Camp Notes #3
Logjams are clearing up. Clear-cut number one guys are being named and this is just in time for the fantasy owner as he prepares for his draft. It's important to remember that position battles take place because there is often little distinguishable difference between players, so a bad game performance can often shake up a depth chart, especially if a team struggles out of the gate. So while some positional battles still remain, our third installment of camp notes takes a look at, among other topics, the Sooner QB derby, the WR spot at two traditional powers, and a potential commissioner nightmare compliments of Sonnny Dykes.
News: Arizona Wildcat receiver Anthony Johnson is listed as a small tight end, and Delashaun Dean is listed as the small H-back.
What is a small tight end and a small H-back? Essentially it's Sonny Dykes' way of assigning roles to his wide receivers, and it could lead to some interesting fantasy rulings. Anthony Johnson is currently listed as a STE (small TE) for the Arizona Wildcats. Johnson has established himself as the #2 target besides Michael Thomas in fall camp. The question is, is he a TE or a WR? This could be a loop hole that you can use to your advantage if your league commish allows him to be used as a TE. In fact, an argument can be made that if allowed to be used at a tight end, Anthony Johnson could end up as the #1 fantasy tight end in the country.
News: The Tennessee receiver situation is starting to take shape.
WR Austin Rogers is emerging as #1 option for Eric Ainge and the Vols. He and Lucas Taylor are currently running with the 1st team. But JUCO transfer Kenny O'Neal is catching on quick. Coach Cutcliffe has had good things to say about freshman Brent Vinson. He could be the the most talented receiver of the group. But he still has a great deal of work to do learning the play book and technique. Vinson could be a great draft and stash in keeper leagues if you can afford the roster space. But don't look to him for an immediate impact.
News: USC suddenly thin at WR.
What was once a logjam at the USC WR spot is starting to thin out. Patrick Turner & Vidal Hazelton were the starters heading into fall camp. But David Ausberry has been pushing for a starting gig. With Hazelton suffering from a groin injury, Ausberry has moved into his starting spot. It's hard to tell if Ausberry's promotion is due more to his performance or Hazelton's injury. Ultimately, it really doesn't matter. You just want to know who's going to be on the field, right? Also of note is Travon Patterson's difficulty with a dislocated toe and the dismissal of speedster Jamere Holland. Turner and Ausberry are your guys, followed by Hazelton upon his return. Still, don't forget fab freshman Ronald Johnson, who is emerging as a potential home run threat.
News: All's quiet on the Mike Ford front
We've been high on running back Mike Ford since he enrolled at USF. It seemed like a match made in heaven. A top running back recruit going to a team looking to fill the running back spot. Add to the fact that they play a soft schedule and we were licking our chops this spring. We'll we've cooled on Ford since then. Call it a Chris Markey backpedal. Ford is still running with the first team, but he has not exactly been lighting up the news reports. To be fair, we have not heard anything bad about his play either. We have just been hoping for a little bit more umphf to the Mike Ford reports. The other situation to watch is recent transfer Jamar Taylor. Taylor has been getting plenty of reps for the Bulls. Both Taylor and Ford scored in last weekend's scrimmage. However, Taylor has yet to receive a hardship waiver to play this year (transferred from Alabama). If he does get the waiver, this will eat into Ford's carries. If not, we'll feel better about Ford.
News: New player emerges in the BYU tailback derby.
Depending on your perspective the BYU RB spot just became a bit more confusing or a bit clearer. With Manese Tonga suspended for the opener and Fui Vakapuna slow to get back into full form, redshirt freshman Harvey Unga has been stealing the spotlight in BYU practice. It looks like Unga will be the starter for opener against Arizona. After that, it is anyone's guess.
News: Sam Bradford named Sooner starter.
Fantasy owners are always pleased when a potential platoon situation turns into the announcement of a clear-cut starter. While it appears that Bradford certainly earned the gig with his play, we can't be too fired up his fantasy potential. OU will look to win with the ground game and defense. While Bradford (and Nichol if spotted) will have his moments, it won't be enough to provide the fireworks required for a college fantasy quarterback.
News: People may be forgetting the workhorse back.
Everyone wants to have the next great back, or the one with the potential to take a sweep 88 yards. Still, fantasy leagues are won with consistent production, which is directly related to consistent carries. A study of already-concluded drafts show likely 20 carry backs such as Albert Young, Austin Scott and Antone Smith slipping. While these guys may not go crazy, they will be candidates for 100-1 on a near-weekly basis, and these players can prevent the nightmare weeks that will kill the season (especially total points season) of fantasy owners.
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