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4 Training Camp Battles to Watch

Jul 16, 2015

Can the veteran Devonta Freeman hold off rookie Tevin Coleman?

Can the veteran Devonta Freeman hold off rookie Tevin Coleman?

Rookie training camps begin as early as July 22 for some teams and the smell of football is beginning to seep into homes across America. Pretty soon, news will be landing across your screen about who’s looking good in camp and who’s in jeopardy of losing their starting role. The bottom line is, some training camps will certainly be worth paying attention to as camp battles will inevitably help shape the fantasy football landscape.

So what training camps should you be paying attention to in the following weeks? We asked that exact question to our Featured Experts and here are their responses.

Devonta Freeman vs. Tevin Coleman – Atlanta Falcons
“The Atlanta Falcons have two battles between the RBs and TEs and both are intriguing with fantasy interest. Freeman and Coleman are the feature and if you watch any preseason contests in full, fantasy owners should pay particular attention to the Falcons. Since this battle may be ongoing to begin 2015, getting a preview with your own eyes in preseason will help you evaluate who will emerge as the ultimate number one versus the reporting. At the same time, there’s a couple of TEs, Moeaki and Tamme, who are also worthwhile of the eye test as Kyle Shanahan would like to get at least one involved to play to the strength of Matt Ryan.”
Richard Savill (Fantasy Six Pack)

“I am looking forward to seeing the Atlanta Falcons running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman go to battle in training camp. The lead back in this committee will have fantasy value in Kyle Shanahan’s zone blocking scheme. I predict Coleman will come out on top because he was a player who received Shanahan’s stamp of approval on draft day.”
Eric Moody (FFLockerRoom)

“By my count, there are five teams (Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit and New England) with some degree of uncertainty at running back; even though the Cowboys’ situation probably offers the most upside, the Falcons’ camp battle intrigues me the most. New OC Kyle Shanahan’s system has churned out productive fantasy backs at three different stops and typically did so with talent found in the third round or later (Steve Slaton, Ryan Torain, Alfred Morris and Isaiah Crowell). The difference now is the 35-year-old assistant had never had the level of passing-game personnel to take defenders out of the box like he does now. Devonta Freeman appears to enter training camp with the edge after impressing his new bosses in offsesason practices, but handpicked third-round rookie Tevin Coleman offers more big-play potential and is solid in pass protection. Although this likely ends up being a committee, if Coleman can assume the lead-back role or Freeman gets hurt, then the rookie could provide fantasy top-end RB2 value in all leagues.”
Doug Orth (FFToday)

Sam Bradford vs. Mark Sanchez – Philadelphia Eagles
“Chip Kelly has stated Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez are openly competing for the Philadelphia Eagles’ starting QB job, and at this point I’d have a hard time picking Bradford to win. Things can change quickly once he’s cleared for 11-on-11 drills at the start of training camp, but positive news on the oft-injured Bradford has been tough to come by since he became an Eagle. In the meantime, Sanchez has reportedly looked good in OTAs, and has been leading workouts with 11 Eagles players in San Diego. His familiarity with both Kelly’s system, and the key Eagles players who have attended his workouts, could very well give Sanchez a leg up in the competition, making him an exceptional value at his current ADP (QB26). Don’t forget he posted back-end QB1 numbers after taking over for Nick Foles last season.”
Phil Alexander (FootballGuys)

Josh McCown vs. Johnny Manziel – Cleveland Browns
“While the Dallas Cowboys running back position battle may be more compelling and one with more intrinsic value, I’m more interested in the Browns’ quarterback position. Even though the Browns are not built to win now, they could certainly make some fantasy noise depending on the Week 1 starter. I am currently taking a flier as if Johnny Manziel will win that battle. With a clean record in more ways than one since his release from rehab, Johnny offers the same upside that once gave Tim Tebow QB1 value. There may be a starting running back named in Dallas, but there will be several mouths to feed.”
Scott Whitfield (Roto Rankings)

Doug Martin vs. Charles Sims – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
“I’m really interested in the battle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting RB job between Martin and Sims. Martin had a couple strong games at the end of the season and I believe he is still capable of RB2 numbers at least. Meanwhile, Sims profiles as an excellent pass-catching back and if he can get 15+ touches a game, he can rival Andre Ellington in value. I lean towards Martin because he’s done it before in his rookie season. Either way, if Tampa has a clear primary RB at the end of August, that guy should provide really nice value.”
Zach Wilkens (RotoBaller)

Thank you to the experts for naming their top training camp battles to watch. Join us in our Forums to discuss more >>

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