August 6, 2014 Updated: August 6, 2014 at 4:30 pm
With NFL training camps starting, it’s time to start fantasy football preparations. Here are some of battles and possible sleepers that The Gazette’s Matt Wiley will be watching.
Intriguing battle: Levine Toilolo vs. Tony Gonzalez’s shadow. Toilolo is a monster (6-8, 265) and Matt Ryan has shown the tendency to look for the tight end inside the 20-yard line. If Toilolo can live up to expectations, he could be a solid option in fantasy.
Possible sleeper: Devonta Freeman — For no running backs being drafted in the first round of the NFL draft — I am excited about a lot of rookies. Freeman is another one I think could have huge upside. I just wonder if Steven Jackson can stay healthy.
Intriguing battle: Cam Newton vs. chemistry. I am a big fan of Cam’s talent, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he struggles. Kelvin Benjamin, Jericho Cotchery and Jason Avant played elsewhere last season and it will take time for Newton to develop a rapport with them.
Possible sleeper: Tavarres King — I know he is a deep sleeper, but I want to see how the former Broncos draft pick does in Carolina. A lot of observers were high on him when he was with the Broncos.
New Orleans Saints
Intriguing battle: Brandin Cooks vs. the hype. No rookie has had more good things written about them than Bilentnikoff winner Cooks. With Darren Sproles in Philadelphia, Cooks could get 75 receptions - but he will never be the main option in the zed zone with Jimmy Graham on the team.
Possible sleeper: I reluctantly say Mark Ingram. The former Heisman Trophy winner is listed as the goal-line back, but he has burned too many people too many years. He is probably undraftable for me - but I will watch his progression anyway.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Intriguing battle: Bobby Rainey vs. Charles Sims. Doug Martin is the starter, but offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford has said he wants to use a committee and Lovie Smith’s offenses in Chicago always used to pull Matt Forte inside the 5. I am really curious to see who will emerge as Tampa Bay’s No. 2 running back.
Possible sleeper: Josh McCown - The quarterback has a lot of upside as a possible backup on any fantasy team. Tampa Bay has big receivers and McCown finally enters a camp as a starter.
Do you have a sleeper or a battle you are watching? If so, please share it on this blog.