With training camps opening across the nation, we get to hear about every Tom, Dick, and Harry that makes one huge play and instantly becomes an all-pro. There will be a lot of nonsense thrown around between now and the start of the season as beat writers try to up the word count of their daily camp columns. After sorting through all of the fluff, here’s what stood out.
Mike Wallace got slapped in the face by the Steelers after they gave the money he wouldn’t take to teammate Antonio Brown. I felt that Brown was a little underrated in fantasy drafts (mid round-5) prior to the contract, but this latest news will probably push him into round 4 as Wallace continues his holdout. Barring a trade, it doesn’t seem like this Wallace mess will end. I wouldn’t give thought to Wallace before the 8th round at this point.
Andre Johnson said on Friday that he has “a lot to prove” after an injury riddled 2011 season, and followed that up by tweaking his groin on Sunday. While the injury is not thought to be serious, it’s another reminder that drafting a guy who has only played 20 games in the last two seasons as the 4th receiver off the board probably won’t lead you to the fantasy promised land.
Right on cue, Michael Crabtree is already dinged up. The 4th year wide receiver has still yet to play in a preseason game, so this should not shock anyone. Crabtree has improved his reception and yardage totals in each of his 3 seasons though. If that trend continues, he’ll certainly live up to his 9th round ADP.
After spending much of the offseason saying that Roy Helu had “Matt Forte upside”, I quickly decided after the first day of Redskins training camp that I probably won’t be touching any of the Redskins running backs. Mike Shanahan continues to be impossible to predict, as Evan Royster opened camp working with the #1’s. With Tim Hightower also set to join the mix after fully recovering from a torn ACL, picking a fantasy winner from this 3-headed monster just doesn’t seem to be worth the headache.
On the other hand, 2Mugs favorite Leonard Hankerson has a decent chance to open the season as a starter opposite Pierre Garcon. With a 13-14th round ADP, he’s certainly worth a look late in your draft.
Brandon Lloyd has been very impressive early in Patriots’ camp, and given his success in Josh McDaniels’ offense I would not have a problem with him as my #2 wide receiver. His current 5th round ADP is a result of the many mouths to feed in New England, but both Johnny and I are predicting his production will come at the expense of Hernandez and Welker. While they’ll still be solid options, Lloyd could easily finish as a top-10 wide receiver in 2012.
Rookie Doug Martin has opened up camp with a bang, and his current late 4th/early 5th round ADP isn’t reflective of where he’ll be available once real drafts start taking place in mid-August. I have no doubt that he’ll end up in the 2nd round given the scarcity of every-down running backs. If you’re dead set on going RB-RB in the first two rounds, Martin should definitely be on your radar.
Maurice Jones-Drew is in the midst of what could be a long holdout. This sign best describes the rest of the Jaguars’ roster from a fantasy perspective: