2022 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Cam Akers Injury Highlights Biggest Losers From Preseason Week 3

With basically two weeks to go in Week 1 of the NFL season, most injuries aren’t much of a concern right now. There should be plenty of time for most players who are dealing with nagging injuries to recover by Week 1, and missing the final week of preseason because of some minor issue isn’t a big deal.

But I’m starting to worry about Cam Akers. Akers has been sidelined for a few weeks with an unspecified soft tissue injury along with outfield partner Darrell Henderson, and while Rams head coach Sean McVay told reporters Henderson will be able to practice this week , the same couldn’t be said for Akers after Saturday’s game. loss to the Bengals in the preseason finale. And, while most reports thus far have indicated the injury isn’t considered a serious concern, Akers isn’t running at full throttle just yet, according to McVay.

“Darrell will definitely (practice),” McVay told reporters. “Darrell was able to sprint today. We were able to work out on the grass. Cam hasn’t been able to do that yet, but I’m really excited to have Darrell coming back for us.”

Akers returned from a torn Achilles tendon late last season, but struggled to make a big impact in the playoffs, rushing for 172 yards on 67 carries as the team’s Super Bowl career leader. It was thought a full offseason of work would get him closer to top speed, but questions lingered, given how difficult Achilles tendon injuries tend to be. I had Akers rated as a mid-range RB2 before preseason, but the fact that he’s dealing with another injury and not yet cleared to play means I have to downgrade him out of the top 20. Not just because he’s He may not be ready for Week 1 (I’d still bet he will be, at this point), but because it presents another potential landmine to avoid, in terms of avoiding re-injury.

Akers goes off the board in the fourth round in most drafts, but I wouldn’t touch him until the fifth or even the sixth. There are upsides here, but there were also reports before the injury that he was splitting first-team reps with Henderson, so he may not even have the three-down role we expect when he’s healthy.

We’ll want to see some positive reports from Akers in the coming weeks as the buildup shifts to Week 1, but he also needs to move Henderson up his ranks at this point. He’s someone who should be drafted around the eighth or ninth round, as a potential Week 1 starter if Akers’ slow recovery continues and as a bench option with upside beyond that.

Here are a few more players whose value took a hit this weekend.

patriots offense

There have been strange vibes surrounding the Patriots’ offense since minicamp when Bill Belichick refused to name an offensive coordinator following the departure of Josh McDaniels. In training camp, it became clear that Matt Patricia and Joe Judge would be running the offense, and that’s not a duo that inspires much confidence personally: the fact that Patricia is coaching the offensive line and apparently calling plays. doesn’t help. And seeing Mac Jones visibly frustrated as he went 9-of-13 for 71 yards and a pretty poor pick against a Raiders team that was resting most of its starters definitely didn’t help. History tells us not to bet against Bill Belichick, but the constant drumbeat out of camp is that this offense has been a problem, and we didn’t see much of them in exhibition games to refute that. I’m worried.

Clarity in the Chargers backfield

Given the usage so far in camp and the preseason, I pretty much moved Joshua Kelley to the Chargers’ No. 2 running back spot behind Austin Ekeler. However, Week 3 saw Larry Rountree start and play more snaps with the “first team” offense (led by Chase Daniel), with Kelly serving as a clearer backup. That makes knowing who Ekeler’s backup is that much more complicated, and I’m guessing if something were to happen to Ekeler, this would probably be a pretty sticky situation – rookie Isaiah Spiller also looms as a potential option, albeit probably an RB4. clear on the depth chart right now. Given the lack of clarity, I think Spiller is perhaps the best bet for a late-round midfielder in this offense in hopes he can emerge as a clear No. 2, but you’re better off avoiding this one.

Garrett Wilson

The Jets invested heavily in Wilson, the 10th pick in this year’s draft, but it doesn’t appear they’re going to force him into the starting lineup just yet. Although all the reports out of camp have been pretty positive, Wilson was used as a backup in Sunday’s preseason finale, only playing with the starters when Corey Davis walked off the field, according to Pro Football Focus. Elijah Moore and Braxton Berrios are apparently ahead of him on the depth chart, and that has apparently been a consistent feature of the offense so far. That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t draft Wilson in re-draft formats, but understand that he will have to be patient early on. He doesn’t freak out if he doesn’t have much of a role in Week 1, he’s drafting him for a long-term advantage.

James Cook

Cook started Friday, but that was with the second-team offense: Y it was with Zack Moss inactive. Does that mean Cook is the third running back? Potentially, though it’s still possible that this is a scenario where Cook is more of a third-down running back and Moss is Singletary’s actual backup. Either way, talk outside of camp suggests all three should be active for game days, and with Singletary clearly in the lead, it will be difficult for Cook to make a big impact early on. His pass-catching skills in particular could make him stand out in this backfield, but he’s another guy you probably have to be patient with given his likely early-season role.

mike gesicki

In three series with Tagovailoa, Gesicki was actually second among Dolphins tight ends in snap snaps. He ran most of the routes, but this was a three-man rotation with Durham Smythe and Cethan Carter. Gesicki has talked this offseason about basically having to learn a new position, as the Dolphins ask him to be more of a traditional tight end after being used almost exclusively as a receiver last season, and we’ve seen it in games; he has lined up at tight end in line 24 times compared to 14 in the slot, according to PFF, after playing 85% of his snaps in the slot or away last season. There will be growing pains here with Gesicki, and he may not get enough opportunities to be much more than a bust or touchdown TE.

Noah Fant

During the Seahawks’ first five drives, no tight end ran a route on more than 50% of the dropbacks, as Fant continues to rotate with Will Dissly and Colby Parkinson. That’s been a trend throughout the preseason, and it makes Fant insanely difficult to draft, even when he fell asleep at the end of the round. I still think he has very attractive skills for fantasy, but the role just doesn’t look like he’s going to be there in what appears to be a pretty low volume (not to mention bad) passing attack. In his standard 12-team league with no premium TE scoring, it’s probably best to leave Fant to waivers at this point.

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