Read ESPN’s fantasy football daily notes every weekday to stay caught up on the news you need to know and get a head start on the fantasy football content coming today and tomorrow to ESPN.com and the ESPN Fantasy App.
The news: Adam Beasley of Pro Football Network reported that Jaylen Waddle is believed to be dealing with a “soft-tissue, lower-body” injury.
What it means in fantasy: The injury has kept Waddle out of practice for three weeks. For fantasy managers, the biggest takeaway is that Waddle is missing valuable mental and physical reps in the Dolphins’ new offense under Mike McDaniel. He is a risky pick at his current average draft position of WR18. I would rather prioritize Jerry Jeudy (WR21) or Courtland Sutton (WR23).
The news: Brady Henderson of ESPN reported Kenneth Walker III‘s status for Week 1 is uncertain.
What it means in fantasy: Walker is recovering from a hernia and was originally expected to return for Week 1. Rashaad Penny, the RB36 in our live draft trends, will be the lead back in the Seahawks’ committee against the Broncos. He’s a great flex option for fantasy managers.
Going deeper: Penny averaged 19.5 fantasy points per game over the last six games of the 2021 season.
The news: Marlon Mack was released by the Texans.
What it means in fantasy: The move further solidified Dameon Pierce‘s position as Houston’s top running back. He rushed for 86 yards and scored a touchdown in two preseason games while climbing the depth chart. He is now expected to lead the Texans’ committee and is currently RB32 in live draft trends.
Going deeper: A 5-foot-9, 220-pound power runner, Pierce averaged 5.5 yards per carry during his four seasons at Florida. For a team desperate to improve its horrendous rushing game, Pierce is a flex option with league-winning potential.
What it means in fantasy: It’s worth noting that Noah Fant played around 78% of Denver’s offensive snaps last season. Okwuegbunam is the TE19 in our live draft trends and is a solid midrange TE2 with Russell Wilson leading the Broncos’ offense.
The news: Brian Robinson made the Commanders’ initial 53-man roster.
What it means in fantasy: The Commanders are leaving open the possibility that the rookie could return before Week 4 by keeping him on the opening roster. While we don’t know when Robinson, who suffered gunshot wounds during an armed robbery attempt, will return, coach Ron Rivera said that Robinson did not suffer any structural damage.
The news: Ronald Jones made the Chiefs’ initial 53-man roster
What it means in fantasy: It surprised me that the Chiefs made this decision. Jones joins Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jerick McKinnon, and Isiah Pacheco in a crowded backfield. Edwards-Helaire is projected to lead the Chiefs’ backfield with 208 touches followed by McKinnon (67) and Pacheco (70). In our live draft trends, Edwards-Helaire is the RB24. In drafts, I prefer Devin Singletary (RB25), Kareem Hunt (RB27) or Rhamondre Stevenson (RB30).
What it means in fantasy: The Titans drafted Willis in the third round of the 2022 NFL draft, and it was assumed he wouldn’t take over the starting role for at least a year considering starter Ryan Tannehill’s contract has a potential out prior to the 2023 season. Willis continued to improve throughout training camp, and fantasy managers should add the dual-threat quarterback to their watch list.
Going deeper: Willis rushed for 159 yards in three preseason games. During his final collegiate season at Liberty, he accounted for 66% of the Flames’ total offensive yards. This included 2,857 passing yards and 878 rushing yards.
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