With NFL training camps starting, it’s time to start fantasy football preparations (I have honestly already had my Dynasty draft). Here are some of battles and possible sleepers that The Gazette’s Matt Wiley will be watching.
Intriguing battle: Who is going to play quarterback? Whether it is Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tom Savage or Case Keenum — I am going to go out on a limb and say you don’t want any of them as your starter in fantasy. Thing is, the QB play might dictate how affective the running game is. Some expect a bounce-back season from Arian Foster. I am not one of those people. Bad QB play will not help his chances of a rebound.
Possible sleeper: Receiver DeAndre Hopkins should at least take that next step to being a fantasy starter each week on a roster with three WRs. If Andre Johnson is traded, Hopkins could have even more value.
Intriguing battle: Trent Richardson vs. the line of scrimmage. There wasn’t anyone who was a bigger fan of Richardson than me one year ago. I still believe he has talent — but he needs to stop jumping in the hole at the line of scrimmage. His 3.0 average is unacceptable.
Possible sleeper: Hakeem Nicks — This is a make-or-break year for Nicks. At 26, and on a one-year deal, he will either perform and earn another contract or he could be out of the NFL in two years.
Intriguing battle: Chad Henne vs. Blake Bortles. The Jaguars have said they will not put Bortles out there before he is ready — but the fan base probably will need something to cheer about after a few games. The rookie QB could hurt the value of WR Cecil Shorts.
Possible sleeper: Storm Johnson — The running back enters camp fourth on the depth chart, but only Toby Gerhart, Jordan Todman and Denard Richardson are in front of him. By midseason he could become a factor. Love him in Dynasty leagues.
Intriguing battle: Bishop Sankey vs. Shonn Greene — Sankey, a rookie, will open camp as the starter and will be given every chance to succeed. Greene, coming off an injury, could steal all the goal-line carries. This is a situation I really want to watch.
Possible sleeper: Justin Hunter. I am not going to lie — I am rooting for Hunter. I thought he was a can’t-miss prospect before his knee injury in college at Tennessee and I want to see him succeed. I just wonder if he will ever be explosive again.
Do you have a sleeper or a battle you are watching? If so, please share it here. The more fantasy dialogue the better.