Should fantasy owners put much stock into spring practice?
The opening of spring practice is still a month away for most colleges, but that shouldn't slow the start of your preseason research. Athlon released it's early ranks for quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers and will continue to update them throughout the offseason.
The big question with spring practice is what should fantasy owners really take away from it? My opinion: not much. Although some of the positional battles will be settled, the real focus of your research should be in the fall. Treat spring practice as a warmup and get familiar with some of the players and battles to watch, but be prepared to adjust fast when fall arrives.
Although some impact true freshmen will enroll early, the majority will hit campus in late July or early August. Winning a starting spot as a true freshman is never easy, but this is why fantasy owners shouldn't put a lot of emphasis on what happens in spring practice - especially with the pecking order at running back and wide receiver unsettled for many teams until the final scrimmage of the fall.
Some coaches may name starters at quarterback or running back after spring practice and if that's the final decision, then that is something to take away and adjust the rankings accordingly. However, most positional battles aren't settled until fall, which is why fantasy owners shouldn't treat spring practice as the last stop for preseason research.