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Shark Bites - Up-to-the-minute Fantasy Football News

Fantasy Football News 2022

Most Recent Shark Bites

Speaking at rookie minicamp, Lions WR Jameson Williams said he doesn’t have an update on when he’ll resume running routes. Williams tore his ACL on January 10 — 8 months prior to Week 1. “We’re taking it slow,” Williams said. “I’ve been out here getting some good rehab with the trainers two times a day. So everything’s been going good so far.” HC Dan Campbell passed on putting any sort of timetable on Williams’ return to the field, but it’s safe to call the ‘Bama stud questionable for Week 1. We’ll update his status throughout the summer.

Bills beat writer Jay Skurski believes there should be “minimal growing pains” in year 1 with OC Ken Dorsey. The former college football star just served as Buffalo’s QB coach/pass game coordinator, so there’s desirable continuity. Dorsey, who’s never called plays at any level, is taking over for new Giants HC Brian Daboll. Skurski mentions the possibility of using more 2-TE sets and throwing to RBs more frequently — obvious dot-connecting following the arrivals of O.J. Howard and rookie James Cook. Allen remains an elite QB1.

Saints HC Dennis Allen gave his evaluation of RB Abram Smith during rookie minicamp. “Tough, smart, competitive, really good special teams value,” Allen said. “I think any time you’re looking at an undrafted free agent, the first thing you’re looking at is, No. 1, how does he make the team? And then No. 2, does he have the ability to be active on gameday? And for a young player, the best chance you have to be active on gameday is to contribute on special teams. And so, that was an area we felt like he was really good at.” A projected late round pick, Smith went undrafted — perhaps due to 2 past ACL tears (2014 and 2017). New Orleans supposedly had better than a UDFA grade on the Baylor product. With the Saints, Smith has a decent shot at earning a roster spot — especially with Alvin Kamara's status in limbo.

Speaking on the Move the Sticks Podcast, NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks said he believes rookie RB Isaiah Spiller is a “true #1” type of talent. “I would not be surprised to see him emerge as a star-quality player for the Chargers,” Brooks added. The long-time analyst pointed out Spiller’s size and pass-catching ability. (The 217-pounder caught 74 balls across 3 college seasons.) He’s the clear favorite for #2 duties entering the summer, but note that Austin Ekeler’s under contract for 2 more seasons.

Cardinals GM Steve Keim gave his scouting report on rookie TE Trey McBride. “The guy can do it all,” he said. “He can play in-line, he can flex, he can motion, he can play out of the backfield. He’s got tremendous hands and a great catching radius. He’s really strong in a crowd. And his character is off the charts. He’s a three-time captain, a phenomenal leader and we’re just thankful he was there [to draft].” Keim added that McBride was “by far the highest graded [prospect]” at pick #55. Zach Ertz’s contract makes it tough for the team to move on before 2024, so McBride figures to play a part-time role for the foreseeable future.

Giants HC Brian Daboll mentioned RB Jashaun Corbin as a standout performer in rookie minicamp. “Athletic, quick twitch, good in individuals,” Daboll said. “The individual drills, a lot of them, you’re almost going out there on pro days or individual workouts. Some of the drills that we even do out here are some of the drills that we do when we work guys out, so you get a good feel for them. You can compare kind of apples to apples.” New York gave the Florida State product a significant sum for a UDFA — $110k guaranteed. So he’s likely in the mix for at least the #3 job. Corbin’s college career was derailed by a serious hamstring tear (2019), but he showed promise last year with 143-887-7 (plus 25 catches) in 12 games. This backfield is wide open behind Saquon Barkley, making Corbin a deep sleeper to monitor.

League insider Albert Breer believes the Cardinals will “find a way to get something done early in the summer” regarding a contract extension for Kyler Murray. Currently, the QB is under team control for 2 more seasons. Only 24, Murray will likely get Josh Allen money on his next contract.

Speaking at rookie OTAs, Steelers WR Calvin Austin said his weight fluctuates between 170-175 pounds. At 5’8 and even 175, he’ll likely struggle to see a full-time role — even a few years down the line. Pittsburgh also added Georgia WR George Pickens in Round 2, and he’ll join a strong top-2 of Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool. Johnson does enter a contract year, so Austin could be setup for a 2nd-year bump. Still, odds are, he’ll provide more real-life value than fantasy value. At Memphis, Austin returned 2 punts for scores on 29 opportunities.

Broncos OC Justin Outten described WR Montrell Washington’s role in the offense as “explosive,” per beat writer Zac Stevens. Washington (5’10, 170) arrived as a 5th-round pick out of Samford. “Right now it’s more of a speed type thing, where you can use him for fly sweeps, you can use him for arounds, you can use him down the field and blow the top off the defense,” Outten said. Washington’s buried on a stacked depth chart, but he’s at least a name to know in deeper dynasty formats.

Cardinals beat writer Bob McManaman expects the team to “squeeze even more” out of James Conner early next season. Conner signed a new contract this offseason, and Arizona will be without DeAndre Hopkins for the first 6 games. “We’ve got to be better at it,” HC Kliff Kingsbury said. “We didn’t run the ball great late last year when we needed to and when you look at those teams that made a run, they were able to still sustain the run, especially when you lose a top player like that [Hopkins]. So, we’ve got to be able to establish that early.” After losing Chase Edmonds in free agency, Conner’s current backfield competition includes Eno Benjamin and rookie Keaontay Ingram.

NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks considers Ravens WR Rashod Bateman a top breakout candidate for the 2022 season. Brooks calls the 2nd-year man a “nice fit” in the offense, adding that he can reach “8 to 10 targets” per game. We don’t disagree on the premise. But the latter point is perhaps a stretch; 8 targets per game adds up to 136 over a full season. Only 11 WRs hit that mark in 2021. Beyond that, the Ravens — minus Marquise Brown — simply don’t project for fantasy-friendly pass volume. For fantasy purposes, Bateman’s best drafted as a WR3 with upside.

Lions WR D.J. Chark said he’s not limited in offseason workouts. Chark, of course, is coming off a late September ankle fracture. "They’re always there to let me know like, if it’s bothering me I don’t have to push it as hard or things like that, cause they want me to be where I’m at my peak when the season starts," Chark, 25, said. "But no, I do everything that everybody else does. That’s just how I am. I wouldn’t feel good going home knowing that I didn’t do whatever because the other guys, and I feel like that’s how you earn your respect and your keep around here.” Chark signed a 1-year, $10 million deal back in March. He'll fill an intermediate/deep role in a suddenly-strong Detroit offense.

Falcons HC Arthur Smith commented on the arrival of WR Bryan Edwards. “He’s a guy who can win outside 1-on-1 and certainly has shown he can play in traffic inside the numbers,” Smith said. “This guy has made big plays. He’s not even 23 years old. When I was at the previous spot [Tennessee], we really liked him coming out.” A fantasy afterthought in Vegas, Edwards' move to Atlanta makes him a legit late-round flier in best ball leagues.

Jets HC Robert Salah called rookie RB Breece Hall a “home run hitter.” Salah went on to talk about the importance of explosive plays. New York traded up to land Hall, who posted 22 runs of 15+ yards last season (253-carry sample). He set a personal-best in YPC (5.8). Current projections have the Iowa State product clearing 250 touches.

Observing OTAs, 49ers beat writer Cam Inman writes that WR Danny Gray’s 4.33 speed is “obvious.” This is clear on Gray’s tape — and it also backs up what GM John Lynch had said post-draft. Target competition remains an issue for 2022, but the front office certainly has high hopes for Gray, a 3rd round selection last month.

Bills beat writer Matt Parrino writes that WR Khalil Shakir’s first step has been “noticeably difficult to contend with” in rookie OTAs. The 5th-rounder was a sharp route runner coming out of Boise State. And he posted an elite 1.49-second 10-yard split at the Combine, so his short-area burst is clear. A crowded depth chart makes Shakir a redraft long-shot, but the team’s WR3 role could be his as soon as 2023. See where he landed in our post-draft dynasty rookie rankings.

Falcons beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter writes that WR Drake London “appeared fine” in OTAs on Friday, “jobbing and running half-speed routes.” The rookie fractured his ankle ~6.5 months ago, so the fact that he’s even on the field is a positive. London, who turns just 21 in July, currently projects in WR3 range.

49ers 3rd-round rookie RB Ty Davis-Price said he plans to play this season between 220 and 222 pounds. He cut down to 211 to run a 4.48 forty at the Combine. According to David Lombardi of The Athletic, a heavier TDP “signals that the 49ers are indeed trying to add more thump to a backfield that might be asked to execute more inside-zone runs with Trey Lance.” The LSU product enters the summer looking to carve out a role alongside Elijah Mitchell.

According to league insider Aaron Wilson, Texans WR John Metchie “wasn’t encumbered by a knee brace” in rookie OTAs. The rookie, ~5.5 months removed from an ACL tear, was considered a “limited” participant. “I talked about us initially just taking everybody through a certain amount of tests to see exactly where they are,” HC Lovie Smith said. “We’re in the process of seeing exactly when John would be ready to go. Eventually, he will be ready to go. There’s a lot that he can do before that. He’s not 100% yet, but in time he will be.” Metchie’s a redraft long-shot, although he’s worth monitoring as he gets further removed from the injury.

Dolphins WR coach Wes Welker complimented WR Cedrick Wilson in OTAs. Welker listed the following as positives: “His smoothness, his understanding of defenses and how to run routes, how to get open, understanding the techniques of defenders and how to attack them,” the former WR said. “Just a very savvy player who has kind of played with a chip on his shoulder. We’re looking forward for him to play with that same chip here.” Wilson signed a 3-year deal worth ~$12.8 million guaranteed in March. Miami proceeded to crush his fantasy value with the trade for Tyreek Hill. Still, the former Cowboy could jump into the WR3 mix with an injury to either Hill or Jaylen Waddle.

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