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 baseball news, be sure to follow @FantasyProsNFL on Twitter and bookmark the FantasyPros NFL Player News page.
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Austin Hooper standing out at Titans’ minicamp
ESPN’s Turron Davenport reports that Tennessee Titans TE Austin Hooper “has already surfaced as one of Tannehill’s preferred options in the passing game.” (Source: ESPN)
Fantasy Impact: Hooper, who will be entering his 7th NFL season in 2022, finished as a mid-range TE1 in back-to-back seasons in 2018 and 2019 while with the Atlanta Falcons. However, he has struggled to stay fantasy relevant during his past two seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Hooper played in a TE committee while in Cleveland which is devastating for any TEs fantasy value, but he has an opportunity in Tennessee to be the team’s primary TE with his competition for playing time being Geoff Swaim and rookie Chigoziem Okomkwo. All signs point towards Hooper seeing a heavy dose of targets in 2022 with AJ Brown’s departure leaving a sizable load of vacated targets, rookie WR Treylon Burks being unable to practice with breathing issues, WR Robert Woods recovering from a torn ACL, and RB Derrick Henry’s lack of involvement in the passing game. All these factors make Hooper an appealing late-round TE sleeper.
– Sam Ryner
James Robinson expected to have “large role” upon return from injury
According to Sports Illustrated’s John Shipley, Jacksonville Jaguars RB James Robinson is expected to have a large role in the offense upon his return from a torn Achilles and HC Doug Pederson views him as a three-down back. (Source: John Shipley, Sports Illustrated)
Fantasy Impact: Robinson tore his achilles in December and is still in the rehabilitation process, but recent reports have indicated that the team expects him to be able to practice at some point during training camp. Robinson was a fantasy darling in 2020, going from an undrafted free agent to a fantasy RB1 in his rookie season. Robinson functioned as an RB2 while healthy last season while playing within an Urban Meyer offense that struggled to sustain drives, but the hiring of HC Doug Pederson along with multiple additions via free agency provides hope that the Jaguars’ offense can return to some level of respectability . Robinson will be competing for snaps with highly touted 2nd year RB Travis Etienne who will be making his NFL debut in 2022 after missing last season with a torn ACL. Fantasy managers should closely monitor how the team is utilizing both Robinson and Etienne once both are healthy and on the practice field.
– Sam Ryner
Can Akers reportedly “100% percent” healthy
Los Angeles Rams RB Cam Akers told the Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue that he is 100% healthy after tearing his achilles before the 2021 season. (Source: Jourdan Rodrigue, The Athletic)
Fantasy Impact: Akers was able to miraculously return to the field last season just six months after tearing his achilles. As amazing as his recovery from him was, his play on the field during the Rams’ Super Bowl run was uninspiring, as he averaged just 2.6 yards per carry in the playoffs. However, Akers’ performance down the playoff stretch shouldn’t scare away fantasy managers in 2022, as he played against a gauntlet of strong rush defenses and he was not fully recovered from a significant injury. Akers, who is currently ranked as the RB18 according to FantasyPros ECR, is a high-risk high reward player heading into the 2022 season. Historically, RBs don’t have much of a track record of bouncing back after achilles injuries, but Akers young age and the fact that Rams HC Sean McVay tends to lean on one workhorse RB while most of the league relies on committees makes Akers’ upside that of a league winner.
– Sam Ryner
Rashaad Penny “in driver’s seat” to be Seahawks lead back
According to ESPN’s Brady Henderson, RB Rashaad Penny is the favorite to be the Seattle Seahawks’ lead running back to start the season. (Source: Brady Henderson, ESPN)
Fantasy Impact: Penny has a long injury history, but has finished the 2021 season on an absolute tear, leading the league in rushing over the final five weeks. Penny’s main competition for carries appears to be rookie RB Kenneth Walker with veteran Chris Carson’s health status sounding more doubtful than questionable as we approach the season. Walker was the 2021 Doak Walker award winner as college football’s best RB, but Penny has 1st round pedigree as well. This will be a backfield that fantasy managers will want to monitor closely throughout training camp, as Seattle is one of the most run-heavy teams in the league, and whoever wins the lead role could provide plenty of fantasy appeal.
– Sam Ryner
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