Chris Wesseling

Training Camp Lowdown

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Training Camp Mailbag

Monday, July 30, 2012


@ericktumang: “Who do you think will be the best receiver in this class long-term?”

Justin Blackmon. His production will suffer while GM Gene Smith stubbornly sticks to the Blaine Gabbert experiment over the next year or two, but I think he will end up with the best career of this year’s batch. Like Dez Bryant and Hakeem Nicks, he combines velcro hands with dominant run-after-catch ability.

For what it’s worth, I’d also draft Kendall Wright, Brian Quick and perhaps Alshon Jeffery over Michael Floyd. The latter’s fantasy production will be deflated as the second fiddle to Larry Fitzgerald. Wright is an exciting playmaker and Jeffery is better than he was given credit for during the pre-draft cattle call.

@mj_baroz: “Is Joseph Morgan this year’s Victor Cruz?”

Morgan will have my attention if he pushes for the No. 3 job in New Orleans this summer, but I see several major differences between the two. Whereas Morgan returned a punt for a touchdown in one preseason game and hauled in a 56-yard score in the next, Cruz exploded for six receptions, 145 yards and three touchdowns in a dominant preseason debut, showing incredible ball skills, plenty of speed and outstanding body control. Cruz had also earned gushing praise from the usually reticent coach Tom Coughlin throughout his rookie training camp whereas the majority of Morgan hype had come via beat writers. Finally, Cruz had an easier path to significant targets with Steve Smith gone and Mario Manningham banged up. Morgan won’t bypass Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles and Marques Colston in the pecking order.

@ScottKlein79: “In a 16 team dynasty league & weak at WR. Who is the best stash? R.Cooper, K.Durham, Marvin Jones, Joe Morgan, K.Martin or McNutt.”

I’d go 1. Morgan, 2. McNutt, 3. M. Jones 4. K. Martin, 5. Cooper, 6. Durham.

See above on Morgan. I wouldn’t take Jones higher than the third round in rookie drafts. Several people whom I trust are high enough on his college film to make the top half of this, however. I question Cooper’s instincts every time I see him play; McNutt looks like a better long-term stash to me. Durham looks like nothing more than a red-zone specialist in a best-case scenario.

@sdrex18: “Dynasty league QB: Luck or Griffin?”

I covered this one in-depth a few months ago. I think both are can’t-miss prospects and the top duo to enter the league since Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson a half-decade ago. Risk-averse owners should go for Luck as the sure thing. Those willing to gamble should roll the dice on Griffin’s upside.

@aggs82: “If you own Rivers with a win-now young team in keeper/dynasty, how much of a play do you make for Luck/RG3?”

I’d make a strong play for Luck/Griffin unless I owned Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton or Matthew Stafford. Rivers isn’t giving you an advantage over the other owners in the league right now. Luck and RGIII have a chance to do that. Pursue the rookies aggressively.

@Joey_Mitch: “Alex Green's upside? Colin Kaepernick sneaky buy in dynasty circles with WR corps improving this year?”

We don’t have enough NFL tape on Green to confidently assess his upside. Coming off ACL surgery, I’m not expecting much in 2012. I suspect he’ll be a tandem back, mostly handling passing downs, in 2013 and beyond. I do believe, though, that he has a higher career upside than James Starks.

I like Kaepernick as a Dynasty stash if he’s available on the cheap. I’d rather carry him than Alex Smith, since the latter is a weekly disadvantage in fantasy. Kaepernick’s athleticism makes him intriguing, though I suspect he’ll never have the accuracy to succeed as a franchise quarterback.

@nlau73: “Better keeper this year in standard league, Brandon Marshall or Dez Bryant?”

I’m taking Dez. Higher upside, especially in touchdowns (Marshall has scored more than seven TDs just once in his six-year career). Marshall has been on my “do not touch” list for years. That won’t change considering receivers often struggle upon changing teams. For those keeping score at home, Marshall has 17 police-related incidents since college. Bryant has two. That's not to mention Marshall's nasty habit of coach-killing and throwing quarterbacks under the proverbial bus. No thanks. I'll pass.

@therockshane45: “Which has better upside for this year only? Michael Turner or Frank Gore?”

Yikes. Two players on the wrong side of my Sleepers & Busts column for the Football Draft Guide. Forced to pick my poison, I’d go with Turner for the greater shot at double-digit scores. The two backs actually caught the same number of passes last season, and Gore may have to contend with Brandon Jacobs at the goal line this time around.

@therockshane45: “Who has more upside in a dynasty, Anquan Boldin or Reggie Wayne?”

After two years of data on the Flacco-to-Boldin connection, we know it doesn’t quite produce reliable WR3 value on a weekly basis. I’d rather wager that Luck-to-Wayne can produce at a more consistent level for the next couple of years.


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Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for Rotoworld.com. The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to NBCSports.com. He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
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