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Ask the Experts

Which camp battle interests you most?

Miami runners, KC wideouts earn nods

ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly from training camp through the Super Bowl with answers to a new question being posted Thursday morning. How the guest experts responded when we asked them: Which camp battle interests you most?

DAVID DOREY

At least until some of the top free agent running backs sign somewhere, I'm watching the wideouts for Kansas City. JuJu Smith-Schuster (78-933-3) was the top fantasy wide receiver there last year and is gone. Mecole Hardman (25-297-4) was the third best in 2022 and he is also gone. That leaves Marquez Valdes-Scantling (42-687-2), and some grouping of Kadarius Toney (pictured) who may be great or just AWOL, 2022 second-round pick Skyy Moore (22-250-0) who may emerge, Rashee Rice as this year's second-round pick, and Justyn Ross who was undrafted out of Clemson last year as dropped from an early draft grade because of a congenital spine condition that needed surgery and an ankle injury. There's a 1,000 yard receiver in there somewhere and if the 33-year-old Travis Kelce were to ever miss time, there could be significant fantasy opportunity.

Dorey co-founded The Huddle.com in 1997. He's ranked every player and projected every game for the last 23 years and is the author of Fantasy Football: The Next Level. David has appeared on numerous radio, television, newspaper and magazines over the last two decades.

SAM HENDRICKS

Seems like quite a few this year, especially lots of running back battles: Bijan Robinson vs. Tyler Allgeier, Miami running backs whomever is there now and/or probably Dalvin Cook later and an up-and-coming rookie Devon Achane, and Zach Charbonnet vs. Kenneth Walker. But my favorite is....Who will win the San Francisco quarterback battle. Brock Purdy looks set to return in fine form, but Trey Lance was a first rounder in 2021 and comes back from a shoulder injury to prove he deserves the top job he lost. Then there is recent addition Sam Darnold (2018 first round pick) who...well he does have 55 starts. Perhaps the 49ers are taking the NFC title game loss a little too close to heart and plan on starting all three for most of the season so all are ready for the playoffs.

Hendricks is the author of Fantasy Football Guidebook, Fantasy Football Tips and Fantasy Football Basics, all available at ExtraPointPress.com, at all major bookstores, and at Amazon and BN.com. He is a 30-year fantasy football veteran who participated in the National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) and finished 7th and 16th overall in the 2008 and 2009 Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC). He won the Fantasy Index Open in 2013 and 2018.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI

It's not a strict position battle, but I'm trying to figure out if any receiver in Kansas City can hold significant value. Somehow Patrick Mahomes won an MVP last year, and led the league in passing yards and touchdowns, without any Kansas City wideout having significant fantasy juice. Eventually I have to figure Andy Reid and Mahomes turn someone on this roster into a playable fantasy receiver, but I have no idea right now who that mystery man will be. The roster isn't lacking for plausible candidates.

Pianowski has been with Yahoo Sports since 2008, covering a variety of sports. On the rare occasions when the computer is turned off, he enjoys word games, poker, music, film, game theory, and a variety of condiments. He lives in suburban Detroit. Pianowski was inducted into the FSWA Hall of Fame in 2021.

IAN ALLAN

I am excited to see what the Dolphins do with their running game. They ranked only 25th in rushing last year, but I expect they’ll be a lot better in that area. Mike McDaniel says he erred in not calling enough running plays last year, and that it will be a bigger part of the offense in 2023. I think McDaniel does have some expertise in drawing up run plays. He was one of the key coaches in the running game when he was an assistant in San Francisco. I think he can do it. But I think there’s four different running backs who in theory could lead the team in rushing. They’ve got Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert coming back; those guys were similar last year. They drafted Devon Achane, who’s tiny but ran a 4.32 at the combine. And the Dolphins are one of the teams that’s been linked to possibly signing Dalvin Cook.

Allan is the senior writer for Fantasy Football Index magazine. He is a member of the FSGA’s Fantasy Sports Hall of Fame and the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame. He is an avid runner, swimmer and cyclist.

KEN HOLIZNA

One running back battle has me riveted this year. Pete Carroll will use two backs, but prefers to give the high-value touches to one back he trusts. The Seahawks drafted Zach Charbonnet in the second round of the 2023 draft. Kenneth Walker was drafted in the second round of the 2022 draft. When they let Rashard Penny walk this offseason I was licking my chops to see what Walker could do with an entire season as the bellcow back. Some seem to be writing Walker off already with an average draft position on NFFC of 39 and falling. It may be that Charbonnet's ADP of 108 and rising is just too tempting at that value. We know that Carroll doesn't care about draft pedigree and will play his best players regardless of their team's investment in them. We saw this when Seattle invested a first-round pick in Rashaad Penny the year after they drafted Chris Carson in the seven. Carson never really provided the oft-injured Penny an opportunity to show off his pedigree. I envision Walker coming out of training camp as the victor and could be this year's Josh Jacobs who went in the fifth round or later in most fantasy drafts last year, and helped me and many others celebrate championship seasons. If Charbonnet somehow ends up the victor, then "In Pete I Trust". I can't wait to see who wins this battle.

Holizna is a 29-year fantasy football enthusiast and founder of Faith-Family-Fantasy Football in 2019, a family-friendly, faith-based, G-rated fantasy football platform. Rankings contributor to the 2023 Fantasy Index magazine. Find him on Twitter @holihandicapper

SCOTT SACHS

Two Super Bowl contenders are dealing with three-headed monsters at running back. Miami has Wilson, Mostert, Achane. Philadelphia has Gainwell, Swift, Penny. In Miami, Mostert has the speed, Wilson looks healthy, and Achane looks great in the early going. Miami was awful running the ball last year, but the coach pledges that will improve, so all three may be worth an end-of-roster pick-up. Rumors of a Dalvin Cook signing before the season starts continue to perpetuate, but his legal issues may be a bit stickier than first thought. On the other hand, Philadelphia's situation looks a bit more muddled. They like the undersized Gainwell, hard to believe Penny will contribute much, but my money is on the super-talented Swift. All he needs is good health, however that aspect of his game has been troublesome. Their best rushing option continues to be Jalen Hurts, so they need someone to step up and shoulder more of the load.

With 2 perfect seasons and multiple league championships to his credit, Scott Sachs runs Perfect Season Fantasy Football, featuring LIVE Talk & Text Advice. He is a 3-time Winner of the Fantasy Index Experts Auction League, as well as a previous Winner of the Fantasy Index Experts Poll.

JASON WOOD

The Colts quarterback situation. Anthony Richardson’s athleticism and rushing upside make him a potential top-10 fantasy quarterback if he gains the starting job immediately. But if Gardner Minshew holds him off, we have to reset expectations and view Richardson as a QB2.

Wood is Senior Editor at Footballguys.com and has been with the company since its start in 2000. For more than 20 years, Footballguys has provided rankings, projections, and analysis to help fantasy managers dominate their leagues.

ANDY RICHARDSON

There are so many, with lots of battles for No. 2 wideout and even starting quarterback. But one three-man backfield, Philadelphia, is particularly interesting, since people will argue passionately for Kenneth Gainwell, D'Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny as the best option -- all three might get drafted. The fact that Jalen Hurts may score the most touchdowns is a negative, but I'm intrigued by Penny, although he needs to stay healthy. I'm also very interested the situation Swift left behind -- what if Jahmyr Gibbs immediately runs circles around David Montgomery? Stranger things have happened. August should be fascinating.

Richardson has been a contributing writer and editor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and www.fantasyindex.com since 2002. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections and various site features, and he has run the magazine's annual experts draft and auction leagues since their inception. He previews all the NFL games on Saturdays and writes a wrap-up column on Mondays during the NFL season.

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