Training Camp Battles & Bold Predictions (2018 Fantasy Football)

Jul 26, 2018

The running back situation in Green Bay is one to watch

At last, we are now at that point in the summer where we can begin discussing football as the events are actually happening. Of course, speculation is still very much a part of where we are at in the year, but we’ve reached that window of time where training camps all around the country are kicking off.

News is beginning to pour in more frequently including a late contract adjustment for Julio Jones who will now report to the Falcons facility with their camp opening Thursday. Pretty soon, we’ll start hearing about standout players and inevitably, fantasy rankings will adjust. Before that happens though, we’ve asked our featured experts below to help shed some light on what’s worth paying attention to as players start putting on pads again. Here are the camp battles they’ll be monitoring along with their bold player predictions.

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Q1. What position battle are you most intrigued to watch during training camps and what outcome do you predict?

“The Green Bay backfield is one that could easily produce an RB1 if the coaching staff could settle on one player. In PPR formats last season, the Packers’ top fantasy back scored at least 19 fantasy points seven times and often did so averaging less than four yards per carry. While I believe the best setup for the team this year is to use Aaron Jones on early downs and Ty Montgomery as his change-of-pace, Jones may have dug himself a hole when he violated the league’s substance abuse policy. As a result, I expect Montgomery – assuming he can last more than four games without getting hurt this time – will hold the lead-back job for the bulk of the season.”
– Doug Orth (FFToday)

“The one I’m most interested in is the Packers No. 3 wide receiver job behind Davante Adams and Randall Cobb. I’ve been saying that Geronimo Allison is fantasy’s best kept secret at the wide receiver position because I expect him to win the job, though his ADP suggests that there’s still question. He, J’Mon Moore, Equanimeous St. Brown, and Deangelo Yancey will battle for that spot in the starting lineup, but I remain firm in my stance that Allison has chemistry with Aaron Rodgers, knows the offense, and has shown the ability to produce. If he wins this job, he could be a sneaky WR3/flex option most weeks.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

“The Indianapolis Colts battle for the running back position is going to be a roller coaster. It seems that the new administration and coaches are not entirely sold on Marlon Mack and drafted two RBs back in April. In addition, Mack is returning from a shoulder injury. It seems that Hines is going to have the third-down role, leaving a battle between Jordan Wilkins and Mack. I am envisioning a scenario in which coach Reich could use both Wilkins and Mack as he did with Ajayi and Blount, limiting both players potential as a result.”
– Mauricio Gutierrez (Estadio Fantasy)

“The Seattle Seahawks running back position is one that is truly up in the air. Chris Carson looked solid last year before suffering a leg injury, and the Seahawks used their first round draft capital on rookie Rashaad Penny. First round rookies have fared well in the NFL in the past 10 years, as they have posted an average stat line of 230 touches and 1,075 scrimmage yards. The situation will be an interesting one to watch as some reports have already stated Carson may be the guy to start the season, however, Penny is going WAY ahead of Carson (42nd overall vs 138th overall in current ADP).”
– Christian Brito (Eat.Sleep.Fantasy)

“Can we say Lamar Jackson vs. Joe Flacco? No? How about the Colts backfield? From a utility standpoint, whoever wins the starting gig is going to be a huge value based on ADP. Marlon Mack wasted a huge lead on the rookies, and now we get to wait for our answer.”
– Alessandro Miglio (Footballguys)

Q2. What is your one bold prediction for training camps and why?

“Another intriguing camp battle is at receiver in Indianapolis, which figures to come down to Chester Rogers and Ryan Grant. Rogers was on the verge of grabbing the No. 2 job last season when Donte Moncrief struggled to stay healthy, but a lingering hamstring injury made Rogers a virtual non-factor after a 104-yard performance against Pittsburgh in Week 10. Grant was a bit of a coach’s pet in Washington and is an undersized player who does a lot of things well but nothing great, so it’s hard to see him being able to do much damage anywhere outside the slot. It’s almost a given two receivers are going to be relevant in fantasy with Andrew Luck back, so my bold prediction is Chester Rogers finishing the season as a top-40 receiver and becoming a borderline every-week starter in three-receiver formats.”
– Doug Orth (FFToday)

My bold prediction is that LeGarrette Blount gets cut from the Lions roster. I know, I know, he’s Matt Patricia’s “guy,” but that doesn’t matter if you’re running a competent football team. In Jim Bob Cooter’s offense, which still remains intact, you need to be able to catch passes out of the backfield, as the offense is designed that way. You don’t want to have to limit your play-calling with Blount in the game and become predictable, making me say that they’re better off with the combination of Kerryon Johnson, Theo Riddick, and Ameer Abdullah. As a side bold prediction, I’ll say that Doug Martin may wind up as the Raiders starting running back. ”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Michael Gallup emerges as the primary receiving option for the Cowboys. The rookie landed probably in the most favorable situation for a first-year WR. The departure of Bryant and Witten leaves 231 targets available. The competition between Allen Hurns, Terrance Williams and the rookie is wide open. The team loves Gallup and their plan should be to use it from day one and he ends up as a top 24 fantasy option in 2018.”
– Mauricio Gutierrez (Estadio Fantasy)

The Indianapolis Colts will announce Marlon Mack as their opening day starter as of training camp. With the offseason’s departure of Frank Gore, many are enamored with the two rookies drafted on the last day of the NFL draft in Hines and Wilkins. Too many are forgetting second-year player Mack, and I expect him to have a solid training camp and preseason and think he’ll shoot up in ADP by the time draft season rolls around.”
– Christian Brito (Eat.Sleep.Fantasy)

Cameron Meredith is going to become the fastest riser of the preseason. He is currently being drafted around WR58 on average, but I’m betting it’ll be in the 30s a month from now. He is a reliable receiver who is probably going to be third in line for targets from Drew Brees this fall.”
– Alessandro Miglio (Footballguys)

Thank you to the experts for their training camp battles to watch and bold predictions. Please give them a follow on Twitter for more great advice and subscribe/listen to our latest podcast below for more fantasy info.

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