Don’t ignore the less publicized news stories out of NFL training camps – it could cost you a sleeper or two.
With NFL training camps in full swing and a full-time schedule of preseason games approaching, high-profile positional battles have the attention of fantasy football GMs in search of that all-too-important value and sleeper pick prior to league drafts.
The Denver Broncos are looking for a replacement to Willis McGahee, and the St. Louis Rams are looking to fill the void left by Steven Jackson. These are two of the higher profile running back position battles of the preseason. With notoriety comes increased attention and in the search of fantasy football value, attention is not a good thing. Attention impacts players ADPs, decreasing the value of said players.
Therefore, it is your job to look for unfilled offensive starting positions where the positional battle is less publicized. One such case would be the vacated starting running back job for the New York Jets.
Shonn Greene vacated the “Gang Green” to carry the rock behind Tennessee Titans‘ Chris Johnson. When the Jets signed former New Orleans Saints running back Chris Ivory in the offseason, it seemed a foregone conclusion that he would take the starting role.
However, initial news out of Jets camp was dissatisfaction from head coach Rex Ryan in the progress he was seeing from Ivory. The sentiment would be confirmed Monday when the Jets released their first depth chart of the preseason in which Bilal Powell, not Ivory, is listed as the Jets’ no. 1 running back.
Of course, depth charts are not theoretically official until the season starts, and initial depth charts have been used as psychological power plays by head coaches to motivate struggling position players. That said, the news is certainly worth monitoring, especially considering Ivory’s current hamstring injury that has him sidelined.
Powell’s current fantasy football ADP makes him the 70th running back off draft boards.