2019 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Emmanuel Sanders, Phillip Lindsay healthy for start of training camp

When teams first arrive to training camp, we mostly just want to hear good things: Everyone is healthy, and everyone is staying healthy.

Injuries are an inevitable part of the Fantasy game, and the moment when players begin to ramp up their workload is always rife with risk for new injuries; it's also the first time we really get to see how the previously injured are doing.

In that respect, the first 24 hours the Broncos have been in camp has been nothing but good news for the Fantasy community. So far — knock on ALL OF THE WOOD — we haven't see any serious injuries out of the first day of practice, and the key players on the roster dealing with injuries seem to have put those concerns behind them.

Running back Phillip Lindsay, for example, was out there running with the first team on the very first rep of training camp, coming off wrist surgery. He won't open on the Physically Unable to Perform list, and appears to be on top of the depth chart, just like he was for much of last season.

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That's great news for Lindsay, who has been viewed as something of a risk in the Fantasy world after missing offseason work. That he's back — even though he is being worked in a little slower than the rest of his teammates ­­— suggests there won't be anything to worry about as we get closer to the games mattering. Royce Freeman still has a chance to carve out a significant role with a good training camp, but he has a more uphill climb than we might have thought a few weeks ago.

Perhaps the more stunning news comes from the receiving corps, as Emmanuel Sanders has been cleared to practice, and will also avoid the PUP list. Sanders ruptured his Achilles late last season, and is less than nine months removed from surgery, so it seems somewhat miraculous that he is even able to practice.

Now, whether that means he is still in shape and capable of being a lead receiver for the Broncos remains to be seen. They did not act as if there was an urgency to add talent to the receiving corps this offseason, drafting tight end Noah Fant but otherwise bringing in no pass catchers of note. Still, that could be read as a sign of confidence in Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton as much as anything.

This looks like it's going to be an open competition in training camp, with Sanders, Sutton, and Hamilton fighting for their spot in the hierarchy. Sanders, the veteran, was the undisputed top option a year ago, hauling in 71 passes on 98 targets and 868 yards in 12 games, putting him on pace for his best season since 2015.

Once Sanders went down, Hamilton surprisingly emerged as the top target in the passing game with 38 in four games, though he didn't do much with them: 182 yards on 25 catches. Sutton didn't make much of an impact either, hauling in 18 of his 25 catches for 146 yards; it was actually Tim Patrick who led the team with 242 yards in those four games, and who may be the unfairly forgotten sleeper in the group.

This will be one of the key training camp battles to watch as training camp leads into the preseason, and it's nice to know everyone will be there, ready to go throughout. May the best man win. 

Fantasy Writer

Though he can be found covering three different sports depending on the time of year, there is one unifying theme in how Chris Towers approaches sports; "Where's the evidence?" It doesn't matter how outlandish... Full Bio

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