Fantasy Football News: Alvin Kamara, Trevor Lawrence, George Pickens, Tyler Conklin (2022)
Let’s take a look at the latest news and notes around fantasy football. To stay up to date on all of the latest fantasy football news, be sure to follow @FantasyProsNFL on Twitter and bookmark the FantasyPros NFL Player News page.
According to USA Today’s Ross Jackson, there is no timetable for when New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara may face NFL discipline as a result of his February arrest and charges of battery resulting in substantial bodily harm. (Source: USA Today)
Fantasy Impact: It’s not a foregone conclusion that Kamara will be suspended, but the belief around NFL circles is that the Saints’ star RB will be suspended for around six games. Kamara has finished as an RB1 in PPR formats in every season of his five-year career, and a suspension of any length would put that streak in jeopardy. Kamara will also be playing his age 27 season in 2022, an age that historically represents the beginning of a decline in production for RBs. Kamara’s fantasy value is largely tied to his elite production in the passing game, and he will face more competition for targets within the Saints offense than he has had in recent memory with the return of WR Michael Thomas and the offseason additions of WRs Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave. All signs point to Kamara having a down year compared to what fantasy managers have come to expect from the veteran RB. Kamara is currently ranked as the RB11 in PPR formats according to FantasyPros ECR.
According to Mark Kaboly of The Athletic, WR George Pickens won’t be “asked to do much” for the Pittsburgh Steelers during his rookie campaign. (Source: Mark Kaboly, The Athletic)
Fantasy Impact: The Steelers drafted Pickens in the second round out of Georgia, adding a strength to a strength. The Steelers have a strong, young receiving corp already with WR Diontae Johnson — who has improved every year in every statistic — as well as WR Chase Claypool and TE Pat Freiermuth. The rookie WR only played in 12 games in his final two seasons of college due to injury, but Pickens has been a full participant so far in OTAs. Even with a reduced role, Pickens could have strong red-zone usage. In the past, the Steelers have gotten production out of rookies, particularly in the end zone. Claypool had nine receiving touchdowns as a rookie and former Steelers WR Martavis Bryant had eight in 2014. Pickens will likely start out as the team’s WR3, but he could still see relevant usage.
As the New York Jets continue to build around QB Zach Wilson, TE Tyler Conklin appears to be “separating himself” as the go-to tight end for the second-year starter, according to Connor Hughes of The Athletic. (Source: Connor Hughes, The Athletic)
Fantasy Impact: The Jets threw multiple darts at the dart board in the 2022 NFL offseason, signing both Conklin and TE C.J. Uzomah to deals and drafting rookie TE Jeremy Ruckert. But while the other two have missed time with injuries, Conklin has been building his rapport with Wilson, according to Hughes. Last season in Minnesota, Conklin put up career-high numbers with 593 yards, 61 catche,s and three touchdowns. According to FantasyPros, Conklin’s average draft position is TE33, nine spots behind Uzomah. The tight end room is wide open in New York for anyone to take, but the Jets’ offense will most likely not be potent enough to sustain a TE1. However, Wilson has been “looking to” Conklin in the red zone, providing interesting upside should he emerge with the starting role.
Trevor Lawrence is impressing quarterbacks coach Mike McCoy with how “he’s making quicker decisions” as he gets more comfortable in new head coach Doug Pederson’s offense according to ProFootballTalk.com’s Michael David Smith. (Source: Michae David Smith, ProFootballTalk.com)
Fantasy Impact: Lawrence is reportedly developing a firm grasp of Pederson’s offense and coaches are happy with how quickly he is getting through his progressions. Lawrence’s 17 interceptions last season were tied for an NFL-worst with Matt Stafford. However, Stafford also threw 42 touchdowns as opposed to Lawrence’s 12 scores and the sophomore signal-caller will need to improve in both of those numbers this fall to start to fulfill any of the expectations that come with being the #1 overall pick. Otherwise, Jacksonville may need to start reevaluating the young quarterback.
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