Let’s face it, fantasy football analysts pretend to be able to predict the future, so why not remove all pretense and peer into the crystal ball to training camp developments that will affect the fantasy football hive mind’s valuation of players and situations. Don’t blindly expect these to come true, but instead do a similar exercise of your own to help get the drop ahead of ADP shifts in early drafts and pre-camp trades.
Click here for 16 NFC Training Camp Headlines that Will Sway August ADP
Sanders was showing no sign of erosion of skills and while Davis is on the rise, a healthy Sanders has more to offer. Davis will still be on the field a lot and make an impact on extended plays and as a downfield target, but Sanders will be on the field more often than him in practices.
ADP Adjustment: Sanders/Davis ADPs should closer, if not flipped
No clear #1 target in Dolphins offense
Will Fuller V, Jaylen Waddle, DeVante Parker, and Mike Gesicki are all going in the top 120 of drafts. Unless one becomes Tagovailoa’s favorite (last year, he had the best chemistry with Preston Williams, albeit in a short stint), this passing game could be a nightmare to project week-to-week and training camp might not provide any clarity.
ADP Adjustment: The top four Dolphins WR/TE will slide slightly
Cam Newton, new targets struggling to create chemistry
Josh McDaniels offense is one of the more complicated in the league, so having four new targets ramping up isn’t going to look great at first.
ADP Adjustment: There isn’t that much optimism around the Patriots pass offense, and what little there is will lose steam in August
New York Jets
Elijah Moore making a case to start
Elijah Moore has been called the best player on the field at times during OTAs, and he should continue to stand out in a pass offense that is being rebuilt from the ground up.
Deshaun Watson settles civil cases, league hands down eight-game suspension; Watson will report to Texans camp
Good luck predicting how this situation will resolve itself. This is just a guess. There hasn’t been any movement lately, but perhaps as Watson sees his teammates and friends reporting to camp, if the possibility of an indefinite stay on the commissioner’s exempt list looms, he and his counsel will decide to take the shortest path to get him back on the field.
ADP Adjustment: The price of Texans players in drafts appears to assume that Watson won’t play a game for the team this year, but his options are dwindling (especially if Aaron Rodgers could also be available via trade). There is a non-zero chance he plays a significant number of games for the team, which would boost him and Brandin Cooks from the ADP doldrums.
T.Y. Hilton still the Colts No. 1
The Colts brought back Hilton at a core starter salary (eight million), but he isn’t being drafted as the Colts' No. 1 receiver. Training camp practices should confirm that he is still seen as the most important piece of the 2021 Colts passing game.
Travis Etienne’s role in offense uncertain
Urban Meyer had ideas about making Etienne his "H-back" (the Percy Harvin/Curtis Samuel role), but he’ll also probably force him into the backfield ahead of James Robinson. There will be tinkering with personnel sets, but Robinson, D.J. Chark Jr, and Marvin Jones Jr all have clear strengths and roles.
ADP Adjustment: Shrug. Etienne may still have enough believers to keep his ADP at current levels and Meyer may rig the game to make them winners, but don’t expect Jaguars camp to make things clearer.
What competent quarterback would have trouble getting on the same page as Julio Jones? Tannehill shouldn’t. Jones' presence will electrify Titans camp and highlight the three-way bully bind the offense can put opposing defenses in all season.
ADP Adjustment: Any pessimism rooted in Jones being a wide receiver changing teams or going to a lower volume pass offense that might be dragging down his ADP should disappear once camp opens. In general, folks are going to get more eager to draft Titans once the full impact of Jones joining this offense sinks in.
Lamar Jackson confident, comfortable throwing to new targets
The Ravens added Sammy Watkins and spent their first- and fourth-round picks on wide receivers. The offense should look better with Ronnie Stanley and Nick Boyle returning from season-ending injuries. Expect sunny reports about Greg Roman’s pass offense spreading its wings and a different tune from Jackson who was lamenting the offense’s predictability during his rough stretch last year.
ADP Adjustment: Jackson is QB4, but he should start to close the gap on Kyler Murray, the most frequent QB3 in drafts.
What do you expect when a quarterback lobbies for his NFL team to draft his most productive receiver in college? This offense will be overflowing with wide receiver targets, and more signs will be pointing to Chase getting the biggest piece of the pie once Burrow is full go and the offense takes shape in practices.
ADP Adjustment: Chase should pull away from Tee Higgins as the first Bengals receiver off of the board.
Odell Beckham Jr at full speed, completely cleared for football activities
Jarvis Landry has already raved about his teammate, and while we shouldn’t take his word for it, there certainly haven’t been any negative signs about Beckham’s recovery from ACL surgery. The Browns' offense came together after Beckham went out last year, so we haven’t seen yet what he can do - albeit with a lower volume of targets in a run-first offense - with defenses focused on slowing down the Browns' rushing attack.
ADP Adjustment: Don’t expect Beckham to be going off of the board as a WR3 by the time draft season peaks.
Diontae Johnson emerging as Roethlisberger’s #1 target
We will remember Johnson’s 2020 more for his multiple injury scares than for him being at the other end of an inordinate number of Ben Roethlisberger targets. Johnson led the team with 144 targets to Juju Smith-Schuster’s 128 and Chase Claypool’s 109 even though Smith-Schuster played 190 more snaps and Claypool only 41 fewer. Johnson can win inside and outside, against man and zone coverage, and Roethlisberger should zero in on him again in camp to illustrate exactly what the pecking order is for targets in this offense.
ADP Adjustment: Johnson should increase the ADP gap between him and his Steeler wide receiver teammates.
The Aaron Rodgers stalemate is showing no signs of movement, and even if Rodgers continues his holdout, the Packers are likely more inclined to call his bluff and let him sit to open the season than they are to give in and trade him. So, the Broncos quarterback competition should dominate camp headlines. Bridgewater is more likely to be the extension of offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur out there on the field, and he should be able to create some separation from incumbent Drew Lock in camp.
ADP Adjustment: In addition to Bridgewater going up and Lock going down, Bridgewater being the starter would be good for Jerry Jeudy’s precise route running.
Jerick McKinnon winning a role in Chiefs backfield
How quickly we forget that Jerick McKinnon was showing his old burst and impact in the passing game before the 49ers prematurely wore him out. McKinnon signing in Kansas City was met with little fanfare, but it’s possible that he fits better in the passing game than Clyde Edwards-Helaire and ends up playing a bigger role than Le'Veon Bell did last year.
ADP Adjustment: Edwards-Helaire will come down and McKinnon will become a more prominent deep sleeper
Darren Waller dominates yet another practice
The Raiders' best wide receiver from 2020 - Nelson Agholor - left for New England in free agency. The team did bring in excellent, but oft-injured John Brown, but will otherwise be depending on 2020 rookie Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards - who underwhelmed - and a pair of slot receivers. Waller was unstoppable late last year, with 55 targets in the last five games, and he should be poised to pick up where he left off and become even more entrenched as the centerpiece of the Raiders passing game.
ADP Adjustment: Waller should pull away from George Kittle as the TE2 on fantasy draft boards.
Los Angeles Chargers
Mike Williams role growing in Lombardi offense
New offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi already said he would “bet on nice numbers coming from Mike Williams on the stat sheet” and went on to say that Williams' spot as the X receiver means that the ball will find him more often. Michael Thomas was the X receiver in the New Orleans offense that Lombardi was quarterback coach of for the last five seasons. All that is being predicted here is that Lombardi is a man of his word.
ADP Adjustment: Williams ADP will gain momentum once camp reports confirm his enlarged role.