NFL Training Camp Notes: Depth Chart Shuffling Day

After a crazy weekend of roster moves, most teams are ready to roll into the season with their 53-man rosters finalized. However, today is packed with depth-chart shuffling and injury updates…

  • At least in the short-term, Damien Williams will remain the Chiefs’ starter at running back. Being the Week 1 starter could be important because if Williams can continue to show the playmaking ability he showed last year, it’ll be hard for the coaching staff to remove him from his role, despite the presence of LeSean McCoy. Fantasy owners should be able to start Williams with confidence this weekend.

 

  • Of course, it’s tough to write a Damien Williams blurb without an accompanying one about LeSean McCoy. McCoy will be available in Week 1, and coach Andy Reid will give him a bit of the playbook to work with and go from there. For fantasy owners, this isn’t an easy spot, as there’s no guarantee of work, and should he be uncomfortable with things like protections, it’s possible he sees very limited work. Of course, the flipside is that Williams gets off to a rough start and McCoy gets on a roll, therefore earning more touches. Most likely, it’s a week to fade McCoy to see how things shake out in the KC backfield.

 

  • Over in Washington, coach Jay Gruden said Derrius Guice will lead the Washington rushing attack, and he can play on any down, and yes, that includes third downs. Despite a tough matchup against the Eagles, Guice could easily get enough work to be used in fantasy lineups, and those able to use him as a flex are in the most-optimal situation. Based on this news, his ADP is sure to skyrocket in this week’s drafts.

 

  • With the season opener on Thursday, fantasy managers who have rostered Trey Burton (groin) will need to consult the inactive list on the Rotowire site about 90 minutes before kickoff. Burton has been recovering from offseason surgery and although it’s not viewed as a long-term issue, coach Matt Nagy is calling his TE game-time decision against the Packers. Should he be inactive and there aren’t any useful TEs on the waiver wire, teammate Adam Shaheen could be a potential lineup option.

 

  • Although Tevin Coleman has been the expected lead RB for the 49ers throughout the offseason, it’s Matt Breida who’s listed as the No. 1 on the depth chart going into Week 1. Certainly, both players will get playing time, but it’s possible that the roles could be flipped from what had been expected, as Breida could emerge with the majority of the touches. Of course, nothing is set in stone, but Coleman needs to be viewed with a little more pessimism than he was just a few days ago while Breida may have added value.

 

  • Staying in San Francisco, the WR depth chart has Dante Pettis and Marquise Goodwin as the top-two options, and Deebo Samuel is listed as a third-stringer. Sure, this could be a fluid situation, but going into Week 1 in a potential shootout with the Bucs, both Pettis and Goodwin could be solid lineup options this weekend.

 

  • Another depth chart that may not look like many expected a few days ago is in the Buffalo backfield where Frank Gore sits atop Devin Singletary and T.J. Yeldon. Yes, Mr. Gore is in the picture to ruin the fantasy season of another up-and-coming player by racking up a healthy dose of touches each week, at least for now. However, should Singletary come out of the gates hot, it may not take much to unseat Gore from his current spot on the depth chart. For now, each of the Bills’ backs may be best viewed as flex options with low upside.

 

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  • After breaking a finger earlier in the preseason, Jimmy Graham practiced in full in Tuesday’s practice, indicating he should be ready to start at TE on Thursday against the Bears. Coming off a disappointing season, he’s typically been drafted as a TE2, but those, especially in TE-premium leagues, should be able to use Graham in lienups.

 

  • Newly-acquired Kenny Stills was talked up by coach Bill O’Brien as being a versatile WR, who can play both on the outside and inside. This is excellent news, as Stills has largely been used as a deep threat in the past, but with both Will Fuller and Keke Coutee yet to prove they can stay on the field consistently, Stills is a player who could be thrust into a significant role on a pass-heavy team should either of that duo miss time.

 

  • In the wake of a strong preseason after missing his rookie campaign with a knee injury, Deon Cain is listed as the No.3 or No. 4 WR on Indy’s first depth chart of the season. It’s fair to wonder how much work volume he’ll get, now that Jacoby Brissett is the team’s QB, but after being undrafted in many fantasy leagues, he’ll be a player to monitor on the waiver wire.

 

  • It’s probably not much to get excited about, but Darren Fells is listed as the No. 1 TE on the Houston depth chart. The most likely reason for his placement on the chart is that he’s an excellent blocker who should see the most playing time. That said, the likelihood of him reaching 200 yards on the season is marginal.