Fantasy Football: OTA headlines with Lions front and center; plus Anthony Miller, D'Onta Foreman, Pats, FFT and more
It seems there's always Fantasy Football news as we near mandatory minicamps and the NFL's pre-camp vacation time. Let's start with headlines in Detroit.
OTAs NFL breaks to fuel up for the opening of camps in mid-July. Here are some potentially Fantasy-relevant stories from OTA season:before the
Matt Patricia says he's excited about the Lions' past two draft classes (Detroit Free Press keeps tracking, so there doesn't figure to be much patience for continuing mediocrity in Motown coming off a 6-10 season.on this 2019 class), and the coach needs those draftees to deliver sooner than later. The Lions have not won a playoff game since Jan. 5, 1992, something the
The Free Press breaks down how those draft classes fit at the moment. The biggest impact on the offense could be the move of 2018 first-round pick Frank Ragnow to center, where he crushed it at Arkansas. The Lions had Ragnow at guard last season and hope he'll be a catalyst to their goal of becoming dominant up front. That could mean more work and running room for Kerryon Johnson, who flashed big-time as a rookie last season before a knee injury ruined things.
Heralded first-round pick T.J. Hockenson could also give the Lions a more physical threat and blocker at tight end.
Dave Richard's Take: I'm all for the Lions starting their best five big men, but until they commit to Kerryon Johnson instead of using two or three running backs, their run game will be a little hard to count on.
There was a ton of Fantasy buzz last draft season for rookie receiver Anthony Miller, who caught 33 of 54 targets for 423 yards and seven touchdowns. It wasn't quite the stuff of Fantasy dreams. But Miller revealed he played most of last season with a shoulder injury that required surgery in January, and said: "Chicago hasn't seen how I can play yet." If that was what held back Miller last season and his shoulder is fine for camp, his Fantasy stock might be in line for a nice bump.
Dave Richard's Take: The talented receiver scored seven times with one healthy shoulder last year -- taking him with a pick around 100th overall is a cheap risk to see what he does for an encore with two healthy shoulders!
Veteran receiver Dontrelle Inman has had some moments with the Chargers, Bears and Colts, and he finished strong last season in Indy. Now he gets an opportunity with the Patriots, who may or may not have Josh Gordon (possible suspension) and Demaryius Thomas (likely PUP-bound), plus Phillip Dorsett returning, first-round pick N'Keal Harry and a batch of other contenders.
The 6-foot-3 Inman, like Harry, Thomas, Gordon and Maurice Harris, could fit into what the Patriots are working toward -- getting bigger and more physical at wideout and elsewhere. It could all fit into the Patriots continuing with the run-heavy formula that worked so well late last season. Here's a glimpse at how the Patriots roster looks at the moment.
Dave Richard's Take: I know we're supposed to go gaga over Patriots pass catchers, but count me out on Inman. I have a hard time believing he'll find regular targets.
Coming off an awful 6-9-1 season, the Packers should look a lot different this season with new coach Matt LaFleur running things, but what does that mean for the rookie class in Fantasy? Expectations are not too high yet for third-round tight end Jace Sternberger, but PackersWire says we should monitor sixth-round running back Dexter Williams of Notre Dame. He could find opportunity given Aaron Jones' uneven record for availability.
Dave Richard's Take: It wouldn't take too much for the versatile Williams to jump Jamaal Williams on the depth chart in Green Bay, making him a deep-league sleeper for now and a potential waiver-wire grab once the season starts.
The guys dive deeper into Heath Cummings' Opportunity Index on Thursday's podcast, get into some conservative projections for Le'Veon Bell, and answer your emails (14:00), including a fun WR comparison of two players who had similar numbers last year but much different projections this year. Plus news and notes (28:00) from around the NFL:
Send your FFT emails to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Seahawks, too, have obvious opportunity at wide receiver. Seventh-round pick John Ursua rates as a long shot, but there are lots of those who've had great NFL careers. Ursua, who led the nation last season at Hawaii with 16 touchdown catches, is already 25 and measures 5-9, 180. Maybe he'll be the one to cash in on the Doug Baldwin slot void, although outside receiver D.K. Metcalf and Gary Jennings were drafted earlier, and either way, the Seahawks also seem committed again to the run game.
Dave Richard's Take: The Seahawks notoriously start whoever practices the best, regardless of when they were drafted. That gives Ursua some hope to be impactful if he wins the slot role. He won't get drafted until that happens, though.
D'Onta Foreman says he's back to full speed after losing almost all of last season to a torn Achilles. That could mean more of a time share with veteran Lamar Miller, who had a productive 2018 for Fantasy owners but only rates as an RB2 or RB3 option for most in Fantasy. Foreman could damage that standing.
Dave Richard's Take: I'm aiming for Foreman with a Round 8 or 9 pick in my drafts because he has potential to be the lead back for the Texans once Lamar Miller underwhelms over the first few weeks. Draft him and be patient.
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