Read ESPN’s fantasy football daily notes every weekday to stay caught up on the news you need to know and get a head start on the fantasy football content coming today and tomorrow to ESPN.com and the ESPN Fantasy App.
The news: Miles Sanders practiced on Thursday.
What it means in fantasy: It was Sanders’ first practice in nearly three weeks following a hamstring injury. However, head coach Nick Sirianni hasn’t committed to having Sanders suit up against the Lions in Week 1. The Eagles also claimed running back Trey Sermon off waivers. Regardless, Sanders is the RB26 in our live draft trends and a nice value in Philadelphia’s power running scheme as a upside flex option.
Going deeper: After scoring 6 touchdowns in each of his first two seasons, Sanders did not score one last season despite 163 touches, the most by any player who did not score a TD in 2021. He is projected to lead the Eagles backfield in touches (240) this season.
The news: Jimmy Garoppolo was back at practice on Thursday as the 49ers No. 2 quarterbacks.
What it means in fantasy: Garoppolo made his first appearance since renegotiating his one-year contract. Fantasy managers should digest two things here. Kyle Shanahan publicly stated earlier this summer that this is Trey Lance’s team. In addition, Lance’s margin of error this season won’t be as wide as fantasy managers would like. Lance, who is the QB13 in our live draft trends, has prepared for this moment all offseason. As a fantasy manager, I believe the dual-threat quarterback will deliver.
The news: Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel is confident Jaylen Waddle will be ready for Week 1.
What it means in fantasy: Waddle was inactive for all the preseason games and often wore a full-length sleeve on his right leg throughout training camp, which he did again Thursday. Waddle should be viewed as a WR2 for Week 1 fantasy lineups if he’s active, but it’s important to have the tempered expectations. Waddle averaged 15.3 fantasy points per game last season.
The news: The Texans re-signed Royce Freeman.
What it means in fantasy: With a series of moves, Houston continues to shuffle their roster, but I know what you’re thinking. You’re concerned about Dameon Pierce’s fantasy prospects. Don’t worry, Freeman was brought back simply to add depth to the backfield. With Pierce rising, now the RB29 in our live draft trendsfantasy managers can confidently select him as a high-end flex option.
The news: Alaina Getzenberg of ESPN reported Isaiah McKenzie has not practiced since Saturday because of an undisclosed injury.
What it means in fantasy: McKenzie’s status is something for fantasy managers to monitor leading up the Bills’ Week 1 matchup against the Rams. If he’s inactive then Jamison Crowder would fill the void in the slot for Buffalo.
Going deeper: Josh Allen ranks second behind Patrick Mahomes in targeting slot receivers over the past two seasons.
The news: Jordan Raanan of ESPN reported Kenny Golladay runs routes “with the stiffness of a mannequin.”
What it means in fantasy: During Dave Gettleman’s tenure, the Giants made several bad decisions. Perhaps the worst decision was signing Golladay. Golladay undergoes “unspecified medical procedures” this past offseason, and he is the WR63 in our live draft trends. Golladay is projected for only 87 targets. Do not prioritize him in fantasy drafts.
The news: The Texans take a flier on OJ Howard.
What it means in fantasy: Houston had only two tight ends on their active roster before signing Howard, so they needed help at the position. He is unlikely to impact the fantasy outlook of Brevin Jordan, who is a deep sleeper. As a low-end TE2, the second-year tight end is projected for 66 targets.
The read: Nation reporter DJ Bien-Aime on Brandin Cooks and Davis Mills looking to strengthen their bond in their second season together.
What it means in fantasy: A nice value in the middle rounds of fantasy drafts, Cooks is the WR20 in our live draft trends. He has exceeded 1,000 receiving yards and averaged 15 fantasy points a game in both of his first two seasons with the Texans. In the media, Mills has spoken positively about Cooks, and the chemistry they displayed throughout training camp bodes well for Houston’s passing game in 2022. They also communicate constantly off the field. Cooks can be viewed as a WR2 with WR1 potential.
Going deeper: Cooks also finished with a career high in receptions (90) and targets (134) in 2021.
The read: Titans Nation reporter Turan Davenport wrote about Derrick Henry’s offseason training routine using a sandpit that will help propel him to a bounce-back season.
What it means in fantasy: Henry is motivated to prove to those who doubt him that he’s still the best running back in the league. This different offseason approach has aided in Henry maintaining his breakaway speed following a Jones fracture that derailed his 2021 season. The Titans also provided Henry a raise, shifting $2 million of his $12.5 million salary from 2023 to this season. If Henry has another great season, a new contract could be on the way next spring, though he could also accelerate his departure if Henry’s play deteriorates following his foot injury from last season. His current contract expires in 2023. Henry will become an unrestricted free agent in 2024 if both sides don’t agree on an extension next offseason. A key takeaway for fantasy managers is that Henry’s workload is unlikely to be managed. He is the RB4 in our live draft trends and could even see more touches as a receiver out of the backfield.
Going deeper: Henry has averaged and astounding 24.5 touches and 127.7 total yards per game since 2019. That trend is likely to continue in 2022.
Today on ESPN.com/Fantasy and in the ESPN Fantasy App
• Mike Triplett wraps up a preseason’s worth of things you need to know before you draft this weekend
• Mock draft: 10 teams, half-PPR
• Daniel, Liz and DJ talk home leagues, fun traditions and players they’re out on this season
• Fantasy Focus podcast: All about Salary Cap leagues Listen | Watch
In case you missed it:
• Fantasy Focus podcast: Dynasty deep dive and 2QB leagues Listen | Watch
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