April 23, 2019

Pyro® Twitterfeed

Cameron Meredith is in a big roster battle for fantasy supremacy

2017 Fantasy Football Training Camp Battles

Posted by Stagg Party on 07/25/17

by   The Archer


More Articals



Training camp is just around the corner for every team in the NFL and that means one thing, we are very close to some games. Man have I missed football, so much so that I will even watch some preseason games. This is a check in on some important fantasy questions and position battles that could be answered during training camps and preseason games. Let’s go team by team and see what jumps off the page.


Arizona Cardinals


WR2: John Brown vs. J.J. Nelson vs. (Darkhorse) Chad Williams


The battle for the second wide receiver is a big one for the Cards, with John Brown the most proven of the group but also the one with the most questions. When healthy we have seen that he can be a true number two on a team. J.J. Nelson will always be limited because of his size, as he is arguably still the lightest player in the NFL. Chad Williams is a darkhorse as a slightly bigger burner, but one that will likely take some time to catch on as he makes the jump from Grambling State.


Favorite: John Brown


Atlanta Falcons


WR2: Mohamed Sanu vs. Taylor Gabriel


Mohamed Sanu is the slow and steady chain mover who can get it done on third down and provide a safety blanket for Matt Ryan with his sure hands. Taylor Gabriel is the opposite, nicknamed Turbo he can take it to the house from nearly anywhere on the field. If new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian can find a way to use Gabriel and find a way to get him some extra targets, he could be an underrated fantasy asset entering the season.


Favorite: Split work


Baltimore Ravens


TE1: Benjamin Watson vs. Crockett Gillmore vs. Maxx Williams


Just like last year the Ravens have question marks in terms of pecking order at seemingly every position, but their tight ends might be the most interesting, as I believe running backs and wide receivers have clearly defined roles, at least until Kenneth Dixon returns from his four-game suspension. The Ravens threw 158 passes to their tight ends last season, and after Dennis Pitta’s seemingly last injury there is a big void there for one of the tight ends to step into. Ben Watson came over last season and before injury his Achilles was expected for a big role. He finished as the seventh tight end in 2015, Gillmore finished as the 24th TE in 2015 after playing in just ten games catching 33 passes for 412 yards and 4 scores. Maxx Williams is the biggest projection as he has proven less than nothing at the NFL level after being the highest drafted TE in his class.


Favorite: Benjamin Watson


Buffalo Bills


WR2: Zay Jones vs. Andre Holmes


The Buffalo Bills seem like they are pretty solidified at all positions except for the wide receiver behind Sammy Watkins. Zay Jones was drafted in the second round to hopefully fill that void, especially after Robert Woods departed for Los Angeles. Zay Jones has seen a ton of target in his college career and could be used right off the bat but will need to officially beat out Andre Holmes who has a crazy athletic profile and has shown glimpses at the NFL level. Holmes did have 99 targets back in 2014, if he has grown from his time behind Crabtree and Cooper, he could be an under the radar contributor this season. This could all be thrown out if Anquan Boldin were added however.


Favorite: Zay Jones


Carolina Panthers


RB1: Jonathan Stewart vs. Christian McCaffrey


While this may not seem like a battle, it is Jonathan Stewart battling to maintain 200 or so carries on the season and C-Mac trying to take more of the rushing workload then expected. Stewart is a solid runner who can also score touchdowns when called upon, J-Stew should continue to be the early down runner.


Favorite: Jonathan Stewart for lead in carries, and rushing touchdowns.


Chicago Bears


WR1: Kevin White vs. Cameron Meredith


With Alshon Jeffery flying his way to Philadelphia Kevin White will have a chance to  fulfill his draft stock but will have to potentially unseat Cam Meredith who has put together a better season than White at the NFL level. Meredith will have a shot, but with so much invested in Kevin White, the targets could flow his way, if healthy.


Favorite: Cameron Meredith


Cincinnati Bengals


RB1: Joe Mixon vs. Jeremy Hill vs. Giovani Bernard


The Bengals added Joe Mixon to what was already a fairly crowded backfield in the past few seasons. Mixon is a spread runner who can catch it from the backfield, mixing the skillsets of each incumbent. With Gio on the mend, and Hill having underperformed over the last two seasons, Mixon could see a lot of carries right off the bat.


Favorite: Joe Mixon, but a strong potential for split work.


Cleveland Browns


QB1: DeShone Kizer vs. Cody Kessler


The Cleveland Browns biggest competition is by far their quarterback slot, Kizer was considered a top prospect entering draft season but ended up falling to a price where Cleveland felt he was worth the gamble. Kessler was hand picked last season by Hue Jackson and quietly put up good numbers, but did have to battle through injuries leaving questions as to his long term viability as a starter.


Favorite: Cody Kessler


Dallas Cowboys


RB2: Alfred Morris vs. Darren McFadden


While this might not seem like the sexiest of battles, it could have a big fantasy impact early in the season as we await news of a potential Zeke suspension. Morris was the early season back up, but had trouble even finding the active roster once D-Mac returned from his injury. McFadden has shown fantasy viability behind the Cowboys offensive line and possesses a wider range of skills than the pure runner of Morris.


Favorite: Darren McFadden


Denver Broncos


QB1:Trevor Siemian vs. Paxton Lynch


The Broncos have an offensive system with pretty clearly defined roles, but who will be getting them the ball is still in question. Siemian the incumbent, put up respectable numbers, but is really a backup QB masquerading as a starter. Paxton Lynch looked lost given his opportunities last season, but with the draft capital invested in him, he should see the field at some point this season.


Favorite: Trevor Siemian


Detroit Lions


RB1: Ameer Abdullah vs. Theo Riddick vs. Zach Zenner


Amerr Abdullah got off to a fast start last season before going down with an injury and leaving more rushing work for Theo Riddick who got off to a great start before going down with an injury of his own then Zach Zenner even got a few good games in at the end of the season. This could be a backfield with split roles, which makes it tough to take any of these guys early.


Favorite: Ameer Abdullah


Green Bay Packers


RB1: Ty Montgomery vs. Aaron Jones vs. Jamaal Williams


Ty Montgomery is coming off an offseason transition to the running back position full-time, and worked out like a running back for the first time in his career. After being one of the best yards after contact runners in the league last season, Montgomery has put in the work. Everyone is worried about Ty because the team spent last round picks on Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones who each have impressive collegiate resumes.


Favorite: Ty Montgomery


Houston Texans


QB1: Deshaun Watson vs. Tom Savage


The Texans need to sort out their quarterback position after the disaster of the Osweiler contract. Savage has yet to establish himself at the NFL level and not throwing a touchdown to date. Watson comes with a huge collegiate profile having shined on he biggest of stages over the last two years. Savage may be the guy to start the season, but Watson will get more than his share of opportunities.


Favorite: Deshaun Watson


Indianapolis Colts


RB2: Robert Turbin vs. Marlon Mack


While Frank Gore is the incumbent, we know he has his warts and got some valuable opportunities taken from him in the form of redzone carries and reception by Robert Turbin he still feels locked in as the team’s top running back. Marlon Mack is the heralded rookie who brings some much needed to the backfield and Turbin is a proven commodity that can do a lot of things okay.


Favorite: Robert Turbin


Jacksonville Jaguars


WR2: Allen Hurns vs. Marqise Lee


This is one of those position battles where it looks like it might not matter as each will have a role, but we also have to remember that this is an offense that is slated wto change after the drafting of Leonard Fournette. Fournette’s power style will probably play better in two back and two tight end sets, relegating one of these two guys to the bench. Lee offers the viability of having a better season last year. But Hurns’ career numbers are much stronger. With Allen’s vertically and length, he is the more likely touchdown threat so I’d lean his way.


Favorite: Allen Hurns


Kansas City Chiefs


RB1: Spencer Ware vs. Kareem Hunt


Spencer Ware put together a nice start to the season then tailed off as the year went on. Kareem Hunt is the new hotness, being added in the third round of the NFL draft. Ware has an all around ability, adding receiving ability to his rushing productivity last season. Kareem Hunt brings an all around game as well, including an ability to carry the load at the collegiate level.


Favorite: Spencer Ware


Los Angeles Chargers


TE1: Antonio Gates vs. Hunter Henry


Antonio Gates is currently tied for the most career touchdown receptions by a tight end with Tony Gonzalez, and unless something goes horribly wrong, will break that record this season. After that, Gates’ role is a bit of a question mark for the first time in his career. Will he play more than third downs or in the redzone? Henry is coming off a big rookie season as far as tight ends are concerned and could be in line for a boost in targets. The real question is if one can take over more of the role than expected.


Favorite: Hunter Henry


Los Angeles Rams


WR2: Tavon Austin vs. Cooper Kupp


Tavon Austin is the incumbent with a big contract and a creative offensive mind who may be better suited to use his skillset than anyone in his career. Then comes the Kuppening who had big numbers at a lower level of competition and was somehow selected over Chris Godwin.


Favorite: Tavon Austin


Miami Dolphins


WR2: DeVante Parker vs. Kenny Stills


While this may not be a traditional battle in the sense that each player is likely to be used, it is a battle for which receiver will slot into the WR2 role in two wide sets and who will see the most targets than the hog that is Jarvis Landry. Kenny Stills brings an elite skill as a lid lifter, while Parker has shown glimpses of a diverse skillset. Parker has been all the rage this offseason, but without more targets it is hard to see the true breakout many are projecting.


Favorite DeVante Parker


Minnesota Vikings


RB1: Dalvin Cook vs. Latavius Murray vs. Jerick McKinnon


Dalvin Cook was one of the most dominant running backs over the last two seasons at Florida State, Latavius Murray has had a 1,000 yard season or scored double digit touchdowns in the last two seasons, and Jerick McKinnon is a freak athlete with room for growth. Each of these guys has strengths and weaknesses, and knowing today how the coaches will divide up the work could be the differences in fantasy leagues this season.


Favorite: Split Work.


New England Patriots


RB1: Mike Gillislee vs. Rex Burkhead vs. Dion Lewis vs. James White


The New England Patriots have long since had a minefield going on in their backfield, except last year where players seemingly had clearly defined roles as Lewis spent most of the season out of the lineup. This offseason, the Patriots added even more ambiguity to the backfield with the additions of Gillislee and Burkhead over just re-signing Blount. Gillislee has the most capital invested in him, and has been super productive in limited touches, while James White should still see the majority of the receiving work.


Favorite: Mike Gillislee


New Orleans Saints


RB1: Mark Ingram vs. Adrian Peterson vs. Alvin Kamara


The Saints running back position is tantalizing for fantasy as over the last five years the team has averaged 510 fantasy points per season in PPR leagues. Mark Ingram is always discussed as being hated by Sean Payton, and they brought in Adrian Peterson in free agency and Alvin Kamara in the draft. Ingram has had competition over the last few years and still came out on top, even with guys in designed secondary roles.


Favorite: Mark Ingram


New York Giants


RB1: Paul Perkins vs. Shane Vereen vs. Wayne Gallman


The Giants running back position is another spot where we could see each guy play a role, sapping a lot of the value out of any one player. If Vereen is the third down back and Gallman gets used in short yardage and goalline situations because he is the biggest, it could make for tough sledding for Paul Perkins to return value.


Favorite: Paul Perkins


New York Jets


WR2: Robby Anderson vs. ArDarius Stewart


While everyone is immediately slotting Quincy Enunwa into the #1 target role, I think it could be a little harder than that. But the real battle will be for depth at the wide receiver position, especially for a team that will need to throw to stay in some ball games next season. Anderson is an athlete who showed some chops at the end of last season while Stewart brings some savvy after being the number two passing option in a run first offense at Alabama, but making a ton of impact plays.


Favorite: Robby Anderson


Oakland Raiders


RB2: DeAndre Washington vs. Jalen Richard


DeAndre and Jalen both put up very similar seasons in their rookie seasons and possess similar athletic profiles making this too difficult to call. Richard looked like the more dynamic pass catcher while Washington looked like the better in between the tackle runner. While they will probably both get work, Richard’s change of pace ability makes him look like the one to own if Marshawn Lynch can stay healthy, if not this has split work written all over it.


Favorite: Split Work.


Philadelphia Eagles


RB1: LeGarette Blount vs. Darren Sproles vs. Wendell Smallwood vs. Ryan Mathews?


While this may seem like a cut and dry backfield with Blount as the thunder and Sproles as lightning there are some concerns. Like why hasn’t Ryan Mathews been released yet? Is Wendell Smallwood just going to ride the bench all season? Can Blount be half of what he was for the Patriots last season? Can Sproles continue to defy the odds and beat father time? Lots of questions exist here and the answers seem too easy


Favorite: LeGarrette Blount and Darren Sproles


Pittsburgh Steelers


RB2: James Connor vs. Fitzgerald Toussaint


While many are writing in James Connor as the backup because of the surprising draft capital spent on him, Toussaint is the incumbent with DeAngelo Williams still unsigned. Williams could also be added back to the mix making this all a moot point. Connor has the story and the capital, but would a team with Superbowl aspirations hand the keys over to a rookie if the worst were to happen to Bell?


San Francisco 49ers


TE1: Vance McDonald vs. George Kittle


Vance McDonald is a highly paid tight end from a previous regime who has shown flashes of being a dynamic receiver, especially with the ball in his hands. George Kittle has gotten the most hype from minicamp after posting some crazy athletic combine numbers, under the radar of all the first round tight ends. Kittle is said to be closer to ready than the general public knows, making for an interesting watch this training camp.


Favorite: Vance McDonald


Seattle Seahawks


WR2: Tyler Lockett vs. Paul Richardson vs. Jermaine Kearse


This is a situation where each player has been on the squad for at least the last two seasons and has shown signs of success at the NFL level. Lockett has shown an ability to get open vertically and make things happen with the ball in his hands, Richardson showed a knack for the spectacular at the end of last year, and Kearse is seemingly always there when the team needs a big catch.


Favorite: Tyler Lockett


Tampa Bay Buccaneers


TE1: O.J. Howard vs. Cameron Brate


Brate is currently falling in fantasy drafts as everyone is expecting a big time season from O.J. Howard after the team spent a first rounder to bring the rookie it. Brate is coming off a season in which he led all tight ends in touchdowns while Howard caught just 7 touchdowns in his college career despite being one of the biggest matchup nightmares in all of college football. We know it takes some time for rookie tight ends to adapt to the NFL level; this one should be no different.


Favorite: Cameron Brate


Tennessee Titans


WR1: Eric Decker vs. Corey Davis vs. Rishard Matthews


The Tennessee Titans have one of the more interesting battles for who will be their defacto number one receiver going into the season in camp. Will it be the top-five rookie who put up a heap of college receiving stats in the MAC? Or will it be the grizzled vet coming off of injury that has been dominant in the redzone when given adequate quarterback play? Or will it be the incumbent Rishard Matthews who was a top-24 wide receiver in his first year in Tennessee? Each of these guys has big positives, but also major questions as they all try for targets.


Favorite: Eric Decker


Washington Redskins


RB1: Robert Kelley vs. Samaje Perine


Robert Kelly is a guy who you know what you will get from, whether he is called upon for 2 carries or 20. Kelley will carry the rock with three yards and a cloud of dust and maybe score some touchdowns. Perine is a bowling ball that brings something a little more dynamic to the table. Perine can carry a load all while bringing a little more oomph to the game, giving him more of a potential ceiling.


Favorite: Samaje Perine 




By Stagg Party




Become a Pyro Pro+



Subscribe to the Pyro Podcast:

Like us on Facebook: 

Follow us on Twitter:

Become a Pyro Pro: