With some teams already preparing for their third preseason games, depth charts and starting spots are beginning to firm up, but there’s still a lot of practice reps to go — and a lot of surprises in store — before Week 1. Let’s take a look at what news came spilling out of Wednesday’s training camps.
Tuesday night, RotoWire’s finest minds gathered for the grand-daddy of all staff leagues, the Steak League. The league takes its name from the side bet riding on it every year, as the second-division finishers have to treat the top clubs to a fancy steak dinner once the season is concluded.
The preseason schedule is in full swing, but this early in August teams are still mostly resting their starters, making the results and performances somewhat less than predictive for fantasy purposes. When trying to suss out sleepers and busts, what happens on the practice field is still at this point more important than what some second-string RB does against third-string defenders in the second half of a relatively meaningless game.
With that in mind, here’s the news of note from Wednesday:
We’re one day away from football, as the Cowboys and Cardinals clash in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Thursday night. Of course, it won’t be particularly good football, and it certainly won’t be meaningful football other than to the handful of players who might never wear an NFL uniform again after being cut in the coming days and weeks, but it’s still football.
In the meantime, training camps will march forward for the rest of the league, with all the accompanying injuries, improvements and depth chart shakeups that come with it. Here’s the latest news from around the NFL on Wednesday.
Wednesday’s news out of NFL training camps featured some drama and uncertainty surrounding the receiving corps in the NFC East, and remarkably none of it involved the Cowboys. Then again, they more than filled their quota on drama already this week when the one player they decided to cut loose after seemingly the whole roster had a tumultuous offseason was the guy who definitely didn’t do what he was accused of doing. Never change, Jerry Jones.
It’s been a couple of weeks since my last mock for the Cowboys, but not much has changed in terms of the team’s needs. The secondary is the primary concern, while the pass rush, o-line, and tight end spots could all use a boost. (My first mock of the year, done pre-Combine and mostly horribly out of date now, is here.)
I deliberately zagged when I’d previously zigged on a couple of the earlier picks here, just to see how the player pool shook out, but for the most part I think the talent haul ended up being similar to the prior mock. It might take a couple more weeks, and the completion of all the Pro Days, for there to be any significant changes in rankings that might radically alter how these mocks play out.
This one was done using Fanspeak‘s own Big Board, with the user-voted team needs.
With the Combine and the initial wave of free agent signings now done, Dallas’ shopping list heading into the draft has become a little clearer. The return of Terrance Williams removes the need for an early WR, but the secondary still has some glaring holes with Nolan Carroll being little more than a depth option. The offensive line suddenly has a couple of openings, and La’el Collins can only fill one of them. The pass rush is still a concern, and the Cowboys still need to start grooming a replacement for Jason Witten (unless you believe all the optimistic talk starting to bubble up about Rico Gathers).
With all that understood, I went back to Fanspeak for my second mock of the draft season (the first can be found here), using Fanspeak’s big board and the fan-voted team needs to guide the selections for the other 31 clubs. The Cowboys, during Will McClay’s tenure running the show as the team’s draft guru, have focused on SPARQ stars from power conferences, so that’s where I’ll direct my attention.