Let’s take a look at the latest news and notes around fantasy football. To stay up to date on all of the latest fantasy football news, be sure to follow @FantasyProsNFL on Twitter and bookmark the FantasyPros NFL Player News page.
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Antonio Gibson could see less goal-line work in 2022
Ben Standig of The Athletic believes that Washington Commanders running back Antonio Gibson will see less work in 2022 than in seasons past, including around the goal line. From a fantasy perspective, Standig believes Gibson will have a lower ADP and lower usage but greater efficiency this coming season. (Source: TheAthletic)
Fantasy Impact: Head coach Ron Rivera explained that the Commanders’ backfield is going to operate “by committee” in 2022 because “you just can’t have one primary back.” Washington drafted Alabama’s Brian Robinson in the third round, and pass-catching threat JD McKissic also re-signed with the team. These players’ presence should take some of the stress off Gibson, who missed just three games over his first two seasons but continues to be hampered by injuries. The thought is that with extra running backs getting involved, Gibson wo n’t have to be a workhorse back but he can still provide tremendous value to the offense, all while staying healthy. Fantasy managers should view him as a mid-to-low RB2 this coming season. McKissic has FLEX appeal in PPR leagues while Robinson is an exciting sleeper in dynasty or deeper formats.
– Andersen Pickard
DeAndre Hopkins still hopes to reduce 6-game suspension
DeAndre Hopkins is still hoping to have his 6-game suspension for a positive PED test reduced, claiming the Ostarine found was “contamination, not something directly taken” as reported by MLB.com’s Kevin Patra. (Source: Kevin Patra, NFL.com)
Fantasy Impact: Hopkins’ suspension is unlikely to be reduced at this point as the NFL holds players responsible for what goes into their bodies, purposely or not. The acquisition of Marquise “Hollywood” Brown should dull the effects of the suspension on Arizona’s offense, regardless of whether there is a reduction in games or not. Hopkins missed four games with a hamstring issue before tearing his MCL in Week 14, finishing with just 42 catches for 572 yards but still managed to haul in 8 touchdowns and collect 32 1st-downs in 10 games. Hopkins says he’s been recovering well and told reporters recently “I’ll be ready when I’m up.” Thanks to the suspension, fantasy managers will be able to draft Hopkins at an even bigger discount than they already would have coming off an injury plagued season. Hopkins still has the ability to be a league and fantasy season changer when he’s healthy so keep that in mind when drafting receiver depth on Draft Day.
– Luke Monaldo
Irv Smith appears to be full participant in Vikings’ minicamp (meniscus)
Chad Graff of The Athletic reports that Minnesota Vikings TE Irv Smith received live first-team reps during the team’s mandatory minicamp after being a limited participant during OTAs as he recovers from a meniscus injury. (Source: TheAthletic)
Fantasy Impact: Smith had surgery on his meniscus on September 1st and missed the entire 2021 campaign as a result of the injury. Reports out of Vikings camp indicate that Smith is fully healthy and could be in line for a breakout year as he’s projected to have close to an every-down role with TE Tyler Conklin leaving the team in free agency. Smith is entering the final season of his rookie contract, and if history is any indication, he should see a bump in production in 2022. Since 2017, 90% of players who have functioned as their team’s primary TE in their contract year have produced a PPG at least one point above their career average. Smith is currently ranked as the TE18 according to FantasyPros ECR and he will be a popular target for fantasy managers who wait until the later rounds to draft a TE.
– Sam Ryner
Joshua Palmer worked with Chargers’ first team offense at recent OTAs
According to Daniel Popper of The Athletic, Los Angeles Chargers WR Joshua Palmer worked with the team’s first team offense at recent OTA practices. (Source: TheAthletic)
Fantasy Impact: Palmer is a 2021 3rd-round pick who showed flashes of being a playmaker as a rookie but received limited opportunities on the field until the final stretch of the season. Chargers WRs Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are firmly entrenched as the team’s top two WRs, but it appears that Palmer may have a leg up against Jalen Guyton for the WR3 spot on the depth chart. With 11 personnel becoming the standard for most NFL offenses, and an expected heavy dose of three WR sets means Palmer could see a significant bump in targets in 2022. FantasyPros’ own fantasy expert Andrew Erickson has led the push all offseason for fantasy managers to draft players from good offenses and the Chargers fit the bill. With an offense led by superstar QB Justin Herbert and a head coach who scoffs at the idea of punting on 4th down, there should be plenty of fantasy points to go around in Los Angeles. Palmer’s status within the Chargers’ WR pecking order should be monitored through training camp, but early signs point to him being a potential steal late in drafts.
– Sam Ryner
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