By Brad Berreman @bradberreman24 on July 1, 2014
Another year of fantasy football preparation is now starting, and later this month plenty of players will grab buzz as potential sleepers before drafts and auctions. Not all will have staying power for fantasy owners, so any positive news should be taken with a grain of salt.
Here are 10 players who are trending upward in fantasy circles heading toward training camp.
Brown has drawn a lot of praise this offseason, and he could become Arizona's No. 3 wide receiver with a strong training camp. Andre Roberts had over 100 catches in that role over the last two years, which could make Brown worth drafting in very deep leagues if he can continue to turn heads in the organization.
Holmes had 22 receptions over the final five games last season, and he appears to have usurped Denarius Moore as Oakland's No. 3 wide receiver after working with the first-team offense during OTAs. With how much the Raiders are likely to be throwing the ball, Holmes has a chance to be a difference maker in deep leagues.
Ray Rice's looming suspension has Pierce in line to open the season as a starter, and if he proves he's all the way back from offseason shoulder surgery during training camp there's no reason he won't. The length of Rice's suspension will determine Pierce's season-long outlook, but he is likely to remain roster-worthy no matter what.
Jennings signed with the Giants after a productive season with the Oakland Raiders (733 rushing yards and 36 catches) last year, and general manager Jerry Reese referred to him as a "bellcow type" of running back after minicamp. Even if David Wilson (neck) is medically cleared at some point soon, Jennings has a clear path to a big role.
Dunbar carries some value as a handcuff to DeMarco Murray, but Scott Linehan's arrival on the Cowboys' offensive staff is very good news. The Detroit Lions had two fantasy relevant running backs with Linehan as offensive coordinator in 2013, and there seems to be a plan to use Dunbar as an all-around weapon.
Cooks is in line for a big role right out of the gate as a rookie, and a report he will work out with Drew Brees prior to training camp should build rapport and shorten his learning curve. Cooks will be an draftable in all league formats, and I like his potential in PPR leagues.
Steven Jackson is currently atop the depth chart, but Freeman has a chance to earn a significant role with a strong training camp and preseason. There's plenty of appeal here as a late-round flier in deep leagues.
The Packers are looking for a capable tight end, and Rodgers made a case for the starting job with strong work during OTAs. The prospect of catching passes from Aaron Rodgers would have anyone on the fantasy radar, and Rodgers is in line to be draftable toward the end of drafts and auctions.
Ben Tate is currently ahead of West on the depth chart, but Browns' head coach Mike Pettine recently suggested the team will use a running back by committee this year. Add in Tate's injury history, and West might be a worth a middle-round pick in a lot of leagues.
Gerhart will finally get a chance to start after spending his entire career behind Adrian Peterson, which has his fantasy stock on the rise as Jacksonville's likely three-down workhorse. I'm still a bit hesitant to anoint Gerhart as a fantasy stud, but he looks like a solid RB2.
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