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Training Camp Position Battles (2020 Fantasy Football)

by Kyle Yates | @KyleYNFL | Featured Writer
Jul 18, 2020

Ladies and gentlemen, we are closing in on football season! While there are a ton of obstacles for teams to navigate, the NFL is moving forward with having players report to training camp next week.

The MLB is currently ramping up for the start of their season and there haven’t been any reported outbreaks of the coronavirus. Additionally, the NBA is set to continue their season in Orlando later on this month and the reports coming out of the “bubble” are the same as the MLB. There is a way for the NFL to happen this season and we’re hoping that they’re able to pull it all together. We need football!

With that being said, training camp is a crucial time for fantasy football managers to observe due to the players that can emerge and secure a starting roster spot. Everything up to this point has all been speculation regarding roles on NFL rosters, but we’re going to get clarity here really soon.

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Below are five position battles that you need to be paying attention to that could lead to fantasy football relevance. Let’s dive in!

1. Baltimore Ravens – Slot WR
Battle Royale Participants: Devin Duvernay & Willie Snead

Last season, Snead wasn’t considered fantasy relevant, but he ended up walking away at the end of the season with 5 receiving touchdowns. Snead knows this offense, but he doesn’t come close to touching Duvernay’s talent level. Duvernay is an incredibly quick and sure-handed receiver that is a perfect fit for this offense. He’s great at creating after the catch, which allows Lamar Jackson to get the ball out quickly and keep the offense moving. If Duvernay can acclimate to the NFL game quickly, he should easily steal Snead’s job. Based on John Harbaugh’s reaction from the draft, Duvernay’s going to be a key piece of this offense and he could be worth looking at at the end of your fantasy drafts.

2. Carolina Panthers – No. 2 WR
Battle Royale Participants: Curtis Samuel & Robby Anderson

Samuel and Anderson enter into training camp battling for the second WR spot in this Panthers offense. DJ Moore has the No. 1 spot locked down and he should see all the targets he can handle, but the number two spot is going to have fantasy relevance this year. This team is rebuilding and their defense has a ton of holes in it that they’re filling with rookies. In an offseason that’s going to be detrimental to some rookies, that’s not a good sign. This offense should be throwing the ball a ton this year and there are going to be targets available. Anderson knows this offensive terminology from his time at Temple with Matt Rhule and he may have a head start on Samuel. Whichever one emerges as the second option in this offense is going to be fantasy relevant this year though and this is a situation worth monitoring.

3. Detroit Lions – Starting RB
Battle Royale Participants: D’Andre Swift & Kerryon Johnson

Johnson has been productive when he’s been on the field the past couple of seasons, but the injuries keep piling up for the talented running back. Due to that, the Lions went out and invested significant draft capital into an extremely well-rounded RB in Swift. This has the potential to be a timeshare, which would crush both players’ fantasy value, but if someone can emerge as the unquestioned starter, they’ll be extremely relevant for fantasy football. Swift is the most likely to assume that role based on his skillset, but Johnson has familiarity with the system and coaching staff. This will certainly be a situation worth monitoring in training camp due to the fact that both players are incredible values at their current ADP.

4. Green Bay Packers – No. 2 WR
Battle Royale Participants: Allen Lazard, Devin Funchess, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Jake Kumerow & Equanimeous St. Brown

This battle is a little bit different than the other ones on this list. Davante Adams has the No. 1 receiver role on this team locked down and he may end up being the No. 1 fantasy WR at the end of the year because of it. However, the No. 2 wideout spot is completely wide open and any one of the players listed above could snatch it up. Lazard has chemistry with Rodgers, but he’s only been given small opportunities here or there. Funchess was signed by the Packers this offseason and may be someone that they view as the favorite to occupy that role. MVS has had plenty of opportunities to take advantage of this role, but he’s never been able to capitalize on it. St. Brown missed all of last season after going on IR, but he’s shown occasional flashes of his talent. One of these players will step into the starting role opposite of Adams, but it’s an absolute mystery right now as to who that will be.

5. Indianapolis Colts – Starting RB
Battle Royale Participants: Jonathan Taylor & Marlon Mack

The Colts have the capability of being one of the most potent offenses in the NFL this season. Last season, the Colts suffered a ton of injuries to the WR corps and the QB play suffered because of it. This year, the Colts will have everyone back healthy at the WR position, they’ve brought in Philip Rivers to be the QB, and they’ve added a couple of extremely talented rookies to the mix. Michael Pittman Jr. should be the immediate WR1 on this team and Taylor is going to be immediately entered into a positional battle with Mack. Taylor’s an incredible RB prospect and he’s now going to be running behind arguably the best offensive line in football. Whoever wins this job is going to be incredibly valuable for fantasy football and this is going to be a battle to watch throughout training camp.

 



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Kyle Yates is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Kyle, check out his archive and follow him @KyleYNFL.

 

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