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If you missed last night’s Fantasy Football Today Draft-A-Thon, you missed six straight hours of Fantasy talk – but don’t worry, you can watch it all on-demand on our YouTube channel right here.
We had an awesome time with some amazing guests, including Deebo Samuel, who had this to say to our Fantasy Football audience:
“My question to y’all is, have you had your Fantasy drafts yet? Because my input about Brandon [Aiyuk] is, you can’t cover him in a phone booth right now.”
That fits with everything we’ve heard from 49ers training camp, but Samuel would know, if anyone would. The 49ers are one of the most fascinating teams in the league from a Fantasy perspective right now, because they have so many elite weapons, with a new quarterback bringing a lot of questions about how they’re going to get the most out of them.
The Draft-A-Thon really was a great time, and we raised a ton of money for our friends at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, all thanks to you, our audience. And we’re still going, with a ton of awesome experiences and prizes still available to be auctioned off on our eBay storefront – including a private Zoom call with me to chat before your draft. You’ll have a chance to ask me any questions you want, so get those bids in!
Now, let’s get back to the Fantasy advice. We got some good stuff from Dave Richard Wednesday in the form of his Deep Sleepers list, where he tapped Isaiah McKenzie as his Sleeper of the Summer. If you listen to the Fantasy Football Today in 5 podcast – subscribe here, if, for some odd reason, you don’t – you know Dave and I talked about McKenzie earlier in the week, and he , so I’m in full agreement there.
Today’s newsletter is all about breakouts, who are sometimes sleepers but are also sometimes early round picks. They can be anyone you want them to be, as long as they are players who are going to take their game to the next level. As Jamey Eisenberg put it on one of our FFT shows this week, sleepers win you weeks; breakouts win you leagues.
On Wednesday’s episode of Fantasy Football Today on CBS Sports HQ, Jamey Eisenberg, Heath Cummings, and Dave Richard talked about some of their favorite breakouts for the 2022 season, so here are some of their picks before we get to mine. We also talked about some of these players on the FFT Podcast:
There were a couple of noteworthy wide receiver notes out of Green Bay Wednesday. The first is actually that the Packers only kept two running backs on their roster, Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. That’s an awfully thin depth chart, even in a league moving away from running backs.
But, that is apparently because Amari Rodgers is going to play some running back for them this season. In the preseason, Rodgers had six carries and seven catches, and even got a few carries out of the backfield. That’s not to say Rodgers is going to be the second coming of Deebo Samuel, but it’s a way for him to get on the field, and it’s an interesting wrinkle that puts him in the late-round discussion for deeper leagues.
The other note folks were talking about was this quote from Packers head coach Matt LaFleur:
“I don’t think anybody’s clear cut in front of the other guy. I think it’s gonna be very much the ball’s gonna get spread around and we’re gonna try to feature different guys in different spots.”
The Packers entered camp with a ton of ambiguity on their depth chart, and it seems they enter the season with the same. They kept seven wide receivers on their 53-man roster, and there just hasn’t been much indication out of camp that any one wide receiver is ahead of anyone else.
That’s been my assumption all along, which is why I haven’t really drafted any Packers wide receivers. The group of Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, and Randall Cobb just doesn’t do much to excite me, and if I’m drafting anyone here, it’s a late-round flier on the likes of Romeo Doubs or second-round pick Christian Watson. But, I’m expecting this to be a mess, with no clear WR1 worth using in Fantasy. I’ll let other people deal with the headache.
Ertz is dealing with a calf injury, while Moore’s issue is “undisclosed.” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury was noncommittal on both players’ status, saying they “will be close” for Week 1. Both players figure to be a big part of the offense with DeAndre Hopkins suspended for the first six games, but they have to get healthy first. Moore was at least working on a side field Wednesday, so my bet is that he’s closer. He’ll be in the WR4/5 conversation when healthy, while Ertz is a low-end starting TE – however, given that Ertz is in his 30s, the training camp injury is a real concern. I’m not in on Ertz.
Michel was cut by the Dolphins at the end of training camp, but it unsurprisingly didn’t take him long to find a new job. The question is, is Michel signing with the Chargers to be the primary backup/complement to Austin Ekeler? That’s my assumption, ahead of someone like Joshua Kelley, who doesn’t really have any experience as a lead back. Michel does, and he was actually pretty solid in filling in for the Rams last season, averaging 101 total yards with three touchdowns over the final six games of the season. Michel will have RB3/4 appeal with Ekeler healthy, but he could be a top-12 guy in this option if Ekeler were to miss time. Put him on your late-round draft board.
Toney was running routes and looked like he was at full speed in individual drills, which is a great sign – though, as Dan Duggan of The Athletic noted, “the challenge is keeping him that way for the next 10 days.” Toney has a bunch of upside if he can just manage to stay healthy, but he played just 10 games as a rookie and has dealt with injuries during the offseason, too. He’s going undrafted in more than half of CBS Fantasy leagues right now, and he’s one of my favorite late-round picks right now.
Well, I just named Sermon as a sleeper yesterday, so that’s embarrassing. He’s expected to re-sign with the 49ers practice squad, so there could still be room for him if there is an injury, but it’s not a great sign that he was the guy the team opted to let go through waivers. I do think it makes Tyrion Davis-Price and Jordan Mason intriguing late-round fliers in deeper leagues, too, instead of Sermon.
Reagor ends up joining the guy the Eagles passed up to take Reagor, but it’s not clear he’s going to have much of a role. The Vikings like K.J. Osborn as their No. 3 wide receiver, so Reagor is probably there to provide some depth after Bisi Johnson suffered a torn ACL. But, hey, if you’re in a deep league, add Reagor to the taxi squad and keep an eye out to see if he has a role in what we expect to be a much more pass-happy Vikings offense.
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