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Fantasy Football News 2022

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Colts WR Parris Campbell has generated a bit of buzz in OTAs this week, with HC Frank Reich saying they still believe in Campbell as both a slot and outside WR. Reich had more to say about Campbell on Thursday, according to The Athletic: “I think we’re all pulling for Parris, but there’s no sentimental favorites here. You have to earn every rep you get on that field. We all love Parris and we all have a lot of belief in Parris and the upside, this is like I said, there’s no sentimental favorites. Every guy is going to get a fair shot to earn a spot to be on the field.” Perhaps the coaching staff isn't giving Campbell extra reps just because they like him. But it seems pretty clear that Reich is hoping we finally get to see Campbell's ceiling. For fantasy football purposes, Campbell is going late enough in best-ball drafts that there's only upside to selecting him. Beyond that, we'll see how the summer goes.

Cowboys WRs Simi Fehoko and T.J. Vasher have gotten a "ton of work" with Dak Prescott this week, thanks to James Washington and Jalen Tolbert being sidelined, according to David Helman of the team website. Helman added that he saw Fehoko "make 2-3 nice snags." It's assumed that Washington and Tolbert will run ahead of Fehoko and Vasher when healthy, but Tolbert was a 3rd-round pick and Washington signed a small 1-year deal. We're betting on Tolbert and Washington being more relevant as well, but neither is guaranteed a starting role. We'll be watching to see how the WR corps sorts out behind CeeDee Lamb.

We passed along a report earlier this week of Seahawks OC Shane Waldron's scheme looking friendly to TEs. Well, Noah Fant agrees. The former Bronco called it "very favorable" on Thursday, according to ESPN's Brady Henderson, specifically mentioning the downfield opportunities. That sounds especially good for Fant, who ran a 98th-percentile 40 time for the position. "I'm excited to be in this offense," Fant said. "I think I can do some good things in it." Seattle's weak QB situation has us cautious, but Fant's TE18 ADP (TE21 on Underdog) is just as cautious. That means there's more upside than risk.

The Bills have signed WR Tavon Austin. We'd bet on this being a "camp body" situation. Buffalo already has Jamison Crowder to likely lead slot-WR duties, with Isaiah McKenzie, Marquez Stevenson and 5th-round rookie Khalil Shakir all fitting a similar mold. Stevenson has reportedly had some struggles at OTAs, so there could be competition between him and Austin. Even in that case, though, the winner would be far from fantasy relevance.

Multiple reports have rookie WR Romeo Doubs impressing in OTA sessions. That's not surprising given the way GM Brian Gutekunst talked about the 4th-round selection in early May. “He’s got length, he’s really fast, he’s a big-time playmaker and he’s done it for multiple years at Nevada,” Gutekunst told the team website. “He’s probably one of the more polished players coming out of college just because of his experience. We’re excited to see what he can do.” That "polish" will tend to show in these early, padless workouts that are missing a number of veterans. Doubs will be worth tracking, though, as the renovated Green Bay WR corps leaves wide-open opportunity. It doesn't hurt Doubs' path that fellow Packers rookie Christian Watson has dropped some passes already. (But no, we're not overrating that issue for Watson right now.)

Colts LB Darius Leonard has been on the sideline at OTA practices this week because of lingering ankle issues, according to multiple reports. HC Frank Reich said: “Sometimes when you are going through something you hit a lull and can’t get over that hump. Sometimes you have to pause and say, ‘Why are we not getting over this hump?’ That’s a little bit what it is with Darius. We are just continuing to be cautious with him.” They're reportedly not yet considering another surgery on the left ankle, on which Leonard had surgery last June. Leonard missed only 1 game last season, and that for a stint on the COVID list. We'll see where this goes.

Browns beat writer Zac Jackson believes “the chances are high” that the team adds a veteran WR. No available player would impact Amari Cooper’s role. But we could see competition for the young guys behind him: Donovan Peoples-Jones, David Bell and Anthony Schwartz. Will Fuller, Julio Jones and T.Y. Hilton are some of the big-name WRs still available. Odell Beckham (ACL) is worth a mention, too, but Jackson doesn’t believe a reunion is likely.

Giants WR Sterling Shepard (Achilles) has resumed jogging, he told insider Josina Anderson. He's working back from December's torn left Achilles and is still seemingly a ways off from getting full medical clearance. We're not expecting Shepard to be ready for the start of the season but will continue to monitor his progress.

Jets DC Jeff Ulbrich said this week that the team has a "hard-and-fast" rule about D-linemen playing no more than 30-35 snaps per game, according to Connor Hughes of The Athletic. The goal is obviously to keep the defensive front fresh throughout the game. The downside for IDP purposes, of course, is that limited playing time for Quinnen Williams, Carl Lawson, John Franklin-Myers and Jermaine Johnson can limit their stat upside. We'll see just how hard-and-fast that rule is, though. Williams exceeded 35 snaps in 10 of his 15 games last season, and he was coming off an offseason foot fracture. For now, we'll treat this more as something to watch in season than a reason to alter draft outlooks -- especially because none of the aforementioned Jets sit too high in the IDP rankings.

Longtime NFL QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has announced his retirement. A hip injury knocked Fitzpatrick out of the 2021 opener and eventually required surgery. That brief Washington cameo followed stints with the Dolphins, Buccaneers, Jets, Texans, Titans, Bills, Bengals and Rams. Originally a 7th-round pick by St. Louis, Fitzpatrick finishes his career with 34,990 passing yards, 223 TDs, 169 INTs and some excellent press-conference footage.

Rams rookie RB Kyren Williams was spotted in a walking boot at OTAs. Per reporter Jourdan Rodrigue, Williams appeared to “tweak something” in practice earlier this week. We’ll keep an eye out for updates, but even a healthy Williams is a long-shot for year 1 fantasy value. Only 200 pounds, the Notre Dame product dropped to Round 5 of the draft.

The Chargers return the same HC and OC from last season. Plus, 6 of last year's top 7 target-getters are back, with TE Gerald Everett replacing TE Jared Cook. “Everyone’s familiar with the terminology, so a lot less stress, at this time of the year anyway, because they’ve had a year to digest everything,” OC Joe Lombardi said. “Justin [Herbert]’s bandwidth is a lot wider for everything, so we can focus on some Football 202 type of stuff, rather than just getting in and out of the huddle. It’s real nice. First and foremost, it’s just familiarity with all of the play calls. Where last year at this time, it was just hearing the play, repeating it in the huddle and just kind of understanding what the play is — that was a lot of calories burnt last year. This year, he has that part down. He can focus on what the defense is doing a little bit more, get his timing down with the receivers and all of that.” The Chargers ranked top 6 in points, yards and yards per play last season and are a safe bet to be 1 of the top offenses in the league again in 2022.

According to beat writer Jonathan Alexander, Panthers QB Sam Darnold “seems primed" to start the season opener vs. Cleveland. Alexander points to Darnold's experience and performance at OTAs thus far as supporting evidence. While Darnold’s a near lock to start Week 1, the smart money is on rookie Matt Corral taking over at some point in 2022.

Dolphins RB Chase Edmonds is adjusting to an outside zone running game for the first time in his career. “In college, I was predominantly inside zone,” Edmonds said. “High school, inside zone. The NFL with Arizona, inside zone. But here outside zone.” As for what’s different, here’s Edmonds’ take. “[I’m] just getting used to the wider tracks… the cuts are going to be at different angles and the lanes are going to be at different angles. The flow of the ‘backers are different because in inside zone, it’s more slow to fast, where I can pitter-patter my steps. Outside zone here, it’s kind of like you’re riding a wave. Once you hit that wave, you’ve got to hit it and go. I’m getting used to that.” We’ll monitor Edmonds’ transition this summer. But with new HC Mike McDaniel in charge, we fully expect a more dynamic Dolphins run game.

Speaking at an event on Wednesday night, 49ers GM John Lynch confirmed that WR Deebo Samuel will remain on the team. “We haven't traded him, and I'd be a fool to trade him. So yes, Deebo will be part of the 49ers this season,” Lynch said. Now we’ll see if Samuel, 26, accepts a high-dollar extension from the 49ers this summer.

Steelers DE Stephon Tuitt has announced his retirement. The 29-year-old sat out the 2021 season while dealing with a knee injury and the death of a younger brother. Teammates had indicated they anticipated him returning this year. Pittsburgh loses the starting DE opposite Cameron Heyward. But the team returns Chris Wormley, last year's primary fill-in, and added DeMarvin Leal in Round 3 of the NFL Draft.

Colts HC Frank Reich admitted that the team is considering adding another WR. To date, Indy’s only noteworthy offseason addition was Round 2 pick Alec Pierce. “That’s what [GM] Chris (Ballard) and I were talking about today, this morning in fact,” Reich shared. “We’ll see how these guys do through all of these (offseason workouts), and then do we need to add somebody? Do we need to talk about T.Y. (Hilton) if he’s still out there?” It’s a possible issue for Parris Campbell, who’s durability concerns have been well documented. Michael Pittman will retain a WR1 ceiling regardless of any move.

Bills WR Gabriel Davis gave his assessment of new OC Ken Dorsey. “He wants to attack on every single play,” Davis said. “He doesn't want to let up on everything. I'm happy he's going to give us the opportunity to make big plays.” Since Dorsey was promoted from within, we’re expecting a smooth transition. Davis remains an upside WR3.

Patriots beat writer Jeff Howe writes that WR Tyquan Thornton looks “noticeably skinny” at OTAs. “It’s fair to wonder how he’ll hold up against physical corners and through the constant hits from the 17-game regular season,” Howe concluded. The Baylor product goes 6’2, 181 pounds. So there’s a chance he puts on a bit of weight before Week 1. Still, Thornton — a true burner — will want to remain relatively light to play fast. He projects to play a rotational role as a rookie.

Browns HC Kevin Stefanski said Wednesday, "we certainly want to feature" TE David Njoku. The team has backed that up with their offseason moves, releasing TE Austin Hooper and giving Njoku a 4-year, $56.75 million extension. Throw in a QB upgrade with the arrival of Deshaun Watson, and Njoku is lined up for a nice fantasy season. He's a target at his current TE19 ADP in FFPC best-ball drafts.

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