The Fantasy Elevator: Training Camp

I’m smokin’ Blount Juan…

Throughout Preseason I will look at several players and how their stock is rising or falling based on what we hear out of camp or how they are performing in preseason games.

Going Up

Doug Martin:  The team loves him and for good reason.  He has been compared to MJD and Ray Rice for his short stature, powerful running style, and ability to be an every down back.  He’s not a great value, but I’m still fine with his current ADP.

Evan Royster:  Washington RBs are a fantasy trap…think Fishhead in Return of the Jedi: “It’s A Trap!!”.  Royster has been running with the first team and has been the most impressive RB in camp.  The coaches don’t seem to trust Helu and Hightower is still not healthy, besides he’s mediocre anyway.  Keep an eye on this situation.

Chris Johnson:  All indications out of Titans camp are that CJ looks like the CJ of old.  We all know the story in 2011, but its time to let that go and look into the future.  We may not get the 2009-10 version, but we won’t get the 2011 version either.

Kevin Smith:  Jahvid Best is a scary proposition in fantasy and Mikel Leshoure is injured already and a suspension is looming.  This leaves the best value in the Detroit backfield in Smith’s hands.  I love his current ADP and the Lions produced big stats out of their backfield when they were healthy..the only real knock on Smith.

Jake Locker:  If you know me at all, you know I have loved Jake Locker since last season.  His accuracy still needs some work, but his upside is so big I calling for him to be a top 12 guy this season.

Kyle Rudolph:  Rudolph has been a beast thus far and the Vikings plan on using him a ton in their new passing game.  Christian Ponder need to make a jump, but Rudolph has the ability to be the next Gronkowski.

Julio Jones:  I’m all in.  I have moved him up the #2 WR spot in my rankings and I think it’s warranted.  Jones is an absolute beast and he has lit it up in camp thus far.

Eric Decker:  Decker has been gellin’ with Peyton more than any other pass catcher in camp.  This has been true since OTA’s so it’s not an aberration.  I have Decker over Thomas already, but there seems to be a division in who experts like more.

Kendall Wright:  The Titans have high hopes for Wright and think he could be special.  He will need to step right in as Britt may not be around much.  I still think people should be keeping a close eye on Nate Washington.  

Brandon Lloyd:  Lloyd already has the playbook learned and has Tom Brady raving already.  Many will say there are too many weapons in New England, but I say don’t sleep on this guy.

Stevan Ridley:  Darth Belichick could care less about your fantasy team, but he has been known to ride a feature guy in years past.  Ridley has the build and talent to be a powerful inside runner, but the Pats are a spread attack that clearly uses their receiving weapons to do damage.  I still think Ridley can score double digit TDs if he doesn’t put the ball on the carpet, a problem that plagued him in 2011.

Alex Green:  James Starks has struggled in camp and didn’t really do anything in 2011 to warrant the starting gig.  Green was injured in 2011, but if he can come back strong he fits this spread system better than Starks.

Randall Cobb:  Cobb has flashed some brilliance in camp, but it will up to him if he can beat out veterans Driver and Jones for significant snaps during the season.  I hope he can as his talent jumps off the page.

Randy Moss:  I’m not totally behind him, but I can’t doubt him either.  He has looked phenomenal in camp, which cannot be overlooked.  I’m not sold on the 49ers taking a ton of chances down the field this season with Alex Smith as they should just use the same blueprint as 2011.  Dominant defense, power running, and they will take their shots.  They have a better chance of making those shots count in 2012.

Jordan Cameron:  Cameron may not make a move in 2012, but has turned heads in Browns camp while Evan Moore has been out.  Cameron may get on the field sooner rather than later as the former basketball player gives Cleveland a dimension they desperately need.  A dynasty grab.

Rob Housler:  The Cardinals TE is a physical freak and if given the chance he could produce in this offense.  Of course the QBs are still a mess and Todd Heap is still around, but at some point Housler should be the guy.

Peyton Hillis:  All signs point to Hillis being back to his 2010 self, when he was a violent runner and finished as the #2 fantasy RB.  Word out of Chiefs camp is that the coaches would like the running game to resemble the 2010 version.

Jamaal Charles:  Charles says he has his mojo back and will look to be back at 100% by the start of the season.  Chiefs’ insiders say he looks great and they will limit his workload in camp/preseason so he will be ready for the start of the season.

Joe Flacco:  Flacco has been lighting it up in camp and is pushing for Cam Cameron to take the cuffs off and let him audible at the line.  His success is tied to WR Torrey Smith who has been working equally as hard.  I still have issues getting behind him for fantasy, but he may finally break out.

Carson Palmer:  Palmer is having fun and he has been having a great camp thus far.  It doesn’t hurt to look around and see a healthy Run DMC and Denarius Moore hanging around.  Palmer having a full off season is a major plus and he has a chance to be a very solid QB2.

Jacquizz Rodgers:  Rodgers is getting some major pub by the Falcons’ coaching staff as they have called him a potential 3-down back.  If Turner goes down we may find out.  Still, Rodgers has a chance to grab 50-60 passes this season for you PPR peeps out there.

Jonathan Baldwin The other Baldwin brother is lining up as the #1 WR in Chiefs camp as Dwayne Bowe chills at home.  According to reports, Baldwin is beasting out.  I’ll take a late round chance on a guy who could definitely break out in his second season.

Going Down

Ben Roethlisberger:  He’s a warrior and has taken a beating over the years, while playing it up at every moment.  Now he has a “little torn rotator cuff” which is problematic as it could become a full blown tear at any time.  Also, he could be without Mike Wallace.  I’ll pass.

Jahvid Best:  I feel for Best.  He is super talented, but it’s downright scary the amount of sever concussions he has suffered.  I just can’t take a chance on him and I really wish him the best with his health.

Roy Helu:  Apparently the Redskin coaches don’t trust him enough and Royster has passed him on the depth chart.  I would rather take a shot with Royster 5-6 rounds after if I was going to dip into this pool.

Andre Johnson:  He may already be over his groin injury he suffered early in camp, but I just don’t trust him to stay healthy this season.  Plus, in 9 years he has never hit double digit TDs and the Texans don’t need to be in shootouts anymore.

Justin Blackmon:  This guy isn’t doing himself any favors by holding out and is one strike away from being suspended.  I would not touch this guy this season.

Mike Wallace:  This contract situation is getting downright dirty as the Steelers decided to pay Antonio Brown, who actually showed up to camp.  Wallace may hold out well into the season and I want no part of it.

James Starks:  Struggling in camp and is not that talented to begin with.  I think the Packers would like Alex Green to emerge at RB as he is a better fit in the spread offense which he played in at Hawaii.

Kenny Britt:  Injuries and possible suspension have dropped Britt out of the running for being on any of my teams this season.  It’s a shame because the dude is ultra talented.  Needs to pull his head out of his ass.

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JuanJuan – has written 5299 posts on this site.
Juan Elway is an enthusiast of Fantasy Football, Movies, and Combat Sports, but don't call him an expert. He once shook Adrian Peterson's hand and AP winced in pain. Follow him on Twitter where you can partake in all sorts of shenanigans.


About Juan

Juan Elway is an enthusiast of Fantasy Football, Movies, and Combat Sports, but don't call him an expert. He once shook Adrian Peterson's hand and AP winced in pain. Follow him on Twitter where you can partake in all sorts of shenanigans.