Training Camp Notes: Bridgewater done for the year

 

We start today’s entry with terrible news out of Minnesota, as Teddy Bridgewater suffered a torn ACL along with a dislocated knee at practice Tuesday. The team will have a big drop off at quarterback as they’ll now turn to veteran backup Shaun Hill, though they certainly could look to acquire another quarterback. However, if Hill’s under center for the Vikings, it’s reasonable to downgrade each of the team’s receiving options in fantasy drafts.

ADP Trends: Tight End

Today we look at how tight ends are trending entering the final week of preseason games. You can find wide receivers and running backs from last week’s ADP blog posts.

Things have stayed status quo among the top tight end tiers since the beginning of training camp, but there is plenty of movement among TE2’s on down to the deep sleepers. To make sure we get a good look at those sleepers, the ADP data comes from NFFC drafts, which are super deep PPR leagues.

Stars I’ve Avoided This Year

These are players I’ve actively avoided in my seven drafts, as opposed to Antonio Brown, who I don’t own because I never had the first pick, and Ezekiel Elliott on whom I thought about taking a chance in several drafts.

Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN – he has a nice floor, particularly in non-PPR, but his lack of receptions and receiving yards cap his ceiling significantly. There’s no way he can out-do a healthy Devonta Freeman in PPR unless Freeman loses his job. Ditto for Mark Ingram, C.J. Anderson, etc. You could argue that’s why Peterson’s valuable because he can’t lose the job, but I want some ceiling with my floor in Round 1 and early Round 2. And in non-PPR, Round 2 isn’t likely to be an option for you.

Moreover, Peterson is 31, and the track record of running backs in the NFL at that age is poor. That doesn’t mean he can’t be the exception – if anyone can, it’s Peterson. But if you’re drafting him based on floor, you don’t want to have to rely on a player defying history.

Julio Jones, WR, ATL – Jones had an amazing year in 2015 (second most receiving yards of all time, tied for the second most receptions of all time), but for the second straight season struggled to score touchdowns. While eight isn’t terrible in a vacuum, it’s shockingly low for a player who had 203 targets, runs a 4.34 and stands 6-3, 220. As if that sample weren’t big enough, Jones managed only six TDs on 163 targets in 2014 too.

At 27, Jones is still in his late prime, but he seems to take a lot of hits as he’s not especially shifty and makes for a big target. As such, he often seems to be hobbling back to the huddle more often than you’d like, and he’s already been dinged up a couple times in camp. He might have another peak year in him, but the volume is a good bet to decline (if only because it was such an outlier), and I trust him less than the other top wideouts to stay healthy.

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOU – Hopkins is a good receiver, not a great one. He’s a playmaker, capable of amazing and acrobatic catches, but he’s only an average athlete (6-1, 207, 4.51 40), not a freak. If he gets another 192 targets, none of this will matter, but like Jones, I expect Hopkins to regress to something closer to 170. Think peak Chad Johnson – a star, to be sure, but not someone on whom you’re keen to spend a top seven pick.

Lamar Miller, RB, HOU – I see the case for him. He’s fast, powerful, can catch the rock, should be a three-down back in a favorable system. But Miller’s going in the early second and sometimes late first round, and that’s too high. He’s never carried the full load, the Dolphins – albeit not the brightest franchise – weren’t eager to keep him, and he’s playing for a new team. While the Texans scheme and philosophy might be an upgrade, any major change introduces volatility, and that’s not something we want in early-round picks.

Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE – Most of my leagues are PPR, and Gronk caught only 72 passes last year, and that was with Tom Brady for 15 games. Moreover, Gronk is a huge target who takes a lot of big hits, making him a bigger injury risk than the receivers in his price range.

 

Monday Preseason Notes: Walking Boots and Walking Papers

Teams began paring down their rosters in earnest today prior to the August 30 deadline to get down to 75 players (and then down to their initial 53-man rosters by September 3). While there have been no big surprises yet and likely won’t be until that second roster deadline, the roster churn did create a little transaction action and settled at least a few vaguely fantasy-relevant job battles.