Preparing for the 2022 fantasy football draft: Cam Akers’ injury highlights the biggest losers of pre-season week 3

With essentially two weeks until Week 1 of the NFL season, most injuries aren’t that much of a concern at this point. Most players struggling with lingering injuries should have plenty of time to get back to health in Week 1, and missing the last week of pre-season with a minor issue is no big deal.

But I’m starting to worry about Cam Akers. Akers was sidelined for a few weeks with an unspecified soft tissue injury alongside teammate Darrell Henderson, and while Rams head coach Sean McVay told reporters Henderson will be able to practice this week, he couldn’t say the same for Akers after Saturday. loss to the Bengals in the preseason finale. And, while most reports so far have indicated the injury isn’t considered a serious concern, Akers still aren’t working at full speed, according to McVay.

“Darrell will definitely (work out),” McVay told reporters. “Darrell was able to run full speed today. We were able to practice on the grass. Cam hasn’t been able to do that yet, but I’m really excited to have Darrell back for us.”

Akers returned after a broken Achilles late last season but struggled to make a big impact in the playoffs, rushing for 172 yards on 67 carries as the team regained the lead of the Super Bowl. A full offseason of work figured to get him closer to full speed, but questions lingered, given how hard Achilles injuries tend to be to come back. I had Akers rated as a mid-range RB2 heading into pre-season but the fact that he’s got another injury and isn’t cleared to play yet means I have to downgrade him outside the top 20. Not just because he might not be ready for Week 1 – I’d still bet he will be, at this point – but because it presents another potential landmine that he must avoid, in terms of avoiding further injury.

Akers comes off the board in the fourth round in most drafts, but I wouldn’t touch him until the fifth or even the sixth. There are advantages here, but there were also pre-injury reports that he shared first-team reps with Henderson, so he might not even get the three-way role we hope for when healthy. .

We’ll want to see some positive reports from Akers in the coming weeks as the prep moves into Week 1, but you also need to move Henderson up your ranks at this point. He’s someone who should be drafted around the eighth or ninth round, both as a potential Week 1 starter if Akers’ slow recovery continues and as a bench option with an upside. beyond.

Here are a few other players whose value took a hit this weekend.

Patriots offense

There were some weird vibes around the Patriots offense from minicamps when Bill Belichick declined to name an offensive coordinator following the departure of Josh McDaniels. In training camp, it became clear that Matt Patricia and Joe Judge would be in charge of the offense, and they’re not a duo that inspires a ton of confidence, personally – the fact that Patricia coaches both the offensive line and apparently calling plays. does not help. And seeing Mac Jones visibly frustrated going 9 for 13 for 71 yards and a pretty blatant pick against a Raiders team resting most of their starters certainly didn’t help. History tells us not to bet against Bill Belichick, but the regular drumbeat out of camp is that this offense has been a problem, and we haven’t seen much of them in exhibition games. to refute this. I’m worried.

Clarity in the Chargers’ backfield

Given the usage so far in camp and preseason, I had pretty much moved Joshua Kelley to the Chargers No. 2 RB spot behind Austin Ekeler. However, Week 3 saw Larry Rountree start and play more snaps with the “first team” offense (led by Chase Daniel), with Kelly serving more as a clear backup. That makes figuring out who Ekeler’s backup is that much trickier, and I’m guessing if anything were to happen to Ekeler it’d probably be a pretty messy situation – rookie Isaiah Spiller is also looming as a potential option, though. that he’s probably a clear RB4 on the depth chart right now. Given the lack of clarity, I think Spiller might be the best bet for a late-round flyer in this offense in hopes he can become a clear No. 2, but you might be better off to avoid this one.

Garrett Wilson

The Jets have invested heavily in Wilson, the No. 10 pick in this year’s draft, but it looks like they aren’t going to force him into the starting lineup just yet. Although all the reports out of camp were pretty positive, Wilson was pretty much used as a substitute in Sunday’s preseason finale, only playing with the starters when Corey Davis came off the pitch, according to Pro Football. Focus. Elijah Moore and Braxton Berrios are apparently ahead of him on the depth chart, and that has seemingly been a constant feature of the attack so far. That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t draft Wilson in re-draft formats, but understand that you’ll have to be patient at first. Don’t panic if he doesn’t have much of a role in week 1, you’re drafting him for long term benefit.

james cook

Cook started on Friday, but it was with the second team attack – and it was with Zack Moss inactive. Does that mean Cook is the No. 3 running back? Potentially, although it’s still possible that this is a scenario where Cook is more of a third back and Moss is Singletary’s true backup. Either way, speaking out of camp suggests all three should be active on matchdays, and with Singletary quite clearly in the lead, it will be difficult for Cook to make a big impact early on. His passing skills in particular could make him stand out in that backfield, but he’s another guy you’ll probably have to be patient with given his likely role early in the season.

Mike Gesicki

In three practices with Tagovailoa, Gesicki was actually second among Dolphins tight ends within a few clicks. He ran most routes, but it was a three-man rotation with Durham Smythe and Cethan Carter. Gesicki has talked this preseason about basically having to learn a new position, as the Dolphins are asking him to be more of a traditional tight end after being used almost exclusively as a receiver last season, and we’ve seen that in games; he fielded 24 times as a tight end in the line versus 14 in the slot, per PFF, having played 85% of his snaps either in the slot or out last season. There will be some growing pains here with Gesicki, and he might not get enough opportunities to be much more than a touchdown or bust TE.

Noah Fan

In the Seahawks’ first five drives, no tight end has gone more than 50% in losses, as Fant continues to rotate with Will Dissly and Colby Parkinson. This has been a trend throughout preseason, and it’s extremely difficult to draft Fant even as a late sleeper. I still think he has some very appealing skills for Fantasy, but the role just doesn’t seem to be there in what is a fairly weak (not to mention bad) pass attack. In your standard 12-team league without a TE premium score, it’s probably best to leave Fant for waivers at this point.

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