Training Camp Preview: NFC East

Wed Jul 22 10:43am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Eagles hope Jeffery is healthy


This is the fifth 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.

Eagles

The Eagles had all sorts of injury issues last year, so getting healthy and staying healthy will be a big key to their season. This might be the biggest thing to watch during camp this year after last season. Their key players, especially at the receiver position, need to stay on the field for Philadelphia to find success on the field. The Eagles train at the NovaCare Complex in Philadelphia.

Position battle: Alshon Jeffery is the No. 1 receiver for the Eagles but after him, there are some openings for the Eagles. Veteran DeSean Jackson seems likely to start but he won’t be handed the job at this stage of his career, especially after his off the field comments that got him in some hot water. The Eagles also have rookie Jalen Reagor looking for a big role in the offense. Marquise Goodwin and JJ Arcega-Whiteside also are in the mix for playing time at receiver for the Eagles.

Injury watch: Alshon Jeffery is recovering from a Lisfranc injury and is iffy for the start of camp. He might not even be ready for the start of the season. We’ll get a better idea of his status after watching him in camp, though. If healthy, Jeffery is the No. 1 receiver in this offense. He needs to get over his injury issues, though, and stay on the field.

Giants

The Giants continue to be in rebuild mode. New York is getting closer to competing for a playoff spot, though. The big thing to watch is the development of their young talent, especially quarterback Daniel Jones. If the Giants hope to win more games, Jones will need to take more steps forward this year. Jones and the rest of his teammates train at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Position battle: It will be interesting to see if Darius Slayton can grab one of the starter spots for the Giants this year. He had a great showing when getting a chance to start late last year and could force his way into the starting lineup. Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard are atop the depth chart at receiver right now, but that might change if Slayton continues to emerge. He has a chance to lead the Giants in targets, especially if he is starting.

Injury watch: Evan Engram was on his way to a big season last year before injury hit. He needed Lisfranc surgery this offseason to repair his foot injury. He is trending towards being ready for the start of camp, though. He might be brought along slowly, but Engram is expected to be near 100 percent for the start of the season. You’ll want to keep an eye on his progress in camp, though, to be sure.

Cowboys

Dallas has a lot of high expectations once again this year. The team disappointed last year, leading to a coaching change. So much of this camp might be focused on Mike McCarthy, seeing how he can bring together the team. McCarthy will have a lot of pressure on him to succeed, but certainly has the track record for hope in Dallas. The Cowboys train at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texans.

Position battle: We should have a battle on our hands for the No. 2 receiver spot in Dallas. Michael Gallup made big progress last year, hitting the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career. The Cowboys took CeeDee Lamb in the first round of this year’s draft, though. Lamb was considered the top receiver in this class by man, so he should challenge Gallup for the right to start in Dallas. Both players will play regardless this year, but the starter will hold a little more fantasy value, making this is a position battle to monitor.

Injury watch: Ezekiel Elliott is one of the players that tested positive for coronavirus this offseason. It was just a few weeks back, so his status is a little uncertain as camp opens. He should be ready to go, but you have to wonder if this illness will have any longterm impacts on him. We should see if he is back to full strength early in camp, though. Hopefully, all is well with Elliott going forward.

Redskins

The Redskins made another coaching change this offseason, making Ron Rivera their head coach. Washington is in rebuild mode but getting veteran coach like Rivera to run the show might accelerate the process. Rivera is a no nonsense coach that should bring some structure to the team. Getting up to speed with the new coach might be biggest thing to watch this training camp. Washington holds trading camp at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Virginia.

Position battle: The Redskins have veteran Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice battling it out for the right to start at running back. Guice has a lot more upside of the two but can’t stay healthy. He will need to prove he can handle the load in camp and preseason action if he hopes to hold off Peterson, who just keeps chugging along. Peterson got to start much of last season because of Guice getting injured and topped 1,000 total yards for the second straight season. He as produced well for the Redskins when given the chance.

Injury watch: Derrius Guice has played just five games in his NFL career. If healthy, he has a chance to be the starter for the Redskins. But that is a big “if” considering his injury history to start his career. Guice has a ton of talent but staying on the field is a big concern for him. A good camp and preseason could go a long way in easing fantasy owners minds a little.

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

Player Notes
Vic Beasley Aug 7 11:53am ET

Tennessee Titans LB Vic Beasley reported for COVID-19 testing Friday, Aug. 7.

From TheHuddle

James Washington Aug 7 11:13am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers WR James Washington was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Friday, Aug. 7.

Fantasy Spin: Washington could start opposite of Juju Smith-Schuster, but he'll need to step it up to stave off Chase Claypool. Washington figures to be a WR4 or WR5 in fantasy.

From TheHuddle

Corey Davis Aug 6 7:03pm ET

Updating a previous story, Tennessee Titans WR Corey Davis (toe) is on the Physically Unable to Perform list as a result of offseason toe surgery. He's not expected to miss any games.

Fantasy Spin: This would be a greater concern if Davis was actually missing meaningful practices while on the PUP list. There shouldn't be any major concern, and he'll still enter the season as the No. 2 option behind A.J. Brown.

From TheHuddle

M.J. Stewart Aug 6 5:43pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers CB M.J. Stewart was released Thursday, Aug. 6.

From TheHuddle

Rod Smith Aug 6 5:33pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders RB Rod Smith was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday, Aug. 6.

From TheHuddle

Josh Doctson Aug 6 5:33pm ET

Updating a previous story, New York Jets WR Josh Doctson was placed on the Reserve/Opt-Out list Thursday, Aug. 6.

From TheHuddle

Rashaan Melvin Aug 6 5:23pm ET

Updating a previous story, Jacksonville Jaguars DB Rashaan Melvin was placed on the Reserve/Opt-Out list Thursday, Aug. 6.

From TheHuddle

Ricardo Louis Aug 6 5:13pm ET

Free-agent WRs Ricardo Louis (Dolphins) and Chester Rogers (Colts) have been contacted and put through physicals by the Miami Dolphins, according to a source Thursday, Aug. 6.

From TheHuddle

J.J. Wilcox Aug 6 5:13pm ET

Free-agent S J.J. Wilcox (Falcons) is expected to re-sign with the Atlanta Falcons pending COVID-19 testing and a physical, according to a source Thursday, Aug. 6.

From TheHuddle

Shaq Lawson Aug 6 4:23pm ET

Miami Dolphins LB Raekwon Davis, DT Benito Jones, S Brandon Jones, OG Solomon Kindley, DE Shaq Lawson and WR Kirk Merritt were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday, Aug. 6.

From TheHuddle

Zach Sieler Aug 6 4:23pm ET

Miami Dolphins RB Malcolm Perry and DT Zach Sieler were activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday, Aug. 6.

From TheHuddle

Robert Woods Aug 6 4:03pm ET

Los Angeles Rams WR Robert Woods said he has had preliminary contract extension talks with the Rams and wants to finish his career with Los Angeles.

Fantasy Spin: Woods has played very well since joining the Rams and has posted at least 1,100 yards in each of the last two seasons. He will be one of the main options in the passing game this season and should be a weekly starting option in all fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Leighton Vander Esch Aug 6 1:53pm ET

Dallas Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch said he will be playing middle linebacker this season with LB Jaylon Smith moving to weakside linebacker.

From TheHuddle

Clay Matthews Aug 6 12:43pm ET

Free-agent LB Clay Matthews (Rams) and LB Everson Griffen (Vikings) have received interest from the Seattle Seahawks.

From TheHuddle

Tee Higgins Aug 5 8:20pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft and has a high ceiling without a doubt, especially since he will be catching passes from No. 1 overall selection Joe Burrow. Both rookies have built a rapport already as the duo conducted workouts together during the offseason. Higgins finished his final season at Clemson with 59 catches and 13 touchdowns off of 1,167 yards. While he is a risky selection in redraft leagues this season due to his potential limited playing time, he is surely worth a first-round pick in dynasty formats as he will likely rack up plenty of receptions from Burrow for years to come.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Boyd Aug 5 8:10pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd has begun catching passes from rookie signal-caller Joe Burrow as the team kicks off training camp. The 25-year-old has plenty of hype heading into the 2020 season after racking up over 1,000 yards in his previous two seasons. With A.J. Green seemingly healthy along with the addition of Clemson wideout Tee Higgins, Boyd could see things open up more on the offensive end, while also remaining the team's top pass-catcher.

From RotoBaller

A.J. Green Aug 5 8:00pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green went through his first walkthrough under second-year head coach Zac Taylor on Tuesday. The veteran, who recently signed a one-year tender a few weeks ago, missed all of 2019 after injuring his ankle during training camp. While consistent ailments have been the theme for the 32-year-old over the past seasons, there is no denying his ability when healthy. He is no longer considered an elite wideout, however, he is worth a mid-round pick for those looking for an option with an enormous upside.

From RotoBaller

Joe Mixon Aug 5 7:40pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon is still without a new deal as the team heads toward the 2020 season. However, according to director of player personnel, Duke Tobin, the organization views the 24-year-old as a "cornerstone piece of the franchise." Mixon is looking for a contract that would pay him north of $8 million per year, a significant increase from the $1.2 million that he is expected to earn in the final year of his rookie deal. The former Sooner is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons and is projected by many to be a fantasy breakout by year's end.

From RotoBaller

Ezekiel Elliott Aug 5 7:10pm ET

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was quick to respond to Ed Werder's Twitter post regarding a potentially reduced role for the former rushing champ, quipping "we all gonna eat." Though Elliott is a shoo-in, first-round pick in fantasy drafts for the 2020 campaign, many still wonder how he will co-exist on an offense that has plenty of mouths to feed, notably Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and 17th overall pick, CeeDee Lamb. Elliott finished 2019 as a top-five back in the majority of formats. Under new head coach Mike McCarthy, who has overseen some productive runners throughout his career, the 25-year-old could be in store for another productive year.

From RotoBaller