2019 Dynasty-Fantasy Football Training Camp Notes (8/06)
Throughout the preseason, we’ll be dropping Dynasty-Fantasy notes every few days as we have some things of interest, rumors, etc., to talk about.
*Writing them on the fly, forgive any errors (in no particular order)…
DALLAS COWBOYS Training Camp Notes…
-- If all things go correctly, I will have a video/podcast release in the next 24 hours and I discuss some of Ezekiel Elliott contract situation, an angle not broached in the mainstream. We’ll see if 8/6 really is the hard deadline or not. I’m not sure it really is, legally/technically. Elliott may have some cards to play that will keep him out for a while.
If he doesn’t report today on this, what might be, mythical 8/6 date…then Elliott is undraftable for fantasy 2019 in my book (until a deal is struck) because he’ll be out half the season or more.
As Elliott stays away from camp, it’s rookie Tony Pollard capturing all the attention in Dallas. Pollard won’t start Week 1, but he might make Alfred Morris a mostly irrelevant RB3 for fantasy (especially in PPR).
My video releasing the next 24 hours is a re-do of the Video Q&A show from last THU. The tape we captured through the Shindig platform was useless, so we’re pretty much done with them. I tried to recreate the show from scratch (re-telling my opening five things and I also had all the viewer questions to work with still), but also added a few new nuggets. Subscribers will have access to that re-do in the next 24 hours as a video watch or just to listen to the audio from the video. There will be an App notification when it posts.
Don’t forget…this THU (8/8) night in and around the Arizona preseason game, we will be doing our next Video Q&A for subscribers. I’m thinking the show will rum 9pmET to 11pm ET, roughly. I’ll be taking/answering your questions and commenting on the preseason games I’m watching at the same time, all leading up to all of us watching the Arizona/Kingsbury debut for a few series. It should be the debut of our new platform away from Shindig.
-- Defensive ‘buzz’ player from Dallas camp – DB Xavier Woods. I’ve been a fan since his rookie preseason, where he grabbed my attention. It looks like he’s going to start at safety for sure. He’s a reason why Dallas didn’t chase Earl Thomas, etc., this offseason or last year either.
-- Rookie WR Jon’Vea Johnson is struggling in camp of late. The more contact and full speed are happening, the more reality gets ‘real’. I feared Johnson was a guy who looked great in shorts/t-shirt but would wilt when the bright lights went on…and it’s happening.
The young, no-name WR getting the most camp ‘buzz’ is a scrappy WR who I liked back when I watched him in Atlanta preseason – Reggie Davis. A roster spot likely comes down between him and Jon’Vea and I think Davis would win that right now.
ARIZONA CARDINALS Training Camp Notes…
-- Why Arizona wanted to sign Michael Crabtree is confusing on so many levels. The team is already stacked with WRs…why bring a slower veteran hand into a fast-paced passing game? Only Kingsbury doing his Texas Tech buddy a favor is all I can think of…this ‘charade’ might help Crabtree get offers elsewhere. Just a guess?
-- Kingsbury has been coy on Kyler Murray playing in the preseason. We might see one series from Kyler this week, which means our Video Q&A planned that night could end quicker and less exciting than planned. I do want to see Isabella-Butler-Johnson in action, though.
-- KeeSean Johnson continues to be the talk of camp. Now, he’s gone from ‘hey, look at this guy’ to mythical talent. Anytime he does anything in practice the Arizona fan-sites go nuts. However, I then watch Hakeem Butler working in the red zone and I start drooling…but crickets from the fans/media. Just watching Butler walk around the field at 6’6” is super-impressive. He just looks like Calvin Johnson, at a glance. Not saying he is (or isn’t) in reality, as a talent…just he’s a ‘wow’ at a glance.
CLEVELAND BROWNS Training Camp Notes…
-- Here’s the overall Baker Mayfield debate in a nutshell, something I saw on NFL Network…
During their typical camp coverage, they had their usual panel of three…the host, a media analyst, and an ex-player (walk into a bar…) sitting there making their typical useless comments. However, they showed the Baker Mayfield shotgun of a beer incident at the Cleveland Indians game and then let them react.
The reactions, I thought, were telling…
The host laughed.
The super-smart media member’s eyes were popping out of his head. He clutched his pearls and gave a look and comments that ‘this is not how one behaves in civilized society’. I expected nothing less.
What was interesting was…the ex-player was completely in love with this right away and blurted out – “That’s the kind of guy you want to play for!”
The media man was even more aghast at that ex-player’s acceptance/enjoyment of it but backed down from being critical for fear of the ex-player not liking him. The ex-player was looking at the media guy like there was something wrong with him when he saw the non-verbal faces he was making.
All the Baker Mayfield fantasy interpretations are coming from emotional reactions…and most of the football media wants everyone to be Tom Brady – stoic, cool, studious, in-the-pocket. Or like Peyton Manning – studious, serious, jovial, NFL-friendly G-rated superstar. I used to be that way too, when I first started in the biz. Baker comes along and tips over the apple cart and everyone freaks out.
Baker is going to smash the image of the choir boy QB…the guy in the office at 4am everyday and leaves at 2am…the playbook wonk who worships coaches. That’s why uptight media types and the NFL establishment will/do hate him…he’s ruining the established way you do things. When Baker puts up MVP numbers without ‘doing it the right way’…the NFL is going to turn on him to take him out/marginalize him. They’ve already started.
This is a new era of a new type of passer…and era of talent over playbook. Thus, Josh Rosen ditched the moment you can land Kyler Murray, etc.
The uptight media is ranking Baker lower than he should be, for fantasy, because of their personal perception. Same they did with Tyreek Hill when they thought he was still guilty of something even after he had been cleared multiple times. It’s all emotional not science. It’s a religion they follow without thinking too much about it…just using ‘feelings’.
Baker has captivated the city of Cleveland and regular people drafting for fantasy. The media is telling them they are wrong for doing so. We’ll see who wins this year and beyond. I’m pretty sure it won’t be the media…just based on their track record alone.
CAROLINA PANTHERS Training Camp Notes…
-- Curtis Samuel was listed with D.J. Moore as the starting #1-2 punch at WR for the Panthers. I assumed it would be that way, but it was nice to see in print for Samuel.
Everyone on the football analyst planet is all about D.J. Moore, and he’s a fine player/prospect for sure.
But, I’m on team Curtis Samuel as Carolina’s #1 WR…and have been for three years now. My time is about to come…it started to late last year.
-- Safety Tre Boston was signed just the other day…and ‘boom’ he’s already listed as a starting safety, FYI.
-- A quick note from the on-field. I’ve had several sources tell me Cam appears/is 100%.
However, I watched the recent fanfest practice/scrimmage tape…and Cam looks like he’s throwing 75% of normal speed. He might be/probably is just taking it easy -- but most of his throws were plays he was letting everything clear out deep as he threw short/dump passes without a lot of mustard on them. Again, he may just be being cautious.
After Cam, Kyle Allen took the next snaps followed by Will Grier…and the balls they threw had noticeably more zip to them compared to Cam.
I’m not raising a fear, just noting I haven’t seen explosive Cam throws yet…and, maybe, rightfully so. To protect him and his recovery. I haven’t seen Cam really open it up yet for a sustained time…with my own eyes this summer.
DENVER BRONCOS Training Camp Notes…
-- I have no more news on the Sutton-Sanders fight, and Lord knows I tried to find out more. No one is talking, and it happened so fast that camp observers didn’t see most of it except the ending aftermath of on-lookers.
My first reaction, without any facts, is – it’s good to see Sutton battling Sanders physically.
Either Sutton started it, which means he’s not afraid of/taking crap off of the veteran who likes to run his mouth. Or…Sanders was getting onto Sutton about his play, and Sutton popped off and that set Sanders off to start to escalate things – in which case it’s good to see Sutton not just staying quiet and taking abuse, even if it is warranted. You want toughness in your #1 WR. And of what I know of Sutton, you don’t trifle with him. What I know of Sanders is – loudmouth that likes to talk and throw around his veteran status.
The real story will probably come out the next 24-48 hours. If Sanders was an agitator…he may be subconsciously trying to weasel his way out of Denver, before he gets cut late in the process this season for salary cap reasons.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS Training Camp Notes…
-- It’s the year/week of Jakobi Meyers!!! It’s amazing what 1-2 good/great practices can do for a Patriots player. Anyone remember the year of Zach Sudfeld TE1 in August fantasy drafts his rookie year? Or the Aaron Dobson love fest? Or the Chris Harper-Tom Brady golden preseason connection?
There’s something about ‘sleeper’ Patriots players… And once there is one identified, the entire beat writer community goes from ‘who?’ to ‘this guy is the greatest, I’ve known it for a while now!’.
I’ll address more Jakobi Meyers content in my next bonus camp notes for subscriber’s only tomorrow.
FANTASY RBs and INJURIES…
-- Why is it Leonard Fournette is too scary to draft because of his perceived injury history, but everyone loves Aaron Jones, Dalvin Cook, Marlon Mack, Devonta Freeman, Kerryon Johnson, and David Johnson without such ‘pause’?
The past two years, games played/active for…
26 games = M. Mack
25 = Ezekiel Elliott
24 = A. Jones
21 = Fournette
17 = D. Johnson
16 = D. Freeman
15 = Dalvin Cook
10 = Kerryon *one season in the league (active 63% of his rookie season)
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