2014 DRAFT GUIDE
NFC South

2012-07-10 12:33:13
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
RealTime Fantasy Sports

Saints hope Brees is in camp

Falcons

Atlanta hopes to take another step forward this season. The Falcons are a team on the rise and look to make a deeper run in the playoffs in 2012. The talent is there for this team to do well. The defense remains the one question mark for the team. This unit improved last season but still had some struggles throughout the season. If they can play more consistent football, the Falcons can make a Super Bowl run. Atlanta gets camp started July 26 at the Falcons Training Facility in Flowery Branch, Ga.

Position battle: Not a whole lot to sort out for the Falcons but one position to watch is cornerback. The team added Asante Samuel to boost the secondary. He should have a starting role but he won't be handed the job with Dunta Robinson hoping to keep his starting job. And Brent Grimes is likely to start as well but again, he won't be handed the job. He'll need to earn it. The good news is the Falcons are a lot deeper and talented at cornerback this season, which should give their secondary a big boost.

Injury watch: The Falcons really don't have any injuries of note coming into the season, which is a good thing for the team. The only player to keep an eye on, though, is running back Michael Turner. He is getting up there in age and has a lot of carries under his belt. The Falcons want to cut back his workload this season to keep him fresh and effective.

Saints

The Saints will certainly be a team to watch this training camp with so much turmoil surrounding the team. It will be interesting to see how the team responds to "bounty gate" and the Drew Brees contract situation. Needless to say, it won't be business as usual for the Saints this training camp. New Orleans starts camp on July 27 at the Saints Training Facility in Metairie, La.

Position battle: Not sure if this is a position battle but the running back spot is one to keep a close watch. There are four backs competing for carries for the Saints. And all are capable and have done well when given past chances. Darren Sproles, Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas and Christopher Ivory are the backs vying for touches. Maybe one of these guys will step forward and earn more work during camp.

Injury watch: Mark Ingram had offseason toe and knee surgeries. This is a concern as Ingram has a little history with knee issues. Neither surgeries were too serious but they could keep Ingram from being healthy for training camp. He could be a little slowed early in the year as he recovers from his offseason surgeries. The Saints could ease him into things early in the season.

Panthers

The Panthers didn't win a lot more games last season but got much better with Cam Newton leading the way at quarterback. He is the cornerstone of the franchise for years to come and will be looked on to elevate his play after a monster rookie season. It will be interesting to see if Newton can top last season. The pressure will be on Newton when he opens camp July 28 at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.

Position battle: It seems this spot is up for grabs every year but the starter opposite Steve Smith still isn't settled. It sure looks like Brandon LaFell will be given every chance to start but he won't be handed anything. David Gettis will be his top competition for the starting spot.

Injury watch: Linebacker Jon Beason is recovering from Achilles' surgery. He is supposed to be ready for training camp and shouldn't be limited much, which is a positive for the Panthers. Beason is the starting middle linebacker and a key to the Panthers' defense, which struggled at times last season. They need a healthy Beason back in the lineup.

Bucs

Tampa looked like a team on the rise but last season was a huge bust for the Bucs. They hope to right the ship this year with a new coach in place and some new talent added on the offensive side of the ball. The Bucs have a lot to get on the same page with so much "new" in place for 2012, so training camp will be particularly important for this squad. The fun begins for the Bucs starting July 27 at One Buc Place in Tampa, Fla.

Position battle: Rookie Doug Martin is likely to start for the Bucs unless he somehow falls on his face. He is the complete package at running back, doing well as a runner and receiver. LeGarrette Blount was the starter much of the last two seasons, though, and isn't going to just hand Martin the job. He has something to prove as this might be his last chance to keep a starting job.

Injury watch: The Bucs are another pretty healthy team heading into the coming season. They really don't have any big-name player returning from major injury. But one injury-prone player to watch is Dallas Clark, who is taking over as the No. 1 tight end for the Bucs. If healthy and playing at a high level, Clark can be a big-time fantasy producer. But he hasn't looked quite right in recent seasons, making him a bit of a concern for 2012.

If you have any questions or comments, please email Jeff Paur at jeff@rtsports.com

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 10:33a

Buffalo Bills QBs Jeff Tuel and Thaddeus Lewis are alternating series with the second unit in team drills Tuesday, July 22.

Tyler BrayJul 22 09:13a

Kansas City Chiefs QBs Tyler Bray and Chase Daniel are likely to compete for one roster spot with QB Aaron Murray likely to make the team behind starting QB Alex Smith.

Navorro BowmanJul 22 12:13a

San Francisco 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) will likely return to action in Week 9 after the team's Week 8 bye, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

Jacques McClendonJul 21 11:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars OG Jacques McClendon is the frontrunner to start at right guard heading into training camp, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. OG Brandon Linder is the other candidate for the starting job.

Aaron ColvinJul 21 10:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Aaron Colvin (knee) will begin training camp and the regular season on the Physically Unable to Perform list as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate [ More ]

Jeromy MilesJul 21 10:03p

Baltimore Ravens S Jeromy Miles has seen some reps with the first-team defense this offseason and is a dark horse candidate to win the starting free safety job, according to ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley.

Brandon MosleyJul 21 09:43p

New York Giants OT Brandon Mosley will be given the first chance to start in place of OG Chris Snee when the first-team offensive line takes the field Tuesday, [ More ]

T.J. GrahamJul 21 09:23p

Buffalo Bills WR T.J. Graham had a pass fall through his hands after beating his defender on a deep route in camp Monday, July 21.ESPN.com's Mike Rodak believes Graham [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsJul 21 09:02p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins made several big plays in practice Monday, July 21, according to ESPN.com's Mike Rodak. Watkins beat CB Leodis McKelvin deep, hauled in a pass [ More ]

Marvin JonesJul 21 07:03p

Cincinnati Bengals QB A.J. McCarron (shoulder), WR Marvin Jones (ankle) and CB Onterio McCalebb (knee) have been placed on the Non-Football Injury list.

Devon StillJul 21 07:03p

Cincinnati Bengals OG Clint Boling (knee), LB Marquis Flowers (hamstring), P Kevin Huber (neck), WR Colin Lockett (hamstring), DT Zach Minter (back), DT Devon Still (back) and WR Ryan [ More ]

Cordy GlennJul 21 06:53p

Buffalo Bills OT Cordy Glenn (illness) does not have a timetable for his return at this point, according to head coach Doug Marrone. 'I don't know that. It's a [ More ]

Mike CaussinJul 21 06:43p

The Washington Redskins have signed free-agent TE Mike Caussin (Bills). Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived LS Kyle Nelson.

Cheta OzougwuJul 21 06:32p

New Orleans Saints DE Cheta Ozougwu (undisclosed) and DT John Jenkins (pectoral) have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Brennan WilliamsJul 21 06:22p

Houston Texans OT Brennan Williams (undisclosed) has been waived with a failed physical designation.

Brian CushingJul 21 06:22p

Houston Texans DT Louis Nix (undisclosed), LB Brian Cushing (undisclosed) and LB Trevardo Williams (undisclosed) have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Eric HaggJul 21 06:13p

Denver Broncos SS Eric Hagg has informed the team that he has decided to retire from professional football.

Dominique EasleyJul 21 05:23p

New England Patriots DT Dominique Easley, RB Roy Finch, LB Deontae Skinner and OT Chris Martin have been placed on the team's non-football injury list.

Alfonzo DennardJul 21 05:23p

New England Patriots CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder), WR Aaron Dobson (foot), WR Jeremy Gallon (undisclosed), DT Tommy Kelly (knee) and WR Matthew Slater (undisclosed) will begin training camp on [ More ]

Leon HallJul 21 05:12p

Cincinnati Bengals DT Geno Atkins (knee) and CB Leon Hall (Achilles') will begin training camp on the team's physically unable to perform list.

Jon BeasonJul 21 05:12p

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot) will begin training camp on the team's physically unable to perform list.

John JerryJul 21 05:02p

New York Giants OT William Beatty (leg), OG John Jerry (knee) and WR Mario Manningham (knee) will be limited when training camp starts.

Kraig UrbikJul 21 04:33p

Buffalo Bills OT Chris Hairston and OG Kraig Urbik saw first-team repetitions at right guard Monday, July 21.

Dezmon BriscoeJul 21 04:03p

The Dallas Cowboys signed free-agent WR Dezmon Briscoe (Redskins), according to his agent. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Phillip HuntJul 21 03:12p

Former Philadelphia Eagles DE Phillip Hunt (knee) has recovered from anterior cruciate ligament surgery and should begin workouts with teams in the near future.

Chris ConteJul 21 02:12p

Chicago Bears FS Chris Conte said he feels good as he recovers from shoulder surgery, but is unsure of his availability for the start of training camp. He could [ More ]

Alameda Ta'amuJul 21 01:53p

Arizona Cardinals DT Alameda Ta'amu (knee) and FS Tyrann Mathieu (knee) are candidates to be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list at the start of training camp.

David WilsonJul 21 01:42p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) should be able to help the offense if he is able to stay healthy this upcoming season, according to former offensive coordinator [ More ]

Chris SneeJul 21 01:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants OG Chris Snee has officially announced his retirement from professional football.

Garrett CelekJul 21 01:22p

San Francisco 49ers TEs Derek Carrier and Garrett Celek will compete for the No. 3 tight end spot during training camp.

De'Anthony ThomasJul 21 01:22p

Kansas City Chiefs RB De'Anthony Thomas spent most of his time with the running backs during practice Monday, July 21. Thomas run a lot of passing routes out of [ More ]

Christopher OwensJul 21 01:13p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (knee), WR Kyle Williams (knee), WR A.J. Jenkins (hamstring) and CB Christopher Owens (hamstring) participated in practice Monday, July 21.

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