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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell looks like the clear-cut No. 1 option at running back for the team this summer. He had some holes in the running game at training camp practice on Friday and a couple that would have gone for long gains. If he can stay healthy, he has a real chance to be the first player to lead the Niners in rushing two years in a row under head coach Kyle Shanahan. Mitchell earned lead-back duties by rushing for 963 yards and five touchdowns on 207 carries in 11 games (10 starts) as a rookie in 2021. However, there are durability concerns and he could lose work to Jeff Wilson Jr., rookie Tyrion Davis-Price, Trey Sermon and JaMycal Hasty. Despite those concerns, the 24-year-old is the team's most valuable fantasy back as a low-end RB2.
The NFL and NFL Players Association have been involved in active settlement negotiations over the past few days in the disciplinary matter for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly. It's unknown if a compromise will be reached before NFL designee Peter C. Harvey issues a ruling on the league's appeal of Watson's six-game suspension levied by NFL disciplinary officer Sue L. Robinson. Sources have expressed optimism that a deal will get worked out, likely because a potentially significant discipline is expected to be handed down by Harvey. "Harvey could drop the hammer on Watson," a source said. "That's why a settlement is a better outcome, even if it's more than six games and includes a multi-million dollar fine." Watson will be facing at least a six-game suspension and likely more, dropping his fantasy value significantly entering the 2022 season. Stay tuned for more.
Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers' soft-tissue injury isn't considered serious, according to a source. The Rams are taking a cautious approach by holding Akers out of training camp practices, but that's the extent of it. Darrell Henderson Jr. is also dealing with a soft-tissue injury at camp, and there is no timetable for either player's return to practice. Barring any setbacks, both Akers and Henderson should be fine for the start of the regular season, but fantasy managers should continue to monitor their progress. Akers, who returned from a torn Achilles late last season, will operate as LA's primary back when healthy in 2022, giving him RB2 appeal for fantasy managers. Until Akers and Henderson return, rookie Kyren Williams and Jake Funk will receive more repetitions in training camp.
The Cleveland Browns have claimed wide receiver Easop Winston Jr. off waivers from the New Orleans Saints. The 25-year-old was reportedly having a good camp with the Saints. Despite that, the team has decided to move on from the former Washington State Huskies wideout. The Browns are in need of another receiver with Jakeem Grant Sr. (Achilles) done for the season. Possibly, Winston makes the team as a special teams player. It's unlikely Winston gets significant snaps on offense unless multiple injuries happen. He can be ignored in fantasy formats right now.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Drew Lock has tested positive for COVID-19. That being said, Lock will sit out Thursday's preseason matchup against the Chicago Bears. This is bad timing considering Lock was named the starting quarterback for that game earlier in the day. Now, Geno Smith is expected to make the start and has a chance to distance himself in the quarterback competition. Regardless of who wins this battle, it's tough to imagine either quarterback having weekly fantasy value.
Seattle Seahawks rookie running back Kenneth Walker III (hernia) was unavailable for Tuesday's practice. Head coach Pete Carroll mentioned that Walker is working through a hernia issue. It's unknown whether or not Walker is going to sit out Thursday's preseason matchup against the Chicago Bears. Right now, the organization is considering this injury minor, so fantasy managers shouldn't be too worried. The expectation is that he'll split up the carries with Rashaad Penny to begin the season.
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Demarcus Robinson has been released by the organization. The 27-year-old spent his first six seasons in the league with the Kansas City Chiefs. He joined the Raiders this offseason and was reportedly in the mix for the WR3 job. Now, it sounds like the Raiders have decided to move in another direction without Robinson. There should be some potential suitors out there for Robinson. He did fairly well in limited playing time with the Chiefs. Despite that, it's unlikely he'll find a landing spot where he has weekly fantasy value.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Drew Lock is scheduled to make the start under center for Thursday's preseason game. Geno Smith started the first contest, so this appears to be a legitimate competition. Head coach Pete Carroll mentioned this was the plan all along for the two quarterbacks to compete during training camp. Lock has been lackluster during his first three seasons in the league. It's hard to imagine either quarterback having more value than a low-end QB2 most weeks. Seahawks.com's John Boyle reported that Lock started out with the No. 1 offense to open the team portion of practice on Tuesday, so he might be starting to overtake Smith in the QB competition this summer.
New England Patriots defensive back Malcolm Butler (undisclosed) has been placed on Injured Reserve. The 32-year-old will see his season end before it even begins. Joejuan Williams (shoulder) will also be placed on the injured reserve, so the Patriots are out two defensive backs. Butler was attempting a comeback after not being in the league during the 2021 season. Honestly, Terrance Mitchell and Jack Jones were looking like better options than Butler anyway. This will somewhat hurt the Patriots secondary, but fantasy managers shouldn't be concerned about the Patriots defense declining without them.
Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny (groin) returned to the practice field on Tuesday. He missed the first preseason game and a few practices due to a minor groin issue, There's a chance that the 26-year-old does not suit up at all during the preseason. Despite that, Penny should still be safe to draft with him likely starting in Week 1. Although, Kenneth Walker III should see plenty of carries as well. These two should form a committee in the Seattle backfield, which could make their fantasy value difficult to analyze right away.
The Tennessee Titans claimed defensive back Lonnie Johnson Jr. off waivers from the Kansas City Chiefs on Tuesday, according to a source. The Chiefs waived Johnson on Monday, but he'll quickly latch on with the Titans. Kansas City acquired the 26-year-old cornerback from the Houston Texans in May for a 2024 conditional seventh-round pick. The 26-year-old former second-round pick in 2019 had 55 tackles (38 solo), three interceptions and six passes defensed in 14 games (seven starts) in 2021 in his third year in Houston. Johnson will provide Tennessee with defensive back depth heading into the 2022 regular season.
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