Now into the second week of August, fantasy football draft day is rapidly approaching. Staying informed with the latest NFL Training Camp Update August 9 is a crucial part of draft prep.
Our training camp battles to watch for both the AFC and NFC are also a good starting point for staying up-to-date on fantasy-relevant news. It’s also important to keep an eye on those 2022 fantasy football deep sleepers this summer.
Here are some of the important news items we’re monitoring this second week of August.
Odell Beckham to Miss Half the Season?
Odell Beckham is not expected to sign with a team any time soon after tearing his ACL for the second time in
the Super Bowl. Fantasy managers shouldn’t be drafting him expecting to get a steal. The best-case scenario is that he returns around Thanksgiving. Historically a second ACL tear is a 12-15 month recovery. There is a chance we don’t see him this year or at the very least don’t see him close to 100%.
Kareem Hunt Requests Trade
Browns’ RB Hunt has been sitting out of team drills at training camp due to discontent with his current contract. He
has requested a trade out of Cleveland. However, the team has fined him for not practicing and
informed him they have no intentions of trading him. This is a situation to watch. Hunt being traded
could have a massive impact on both his and Nick Chubb’s value. For the time being it looks like he’ll be
staying put in Cleveland though.
Matthew Stafford’s Elbow Injury
Stafford has been dealing with an elbow injury described as “tricky” by his head coach Sean McVay. The team has said it’s an injury more common in baseball than football and is a matter of pain management. To this point, it hasn’t impacted his ability to throw the ball, however, it is a situation to take into consideration if drafting him this year. This is a non-issue until it becomes an issue. This adds risk to the Super Bowl-winning QB’s value in 2022.
N’Keal Harry Suffers an Ankle Injury
Harry went down with an ankle injury that appears to be severe at Bears’ camp on Saturday. He has been competing for the WR2 job in a wide-open WR corps. This could not only cost him time but it’s possible it cost him his job. The WR2 job in Chicago is something to watch leading up to the season.
Adam Thielen Will Remain Red-Zone Threat
According to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, the new coaching staff for the Vikings has “embraced” Adam Theilen in the
red zone. This is good news for the veteran wideout. Most of his value over the past few seasons has come from touchdowns. He’s no longer a guy that’s going to pile up catches and yards but has a knack for finding the end zone and posting boom weeks because of it.
Dameon Pierce is Houston’s Best RB
All reports out of Houston point to Pierce being the best running back on the field. He has a real shot to be the Week 1 starter in Houston and perhaps be an every-down back. Pierce could far exceed his RB38 ADP if the team decides to make him a feature back. It wouldn’t be shocking if he emerged as a viable flex option or even an RB2 in 2022.
Rookie RB Isiah Pacheco Turning Heads
With Clyde Edwards-Helaire limited at Chiefs’ practice, Pacheco has been splitting first-team reps with Ronald Jones. Both CEH and Jones have struggled to establish themselves as legitimate NFL starters so it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that Pacheco can wrestle away the starting job from them this season. I wouldn’t expect him to have a major impact early, nonetheless, he could have fantasy relevance as we get later in the season.
Nico Collins is the “Clear” WR2 in Houston
According to ESPN’s DJ Bien-Aime, sophomore Nico Collins has been extremely impressive at camp and has a stranglehold on the WR2 job. A popular dynasty asset last year, Collins could begin to emerge this season as a
valuable fantasy commodity. He’s been described as uncoverable this summer.
Kenny Pickett is Third on the Steelers’ Depth Chart
Pickett will start the preseason as the QB3 on the Steelers depth chart. This doesn’t appear to be a case of the coaching staff trying to make the rookie earn it either. He is operating as the QB3 in practice. If you are investing in a Steelers quarterback for redraft leagues this season, Mitchell Trubisky is the clear-cut QB to select.
Romeo Doubs Drawing Massive Praise
After every practice at Packers’ camp, we’ve heard the same thing, that Romeo Doubs has been the star pass-catcher. With fellow rookie Christian Watson out with an injury and the rest of the WR corps being underwhelming, there is a real chance Doubs emerges as the WR2 in Green Bay which could lead to him having a ton of value. He has as good a chance as any pass-catcher to be Aaron Rodgers’s top target this season.
Elijah Mitchell is Operating as the Clear RB1 for the 49ers
There has been a lot of speculation regarding the 49ers’ backfield this offseason. However, the team has been utilizing him as the clear RB1 in practice and he’s looked like the most talented back on the field. The belief around San Francisco is that as long as he can stay healthy, Mitchell will be the top guy in San Francisco’s backfield this season.
Chicago to Utilize a Committee Backfield?
Khalil Herbert has been getting a lot of first-team reps at camp and it sounds like the new regime is
looking for a split backfield this year which is bad news for David Montgomery managers as his value comes
primarily from his abundant workload. Oddly, Montgomery has also gotten some special team reps. This could lead to Herbert being more than a handcuff and having some standalone value as well.
Chris Godwin Returns to Practice
Godwin returned to practice this week for the first time since tearing his ACL late last season. However, Bucs’ head coach Todd Bowles said the team isn’t getting their hopes up for Godwin to be an immediate contributor. Make no mistake, this is great news for Godwin. Nonetheless, he isn’t out of the woods yet and is still a candidate to start the season on the PUP list. This is a situation to monitor leading up to Week 1. If he does miss time Russell Gage and maybe even Julio Jones could be viable early-season flex options.
A.J. Brown is Focal Point
According to Bo Wulf of The Athletic, Brown has been the primary weapon at the Eagles’ camp. This doesn’t come as a surprise, however, there was some question about whether or not Devonta Smith could push for the WR1 job. So far, Brown has been without question the WR1. This could suppress Smith’s value in an already run-heavy offense. There is only so much passing volume to go around.
NFL Appeals DeShaun Watson’s Ruling
Watson was initially suspended for six games. As expected the NFL has appealed and we still have no clarity on this situation. He could miss the six games or he could miss the entire season. It’s unclear when we will know what to do with the Browns’ offensive weapons. Your best bet is to proceed with caution. Assume Watson won’t play this season and if he does it’s a bonus.