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Word around camp: Charles Sims makes his case


With NFL training camps and the preseason underway, many interesting nuggets are surfacing regarding a number of fantasy football players. From first-round picks to deep sleepers, "Word around camp" will track the best quotes from players and coaches each day. We'll do our best to sift through the smoke and see what insight can be lifted as you prepare for your fantasy draft.

On Charles Sims

» Lovie Smith: "(He showed) flashes too. When you have a limited amount of reps, that's about all you will see is flashes. But that's what we've seen from Charles on the football field too. It's what we saw at West Virginia -- that type of play. In the open field, he can make you miss, he can catch the ball out of the backfield. So it's a good start for him to just get some NFL action. But he should only get better. And he has a lot of potential to do some things in this league."

Our analysis: Sims figures to be a potentially prominent player in a crowded and complicated Buccaneers backfield. Just how much action he'll see in the regular season remains to be seen, but early signs from the preseason are indicating Sims' fantasy stock could be on the rise. Granted, that's not hard to imagine considering he currently is going undrafted in mock drafts. Don't pencil in Sims as a sleeper just yet, but keep an eye on him during the remainder of the preseason. Sims is an excellent dynasty target, and could be worth a flier in redraft leagues once the dust settles on the Bucs' backfield battle.

On Johnny Manziel:

» Johnny Manziel: "Same thing as my initial thoughts after the game. Saw some good things, saw some things I can improve on. But I felt like for the most part, I went to the right spot with the ball, tried to get to some checkdowns and trying to work in my progressions I'm still getting better at. So, I thought it was a good starting point and took a lot away from the first game."
» Mike Pettine: "He is running all facets of the offense, and so far the view that we have gotten from him in the pocket, I think the reviews have been positive. He has a good sense of the pocket, he feels the rush without looking at it and I think a lot of quarterbacks have an issue with that. They are more looking at the rush than feeling it. So I think he is definitely a work in progress with that, but he has shown solid improvement."

Our analysis: According to NFL Media's Dan Hellie, he's been informed by a Browns source that Manziel will start the team's second preseason game. The coach and quarterback didn't confirm this report, but after Manziel showed flashes last Saturday, there's a chance the coaching staff wants to see more against Washington. Manziel showed pretty good pocket awareness and his trademark escapability against Detroit. However, as the young signal-caller notes he does need to work on his progressions and reading the defense, but that will come with time. Johnny Football is an interesting QB2 option if he earns the starting gig, as his ability to run adds massive potential for increased fantasy points. But as usual, this positional battle is far from over. Stay tuned.

On Andre Brown

» Bill O'Brien: "You know, we only ran 48 plays in the game and that's not an excuse, that's a terrible offensive performance. But we only ran 48 plays so we had it mapped out where Jonathan Grimes was going to start the game and we were going to go to (Alfred) Blue and Dennis Johnson, and that's kind of where it was and Andre didn't end up getting into the game."

Our analysis: Even though the Texans signed Brown this offseason as the presumed backup to Arian Foster, that is no longer the case. Brown didn't see the field in the Texans' preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals and was released by the team (along with Johnson) Monday evening. Those who were sizing up Brown as a great handcuff to Foster will have to rework their draft boards in light of this news. Jonathan Grimes or Alfred Blue should be in line for that role. The battle for Foster's handcuff might not be over, but Brown's fantasy relevance in 2014 certainly is.

-- Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexGelhar