At this point into August, fantasy-relevant news is flying in daily. Staying informed is crucial and our NFL Training Camp Update August 16 will help you stay informed.
Also, FullTime Fantasy’s 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.
Let’s get into the breaking news that fantasy managers need to know heading into the second half of August.
Zach Wilson injures knee but escapes disaster
Jets starting quarterback Zach Wilson went down with a non-contact injury in the Jets’ preseason game. What was speculated to be a potentially torn ACL turned out to be just a bruise and torn meniscus. This will cost him up to four weeks and his Week 1 status is now in question. It’s not nearly as bad as it could have been. However, Wilson playing could actually be worse for the Jets’ offensive weapons fantasy value this year. He is a bottom-of-the-barrel option, especially if his rushing ability is now hindered.
Devonta Smith returns to practice
After missing about two weeks with a groin injury, Smith has returned to Eagles’ practice. A.J. Brown separated himself as the clear WR1 in Philly during his absence. Smith should serve as the clear WR2 this season and could look to carve out a role as the 1b to Browns’ 1a.
Kadarius Toney suffers a setback with his knee injury
The uber-athletic, but oft-injured Giants’ wideout will be sidelined for a while after injuring his knee this week in practice. Originally only expected to miss a few days, Toney is now expected to miss at least a week. The talent isn’t a question with him, but the injury concerns are real.
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Geno Smith starts for the Seahawks
Smith got the start in the Seahawks’ first preseason game and played the entire first half. Drew Lock came in and played the second half. It appears that Smith has a leg up on the starting job for Seattle. This is most likely good news for the Seahawks’ pass-catchers although neither option is ideal.
Baker Mayfield gets the start over Sam Darnold
Everyone expects Mayfield to be the starter in Carolina, but the team insists he’s not a lock so we are forced to report on it. Mayfield got the start over Darnold and played one series. It would be truly shocking in Mayfield isn’t the Week 1 starter. Darnold somehow winning the job would be a disaster for the Panthers’ offense.
Isiah Pacheco gets reps for the Chiefs before Ronald Jones
Clyde Edwards-Helaire got the start in the Chiefs’ preseason opener, however, it’s notable the second backup was the rookie Pacheco and not Rojo or even Jerick McKinnon. Pacheco has been a star at training camp and that has translated to the preseason. He may be the top handcuff or more in Kansas City.
Trey Lance lights it up in the preseason opener
Generally, stat lines are irrelevant for relevant players in preseason, but with plenty of question marks surrounding Lance, this was a confidence-building performance for his fantasy owners. He went 4 for 5 for 92 yards and connected with rookie Danny Gray for a 76-yard touchdown bomb. There are still questions surrounding Lance but this was a step towards answering some of them.
Drake London suffers a knee injury
Stud rookie wideout London went down in the Falcons’ preseason opener with a knee injury. While it initially looked pretty bad it appears he avoided any serious injury. This is something to monitor but it looks like he should be good to go to start the season.
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Miles Sanders is struggling to catch passes in camp
According to The Athletic’s Bo Wulf, Sanders continues to regress as a pass-catcher and continues to “fight the ball at times” in the receiving game. It looks like his workload could take a hit due to his struggles as a pass-catcher. This could lead to more snaps and touches for fellow back Kenneth Gainwell. The third man in the RB trio Boston Scott suffered a concussion last week and has been sidelined.
Zach Ertz has been sidelined with a calf injury
Ertz has been out with a calf injury since August 4. There isn’t much information on the matter besides that, but it’s a situation worth monitoring. Calves can be tricky injuries and are prone to lingering and re-injury. However, as of now, there is no reason to believe his Week 1 status is in jeopardy.
Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson are splitting snaps
Reports out of Los Angeles are that Akers and Henderson are splitting touches evenly at camp. Akers is still the favorite to pull away with the starting job, but this could be a full-blown committee. Especially early in the season. Akers is a favorite of many fantasy owners, nonetheless, he is far from a lock to be a bell-cow back or return to form pre-Achilles injury.
Ameer Abdulah acting as third-down back
According to SI’s Albert Breer, Abdulah is expected to play the “James White role” in Josh McDaniels’ offense for the Raiders. This is just another bad sign for the workload of Josh Jacobs this season. All signs point to Jacobs seeing fewer touches this season as part of a committee and his time in Vegas coming to end following this season.
Rashaad Penny is sidelined with a groin injury
The oft-injured running back is missing camp in Seattle due to a groin injury. To make matters worse for Penny, head coach Pete Carroll is now singing the praises of rookie Kenneth Walker stating the team “would feel comfortable” with Walker as an every-down back and said he “turned the page” with his pass protection. You would be justified to drop Penny and raise Walker in your rankings.
Melvin Gordon sidelined with a foot injury
Gordon has missed time at Broncos’ camp with a foot injury. The injury doesn’t appear to be overly serious, however, this cracks the door just a bit more for Javonte Williams’s inevitable takeover of the backfield in Denver. It appears to be a matter of when not if he will be the feature back.
Tom Brady to miss time at Bucs camp for personal reasons
Brady will be absent from Bucs camp through August 20. There has been plenty of speculation about exactly why he will be gone, however, the Bucs say this was always planned and they are not worried about Brady. This seems to be a non-issue but it’s worth noting. It shouldn’t impact your draft strategy.
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