Published on August 22, 2022
I can’t wait for fantasy football! My league’s draft is still a week or so away, but I’m itching for the day to arrive. Until the regular season gets underway and my fantasy league begins, all I have to resort to are the preseason games.
Being that most of the high-profile names play limited minutes as is, the greatest part about the preseason is watching young and new players emerge.
Some of these men are out there competing for a starting job. Others are just vying for a spot on the roster, playing with their livelihoods on the line.
I know it’s not easy to stay up to date and be completely informed with everything that’s going on. I figured if I organized a blog that focused on five training camp battles that are worth monitoring, NFL fans like yourself would be interested.
You can decide how much of a fantasy or betting impact these decisions will have. I’m just here to break it all down and tell you what’s what.
I’d like to start with one of the more interesting battles to follow – the one for the starting quarterback in Buffalo.
You know that the Bills front office is crazy about their rookie quarterback, Josh Allen. They moved up five picks in April’s Draft to ensure that they’d get their hands on the University of Wyoming quarterback, and they seem thrilled to have him locked in for the foreseeable future.
But on the other hand, this team agreed to a two-year, $10 million contract with AJ McCarron during the offseason. The backup QB in Cincinnati had made it clear that he wanted an opportunity to start, and he figured to have that in Buffalo.
But after suffering an injury to his right shoulder/collarbone during the Bills’ second preseason game, that plan might be foiled.
Are the Bills really going to go back to Nathan Peterman, who looked atrocious during his time under center in 2017? If the Bills end up going with a guy who threw 2 touchdowns and 6 picks while sporting a 38.4 QB rating, that just tells me that Buffalo knows that Josh Allen isn’t ready.
The as AJ McCarron remains sidelined, so clearly they are lacking complete confidence in Allen.
Surely this franchise didn’t spend a top-7 draft pick on Josh just so he can hold a clipboard on the sidelines, so what’s the real story here?
The way I see it is that the Bills desperately want to hand the keys of their offense over to Allen. He has an absolute cannon of an arm and has oodles of upside.
But he hasn’t proven that he is mature enough to handle the responsibilities that come along with being a starting quarterback in the NFL. In the end, expect to see Peterman under center for their Week 1 game versus the Ravens.
If and when OC Brian Daboll’s unit struggles, though, assume that Allen will hear his name called, and he’ll get a taste of NFL action. Once he gets inserted, there should be no turning back.
Say goodbye to Jordy Nelson. Davante Adams has stepped up and will be Aaron Rodgers’ number-one target this upcoming season. Randall Cobb will settle back into the #2 WR role he had excelled at in the past.
But who else will A-Rod be throwing the ball to? I know the Pack signed Jimmy Graham to give Aaron a legitimate target in the red zone, but what other wide receivers are in play here?
When on how the young receivers have been progressing through camp, the Packers star quarterback didn’t mince his words.
If you listen closely, you can hear Rodgers reference “Yancey,” “16,” and “G-Mo,” as the three guys standing out as men who are at least putting out maximum effort. Other than that, he’s been disgusted with what he has seen.
One would assume that Geronimo “G-Mo” Allison is in the driver’s seat to grab hold of the Packers #3 wideout position. But if this Jake Kumerow kid keeps turning heads and impressing the coaching staff as he’s done so far, he could be the one who sees the most snaps out of the slot.
Despite being undrafted in 2015 and having 0 career NFL snaps on his current resume, the 6’4” WR from Bartlett, Illinois, is looking like he’s the one gaining Aaron Rodgers’ trust.
The fact of the matter is that Geronimo Allison had chances last year to take a commanding lead on this job, but his porous 59% catch rate and inconsistencies running routes are what is keeping this job open.
The longer the door stays ajar, the more I see Kumerow sliding his way in.
The Cleveland Browns are coming off a tumultuous season in which they didn’t win a single game. We knew changes were going to be made. Among the many new faces in Cleveland in 2023, the Browns picked up a pair of new running backs.
Already having Duke Johnson Jr. firmly entrenched as the team’s third-down back, Cleveland signed San Francisco RB Carlos Hyde on March 15th. Just six weeks later, the Browns found themselves selecting University of Georgia running back Nick Chubb.
The next thing you know, this ball club has a trio of more than capable rushers who all are competing for playing time.
The takeaway here is not to worry about who is listed as the “starting running back” when the Browns release their official depth chart. I’ll tell you what’s going to happen.
Carlos Hyde will lead the way, but not by a huge margin. I imagine he will control a “60-40” timeshare of the work on first and second down and probably be the first choice inside the five-yard line. But Cleveland wouldn’t draft Chubb where they did if they didn’t feel like he could impact the team in a positive manner right away.
Perhaps Hyde will see around 12-15 carries per game, while Chubb settles in with around 8-10. I assume Duke gets about 3-5 carries per game, but he’ll do most of his damage via receiving 6+ targets per game.
Johnson Jr. is the perfect type of player you want catching screen passes, and Carlos Hyde should be a handful running between the tackles. If Nick Chubb can provide the change-of-pace style that complements the two other backs, then we could see the Browns find some legitimate success on the ground.
Let’s wait and see and not start counting our chickens until they hatch, though. After all, this is the Cleveland Browns I’m talking about.
I know, I know. Technically the New York Jets play their home games in East Rutherford, NJ, but you get the idea. The Jets have 3 quarterbacks on their depth chart that all want to play. The problem is, there’s only one ball to go around.
So who will be calling the shots for the “J-E-T-S” when their September 10th opener against the Lions is the task at hand?
I know that everyone and their grandmother seems to be uber-excited about the rookie quarterback from USC. Sam Darnold was selected with the 3rd pick in April’s Draft, and there’s no way the Jets plan on sitting him the entire season.
It was looking like Josh McCown had the inside track to be the team’s starting QB for the Week 1 contest versus Detroit, but suddenly the talk has shifted back towards the rookie out of Southern Cal.
During a joint practice with the Redskins, Washington cornerback for his maturity and ability to make throws while standing in the pocket.
Do you want to know what I would do if I was Woody Johnson? If I owned the New York Jets, I’d throw Sam right into the fray and let him learn on the job.
Let’s just be real.
This team isn’t going anywhere regardless of if it’s Josh or Sam under center. Even if Teddy Bridgewater were to have an opportunity, this team isn’t a threat to make the playoffs in 2023. This team is building for the future, and right now, those plans are centered around Sam Darnold.
Let him start, and let’s see if the kid has as much promise as all the “so-called touts” have proclaimed.
Some people have already written the Arizona Cardinals off in 2023 as a dreadful squad who will struggle to win 6 or 7 games. Head coach Bruce Arians has other plans, but he’ll have to figure out who is leading his quarterback room in order to get the players to buy in.
If the rest of the roster feels like Josh Rosen is just on the sidelines with a headset until Sam Bradford makes a catastrophic mistake, this team isn’t going to be motivated or playing hungry.
Arians needs to be clear with his intentions and let the players know that the goal is to win right now.
That’s why when the Cardinals seasons opens up at home against the Redskins, in all likelihood, it’ll be Sam Bradford taking the snaps. Josh Rosen isn’t ready for the big stage, as .
Not only has Rosen been inconsistent at camp, but he has been visibly frustrated and upset when things haven’t gone his way. If he doesn’t clean up his attitude and figure things out quickly, he may end up sitting on the sidelines longer than Arizona fans expect.
That’s why I think this will be Sam Bradford’s team from the get-go. I expect it to remain that way until Rosen sheds his immature demeanor or until Bradford sustains an injury.
The 21-year-old from Manhattan Beach, California, was selected with the 10th pick of the draft and has the tools and the opportunity to win this starting job. It just appears that rather than grab the bull by the horns, Rosen is letting his emotions get the best of him.
He might have plenty of arm strength, but he needs to prove he’s a viable leader. Until then, Bradford gets the first crack at running this offense.
Your fantasy football season might not start until the Falcons and Eagles square off on September 6th.
But the players out on the field have already been busting their tails since mid-July. Training camp and the preseason is where the battles for starting positions and spots on the roster take place.
If you aren’t paying attention to what’s happening and who’s getting the snaps in different circumstances, you’ll be behind when it comes to the middle and late rounds of your draft.
Use this guide to give you an idea of who is battling who, but you’ll have to keep close tabs on these situations as the month of August progresses.
I can’t promise you when each of the rookie quarterbacks will get their chance to shine, but I will tell you this.
You can bet your bottom dollar that they’re doing everything they can to push their way into the picture sooner rather than later.