Training camp openings are coming, so it's time to focus our attention on the changes, injury recoveries, and position battles that will inform our last tweaks to our draft boards before we draft. It's also good to record our thoughts on the direction of the offense as it affects fantasy bottom lines before camp and preseason twists and turns make us doubt what we have spent months mulling over waiting for football to come back. I'll try to give insight into where I think the puck is going with these teams, because like Wayne Gretzky said, we should skate there instead of where the puck has been, i.e. last year's results.
Offensive Change(s) to Watch: By far the biggest change here is the installation of #4 overall pick Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield - pending the league investigation into domestic violence accusations. Elliott has a chance to get a 2014 Demarco Murray-sized workload behind a line that is even better than that one, and he has the talent to outproduce Murray’s prodigious season. If the Cowboys appear to giving him all the touches and snaps he can handle in practice, then Elliott’s status as a first-round pick in fantasy drafts despite being a rookie will be solidified.
Injury Situation(s) to Watch: Dez Bryant’s foot is the big story here, with recovery from a second foot surgery in January casting a shadow over his offseason. The good news that he won’t open camp on the PUP list, so he’s on track to being a solid late first-round pick. Darren McFadden is recovering from a broken elbow that could threaten his Week 1 status. Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole reported that his recent scans were positive and McFadden was on track to return for the season opener against the Giants, but we know McFadden getting back to game shape without incident is far from a given. Alfred Morris’s early season value hinges on McFadden’s status. Second-round pick LB Jaylon Smith is also on the NFI list, but he is not expected to play this season. Lance Dunbar was a receiving back extraordinaire before tearing his left ACL, MCL, and patellar tendon last year. He’s on the PUP list and likely to stay there into the regular season. Tony Romo’s collarbone was surgically repaired after being broken in at least six places. He’s a full go for camp, but we will holding our breath on every hit this preseason and into the regular season.