Training Camp 2-A-Days Chiefs and Vikings
NFL teams primarily use two-a-days to get in shape for the upcoming season. We continue our 16 Two-A-Day previews updating on training camp, roster battles and Dynasty relevance.
The Kansas City Chiefs offense will be turned over to second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes after the team shipped Alex Smith off to the Washington Redskins. Mahomes has a chance to succeed immediately because of weapons like running back Kareem Hunt, tight end Travis Kelce, wide receiver Tyreek Hill and newly signed Sammy Watkins.
2.14 – Breeland Speaks, DE, Ole Miss
3.11 – Derrick Nnadi, DT, Florida State
3.36 – Dorian O’Daniel, OLB, Clemson
4.24 – Armani Watts, S, Texas A&M
6.22 – Tremon Smith, CB, Central Arkansas
6.24 – Reginald McKenzie Jr., DL, Tennessee
Patrick Mahomes – Second year QB, Patrick Mahomes, is a first-time starter in 2018. He’s got a cannon for an arm, but his accuracy is still a concern. He’s got some mobility, but when you have Kareem Hunt, plays aren’t going to be designed for him to rush for 50 yards per game. There’s massive potential here, but he’s essentially a rookie. Mahomes should be owned in all Dynasty formats. I would recommend having another option should he struggle this season.
Chad Henne – Chad Henne landed with the Chiefs this offseason after previous stops in Jacksonville and Miami. Henne will serve as the backup and mentor to starter Patrick Mahomes. If Mahomes is injured or a total bust, Henne will lead this offense. Until that happens Henne holds no fantasy value.
Kareem Hunt – Hunt had a standout rookie season in 2017. Hunt led the league in rushing yards as a rookie, and he finished as RB4. He could lose some touches this season since the Chiefs have Spencer Ware, back from injury. Hunt will still be a workhorse with the potential for 350-plus touches. He remains a top RB option and I have Hunt ranked at 16th overall in my PPR rankings.
Spencer Ware – Ware is trying to come back from last year’s knee injury, which cost him the entire 2017 season, and he will the #2 RB for the Chiefs behind Kareem Hunt. Ware was expected to be the starting running back in KC last season before suffering a torn PCL and LCL in training camp. In 2016, Ware was the primary running back for the Chiefs and finished as RB17. Hunt has taken over the starting role, but Ware could still have the chance for touches on a weekly basis. This season is a contract year for Ware and he will be an unrestricted free agent at seasons end. If Ware is on your Dynasty roster, hold as his value will likely change at minimum next season.
Tyreek Hill – Hill had a breakout season in 2017, and he will look to build on that performance this season, his third in the NFL. Hill finished WR9 in 2017. He will need to deal with a new QB, and a new running mate in Sammy Watkins, who was signed as a free agent from the Rams. Mahomes could be a boost for Hill’s Fantasy value since he has a big arm and might take more chances down the field than Smith. Watkins shouldn’t detract from Hill enough in the production department to scare Fantasy owners off. Hill has evolved from a gadget guy to a must-start Fantasy receiver on a weekly basis in all formats.
Sammy Watkins – Sammy Watkins was traded to the Los Angeles Rams last August. Watkins never became what many expected him to be in LA. Signed to a three-year, $48 million contract with the Chiefs this offseason, he will line up as the No. 2 receiver opposite Tyreek Hill. Watkins only had four games with more than five targets in a game and never had more than nine last season, so there’s hope he’ll be more involved more with the Chiefs. He still has plenty of potential, and with 100-plus targets, he could be around 65 catches, 900 yards, and six touchdowns.
Demarcus Robinson – Robinson is the #3 receiver for the Chiefs this season behind Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins. Robinson has minimal Fantasy value in most leagues. Chris Conley will likely be his biggest competition for targets.
Chris Conley – Conley will compete to be the #3 receiver for the Chiefs with Demarcus Robinson. Conley, like Robinson, has minimal Fantasy value. Conley spent most of 2017 on injured reserve with a ruptured Achilles. As a result of this serious injury, Robinson is likely the one to win the battle for snaps and targets.
Travis Kelce – Travis Kelce finished the season in 2017 as the #1 TE. 2017 was the best year of his career, and he will look to continue his dominance this season. He remains my #1 TE in my PPR rankings. Kelce does get a new quarterback this year in Patrick Mahomes, and the Chiefs added more talent to the receiving corps after they signed free agent Sammy Watkins. Mahomes has the potential to be a boost for Kelce’s Fantasy value since he will likely target the big man when under pressure. Kelce, like Hill, may also s benefit from Mahomes big arm and deeper shots downfield.
The Minnesota Vikings used a dominant defense and steady play from quarterback Case Keenum to reach the NFC Championship last season. The Vikings led the NFL in total defense and gave up the fewest points in the league, finishing the year 13–3. Keenum is now in Denver, and the Vikings have replaced him with Kirk Cousins. This Vikings fan is looking forward to another winning season in 2018.
1.30 – Mike Hughes, DB, UCF
2.30 – Brian O’Neill, OT, Pittsburgh
4.02 – Jaylen Holmes, DE, Ohio State
5.20- Tyler Conklin, TE, Central Michigan
5.30 – Daniel Carlson, K, Auburn
6.39 – Colby Gossett, G, Appalachian State
6.44 – Ade Aruna, DE, Tulane
7.07 – Devante Downs, LB, California
Kirk Cousins – Kirk Cousins finds himself in the best situation of his career to win football games. He also finds himself playing with one of the league’s top defensive units and a top tier RB in Dalvin Cook. The Vikings will likely be leading most weeks and thus limiting the overall potential of Cousins as they pound the ball on the ground with Cook and Latavius Murray. Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph and to a lesser extent Laquon Treadwell will still provide Cousins the weapons required to finish as a top 10 QB in 2018.
Trevor Siemian – Siemian comes to Minnesota to backup Kirk Cousins. Siemian was an inconsistent starter for the Broncos last season and at times in preseason action has looked like the 3rd best option for the Vikings. Siemian holds no value in 1QB leagues, and minimal in Superflex leagues
Dalvin Cook – The leading rusher in the league at the time of his injury last season, Dalvin Cook proved in a very short period that he belongs in this league and can produce at a high level. ACL injuries are not what they used to be, and the Minnesota Vikings know a thing or two about handling a starting running back coming back off such an injury. The offensive line is stable, his QB is better, and the defense remains elite. Cook will get the volume and should land in the top 12 RB at season’s end.
Latavius Murray – Murray will only get a shot to carry the ball as much as he did last season if Dalvin Cook misses significant playing time. Murray will be relegated to a complementary role in the Vikings offense. His physical rushing style will give him some goal-line carries, but he’s not going to be someone you will feel comfortable starting unless Cook suffers an injury again this season.
Roc Thomas/Michael Boone – Both undrafted free agents cracked the Vikings 53-man roster. Thomas showed solid pass catching abilities and Boone was impressive on the ground. Both rookies should be stashed away on taxi squads. Their day may come, but it likely won’t be in 2108.
Stefon Diggs – The playoff game-winning catch by Diggs last January will ensure that he will never need to pay for a drink in Minnesota ever again. Last season Diggs finished as WR17. Injuries have kept Diggs from playing a full 16 game season. In addition, Diggs is still searching for his first 1000-yard season. He has six career 100-yard games (three with over 150 yards) and a 19 with fewer than 60 yards. Consistency and health are the two biggest areas of opportunity in his game. The addition of Kirk Cousins as the Vikings quarterback is a positive. Diggs has a 68.7% career catch rate and with an improved QB, 2018 is shaping up as a breakout season for Diggs. I have Diggs ranked 26th in my PPR rankings.
Adam Thielen – Stefon Diggs might be the bigger name in the Vikings pass game, especially after his playoff heroics in January, but Adam Thielen has been better each of the last two seasons. Thielen posted career-highs in targets (142), catches (91) and yards (1,276) while falling one score shy of matching his touchdown high-mark. Thielen, in my opinion, should take a step back in the Vikings offense in 2018. Kirk Cousins arriving in Minnesota won’t hurt Thielen’s production, but the style of offense will. I see the Vikings as a run-first team, that will be leading more often than not. Combined with an elite defense, I question how often the Vikings attempt passes in 2018. I am not fading Thielen too far, he is 28th in my PPR rankings.
Laquon Treadwell – We’re still waiting for Treadwell break out and become a fantasy relevant. Through two seasons, Treadwell has yet to catch a touchdown or have a game with more than 51 yards receiving. Dynasty league owners must remain patient. Treadwell beat out Kendall Wright in training camp this season and will start the season as the Vikings #3 WR. I am not sure if this will be a breakout season, (most targets will go to Diggs, Thielen and Kyle Rudolph), but I am certain that this will be his most productive season yet.
Kyle Rudolph – Rudy has finished as a top-eight tight end in each of his last two seasons, and he has accomplished this as a TD dependent TE. Eight of his past 32 games saw Rudolph deliver at least 60 yards including just one last season. This doesn’t make Rudolph a bad Fantasy tight end, particularly with tight-end loving quarterback Kirk Cousins and play-caller John DeFilippo coming to Minnesota. I believe that the addition of Kirk Cousins benefits Rudolph the most. I anticipate that Rudy exceeds his career high in catches this season, and finishes inside the top 5 at TE.