NFL Training Camp Fantasy Notes: Arians Confirms Ronald Jones as "Lead Back" in Tampa

SI Fantasy analyst Roy Larking takes a look at the biggest news taking place at NFL Training Camps from a fantasy perspective.

Fantasy football news swirls around at a rapid pace prior to every NFL season. Add in a preseason that’s being adversely affected by a global pandemic and the volume increases substantially. 

Here is a breakdown of some recent NFL training camp news fantasy players should be aware of.

RB Le’Veon Bell receives praise from New York Jets coach Adam Gase

After not being on the same page for much of the 2019 season, Jets coach Adam Gase has given Le’Veon Bell a vote of confidence. Bell is "extremely motivated" and is in "phenomenal shape" plus he has "been working extremely hard" according to Gase. Bell averaged a career low 3.2 yards per carry while running behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league last year. Offseason O-line upgrades will help Bell who should easily top 300 touches this season. Bell is currently being drafted as a RB2 but could move into RB1 territory in PPR fantasy draft formats.

Bruce Arians confirms Ronald Jones is the Buccaneers lead running back

Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians has publicly stated that Ronald Jones is the "main guy" in the Buccaneers backfield and that "he’ll carry the load" this season. Jones had a quiet rookie year prior to posting 1,033 total yards and six touchdowns while sharing time with Peyton Barber last year. Barber is now in Washington and that leaves rookie Ke'Shawn Vaughn, LeSean McCoy and Dare Ogunbowale behind RoJo. This news will bump up Jones’ average draft position and he will be a key part of what projects to be a very high-scoring offense in Tampa Bay.

Miami Dolphins WR Preston Williams cleared for football activities

Miami is moving slowly with WR Preston Williams but the Dolphins are "cautiously optimistic" that he will be ready to play when the season begins. While this is good news, Miami hasn’t issued a firm statement that he will be ready to roll in Week 1. A huge target (6-5, 218) Williams had 32 catches, for 428 yards and three touchdowns, before a torn ACL ended his rookie year eight games into the season. Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns have both opted out so there isn’t much doubt that Williams will start opposite DeVante Parker as the Miami WR2 if he is healthy.

Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson removed from COVID-19 list

After being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, on July 27, Minnesota rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson has been cleared and removed from the list. This is good news for the Vikings as Jefferson is expected to replace Stefon Diggs and line up across from Adam Thielen as the WR2 in Minnesota. Jefferson finished with 111 catches, for 1,540 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns, during his final season with LSU Tigers last year. Without much competition behind him in Minnesota, Jefferson projects as one of the “safest” rookies to pick up in all fantasy football formats.

Consider Arizona Cardinals TE Dan Arnold as a deep sleeper pick

Modern technology has made sleeper picks almost a thing of the past as most of them don’t fly under the radar long. One player who hasn’t received much publicity is Arizona TE Dan Arnold who joined the Cardinals in December last season. Arnold flashed potential as he hauled in eight of 14 targets for 127 yards and two scores during the Cardinals final three games. With TE Charles Clay out of the picture, Arnold will be the featured pass-catching tight end in the Cardinals’ explosive offense. He is worthy of consideration as a late round flier in leagues with high roster limits.