Fantasy football training camp roundup: July 24-28

Fantasy football training camp roundup: July 24-28

Fantasy football player analysis tips and advice

Fantasy football training camp roundup: July 24-28

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Now that all teams have reported to training camps across the NFL, here’s a spin around the league for a look at the most notable fantasy football news as of Thursday, July 28.

DK Metcalf - WR, Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks WR DK Metcalf agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension with the Seahawks Thursday, July 28, worth $72 million, according to a source. The deal includes a $30 million signing bonus and $58.2 million in guaranteed money.

Fantasy football tip: Metcalf has been productive since entering the NFL and is one of the more athletic receivers in the league. The team’s quarterback situation likely will hurt his fantasy value a bit, but he should still be a No. 2 receiver in most leagues.

Pat Freiermuth - TE, Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth (undisclosed) missed the end of practice Thursday, July 28, because of lower-body tightness.

Fantasy football tip: Freiermuth may miss a few practices, but it does not appear to be a serious issue. He is coming off a solid rookie season and should see a good amount of targets each week. He can be considered a low-end No. 1 tight end in most fantasy leagues.

Michael Gallup - WR, Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup (knee) said he will not be ready to play in Week 1 and does not have a timetable for his return.

Fantasy football tip: Gallup may start the season on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list and miss the first few games of the season. Fantasy players can monitor the situation and look to stash Gallup on their bench until he is cleared to play. He can be at least a No. 3 fantasy receiver when he returns.

Robert Woods - WR, Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans WR Robert Woods told reporters Thursday, July 28, that he has not worn a brace on his surgically repaired knee since the start of offseason work.

Fantasy football tip: Woods was always a good bet to start the season on time after tearing his ACL around midseason last year, but it is still a great sign that he trusts his knee enough already to go through the normal rigors of camp without a brace. The 30-year-old figures to be a solid WR3 in Tennessee’s run-centric offense and should be considered the favorite to lead the team in targets.

Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry - TEs, New England Patriots

The New England Patriots may be looking to run more two-tight end sets with TEs Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, according to Andrew Callahan of The Boston Herald on Thursday, July 28.

Fantasy football tip: While Henry was a usable asset in fantasy during the 2021 season, Smith provided close to no value. Given Smith’s athletic ability, taking a flier on him with the last pick in fantasy drafts may wind up being worth it if this trend continues throughout camp.

Michael Thomas - WR, New Orleans Saints

Updating previous reports, New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas (ankle) looked fluid and had no noticeable braces or wrapping on his left ankle Wednesday, July 27. Thomas is confident that he’ll return to the player he was before injuring the ankle in Week 1 of 2020.

Fantasy football tip: He’s 29 now and has a lot to play for financially. Can he return to the 149-1,725-9 player? It’s unlikely. He’s a WR2 with some risk and reward in fantasy right now.

Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson nailed a back-shoulder pass to WR Devin Duvernay in practice Wednesday, July 27, that drew rave reviews.

Fantasy football tip: Jackson is practicing despite his contract situation, and he looks to be in a good place. He’ll have to remain healthy, but he’s a good upper-middle QB1 with top-2 potential.

Allen Robinson - WR, Los Angeles Rams

Los Angeles Rams WR Allen Robinson has impressed the coaching staff with his approach and his route tree, according to Robert Mays of The Athletic, and Mays believes a “potential monster year” is on tap for Robinson.

Fantasy football tip: Although Cooper Kupp is the center of the passing attack, Robinson is more than capable of thriving as the No. 2 option. He has produced quality numbers in far worse situations throughout his career, and he should at least finish as a WR3 in 2022.

Antonio Gibson - RB, Washington Commanders

Washington Commanders RB Antonio Gibson (hamstring) did not participate in practice Wednesday, July 27, because of a hamstring injury. Head coach Ron Rivera said Gibson’s absence was precautionary and that his injury is considered minor.

Fantasy football tip: Washington can take things slow with Gibson since he probably will not play much in the preseason. He will continue to receive a majority of the snaps at running back this season and can be a No. 2 back in most fantasy leagues.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire - RB, Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (undisclosed) passed his physical Wednesday, July 27, and has been activated from the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list.

Fantasy football tip: Edwards-Helaire should receive most the work at running back this season and can be a No. 2 running back or flex option in fantasy leagues.

Diontae Johnson - WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Diontae Johnson did not participate in all of the drills during practice Wednesday, July 27. Head coach Mike Tomlin said it was not his decision to limit Johnson during practice.

Fantasy football tip: Johnson is entering the final year of his contract, which likely was a factor in his practice participation. He will continue to be the top option in the passing game for the Steelers and can be a No. 2 fantasy receiver.

Raheem Mostert - RB, Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins RB Raheem Mostert (knee) participated in some drills during practice Wednesday, July 27.

Fantasy football tip: Mostert is working his way back from a knee injury but should be available for Week 1. He is a part of a crowded running back group but should see a good amount of work since he is familiar with head coach Mike McDaniel’s offense. He can be at least a flex option in leagues if healthy.

Daniel Bellinger - TE, New York Giants

New York Giants TE Daniel Bellinger (quadriceps) was removed from the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list on Wednesday, July 27, and was running with the first-team offense in practice.

Fantasy football tip: Bellinger continues to look like the favorite for the starting job over Ricky Seals-Jones in New York, but we expect a pretty even timeshare no matter what. Neither are viable lineup options until this situation clears up, but Bellinger has more upside and is a decent late-round pick in dynasty rookie drafts.

Leonard Fournette - RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette drew praise from head coach Todd Bowles on Wednesday, July 27, for being in shape upon reporting for training camp. Bowles noted Fournette looked good in practice and did well in the team’s conditioning test.

Fantasy football tip: Fournette reportedly drew ire from the coaching staff after showing up to mandatory minicamp overweight, but it appears that issue is behind him now. Fournette enters 2022 as an RB2.

Treylon Burks - WR, Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans WR Treylon Burks was among the biggest standouts during the team’s first practice of training camp on Wednesday, July 27, per Ben Arthur of The Tennessean. Arthur noted that Burks fully participated and made a pair of nice grabs, and he looked slimmer since we last saw him during rookie minicamp in May.

Fantasy football tip: Burks showed great maturity after practice by taking accountability for his conditioning issue, which led to his missing practice reps earlier this offseason. As long as he keeps this up, Burks should have a big role right away. Chalk him up as a WR3 with upside for now.

Christian Watson - WR, Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers WR Christian Watson (knee) had minor knee surgery following the team’s offseason program in June, per a source on Wednesday, July 27. Watson is currently on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list.

Fantasy football tip: An early knee issue isn’t a great sign for Watson, but it isn’t time to panic yet. Watson is a first-round pick in dynasty rookie drafts, but we’ll tentatively call him a WR3 with upside until he shows us something in what is a wide open situation at wide receiver in Green Bay.

Tee Higgins - WR, Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals WR Tee Higgins (shoulder) has been cleared to practice after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery, head coach Zac Taylor said on Wednesday, July 27.

Fantasy football tip: This puts Higgins firmly on track to be ready for Week 1. After another strong year in 2021, Higgins is a WR2 entering 2022.

Joe Burrow - QB, Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow (appendix) has no timetable for a return from a recent appendectomy, head coach Zac Taylor said on Wednesday, July 27.

Fantasy football tip: The timeline reported earlier stated it would be about two weeks before Burrow resumes physical activity, so his status for Week 1 isn’t a concern. Lock Burrow in as a QB1 for 2022.

Julio Jones - WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Julio Jones signed a one-year, $6 million contract with a max value of $8 million on Wednesday, July 27, per source.

Fantasy football tip: Jones figures to be the No. 3 receiver in Tampa behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but he could move up in the pecking order if Godwin struggles in his first year back from a torn ACL. As of right now, it’s hard to trust Jones as anything more than a WR3, especially after missing 14 games the past two seasons.

Washington Commanders

Washington Commanders WR Terry McLaurin says he and QB Carson Wentz are “starting to build [a] really, really good personal relationship.”

Fantasy football tip: Chemistry is among the most vital components of a good quarterback-wide receiver relationship and it appears the pair are moving in a good direction. McLaurin is just waiting to be unleashed with a good quarterback, something he has never had in his career. If Wentz, who has question marks of his own, turns out to be that guy, McLaurin has the potential to go from a high-end WR2 to an elite WR1 in 2022.

Jonathan Taylor - RB, Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor (undisclosed) said he’s ready for training camp on Tuesday, July 26, after sitting out mandatory minicamp last month.

Fantasy football tip: It still isn’t clear what caused Taylor to sit out, but that’s over now. Taylor is an elite RB1 and should be one of the first picks off the board in all formats.

Chris Godwin - WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (knee) has been cleared for training camp but won’t participate fully from the start as he continues to work his way back from torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments.

Fantasy football tip: Godwin’s status for Week 1 remains up in the air, but his avoiding the PUP list is a step in the right direction. Even if he does return for Week 1, there is some concern Godwin might not be himself in his first year back from a torn ACL, and the recent addition of Julio Jones could complicate things further. Pencil Godwin in as a shaky WR2 for now.

Deebo Samuel - WR, San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers WR Deebo Samuel reported for training camp on Tuesday, July 26. General manager John Lynch says the two sides have had “productive and substantive talks” about a contract extension.

Fantasy football tip: After Samuel appeared to be completely done with the 49ers earlier this offseason, the fact that he has shown up for camp is a great sign he’s staying in San Fran, and Lynch’s words only reinforce that. Admittedly, Samuel is in a shaky situation in San Fran with a first-year starter under center in Trey Lance, and his desire to not play running back on top of his receiver duties is another negative, but he remains a WR1 going into 2022.

Jameis Winston - QB, New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints QB Jameis Winston (knee) will participate in team drills when the team starts practicing this week, according to head coach Dennis Allen.

Fantasy football tip: Winston appears to have recovered from his injury and will enter the season as the starting quarterback. He will have a good group of pass catchers to work with this season and could be a No. 2 quarterback in fantasy leagues.

Derrick Henry - RB, Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry likely will not play in any preseason games, according to head coach Mike Vrabel.

Fantasy football tip: Henry has been one of the top running backs in the NFL over the last few seasons and does not need much work to prepare for the regular season. He should be a top-five pick in most leagues and will be a must-start option each week.

Logan Thomas - TE, Washington Commanders

Washington Commanders TE Logan Thomas (knee) was placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list Tuesday, July 26.

Fantasy football tip: Thomas is still recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, and it is not known when he will be cleared to return to the field. Fantasy players can monitor the situation during training camp but may want to look for other options during drafts.

Sammy Watkins - WR, Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers WR Sammy Watkins (hamstring) was placed on the Active/Non-Football Injury list Tuesday, July 26, because of a hamstring injury, according to a source.

Fantasy football tip: Watkins has struggled with injuries in the past, so fantasy players will need to keep an eye on his status over the next few weeks. He has a chance to be a consistent target in the passing game for the Packers if he can stay healthy and can be a No. 3 or No. 4 receiver in fantasy leagues.

Kenneth Walker III - RB, Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks second-round draft choice RB Kenneth Walker III signed a four-year contract with the Seahawks Tuesday, July 26. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Fantasy football tip: Walker will be used right away since Chris Carson is unlikely to play again. There is a good chance that he will share playing time with Rashaad Penny and could take over the starting job at some point during his rookie season. He can be at least a No. 3 back in fantasy leagues and could become a weekly starting option depending on his workload.

Marquise Brown - WR, Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals WR Marquise Brown (hamstring) was placed on the Active/Non-Football Injury list Tuesday, July 26.

Fantasy football tip: The Cardinals can activate Brown at any time, but it seems like they are being cautious with him at this time. He should be a big part of the passing game when healthy and can be a No. 2 or No. 3 receiver in fantasy leagues.

KJ Hamler - WR, Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos WR KJ Hamler (knee) was placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list Tuesday, July 26.

Fantasy football tip: Hamler is working his way back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament but probably will take part in some practices during training camp. The Broncos upgraded at quarterback this offseason, which will help Hamler’s fantasy value. He could be a late round pick in leagues if healthy.

Jimmy Garoppolo - QB, San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) reported to training camp Tuesday, July 26, and will avoid the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list.

Fantasy football tip: Head coach Kyle Shanahan admitted Tuesday that Garoppolo’s injury “created a holding pattern” and has left the 49ers in a “tough spot.” What is clear is that Jimmy G will not be pushing Trey Lance in camp. Barring a significant injury to a starting quarterback during the preseason, Garoppolo’s release appears to be the most likely way this ordeal will end. San Francisco desperately needs his contract off its books to make some other moves, such as extending Deebo Samuel.

Trey Lance - QB, San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers QB Trey Lance was given a clear endorsement as the team’s starting quarterback by head coach Kyle Shanahan on Tuesday, July 26.

“This is Trey’s team. That’s nothing against Jimmy (Garoppolo). We made that decision a year ago. We’re not going to mess around with that anymore. Jimmy understands that fully. He’s a big guy. Nothing against him. It’s a business decision,” Shanahan told reporters Tuesday.

Fantasy football tip: As if Garoppolo’s name being on the trade market all offseason long wasn’t enough, Shanahan’s proclamation should be enough to end any remaining debate about who will be the 49ers’ starting quarterback in 2022. Fantasy managers should expect their fair share of ups and downs from Lance this season, but his dual-threat ability and Shanahan’s offensive acumen give him an incredibly high floor and a huge ceiling. Lance could push for a top-eight finish at quarterback in 2022.

Chris Carson - RB, Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks RB Chris Carson (neck) is expected to retire from the NFL due to the neck injury he suffered last season, according to sources. According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Seattle will officially release him with a failed physical designation.

Fantasy football tip: Carson is not expected to announce his retirement officially in the off chance his neck dramatically improves, but that seems unlikely to happen. It is a sad end for the former seventh-round pick who was once told in college that he ran too soft but emerged as one of the league’s most punishing runners. The Seahawks are doing right by him, however, as the Collective Bargaining Agreement allows players with a failed physical designation to receive several million dollars in injury protection benefits.

Gus Edwards - RB, Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore Ravens RB Gus Edwards (knee) is “in question” for Week 1 against the New York Jets, according to head coach John Harbaugh.

Fantasy football tip: Harbaugh mentioned this while noting he is optimistic about the “other guys on PUP” – which includes J.K. Dobbins (knee). This is somewhat unexpected news since Dobbins suffered more damage in his knee than Edwards did. Nevertheless, Edwards is not expected to miss significant time even if he does sit for the opener and should be a solid RB3/flex option when he is cleared.

Irv Smith - TE, Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings TE Irv Smith (knee) will be a “full-go” for training camp, according to head coach Kevin O’Connell.

Fantasy football tip: After enduring a knee injury that ended his 2021 campaign before it could start, Smith has a grand opportunity to make a big impression in an offense that figures to throw significantly more often than it ever did during the Mike Zimmer era. Set to turn 24 years old next week, Smith should be able to push for 60 or 70 targets as defenses focus most of their energy on slowing down Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook. A top 10 finish at his position is well within the range of outcomes for Smith.

Kyler Murray - QB, Arizona Cardinals

Updating previous reports, Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray‘s contract includes a clause that he must study four hours independently per week, excluding bye weeks.

Fantasy football tip: No one is saying Murray doesn’t already study on his own, but it’s fair to question if the team has concerns based on this strange contract clause. Murray is a talented midrange QB1 that could be a top-three fantasy option at the position.

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers RB Austin Ekeler, WR Keenan Allen and WR Mike Williams will command the bulk of the targets in the offense, and it will be tough for players like TE Gerald Everett, WR Josh Palmer and RB Isaiah Spiller to find consistent looks.

Fantasy football tip: Palmer figures to be the front runner for the slot receiver spot, and he may have the most upside of the secondary trio listed. He’ll be a WR5 with room to grow in fantasy. Everett will be a backup, and Spiller is worth a handcuff or RB5 spot.

Isaiah McKenzie - WR, Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills WR Isaiah McKenzie is going to be “a BIG part” of the Bills’ offense this season,” according to 13WHAM ABC’s Dan Fetes.

Fantasy football tip: It might be wise for fantasy managers to stash this information away for future reference since Fetes is not a regular source of NFL information. However, there was talk earlier in the offseason that McKenzie had an edge over Jamison Crowder to be the primary slot option in Buffalo. A more likely outcome is that McKenzie and Crowder end up sharing the bulk of the 112 targets Cole Beasley leaves behind. It is also important to note McKenzie has yet to surpass 40 targets or 30 catches in a season.

Kyle Rudolph - TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Kyle Rudolph “figures to inherit the bulk of (Rob) Gronkowski’s workload” this season, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.

Fantasy football tip: Perhaps as a blocker and on early downs, Rudolph will lead the tight end room in snaps. For fantasy purposes, Cameron Brate seems like the most likely player to make an impact, but that assumes rookie Cade Otton doesn’t impress the coaching staff enough to significantly cut into both player’s snaps. This could easily be a situation in which Brate is the best fantasy option in the first half of the season and Otton becomes the man sometime in November.

Gabriel Davis - WR, Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills WR Gabriel Davis has done enough during his time with the team and this offseason to make the team “very comfortable with him being a solid No. 2 receiver,” according to NBC Sports’ Peter King.

Fantasy football tip: King makes it clear in his report from Buffalo training camp that Stefon Diggs and Davis have a good relationship, so don’t look for any professional jealousy between the two this season. Davis has been perhaps the most popular conversation piece in fantasy football this offseason and is often taken among the top 24 receivers in drafts. While he certainly could finish in that range at year’s end, he may end up being a bit too much boom-or-bust to be trusted as a fantasy WR2.

Matthew Stafford - QB, Los Angeles Rams

Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford (elbow) will be on a pitch count in training camp, but it didn’t restrict him from doing anything Sunday, July 24, according to head coach Sean McVay.

Fantasy football tip: Elbow problems on quarterbacks is a scary thing. Stafford was fifth in fantasy points at the position last year. The position is stacked, which means if he has any issues with it, he could very well slip to 8-12 range. Keep that in mind when drafting him.

James Robinson - RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars RB James Robinson (Achilles) will not open training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Fantasy football tip: That’s good news as the last report we saw in June was that he might not be ready for camp. And he still may not be, but it wouldn’t be a long enough absence the team decided to PUP him. If Travis Etienne is healthy, though, Robinson will likely have his role heavily affected. It’s hard to advise taking him higher than RB3 in fantasy.

Kyren Williams - RB, Los Angeles Rams

Los Angeles Rams RB Kyren Williams (foot) is no longer in a walking boot and could be ready to practice by Week 3 of the preseason, head coach Sean McVay said on Sunday, July 24.

Fantasy football tip: Even when healthy, Williams will have a tough time seeing touches in 2022 with Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson in front of him. Williams is a late-round pick at best and a bench stash in dynasty formats, but isn’t a viable option in re-draft leagues.

Jameson Williams - WR, Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions WR Jameson Williams (knee) was placed on the Non-Football Injury list Sunday, July 24. The No. 12 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft continues his recovery from ACL reconstruction surgery.

Fantasy football tip: Williams going on the NFI list isn’t much of a surprise considering he tore his ACL in January. He can come off of the list whenever he’s medically cleared, which could be at any point. There’s upside given his talent, draft capital, and a clear path to a starting role, but fantasy managers should temper expectations of immediate contribution when drafting.

John Metchie - WR, Houston Texans

Houston Texans WR John Metchie was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia and is expected to miss the entire 2022 season, the rookie said in a statement Sunday, July 24. “I am currently receiving great medical care, am in good spirits and I expect to make a recovery at a later point in time. I will likely not be playing football this season. My main focus will be on my health and recovery,” said Metchie.

Fantasy football tip: First and foremost, we hope for a speedy and healthy recovery for Metchie. The second-round pick was expected to have a sizeable role in the offense behind Brandin Cooks. With Metchie’s expected absence, second-year WR Nico Collins should have a more solidified role as the team’s WR2 while Phillip Dorsett, Chris Conley, and Jalen Camp are likely the front runners for the WR3 role. None of those three have much fantasy appeal at this point.

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