This article is part of our Training Camp Notes series.
Although most veterans will report to training camp on Tuesday, July 26, there's quite a bit to talk about that in the fantasy football world.
Training Camp Storyline
Dolphins' Running Game
Raheem Mostert announced that he's been medically cleared to return to action from a knee injury he suffered after his second rushing attempt of 2021. However, the only stretch in his career in which he's been a strong fantasy option started in Week 13 of 2019. That began a hot streak that took him through the NFL playoffs. Otherwise, he hasn't had more than 137 carries in any season. He'll enter this year at age 30, and his lack of durability makes him a risky fantasy option.
The excitement around Mostert is understandable as coach Mike McDaniel is bringing in the 49ers offensive system that Mostert played well in. But sometimes, money talks in the NFL, Mostert signed a one-year three-million dollar deal. Meanwhile, the Dolphins made a commitment to Chase Edmonds, signing him for two years and over 12 million. Finally, Sony Michel signed for one year while being paid 1.75 million. The money Miami spent on RBs may indicate that they see Edmonds as the lead back while Mostert and Michel serve as rotational pieces.
The fantasy community seems convinced that Mostert and Michel won't be major fantasy factors with both being drafted outside the top-60 RBs. Maybe Mostert's confirmed health will give him a boost in drafts. Edmonds is being drafted outside the top-30 RBs. The way I see it, Edmonds is easily the best pass catcher of this group, so he'll likely be the primary receiver. In terms of early downs, Mostert's health, history and age suggest that he could see a small number of carries in a rotational role. Michel, who's joining his third team in three years, could take on short-yardage and goal-line work with the possibility of taking additional carries to spell Edmonds. I don't see this as an equal three-way committee and I expect Edmonds to see enough work to be a steal at his ADP.
- Leonard Fournette- After reporting to the Bucs' mandatory minicamp at 260 pounds, Fournette currently weighs 245 pounds. This puts him on track to get closer to his playing weight by opening day. He's being drafted inside the top-15 RBs in average drafts. It's important to note that after a three-game stretch in which he averaged 57 snaps last year, he missed four weeks with a hamstring injury. Durability may be something for fantasy managers to consider when deciding whether to draft him.
- James Robinson- Despite suffering a late-season Achilles injury, Robinson will be ready to practice when Jaguars' training camp opens. Coach Doug Pederson still maintains that the team will "be cautious and make sure he's ready when he's ready." It's tough to predict what level of explosiveness Robinson will have in his return. And with Travis Etienne looking to take over the starting job after missing last year with a foot injury, Robinson could find himself on the small side of a timeshare. Currently being drafted outside the top-50 RBs, Robinson's draft value is sure to move upward based on this good news. However, there's likely to be some skepticism as to how close to full strength he'll be, so fantasy managers who believe he'll come back strong may still get a draft-day discount.
- Tyler Allgeier- If Allgeier can demonstrate the physical running style he showed in college, Josh Kendall of the Athletic is reporting that the RB can push to become the starting RB for the Falcons. After Cordarrelle Patterson saw his rushing workload slashed down the stretch last year, it seemed that the moderate workload took a toll on him. With the Falcons using a fifth-round pick on Allgeier, he'd only need to push aside Damien Williams and Qadree Ollison if Patterson isn't being considered for early-down work. That said, the Falcons could play with a lot of negative game script, so the Falcons' early-down RB may be more of a floor than ceiling play.
- Tyrion Davis-Price- Following the disappointing season Trey Sermon had as a rookie last year, the 49ers went back to the third-round well to select Davis-Price. With Elijah Mitchell having missed six games with various injuries, it's possible that a sizable workload could be waiting for whomever seizes the backup role. Davis-Price will compete with Jeff Wilson and Sermon for that honor. As we've learned over the years (including last year), any RB in the 49ers' rushing attack could have major fantasy value if talent and opportunity align.
- Josh Palmer- According to Daniel Popper of The Athletic, Palmer has the opportunity to distance himself as the clear third wide receiver during camp. Popper cited Palmer's excellent work ethic along with extra time spent working with Justin Herbert that has boosted the WRs standing with the team. With an elite QB in Herbert, earning the third receiver role could provide plenty of upside.
- Justyn Ross- A popular endgame pick for many fantasy players in deeper leagues, Ross was placed in IR, and he'll miss the entire 2022 season. Signed to a three-year deal as an undrafted free agent in May, he'll look to compete for a role in the Chiefs offense in 2023.
- Orlando Brown- NFL Network's Mike Garofolo is reporting that Chiefs' left tackle Orlando Brown will not report to camp and he could even miss Week 1. Let's face it, with Tyreek Hill on the Dolphins and Travis Kelce turning 33 years old this year, any disruption to Patrick Mahomes' pass protection may be an issue. Fortunately, they have an excellent line, so Brown's possible absence will be more of an inconvenience than a catastrophe.
- Denzel Good- Good retired after expecting to serve as the Raiders' starting right guard. Over the past couple years, the Raiders' line has lost a great deal of talent, and the unit has become one of the weaker ones in the league. Although the team has some exciting weapons in the passing game, Derek Carr could find himself under more pressure than ever, which could put a dent in the potential ceiling of the Las Vegas passing-game options.
- Roquan Smith- Unhappy with his contract situation, Roquan Smith will not participate in training camp, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Playing on his fifth-year option, it would seem that Smith has little leverage due to both the fines prescribed by the CBA along with the likelihood that the Bears may not be motivated to pay a player in a year they may not be very competitive. When on the field, Smith is an elite IDP option, but those drafting soon may consider selecting a similarly-ranked player.