Fantasy Relevant Position Battles
While many people will take vacations or time off from numerous things during the summertime, there are plenty of story lines going on that are relevant for fantasy football purposes. OTAs, mini camps, training camps and then preseason action is all worth keeping an eye on. While most know who the obvious players to target are, there are always some position battles going on that could produce some nice sleepers to buy low on for your fantasy teams. Here are some situations to monitor.
Carolina Panthers Wide Receivers: While it may not be a battle, it will be interesting to see how the chain of command shakes out. Veterans like Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Tiquan Underwood will surely see most of the playing time. Meanwhile, the Panthers first round pick Kelvin Benjamin will look to surpass them at some point during the season, but may take some time depending on how he adapts to the offense. Don’t sleep on second year player Tavarres King. Waived by Denver last year, King was a favorite of mine as a prospect coming into the 2013 draft. The situation is ripe for him to carve out a role in the offense.
Bengals Running Backs: For a few years now, many have written off BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Still, he has continued to be somewhat effective in certain situations. Could this finally be the year he is cut? I have read numerous times that he may be cut before the season starts. It could easily be done as Gio Bernard has shown the ability to be effective and rookie Jeremy Hill is now in the fold. Hill has a similar type of game to Green-Ellis, but is better in my opinion and obviously younger. Behind them you have guys like Jeff Scott, Rex Burkhead and James Wilder Jr. Bernard and Hill are a lock to make the main roster, but the rest of them will be fighting to take the third spot.
All Cleveland Browns Skill Positions: What a mess. Other than maybe Jordan Cameron, as of now we don’t know who any of the starting players will be at any of the skill positions. Manziel or Hoyer at QB? West, Tate or Crowell or a committee at RB? Besides a possibly suspended Josh Gordon they have WRs Andrew Hawkins, Miles Austin, Nate Burleson? I am also still holding out hope that Charles Johnson can make some sort of impact after getting cut by the Packers due to injury. There could for sure be some viable fantasy options on this team, but it will be something that will need to be monitored throughout the entire offseason.
Green Bay Packers Tight Ends: Ever since Jermichael Finley’s injury, The Packers have had to fill the void at TE with more WR play. They are obviously looking to find a good TE and have plenty of decent options on the roster, but who will win out? Hyped names like Andrew Quarless and Brandon Bostick are the front runners due to experience, but behind them is Ryan Taylor, second year player Jake Stoneburner and two rookies in Richard Rodgers and Colt Lyerla. Each player offers somewhat of a different skill set and it would surprise me if they used multiple tight ends. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Running Backs: A couple years back fantasy owners were doing whatever they could to get Doug Martin on their team. After suffering season ending injury in 2013, he looks to bounce back, but the backfield has since become crowded. Both Bobby Rainey and Mike James stepped up last season and to add to that, the Bucs drafted Charles Sims in the third round. Doug Martin should get the majority of the touches. If not, this smells like a committee situation.
San Diego Chargers Running Backs: This one may surprise some. Ryan Mathews should get the majority of the work, but as we know he is as brittle as a dead leaf in the fall. Danny Woodhead will still see some carries, but is more about receiving opportunities. Behind them you had the offseason signing of Donald Brown as well as the 2014 sixth round pick, Marion Grice who is a pass catching specialist. I honestly feel any of these four running backs could step up at anytime during the season and become a fantasy force.
Miami Dolphins Running Backs: I think some were kind of surprised when the Dolphins signed Knowshon Moreno. Many thought (and still do) that Lamar Miller was the guy. There isn’t a whole lot behind these two, so they will battle it out for playing time during the offseason. Either that or they will be in a… wait for it… COMMITTEE!