This article is part of our Training Camp Notes series.
Tomorrow, we'll begin the first full weekend of preseason action! Here's a breakdown of Wednesday's NFL news and notes.
Training Camp Storyline
Eagles' passing Attack
Jalen Hurts and A.J. Brown reportedly will play in the preseason opener. With the Eagles having traded for Brown in the offseason, it seems the team wants to provide the duo a chance to get on the same page before the regular season begins.
After being a strong fantasy starter last year, Hurts is being selected just outside the top-5 QBs in average drafts. In addition to his rushing ability, the addition of Brown should allow Hurts to attack the field over the middle along with deep shots. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him match or exceed last year's production. With defenses having to prepare for the team's excellent rushing attack, it's possible that Brown frequently sees favorable coverage. However, the knock on Brown has been health, as he missed seven games while being limited in others the last two years. He's a reasonable value with an ADP of WR13, though it's fair to wonder if he'll see enough targets to be a consistent producer.
As we saw last year, Hurts seemed comfortable throwing over the middle of the field. That comfort allowed Dallas Goedert to break out. In the last five games (including the playoffs), he surpassed 90 yards on three occasions. Don't be surprised if he's the second option in the passing game. That leaves DeVonta Smith (groin- day-to-day). Having only posted 64 catches last year, it's hard to imagine he'll increase that number with the addition of Brown. Although very talented, his ADP of WR40 shows that the fantasy community is concerned about his target share as well.
- Nyheim Hines - Following offseason comments from coach Frank Reich about his RB being a big part of the offense, Hines is expected to get at least 60 passes this year. This isn't a major surprise, as he's caught 63 passes in two of his first four seasons. And last year, it was clear that Carson Wentz had little interest in featuring his RBs as receivers. With Matt Ryan now under center, Hines should be much more active as a receiver. Of course, with Jonathan Taylor as the featured RB, it'll be difficult to predict the weeks when Hines will do well. He's being drafted outside the top-40 RBs, and he could be a solid value at ADP.
- Albert Okwuegbunam - After Greg Dulcich garnered hype during the offseason program, Okwuegbunam finally had some positive news. Coach Nathaniel Hackett said that the TE is becoming more comfortable in the offense, and that he's lining up all over the formation. After being drafted as a top-12 TE earlier in the offseason, his ADP has fallen to TE15. If he can claim the lead receiving TE role, he could be a value at ADP.
- Joshua Palmer, Jalen Guyton - Palmer reportedly has played as the No. 3 WR during the majority of camp. Although Guyton seems to be a better option to stretch the field, Palmer has been a strong route runner while playing with the first-team offense. Although the pecking order can change at any time, Palmer could be an outstanding value at his ADP, which is outside the top-60 WRs.
- Eno Benjamin - Although James Conner is expected to see most of the backfield work, the backup job could be significant for fantasy, especially if Conner misses time. Coach Kliff Kingsbury praised Benjamin, saying that he "would've never expected him to come this far." With Darrel Williams and Keaontay Ingram competing for backup duties, Benjamin will have the rest of the month to stake his claim to a significant role, but for now, nothing definitive has been settled.
- Simi Fehoko - After being drafted in the fifth round last year, Fehoko has been showing off his athleticism in practices. With James Washington (foot) and Michael Gallup (knee) dealing with injuries, the Cowboys likely will need WRs to step up. Although it would be tough to draft him as other than a late-round dart in deep leagues, he's a player to keep on the radar this month.
- Marlon Mack, Rex Burkhead, Dameon Pierce - We can't always count on the official team depth charts in preseason. That said, Mack and Burkhead are listed at the top with Pierce trailing the group. Most of the positive camp reports have been about Mack and Pierce. Fantasy managers are drafting Pierce as roughly a top-40 RB while Mack's being drafted outside the top 55. If one emerges as the clear-cut starter, he should outperform ADP.
- Melvin Gordon - Gordon missed Wednesday's practice with a foot injury. Coach Nathaniel Hackett said the foot needs to be managed during camp. As of now, this isn't enough of a report to make any definitive conclusion as to Gordon's status being in question for Week 1.
- Kadarius Toney - Toney tweaked his hamstring Wednesday. Although this is far from definitive news, the WR has been limited in four of 11 practices so far. It's uncertain as to whether the partial practices are part of a maintenance plan or due to injury, but if he continues to miss time, that could become an issue for a player who struggled to stay on the field last year.
- Jakeem Grant - During Tuesday's practice, Grant suffered a torn Achilles and will miss the season. Although he was unlikely to be heavily involved as a WR, he certainly was ready to be a big factor in the return game.