10 Fantasy Players to Watch in Camp with New Teams
With training camps starting in earnest this week, we're finally going to be able to watch players with their new teams, and thus, see the kind of fantasy impact they can have in the 2013 season.
With the Hall of Fame game (between the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys) kicking things off on Sunday, August 4, fantasy owners will finally have their football hunger fed to them. After Sunday’s game, the preseason schedule will really ramp up the following Thursday. And then before you know it, it will be the regular season.
In this slideshow, outlined will be 10 players (listed alphabetically) who have switched teams in the offseason and what kind of impact we can expect from them as games get underway.
Danny Amendola, New England Patriots
While Wes Welker exits New England, Danny Amendola enters.
Amendola, who has been compared to Welker, is a great route-runner with sure hands, and his presence should help smooth over some of the losses the Patriots have had to deal with of late. With many inexperienced and banged up receivers to work with, expect Tom Brady to lean on Amendola a lot in 2013.
It should be interesting to see the rapport Brady builds with Amendola this preseason.
Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions
With Reggie Bush taking his talents out of South Beach and driving them to Motown, he should see an uptick in value in Detroit.
Bush’s open-field versatility and pass-catching ways are more compatible with Detroit’s explosive offense than they were in Miami.
Expect similar numbers—if not better—from Bush this year, as he should easily fit in with his new teammates.
Chris Ivory, New York Jets
Buried behind the likes of Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram on the Saints running back depth chart, Chris Ivory was never really given a fair chance to show off his talent.
When given a chance, Ivory has shined, as he does boast a career 5.1 YPC average. In Weeks 9 and 10 of last season, Ivory ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.
With the Jets more suited for ground-and-pound, Ivory should flourish in this system, as he does have a nice offensive line to run behind as well.
Steven Jackson, Atlanta Falcons
A change in scenery will ultimately prove to be the best thing for Steven Jackson.
Jackson tried his best to carry the load in St. Louis for years, but he could not do it alone. Now equipped with a much-more balanced cast, Jackson will not feel the burden to carry the load.
With a high-flying passing attack, Jackson will be a secondary option in Atlanta, and as a result, he could thrive in that role.
How the Falcons use Jackson in the preseason should pique the interest of fantasy players.
Greg Jennings, Minnesota Vikings
While he got paid in the offseason, Jennings’ numbers could take a hit with Christian Ponder responsible for getting him the ball this year. In Green Bay, Jennings was one of many weapons that Favre and Rodgers could turn to. In Minnesota, Jennings will be keyed in on, as the Vikings don’t have the necessary wide receiver depth nor experience to make any opposing teams that intimidated.
How Jennings meshes with Ponder in the preseason could tell us a lot about their future together.
Rashard Mendenhall, Arizona Cardinals
While seemingly in and out of Mike Tomlin’s doghouse in Pittsburgh last year, Rashard Mendenhall might find things a bit easier in Arizona.
However, Mendenhall will have a so-so supporting cast behind him, and the Cardinals offensive line is still one of the league’s most dreadful O-lines. Maybe a reunion with his old offensive coordinator, Bruce Arians, will jumpstart his career.
Mendenhall is an iffy running back selection in fantasy drafts and how he does in the preseason could go a long way in erasing some doubts about him.
Brandon Myers, New York Giants
If Brandon Myers could put up solid numbers (79 receptions for 806 yards and four touchdowns in 2012) in Oakland, what kind of numbers do you think he could put up with Eli Manning as his quarterback?
While not the best blocker (and when it comes to fantasy, we don’t really care), Myers has a knack for getting open and seizing his opportunities. Manning will find it easy getting Myers the ball in the Giants' pass-heavy attack.
Myers could be poised for a career year.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Obviously, when we’re talking about Alex Smith for fantasy purposes, we’re talking about a backup quarterback.
His move to Kansas City, though, could help rejuvenate his career, and if he connects well with his weapons (namely Dwayne Bowe), Smith could make for a high-end No. 2 QB.
If you remember, prior to getting benched last year, Smith was having a solid year. In 10 games last year, Smith threw for 1,737 yards and 13 touchdowns while only throwing five interceptions and completing 70.2 percent of his passes.
Smith is no slouch, and he could be a late-round sleeper to keep your eye on. It will be exciting to see what he can do with Andy Reid as his coach.
Mike Wallace, Miami Dolphins
The first person we’ll get to glaze our eyes on this preseason in his new digs will be Miami’s newest addition, Mike Wallace, as he and the Dolphins take on the Cowboys on Sunday night (August 4).
The speedy receiver should add a new dimension to the Dolphins offense. His big-play ability and stretch-the-field athleticism should be a welcome addition in South Beach, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill couldn’t be happier.
Combine Wallace with fellow newcomer Dustin Keller, and the Dolphins could have themselves a vastly improved offense.
Wes Welker, Denver Broncos
In what was basically a lateral move, Wes Welker goes from one high-octane offense in New England to another one out west in Denver. Like he’s had for the last six years in New England, Welker will have arguably another Hall of Fame quarterback throwing him the ball, as he’s switching from Tom Brady to Peyton Manning.
Welker will once again be a slot receiver extraordinaire and PPR beast. While the Broncos still have a stable of quality receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, Welker will get his share of targets.
How Manning uses Welker in Denver’s various packages should be an interesting thing to watch this summer.
Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon