According to Gregg Bell of The News Tribune, the Seattle Seahawks are focusing on their future for the QB position and opting to let QBs Drew Lock and Geno Smith fight for the starting gig in 2022. (Source: Gregg Bell, The News Tribune)
Fantasy Impact: Both Lock and Smith are on contracts set to expire at the end of the 2022 NFL season, opening the way for Seattle to restart at quarterback in 2023. In the meantime, the Seahawks will "roll with Lock or Smith for 2022, knowing they are in the position to add big at QB at a low, rookie-contract cost in the draft next spring," according to Bell. In his first three seasons, Lock has struggled to stay on the field due to a mixture of injuries and quarterback battles. The second-round pick out of Missouri will have to fight for the starting gig once more, this time against Smith. In 2020, Lock played in a career-high 13 games and finished as a low-end QB2 on the season with a hair under 3,000 yards and a touchdown-interception ratio of 16-15. In 2021, though, he started three games and fought with QB Teddy Bridgewater for the job. Turnovers have been a big issue for Lock in his career, and while his penchant for big plays leads to high air yards per attempt, it also leads to high sack and turnover rates. Lock is starting behind the curve already in a new offensive scheme, though his skillset seems to match well with Seattle's talent at wide receiver. If he were to earn the starting role, which is no guarantee, he will be fighting an uphill battle for fantasy relevancy.
The Seattle Seahawks are prepared to ride with QBs Geno Smith and Drew Lock for the 2022 season, focusing on the future at the position, according to Gregg Bell of The News Tribune. (Source: Gregg Bell, The News Tribune)
Fantasy Impact: Smith has not been a long-term starter in the NFL since 2014 when he started 13 games for the New York Jets in his sophomore season. But with QB Russell Wilson in Denver and QB Baker Mayfield in Charlotte, the runway is open for Smith. In four games last season, the former second-round pick completed over 68% of his passes for 702 yards and scored six total touchdowns with two turnovers in relief for Wilson. At age 31, though, Smith is well removed from his rookie season that saw him finish as a low-end QB2 with six rushing touchdowns. He practiced with the first-team offense during OTAs, and coach Pete Carrol said he was "ahead" of Lock, giving Smith an early lead in the QB1 race, but a weak offensive line mixed with a sack-prone quarterback on a team that might start watching Alabama and Ohio State tape a little early is not a recipe for success, even if he wins the starting job. Smith likely won't be relevant in any non-superflex formats.
Wed, Jul 6th 7:59pm EDT
By Jordan Epp
The Carolina Panthers do not plan on trading QB Sam Darnold; but instead envision him being a part of a training camp battle for the starting position with newly acquired QB Baker Mayfield, says The Athletic's Joe Person. (Source: Joe Person on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: For the most part, Sam Darnold was off the radar for fantasy football managers. The former first-round pick is currently being drafted as the QB35 according to FantasyPros average draft position after the Panthers' reclamation project failed last season. Darnold had four touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his final seven starts last year, and the Panthers showed that they were ready to move on, moving a conditional fifth-rounder for another top-pick-turned-castaway. Despite this, the Panthers intend on keeping Darnold on the roster to compete alongside Mayfield, according to Person. Darnold was already a risky option in fantasy, but barring any desperation caused by injuries, he likely won't be relevant in any fantasy formats this season.
Wed, Jul 6th 3:44pm EDT
By Sammy Schulman
Tyler Allgeier has impressed the Falcons staff in training camp up to this point. He could carve out a legitimate role in the offense with the expected decrease in workload for Cordarelle Patterson. (Source: Josh Kendall, The Athletic)
Fantasy Impact: Tyler Allgeier was drafted in the fifth round this year out of BYU. He enters into a backfield that lost Mike Davis this offseason and has an aging Cordarelle Patterson. Allgeier was the first running back that the Falcons drafted since hiring Arthur Smith as their head coach before last season, who was the offensive coordinator with Derrick Henry on the Titans for years. The young RB has a chance to have a big role in a run-first offense and is worth a late flyer in all formats, with major upside in dynasty.
The Carolina Panthers are acquiring former QB Baker Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns for a 2024 conditional fifth-round draft pick, according to multiple reports. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Mayfield has been the subject of trade rumors for several months, and the Panthers were always one of the landing spots that made the most sense. Matt Rhule is coaching for his job in Carolina, and a quarterback room that consisted of Sam Darnold, rookie third-round pick Matt Corral, and P.J. Walker does not inspire confidence. Mayfield is coming off a disappointing 2021 season himself, but he was also playing through a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder for much of the year. He'll step in as the immediate starter for the Panthers, while Jacoby Brissett is the presumed starter for the Browns if Deshaun Watson is suspended before the beginning of the season. Oh, and the Browns play the Panthers in Carolina in Week 1 to kick off the 2022 season.
Wed, Jul 6th 12:01pm EDT
By Kelly Kirby
Cordarrelle Patterson may see a decreased number of touches in 2022 due to a combination of age, career usage rate, Marcus Mariota at QB, and the emergence of Tyler Allgeier. (Source: Josh Kendall on The Athletic)
Fantasy Impact: Patterson set a career-high in touches last season with 205, compared to his previous high of 85. Atlanta has given him the entire spring/summer off, and he is expected to have a lower workload during the preseason to keep the 31-year-old healthy. His ADP is 86, and RB32 is about the proper range to draft him, but the abovementioned factors should tamper excitement for fantasy managers.
Jameis Winston posted a video on his Instagram of him running drills without wearing a brace on his surgically-repaired left knee. (Source: ProFootballTalk on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Winston wore a brace during OTAs and minicamp, and he is still expected to wear one during the season. However, the video is encouraging insofar as his recovery is progressing well enough that he feels comfortable doing drills without the extra support. At this point, it appears he will be ready for the Saints' season opener against the Falcons. His current ADP is 157, making him the 22nd quarterback off the board. He could provide good value as a QB2 if he can stay healthy throughout the season.
Wed, Jul 6th 10:27am EDT
By Luke Monaldo
Gabriel Davis is expected to start alongside Stephon Diggs in the upcoming season according to The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia. (Source: Joe Buscaglia, The Athletic)
Fantasy Impact: Gabriel Davis had already been moving up draft boards thanks to his stellar postseason and obvious chemistry with Josh Allen. This news should further shoot Davis’ ADP up with the preseason starting next month. Davis, in his first two regular seasons, has caught 70 balls on 125 targets for 1,148 yards and 13 touchdowns. Last postseason, Davis exploded for 10 catches for 242 yards and five touchdowns, including a four-score performance against the Chiefs in a heartbreaking OT loss. Davis will be starting in one of the most potent offenses in the NFL with arguably the best quarterback, so draft accordingly as he is poised for a breakout season.
Wed, Jul 6th 10:14am EDT
By Luke Monaldo
Tony Pollard is expected to see more snaps at receiver, namely in the slot, in the upcoming season according to NFL.com’s Coral Smith. (Source: Coral Smith, NFL.com)
Fantasy Impact: Pollard would like to do whatever it takes to see the field more in 2022 and, in a season where Ezekiel Elliott looks healthy and ready to resume his role as the bell cow back, that includes splitting time between running back and receiver. Pollard split time similarly in college at Memphis and has 337 receiving yards out of the slot in his NFL career so he is no stranger to lining up outside the backfield. The loss of Amari Cooper via trade should further pave the way to more receiver snaps for Pollard. Pollard will retain RB status for fantasy purposes, making him a versatile fantasy asset in PPR leagues with even more upside should Elliott miss any time. Draft accordingly.
Tue, Jul 5th 6:21pm EDT
By Jordan Epp
Entering the fourth season of his rookie deal, WR Diontae Johnson is set to become a free agent in 2023. Despite improving statistically every season of his career, the Pittsburgh Steelers are unlikely to offer money "anything near [WR Terry] McLaurin or anybody else that got more than $20 million per year." (Source: Mark Kaboly, The Athletic)
Fantasy Impact: Johnson finished the 2021 season as the WR9 in half-PPR formats and has ascended in every statistic every season of his career. Despite threats of a holdout, the fourth-year wideout showed up to OTAs, but the Steelers are hesitant to offer Johnson a contract akin to the multiple dealt out during the 2022 offseason. With the fallout of the Christian Kirk deal, Kaboly says that he sees there being an impasse between the two parties. "They will offer him something, and it won’t be what he thinks he can get on the market." Johnson is currently being taken as the WR14 in dynasty startups, according to the FantasyPros average draft position tool, and his future is certainly up in the air on where he may play in 2023.
Tue, Jul 5th 12:00pm EDT
By Jordan Epp
According to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, Baltimore Ravens WR James Proche has continually stood out during the offseason. Zrebiec believes that Proche is in line for a bigger opportunity, and it wouldn’t surprise him if Proche "emerges as a reliable target, particularly on third downs, for [QB Lamar] Jackson." (Source: Jeff Zrebiec, The Athletic)
Fantasy Impact: Proche is entering his third year in the NFL after being drafted in the sixth round out of SMU. He caught 16 balls for 202 yards in 2022, but with Baltimore's trading away of Marquise Brown, the door opens up for WR Rashod Bateman to be the Ravens' No. 1, meaning someone has to be No. 2. According to Zrebiec, he believes it's Proche's spot to take, rather than WRs Devin Duvernay or Tylan Wallace. Despite this, the WR2 job on the Ravens is not a lucrative fantasy role. Since the emergence of Lamar Jackson, the run-heavy Ravens have struggled to keep more than two pass-catchers relevant in a year, meaning Proche might be nothing more than a fringe bench player with the returns of RBs J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards.
Tue, Jul 5th 12:00pm EDT
By Kelly Kirby
Paul Perillo of patriots.com expects that RB Damien Harris will be one of six running backs to make the Patriots roster, suggesting that his production may take a hit beyond just Rhamondre Stevenson. (Source: Paul Perillo on Patriots.com)
Fantasy Impact: Perillo believes the Patriots' backfield will consist of Harris, Stevenson, James White, Pierre Strong, Kevin Harris, and Ty Montgomery. Fantasy managers know the drill with New England backs at this point, and we will rarely know how much (if at all) Bill Belichick will use any single back before game time. Harris is still being drafted #66 overall, which is in the dangerous RB zone for this reason. In 15 games last year, he rushed 202 times for 929 yards and 15 touchdowns. Harris is a talented back who should still be drafted with caution.
Tampa Bay continues to offer encouraging updates about WR Chris Godwin's recovery from ACL surgery while also being careful to avoid presenting a timeline for his return. (Source: Greg Auman on The Athletic)
Fantasy Impact: Some speculate he may be placed on the PUP list for a few weeks to begin the season. With their long-term investment in the 26-year-old, the Buccaneers are not going to rush his return, leaving Russell Gage as the No. 2 wideout in Tampa. In 14 games last year, Godwin caught 98 passes for 1,103 yards and five touchdowns. Even with the unknown injury situation, his ADP remains at 53, suggesting very little injury discount on the highly-productive player.
Per Fishsports, Cowboys Insider for SI.com, veteran free agent Julio Jones has multiple potential landing spots for the upcoming 2022-23 NFL season. (Source: CowboysSI.com )
Fantasy Impact: The Green Bay Packers are the odds-on favorites to land the future Hall Of Fame wideout, followed by the Indianapolis Colts and Dallas Cowboys. Jones’ former team, the Atlanta Falcons currently have the seventh-highest odds to land Jones’ services before the start of the season with oddsmakers placing the line at +1200. With the current state of the Packers WR core, Jones would be slated to take on a large role and potentially be the team's WR1 immediately. Indianapolis would also be an intriguing spot for the 33-year-old Jones being that he spent almost his entire career receiving passes from the Colts current quarterback Matt Ryan. With Amari Cooper now off the roster and Michael Gallup most likely not going to be ready to suit up to begin the year, the Cowboys could indeed use the services of a receiver with Jones’ skill set to help open things up for CeeDee Lamb and the rest of the offense. All three of the current top teams to land Julio have one thing in common——Super Bowl aspirations. So, I think it’s safe to say the 33-year-old, 7-time Pro Bowler is looking to sign with a contender. Coming off a disappointing injury-riddled season where he played only 10 games for the Tennessee Titans and finished with 31 receptions for 434 yards and a single touchdown, Julio Jones is currently the 86th WR off the board.
Mon, Jul 4th 2:25am EDT
By Jordan Epp
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers says he is excited for WR Allen Lazard to get "an opportunity to be a No. 1 receiver" after being the "dirty-work guy for most of his career," according to Matt Schneidman of The Athletic. (Source: Matt Schneidman, The Athletic)
Fantasy Impact: The Packers currently have a 224-target hole in their offense to fill up between the losses of Davante Adams and Marques Valdes-Scantling. A lot of speculation has been made about who will be the Packers' new No. 1 wideout, but at the very least, Lazard seems like he will get the opportunity to prove himself for that role. Rodgers said that because Lazard has always been the team's glue guy, he's "not worried about him at all stepping into that role." In the final five weeks of the 2021 season, Lazard had 21 catches for 290 yards and five touchdowns. Out of all the receivers left on Green Bay's roster, Lazard has the longest tenure with Rodgers of any receiver in Green Bay outside of 31-year-old Randall Cobb, and Rodgers is known for his tendency to throw to his most trusted options. With so many voided targets to distribute, Lazard is bound to smash his career-high mark of 60, making him an intriguing high-upside option with an average draft position of WR51, according to FantasyPros.
Sat, Jul 2nd 9:05pm EDT
By Sam Ryner
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 catches 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.
Sat, Jul 2nd 10:17am EDT
By Luke Monaldo
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 a 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.
After seven years in the league, DL Beau Allen, a former seventh-round pick, announced on Twitter that he will be retiring from the NFL. (Source: Beau Allen on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Allen played seven seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots, winning a championship in Philadelphia. He finished his career with 2.5 sacks, 117 combined tackles and 14 tackles for loss. Allen says he is looking forward to applying the skills he learned in football to "the world at large."