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*Quick notes, moving fast on them...forgive any typos*
**One set of notes this SAT-SUN-MON-TUE this week before we go full tilt, all day, with the blizzard of activity from the preseason games.**
Camp Notes, of interest to me, that I’ve seen from bootleg tape or heard from my ‘secret’ sources (no particular order):
-- My communications with people lead to believe the Drake-Gore backfield is a little closer to a time share or RBBC potential than you’d probably believe…in that Gore looks good and Drake has been a bit up and down, and Gore may see more touches/Drake less of a workhorse than might typically be projected. Speculative.
Adam Gase is hard to figure out, so I don’t rule anything out…but I could see him liking Gore’s personality/professionalism over Drake’s. Gase is driving the Dolphins into the ground with awful personnel moves (or lack of) for years, so nothing is off the table.
-- The player I see the most glowing reporting on – CB Xavien Howard. And, I like Howard too, but I wonder how much of his stellar play is the terrible Miami offense. Howard picked off Ryan Tannehill three times in one session the other day, but I haven’t seen a national outcry about how terrible/concerning Tannehill/Gase is (a la Patrick Mahomes national bemoaning on turnovers).
-- I do like the pieces of the Miami DST puzzle. I think there is a lot to work with, but I don’t trust Gase…or trust the offense will help support the defense.
-- I think you’re going to hear more whispers of Miami trading DeVante Parker, and I think there is smoke with the fire.
I don’t think Gase likes Parker and has had it with the empty results/play. He can move Parker and insert Albert Wilson into the lineup, which I think he wanted to do all along. Trading Parker now gets Miami off the hook of a $9M option year in 2019 or worrying about any long-term deals.
I see Parker traded a la the Sammy Watkins/BUF deal to the Rams last year.
-- Any Gerald Everett momentum has been temporarily halted with a shoulder injury (unknown severity). Tyler Higbee still remains way ahead of Everett in the TE target pecking order and training camp play.
-- I’m led to believe QB Brandon Allen might beat out Sean Mannion for the backup job in the end – and Mannion, Eric Dickerson’s guy he wanted to start last season over Jared Goff, likely to be released.
-- I see Bryce Hager listed as a starting ILB in some places and not in others. Most camp observers have communicated to me that he is not standing out and that Cory Littleton seems/feels more important among the linebackers.
-- Clearly the guy everyone is talking about/impressed with is O.J. Howard. He’s playing so well that the lingering ghost of Cameron Brate may not matter all that much. OJH is potentially the best all-around TE talent in football. He’s going to matter, and if not breaking out in 2018 – then in 2019 for sure when the whole coaching staff and starting QB get turned over.
-- The opposite of ‘buzz’ from TB – Ronald Jones. I’ve seen glimpses… Man, how the Bucs plan to go into 2018 with Barber-Jones-Jacquizz-Sims is a typical abomination to NFL coaching by Dirk Koetter. No wonder they’re all so excited by UDFA RB Shaun Wilson…all the other running backs on the roster blow.
-- Looking at some play results from Bucs 11-on-11’s…where is the Jameis Winston turnover outrage? Winston cannot fix the fact that he’s a terrible quarterback – just throwing blindly to a preordained spot on the play called and hoping for the best, or tossing dump passes against prevent defenses.
Nike also declined to renew Winston’s contract…as the beginning of the end comes upon us.
-- If I did a ‘top 10’ of training camp…like the top 10 guys I’m reading, hearing, seeing the outright universal agreement of passion on from beat writers, my sources, my eyes – Cordarrelle Patterson is on that list.
I have been burned by love of Patterson for I don’t know how many years…defending him as a ‘real WR’ on top of a wasted opportunity by teams not running him 1-3 carries a game all along. If he doesn’t hit this year, I give up.
Probably won’t give up, I’ll still complain.
Did I ever tell you about the most egregious underutilization of talent in football – Antone Smith?
-- Slot WR role update from a source – Braxton Berrios is making a move. He’s ahead of Riley McCarron now, and making a small dent into Phillip Dorsett’s run. I still hear good things about Dorsett as far as time he’s getting but no one blown away by what they see from him…just that he’s ‘there’.
-- While the world/me wonders how ready Andrew Luck will be, as he practices every day…Carson Wentz has been held out of 11-on-11 live scrim/practice five days in-a-row. Doug Pederson is like ‘meh’ while the media is freaking out…and while national analysts assume Wentz is going to be the #1 QB in fantasy, secretly.
With all the QB options in fantasy out there…why invite this risk (that he doesn’t start for a bit and that he’s not ‘right’ when he does)?
-- Get on the Josh Adams bandwagon now or forever hold your peace. Adams has been buzzworthy for in practices of late, returning from a mild injury and finally getting to work.
Part of the buzz is so many people were led to believe Adams was ‘nothing’ that when they see something great…they are shocked, delighted, but then convince themselves it’s not as good as they thought because people on ESPN aren’t saying the same.
-- Another talk of Philly camp I’m receiving from contacts – DE-via-Seattle Michael Bennett is playing with a vengeance. He’s been nothing but dominant and a leader.
-- Three or so days ago… Tyler Eifert is cleared to practice, huh? I thought he might be out until September.
Two days ago… Eifert is starting with the 1st-team like nothing ever happened.
Yesterday… Eifert got hurt and was sent off to the side to do light work, held out of contact things.
So it goes with Eifert, sadly.
-- The talk of Cincy camp mostly falls on two players…
Tyler Boyd has looked so good that Brandon LaFell was released. I’m surprised LaFell didn’t sign with New England.
Joe Mixon’s hype train is cranking up. The O-Line is starting to gel, and early reports of ‘the run game looks terrible’ has turned into “wow, Mixon is a star’.
Quick camp notes…
-- Rookie WR Dylan Cantrell has been the buzz of LAC camp, but just suffered a shoulder injury of an unknown extent…but there is worry.
-- Quincy Enunwa out 1-2 weeks with his thumb injury. I’m thinking closer to two weeks, because no need to rush him with his neck still healing up. Also, the severity of the injury is an unknown. They say 1-2 weeks, but that was an unofficial word. We could get bad news that it’s more serious. Man, I hope not…not two years in a row of this with Enunwa. He deserves better.
Coming up on FFM and CFM…
-- 1.5+ hours of podcast for your commutes and walks…me as a guest on the Fantasy Forensics Podcast. I think it was pretty good. I never listen to myself back on podcasts because I’ll be nothing but critical and hate hearing myself speak on recordings or radio.
At minimum, you will find out my favorite TV Show and Movie as the first question about fantasy football discussed by the group. Me, Katz and MD and Fonz going all over the map here, which is the way I like it…but pretty entertaining I thought. I had a good time, hope you enjoy it.
-- The 14,000+ word mock draft chat between Katz and I will post today, earlier rather than later.
-- Working on the 2019 NFL Draft preview wrap up – DTs and safeties left to review. They should both post this week.
*The 2018 Draft Guide package of reports and ever-updating projections/rankings are now available from the FFM home page. Fantasy Football Metrics
*Note: my new football email firstname.lastname@example.org, as I ditch corporate email.
*Note: Dynasty Stash reports from FFM 2017 are posted on CFM 2018 (Date 1/7/18, under Scouting Reports tab or search via the searchbar tool).
See more of our football work at College Football Metrics – dedicated to the NFL Draft and Dynasty Rookie Draft scouting and valuations all preseason. Celebrating our 7th season covering all things draft. Go to (link): College Football Metrics