- 5 NFL training camp storylines to pay attention to in August
- Training camp battles can have significant fantasy football ramifications
- Read below for the 5 most important to pay attention to for 2022 fantasy football leagues
As of Tuesday, July 26 every team in the NFL has reported to training camp. The 2022 NFL season is basically here! Your friends and league mates might not think so, but if you read through the tealeaves correctly this is the time of year you can find valuable information. The best part for you is that you don’t have to sift through the internet to find the information, you can find everything you need here.
On top of keeping up with the latest training camp news, we also drop fantasy football videos multiple times a week on the OwnersBox YouTube channel along with written content here on the site. You can check out our fantasy football player rankings that are always being updated.
We’ll take a look at five training camp storylines that are sure to develop leading up to the season. How these storylines play out could have significant ramifications in fantasy football this season.
How will the Bills Wide Receiver Room Shake Out?
After an absolutely electric finish to the season for the Bills offense, the preseason hype for another impactful fantasy weapon is growing. Gabriel Davis has taken a 4 touchdown performance in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs into a serious rise in fantasy football ADP. He’s going in the 7th round of drafts right now.
Davis shined as the second man out wide to end the season, but since Josh Allen has been at QB it’s the slot receiver that’s had fantasy relevance. Does that change with Cole Beasley no longer in the picture? There’s other talented players in the room with Isaiah McKenzie, Jamison Crowder and rookie Khalil Shakir.
You can’t read in to too many of the early portions of camp as padded practices are where the offense starts to evolve. But Khalil Shakir has been a hot topic, shining in individual drills and even earning some targets from Allen. Jamison Crowder has been missing workouts with an undisclosed injury, so it’s been Isaiah McKenzie getting the primary spot out of the slot.
The Bills receiving room could provide some late round gold for fantasy managers looking to take a shot on whoever wins the battle out of the slot. Or perhaps Davis gets the chance to play both out wide and in the slot in two wide receiver sets. The Bills were sure to give him the opportunity to do both early in his career, but his success has come from out wide. Time will tell how this one develops.
The 49ers Offense Under Trey Lance
Kyle Shanahan was clear in his plan for Trey Lance, sit in year 1 and learn the offense and be ready to go for his sophomore season. After making it to the NFC Championship game, some doubt probably crept in the minds of many as to how they wouldn’t make this at least a competition in camp. But Shanahan has done exactly the opposite.
"We have moved on to Trey. We’re starting camp out this way.”
Kyle Shanahan thanks Jimmy G for his time with the Niners and makes clear Trey Lance will be their QB1
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 26, 2022
The 49ers aren’t even asking Garoppolo to come to training camp, his agent is instead looking for the right trade partner. Considering his contract, there has to be a possibility that he’s cut by the team. This is Lance’s job and he won’t have to do any looking over of his shoulder and that’s how Shanahan designed it.
The question is how this offense looks with Lance leading it, he has the ability to make plays with his legs, so does that effect the other weapons fantasy value? It’s impacted George Kittle’s ADP, he’s typically the automatic third tight end off the board and now he’s going well behind Kyle Pitts in the third round. Kittle is arguably the best all around talent at the position, how much he’s utilized in the pass game with Lance at QB will be fascinating to watch throughout training camp.
This isn’t just about his teammates though, Lance is currently going as the QB13 in fantasy football drafts. With his athletic ability, litany of weapons and one of the best offensive minds in the National Football League, he could be a league winner in 2022. Keep an eye on how Shanahan is talking about his development as training camp progresses.
Finding Fantasy Value in the Chiefs Offense
It was just one player of significance that left the Chiefs offense, but that player left 159 targets and 1239 yards behind. How the Chiefs offense looks without Tyreek Hill is going to be must know for fantasy managers. Not only that, but Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been a major disappointment since his first round selection in 2019, how does the Chiefs running back room look like in 2022?
Let’s start at running back, where the room has added Ronald Jones and keeps Jerrick McKinnon to pair with Edwards-Helaire. Kansas City didn’t give Clyde many goal line opportunities last season, perhaps that’s a role Jones could command? McKinnon was dynamic at times as a pass catcher, could he be the third down back? Then again, Edwards-Helaire is capable of being a three down back if he stays healthy.
At receiver it’s a busy room too, with Mecole Hardman, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Skyy Moore. JuJu is by far the most proven talent, Valdes-Scantling could be a deep ball threat and Moore is a second round pick that profiles as a slot option. At least one of these players are going to return significant value as they’re all going outside the first six rounds of fantasy football drafts.
What can Eberflus do for Fields Fantasy Value?
The Bears seem like a team many people won’t be paying attention to, the roster is in a serious rebuild. The capital invested to trade up for Fields in the 2021 NFL Draft kept them from putting much talent next to him this season. But winning football games isn’t going to be the only way to measure this teams success.
Fields is a dynamic talent, a player fantasy football managers should be excited about considering his ability with his legs. But Matt Nagy did a horrendous job in giving him the chance to succeed. Eberflus brought in Luke Getsy as the offensive coordinator, his zone run scheme should better maximize Fields dual threat ability.
If we hear about Fields using his legs more often and getting designed runs called upon him then even if this isn’t a high scoring offense we could see Fields be a top-12 quarterback in fantasy football. He’s the QB16 in my quarterback rankings right now, if training camp is good then I’d like to move him up even further.
Uncovering the Saints Offense
The Saints head into their first training camp without Sean Payton in more than a decade, but that doesn’t mean they should be an afterthought this season. The elephant in the room is Alvin Kamara, he’s at camp and it seems as though a suspension may not come anytime soon. Then there is the return of Michael Thomas, paired with 1st round pick Chris Olave and free agent Jarvis Landry.
Jameis Winston returns from an ACL injury, but he’s proven capable of supporting high level fantasy producers. These weapons are infinitely more talented then the ones he had last season. The question will be who becomes WInston’s favorite target? Thomas is so far removed from high level play, Olave is a no doubt NFL ready talent, Landry has proven to be a safety blanket for his QB.
I’d expect all three of these guys to be running with the first group in training camp, perhaps the coaching staff or Winston himself could give us an idea of who best fits the scheme. Thomas requires a decent amount of draft capital to take but the other two are sleepers in fantasy football this season.