2023 Fantasy Football Training Camp Battles To Watch

by Jon Witt
2023 Fantasy Football Training Camp Battles To Watch

In this 2023 NFL Fantasy Football Training Camp Battles To Watch, I'll be breaking some key matchups to watch closely as the pre-season approaches. Will Howell win the starting quarterback job at training camp? Will the Chicago backfield be relevant outside of Justin Fields? Who will Bryce Young throw to? Those are the key matches that we will touch on.

The obvious choices for this article would be to write about the rookie quarterbacks and their training camp battle but I firmly believe that all three (Anthony Richardson, C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young) will start. Instead, I choose to look into other battles that have not already been decided.

2023 Fantasy Football Training Camp Battles To Watch

Washington Commanders Quarterback Room
Sam Howell vs Jacoby Brissett

Sam Howell was drafted out of UNC last season in the fifth round and it seems like the Commanders are finally ready to turn the keys over to him. Howell is a relative unknown to the fantasy community but that could change quickly if he is named the Commanders starter.

Howell was a very productive QB at UNC throwing for 10,283 yards and 92 touchdowns over the course of three seasons. He is also a bit of a runner, rushing for 828 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior.

Howell has the talent around him in Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, and Brian Robinson to succeed but what excites fans the most is pairing Howell with new OC Eric Bieniemy. If Howell can buy into the system that Bieniemy is putting into place he should become a fantasy-relevant QB in 2023.

His competition for the starting job is Jacoby Brissett. Brissett is a journeyman who has been on his fair share of teams around the NFL. He will no doubt push Howell for the job but the Commanders already know what Brissett brings to the table. Howell is the mystery in this competition and I think his youth and athleticism will win out in the end.

Chicago Bears Running Back Room
Roschon Johnson vs Khalil Herbert vs D'Onta Foreman

David Montgomery left Chicago for the rival Lions in the offseason, leaving a vacant spent in the backfield. Khalil Herbert returns, D'Onte Foreman was signed to a one-year deal and Roschon Johnson comes aboard via the draft.

This battle is not as cut and dry as it may seem. Herbert showed he could carry the load while Montgomery was hurt, leading all running backs in yards per carry in 2022, averaging 5.7 yards per attempt. Foreman is coming off of a career season, 914 rushing yards and five touchdowns in Carolina and despite being behind super stud Bijan Robinson at Texas, Roschon Johnson had a very successful collegiate career.

I know the traditional three-down back really does not exist in the modern NFL but Johnson fits that mold. He is an all-purpose back who is not afraid to use his 225-pound frame and through a block. He also flashed in passing game, averaging 7.5 yards per catch. Herbert may have a slight edge due to familiarity with offense but it is only a matter of time before Johnson takes over.

One caveat to mention is Justin Fields. He is a threat to run at any moment and could very well lead the team in rushing touchdowns. As a whole, take this backfield with a grain of salt.

Carolina Panthers Wide Receivers Room
Terrace Marshall Jr., D.J. Chark, Jonathan Mingo, Adam Thielen

With D.J. Moore in Chicago, the battle for the WR1 spot is wide open.  The re-vamped room has a mix of some vets and young guns ready to emerge. The Panthers signed DJ Chark and Adam Thielen in the offseason and drafted Jonathan Mingo out of Ole Miss.

Chark and Thielen bring a vet presence to the field and could become reliable targets for Bryce Young. Thielen could see a lot of time in the slot, holding some WR4 value in PPR leagues.

From a dynasty perspective, Mingo is the name to own. He has developed an early rapport with Young in rookie camp and has spent a lot of time with him since they both were drafted. His big-bodied frame and wingspan should give Young a big target to through to, allowing him some room for error. The red zone is where I think Mingo will make his biggest impact. Carolina does not have a true red-zone threat on the team and Mingo had a nose for the endzone at Ole Miss.

Prepare for your 2023 leagues by reading the rest of our content in our Fantasy Football Draft Kit

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