In his Sunday notebook, our Adam Caplan will give us his final thoughts on the week from a fantasy standpoint and what we may see going forward.
Bears: I mentioned recently here that the Bears are very high on 5th-round WR Darnell Mooney. Well, don’t be surprised if he winds up starting over or playing more than veteran WR Ted Ginn at the “Z” position today at the Lions. Word is that he was one of their most impressive players in training camp at either side of the ball. What’s also interesting is that they were not expecting him to play much this season coming into camp. He’s small, but very explosive. If it doesn’t cost you much, add him to your roster and see what happens.
Barring a setback, you’ll see starting RB David Montgomery (groin-questionable) in the lineup today. He took most of the first-team reps in practice this week, which is a good indication that he’ll play.
Eagles: On Miles Sanders (hamstring strain) who was downgraded to out on Saturday, the team was not going to take a chance on him having a setback by playing him against Washington on Sunday. I’m told he looked really good in practice this week, but the medical staff wanted to give him a little more time for the injury to heal. Fantasy football is about the long game. If I’ve learned anything playing it for 30 years, don’t sweat 1 or 2 weeks. Sanders is a pretty special RB. Just watch him play.
Boston Scott is ahead of Corey Clement (quadriceps-no injury status for the game), but Clement should see a decent role in this game. My sense is that the touch split will be 55-65% for Scott (if he plays well and they’re not behind). Scott, I’m told, was clearly the #2 RB in camp. Jason Huntley, who was claimed off waivers recently, will dress as #3 RB. Surprisingly, the team didn’t sign one of 3 RBs off their practice squad.
Jalen Reagor, I’m told, looked great this week in practice and he doesn’t even have an injury status (not questionable or doubtful) for the game. He has a very small shoulder labrum tear. He’s actually 1-2 weeks ahead of schedule. If they clear him to play, he’ll primarily line up at the “X” position, which is where Alshon Jeffery (foot-out) lines up. Reagor did so well in camp that they gave him 3 spots to learn: X, X, F (slot). The team believes Jeffery will return before mid-October and potentially before the end of the month, but they won’t know for sure until he starts practicing.
Jets: The team was not worried about starting WR Breshad Perriman’s knee though he did miss over two weeks of practice. There was some minor swelling after he banged knees with a teammate in a training camp practice.
Lions: Rookie WR Quintez Cephus is expected to start today for Kenny Golladay (hamstring-doubtful). Cephus was very impressive in camp and lined up at “X” and “Z”. He was one of the most impressive rookies I heard about when calling teams this summer. He could take over for Marvin Jones at “Z” next season.
Raiders: Just a hunch, but starting QB Derek Carr actually might surprise fantasy owners this season.
Why? Look at what he has to work with. His pass target group was not as bad as what Carson Wentz had to work with last season, but this year’s group is much improved.
Rookie WRs Bryan Edwards (at X), Henry Ruggs (at Z), Hunter Renfrow (was hurt most of last season, but now clearly 100%), Zay Jones (best camp of his career), TE Darren Waller (90 catches last season) and Foster Moreau (played great before suffering an ACL injury). As someone from the Raiders said to me recently, “We finally have depth! We can actually run the offense like we want to.”
Ravens: The team believes that second-year WR Miles Boykin, in addition to Marquise Brown, could have somewhat of a breakout season. Boykin can run and has really good size. The coaches plan to take advantage of his size mismatches this season. He is still available in many smaller (10-team) leagues.
Saints: Not that he’s going to start over veteran WR Emmanuel Sanders, but word is that the light might have finally gone on for third-year pro Tre’Quan Smith. He was practicing with more confidence and practice observers noted this. This is really important for starting QB Drew Brees, who needs at least one more dependable pass target to work with other than Sanders, Michael Thomas, and Jared Cook at WR and TE.
Seahawks: The team feels that they don’t have to overwork starting RB Chris Carson as they have in the past mainly because veteran RB Carlos Hyde did so well in training camp. It’s very possible, and I didn’t think this was the case initially, that Hyde has some stand alone value--not just as Carson’s handcuff.
To be clear, I’m not saying that Carson won’t do well; it’s more that they don’t have to grind him down with too many carries. That actually might help him stay on the field for more games this season.
Finally, it’s Week 1: Some things will happen that will piss you off. Don’t overreact. The cream typically rises to the top. As many coaches told me recently, things are going to be a bit different early due to the lack of an off-season and preseason. Just be patient.