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Miami Dolphins RBs Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage could possibly end up playing similar roles to James White and Sony Michel, respectively, under new offensive coordinator Chad O'Shea in 2019. ESPN's Cameron Wolfe made an early touch split prediction of 45/40/15 for the Dolphins' backs, with Ballage on the high end of that, followed by Drake and then a combination of the other Miami backs after that.
That sounds about right. Ballage is getting a lot of pub and hype during training camp for the Dolphins. He's a larger back and good as a receiver out of the backfield. Drake has speed and moves but the team seems intent only on using him as a committee back.
Denver Broncos RB Royce Freeman is performing well enough in camp that coaches appear ready to 'finally establish the true split-touch situation they envisioned between Freeman and Phillip Lindsay last season,' according to Yahoo! Sports' Charles Robinson.
That's been known around Denver for quite some time. Freeman has looked like a natural in the wide-zone scheme the Broncos are implementing this season. He should be the lead back when the team needs tough yards or near the goal line. Lindsay is more explosive and doesn't need as many carries to put up more yards. This looks like a 'hot hand' approach that was further complicated with the signing of Theo Riddick.
Riddick is there to be the team's pass-catching back. That's what he does and he rarely gets carries. The addition of Riddick puts the future of Devontae Booker in doubt. Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay are likely to work in a RBBC, splitting touches with Riddick when it comes to receptions out of the backfield.
Los Angeles Chargers RB Melvin Gordon's agent, Damarius Bilbo, said Thursday, Aug. 1, he has requested that the Chargers explore trading Gordon. General manager Tom Telesco told Bilbo that Gordon is still highly valued by the team, and the agent was not given permission to seek any trade partners.
Reports indicate the Chargers are willing to pay $10 million annually but will not budge on giving Gordon more at this time. The Chargers are also not budging on allowing Gordon to seek a trade. We'll see if somethings shakes loose as things continue in Gordon's holdout.
New York Jets RB Le'Veon Bell was praised Thursday, Aug. 1, by head coach Adam Gase. 'LeVeon Bell picks things up so fast...he has done some of the stuff we do in the passing game,' Gase said. 'He looks like a running back...you go thats what a RB is supposed to look like that. He is one of the best, if not the best running back in the league.'
Bell is not the same back he used to be but Fantasy GMs are excited to see him back in action and are picking him up around the end of the first round. Gase is known for splitting running back duties but Bell can do it all and rarely needs to come off the field. If healthy, Bell should post RB1 numbers for Fantasy GMs in 2019.
Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton has been working on tweaking his throwing motion and making other changes to his routine to better his chances of remaining healthy. 'It's still a work in progress,' Newton said Thursday, Aug. 1. 'One thing I wanted to work on was just being honest with myself. Knowing when to sit out of practice and working on my body. I'm as hungry as ever. But guys that are on board on offense need me to be my best self.'
Newton's new throwing motion is more compact and hopefully going to cut down on the torque with his shoulder when he throws. He's been working on changing it all offseason long and he's in the process of getting better with the new motion.
Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins said Wednesday, July 31, he's feeling much more confident working with TE Kyle Rudolph in their second training camp together. 'I've done a better job this camp ... of just trusting him more and throwing it to him even when he's covered,' Cousins told reporters Wednesday. 'I think today there were probably two or three examples of him catching the ball with the defender draped over him or pretty close to him. He is just such a trustworthy target, so little things like that, building a chemistry with him, you would've loved to say I did that last year, but I don't think I did enough.'
Rudolph may not be flashy, but he's one of the most consistent tight ends in the league. His current ADP (TE19, 14.01) is something he could easily outperform. Rudolph is not a high-end TE1 but posting low-end TE1 numbers is quite possible again..especially with better chemistry with Cousins.
Kendricks left practice early on Wednesday, but nobody knows what the injury is for the veteran tight end. Another injury at the position is about the last thing the Patriots need. We'll see if they make a move at the position during camp or if they're going to be happy with the players they have on the roster.
Grant is super fast and super quick...he's simply electric when the ball is in his hands. A hamstring injury can rob him of his best skill. The Dolphins are going to wise and monitor him closely as he recovers.
Reports from around the team says there was a 'flare up' for McKinnon's knee. We'll see if he can get activated and get out there next week for the 49ers. While McKinnon is out, the 49ers are getting long looks at Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida.
New England Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers - an undrafted rookie free-agent - has consistently made plays in competitive situations and generally outperformed first-round pick N'Keal Harry early in training camp.
New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas, who on Wednesday, July 31, signed a lucrative second contract, told general manager Mikey Loomis that he plans to sign a third contract with the Saints. 'After I signed that deal I told Mickey I'll be back to do a third deal,' Thomas said. 'Now it's on to the next goal. You're now the highest-paid, now you've got to go earn it. So that's the biggest thing I'm trying to do. I'm trying to earn every penny of it.'
Thomas is far from done. He's one of the best in the league and the Saints paid him as such. Thomas is up-and-down at times as a fantasy factor but his end-of-the-season numbers are always in the WR1 tier.
Jones is set to be the lead back for the Packers this year. He's got a fine all-purpose skill set as a runner or receiver out of the backfield. Jones is one of those third-round picks at running back who could post RB1 numbers in 2019.