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: Miles Sanders practiced on Thursday.
What it means in fantasy: It was Sanders’ first practice in nearly three weeks following a hamstring injury. However, head coach Nick Sirianni hasn’t committed to having Sanders suit up against the Lions in Week 1. The Eagles also claimed running back Trey Sermon off waivers. Regardless, Sanders is the RB26 in our live draft trends and a nice value in Philadelphia’s power running scheme as a upside flex option.
Going deeper: After scoring 6 touchdowns in each of his first two seasons, Sanders did not score one last season despite 163 touches, the most by any player who did not score a TD in 2021. He is projected to lead the Eagles backfield in touches (240) this season.
The news: Jimmy Garoppolo was back at practice on Thursday as the 49ers No. 2 quarterback.
What it means in fantasy: Garoppolo made his first appearance since renegotiating his one-year contract. Fantasy managers should digest two things here. Kyle Shanahan publicly stated earlier this summer that this is Trey Lance‘s team. In addition, Lance’s margin of error this season won’t be as wide as fantasy managers would like. Lance, who is the QB13 in our live draft trends, has prepared for this moment all offseason. As a fantasy manager, I believe the dual-threat quarterback will deliver.
The news: Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel is confident Jaylen Waddle will be ready for Week 1.
What it means in fantasy: Waddle was inactive for all the preseason games and often wore a full-length sleeve on his right leg throughout training camp, which he did again Thursday. Waddle should be viewed as a WR2 for Week 1 fantasy lineups if he’s active, but it’s important to have the tempered expectations. Waddle averaged 15.3 fantasy points per game last season.
The news: The Texans re-signed Royce Freeman.
What it means in fantasy: With a series of moves, Houston continues to shuffle their roster, but I know what you’re thinking. You’re concerned about Dameon Pierce‘s fantasy prospects. Don’t worry, Freeman was brought back simply to add depth to the backfield. With Pierce rising, now the RB29 in our live draft trends, fantasy managers can confidently select him as a high-end flex option.
The news: Alaina Getzenberg of ESPN reported Isaiah McKenzie has not practiced since Saturday due to an undisclosed injury.
What it means in fantasy: McKenzie’s status is something for fantasy managers to monitor leading up the Bills’ Week 1 matchup against the Rams. If he’s inactive then Jamison Crowder would fill the void in the slot for Buffalo.
Going deeper: Josh Allen ranks second behind Patrick Mahomes in targeting slot receiver over the past two seasons.
The news: Jordan Raanan of ESPN reported Kenny Golladay runs routes “with the stiffness of a mannequin.”
What it means in fantasy: During Dave Gettleman’s tenure, the Giants made several bad decisions. Perhaps the worst decision was signing Golladay. Golladay underwent “unspecified medical procedures” this past offseason, and he is the WR63 in our live draft trends. Golladay is projected for only 87 targets. Do not prioritize him in fantasy drafts.
The news: The Texans take a flier on O.J. Howard
What it means in fantasy: Houston had only two tight ends on their active roster before signing Howard, so they needed help at the position. He is unlikely to impact the fantasy outlook of Brevin Jordan, who is a deep sleeper. As a low-end TE2, the second-year tight end is projected for 66 targets.
The read: Nation reporter DJ Bien-Aimer on Brandin Cooks and Davis Mills looking to strengthen their bond in their second season together.
What it means in fantasy: A nice value in the middle rounds of fantasy drafts, Cooks is the WR20 in our live draft trends. He has exceeded 1,000 receiving yards and averaged 15 fantasy points a game in both of his first two seasons with the Texans. In the media, Mills has spoken positively about Cooks, and the chemistry they displayed throughout training camp bodes well for Houston’s passing game in 2022. They also communicate constantly off the field. Cooks can be viewed as a WR2 with WR1 potential.
Going deeper: Cooks also finished with a career high in receptions (90) and targets (134) in 2021.
Today on ESPN.com/Fantasy and in the ESPN Fantasy App
• Mike Triplett wraps up a preseason’s worth of things you need to know before you draft this weekend
• Mock draft: 10 teams, half PPR
• Fantasy Focus podcast: All about Salary Cap leagues
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