Raheem Mostert, Jimmy Garoppolo, Laviska Shenault

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News: The Dolphins released Sony Michel in the first wave of roster cuts.

What it means in fantasy: Michel’s departure has reduced Miami’s backroom of running backs. He signed with the Dolphins in May, and Miami also signed Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert as free agents. Salvon Ahmed and Myles Gaskin also remain on the list. Edmonds and Mostert can be seen as high-end flex options in fantasy.

Going deeper: Edmonds and Mostert will form a two-runner committee on the outer zone running scheme that Mike McDaniel brought back from his time in San Francisco. The 49ers ranked seventh in rushing yards in 2021.


News: Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract has been restructured.

What it means in fantasy: Both sides reportedly agreed to a restructured one-year deal for the 2022 season to keep Garoppolo with the 49ers. Adam Schefter reported Monday that Garoppolo’s new contract includes a no-trade and no-tag clause to ensure he stays with the Niners. It will be possible for him to leave in 2023 in search of a new opportunity. From a fantasy perspective, Trey Lance, the QB13 in our draft trends, should still get priority in drafts.


News: The Jaguars traded Laviska Shenault Jr. to the Panthers on Monday for an undisclosed 2023 draft pick.

What it means in fantasy: Laviska Shenault, a 2020 second-round draft pick, was acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars as part of the Panthers’ attempt to strengthen their wide receiving corps. Shenault will compete for the No. 3 wide receiver job with fellow second-rounder Terrace Marshall Jr., who has struggled to stay healthy since he entered the league. Neither should take precedence in fantasy drafts.

Going deeper: Shenault led the Jaguars in knockdowns with eight in 2021.


News: Cam Akers returned to practice on Monday.

What it means in fantasy: Akers returned to practice Monday and participated fully, according to Rams coach Sean McVay. A soft tissue injury has kept him out of practice for the past two weeks. Akers is the RB16 in our live draft trends and firmly on the RB2 radar for a Rams offense that averaged 373.2 total yards (seventh) last season.

Going deeper: After tearing his Achilles tendon last summer, Akers surprisingly returned for the Super Bowl in Los Angeles. During the team’s four postseason games, he averaged just 3.48 yards per carry. Akers should look better this season, a full calendar year since his injury.


News: JuJu Smith-Schuster returned to practice Monday

What it means in fantasy: It appears Chiefs coach Andy Reid’s assessment that wide receiver Smith-Schuster would be fine despite missing time with a knee injury was accurate. Smith-Schuster has great value as WR31 in our live draft trends. The only Chiefs player we’ve projected for more targets than Smith-Schuster (113) is Travis Kelce (119).

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Going deeper: Patrick Mahomes has averaged 299.3 passing yards per game since 2020. During the same period, the Chiefs quarterback also ranked first in targets from wide receivers, which is where Smith-Schuster has had the most success lining up.


News: Mitch Trubisky is expected to be named the Steelers’ starter for Week 1.

What it means in fantasy: This news should not come as a surprise. However, Adam Schefter said on NFL Live last week that it doesn’t look like it will be long before the Steelers turn to rookie Kenny Pickett. As a fantasy coach, he shouldn’t trust Trubisky to start the full season in a superflex or two-quarterback format. It’s best thought of as a matchup-based streamer.


News: Chris Tomasson of Pioneer Press reported that the Alexander Mattison endorsement could be on the move.

What it means in fantasy: According to Tomasson, at least 12 teams have approached the Vikings about Mattison. The Vikings would like a third- or fourth-round draft pick in exchange. Mattison has performed well for fantasy managers in spot starts when Dalvin Cook was absent. Minnesota is unlikely to find a trade partner considering what it’s looking for, but in a multiverse where a Mattison trade happens, I’d prioritize Ty Chandler as Minnesota’s backup.


News: Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reported that Darren Waller “has had a deal in the works that would make him the highest paid in his position.”

What it means in fantasy: Waller has been looking for a new contract since training camp began. His salary currently ranks 17th among tight ends and Vic Tafur mentioned rumors that Waller will hire Drew Rosenhaus as his next agent. Waller belongs in the top echelon of fantasy tight ends along with Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, Kyle Pitts and George Kittle, as reflected by his TE5 ranking in our live draft trends.

Going deeper: The Packers originally wanted to include Waller in the trade that brought Davante Adams to Las Vegas. Is it possible that Green Bay and the Raiders make a trade? Waller should take precedence regardless of the outcome.


News: Head coach Lovie Smith declined Monday to name a starting running back for the Texans.

What it means in fantasy: There’s no question that after Dameon Pierce’s performance in training camp and preseason, things are going his way. He is the RB34 in our live draft trends. Pierce is expected to get the most touches in a Texans backfield that also includes Rex Burkhead and Marlon Mack, . As you can see in his movie, the rookie has the body, athleticism and other intangibles that are common among NFL running backs. Pierce can be seen as a flexible option with a huge upside.

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Going deeper: The Texans had the worst rushing game in the league last season, finishing with 1,442 rushing yards and 3.4 yards per carry.


News: NBC Sports’ Peter King reported that Josh Allen sees Gabriel Davis “as a great complement” to Stefon Diggs.

What it means in fantasy: The offseason has hailed Davis as a standout candidate, and with good reason. From a fantasy perspective, King’s comments suggest Davis could be seen as 1B to Diggs’ 1A. In our live draft trends, Davis is the WR25 and could generate a lot of value as his flex or WR3. Allen is a talented quarterback who can back up two fantasy-relevant receivers.

Going deeper: Over the past two seasons, the Bills have executed 1,534 snaps with exactly three wide receivers, fifth-most in the league. Add sets of four receivers and the Bills have run more than 100 plays of this nature than any other team in the league.


News: The Buffalo Bills have released OJ Howard.

What it means in fantasy: Howard was mentioned as a potential candidate for the cut last week, and now it’s come true. Dawson Knox, the TE12 in our live draft trends, is a great fantasy option for those hoping to tackle the job until later in the draft. By contrast, Howard has only recorded 25 receptions the past two seasons. It’s unlikely he’ll be on the fantasy radar in 2022.

Going deeper: Knox averaged 4.7 targets and 11 fantasy points per game in 2021. He tied Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews and Hunter Henry for the most touchdowns by a tight end last season (nine).


News: Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reported that Kenyan Drake is expected to sign with the Ravens pending the results of his physical.

What it means in fantasy: From a fantasy perspective, Drake was a huge disappointment with the Raiders, but he can make plays at running back and wide receiver. He could be on the broadcast radar early in the season for a Ravens backfield that has been decimated by injuries and could use some depth. With Gus Edwards on the PUP list and JK Dobbins’ status for Week 1 in question, Drake and Mike Davis could lead the Ravens against the Jets.


Today on ESPN.com/Fantasy and on the ESPN Fantasy App

Field Yates’ favorites for fantasy football in 2022.

• Fantasy Focus Podcast: Double Trouble with the Bengals and Steelers

Morning:

• Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 12-team PPR with Superflex

• Fantasy Focus Podcast: Mike Clay Screening Highlights + Mid-Round Madness

In case you missed it:

• Eric Karabell preseason weekend recap: A deeper look at some quarterbacks

• Fantasy Focus Podcast: Double trouble with the Browns and Ravens Listen | Clock

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