The news: Bob Sturm of the Athletic wrote about the is a possibility that Ezekiel Elliott is entering his final season with the Cowboys
What it means in fantasy: It makes sense considering Elliott's contract and that he's entering his age 27 season. Tony Pollard looked like the more explosive back last season from a film perspective. However, Elliott dealt with a partially torn PCL throughout the majority of last season, which contributed to his underwhelming performance. In 2022, he continues to be a great value as the RB17 in our draft trends, but drafting Tony Pollard in keeper formats is a wise move.
Going deeper: Elliott has averaged 22 touches per game in his career.
What it means in fantasy: The biggest fantasy takeaway from this news is that Allen Lazard is shaping up to be a nice value at WR39 in our Live Draft Trends. He could see 100 or more targets and is firmly on the flex radar.
Going deeper: Since 2019, Lazard has caught 108 of his 158 targets for 1,441 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. He has produced a passer rating of 128.9 when targeted.
The news: "No definitive date" has been set for Tom Brady's return to the Buccaneers
What it means in fantasy: Todd Bowles, head coach of the Buccaneers, does not seem particularly concerned about the situation, and fantasy football managers should feel the same way. Brady is the QB8 in our draft trends. He averaged 22.7 fantasy points per game last season. With the abundance of receiving playmakers the NFL's Captain America has at his disposal, history may repeat itself.
The news: Michael Gallup was seen running routes toward the end of Thursday's practice against the Chargers.
What it means in fantasy: While Gallup is still on the PUP list, he was seen running routes for the first time since tearing his ACL in January. Following James Washington's foot injury, the Cowboys desperately need help at the wide receiver position. Gallup is worth selecting near the end of your fantasy football draft as he could play an important role in the Cowboys offense.
The news: JuJu Smith-Schuster will most likely return to practice next week
What it means in fantasy: Smith-Schuster has been out this week and didn't play last weekend in the preseason game. After signing with the Chiefs this offseason, Smith-Schuster is missing out on valuable reps with quarterback Patrick Mahomes. WR31 in our live draft trends, the former Steelers wideout should still be a very good flex option for fantasy managers.
Going deeper: It's no secret that the Chiefs have an abundance of available targets due to Tyreek Hill's departure, and Mahomes leads all quarterbacks over the past two seasons in slot wide receiver targets.
The news: Mecole Hardman has a groin spasm and could return to practice next week for the Chiefs
What it means in fantasy: Hardman initially appeared to have suffered a serious injury when he fell awkwardly in practice. It appears that his injury is truly minor. Hardman is the WR55 in our draft trends and expected to open the season as the Chiefs No. 3 receiver. Why would you select Hardman in a fantasy draft when Skyy Moore, who is expected to be the team's No. 2 receiver, is the WR49 in our draft trends? According to projections, Moore will see more targets than Hardman.
The news: Joe Burrow has begun participating in team drills at Bengals camp
What it means in fantasy: Burrow has recovered from his appendectomy and plans to regain the 20 pounds he lost before Week 1.
Going deeper: Burrow is currently the QB10 in our draft trends. While he has a trio of receiving playmakers to throw to in Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, I prefer to target Russell Wilson (QB11), Matthew Stafford (QB12), Trey Lance (QB14) or Derek Carr (QB15) later in fantasy drafts.
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The news: Jaylen Warren has replaced Benny Snell as the Steelers' No. 2 running back
What it means in fantasy: Since training camp began, the Warren hype train has picked up a lot of speed and his performance in the Steelers' preseason opener caused it to gain even more momentum. Warren is the RB85 in our draft trends. Considering how heavily the Steelers relied on Najee Harris during his rookie season, you might want to stash Warren on your roster with one of your final picks.
The news: Kadarius Toney participated in individual drills during Thursday's practice as he recovers from offseason surgery.
What it means in fantasy: Toney is considered the top receiver for the Giants by fantasy managers, and he's the WR40 while Kenny Golladay is the WR51 in our draft trends. As part of new head coach Brian Daboll's offense, Toney should be well positioned to surpass expectations. If Toney's availability improves in his second season, he should be considered as an upside flex option.
Going deeper: Toney had a 28.9% target rate when he was on the field last season. He also led Giants' receivers in yards after the catch (230).
The news: It is expected that James Robinson will be ready to play by Week 1.
What it means in fantasy: Robinson participated in contact drills on Tuesday. It is encouraging to see that he will be available early in the season. According to our draft trends, Robinson is the RB36 in the Jaguars' backfield, along with Travis Etienne, the RB23. It appears Robinson is the better fantasy value in what many expect to be a much improved offense in Jacksonville.
The news: It appears that Irv Smith Jr. will be able to play in Week 1 after undergoing thumb surgery in early August.
What it means in fantasy: Smith is also recovering from a torn meniscus, suffered last September. He won't have many targets in new head coach Kevin O'Connell's offense, but Smith is should ramp up into an early down role early in the season. He's someone you should have on your streaming radar in deeper formats.
Today on ESPN.com/Fantasy and in the ESPN Fantasy App
• Latest mock draft: 12-team 1/2 PPR
• Liz Loza on how to make autodraft strategy work for you.
Saturday: Tristan H. Cockcroft's deep sleepers
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