running backs out there and his fantasy value is only as a long shot hail mary at the end of your draft.

More Raider Problems
As if that isn’t enough, both Javon Walker and Ronald Curry (two fairly important weapons for sophomore QB JaMarcus Russell) are gimpy in camp. Jason Jones’ Sacramento Bee Blog is saying that Walker and Curry will be held to once a day practices as they nurse themselves back to health. I’ve said many times how much I dislike Walker thsi year and everything about him right now. His Vegas troubles, his fatness in the OTAs. As much as I dislike him, I like Curry. I think Walker falls flat and Curry gets a lot of looks. That’s my thought. Apparently, Jones says that Walker has dropped a whole 8 lbs between the OTAs and now. WOW – somebody call Jenny Craig, I have the next big weight loss program!

Both guys are banged up and hopefully the once a day practices will help heal them, but if you have to draft a Raider reciever – and I will be clear here that NOBODY SAYS YOU HAVE TO – I urge you to look at Curry (who looked good in OTAs) and not Walker (who looked fat and bad in OTAs).

This Just In: Anquan Boldin still Disgruntled
The disgruntling is no real news – we’ve been tracking this for weeks. But the fact that – according to The East Valley Tribune – Boldin feels ‘betrayed’ and he’s been lied to. Let’s play He Says/She Says (or Team Says): Boldin says they promised him a new contract. They say – well nothing. Wisely the Cards haven’t really entered into a war of words they can’t win, merely reiterating several times how valuable he is to the offense. As was pointed out by Rotoworld, he’s already on his second contract since he was drafted – he’s already had it altered and extended. They’ll try to make him happy, but at some point, enough is enough. How many tiems do you restructure the same contract only to have more asked for? I know we were aware this would happen when Fitzgerald got his dollars, but you have to wonder what is going through the midns of the Cards and the fans at this point. I don’t think we’ll see a drop off in his play if he is unhappy – he’ll still have good fantasy value and is too much of a pro to sulk ala Moss in Oakland.

Jets Sign Gholston, Discover Yet Another Reason Why Pennington Sucked in ‘07
The Jets have signed Vernon Gholston to what Daily News Blogger Rich Cimini calls a staggering amount for a rookie. I don’t know if Cimini is aware but the guys ahead of Gholston have signed for far more guarenteed. I’m not saying 9 mill is dirt cheap – but compared to $30? It’s dirt cheap. The escalation of rookie guarenteed money is a subject for another day but he does have one point – Gholston had better be good. Mangini is running out of NY of the normally endless patience of the NY fan faithful. Do I have to write /sarcasm or is it obvious?

As for Pennington a blog at the NY Post is saying Pennington played with two torn ligaments in his right ankle last season. Apparently it happened against the Pats during the first game they played. Maybe the Jets can get some video from the Pats to confirm it? No?

As the commentary under the blog post put it – this explains the red zone INTs last season? Well, maybe not. I’ll give Chad this – he’s a tough SOB. But I don’t know he’s the future for this franchise. Unfortunately I don’t know he’s a short term answer either – and the Jets put a lot of money out there in a way that looks like they want to win now. Is Clemens the answer? By the looks of last season, no.

Whatever the answer is the Jets had best figure it out – time is running short for the staff and another horrific season with this team will bring out the sharp knives.

I would say – like the Raiders – nobody is FORCING you to draft a Jets QB. And as much as I love the team, I can’t direct you towards either one. Thomas Jones, behind that revamped Oline might be a nice play but if nobody can get a throw off, 8 men in a box could make for an ugly season there too. Hopefully camp will give us some idea of how bad off this offense is. For now, even Coles and Cotchery are shakier options than they were just a couple of short years ago. They should still get lots of targets – whether it is from Dink’n'Dunk Chad or Clemens with the big arm.

More to come later on…..
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