Fantasy Football Injury Updates: DeVonta Smith, Zach Wilson, Drake London, Christian Watson (2022)
It’s never too early to check in on player injury statuses ahead of the 2022 season, and our news desk has you covered. Let’s take a look at the latest injury news and notes around the NFL.
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Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith returned to practice according to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Josh Tolentino. (Source: Josh Tolentino on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Smith returned to the practice field on Sunday after missing the majority of the first ten days of camp with a groin injury. Smith enters his sophomore season set to start opposite new teammate A.J. Brown and teaming with tight end Dallas Goedert. This triumvirate will give third-year quarterback Jalen Hurts a three-headed monster to feed all day long with all three being able to eat in the same game. Health will be the biggest factor in how high Smith’s fantasy ceiling can be this year, coming off a rookie year where the Alabama product caught 64 balls for 916 yards (14.3 ypr) and hauled in five touchdowns.
According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, Green Bay Packers rookie WR Christian Watson was activated off the physically unable to perform list on Sunday and participated in individual drills after missing the start of training camp following offseason knee surgery. (Source: ESPN)
Fantasy Impact: Watson, who was selected with the 34th overall pick in April’s NFL Draft, has been unable to participate in training camp practices after having minor knee surgery following the Packers’ OTA’s. With the departure of superstar WR Davante Adams, the Packers have a plethora of vacated targets within their offense and no clear alpha WR who is expected to demand the lion’s share of the available targets. Watson, who is physically and athletically gifted, even by NFL WR standards (6’5”, 207 lbs, 4.36 40-yard dash), has the opportunity and upside to be a player who breaks out in his rookie season with 2021 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers leading Green Bay’s passing attack. Watson missing time due to injury is going to require him to play catch-up as he attempts to build on-field chemistry with Rodgers and adjusts to NFL-level competition after playing at North Dakota State, but if he can earn consistent playing time for the Packers then he needs to be rostered due to his upside alone. Watson is currently ranked as the WR73 in PPR formats according to FantasyPros’ ECR, but he could be a player who moves up in predraft rankings if reports out of Packers training camp indicate he is showing signs of contributing as a rookie.
Falcons’ WR Drake London who suffered a knee injury, in Friday’s preseason game against Detroit, missed practice Sunday. He is now expected to miss Week 2 of the preseason. (Source: D. Orlando Ledbetter on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: The injury didn’t look bad, and it would be a surprise if it had any affect on his regular season availability. The Falcons first-round pick is likely being held out for precautionary reasons.
Jets quarterback Zach Wilson is flying to Los Angeles and will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday as reported by ESPN Senior NFL Insider Adam Scheftor. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: The procedure will give Wilson and the Jets more clarity on a timetable for his return. Veteran Joe Flacco has been taking first-team reps and will be the starter should Wilson not be ready for Week 1 and likely as long as he is sidelined. There is still a chance that Wilson is ready for Week 1 on September 11 but once the doctors see inside Wilson’s knee we will have a better idea.
Packers head coach announced tight end Robert Tonyan will come off the PUP list and will start with individual drills as reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein. (Source: Tom Silverstein on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Tonyan will also participate in walk-throughs as returns from an ACL tear suffered in Week 8 of last season. Tonyan became a breakout fantasy star in 2020 at a shallow tight end position, posting 52 receptions for 586 yards (11.3 ypr) and 11 touchdowns in 2020. Tonyan only caught 18 balls for 204 yards and two touchdowns before suffering his season-ending injury but his 11.3 average yards per reception remained the same. Tonyan looks to return as one of Aaron Rodgers’ top red zone and goal line targets and put up numbers closer to his 2020 season. Fantasy managers should factor in the fact he is less than a year removed from a torn ACL but carries a huge ceiling playing with Rodgers with Davante Adams now in Las Vegas.
2022 Consensus Best Ball Rankings
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup, based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.