Sometimes trains get derailed. It happens. And that's where we're at with Dorial Green-Beckham and his preseason hype train.
A lot of you don't want to believe it and I get that.
"Look at his size and speed!"
"He's the best receiver the Titans have!"
"Marcus Mariota and DGB, baby!"
I may or may not be quoting myself.
But after a week's worth of practices, let's re-evaluate/re-adjust/re-rank the upside of DGB.
He leads (kinda) our fantasy-relevant news and notes:
» News: Tajae Sharpe is "killing it" at Titans' camp according to Marcus Mariota via Jason Wolf and the Tennesean.
Delanie Walker had a ridiculous 133 targets last year, the team brought in Rishard Matthews this offseason and by all accounts, it appears that both Wright and Sharpe will get work too. That doesn't leave much of a consistent workload for Green-Beckham.
Things can change obviously (ie: injuries, DGB goes nuts in the preseason) but as it stands the ceiling for the DGB looks pretty low. He goes from solid sleeper candidate to deep sleeper/dropping-by-week-2-because-of-too-many-zero-spots guy.
» News: Patriots running back Dion Lewis may (but probably not) start the season on the PUP list meaning he would be required to sit out at least the first six weeks for New England.
Ben Volin from the Boston Globe speculated that it's at least possible that Lewis would start the season the PUP but then Jeff Howe from the Boston Herald came right back and said that Lewis is ready to practice. Howe went on to say no official decision has been made and that Lewis ending up on the regular-season PUP is "unlikely."
Fantasy spin: There was definitely a good solid hour or two of hand-wringing from Patriot fans and fantasy fans alike but other than Volin's speculation, there hasn't been much out there regarding the famed Slayer of Beli-tricks being moved to the regular-season PUP. That being said, if Lewis starts missing preseason games, the panic level will rise, and quickly.
» News: Matt Forte is likely to miss the team's first preseason game next Thursday, as reported by Jets reporter Kimberly Martin quoting head coach Todd Bowles. Citing a hamstring injury, Martin reports that the team will take it slow with the 30-year-old running back.
Fantasy spin: Forte doesn't necessarily need the preseason reps, obviously, but it does raise some red flags for the Forte doubters concerned about his age and career workload. If anything, the missed practice and game-time does set him back in terms of learning a new offense but there's no need to freak out... at least not yet.
* » News: Rashad Jennings is the clear No. 1 running back in New York according to Giants reporter Ralph Vacchiano. Citing running back coach Craig Johnson, the team is not looking to use a four-back committee.*
Fantasy spin: Via the team's website coach Johnson made it pretty clear last year's three-back split didn't work and hinted strongly that the team is looking at a two-back approach with Jennings getting early-down work and Shane Vereen doing his thing in passing-down situations.
Jennings went off down the stretch, averaging more than 130 scrimmage yards per game over his final four to go along with two touchdowns. His current 13th-round ADP has a lot to do with his age (31) and his extensive injury history. Still, given the news, Jennings becomes a much more interesting sleeper candidate and could well outperform his ADP if he stays healthy, given the explosive look of the Giants offense.
* » News: Isaiah Crowell is shaping up to be the "workhorse" back in Cleveland, according to Mary Kay Cabot and others covering the team.*
Fantasy spin: In 2015, when the Crow was bad, he was REALLY bad, low-lighted by a seven-carry, 7-yard performance versus the Ravens in week 12. That being said, he also had five games of 12 points or more in standard scoring leagues. That's not bad. Crowell is built like a prototypical NFL back; 5-foot-11 and 225 pounds with excellent athletic traits (4.57 40-yard dash, 38-inch vertical).
If it's true Hue Jackson and company will give him early-down work, his current ADP between the 11th and 14th round is insanely low. He's worth the risk, regardless, in Rounds 10 or later and has a chance to vastly outperform his draft position.
But it's also an indication that in standard leagues, Duke Johnson will have a hard time living up to a Round 7 draft price. Negative game scripts will lend itself to more passing work but relying on that is tough at that cost. If his services can be had later, say Round 9 and beyond, it makes more sense but right now, his draft peer group of Gio Bernard, Justin Forsett and Danny Woodhead seem more reliable and more appealing at that similar price.
* » News: Terrance West has had an "impressive" camp according to Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley who went even further and said West is at least "in the conversation" to start for his hometown Baltimore team. *
Moving on to more fantasy-relevant players, camp reports indicate Justin Forsett and Buck Allen are both running with the first team, so as of right this second, Kenneth Dixon and West are battling for third-string duties. Speaking of Dixon, he injured his MCL last week but is back practicing but a lot of his preseason luster is coming off given that a committee approach is seemingly on the horizon in Baltimore.
* » News: Virgil Green is the "red hot" star of Broncos practice according to Denver Post reporter Cameron Wolfe.*
Fantasy spin: Green reportedly caught touchdown passes from all three Bronco quarterbacks (Mark Sanchez, Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch). The tight end position is deep this year so Green is still a waiver-wire guy except in the deepest of leagues, but keep an eye on him. The Nevada product is a legitimate athlete. He's a bit undersized for the position at 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds but he more than makes up for it with his 4.64 40-yard dash speed and an outrageous 42.5 inch vertical.
Other notes: There's apparently only one working hamstring in the NFL. Ezekiel Elliott is day-to-day with a hamstring injury. DaVante Parker tweaked his hamstring as well, it's not considered serious. Jordan Matthews is day-to-day with a knee injury, but Doug Pederson said it's nothing serious.
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