Read ESPN’s fantasy football notes every weekday to stay up to date on the news you need to know and get a head start on the fantasy football content coming to ESPN.com and the ESPN Fantasy app today and tomorrow.
The news: Allen Robinson II had a shockingly quiet game against the Bills.
What it means in fantasy: Robinson would be one of the Rams’ biggest playmakers on Thursday night, especially for a Los Angeles team without Van Jefferson. Head coach Sean McVay attributed his two goals to a lack of attacking rhythm. Fantasy managers weren’t happy with Robinson’s start, especially after his disastrous 2021 season. In Week 2, he has a chance to hit back against the Falcons. Robinson can be seen as a low-end WR2.
go deeper: Robinson was targeted twice on 45 routes driven Thursday, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. The 4.4% target rate was the lowest of his career.
The news: Cam Akers had zero yards for the Rams in the Week 1 loss to the Bills.
What it means in fantasy: McVay has no excuse not to involve Akers. Darrell Henderson Jr. got the start and finished with 18 touches compared to just three for Akers. Right now, Henderson appears to be the favorite to lead the Rams back by commission. He will be one of the best waiver wire pickups heading into Week 2.
go deeper: Akers only played 12 snaps to Henderson’s 54. Akers was the RB16 in live draft trends, while Henderson was the RB45.
The news: Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network reported that George Kittle is unlikely to play for the 49ers in Week 1.
What it means in fantasy: Kittle’s groin injury could also keep him out of Week 1. One source told Wilson that Kittle’s injury is “not good” and another said he has a grade 2 strain limiting his speed. If Kittle is on your fantasy list, consider streaming Albert Okwuegbunam (81.3%), Evan Engram (80.2%) and Gerald Everett (88%), all of which are available in a high percentage of ESPN leagues.
go deeper: Last season, Kittle missed time with a calf injury after missing eight games in 2020 with knee and foot injuries.
The news: Rondale Moore left training on Thursday with a hamstring injury and will undergo an MRI.
What it means in fantasy: Moore went down while running a route, and the injury was described as “serious” by Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson. With DeAndre Hopkins suspended for the first six games, the Cardinals receiver was expected to play a bigger role in his sophomore season. Moore’s injury is clearly clouding his imaginative outlook, and now the Cardinals must dig deep into their depth map to find reinforcements facing Marquise Brown. Zach Ertz is also struggling with a calf injury.
The news: Kenneth Walker III Will Likely Miss Seahawks Opener Against The Broncos
What it means in fantasy: Walker did not train on Thursday. The Seahawks take on their former quarterback Russell Wilson on Monday Night Football and Rashad Penny, DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer make up the top three running backs. While Walker is out, Penny should be considered an RB2.
The news: Allen Lazard will miss training for the Packers on Thursday.
What it means in fantasy: It is unlikely that Lazard will play against the Vikings in week 1. The Packers will have to rely on experienced wide receivers Randall Cobb and Sammy Watkins. As I mentioned in yesterday’s column, Cobb is my favorite of the two because of his robust history with quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The news: CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson reported that Van Jefferson will likely miss several games for the Rams.
What it means in fantasy: Jefferson underwent knee surgery in early August after sustaining an injury early in training camp. He made a big leap forward last season and became a vital part of the Rams offense. Jefferson was second to the Rams in both yards and receptions among receivers. The Rams didn’t seem to have much of an offensive plan on Thursday night. Jefferson’s absence may have affected certain aspects of the Rams’ attack, as he is a versatile player who can be used to add different dimensions to the attack.
go deeper: Jefferson’s four receptions of 40 or more yards in 2021 were the same as Bill’s wide receiver Stefon Diggs and tied for ninth in the league.
The news: Robert Tonyan had a limited presence in Thursday’s training.
What it means in fantasy: Tonyan looks on track to return from his torn ACL against the Vikings. With the Packers recreating their host group, Tonyan is a fantasy TE2 to watch. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers believes Tonyan can move up to a “Pro Bowl caliber” for them.
The news:JK Dobbins was “limited” in Thursday’s practice.
What it means in fantasy: When Dobbins returns from a knee injury from last year, he is expected to play a key role in the attack. Other healthy backs on the 53-man roster include Mike Davis, Justice Hill and Kenyan Drake, and Harbaugh said he would decide on Dobbins’ standings and running back rotation on Friday. He can be considered a flex option when active.
go deeper: The Ravens were among the league’s top-running teams in 2021, but fell from 192 yards per game in 2020 to 146 yards per game last season. This was in part due to the loss of Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill before the season even started for the Ravens.
The news: Michael Thomas had limited attendance in Thursday’s practice for the Saints.
What it means in fantasy: Thomas will likely face the Falcons in Week 1 after consecutive restricted tags on Wednesday and Thursday. Fantasy managers may see it as a high-end flex option. We’ve barely seen Thomas since his record season with 149 receptions, 1,725 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in 2019. Despite missing the entire 2021 season due to injury, Thomas only played seven games in 2020. It will be great to see him back. . in action.
The news: Diontae Johnson had limited attendance in Thursday’s training for the Steelers.
What it means in fantasy: A shoulder injury forced Johnson to leave the third preseason game. It should be clear from his injury status on the final injury report whether he will play this Sunday and how limited he could be if he does. If Johnson is not available for Week 1, Chase Claypool and George Pickens should see an increase in targets.
The news: Dak Prescott was limited in Thursday’s practice due to a problem with his new cleats.
What it means in fantasy: The new pair of cleats Prescott wore on Thursday left his surgically repaired right ankle feeling “uncomfortable.” Fantasy managers were alarmed when they saw Prescott’s name in the injury report as he missed nearly the entire 2020 season due to a compound fracture, but Prescott should be good to play against the Buccaneers on Sunday night. He can be seen as a low-end QB1.
The news: Christian McCaffrey was added to the Panthers injury report after a cleat severed his shin.
What it means in fantasy: There should be no worries about McCaffrey’s availability for Sunday’s game against the Browns, as he fully participated in training on Thursday. Since McCaffrey has had two straight seasons with injuries, any injury news about him is causing heartburn among fantasy managers. It can still be seen as a high-end RB1.
go deeper: In the past two seasons, Christian McCaffrey has played in just 10 games, but averaged 115.9 yards and 21.8 fantasy points.
The news: Chase Edmonds was a full-fledged participant in Thursday’s practice.
What it means in fantasy: Edmonds was listed as limited on Wednesday, but will now start against the Patriots. He was signed by the Dolphins into free agency to fill an urgent need for a running back. He was the first signer of Mike McDaniel for a reason. Edmonds is a great fit for his outdoor zone running schedule. He can be seen by fantasy managers as an upward flex option.
Today on ESPN.com/Fantasy and on the ESPN Fantasy App
Mike Clay’s Complete Playbook for Week 1: Projections and Analysis for Every Game
Karabell’s Weekend Preview: What He Watches, What He Thinks
• Liz, Dopp and DJ on what’s going on in the fantasy world
• Fantasy Focus Football: the big weekend preview show
• Week 1’s cheat sheet: AJ Mass collects the week’s best advice to set up your lineups
• Sunday Inactives: keep track of who’s in, who isn’t and what it means in fantasy
• Sunday Fantasy Highs and Lows: Tristan H. Cockcroft and Matt Bowen respond to the day’s biggest storylines and surprise performances
In case you missed it:
Field Yates’ Fantasy Field Pass for Week 1
Tristan H. Cockcroft’s Best and Worst Team Matchups in Every Position
DFS Best Buys by Al Zeidenfeld
• Fantasy Focus Podcast: Who’s Healthy and Who’s Not Going to Week 1? Listen | Watch
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