Fantasy football daily notes: Saquon Barkley's 'huge' workload, Cam Akers' and Miles Sanders' inj...

ByEric Moody via ESPN logo
Wednesday, August 17, 2022
ESPN

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: Giants reporter Jordan Raanan believes Saquon Barkley's 2022 workload "will be huge" if he's healthy, as laid out in our NFL Nation fantasy insights roundup.

What it means in fantasy: After a suboptimal 2021 season, Barkley, the RB15 in our draft trends, is positioned for a huge opportunity share and a bounce-back season. If you need a running back in the second round of your fantasy football draft, don't overlook Barkley. In what should be a much improved Giants offense under Brian Daboll, he is firmly on the RB1 radar.

Going deeper: Barkley has averaged 18.9 touches per game in his career. Daboll's offense is expected to use him at running back, slot receiver, wide receiver and motion receiver, according to reports.

The news: Jeremy Fowler reports that Cam Akers' injury is not considered serious.

What it means in fantasy: In Fowler's view, keeping Akers out of practice is purely preventative. Darrell Henderson Jr. and Akers have soft-tissue injuries, head coach Sean McVay revealed Monday. McVay said he doesn't want either running back on the field at 50% or less because this will hinder the team's development. Although Akers won't miss much time, Henderson may miss more. Earlier this year, McVay mentioned that multiple running backs would be utilized, but it would be shocking to me if Akers didn't lead the Rams' committee in 2022.

The news: Miles Sanders is sidelined with a hamstring injury.

What it means in fantasy: Sanders has been unable to practice since the preseason opener because of leg soreness. The severity of the injury is unknown but, considering Sanders' injury history in the past two years (eight missed games), fantasy managers should be concerned. He is the RB25 in our draft trends. With Kenneth Gainwell on the roster, Sanders may not see a lot of targets, but he is still a very good flex option.

Going deeper: Among running backs in the Eagles franchise, Sanders has the highest career average of any non-quarterback at 5.1 yards per rushing attempt. Only six players in league history have started their careers with three consecutive seasons of 750 or more rushing yards and at least 4.6 yards per attempt.

The news: Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll says RB Kenneth Walker IIIwas diagnosed with a sports hernia.

What it means in fantasy: It is a slight setback for Walker after he's been excellent through training camp thus far. After playing with the injury for half of the Seahawks' preseason opener against the Steelers, he has been ruled out indefinitely. Rashaad Penny, who is currently the RB35 in draft trends, benefits from his absence and someone fantasy managers should target in drafts. However, since joining the league four years ago, Penny has had eight injuries and has yet to play a full season.

Going deeper: The Seahawks have ranked within the top five in total rushing attempts In five of the last nine seasons.

The news: Zach Wilson's knee surgery came without any surprises

What it means in fantasy: The Jets feared that more damage would be discovered during the surgery that would delay the quarterback's recovery longer than the stated two to four weeks, but that was not the case. After tearing his meniscus in the preseason opener, Wilson remains questionable for Week 1. In most drafts, you shouldn't target the second-year quarterback aggressively. Wilson will, however, have some streamable weeks with the plethora of offensive playmakers the Jets have around him.

The news: Saints head coach Dennis Allen seems confident that Michael Thomas will have no limitations when the season starts. An ankle injury kept Thomas out of the 2021 season.

What it means in fantasy: The buzz surrounding Thomas this summer and during training camp has been positive. He's the WR26 in our draft trends, which accounts for the risk of drafting a player who has been out for so long, but the upside for a comeback is appealing.

Going deeper: Over the course of his career, Thomas has averaged 18.4 fantasy points per game.

The news: Antonio Gibson is practicing with the Commanders' third-string offense and getting reps on special teams.

What it means in fantasy: So far, Gibson has had a rough training camp and preseason, which has led to a decline in his fantasy value. He is the RB22 in our draft trends. To be candid, I'd rather select Breece Hall (RB21), Travis Etienne (RB23) or Elijah Mitchell (RB24). Fantasy managers will have a hard time trusting Gibson in 2022 for a Commanders team that features J.D. McKissic and rookie Brian Robinson, who shined in Washington's first preseason game.

Going deeper: Over the last two seasons, the Commanders have led the league in running back targets (292). This bodes well for McKissic who we have projected to lead the running back committee in targets.

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