Training camps are underway. Here are the players that we're watching and how they're trending in the Fantasy Football Nerd rankings.
Montee Ball (DEN â€“ RB)
According to Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase, the starting job in Denver belongs to Montee Ball. Ball has shown fantastic improvement from his rookie year and this should be the year that he shines in both standard and PPR formats.
Ray Rice (BAL â€“ RB)
We had expected to see a 4-6 game suspension, but with news this week that the NFL will only be suspending Ray Rice for two games, his ranking saw a slight bump up. Rice was terrible last year and burned many fantasy owners with a 1st or 2nd round pick. This year Rice comes into the FFN rankings at 28th overall among running backs making him a flex play at best.
Jeremy Hill (CIN â€“ RB)
It would appear that the #2 man behind Gio Bernard in Cincy will be Jeremy Hill. The FFN consensus projections have him ahead of folks like Darren McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, and David Wilson. Hill could be a great late-round pick in your draft.
Rob Gronkowski (NE â€“ TE)
Gronkowski looks like he should be good to go for Week 1. Weâ€™ve seen a slight bump in his projections, but not enough good news has emerged yet from camp to make us turn away from the risk of drafting him. Individual drills are not going to cut it. Weâ€™d like to see more out of him before clicking the â€œDraftâ€ button. Regardless of our take, Gronk is still projected to be the 4th-highest scoring TE this year.
Brian Hoyer (CLE â€“ QB)
It seems like stories out of Cleveland tend to be either peaks or valleys. The QB situation is interesting as Manziel fever has gripped many in Ohio, but Brian Hoyer is the starting QB as of right now. Johnny Football is projected to outscore Hoyer this season, but neither guy is worthy of a draft pick right now.
Ahmad Bradshaw (IND â€“ RB)
With Vick Ballard out of the picture, it looks like the #2 role in Indy behind Trent Richardson belongs to veteran Ahmad Bradshaw. Colts coach Chuck Pagano spoke highly of him, but even with a rise in his ranking to # 57 among RBâ€™s, Bradshaw is not fantasy-relevant.
Marshawn Lynch (SEA â€“ RB)
Thereâ€™s no reason to sound the alarm yet, but Lynchâ€™s draft ranking went down one spot and his projections have gone down a bit due to his decision to holdout. If Seattle takes care of his contract concerns, there should be no reason to worry. If the holdout lingers, then we expect to see Lynchâ€™s value drop. Weâ€™ve seen this before with big-name studs. Rarely do we see a stud holdout for an extended period of time and then turn in a monster season. It just doesnâ€™t normally happen. Weâ€™ll be watching this situation.
Sidney Rice (SEA â€“ WR)
Sidney Rice announced this week that heâ€™s retiring from the NFL.
Vick Ballard (IND â€“ RB)
Ballard recently tore his Achilles and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Cecil Shorts (JAC â€“ WR)
While we expect Cecil Shorts to be ready Week 1, heâ€™s going to miss a few weeks with a hamstring strain that he suffered yesterday. Shorts had a lot of potential the past few years, but his durability is a concern. Shorts is currently ranked 39th among WRâ€™s on FFN. I wouldnâ€™t be surprised to see him drop a few more spots.
Kendall Hunter (SF â€“ RB)
Kendall Hunter tore his right ACL and will be out for the season. San Fran has plenty of alternatives on the depth chart.