AFC Training Camp Update: Gus Edwards Draft Stock on the Rise!
Welcome back to the final week of training camp updates. The teams finalized their rosters for the season over the week. Some of the big news to come out this week is J.K. Dobbins will miss the season with an ACL injury and Bryan Edwards could be the sleeper of the draft.
Let’s get into it.
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The Titans finished up their last preseason game last Saturday, but the fantasy stars still did not play. However, there is a backup running back on the roster that could make an impact this season. Mekhi Sargent has been impressive during this training camp and should play a key role in backing up Derrick Henry.
In last week’s preseason game he went for 51 yards and one touchdown. In all three games combined, he has 187 yards on 49 carries. That is just around 3.8 yards per carry.
Sargent may not be someone you draft, but he is someone to keep an eye on if Henry sees fewer carries this season.
In other news, Ryan Tannehill is still out with COVID-19, but both A.J. Brown and Julio Jones were suited up for practice on Tuesday. This is a great sign as it looks Jones will be ready for the season opener on Sept. 12.
If it wasn’t enough with the Colts and injuries, the team suffered yet another one. Quarterback Sam Ehlinger went down with a sprained ACL after their last preseason game. He is expected to miss up to four weeks.
So, if Carson Wentz is not a go for Week 1, then Jacob Eason will be the starting quarterback for week one. Wentz is currently in COVID-19 protocol and could return to practice this week if he continues to show negative tests.
This could represent a setback on Wentz starting Week 1, so the Colt’s offense is in shambles at the moment.
Another star that could miss the first few regular-season games in T.Y. Hilton. Hilton is dealing with a neck injury that could keep him out for a few games. So, that means Michael Pittman Jr. will be a high draft prospect with Hilton out.
I already see Pittman breaking out this season, and with Hilton not in the picture, Pittman will have a lot of volume his way. Expect Pittman to jump on the draft boards this week.
Trevor Lawrence looked like the number one pick in the team’s final preseason game. He went 11 of 12 for 139 yards and two touchdowns. One of those touchdowns went to Laviska Shenault Jr.
These two have built chemistry throughout the preseason and training camp. I see Shenault having a breakout year and you could draft him around the 10th round or later.
The Jaguars also traded Gardner Minshew to the Eagles, days after announcing Lawrence as the starter.
Other than that, the Jaguars finalized their 53 man roster and finished their training camp earlier this week. Be sure to watch James Robinson jump up on the draft board after Travis Etienne’s injury.
One player I would stay away from in fantasy this year is D.J. Chark. Lawrence and Chark have not built a connection as Shenault has.
The Texans are the team I would stay away from in terms of fantasy. The team released their final roster and Deshaun Watson is still on the team. He did not participate much in training camp or preseason, but Watson already knows the offense.
Yet he is still a risky pick in the draft as we don’t know his future for the regular season.
The backfield is also a risk in drafting as they kept five running backs. Four of them are Philip Lindsay, Mark Ingram II, Rex Burkhead, and David Johnson. Johnson should be the lead back, but all four of these running backs can see action. There is no telling who will get the most snaps.
The only two players I like in terms of fantasy are Nico Collins and Brandin Cooks. Collins showed signs of dominance in training camp but was slowed down with some injuries. Cooks only has the competition of Collins and should see a lot of volume this season.
Josh Allen played quite a bit for the team’s final preseason game. Allen went for 194 yards and two touchdowns on 20 of 26 passing attempts. Stefon Diggs didn’t play in the final game as he is still dealing with a knee injury.
The Bills finalized their roster this week and there are a few things to keep in mind when drafting players. The team went heavy on their running backs and it looks like they will use a committee this season.
The team kept Matt Breida who will compete with Zack Moss and Devin Singletary. You can take a risk on drafting one of the three and hope they turn out during the season. But for now, I would take a safer pick than one of these running backs in the draft. Unless you are just drafting for depth then one of these options will be fine.
I’m feeling more and more certain about Myles Gaskin being a top fantasy running back this year. The Dolphins narrowed their backfield down to three running backs for the final roster. Gaskin, Malcolm Brown, and Salvon Ahmed will be the three.
Gaskin 100% has three-down back potential with this lineup. Not only will he get the snaps but he is solid in the passing game as well.
Right now Gaskin is going close to the fourth in most drafts and he has RB1 potential. Given he stays healthy I would draft Gaskin over Josh Jacobs and Chris Carson.
New England Patriots
There is a new quarterback in town for the Patriots. Mac Jones will be the starter as the Patriots cut Cam Newton from the final roster. Now, this doesn’t mean Jones should be drafting in fantasy drafts. He could be a waiver streamer at best.
This means Nelson Agholor could have some big games early in the season especially if Henry is out as well.
New York Jets
The Jets are one of the few teams to have four running backs and seven wide receivers on the final roster.
Of the wide receivers, I see Corey Davis having a huge fantasy year for the team. The beauty of it is Davis is going late in lots of drafts and has WR2 upside.
However, the running back committee is hard to choose. I think Michael Carter could have the breakout, but Tevin Coleman could steal a lot of Carter’s snaps. This is another team that has so many fantasy players but too many mouths to feed.
Davis is my only safe pick for the Jets until the season gets underway.
The Steelers have a lot of the same players they had last year except for the running backs. Najee Harris is the only fantasy player I trust drafting in the Steelers offense.
Harris did not have the ideal preseason, but with an improved offensive line from last season, expect Harris to top 1,000 yards this season.
Aside from Harris, I don’t trust Juju Smith-Schuster or Diontae Johnson as consistent fantasy players for the season.
Yet again, we have another running back with a season-ending injury. This time it is J.K. Dobbins who will miss the season with an ACL injury. This is devastating as Dobbins was set to be the lead back for the Ravens.
What does this mean now? Draft Gus Edwards? Yeah, Edwards will be the starter, but I see this more of a move to draft Lamar Jackson higher. Without Dobbins I see Jackson running even more than he planned to this season.
Also, Jackson made his way to the field in their last preseason game. Jackson had been out of practice and preseason games due to COVID-19.
Expect Jackson to have a huge year with Dobbins out for the season.
The Browns are set for the start of the regular season. Throughout training camp, they sat most of their starters therefore they’re one of the few teams to avoid injuries.
Odell Beckham Jr. is still listed as questionable. But, I don’t see him missing any games to start the season. How effective will he be? That I don’t know for sure, but Beckham is a risky pick in the draft.
No exciting news to report out of Cleveland as the team is getting ready for the season opener.
Joe Burrow made his preseason debut but only for one snap. It is still in question how healthy Burrow will be during the regular season.
Ja’Marr Chase is looking up in the air as well. He did not have the best camp and had trouble catching the ball. I would stay away from these two in the draft as they both are a high-risk reward.
Joe Mixon is another risky one. The team’s final roster has just three running backs, so Mixon looks to be the workhorse. But, the offensive line does not look the best. And if Burrow can’t get the passing game going then Mixon could be set up for failure.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs ended their training camp weeks ago, but that didn’t stop them from playing their starters in their final preseason game.
Patrick Mahomes II went eight of nine for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Tyreek Hill caught one of those touchdowns for 35 yards.
The Chiefs look healthy and ready to go for week one. They will be a top offense if not the number one this season. Make sure you grab at least one of the fantasy stars in the draft this year.
Running back Royce Freeman was waived by the team this week. This is great news if you want to draft Javonte Williams. Right now Williams is behind Melvin Gordon, but throughout camp, Williams has shined.
Early on in the season, I see Williams taking the starting job easily. In drafts Williams has been jumping up, but still going around the sixth or seventh pick. Which will be a steal with the upside he has in the Broncos’ offense.
Other good news for the Broncos is Courtland Sutton showed signs of his old self before his ACL injury. In their last preseason game, Sutton saw the end zone on two catches for 27 yards. It is great to see Sutton back on the field, but it will be Jerry Jeudy who has the breakout season this year.
Throughout camp, Jeudy has shown off his elite route running. I see him being a top wide receiver in PPR format this season.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers got blown out in their final preseason game against the Seahawks. But, that doesn’t matter since all the starters did not play. One good thing that came out of the blowout was wide receiver Tyron Johnson had four catches for 41 yards. But Johnson did not make the cut for the 53 man roster.
I had high hopes for Johnson, but it will be interesting to see if a team picks him up in free agency.
The Chargers have a lot of firepower in their offense this year. I see Austin Ekeler finishing in the top three of PPR running backs this year. Right now he’s going at the end of the first round and sometimes dropping into the second.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders held out their stars for their final preseason game against the 49ers. The Raiders dealt with some injuries during the preseason but ended it with a majority of the team healthy.
Running back Jalen Richard ended up making the 53 man roster but is still dealing with a leg injury. The Raiders backfield is a tough one when it comes to drafting. Josh Jacobs is the number one back but he has been going in the fourth round on average in drafts. I see that a little too high with Kenyan Drake there.
I see Drake being used in the passing game quite a bit this season. Also, this means Jacobs won’t be a three-down back like he has been in the past.
Another Raider sleeper I like in drafts this year is Bryan Edwards. Edwards looks to be the more consistent player in the Raiders offense. Henry Ruggs III looks to be the more boom or bust player this year.
Even though early in training camp, I did see Ruggs set for a huge season. But, he just hasn’t produced like he should during camp.
For more Rankings and Analysis please check out our full 2021 Fantasy Football Draft Kit.
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