Photo Essays  

 

Published: Aug. 3, 2015 at 02:20 p.m.
Updated: Aug. 3, 2015 at 03:02 p.m.

Training Camp Fantasy Stock Watch

Now that training camps are in full swing, you know what that means? We have bona fide football to talk about! We’re not completely done with the usual summer smokescreens, but there is actual action on which to base our speculation and projections. Hooray! That also means that players are going to start moving up and down rankings lists at a greater rate. To get things started, here’s a list of 10 players who helped or hurt their fantasy fortunes through the first week of training camp.

10 Photos Total

  • <p>Most observers expected that the Rams wouldn't have the services of the 10th overall pick throughout training camp as he recovered from an ACL injury. So imagine the surprise when the team announced that Gurley would avoid the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list to begin camp. Keep in mind that St. Louis Is likely to bring the rookie along slowly, giving Tre Mason the bulk of the work at the start of the season. But signs currently point to the former Georgia Bulldog being ready sooner rather than later.</p> 10

    NFL.com Illustration

    Todd Gurley, RB, St. Louis Rams

    Most observers expected that the Rams wouldn't have the services of the 10th overall pick throughout training camp as he recovered from an ACL injury. So imagine the surprise when the team announced that Gurley would avoid the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list to begin camp. Keep in mind that St. Louis Is likely to bring the rookie along slowly, giving Tre Mason the bulk of the work at the start of the season. But signs currently point to the former Georgia Bulldog being ready sooner rather than later.

  • <p>Last season, Mason was a breakout star as a rookie. This season, it looks like he's going to cede his spot to the new rookie on the block -- Todd Gurley. The upside for Mason is that he should see the "<a href="http://www.nfl.com/fantasyfootball/story/0ap3000000505396/article/training-camp-roundup-15-vital-fantasy-tidbits" target="_blank">lion's share</a>" of the carries to begin the season. However, as Gurley gets stronger, those opportunities are certain to decline. If you're going to get value from Mason this year, you'll need to do it early in the season.</p> 9

    NFL.com Illustration

    Tre Mason, RB, St. Louis Rams

    Last season, Mason was a breakout star as a rookie. This season, it looks like he's going to cede his spot to the new rookie on the block -- Todd Gurley. The upside for Mason is that he should see the "lion's share" of the carries to begin the season. However, as Gurley gets stronger, those opportunities are certain to decline. If you're going to get value from Mason this year, you'll need to do it early in the season.

  • <p>Stop us if you've heard this one, but Darren McFadden is dealing with an injury. The veteran running back will begin training camp on the PUP list with a hamstring issue -- an inauspicious start for an oft-injured rusher beginning life with a new team. What further complicates the issue for McFadden is that he's expected to be compete for the Cowboys starting running back job alongside Joseph Randle. This is certain to put him at a disadvantage beginning the season.</p> 8

    NFL.com Illustration

    Darren McFadden, RB, Dallas Cowboys

    Stop us if you've heard this one, but Darren McFadden is dealing with an injury. The veteran running back will begin training camp on the PUP list with a hamstring issue -- an inauspicious start for an oft-injured rusher beginning life with a new team. What further complicates the issue for McFadden is that he's expected to be compete for the Cowboys starting running back job alongside Joseph Randle. This is certain to put him at a disadvantage beginning the season.

  • <p>Randle's stock has been on the rise all throughout the summer, but it got a big boost last week when Darren McFadden went on the PUP list. Signs have pointed to the two rushers sharing carries all season long, but having Run DMC on the sideline should give Randle a chance to take the lead in the competition for the starting spot. </p> 7

    NFL.com Illustration

    Joseph Randle, RB, Dallas Cowboys

    Randle's stock has been on the rise all throughout the summer, but it got a big boost last week when Darren McFadden went on the PUP list. Signs have pointed to the two rushers sharing carries all season long, but having Run DMC on the sideline should give Randle a chance to take the lead in the competition for the starting spot.

  • <p>Now that Torrey Smith is catching passes for the 49ers, the Ravens are looking for another receiver to pair alongside veteran Steve Smith. With a number of pass-catchers vying for the gig, Perriman took a notable step forward at the beginning of camp. The speedster from Central Florida is equal parts frustration and fascination as he will mix head-scratching drops along with jaw-dropping catches. The competition to be Baltimore's No. 2 wideout is far from over, but the first-round pick is doing what he can to separate himself from the group.</p> 6

    NFL.com Illustration

    Breshad Perriman, WR, Baltimore Ravens

    Now that Torrey Smith is catching passes for the 49ers, the Ravens are looking for another receiver to pair alongside veteran Steve Smith. With a number of pass-catchers vying for the gig, Perriman took a notable step forward at the beginning of camp. The speedster from Central Florida is equal parts frustration and fascination as he will mix head-scratching drops along with jaw-dropping catches. The competition to be Baltimore's No. 2 wideout is far from over, but the first-round pick is doing what he can to separate himself from the group.

  • <p>After Jimmy Graham was traded away to the Seattle Seahawks, there was a thought that Josh Hill was primed to see a lot more targets in 2015. While it's certainly plausible that the third-year tight end will get more than the 20 targets he had last season, observers are quick to point out that Hill isn't going to pick up where Graham left off. That seems like an obvious statement -- Hill is no Graham. Still, it should clear away some of the smoke that Saints head coach Sean Payton has been blowing about the young tight end's potential. Hill is worth investing in ... but only later in drafts.</p> 5

    NFL.com Illustration

    Josh Hill, TE, New Orleans Saints

    After Jimmy Graham was traded away to the Seattle Seahawks, there was a thought that Josh Hill was primed to see a lot more targets in 2015. While it's certainly plausible that the third-year tight end will get more than the 20 targets he had last season, observers are quick to point out that Hill isn't going to pick up where Graham left off. That seems like an obvious statement -- Hill is no Graham. Still, it should clear away some of the smoke that Saints head coach Sean Payton has been blowing about the young tight end's potential. Hill is worth investing in ... but only later in drafts.

  • <p>The Browns have a trio of young running backs -- Isaiah Crowell, Terrance West and rookie Duke Johnson -- who are all capable of being productive on the field and in fantasy. The good news is that it looks like each of these rushers is going to get plenty of carries. So far in camp, head coach Mike Pettine has used all three of the backs liberally, while giving both Crowell and West starting reps. That's the good news. The bad news?</p> 4

    NFL.com Illustration

    Cleveland Browns RBs

    The Browns have a trio of young running backs -- Isaiah Crowell, Terrance West and rookie Duke Johnson -- who are all capable of being productive on the field and in fantasy. The good news is that it looks like each of these rushers is going to get plenty of carries. So far in camp, head coach Mike Pettine has used all three of the backs liberally, while giving both Crowell and West starting reps. That's the good news. The bad news?

  • <p>Well, the bad news is that Mike Pettine is giving all three backs significant work in training camp and appears to be on track to have a pretty serious rotation. Trying to figure out this group last season was enough of a headache. Now with the rookie Johnson in the mix, it could get even more difficult to decipher how the carries will be split. There is value to be found in this backfield, but you'd be wise not to reach too early to find it.</p> 3

    NFL.com Illustration

    Cleveland Browns RBs

    Well, the bad news is that Mike Pettine is giving all three backs significant work in training camp and appears to be on track to have a pretty serious rotation. Trying to figure out this group last season was enough of a headache. Now with the rookie Johnson in the mix, it could get even more difficult to decipher how the carries will be split. There is value to be found in this backfield, but you'd be wise not to reach too early to find it.

  • <p>Before you start firing off angry tweets, let me start by saying that Forte is still a top-five fantasy running back and he should see plenty of work this season. But after he set an NFL record among running backs with 102 receptions in Marc Trestman's offense last season, there will be a requisite drop-off in a new scheme in 2015. Even Forte himself says he doesn't <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000505331/article/matt-forte-catching-100-balls-is-not-my-goal" target="_blank">expect to catch 100 passes again</a>. The Bears will try to run a more balanced offense under new coordinator Adam Gase, which could slightly decrease Forte's opportunities.</p> 2

    NFL.com Illustration

    Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears

    Before you start firing off angry tweets, let me start by saying that Forte is still a top-five fantasy running back and he should see plenty of work this season. But after he set an NFL record among running backs with 102 receptions in Marc Trestman's offense last season, there will be a requisite drop-off in a new scheme in 2015. Even Forte himself says he doesn't expect to catch 100 passes again. The Bears will try to run a more balanced offense under new coordinator Adam Gase, which could slightly decrease Forte's opportunities.

  • <p>Hey, did you know that the Chiefs didn't have a touchdown reception by a wide receiver last season? Now that we've gotten that out of the way, it's crazy to think that it'll happen again this season. Everyone is pointing to the addition of Jeremy Maclin through free agency, but it could be the emergence of the little-known Albert Wilson that provides fantasy enthusiasts with late-round draft value. The second-year receiver opened training camp among the starters and could be a <a href="http://www.nfl.com/fantasyfootball/story/0ap3000000505076/article/sophomore-wr-encore-four-deep-sleepers-to-watch" target="_blank">deep sleeper</a> in plenty of leagues.</p> 1

    NFL.com Illustration

    Albert Wilson, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

    Hey, did you know that the Chiefs didn't have a touchdown reception by a wide receiver last season? Now that we've gotten that out of the way, it's crazy to think that it'll happen again this season. Everyone is pointing to the addition of Jeremy Maclin through free agency, but it could be the emergence of the little-known Albert Wilson that provides fantasy enthusiasts with late-round draft value. The second-year receiver opened training camp among the starters and could be a deep sleeper in plenty of leagues.