Read ESPN's fantasy football daily notes every weekday to stay caught up on the news you need to know and get a head start on the fantasy football content coming today and tomorrow to ESPN.com and the ESPN Fantasy App.
The news: Sources told ESPN that Broncos receiver Tim Patrick suffered a torn ACL in Tuesday's practice and will miss the 2022 season
What it means in fantasy: K.J. Hamler's role in the Broncos' offense will need to expand soon. Over the past two seasons, Patrick averaged 5.29 targets per game, which is what Hamler might inherit. You should consider Hamler late in your fantasy football draft as a high-end WR4 in a Broncos offense led by Russell Wilson.
The news: ESPN Rams reporter Sarah Barshop quotes Rams coach Sean McVay as saying "I look at it as we've got two starting [running] backs."
What it means in fantasy: Although coach speak isn't the end all be all, one thing is clear from this news: Cam Akers is unlikely to the lion's share of the touches in the Rams' backfield, no matter how healthy he is. Darrell Henderson is the RB50 according to our live draft trends, while Akers is the RB15. At his average draft position, Akers carries more risk than managers expected.
The news: Jerry Jones wants to give the Cowboys' younger wide receivers a chance and will not rush to sign a veteran in free agency, according to ESPN's Todd Archer.
What it means in fantasy: Jones, the Cowboys' owner and general manager, is satisfied with the receivers currently on the roster and that Dallas is comfortable with Tolbert as the No. 2 receiver while Washington and Gallup are away. Early in the season, Tolbert should see a steady stream of targets.
The news: Diontae Johnson and the Steelers have yet to be on the same page in their contract talks, according to ESPN's Brooke Pryor. As of the first week of camp, the receiver is engaged in a hold-in and participating only in individual drills.
What it means in fantasy: According to the word on the street, Johnson and the Steelers won't reach an agreement before Week 1. Johnson, who finished last season as WR8 in PPR scoring, is currently the WR17 in our live draft trends and could start falling even more the longer his contract situation remains unresolved. "In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity," according to Sun Zu, and this is what fantasy managers should look for in this news. I'd be shocked if a deal wasn't signed before the start of the season.
Going deeper: Over the last 2 seasons, Johnson has averaged 10.2 targets and 16 PPR fantasy points per game. His most important attribute is that he makes plays when he gets the ball in his hands -- in 2021, he produced 502 yards after the catch which was the sixth most in the league -- which gives him a solid floor no matter who his quarterback is. Johnson is projected to once again lead the Steelers in targets this season. He's a high end WR2 in fantasy which you might be able to soon draft as a WR3.
Today on ESPN.com and in the ESPN Fantasy App
Fantasy Focus podcast: Double Trouble featuring the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles
Mike Clay reveals the players he projects will score more and fewer touchdowns in 2022 based on his proprietary xTD metric.
In case you missed it:
Tristan H. Cockcroft on whether Cooper Kupp will repeat as the No. 1 receiver in fantasy