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 AFC Training Camp Headlines that Will Sway August ADP
Blake Jarwin back at full speed
This offense is stacked at wide receiver, so you wouldn’t expect it to support a threat at tight end, but if Jarwin gets anywhere the target load Dalton Schultz got in his absence last year, he’ll be a fantasy TE1 with room to spare. He has already established a big play profile and he’ll have among the most attractive matchups in the pass offense.
ADP Adjustment: Jarwin will climb into the TE10-12 range once everyone understands how valuable his intersection of opportunity and ability is in fantasy leagues.
New York Giants
Kadarius Toney misses practice again
The spring was an adventure with Toney actually starting and finishing a practice seeming like a positive after he sat out of voluntary OTAs, a very unusual move for a rookie, and ended up running with the second team when he wasn’t having equipment problems in mandatory practices. It will be more surprising if he has an uneventful summer and eases into a manufactured touch role as he learns the position than if he continues to have a choppy transition to the NFL.
ADP Adjustment: Toney will fall off of the map in redraft leagues and Sterling Shepard will start to creep up the board in PPR leagues.
Zach Ertz reports to camp, no team willing to pay Eagles asking price
Maybe the Eagles are waiting for a tight-end injury to force a team’s hand, but the fact that Zach Ertz hasn’t been dealt yet is a sign that the asking price is probably well above what any team is willing to pay. Will the Eagles just release him? It seems like that would have happened already if the team was open to the possibility. This is still a tough situation to predict, but one that will resolve itself one way or the other.
ADP Adjustment: Both Ertz and Dallas Goedert will fall in value as ADP assumes that Ertz will be on a new team this season. Mo Alie-Cox and Dawson Knox might get small bumps as they are the two most likely starters to see their spot usurped by Ertz via trade.
Taylor Heinicke outperforming Fitzpatrick in practices
Ryan Fitzpatrick is a proven fantasy commodity and going way too late in drafts, but that doesn’t mean he is a lock to start all 17 games this year. Fitzpatrick is not a good practice player and he’s prone to poor stretches of play because he lives at the edge of his abilities. Heinicke has already impressed in spring practices and Ron Rivera could be the latest to give Fitzpatrick the hook after a turnover-fest or two.
ADP Adjustment: Fitzpatrick’s ADP may remain at bargain levels and Heinecke will become a fashionable late-round pick in superflex leagues.
Andy Dalton getting all of the snaps with the ones
Between Chicago and San Francisco, there are only signs of a truly open quarterback competition in San Francisco. Perhaps the Bears insistence that Dalton is the No. 1 is just to mollify him after the team moved up in the first round to take a quarterback and they will be open to giving Justin Fields a shot to win the job if he is prepared and executing the offense well in camp, but don’t hold your breath.
ADP Adjustment: The more likely it looks that Dalton starts Week 1, the more Fields ADP will drop and Darnell Mooney’s with it, but Dalton starting will also be good for Allen Robinson (look at what Dalton did with A.J. Green), so a rational market could get more bullish on Robinson if Dalton has the job locked down. It’s still wise to expect Fields to be named the starter by the Week 10 bye at the latest unless the Bears are winning games because of Dalton, not in spite of him.
Jamaal Williams, D'Andre Swift used interchangeably in the Lions offense
Anthony Lynn has already telegraphed this by calling Williams his “A” back, but sometimes we need to see it to believe it. Get ready to believe in a full-blown RBBC in Detroit.
ADP Adjustment: Swift will drop; Williams will rise.
Aaron Rodgers, Packers play the waiting game after he does not report to camp
A summer of waiting for an answer in the Aaron Rodgers saga will lead to… more waiting. Rodgers doesn’t seem like the type to cave without a massive concession (or even with if you believe the reports that he is done with the organization), and if the team could find a solution without forcing Rodgers' hand into a holdout, why wouldn’t they have done that already. A trade feels like a remote possibility so unless Rodgers surprises us, a holdout into the regular season is probably the most likely outcome at this moment.
Vikings defense getting their edge back
Mike Zimmer’s defense had a rare down year, but with Danielle Hunter back plus a rebuilt defensive tackle group and the addition of Patrick Peterson to anchor a young cornerback room, they should be back in business this year.
ADP Adjustment: Dalvin Cook’s position at RB2 should only be solidified, but a possible dip in pass attempts would ding Kirk Cousins and maybe Adam Thielen. If it makes Justin Jefferson’s ADP go down, that would be an overreaction.
Falcons pass offense running through Kyle Pitts
All of the signs are there. Pitts is a unicorn and the Falcons are going to make him a foundational piece from Day 1. They were moving him around the formation in OTAs and former tight-end coach Arthur Smith will have a plan for him.
ADP Adjustment: Pitts should be close to George Kittle for TE3 status by the time fantasy draft season peaks.
Sam Darnold, Robby Anderson making up for lost time
One of the more underreported fantasy angles of the offseason is the reunion of Sam Darnold and Robby Anderson. The deep ball hookup was there at times with the Jets, but Adam Gase created a lot of static in the reception of the signal, and Anderson never really peaked for a sustained part of a season. After the Panthers re-imagined his usage to fit Teddy Bridgewater’s strengths last year, Anderson could be a short, intermediate, and deep threat, and graduate to No. 1 wide receiver status.
ADP Adjustment: Anderson should close a bit of the multi-round gap between him and D.J. Moore.
Jameis Winston comfortably ahead in the quarterback competition
Nothing too bold here, just a confirmation of what many who cover the team believe - Winston is likely to be the starter with Taysom Hill resuming his swiss army knife role.
ADP Adjustment: Obviously, Winston will creep up and Hill will drop, and Michael Thomas, Tre’Quan Smith, and Adam Trautman should also gain value as Winston solidifies his status as the starting quarterback.
No clear leader in Bucs backfield battle
Don’t expect clarity when it comes time to rate Buccaneers running backs. Even if there is consistency in who gets the first rep in practice, the team will use all three of Ronald Jones II, Leonard Fournette, and Giovani Bernard in the situations that suit them best. Training camp isn’t going to give us any guidance in who, if anyone, to target here.
ADP Adjustment: Whatever enthusiasm there is to draft Ronald Jones II and Leonard Fournette will start to evaporate and push their ADP down, but if Bernard is mentioned in the same breath as them, his ADP might start to move up in the late rounds.
Cardinals line gels around Rodney Hudson
How quickly we forget that the Cardinals traded for one of the best centers in the game this offseason. Arizona’s offensive line hasn’t been a strength during the Kliff/Kyler era, but with Hudson in the pivot, things could improve in both the run and pass game.
Los Angeles Rams
Five different receivers running with the first team
It’s an exciting time to be Sean McVay, as he has a quarterback he can trust in Matthew Stafford. Stafford can also re-activate the downfield passing game, and this was not lost on the team as they signed DeSean Jackson and drafted Tutu Atwell in the second round to restore the vertical dimension to the passing game. All of their receivers have inside/outside versatility and we have already seen a news item that indicates that they can be interchangeable in the pass offense. Expect to hear more about it in camp and the McVay offense will return to keeping defenses off balance by design.
Trey Sermon pushing Mostert for lead back role
Kyle Shanahan moved up for Trey Sermon even though he had already mortgaged the future to get Trey Lance. Sermon is an ideal fit in the Shanahan running game, and the team already knows that Raheem Mostert shouldn’t be more than a co-lead back because of his durability issues. Sermon was probably drafted to take over in 2022, but he could make a strong bid to open the season as the starter, especially if Mostert gets dinged in camp or the preseason.
ADP Adjustment: Sermon is already going ahead of Mostert, but he should be going higher in drafts, and he will as the summer goes on.
Russell Wilson's Restaurant open for business again
Few noticed, but after Wilson made waves with his comments at the beginning of the offseason, the Seahawks actually appeased him by hiring a passing game coordinator (Shane Waldron) to run the offense, drafting a wide receiver (DWayne Eskridge) in the second round with their first pick, trading for a cornerstone of the offensive line (Gabe Jackson), and signing a pass-catching tight end (Gerald Everett). We have already seen reports that they are upping the tempo of the offense, and in training camp, there will be a full unveil of an offense that looks set up to let Russ cook again.
ADP Adjustment: Wilson should establish himself as the clear #6 quarterback in drafts, and all Seahawks offensive players should move up incrementally as expectations for the offense rise to meet the new look on the horizon.