Training Camp Preview: NFC South

Wed Jul 27 10:52am ET
Sr Fantasy Writer

Related photo caption below

Thomas continues to battle injury

This is the seventh in a series of training camp previews. The previews give you a quick look at each team, going over position battles and injuries to watch in camp. The season is right around the corner.


The Falcons will be without longtime quarterback Matt Ryan for the first time in a long time. So the big storyline of this camp will be the quarterback spot. Marcus Mariota is expected to take over but rookie Desmond Ridder could also be in the mix. Either way, a new player will be at the helm at the most important position on the team. There will be plenty of pressure on this new player. Atlanta holds their training camp at the Atlanta Falcons Training Facility in Flowery Branch, Ga.

Position battle: The Falcons have a lot of openings at receiver this year. Calvin Ridley is suspended for the entire season, leaving a huge hole at the position. The team drafted Drake London to serve a big role, but after him, it is Bryan Edwards, Olamide Zaccheaus, Auden Tate and Damiere Byrd are the top candidates to start opposite London. This is a wide open battle with a lot of similar options looking to start. 

Injury watch: Calvin Ridley has been indefinitely suspended through the conclusion of the 2022 season for gambling. He can appeal the suspension, though, so that is something to watch going forward. There is a slight chance he could get the suspension reduced because his gambling offense seems pretty minor. We might get more clarity on it all before camp is out. This is a situation to watch. 


New Orleans is another team that will be without a franchise staple at quarterback for the first time in several season. Drew Brees hung it up, leaving Jameis Winston as the new quarterback for the team. Winston will have a lot of pressure on him, taking over for one of the best quarterbacks of all time. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out in New Orleans. Winston and his teammates train at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center in Metairie, La. 

Position battle: The Saints gave Adam Trautman a shot to start much of last year but he wasn’t great in that role. He should get first shot again this year, but won’t be handed anything. He will need to earn that job. Juwan Johnson and Taysom Hill should be the top competition for Trautman. We should get a better idea of this position battle as camp practices get underway and preseason games get started. 

Injury watch: Michael Thomas didn’t play at all last year as he continued to be slowed by an ankle injury. He played just seven games the previous year. He is going to open camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list to start, which is not a great start for Thomas. The Saints don’t expect him to be on that list long, though. He should be practicing before long. Either way, his health is one to watch. If healthy and playing like his old self, Thomas can be an elite fantasy player. 


The Panthers had a disappointing season last year, mainly because of inconsistent quarterback play and injury. Those should be the big issues to watch in camp for the Panthers. The Panthers will have a two quarterbacks batting it out to start. And Christian McCaffrey is healthy for now, but his injury issues the last few seasons really slowed the entire offense. It is essential for McCaffrey to be healthy if the Panthers hope to have a successful season. The Panthers hold their training camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C. 

Position battle: As mentioned, the Panthers will have quarterback battle on their hands this camp. Baker Mayfield is a heavy favorite to win, but the Panthers want him to earn the job. He will need to hold off Sam Darnold, who disappointed with his chances last year. Darnold will need to take a big step forward this year if he hopes to beat out Mayfield. 

Injury watch: Christian McCaffrey might be the most important player on the Panthers. Unfortunately, he has played just 10 games the past two seasons. He has battled various injuries, which is a big concern for potential fantasy owners. McCaffrey has the potential to be the top fantasy player in the game if he is able to play a full season. That is a big “if” after his last two years, though. 


The Bucs likely get one more year out of Tom Brady, hoping to make another run at the Super Bowl. Tampa certainly has the pieces on both sides of the ball to win it all. Much of season might depend on Brady. If he can still keep performing at his usual level, this team will be tough to beat once again. Does Brady still have it in him at age 45, though? That is the question. Brady and company will start their quest for another Super Bowl at the AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa, Fla.

Position battle: Rob Gronkowski decided to retire once again, giving the Bucs an opening at their staring tight end spot. There are three candidates to start, including Kyle Rudolph, Cameron Brate and Cade Otton. Rudolph seems the most likely candidate to start, but his lack of production the last few years is a bit of a concern. He will need to show well in camp and preseason action to hold off the other two candidates. 

Injury watch: Chris Godwin suffered a torn ACL late last season, putting the start of his season this year in jeopardy. Godwin is making great progress from his injury, though, and is not even being placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list as camp opens. This is a great sign for Godwin. The Bucs still might be cautious with their star receiver, though, bringing him along slowly early in the year. It is no sure thing he is in the lineup Week 1. 

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

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Starts, Sits, Sleepers: Week 4

Player Notes
Zay Jones Oct 2 11:40am ET
Zay Jones

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Zay Jones (ankle) is officially inactive for the Week 4 game against the Philadelphia Eagles. It's a surprise inactive, as it was reported earlier on Sunday that Jones was expected to suit up. It's a shame for fantasy managers, since Jones had 10 catches on 11 targets for 85 yards and his first touchdown of the year in the Week 3 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. With Jones sidelined, the Eagles D could double-team No. 1 wideout Christian Kirk in this one. Marvin Jones Jr., as well as tight end Evan Engram and pass-catching running back Travis Etienne Jr. will also see an increase in targets against the 3-0 Eagles. Make sure to remove Zay Jones from your starting lineups on Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Mark Ingram Oct 2 11:40am ET
Mark Ingram

New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram II (hand/thumb) has exited the Week 4 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. The veteran back heads to the locker room with an unknown hand or thumb issue. It's uncertain whether or not Ingram will return to this contest. The Saints are already shorthanded at running back. Now, they will lean on Latavius Murray and Dwayne Washington the rest of the way, assuming Ingram doesn't return.

From RotoBaller

Jordan Phillips Oct 2 11:33am ET
Jordan Phillips

The Buffalo Bills have declared DT Jordan Phillips, TE Tommy Sweeney, DL Ed Oliver, OT Justin Murray, CB Christian Benford and WR Jake Kumerow inactive for Week 4.

From TheHuddle

Zach Cunningham Oct 2 11:33am ET
Zach Cunningham

The Tennessee Titans have declared S Amani Hooker, CB Theo Jackson, DE Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, CB Ugo Amadi, OT Le'Raven Clark, LB Wyatt Ray and LB Zach Cunningham inactive for Week 4.

From TheHuddle

Myles Garrett Oct 2 11:23am ET
Myles Garrett

Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett (shoulder) is expected to be bother by his shoulder injury for the next two to four weeks, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

Dalton Schultz Oct 2 11:20am ET
Dalton Schultz

Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz (knee) is expected to suit up for the Week 4 matchup against the Washington Commanders. The 26-year-old is preparing to return and was seen playing catch on the field. He missed last week's game and is tagged as questionable, but is expected to play. Fantasy managers should treat Schultz as a low-end TE1 for this contest. He figures to benefit with Cooper Rush under center once again in Week 4. Rush seems to lean on Schultz as a safety blanket, so he should get plenty of targets.

From RotoBaller

Joey Bosa Oct 2 11:13am ET
Joey Bosa

Los Angeles Chargers DE Joey Bosa (groin) underwent surgery to repair a groin tear Thursday, Sept. 29, and is expected to miss eight to 10 weeks, according to multiple sources.

From TheHuddle

Darius Leonard Oct 2 11:03am ET
Darius Leonard

Indianapolis Colts LB Shaquille Leonard (back) is optimistic about making his season debut in Week 4's game against the Tennessee Titans. He had been listed as questionable on the injury report despite logging three full practice sessions during the week.

From TheHuddle

Christian McCaffrey Oct 2 10:50am ET
Christian McCaffrey

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (thigh) is currently listed as questionable heading into the Week 4 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. However, it sounds like the team wants McCaffrey to go through his pregame warmups. The team wants to see McCaffrey out on the field before they make their final decision. All signs are pointing to McCaffrey being active, but fantasy managers will have to wait and see. He will be a must-start, assuming he's active. The Cardinals do have a strong run defense, but McCaffrey remains one of the best backs in the league when healthy.

From RotoBaller

Chris Godwin Oct 2 10:43am ET
Chris Godwin

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (hamstring) is expected to play in Week 4's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Fantasy Spin: Godwin had been listed as questionable on the injury report after logging two limited practice sessions during the week. He can be a starting option in fantasy leagues but owners should have a backup plan in place since the Buccaneers won't play until Sunday night.

From TheHuddle

Pharaoh Brown Oct 2 10:40am ET
Pharaoh Brown

Houston Texans tight end Pharaoh Brown (shoulder) is listed as questionable for the Week 4 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Texans have already ruled out Brevin Jordan (shoulder) for this contest. They've elevated Jordan Atkins and Mason Schreck with the team short on options at tight end. Brown was able to practice in full on Wednesday and Thursday. However, he was limited on Friday, which raises the question on whether or not he'll suit up. Regardless, O.J. Howard is really the only tight end worth looking at in Houston right now. He'll have some TE2 value in deep leagues for this upcoming contest, but could have increased value if Brown is out.

From RotoBaller

Julio Jones Oct 2 10:33am ET
Julio Jones

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Julio Jones (knee) is expected to play in Week 4's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Fantasy Spin: Jones had been listed as questionable on the injury report after logging two limited practice sessions during the week. At best, he should be considered a risky flex option in fantasy leagues because the Buccaneers won't play until Sunday night and also because he is coming off a knee injury which has caused him to miss the last two games, meaning that his offensive snaps could be limited.

From TheHuddle

Lewis Cine Oct 2 10:30am ET
Lewis Cine

Minnesota Vikings safety Lewis Cine (leg) was carted off the field after an ugly play during the Week 4 matchup against the New Orleans Saints. The rookie safety was put on a backboard and onto a cart before exiting the field. The entire Vikings surrounded Cine in what looked to be a horrendous leg injury. He will be transported to a nearby hospital. The organization should give updates on Cine later in the day. Although, the 22-year-old is likely to miss significant time after that incident.

From RotoBaller

Russell Gage Oct 2 10:23am ET
Russell Gage

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Russell Gage Jr. (hamstring) is expected to play in Week 4's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Fantasy Spin: Gage had been listed as questionable on the injury report after logging two limited practice sessions during the week. He makes a risky fantasy option this week because the Buccaneers won't play until Sunday night and they are also expected to get several of their top receivers back versus the Chiefs, making Gage's role in the offense uncertain.

From TheHuddle

Tyrion Davis-Price Oct 2 10:20am ET
Tyrion Davis-Price

San Francisco 49ers running back Tyrion Davis-Price (ankle) has been ruled out for the Week 4 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. This marks his second game in a row that he's forced to miss due to a high-ankle sprain. The expectation is that Jeff Wilson Jr. will continue being the lead back in San Francisco. He played 73% of the offensive snaps during Week 3. Wilson should be considered a low-end RB2 for this upcoming matchup. Jordan Mason is expected to back him up, but won't have much value with Wilson playing over 70% of the snaps.

From RotoBaller

Justin Herbert Oct 2 10:10am ET
Justin Herbert

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (ribs) continues to play through fractured rib cartilage, but he is progressing. The organization mentioned that they plan on being more aggressive with their play-calling in Week 4 against the Houston Texans. Clearly, they trust that Herbert is healthy enough that they don't need to limit their playbook. Fantasy managers should expect a strong outing from Herbert in Week 4. He'll play a winless Texans defense, so Herbert should be considered a strong QB1 for this one.

From RotoBaller

Zach Wilson Oct 2 10:00am ET
Zach Wilson

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (knee) is set to make his season debut against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4. The second-year quarterback missed the first three games after suffering a meniscus injury and a bone bruise in his knee during the preseason. Surprisingly, the Jets have looked halfway decent with veteran Joe Flacco under center. Despite that, Wilson will get the keys to the offense going forward. However, the organization is tempering their expectations for Wilson in his return. The 23-year-old does have potential, but remains a low-end QB2 right now.

From RotoBaller

Jason Pierre-Paul Oct 2 9:50am ET
Jason Pierre-Paul

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul plans on making his team debut against the Buffalo Bills in Week 4. The veteran linebacker signed with the team last week. The Ravens are in desperate need of help after losing three linebackers due to injury. The expectation is Pierre-Paul will immediately slide into a significant role on defense. This doesn't completely fix their problems, but the addition of Pierre-Paul should help ease the loss of the other players.

From RotoBaller

Velus Jones Jr. Oct 2 9:40am ET
Velus Jones Jr.

Chicago Bears wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. (hamstring) is expected to make his NFL debut against the New York Giants in Week 4. The third-round rookie has missed the first three weeks due to a lingering hamstring issue. Luckily, it sounds like he's ready to go here, which is a boost for the Bears offense. Although, the Bears have thrown the ball only 45 times through the first three games. Jones appears to be more of a deep league stash or dynasty hold right now. It's unlikely he has much fantasy value right out of the gate.

From RotoBaller

Joey Bosa Oct 2 9:40am ET
Joey Bosa

Los Angeles Chargers pass rusher Joey Bosa (groin) underwent surgery and is expected to miss roughly 8-10 weeks of action. The star defender suffered a torn groin in Week 3 and was immediately placed on the injured reserve. At this moment, it doesn't sound like Bosa is going to be back until the final month of the season. Luckily, the Chargers have Khalil Mack who has four sacks in three games. They will lean on Mack to do a majority of the damage without Bosa available. The loss of Bosa does make this defense less appealing to fantasy managers looking for a defense to stream.

From RotoBaller