Fantasy Soccer Newcomers, Faller: OTA
The NFL mini camps are closed and there has been a lot of information from National and Team Beat writers over the past month. Of course, we can’t take everything coaches say to heart, but it’s always worth keeping track of what they’re saying and what the beat writers see during training.
Below we take a look at some of the news, and see which players have emerged from OTAs on the rise in fantasy football and which are apparently in decline.
Mac Jones, New England Patriots, QB
Mac Jones had more first-team snaps than Cam Newton, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe. Howe also said Jones was “the best quarterback on the field”. This is the first time we’ve heard such praise for Jones, and it’s not that Howe is someone who just heaps praise for no reason. There is a long way to go before Newton is not a favorite to start Week 1, but this is a step for Jones.
Gus Edwards, Baltimore Ravens, RB
The Ravens have signed Edwards through the 2023 season, granting him a $ 10 million contract extension. That is a good bit of money in the running back market and will likely give it a big role in the offensive.
Elijah Moore, New York Jets, WR
The rookie receiver looked great so far. Beat writer Connor Hughes said he was “the most impressive player in OTAs and it’s not really close”. This coincides with Denzel Mims, who receives snapshots of the second team. So if he can hold out at training camp, there’s a real chance he’ll be a top target for Zach Wilson this season.
Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons, TE
Pitts will likely go higher than he should on drafts, but there is also no doubt that there are plenty of free targets in the Falcons offensive and he will get every chance to prove himself. In OTAs, he was by far the most targeted recipient of Matt Ryan, according to Beat reporter D. Orlando Ledbetter. The Falcons realize that Pitts needs to be a useful offensive player in the first year.
Tee off Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals, WR
Bengal’s OC Brian Callahan said the WR Tee Higgins’ sophomore season this summer is “significantly more explosive,” according to ESPN’s Ben Baby. Higgins had a strong rookie campaign on a bad offensive last season and should now take a step forward on an offensive that should be better overall.
Cornell Powell, Kansas City Chiefs, WR
Powell is still a long way to make a splash this season after being drafted late, but he has received praise from Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes called it an “animal” when it came to controversial catches. Powell was a late bloomer in college, and there’s room for him to play a part in the Chiefs’ high-profile offensive.
De’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions, RB
The news continues to look bad for Swift’s 2021 workload. Lion’s new OC Anthony Lynn says he will be “riding the hot hand running back.” He also praised Jamaal Williams as an early downback and Swift as a speedback a few months ago. And now they’re scrutinizing Todd Gurley. Swift will take many receptions to live up to his current ADP.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers, QB
Rodgers has proven that he’s still one of the best quarterbacks in the league after his 2020 MVP season, but he didn’t show up at OTAs as expected and Peter King writes that Rodgers would bet today that he would never play for the Packers again . If that’s true, there’s a real chance the Packers will play hard and let him skip the season instead of trading him. It’s too early to write him off for Fantasy this season, but we need to consider the thought.
JK Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens, RB
The addition of Edwards reinforces the fact that the Ravens will continue to have a committee backfield. Dobbins is the better pass catcher of the two and has more imagination, but we can’t expect a huge discrepancy in touches with Dobbins. There has also been talk of Justice Hill getting more work this season, so it’s probably too much to expect more than 200 looks from Dobbins this season.
Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles, RB
We all know Bell Cow-Back’s day is over, but there are enough teams and backs in the NFL who still get huge stakes in the running back snaps and usage that we hope will make ours Fantasy players can happen. Sanders is one of those players and there was reason to be hopeful after the big effort at the end of last season, but running back coach Jamel Singleton downplayed that kind of effort. He told The Athletic’s Zach Berman I think the times he’s an all-down-back are a little skewed. . . because of the speed, because of the contact. ”