With the Summer Sleeper series at its conclusion and the preseason underway, it’s time to review what we’ve learned since the beginning of camp and take a closer look at position battles, emerging players or roster surprises. With that in mind, we’re going to fire up the DLF RV and go division-by-division with some news and notes. While we won’t mention every single player (we have our player news feed for important news), we’ll take some time to run down some important dynasty information for each team. If you have a question on a particular player, ask below and I’ll do my best to answer it as well. If you missed a previous report, just click on it below.
Dynasty Fantasy Football Training Camp Update: NFC East
Dynasty Fantasy Football Training Camp Update: NFC West
Dynasty Fantasy Football Training Camp Update: NFC North
Dynasty Fantasy Football Training Camp Update: NFC South
Dynasty Fantasy Football Training Camp Update: AFC North
Dynasty Fantasy Football Training Camp Update: AFC South
Dynasty Fantasy Football Training Camp Update: AFC West
We continue with the AFC West.
New York Jets
As I’ve been writing these, I’ve realized there are only a select few quarterback battles out there in training camp this year. The Jets certainly feature one of those as Josh McCown is attempting to hold off future starter Sam Darnold. So far, McCown has reportedly been on his game and clearly the best quarterback in camp. Still, I just can’t imagine the Jets holding Darnold back for too long. The preseason will go a long way in determining just how fast he makes the leap to starter. Meanwhile, Teddy Bridgewater is likely auditioning for another team this preseason and is a likely trade candidate.
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This group seems like a total mess at the moment. The injury to Elijah McGuire, who may end up on IR with a designation to return leaves the Jets with Isaiah Crowell, Bilal Powell, Trenton Cannon and Thomas Rawls. Most have simply penciled in Crowell, Powell and Rawls to make the team but the player to watch in this group is Cannon, who has been great thus far in camp. With Rawls showing very little this Summer, it’s very possible Cannon makes this team. I’ve never been a huge fan of Crowell or Powell, so I’m monitoring this closely. I’m not saying Cannon is somehow going to be the Jets starter but he’s adding some excitement to a position that hasn’t had any in some time. In short, he’s on my deep sleeper list at the moment. If McGuire does indeed miss extended time, I’m even more intrigued to see what Cannon does in the preseason.
With ArDarius Stewart suspended the first two weeks, the Jets are likely going to be looking at keeping Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, Quincy Enunwa, Terrelle Pryor, Chad Hansen and Andre Roberts. There’s room for a young player to emerge but it hasn’t happened quite yet, though there are a lot of Hansen fans out there. He’s had a pretty quiet camp thus far after a very strong Spring. The good thing is he’ll have lots of opportunities to move up the depth chart over the next month. For what it’s worth, Pryor has reportedly looked really good in camp – we’ve just seen this a few times before.
If you’re looking for a sleeper at tight end this year, Chris Herndon could be your guy. He still needs to beat our Jordan Leggett but the Jets are gushing over him and believe they have a rookie steal here.
If you have three seemingly undesirable options competing for the one spot you need to have success, what do you do? This is the question in Buffalo as Nathan Peterman, AJ McCarron and Josh Allen are all competing for the starting quarterback job. Allen is certainly the future for Buffalo but there’s just no way he’s ready to seize control this early. Peterman and McCarron are both taking snaps with the first team but neither has really separated himself from the pack. Too bad they don’t have a stopgap veteran like Tyrod Taylor around, eh? I expect McCarron to win the job but it’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen here.
The one position the Bills should have locked down is running back since they have LeSean McCoy to essentially carry the offense. The problem here is McCoy is still under investigation for domestic violence and could be the subject of a suspension. The Bills signed Chris Ivory in the off-season and that’s looking pretty smart at the moment. However, if McCoy is lost for an extended period of time, I’d expect Buffalo to kick the tires on a veteran running back like Adrian Peterson. Travaris Cadet should help on third downs and that leaves a spot for either Marcus Murphy or Taiwan Jones. I like Murphy as a sleeper but this may be the most uninspiring offense in the league.
The Bills practically stole Corey Coleman from Cleveland and he should have a chance to resurrect his career. The most interesting player from this offense (outside of McCoy) is likely Kelvin Benjamin, who apparently doesn’t like Cam Newton’s accuracy. Good luck with Josh Allen, Kelvin! This is a huge year for Zay Jones with Coleman in the mix. If he can’t make it back and show something, he’s going to quickly be labeled a bust. Jeremy Kerley has some appeal since he should get a fair number of targets. However, I’m not sure how anyone is going to be confident starting many receivers on this team with their current quarterback situation. If you’re looking for a player to monitor from this group, I’d look at Robert Foster, though he may be headed to the practice squad.
The Bills are set with Charles Clay, who enjoyed a pretty good season. He’s been consistent in his three years in Buffalo, posting right around 53 catches, 525 yards and a handful of scores. He’ll be a decent bet to replicate those, making him more of a bye week fill-in than weekly starter.
New England Patriots
We quickly go from one of the worst quarterback situations to one of the best. Tom Brady is back and nothing else matters, though Danny Etling has made a case to make the team.
The news at running back clearly revolves around Sony Michel. Those who passed on him in early rookie drafts likely did so because they were concerned about his usage, his knees or his fumbling. Well, so far two of those three concerns seem to be legitimate after Michel had to undergo a clean-up procedure on his knee and struggled with fumbles early in camp. There’s no need to panic but this isn’t a great start. Beyond that, good luck figuring out what will or won’t happen in terms of carries and touches – fact is, the Patriots use their running backs in a game-by-game way and it’s nearly impossible to predict. Rex Burkhead is currently at the top of the depth chart but that probably just means he’ll get cut in three days. Yes, it’s that hard to figure out.
Even more impossible without Julian Edelman, though I do think Eric Decker is going to contribute.
They have Rob Gronkowski.
Editor’s Note: I’m not mailing it in on the Patriots, but it really is hard to figure out things this early in camp when they don’t have truly dominant athletes at the skill positions. I do think Kenny Britt’s roster spot is in trouble, though.
This is a huge year for Ryan Tannehill, who dodged a bullet this year when the Dolphins failed to draft a legitimate threat to him at quarterback. Love him or hate him, all eyes will be on him tonight as he makes his first start in 606 days. All reports have been positive thus far.
The running back position is very interesting in Miami. Kenyan Drake was a revelation last year and is one of the most polarizing players in terms of assessing dynasty value at the moment. The Dolphins also added Frank Gore and a talented rookie in Kalen Ballage. I could realistically see any of the three starting games this year and that makes this situation one to monitor closely as we move further in the preseason. Drake and Gore were listed as co-starters on the first depth chart, so it’s clear this situation isn’t resolved. My expectation is Drake separates himself from the pack here soon and I really like his “buy” potential at the moment.
Miami traded Jarvis Landry and are now looking to replace one the most productive receivers in the NFL. They’re likely going to do that by committee, which means there a lot of targets to go around. The Dolphins added Albert Wilson in free agency and he looked like a sneaky dynasty pickup for a while. However, the Dolphins also grabbed Danny Amendola and it seems he’s seized the slot receiver job already. Kenny Stills should have a chance to improve on his numbers as well as it seems DeVante Parker just may never reach his potential as camp reports on him have been really critcial. I’m keeping a close eye on Jakeem Grant and believe he has a chance to emerge this season. Isaiah Ford is another name to watch.
It’s hard to get really good fantasy production from a rookie tight end but Mike Gesicki is going to have a chance to buck that trend. At this point, he’s been the star of Dolphins training camp.
Well, that’s it! After 32 teams and 21,000 words, we’ve covered what we’ve learned from camp so far. Stay with us all off-season as we continue to break down all the important developments for dynasty enthusiasts and begin our 13th season of NFL coverage.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK
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