The first week of training camp for most teams was every bit as wild as one could have anticipated. We had a surprise suspension, surprise cuts, some guys go down with new injuries while others came back from known injuries. It would be understandable if the week left your head spinning. Speaking of spin, there was plenty of that from coaches and players alike. There might have even been some from Fantasy analysts.
To help you sort through some of the most Fantasy-relevant news, and process what it actually means, here's this week's Believe It or Not.
It seemed odd when a report surfaced earlier this summer that Johnson could catch 60 passes. How could that happen with Riddick in Detroit? Question answered.
With Riddick out of the picture Johnson now only has C.J. Anderson as a seriously competitor for touches. While Anderson could play a role on early downs, maybe even the red zone, it's difficult to imagine him playing the third-down role. That should lead to a serious escalation in Johnson's targets and catches, leading to a top-10 finish in PPR.
Verdict: Believe it.
In 2018 Johnson averaged three catches and 85 total yards per game. And that was sharing touches with both Riddick and LeGarrette Blount. So 60 catches doesn't seem that far of a reach and neither does 1,500 total yards. If you take a step back it's almost jarring how good this situation looks in Detroit.
They have a good offensive line, an offensive coordinator in Darrell Bevell who wants to run the ball, an improved defense and a pair of downfield threats in Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones who should keep defenses honest. I'm not saying it's a great situation, but it's better than several top-10 backs. Certainly better than the Giants, Bengals and Jaguars to name a few.
The only real mark against Johnson is his injury risk, but that's a common theme in this part of the running back rankings. I can't say he's more likely to get hurt than Dalvin Cook, Leonard Fournette or even Joe Mixon. Johnson is worth a pick in the first two rounds of the draft.
Every day we get a report about which Dolphins running back was on the field first. Every day so far it's been Ballage. It certainly seems like the departure of Adam Gase did not resolve the trust issues surrounding Drake in Miami. What makes it worse for those planning on drafting Drake is it sure sounds like Ballage is off to a fast start. If his own coaches don't trust Drake, Fantasy owners can't either.
Verdict: Don't believe it.
I'm not saying I don't believe Ballage is going to get the first carry in Week 1. I won't even argue that Drake is a better runner (he is) and will eventually earn the lion's share of the carries. But I do still expect Drake to be the back on the field for passing downs, and I expect the Dolphins to spend more time trailing than just about any team in the league.
Drake was the No. 14 back in PPR last year with just 173 touches. In 2017 he finished 32nd with 165 touches. He's currently being drafted as the No. 26 back, according to Fantasy Pros. I would expect that to fall if the reports out of Miami don't change soon.
I am disappointed by this start to camp, and I'm less enthusiastic about Drake as a potential No. 1 running back. But I'd still bet on him outproducing whatever his ADP settles at.
John Brown is the best offensive player in Buffalo.
If you've seen any reports about Bills' camp you've likely seen something about the connection between Josh Allen and Brown. And it makes sense if you think about it. Brown is a very good route runner with outstanding speed, and Allen can throw the ball as far as anyone. While we've all fallen for the Brown hype at least once in the past few years, this time it looks like it might be for real. If you draft one Bill this season, it should be their No. 1 receiver.
Verdict: Believe it.
I think you know there's a caveat coming, right? Josh Allen is not a starting quarterback in Fantasy. LeSean McCoy is too old and likely to chop up touches with Frank Gore, T.J. Yeldon and Devin Singletary. Dawson Knox is a rookie tight end who may not even win the starting job. Whoever becomes the No. 1 receiver should be the best option in Fantasy.
We've already seen reports that Robert Foster is working almost exclusively with the second team. And no one is going to be getting excited about Cole Beasley running 4-yard slot routes for arguably the most inaccurate passer in the league. So it seems like it's a two-man battle between Brown and Zay Jones. I'll take the guy with the elite route-running and 1,000-yard season on his resume.
Sony Michel is back and there's no reason to worry about drafting him anymore.
We may all feel pretty silly for worrying about Michel. Over the weekend he came off the PUP and looked every bit like his postseason self. You remember that postseason, right? Michel toted the rock 71 times for 336 yards and six touchdowns in three games en route to a Super Bowl victory.
He's a solid No. 2 running back with top-10 upside. Now that he's healthy you can draft him early without reservation.
Verdict: Don't believe it.
Seriously? He's a running back for the New England Patriots who are coached by Bill Belichick. He has about the same number of knee procedures as catches in the NFL. Damien Harris is still there as a goal-line threat, James White will still dominate the running back targets and even Rex Burkhead still exists. If you want to draft Michel as your No. 3 running back, I have little doubt he'll give you a stretch as a top-10 back this season. But I can't imagine it will last more than half the season, especially in PPR.