Training camp quick hits from New York, Minnesota, Tennessee, Miami, and Dallas.
Jalin Marshall is making an impression in Jets camp. Marshall’s resume as a wide receiver doesn’t jump off the page, but his total package impressed Jon Moore quite a bit. There’s no way that impression lasts into the regular season unless tragedy befalls Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Oh, and Quincy Enunwa, who is the next man up and well positioned to have huge value if one of the big guys goes down. But I do think that Marshall might threaten Devin Smith’s job.
Smith has better receiving numbers and more draft capital, but he’s on the PUP list and might miss the start of the season. And Marshall compares favorably from an athletic point of view. A strong camp from Marshall might keep Smith on the bench when he returns. Not that he has much value anyway, but I’m fading Smith in dynasty.
Charles Johnson continues to earn rave reviews in Vikings camp. I know, we had such high hopes last year, and then…kaput. I mean, I don’t even have a recent RotoViz article to link you to where one of our writers touts his hidden upside. Okay, the upside in Minnesota’s offense might not be that much. But there’s a non-zero chance that Johnson holds off Laquon Treadwell and gets a significant role. Flashback to when Johnson was a prospect:
Mike Mularkey complaining over and over about how Dorial Green-Beckham and Kendall Wright aren’t getting it done and then going out and signing Andre Johnson reminds me of how Bruce Arians complained last year that he wasn’t happy with his running backs and then went out and signed Chris Johnson. You know, Chris Johnson who was washed up and ain’t even be in the game. Then the regular season came and Johnson led the Cardinals in attempts every week he was healthy and had a very useful fantasy season, while Andre Ellington rotted on the bench and David Johnson had to wait for an injury to get a legit workload.
I’m not sure I’m ready to buy into the idea of Andre Johnson winning a similarly valuable role in Tennessee. It could happen, so he’s worth monitoring I guess, but the Titans gave him no guaranteed money. Mostly though I think it’s fair to be nervous about DGB and Kendall Wright. Rishard Matthews looks to have passed them by and has legit upside of his own. Then Tajae Sharpe is running ahead of them, and now Andre Johnson shows up. I guess I just don’t want to be left holding the Andre Ellington bag. Last year it made sense to think that Arians would “see the light” and roll with Ellington and David Johnson, and that signing Chris Johnson was no big deal. Well, sometimes coaches actually tell us something, and this situation feels similar. I’m being very cautious about DGB and Kendall Wright. For some other takes, Brian Malone discusses whether or not to trade DGB, and nothing will stop Mocker’s love for Kendall Wright.
So the Cowboys lost their backup quarterback, and the Chiefs beat them to Nick Foles. That leaves untried rookie Dak Prescott as the backup of the moment. That may not be terrible – Anthony Amico likes him as an arbitrage Paxton Lynch. But it’s not very inspiring. I mean, no team is excited about the possibility of having to have their backup QB start games. But most teams have a backup that has, you know, actually started games. I guess the Cowboys could too, if they want to take Josh Freeman’s calls. The point is their backup situation stinks, even compared to the normal stinkiness of backups. Tony Romo may not be fat, but he is 36 and missed 12 games last year. Something to think about when dropping a first-round pick on Dez Bryant. There’s no shortage of quality WRs, so I’m generally skipping Dez for someone else. On the other hand, despite the QB situation, Jacob Rickrode is going all in on Dez Bryant this year. He’s the high stakes player, I’m the guy that liked Andre Ellington last year, so maybe you want to read his take on the matter.