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Greatest fantasy soccer coaching camp storylines


With coaching camps now in full swing throughout the league, ESPN’s 32 NFL Nation reporters are about to develop into your eyes and ears as you put together in your fantasy football drafts. We requested every of them to establish the largest fantasy matters they will be following all through August, with some perception on how issues might play out. Practically half talked about some type of operating again time-share — together with some recommendations on how RBs like Aaron Jones, Tony Pollard, Rhamondre Stevenson, Travis Etienne Jr. and Nyheim Hines may play greater roles within the passing sport.

Arizona Cardinals

Who will get DeAndre Hopkins‘ share of the passes whereas he is suspended?

The primary reply that involves thoughts is Marquise Brown. The Cardinals traded for him on the primary day of the NFL draft. And as soon as Hopkins’ suspension was introduced, Brown was seen because the pure alternative for the primary six weeks of the season. He has the velocity and arms to be a dependable alternative for Hopkins. Brown’s relationship with quarterback Kyler Murray, which dates again to varsity, ought to enable them to get on the identical web page shortly. That can enable Brown to develop into an asset to the offense faster than if he was taking part in with a brand new quarterback. — Josh Weinfuss

Atlanta Falcons

Who will get operating again carries?

Whereas a variety of the eye might be paid to Marcus Mariota vs. Desmond Ridder at quarterback, the principle factor to look at might be at operating again, the place a number of candidates will compete to play a major function together with Cordarrelle Patterson within the run sport. Veterans Qadree Ollison and Damien Williams will get a shot, however take note of rookie Tyler Allgeier out of BYU. His measurement and power are what Falcons head coach Arthur Smith likes in a operating again, and he is a sneaky Day 3 decide who may have a right away function within the offense. — Michael Rothstein

Baltimore Ravens

Who’s RB1 initially of the season?

The Ravens’ prime two operating backs — J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards — are on the Bodily Unable to Carry out (PUP) record after tearing ACLs final summer season. Dobbins is anticipated to be again by the beginning of the common season, but it surely’s unsure whether or not he might be at full power at that time. Edwards is farther behind Dobbins in his restoration and will miss a bit of the season. Baltimore’s different choices are veteran Mike Davis and rookie sixth-round decide Tyler Badie. It is a main query mark for a workforce that has run the ball greater than some other workforce over the past three seasons. — Jamison Hensley

Buffalo Bills

How will the operating again carries be divided?

Final 12 months, the Payments’ operating again distribution was not pleasant to fantasy managers. This season may very well be sophisticated but once more. Devin Singletary is in line to get a good portion of the carries, however rookie James Cook and 2020 third-round decide Zack Moss are each trending towards having roles on this offense. With new offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey calling performs, the breakdown might be much more tough to foretell. However as of now, Singletary ought to be anticipated to steer the group, and Prepare dinner is more likely to contribute as a rusher and receiver. — Alaina Getzenberg

Carolina Panthers

Baker Mayfield or Sam Darnold?

No battle is anticipated extra — and none is extra very important for the success of this workforce — than the one between the primary and third picks of the 2018 draft. Mayfield seemingly has the higher hand primarily based on previous success that Darnold hasn’t had. However the lately acquired former Cleveland Browns starter has to study a brand new system, which Darnold has been working in all offseason. And Darnold already has chemistry with teammates that Mayfield is simply attending to know. GM Scott Fitterer says that is an open competitors, and reps might be break up evenly, but it surely’ll be essential for one to emerge as a transparent winner. –– David Newton

Chicago Bears

Darnell Mooney … after which who?

Mooney is WR1 in his third season after reaching 1,000 receiving yards for the primary time in 2021. His means to prime that manufacturing hinges on the event of Justin Fields, however he is the one wideout with a confirmed reference to the Bears’ QB. Byron Pringle and Velus Jones Jr. will compete for the No. 2 job, whereas N’Keal Harry and Equanimeous St. Brown hope to capitalize on a contemporary begin and supply constant manufacturing on the skin. Jones could also be a 25-year-old rookie, however his blazing 4.3 velocity and skill to line up throughout the formation has him in line for a major goal share as a WR2. — Courtney Cronin

Cincinnati Bengals

Is Joe Mixon an all-purpose again?

Mixon ranked third within the NFL in whole touches final season regardless of primarily getting used on impartial and run-heavy downs. However due to his absence on third downs, it left his utilization missing in passing conditions a bit for fantasy managers. In order that leaves him in a tough spot, particularly in PPR leagues, as a result of Mixon’s worth will rely on his landing charge. In 2021, he had loads of these — 11 red-zone touchdowns at a charge of three.35 scores per carry contained in the 20-yard line, in response to ESPN Stats & Information. However the lack of targets, one thing that is not anticipated to extend drastically, will go away him in a precarious ADP spot for fantasy drafts. — Ben Child

Cleveland Browns

After Nick Chubb and Amari Cooper, who will get touches?

The Browns have a transparent No. 1 operating again within the All-Professional Chubb and an apparent go-to receiver in Cooper. However after that, is anybody else amongst Cleveland’s ability gamers price important draft funding? When wholesome, Kareem Hunt has discovered methods to be productive each speeding and receiving, regardless of backing up Chubb. However the participant to look at in Cleveland is likely to be tight finish David Njoku, who acquired a four-year, $57 million extension within the offseason. Njoku has but to carry out like a top-10 fantasy tight finish, however the Browns are banking that Njoku has the expertise to nonetheless develop into simply that. — Jake Trotter

Dallas Cowboys

Ezekiel Elliott or Tony Pollard?

For the Pollard followers, tread flippantly. Not that he will not get extra work, but it surely may not be solely on the expense of Elliott. Mike McCarthy known as Elliott one of many keystone items of the workforce. Earlier than getting harm final season, Elliott was on tempo for greater than 1,500 yards. He completed with 12 touchdowns. He’ll all the time be a main pink zone possibility over Pollard. The place Pollard would possibly excel is as a pass-catcher whereas the Cowboys look to switch Amari Cooper’s manufacturing. After all, if Elliott will get injured, Pollard would see an RB1 workload. — Todd Archer

Denver Broncos

Who, precisely, might be RB1 or WR1?

The Broncos have a brand new head coach/playcaller on offense in Nathaniel Hackett, a brand new quarterback in Russell Wilson, and several other ability gamers who’ve flashed potential however have by no means performed with a quarterback like Wilson. Javonte Williams is anticipated to be the highest again. And the way issues shake out at receiver nonetheless stays to be seen since Jerry Jeudy missed loads of the on-field work within the offseason program. However this workforce might frustrate fantasy managers early within the season because it will get sorted out, and Hackett exhibits his hand with how a lot Williams and Melvin Gordon III might or might not break up carries. — Jeff Legwold

Detroit Lions

Who will lead the workforce in receiving yards?

Detroit has geared up quarterback Jared Goff with sturdy offensive weapons in tight finish T.J. Hockenson, new free agent extensive receiver DJ Chark and rookie receiver Jameson Williams (who continues to be recovering from a torn ACL). But when I had been a betting man, I’d put my cash on receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown. All indicators are pointing to St. Brown having fun with a breakout second season after setting quite a few rookie information in 2021. St. Brown’s manufacturing skyrocketed when Lions coach Dan Campbell gave former tight ends coach Ben Johnson an even bigger function in playcalling obligations. Johnson is now the offensive coordinator and can discover artistic methods to make use of the Lions’ rising star. St. Brown additionally led the squad in receiving yards (912) as a rookie and logged six straight video games of eight or extra receptions. He’ll actually be a goal for defenses this season, however the Lions’ workers is assured he’ll be prepared. — Eric Woodyard

Green Bay Packers

Who will get the 169 targets Davante Adams left behind?

Aaron Rodgers spoke of Allen Lazard from Day 1 of coaching camp because the No. 1 receiver. However that does not imply he’ll get 100-plus targets. Do not be shocked if a operating again will get an even bigger share. Aaron Jones ranked second on the workforce final season in targets (65). And with the Packers desirous to get AJ Dillon on the sector extra typically, maybe transferring Jones round and getting him the ball in area is likely to be one thing they struggle much more. — Rob Demovsky

Houston Texans

Does it matter who Brandin Cooks‘ QB is?

Cooks ought to be an impactful fantasy receiver. All through his profession the QB hasn’t mattered for Cooks. Whether or not it has been Jared Goff, Tom Brady, Deshaun Watson, Davis Mills, Drew Brees or Tyrod Taylor below middle, Cooks has produced. So although Mills continues to be seen as an unknown, it will not cease Cooks’ manufacturing. He is completed with 1,000 yards or extra in six of his eight seasons. The Texans’ receiving weapons aren’t deep, and Cooks is the one confirmed risk. This screams double-digit targets per sport for Cooks. — DJ Bien-Aime

Indianapolis Colts

How will touches be divided between Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines?

Matt Ryan‘s arrival marks the largest change within the Colts’ offense, however Indianapolis can be making an attempt to rethink operating again Taylor’s workload in 2022. Taylor, final season’s speeding chief, led the NFL in carries in 2021 because the Colts turned overwhelmingly run-heavy within the latter portion of the season. They intend to have a extra balanced strategy this season, which is the place Hines enters the image. Hines, who is usually used as a receiver, posted profession lows in targets and receptions final season. The Colts have vowed to alter that, and Ryan’s historical past of focusing on operating backs bodes effectively for Hines. — Stephen Holder

Jacksonville Jaguars

How does the combo of Travis Etienne Jr. and James Robinson work?

Robinson is recovering from a torn Achilles, however the workforce did not place him on PUP, and the hope is he’ll be absolutely cleared in mid-August. Head coach Doug Pederson stated within the spring that the workforce nonetheless views Robinson as the highest again. Nonetheless, Etienne might be closely concerned within the go sport (he has lined up out extensive and within the slot a number of instances in practices). Offensive coordinator Press Taylor stated he can see Etienne getting used just like the best way Philadelphia used Brian Westbrook years in the past. Educated guess: Robinson has extra carries than Etienne, however Etienne may have a slight lead in whole touches by the point the season ends. — Michael DiRocco

Kansas City Chiefs

Who’s the No. 1 extensive receiver?

The Chiefs will not be solely trying to fill Tyreek Hill‘s function, but additionally making an attempt to determine which different extensive receivers will make the largest statistical contributions. Free agent additions Marquez Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster and rookie Skyy Moore be part of the returning Mecole Hardman to kind the principle group of extensive receivers. However past that, the whole lot is up for grabs. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes went to Valdes-Scantling typically and with success in offseason follow, and that may very well be an indication of issues to come back. — Adam Teicher

Las Vegas Raiders

Are there sufficient balls to go round on offense?

Whereas tight finish Darren Waller caught a franchise-record 107 passes two seasons in the past, slot receiver Hunter Renfrow had 103 catches final season, and new wideout Davante Adams has averaged 111 receptions the previous three seasons. Determining methods to unfold the wealth and maintain guys completely satisfied might be a “good” downside for quarterback Derek Carr to navigate by way of in camp. Throw in the truth that the Raiders are studying a brand new scheme by way of new head coach Josh McDaniels, and storylines abound. –– Paul Gutierrez

Los Angeles Chargers

What to anticipate from the tight ends?

Justin Herbert‘s prime targets are effectively established between receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams and operating again Austin Ekeler. However what concerning the tight ends? The Chargers signed Gerald Everett to a two-year, $12 million contract in free company, Donald Parham Jr. returns for a 3rd season, and Tre’ McKitty returns as a second-year professional. Herbert has already established a rapport with Parham and McKitty, however how shortly the sixth-year professional Everett can ingratiate himself with Herbert and study the offense might be price watching all through coaching camp. – Lindsey Thiry

Los Angeles Rams

Are you able to belief Allen Robinson II as a WR2?

The Rams’ prime three receivers seem like set going into the season: Cooper Kupp, Robinson and Van Jefferson. And Los Angeles did not substitute a lot late final season. There are questions on Robinson after his troubling lack of manufacturing with the Bears in 2021, however Matthew Stafford might be by far one of the best quarterback he is performed with. Offensive coordinator Liam Coen pointed to Robinson’s route-running high quality and flexibility as to why he’ll thrive in 2022. To start out the season, the Rams are paying Robinson an excessive amount of cash to not feed him typically and see what he can do. However Jefferson may additionally get away in Yr 3. There’s additionally the logical chance of Odell Beckham Jr. returning later within the season to think about should you’re pondering of drafting Robinson. — Sarah Barshop

Miami Dolphins

How will this backfield workload play out?

With Raheem Mostert cleared for follow after recovering from knee surgical procedure, the Dolphins’ backfield is among the extra crowded within the NFL. Mostert, Chase Edmonds, Sony Michel and Myles Gaskin have all been lead backs sooner or later of their careers and can kind what is anticipated to be a committee. New head coach Mike McDaniel’s offenses in San Francisco weren’t afraid to characteristic a lead again regardless of a shared workload, so whoever can set up himself this summer season could also be price taking a mid-round flier on come draft day. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Minnesota Vikings

What number of targets will Irv Smith Jr. get?

Smith is in line to be the Vikings’ beginning tight finish a 12 months after struggling a season-ending proper knee harm. Quarterback Kirk Cousins likes focusing on tight ends. Since he turned a full-time starter in 2015, he ranks fourth amongst quarterbacks in tight finish targets. However Cousins has a variety of choices among the many Vikings’ gifted group of skill-position gamers, and coaching camp will give us our first glimpse at understanding how Cousins and head coach Kevin O’Connell will disperse the ball. — Kevin Seifert

New England Patriots

Will Rhamondre Stevenson earn an even bigger function within the go sport?

By the top of final season, Stevenson was a robust 1B possibility alongside the Patriots’ 1A Damien Harris. The 2 are again once more atop the RB depth chart, with Stevenson vying to make himself extra of a think about apparent passing conditions — which is historically James White‘s function. It sparks a related fantasy soccer query: With White coming off a severe hip harm, can Stevenson place himself for a few of White’s duties? — Mike Reiss

New Orleans Saints

Will Michael Thomas return to WR1 standing?

Thomas’ return to follow on Day 1 of coaching camp was an enormous step in the fitting course. His fantasy ground will develop into loads safer with every day we see him proceed to progress this preseason. I do count on him to be the Saints’ WR1. However his fantasy ceiling is a trickier query, since we do not understand how lengthy it is going to take him to return to peak bodily kind. He will even be splitting time in a more-crowded WR group alongside Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave; and he’s now taking part in with a distinct type of QB in Jameis Winston, who may not pepper him with targets the identical method Drew Brees and Teddy Bridgewater did. –– Mike Triplett

New York Giants

Which Giants WR is price investing in?

The Giants’ offense has been a fantasy cesspool the previous two years. You did not need to have any of their playmakers in your roster. It is laborious to discover a receiver that’s price any form of funding this 12 months, both. One of the best guess would in all probability be Kadarius Toney. He is younger and explosive, and at the very least is on the sector early this summer season. Toney was focused on 29.8% of his routes run his rookie season, the eighth-highest whole within the NFL. Despite the fact that the offense and playcaller have modified, the will to get him the ball has not. Questions additionally nonetheless stay about Kenny Golladay and Sterling Shepard, which solely provides to Toney’s worth. — Jordan Raanan

New York Jets

Michael Carter or Breece Hall as RB1?

Carter is the incumbent after main the workforce in speeding as a rookie, however the sense is that Corridor will overtake him sooner or later. Carter did a strong job in 2021, speeding for 639 yards and 4.3 per carry, however he is on the smaller aspect and would not have breakaway velocity. Corridor is larger, quicker and a greater receiver than Carter. Corridor was drafted thirty sixth general, however he was 18th on the Jets’ draft board, which illustrates how a lot they like his potential. There might be early rising pains as he learns to transition away from his ultra-patient operating type, however he ought to leapfrog Carter on the depth chart as soon as he finds his rhythm. — Wealthy Cimini

Philadelphia Eagles

How will the operating again rotation shake out?

Miles Sanders is the projected starter, with Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott slated for enjoying time as effectively. Sanders is in a contract 12 months. Working behind among the best offensive traces within the league and alongside Jalen Hurts, the chance is there to have a monster season. However accidents have saved him from reaching his full potential so far, together with in 2021 when he completed with 754 speeding yards and 0 touchdowns in 12 video games. Gainwell, in the meantime, is coming off a formidable rookie season with 544 yards from scrimmage and 6 touchdowns. Ideally, the Eagles would love Sanders to take the lead function and run with it. But when he will get banged up or is not acting at a excessive stage, Gainwell may transfer right into a extra featured function. — Tim McManus

Pittsburgh Steelers

How will Diontae Johnson‘s targets shake out with a brand new QB?

Johnson was a favourite goal of Ben Roethlisberger, however with Roethlisberger’s retirement, the extensive receiver goes to be catching passes from a brand new quarterback. Johnson nonetheless figures to be the highest extensive receiver on the workforce, however will he nonetheless get the lion’s share of the targets with Chase Claypool in search of a bounce-back 12 months and rookies George Pickens and Calvin Austin III becoming a member of the workforce? Johnson can be lacking time early in camp as he’s “holding in” whereas hoping for a brand new contract, giving youthful guys extra alternatives to construct chemistry with the quarterbacks. — Brooke Pryor

San Francisco 49ers

How will the operating again state of affairs play out?

Wash, rinse, repeat. Sure, that is all the time one of many main fantasy questions concerning the Niners below Kyle Shanahan, and that in all probability will not change any time quickly. San Francisco has had a distinct main rusher in every of Shanahan’s 5 seasons on the helm, which makes it laborious to place belief within the participant on the prime of the depth chart in August. Elijah Mitchell might be that participant this 12 months, and he’ll get the primary crack at preserving his job after setting the franchise document for speeding yards by a rookie final season. However the workforce drafted Tyrion Davis-Price within the third spherical, introduced again Jeff Wilson Jr. and nonetheless has JaMycal Hasty and Trey Sermon within the combine. Ideally, Davis-Worth provides short-yardage and goal-line assist with Mitchell dealing with the majority of the work. However harm considerations about Mitchell are actual, and it would not be a shock to see Davis-Worth and Wilson concerned early and infrequently even when Mitchell hangs on to the beginning spot. — Nick Wagoner

Seattle Seahawks

How will Seattle share carries between Rashaad Penny and Kenneth Walker III?

Chris Carson‘s retirement means Penny will head into the season because the Seahawks’ clear-cut No. 1 possibility for the primary time in his profession. However the “as-long-as-he-stays-healthy” qualifier would possibly apply to Penny as a lot as any participant within the NFL on condition that he is missed 30 of a potential 69 video games because of harm (playoffs included). He has additionally carried the ball 20-plus instances in a sport simply twice in his profession. The Seahawks must handle his snaps and provides a number of the backfield work to Walker, however Seattle’s rookie second-round decide must present coaches that he is prepared. — Brady Henderson

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Will Chris Godwin be prepared for Week 1?

The receiver underwent surgical procedure to restore a torn ACL this offseason, and whereas the Bucs didn’t place him on the PUP record to open camp, sources say they may work him again in slowly. And the signing of future Corridor of Famer Julio Jones affords them the prospect to do this. However precisely when Godwin might be prepared will not be clear at this level. — Jenna Laine

Tennessee Titans

Can Austin Hooper return to Professional Bowl kind?

Hooper has made it his private mission to develop chemistry with Ryan Tannehill since becoming a member of the workforce. The 2 have put in further work throughout downtime in follow. They’re in fixed communication after reps throughout workforce and 7-on-7 intervals. Tannehill complimented Hooper’s savvy route-running means and quickness that helps him get open. There might be extra targets to go round since Tannehill’s beforehand favored pass-catcher A.J. Brown is now with the Eagles. Since Tannehill took over because the Titans’ starter in Week 6 of the 2019 season, 24% of his targets have gone to tight ends. Tannehill has additionally thrown 25 of his 76 landing passes to the tight ends. — Turron Davenport

Washington Commanders

How will Carson Wentz and Terry McLaurin click on?

McLaurin missed the OTA exercises and obligatory minicamp whereas awaiting a brand new contract, however he did spend time with Wentz and different teammates in California earlier this month. Wentz appeared to mesh with rookie receiver Jahan Dotson in the course of the spring, however for this offense to work he should have chemistry with McLaurin. It helps that McLaurin excels on contested catches — particularly essential with a quarterback who is usually inaccurate. Wentz will have the ability to belief McLaurin, an impressive route-runner. And, for McLaurin’s sake, Wentz would be the greatest passer he is performed with. In his first three seasons, McLaurin has performed with eight totally different beginning quarterbacks, none nearly as good as Wentz. That is why there’s cause to imagine they will work effectively collectively. — John Keim

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