Welcome to the second training camp daily dose. News is coming in fast and training camp hasn't truly started for most teams yet. Does every NFL season feel like there's more anticipation than the last? Seems like. So of course that means lots of things will get overblown and of course we'll be right there trying to figure out if it is overblown or not. Just today we saw multiple Giants' beat writers tweet about the team taking a five minute cool down indoors. Of course this makes since after the multiple heat related injuries they had the day before, but for five minutes it was big news! So of course not every bit of news that comes out of camp will make or break your fantasy draft this season, but as long as you keep a level head, the more you know, the better. So here's some stuff I think you should know.
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Jamaal Charles was on the verge of holding out so Kansas City got a deal done fast. I didn’t expect it to happen like that, but I’m glad it did. Charles accounted for the largest percentage of total yards on his team of any player in the NFL. He was the offense last year and looks to be the offense for at least another year since they haven’t brought in much to help him. He’ll need to carry the load again and that will put a great amount of wear and tear on his body. This contract extension was great for both parties.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice is retiring. He is a casualty of many injuries and concussions and at the age of 27 he can no longer play at the level he needs. He had one magical, injury free season with Brett Favre slinging him passes and showed that he had the talent to be one of the best. It’s sad to see him forced from the game.
Unlike Jamaal Charles, Vernon Davis didn’t get the contract he wanted, but he decided to show up for training camp anyway. Last season Davis was leaned on during the absence of Michael Crabtree and very much helped get them to the NFC Championship game, but when Crabtree is healthy, in the past, Davis has been the second or third option in the passing game and unlike Charles, the 49ers could have managed without him.
Cleveland Browns new head coach Mike Pettine did an in depth interview with beat reporter Tony Grossi which mainly focused on the upcoming quarterback battle between Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel and it looks like Hoyer will come into camp with a head start in the race. Pettine says Hoyer will start out camp getting first team snaps and then they’ll go from there. It was an interesting interview, but I think we knew the veteran would get the nod to start out while Manziel will need to prove he knows the playbook and can execute it in practice and then in preseason games. This battle might be the most interesting of the year, but my money is on Manziel fitting new offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s system better and in turn winning the job sooner than later.
Cordarrelle Patterson will continue to return kickoffs this season according to Mike Zimmer and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. We of course are hoping for much more out of Patterson than kick returns, but they aren’t going away until he becomes too valuable on offense to risk. He still needs to improve as a route runner and be able to get open without the team focusing on just getting him open. This training camp should help us see where he is in his development.
Mikel Leshoure is buried on the depth chart behind Bush, Bell, and Riddick. This was the case at the end of last season as well, so it doesn’t look like there’s much upward mobility in the Lions’ pass happy scheme. He could be moved to a team in need later, but shouldn’t be on our fantasy radars at this point.
Golden Tate injured his shoulder this spring and has been put on the active/PUP list. (Sidebar: Why is something as cute sounding as the PUP list mean someone has to be hurt?) At this point it looks like they are just being overly cautious with him and he should be practicing soon, but it is of course worth keeping an eye on as Tate has a ton of upside opposite Calvin Johnson.
The Giants first round pick wide receiver Odell Beckham has had trouble staying on the practice field with an injured hamstring in spring and again on Tuesday. This is not a good start for the rookie receiver if he wants to get on the field much during the season. Jerrel Jernigan currently is the frontrunner for the #3 receiver position.
In other Giants’ news, Daniel Fells started off camp as the #1 tight end and that’s really not what you want if you are a Giants fan. The tight end with the most upside in fantasy would be Adrien Robinson, but reports continue to be negative about his ability to actually play football. He was drafted because of his physicality, but injuries and inability have kept him off the field so far.
Jermaine Gresham will start camp on the active/PUP list after offseason hernia surgery. It doesn’t look like this will keep him sidelined long-term, but the more coaches can see of Tyler Eifert the better. If Eifert can separate from Gresham enough, he has good upside for the fantasy season.
Packers’ running backs coach Sam Gash doesn’t seem to care if he runs Eddie Lacy into the ground and has the quote of the day to the Green Bay Press-Gazette with, “he’ll last as long as he’s meant to last.” That’s all very existential, but I think this is a good time to suggest that you grab James Starks sooner than later in your drafts.
Tony Romo has been fully cleared after having surgery in December to repair a herniated disk in his back. With Scott Linehan calling plays the sky is the limit for Romo’s fantasy prospects, so we want to see his health progress without a hitch this preseason and back injuries have a way of popping up when you get tackled by big guys.
Your daily Sammy Watkins briefing has a nice one-handed catch and him beating the Bills top cornerback Stephen Gilmore. He’s not too shabby.