By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Doug Martin hopes to start
This is the fourth preview in a series of training camp previews. We will continue to release the previews throughout the week. The previews give you a quick look at each team, going over position battles and injuries to watch in camp. The season is right around the corner.
The Raiders have a lot of new this training camp, most notably head coach Jon Gruden. Much of camp will focus on Gruden, who has a lot of pressure on him to get this squad going back in the right direction. Gruden was given a huge contract, so expectations are high for him. He already started putting his stamp on the team during the offseason, so we will get an idea if his personnel moves are the right ones, starting in training camp.
Position battle: The Raiders should have a battle on their hands with veteran running backs Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin competing for the starting running back spot. Lynch might be the logical choice, but don't count out Martin. He seems a better fit for the offense and might have more left in the tank at this stage of their careers. It should be a legit battle for the job and one worth monitoring for fantasy teams.
Injury watch: The Raiders signed Jordy Nelson this offseason with the hopes of him starting and producing like he has past years. Nelson missed just a game last year but his production was way down. Nelson did not look like the player from past years. His health will be something to monitor in training camp, especially if you consider he is 33 years old. Oakland needs a healthy and production Nelson if this team hopes to have a big season.
The Broncos had a disappointing season last year, mainly because of a poor offense. The team signed Case Keenum to a big contract this offseason, hoping to have finally found their franchise quarterback. So much of camp will focus on Keenum to see if he is the right man for the job. Keenum will be counted on to lead the offense and get things turned around on that side of the ball.
Position battle: The Broncos had C.J. Anderson as their starting running back last year, but he is gone. This leaves an opening for the No. 1 running back job. Devontae Booker should get first crack at the job, but he will be pushed by rookie Royce Freeman. Booker has not done a whole lot with past chances, so he will need to show better in camp and preseason action if he hopes to hold off Freeman, who might be the more complete back of the two.
Injury watch: Tight end Jake Butt missed all of his rookie season as he recovered from a torn ACL. He has a chance to play a big role this year as long as he is healthy. He should be considered the favorite to start because he is a dual threat at the position, doing well as a receiver and blocker. Butt has the talent to help fantasy teams as well as long as he is starting.
The Chargers already had the injury bug hit this offseason and this has been an issue for the team in recent years. San Diego is getting older, so keeping their veterans healthy will be a priority for the team this training camp. If any of their star players go down once again, it could be a long year for San Diego. But if the Chargers can stay healthy, they have the makings of a playoff team.
Position battle: The Chargers have a huge hole to fill, losing Hunter Henry this offseason to a torn ACL. He is out for the season. San Diego doesn't have much behind Henry on the depth chart right now. Virgil Green seems the likely starter but the team could bring in other veteran options, such as Antonio Gates, if Green doesn't show well in camp. This position isn't decided by any means and is one to watch because the tight end in San Diego normally gets a lot of targets.
Injury watch: Mike Williams was a bust his rookie year, having a lost season because of injury. He had back and knee issues that limited him to 11 receptions in 10 games. The Chargers still have high hopes for him, though. and he should play a big role as long as he is healthy. His targets could even increase because of the loss of Hunter Henry at tight end. Williams will need to be healthy from day one, though, if he hopes to take advantage of his more chances.
The Chiefs made a big change this offseason, handing over the starting quarterback duties to second-year player Pat Mahomes. He will be the player to watch this training camp. Mahomes has a lot of pressure on him to produce right away, taking over as the starting quarterback for a good team. The Chiefs hope Mahomes can take their offense to another level. We will get a sense of if that can happen by watching Mahomes in camp and preseason action.
Position battle: The Chiefs have their starting receivers set but the No. 3 job is up for grabs. They have a host of options competing for that job. Demarcus Robinson, De'Anthony Thomas and Chris Conley probably will get first shot at the job. These guys all bring a little something different to the table, but have the skill set to produce at the position. We should have a better idea on the winner of the job as camp and the preseason gets going. It should sort itself out.
Injury watch: Running back Spencer Ware tore his PCL and LCL before last season and missed the entire year. He is still recovering from the injury and no sure thing to be ready for the start of camp or even the regular season. These are very serious injuries to return, so keep an eye on his status during training camp for the latest. He will be the top backup for the Chiefs when he his healthy and playing.
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette could see more action on third down this year, according to head coach Doug Marrone. The Jaguars used Fournette on third down plays with the first team offense in Saturday's preseason game against the Vikings and Marrone said the second-year back seems to be doing a good job in the situations. If Fournette can be a true three-down back for Jacksonville this year, he could see his value in PPR formats vault into the top five by the end of the season.
Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick (undisclosed) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Aug. 21.
Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon should be on the practice field very soon, according to head coach Hue Jackson.
Cleveland Browns WR Antonio Callaway (groin) worked on the side during practice Tuesday, Aug. 21, and may not be able to play in the third preseason game.
Buccaneers left tackle Donovan Smith (knee) will miss the next two-to-four weeks with a sprained knee. Smith looked like he had suffered a much more serious injury in practice but was luckily diagnosed with just a sprain. This is good news for Tampa, but bad news for Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bucs' line will look to be pretty ugly come Week 1 of the regular season if Smith is still out.
Updating a previous report, Washington Redskins RB Adrian Peterson's one-year deal is worth $1.015 million, according to a source.
Philadelphia Eagles RB Jay Ajayi (undisclosed) has been missing practice because of a lower body injury, according to head coach Doug Pederson.
Free-agent FS Eric Reid (49ers) could be an option for the San Francisco 49ers if he is willing to accept a backup role and a salary close to league minimum, but head coach Kyle Shanahan said he does not believe Reid would be willing to accept that type of role.
San Francisco 49ers QB C.J. Beathard (foot) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Aug. 21, because of a foot injury, but head coach Kyle Shanahan said the hope is that Beathard will practice Wednesday, Aug. 22.
Free-agent LB Junior Galette (Redskins) will not sign with the Los Angeles Rams, according to head coach Sean McVay. McVay said Galette underwent a physical during his visit but is not sure if Galette worked out for the team.
Miami Dolphins CB Tony Lippett (ankle) participated in practice Tuesday, Aug. 21.
Miami Dolphins WR Kenny Stills (ankle, calf) participated in practice Tuesday, Aug. 21.
Miami Dolphins RB Kalen Ballage (concussion) is still going through the concussion protocol and did not participate in practice Tuesday, Aug. 21.
Free-agent LB Nick DeLuca (Titans) signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars Tuesday, Aug. 21. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also placed FS Don Carey (undisclosed) on the Reserve/Injured list.
Detroit Lions CB Antwuan Davis was claimed off waivers by the Oakland Raiders Tuesday, Aug. 21. The team also waived/injured S Tevin Mitchel (undisclosed).
Dallas Cowboys DE Datone Jones (knee) is expected to miss a few weeks because of a knee injury, according to head coach Jason Garrett.
Dallas Cowboys WR Cole Beasley (groin) returned to practice Tuesday, Aug. 21.
Dallas Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch (groin) is not expected to practice this week as he nurses a groin injury.
Seattle Seahawks RB J.D. McKissic (foot) suffered a Jones' fracture in his foot and is expected to be out four to six weeks, according to a source.
Seattle Seahawks SS Bradley McDougald (pectoral) did not practice Tuesday, Aug. 21, with a pectoral strain, according to head coach Pete Carroll.