August 7, 2014 Updated: August 7, 2014 at 4:34 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: Michael Floyd vs. Larry Fitzgerald - It is hard to believe that Fitzgerald is about to turn 31. He still has productive years ahead of him, but I want to see if Floyd can emerge as the Cardinals' top receiver.
Possible sleeper: Stepfan Taylor - I am as big of a fan of running back Andre Ellington as there is. On this blog a year ago, I suggested taking him in dynasty leagues. I think Taylor will be his primary backup and could steal some carries inside the 5.
San Francisco 49ers
Intriguing battle: Stevie Johnson vs. Jim Harbaugh. I don't think the 49ers are going to change their offensive philosophy and play with three wide receivers most of the time. I have a hard time thinking Johnson will see the field as much as he wants and I have a hard time thinking that will be OK with him.
Possible sleeper: Carlos Hyde - Someday Frank Gore will break down and Hyde will be the beneficiary. Running backs who hit 30 just don't have staying power. ESPN reported in mid-July that Gore could see 50 fewer carries this season. Hyde could be worth a late-round flier.
Intriguing battle: Jermaine Kearse vs. Paul Richardson - Ok, there probably isn't a battle between these receivers, but I want to watch Richardson because I am a fan of his ability from watching him at CU. He likely won't contribute much this season.
Possible sleeper: Christine Michael - The running back is in line to be Marshawn Lynch's eventually replacement in Seattle. I imagine the Seahawks will start working him into the offense this season.
St. Louis Rams
Intriguing battle: Brian Quick vs. Tavon Austin - One of these two players needs to emerge as a starter. Austin will see plenty of touches, but Quick could be more involved in the passing game.
Possible sleeper: Kenny Britt - It is hard to believe that Britt is still only 25. He is reportedly healthy and looks good in camp and the Rams don't have many other options. He should be on your WR4 radar and he could produce at a much higher level.
Do you have a sleeper or a battle you are watching? If so, please share it on this blog.