Saturday - Feb 23, 2019

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Wally’s World: Minicamp Edition

It’s time to climb in the Wagon Queen Family Truckster and take a trip down that holiday road with Fantasy Football Staff Writer Wally Spurlin.

Welcome to the latest trip to ‘Wally’s World.’

If this is your first look at this particular article then my first question is…”Where have you been?”

My second question is the obvious one…”How much do you love fantasy football that you are checking out articles in mid June?”

Yep, you are my type of people and I heartily thank you for stopping by.

For those of you that have read past editions you know this a rambling account of things I find interesting in the fantasy football realm.

We are not heavy on analytics here and we won’t be breaking down depth charts (back to the middle of June point made earlier) but we will talk about things that make us say, “Hmmm…”

With minicamps in full swing, I figured it was time to dust off the laptop and get busy.

Well, that is a bit of a fib as I have been hard at work contributing to the USA Today Fantasy Football Magazine as well as continuously updating my rankings.

What can I say? I love this wonderful hobby (OK, obsession) and I get to do it for a living.

As we set off down the ‘Holiday Road’ of the fantasy landscape during minicamp season let me first put a few things out there.

Do not fret over holdouts at this early, early stage of the season.

Franchise-tagged players, and I am looking at you Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas, often posture mightily at this time of year only to show up for training camp.

Also, do not panic over injury reports out of minicamp unless the words torn, broken or ruptured appear in the update. It’s the time of year that players routinely miss portions of practice (especially veterans) and teams are required to report these absences with injuries attached.

I guess the NFL frowns on “just because” as a reason a player sits out.

All right then, enough house cleaning. Let’s see what is keeping Uncle Waldo up at night from a fantasy perspective these days.

Just as the swallows return to Capistrano, the annual Marquess Wilson could have a breakout year at WR for the Chicago Bears chatter has been picking up steam. Which will soon be followed by the… (fill in a lower leg injury) will sideline Wilson for a few weeks.

Other than Carlos Hyde as a ‘makes me nervous behind that offensive line’ RB2 option, there are no San Francisco 49ers’ offensive skill position players I am coveting at all in 2015.

For IDP purposes however, I love LB Navorro Bowman, as that defense should be on the field a lot.

The Buccaneers toying with the idea of moving Henry Melton to DE has some intriguing possibilities as that position is lacking depth to say the least for IDP-fantasy purposes.

I am curious to about the Detroit Lions RB situation with Joique Bell coming off both Achilles and knee surgeries in the offseason.

The selection of Ameer Abdullah in the 2nd round makes a bit more sense now and don’t sleep on Theo Riddick in PPR formats as he may see quite a few snaps as a slot receiver.

If Mike Wallace can get on board with being a team player, I like his chances to have a big season with the return of Adrian Peterson to the Vikings offense which should lead to plenty of play-action opportunities.

Despite his poor ‘Pro Day’ performance (to be read in a very sarcastic tone) Teddy Bridgewater is looking to become a fantasy stud sooner rather than later.

With new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman in town, Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett could catch 60-70 passes this season.

So, why am I so nervous about selecting him on any of my fantasy squads for 2015? Oh yeah, because he has played for four different teams over the last five seasons.

Water finds its level, folks.

I guess that also explains my trepidation regarding Brandon LaFell in New England. One season with over 50 receptions in five years has me giving LaFell the ‘stink eye.’

The fact that as of this writing Tom Brady is still due to miss four games (I get that it will probably be reduced) also has me a bit worried for LaFell.

DEEP SLEEPER ALERT! Keep an eye on undrafted free agent WR Paul Browning of the Cleveland Browns during training camp. The kid can flat out play and has the build of Dez Bryant with only has marginally talented guys in front of him.

All apologies to Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline(not really) but Browning could see the field quite a bit in a struggling offense looking for answers.

While John Brown generating quite a buzz in Arizona these days, I still like Larry Fitzgerald to have a surprisingly good fantasy season. Before Carson Palmer went down last season he and L-Fitz were on the same page.

Speaking of wide receivers I love in 2015, Andre Johnson will finally have the chance to play with a great quarterback in Indianapolis this year. David Carr, Tony Banks, Dave Ragone (who?) , Sage Rosenfels, Matt Schaub, Rex Grossman, T.J. Yates, Jake Delhomme(not the good version) , Matt Leinart, Case Keenum, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett and Tom Savage.

Yep. That is the list of quarterbacks that Johnson has been saddled with during his career. How ugly is that list from a fantasy standpoint outside of a couple of decent years from Schaub.

Read it again, I’ll wait.

Yep. Even at 34 (by the time the season starts) Johnson will put up very big fantasy totals. I am gobbling him up in as many drafts as possible.

I don’t generally get excited about rookie defensive ends from a fantasy standpoint, but with the dearth of options at the position I am getting excited about Henry Anderson of the Indianapolis Colts.

Playing time should be readily available early on as the team is thin at DE. Anderson can hold up against the run as well as bring pressure from the edge and the interior.

He’s an excellent dynasty grab that just may surprise owners in redraft formats as well. Like I said, the position is wafer thin from a fantasy standpoint.

Are folks seriously still mentioning Michael Vick as a potential NFL player?

To say he mailed it in last year for the New York Jets is an insult to people that actually mailed it in (I am looking at you Trent Richardson).

I have more faith in Tim Tebow (see what I did there?) being a contributor in the league than Vick.

Coming off of micro-fracture knee surgery as well as concussion issues, I am officially concerned that Vontaze Burfict’s time as a fantasy factor is over.

Yes, I am officially on the Paul Dawson bandwagon as the LB I want to own from the Cincinnati Bengals. It may take a few weeks but I think the kid gets on the field and does not lose his spot.

OK folks, I like to end things on an IDP note as the tip of the cap to my humble beginnings in this industry (as well as an unhealthy love of everything IDP).

We will be loading up the Wagon Queen Family Truckster very soon as we get closer and closer to fantasy football draft days.

This is a drop in the bucket as to what you can look forward to from myself as well as all of my Fantasy Sharks colleagues. Keep coming back!

Wally Spurlin is a Fantasy Football Staff Writer at Fantasy Sharks and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writer Association. Spurlin is also a weekly contributor at Fantasy Insights. Spurlin’s work has appeared in print publications, including the FSWA award winning 2014 USA Today Fantasy Football magazine. Follow him on Twitter @WaltonSpurlin

About Wally Spurlin

Wally Spurlin is a Fantasy Football Staff Writer at Fantasy Sharks and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writer Association (FSWA). Spurlin’s work has appeared in print publications, including the FSWA award winning 2014 USA Today Fantasy Football magazine as well as the 2015 edition. Wally is also a weekly co-host on the Fantasy Football Feeding Frenzy pod cast on Fantasy Sharks Radio at Blog Talk Radio.Follow him on Twitter @WaltonSpurlin