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."
Fri, Jul 1st 10:15pm EDT
By Sam Ryner
According to Arizona Cardinals starting G Justin Pugh, QB Kyler Murray and the Cardinals are close to coming to terms on a contract extension. While making an appearance on “The Dave Pasch Podcast”, Pugh said “it’s only a matter of time” until a deal is reached. (Source: CBS Sports )
Fantasy Impact: Earlier this offseason it seemed as if Murray and the Cardinals could potentially be headed towards a split up. ESPN reported that the Cardinals had concerns about Murray’s maturity and leadership and Murray’s agent released a public statement that essentially demanded a contract extension. Since then, Murray has attended the team's mandatory minicamp, squashing rumors of a possible holdout, and both HC Kliff Kingsbury and GM Steve Keim indicated they want to sign Murray beyond the 2022 season. Murray has been nothing short of electric on the field when healthy, but injuries in back-to-back seasons have hurt his performance over the second half of each season. In 2021, Murray finished as the QB10 while playing in just 14 games, but he had the fourth highest PPG among QBs. Murray is currently ranked as the QB5 according to FantasyPros ECR.
Fri, Jul 1st 7:32pm EDT
By Evan Ritter
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson's disciplinary hearing in front of former U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson came to an end on Thursday, June 30th in Delaware after three days, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. (Source: Ian Rapoport via NFL.com)
Fantasy Impact: According to the report, post-hearing briefs from Watson’s and the NFL’s representation are due the week of July 11, with a ruling to follow soon thereafter. There has been no specific timeline set for when Robinson will make her decision on whether or not Watson violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy but a decision is expected to be rendered on July 26th before Browns veterans report to training camp. It seems likely Watson will face one of two outcomes. The first and unlikely one being he’s found not to have been in violation of the league’s personal conduct policy and faces no punishment. The more likely of the two outcomes is Watson is found in violation and will likely face a lengthy suspension. For now, all anyone can do is wait and speculate until, in fact, a final decision is handed down by the NFL and Sue Robinson.
Fri, Jul 1st 1:08pm EDT
By Jordan Epp
According to Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic, the Buffalo Bills coaching staff sits "firmly behind" RB Devin Singletary as the team's lead back. (Source: Joe Buscaglia, The Athletic)
Fantasy Impact: In the final four games of the season, Singletary put together 323 rushing yards and six total touchdowns with an average of 19 carries per game. Between Week 1 and Week 13, Singletary did not have a single game with more than 15 carries and had two total touchdowns. The Buffalo backfield has been one to watch carefully, but according to Buscaglia, the Bills remain behind Singletary for the starting role. However, the upside is limited in an offense with a red-zone rusher like QB Josh Allen and the team's tendency to abandon the run. Singletary is currently being drafted at RB27, according to FantasyPros average draft position.
The Dallas Cowboys are signing free-agent K Lirim Hajrullahu, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. The 32-year-old CFL veteran made his NFL debut with Dallas last season. (Source: Tom Pelissero on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Hajrullahu appeared in four games last season, one with the Cowboys and three with the Carolina Panthers, hitting four out of his five field-goal attempts and all eight extra-point attempts. The two-time CFL East All-Star posted a career average of 83.3% on field goal attempts in Canada and is just one of two kickers on Dallas' roster. Competing alongside undrafted rookie K Jonathan Garibay, whoever emerges as the kicker for the Cowboys will have a lucrative fantasy position with K Greg Zuerlein off the roster. The Cowboys led the NFL in scoring and yards in 2021, providing plenty of kicker scoring opportunities. Still, they attempted the second-most two-point conversions in the NFL, showing that faith is vital in a Dallas kicker.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy declared himself fully healthy, according to Kevin Patra of NFL.com. The 23-year-old missed part of OTAs with a strained groin but is back on the field again. (Source: NFL.com)
Fantasy Impact: Jeudy missed six games in 2021 due to an ankle injury (plus one more thanks to COVID-19), so his ability to stay on the field is a legitimate concern. However, with a clean bill of health and a new quarterback in Denver, Jeudy is poised for the big season that we've been waiting for. He averaged just 8.5 fantasy points per game last season but projects as a low-end WR3 now that the Broncos' offense has received a major upgrade.
Category: Injury Updates
Thu, Jun 30th 10:23pm EDT
By Andersen Pickard
Barring an injury or unforeseen development, North Carolina product Sam Howell is expected to be the Washington Commanders' third-string quarterback when Week 1 comes around. The rookie will ride the bench behind starter Carson Wentz and backup Taylor Heinicke. (Source: ESPN)
Fantasy Impact: John Keim of ESPN notes that although Howell won't be Washington's QB1 or even QB2 to open the year, that doesn't rule out a path to playing time. The team has endured immense quarterback turnover as of late, deploying at least three different starters in each of the last five seasons. Howell could very well see playing time if Wentz and Heinicke struggle or suffer injuries. Of course, even if Howell doesn't take a snap this season, the odds are still in his favor for next season. Heinicke will be a free agent at the end of 2022, opening the door for Howell to move up the depth chart.
Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com writes that veteran quarterback Marcus Mariota is "far ahead" of rookie Desmond Ridder as the two compete for the starting job with the Atlanta Falcons. (Source: ESPN)
Fantasy Impact: As Rothstein notes, Mariota was brought into Atlanta "to be the starter at least in the short term because he has familiarity with what coach Arthur Smith wants in the offense." He believes that if the Falcons are in playoff contention, Mariota will keep the job the whole way. If not, Week 11 could be a good target for him to hand the reins to Ridder because the team has 10 days between games and will be preparing for a below-average Bears team. The team could also make a change during their late Week 14 bye. For now, though, Mariota projects as Atlanta's QB1 and thus falls around the high-end QB3 range in fantasy leagues.
Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters (torn ACL) has a chance to play in the team's Week 1 contest, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. As long as he continues to make progress and stays healthy, Peters will be on the field for the season opener. (Source: The Athletic)
Fantasy Impact: Peters tore his ACL last September, marking the first time he has suffered a major injury in his career. The talented cornerback hasn't played since 2020, when he tallied 52 tackles, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, and one sack through 14 games. His return would be monumental for the Baltimore secondary and defense as a whole.
Category: Injury Updates
Thu, Jun 30th 10:10pm EDT
By Andersen Pickard
Baltimore Ravens running back Gus Edwards is still targeting a Week 1 return as he works his way back from a torn ACL that held him out of action for the entire 2021 season. (Source: The Athletic)
Fantasy Impact: As Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic notes, there have been some questions about Edwards' availability thus far. "There were no sightings of Edwards [during offseason workouts] beyond what he’s put on social media," he writes. Still, the Ravens are adamant that Edwards is progressing nicely and remains on track for a Week 1 return. He'll likely open training camp on the PUP list and have a lightened or nonexistent workload during the team's preseason games. By the time the regular season swings around, Edwards can be viewed as a low-end RB3 with goal-line usage and strong upside as the handcuff option behind J.K. Dobbins (ACL).
Category: Injury Updates
Thu, Jun 30th 10:06pm EDT
By Andersen Pickard
Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic writes that he doesn't expect Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins (ACL) to participate in the team's preseason games. It's fair to assume that he could open training camp on the PUP list. (Source: The Athletic)
Fantasy Impact: Dobbins tore his ACL last season and hasn't played in a regular-season game since his rookie campaign in 2020. That year, he totaled 805 rushing yards, 120 receiving yards, and 14 touchdowns from scrimmage. With an elite offensive line and an offense that is expected to be very run-heavy this coming season, Dobbins projects as a mid-range RB2 with top-12 upside if he's healthy. However, his health is not a guarantee by any means. As Zrebiec writes, "Knee injuries certainly can be problematic for running backs and there has been some outside pessimism about Dobbins’ availability and effectiveness in 2022." It will be imperative to watch his progression throughout training camp before making a final decision on his value ahead of fantasy drafts.
Category: Injury Updates
Thu, Jun 30th 10:45am EDT
By Leo Sells
Commanders rookie RB Brian Robinson may see much of the goal line work for the team this year. (Source: Ben Standig )
Fantasy Impact: Robinson, a rookie out of Alabama, was a third-round pick in this year's draft. He has been impressing in camp so far this year, and the team may want to use him as the feature goal-line back. If this is the case, that will severely hurt the fantasy value of Antonio Gibson, and it may make Robinson an interesting streaming option.
Eagles RB Miles Sanders has expressed a desire to get more touches this season, per John Clark. (Source: John Clark on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Sanders had a bumpy season for fantasy purposes last year, much of which can be attributed to injuries and inconsistency. He wants to get more touches this year, and he also acknowledged that he has to be more reliable and consistent with what he is given. This doesn't necessarily mean he will get more work this year, but if he does, that could make him a value pick at his current ADP.
Browns RB Kareem Hunt says he feels 100% healthy and wants a contract extension from Cleveland. (Source: Scott Petrak on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Hunt has been an effective back when healthy these past few seasons, and his pairing with Nick Chubb creates the best RV tandem in football. Health has been an issue for him, however, and there is questions about whether or not the team wants him long-term. If he does receive an extension, that will secure him for dynasty purposes, but that may limit the possible ceilings of both him and Chubb.
Wed, Jun 29th 10:50pm EDT
By Sam Ryner
Seattle Seahawks HC Pete Carroll said that newly acquired TE Noah Fant had the “most spectacular camp of anybody” following the team’s mandatory June minicamp, reports ESPN’s Brady Henderson. (Source: ESPN’s Brady Henderson )
Fantasy Impact: Fant, who was a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, was traded to the Seahawks earlier this offseason as part of the trade that sent superstar QB Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. Fant entered the league with high expectations as an athletic pass-catching TE, but he has yet to live up to that hype, having never surpassed 700 yards or four TDs in any one of his first three seasons. Fant expressed frustration in regards to his utilization as a check-down option rather than a downfield threat in Denver after he was traded, and Seattle’s run-heavy offense should offer plenty of play-action concepts that allow Fant to work more down the field. It remains to be seen who will be Fant’s QB in 2022, but it appears the young TE has made a strong first impression with his new team and will be heavily featured in the team’s passing attack alongside WRs D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Fant is currently ranked as the TE14 according to FantasyPros ECR.