NFL Training Camp Notes: Vote of Confidence in Shady

With training camps just getting started and the first preseason game almost two weeks away, news is a little scarce. ADP lists and cheat sheets are still in turmoil after the NFL’s decision not to suspend Tyreek Hill, though (hey, it’s not like various forms of child abuse are in the news 24-7 right now… no league has ever shown a greater inability to read the room than the NFL under Goodell), so maybe it’s just as well that fantasy GMs get a chance to take a breath before things start getting hectic.

Without further ado, or editorializing, here’s the noteworthy… uhh, notes from Sunday:

  • LeSean McCoy received a de facto vote of confidence from Bills general manager Brandon Beane, although Beane phrased his comments more along the lines of “Shady still thinks he can do it, so who are we to doubt him?” McCoy is coming off the worst season of his career, and while he’s bounced back from down campaigns before, he’s now 31 years old and doesn’t exactly have a powerhouse offense around him. It would be easier to believe he has another productive season in him if it were entirely clear what caused last year’s collapse — poor offensive line play alone can’t explain a 2.2 YPC drop since 2016 — but when there’s no other obvious culprit, the usual suspect is Father Time. Buffalo seems intent on giving McCoy every chance to hang onto his starting job and play out the final year of his contract, but if he struggles in camp, third-round pick Devin Singletary and veteran imports Frank Gore and T.J. Yeldon give the club depth should the front office decide to simply move on. All that said, McCoy’s ADP has him routinely landing outside the top 10 rounds in 12-team drafts, making him a potential bargain if he does remain the Bills’ No. 1 RB.
  • as is typical in the early days of camp, a number of big names landed on the PUP list, including J.J. Watt, DeAndre Hopkins, Sony Michel and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Dix sprained his knee in minicamp, and the Bears are being cautious with the oft-injured safety. Hopkins is still recovering from the shoulder injury he suffered last preseason, Michel is in the final stages of recovering from a scope on his knee, and Watt… well, the Texans haven’t disclosed the exact nature of the issue keeping him sidelined, but he hasn’t been 100 percent in a few years. As yet, none of the four are expected to still be on the shelf for Week 1, but Watt’s status in particular is worth keeping an eye on. Hopkins’ ADP has also been unaffected by the news, at least so far, but Michel is seeing some minor downgrading of his stock in NFFC drafts.
  • another player placed on the PUP list Friday was Demaryius Thomas. The former Bronco is trying to come back from a torn Achilles at the age of 31, signing with the Patriots in the offseason. That’s the right organization to sign with to revive or extend your career, but Thomas hasn’t topped 1,000 receiving yards since 2016, and he didn’t exactly have a step to lose at this stage. Until he’s able to get back on the field he’ll be a total wild card for fantasy purposes, but Tom Brady does have to throw to somebody. The veteran wideout still has a bit of a ceiling if he’s healthy enough to contribute.