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Fantasy Football News: Dalvin Cook, Austin Hooper, Najee Harris (2022)

Fantasy Football News: Dalvin Cook, Austin Hooper, Najee Harris (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.

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Dalvin Cook expected to see more targets

According to Kevin Patra of NFL.com, RB Dalvin Cook is expected to see more targets as the Minnesota Vikings offense becomes more pass friendly under head coach Kevin O’Connell, but Cook’s mindset remains the same of being a bell-cow running back regardless of his role. (Source: Kevin Patra, NFL.com)

Fantasy Impact: Early reports from the Vikings’ camp have discussed O’Connell’s more pass-oriented offense compared to that under Mike Zimmer’s regime. For example, WR Justin Jefferson talked about taking on the Cooper Kupp role, and Cook had been lining up out wide at receiver. According to Patra, these changes mean that Cook is “expected to see an uptick in his usage in the passing game,” which could even lead to more health. Over the last four seasons, Cook has scored 40 touchdowns but only played in 52 games, missing at least two games every season. Patra says that “Minnesota taking some of the pounding hits off Cook’s plate and supplementing that production with pass targets could help the bell cow stay healthy for a full season.” Regardless of how he is used, Cook says his mindset stays the same, stating that he takes pride in being a bell cow and adopting any opportunity that helps the team win games. Cook has an average draft position of RB6 in half-PPR formats, according to FantasyPros, and could be in a strong position to finish as an RB1 for the third time in four seasons.
Jordan Epp

Austin Hooper developing early chemistry with Ryan Tannehill

Newly signed Tennessee Titans TE Austin Hooper has impressed QB Ryan Tannehill with his “savvy” route running during the team’s offseason program. (Source: Turron Davenport, ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: Turron Davenport of ESPN.com noted that Hooper and Tannehill have “made the most of their time on the field together during OTAs and minicamp by getting extra reps in during down periods of practice.” Chemistry is key for the tight end position that Tannehill has thrown 24% of his passes and 25 of his 76 touchdowns to since becoming Tennessee’s starting quarterback in 2019. Hooper, a 2x Pro Bowler, is coming off of a down year that he spent with the Cleveland Browns, but could become a comfortable target for his QB whose top receiving options include Robert Woods, who is coming off of a torn ACL, and an unproven rookie in Treylon Burks. Hooper is currently being drafted at TE25, according to FantasyPros average draft position.
– Brock Anderson

Najee Harris slated to be a ‘bell cow’ for Steelers in 2022

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was on The Pivot podcast recently where he was asked about second-year running back Najee Harris. In his interview he was quoted saying “He’s gonna have to be a bell cow for us.” (Source: NFL.com)

Fantasy Impact: After reports came out saying that Harris would be taking a more limited role in the Steelers offense in 2022, there was concern because his fantasy prowess from a year ago was mainly due to his opportunities. The efficiency numbers were severely lacking for Harris to the tune of 3.9 yards per carry, which was fourth worst among running backs with 200+ carries. The Steelers offensive line was improved upon in the offseason, and if Harris sees any number of touches near his league-leading 381 from a year ago he should be extremely productive for fantasy managers once again in 2022. Harris is being drafted at the RB5 in full-PPR formats and this news only raises his ceiling even more.
Sammy Schulman

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