Fantasy soccer perception from NFL reporters


No person has a extra stacked lineup of fantasy soccer analysts and NFL workforce reporters than ESPN. It is the uncommon “backfield by committee” that’s truly a superb factor for fantasy managers.

Each Tuesday this preseason, Mike Triplett requested our NFL Nation reporters a sequence of questions concerning the week’s largest tales to assist along with your draft prep. This week’s roundup kicks off with a number of receivers who might be arduous to belief due to damage points, overcrowded place teams or underwhelming summer time performances.


Dallas Cowboys

Michael Gallup and Jalen Tolbert are being drafted back-to-back in common ESPN drafts this summer time as late-round fliers who may repay later within the yr. With final week’s news that Gallup might be able to play within the first month of the season, do you assume both one is a greater guess?

Of the 2, go together with Gallup over the course of the season as a result of as soon as he’s within the swing of issues, he’ll see extra snaps and due to this fact extra passes. It is only a query of when he’ll get within the swing of issues. The hope is he can play in September, however that is not a assure. Tolbert has a superb relationship with Dak Prescott, however he confirmed some points within the preseason (drops, double catches, sideline consciousness) that did not present up in apply. Let me put it this manner: In 2018, Gallup was a third-round decide, like Tolbert, and caught 33 passes for 507 yards and two touchdowns. If Tolbert can match that, then it could be a good season for the rookie. — Todd Archer


Indianapolis Colts

Do you assume any Colts pass-catchers aside from Michael Pittman Jr. may have fantasy relevance this season? How huge of a job may rookie Alec Pierce have, specifically?

I feel Pierce must be accounted for. First, he’ll get some favorable matchups as a result of Pittman is anticipated to attract important consideration from defenses. Additional, Pierce confirmed some actual chops within the pink zone throughout coaching camp. One in all his greatest performs was a contested acrobatic catch on a fade route behind the tip zone throughout joint practices with the Detroit Lions. Lastly, Pierce’s dimension and velocity make him a big-play menace, as he is fairly comfy in one-on-one conditions on the perimeter. — Stephen Holder


Kansas Metropolis Chiefs

Did we get any readability this preseason on the brand new WR hierarchy in Kansas Metropolis? Will JuJu Smith-Schuster have probably the most fantasy worth? And the way lengthy would possibly it take rookie Skyy Moore to emerge in a big function?

We did not be taught a ton, partly as a result of Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Mecole Hardman missed time due to accidents. However Patrick Mahomes was going so much to Smith-Schuster in coaching camp earlier than his damage. Mahomes accomplished 18 passes within the preseason to 10 completely different receivers and mentioned he thought this was how the offense would function this season. He additionally threw three landing passes, all to tight ends (however none to Travis Kelce). As for Moore, he’ll obtain a substantial quantity of enjoying time because the fourth broad receiver, so there’s an opportunity he may contribute instantly. — Adam Teicher


Los Angeles Chargers

Second-year receiver Joshua Palmer generated some buzz this summer time. Is there room for him to interrupt out alongside Keenan Allen and Mike Williams?

Sure. Quarterback Justin Herbert has a number of go-to pass-catching targets, together with Allen, Williams and working again Austin Ekeler. Nonetheless, if coaching camp was any indication, room shall be made for Palmer. A 3rd-round decide in 2021, Palmer made a number of standout catches throughout camp and appeared to have an improved connection together with his quarterback. Allen mentioned Palmer is “much more polished” as he prepares for his second season. “His timing is getting higher, his endurance, and understanding of the progressions within the learn,” Allen mentioned. “When he is not the primary learn, he can take loads of time doing method stuff. You possibly can promote them a little bit bit extra.” In a preseason sport, Palmer caught a 41-yard contested move over his shoulder, then took a brief move and went 18 yards for a landing. — Lindsey Thiry


New England Patriots

Up to now, the Patriots are the ultimate workforce to have a WR picked in common ESPN drafts, with Jakobi Meyers at No. 50. Do you assume Meyers or DeVante Parker might be productive sufficient to exceed these expectations?

I do not. The best way the Patriots’ offense is structured, the ball ought to be unfold round and thus manufacturing from receivers figures to fluctuate week to week relying on how opponents game-plan. Meyers nonetheless tasks to steer the workforce in receptions — nobody caught extra passes from Mac Jones in coaching camp — however it could be a shock if he immediately has a excessive landing complete. A run of accidents may all the time change this, however as of now, it is robust to pound the desk for both receiver as a worthy fantasy decide. — Mike Reiss


New Orleans Saints

Michael Thomas was producing as a lot buzz as any NFL participant in his first few weeks again after an ankle damage sustained in 2020, however now he has missed greater than every week with a hamstring concern. Is he protected sufficient to draft among the many prime 25-30 fantasy receivers?

Sure. There are some causes to mood expectations for Thomas (the severity of the damage that stored him out all of final season; the truth that we’ve got by no means seen him play with new quarterback Jameis Winston; and the immediately crowded WR room in New Orleans together with Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry). So it is comprehensible if you happen to do not need to draft him among the many prime 20 receivers. However he has fallen to WR33 in present common ESPN drafts, which is simply too far for somebody together with his super upside. Thomas did certainly present his trademark physicality and ball abilities in Saints practices earlier than the hamstring damage. And whereas the workforce has not specified a timetable for his return, coach Dennis Allen referred to it as a “little” hamstring damage, and Thomas has been noticed at team-related occasions in latest days. — Mike Triplett


New York Giants

Do we’ve got any readability in any way on the WR hierarchy with this workforce with so many shifting elements? Who’s more than likely to supply fantasy worth as soon as issues are sorted out?

It is arduous to make a pecking order for the Giants’ broad receivers. Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepard and Wan’Dale Robinson will all vulture snaps and targets. Toney, if wholesome, is the more than likely to be constantly fantasy related. He was eighth within the NFL final season in targets per route run (29.8%). So he is their pseudo No. 1, with everybody else on a fair line behind him. — Jordan Raanan


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Previous to Saturday’s preseason sport, ESPN’s Jenna Laine shared a optimistic replace on receiver Chris Godwin’s restoration from the torn ACL in his proper knee. Nonetheless, Laine cautioned that the Buccaneers haven’t but dedicated to Godwin enjoying in Week 1. Though that continues to be a risk, Laine mentioned they are going to wait till he is prepared.


Tennessee Titans

What are your expectations for Treylon Burks in each the brief time period and long run this season after a preseason stuffed with so many highs and lows?

Burks is not prone to start the season as a starter, however he’ll ultimately be one. The Titans will use him totally on crossing routes in play-action to reap the benefits of his yards-after-the-catch potential. Burks most likely will not rack up loads of receptions, however he has the potential to strategy the 16.4 yards-per-catch mark he posted at Arkansas. — Turron Davenport


RB insurance coverage insurance policies

Final however not least, we reached out to a handful of NFL Nation reporters this week for some insurance coverage recommendation (if you happen to’re the kind of fantasy supervisor who likes to safe backups like Nyheim Hines and Alexander Mattison while you draft Jonathan Taylor and Dalvin Cook dinner in Spherical 1). Sadly, that RB2 is much less clear in some backfields than others.

Arizona Cardinals: This function was truly muddied a bit throughout the preseason. All through camp, Eno Benjamin was hyped because the man who might be James Conner’s backup, however then Jonathan Ward performed very properly within the preseason till he sustained a shoulder damage in Week 2. Relying on when and the way Ward returns, it might be a mixture of Benjamin and Darrel Williams who spell Conner. — Josh Weinfuss

Carolina Panthers: I’d say D’Onta Foreman. The Panthers signed him throughout the offseason as insurance coverage in case Christian McCaffrey went down once more — and as a change-of-pace again who would assist in goal-line and short-yardage conditions. — David Newton

Cincinnati Bengals: Traditionally, Samaje Perine has been Joe Mixon’s backup. Perine seems to be slotted for that function once more, with Chris Evans lurking as a possible choice. — Ben Child

Los Angeles Chargers: Joshua Kelley flashed, however he didn’t set up himself because the without-a-doubt second working again in a gaggle that additionally included rookie fourth-round decide Isaiah Spiller and second-year professional Larry Rountree III. Spiller, nonetheless, suffered an ankle damage late within the preseason, leaving an opportunity he will not be able to play in Week 1, so Kelley is prone to be the backup to start the season. — Thiry

New York Giants: Veteran Matt Breida tasks because the RB2, however Raanan wrote in his 53-man roster projection that the depth chart is “an enormous query mark” behind Saquon Barkley: “Breida has been banged up throughout coaching camp, and Antonio Williams hasn’t completed a lot but in his profession, even when he is a favourite of the brand new regime.”

Pittsburgh Steelers: It seems Jaylen Warren jumped Benny Snell Jr. on the depth chart to take the first backup job from the veteran. The rookie undrafted free agent has proven a superb mixture of velocity, burst and energy throughout the preseason. However as a result of Warren is unproven in lengthy stretches, it would not shock me if the Steelers initially took a committee strategy if Najee Harris received harm. — Brooke Pryor

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Rookie Rachaad White might be the most efficient companion to Leonard Fournette, however Fournette’s function is completely different than others’. If the Bucs needed to exchange him, they’d flip to a couple individuals, together with Ke’Shawn Vaughn. — Laine

Tennessee Titans: Dontrell Hilliard is the clear No. 2 behind Derrick Henry. Hilliard averaged 6.3 yards per carry final season, together with a 68-yard run in opposition to the Patriots. The Titans belief him in move safety and he runs routes like a large receiver. He is prone to be their main third-down again. — Davenport