Do you smell that?
That’s the smell of football season in the morning.
If you’re like us, you pretty much eat, sleep and breathe fantasy football year-round. If you’re not like us and you only start preparing for your season in August-that’s OK! We’re here to help you navigate all the team changes after the rookie drafts, trades, and cuts. Chances are you’ve already had your draft, but if not we have a few players to keep your eye on for later in the season or take a flyer on in deeper leagues. All players featured are under 50% owned in Yahoo leagues. We will likely see some of these names again throughout the season as injuries mount and rookies find their footing.
Jameis Winston (44% owned)
It feels like Winston has been a waiver wire target since I started playing fantasy football. He’s coming off an ACL injury that sidelines him for much of 2021 but looks to be ready to pick up where he left off. With the addition of Jarvis Landry and rookie, Chis Olave Winston will have plenty of weapons alongside Kamara (doesn’t look like there’s a suspension coming this year) and Michael Thomas when he’s healthy.
Kenny Pickett (7% owned)
No one probably wants Kenny Pickett to succeed here more than I do. Being a Steelers fan there has been security at quarterback for years that other teams did not have. Ben is gone, and now we look to the future. Mitch Trubisky likely wins the starting job, but few feel it’s a job he will hold all season. Both have performed well this preseason, and Trubisky being a decent starter allows the team to give Pickett time to get comfortable and learn the offense. The offensive line is a mess so I don’t expect them to throw Pickett out there until necessary, but his time will come.
Jared Goff (23% owned)
Unless you are in a Superflex or really deep league Goff probably isn’t on your radar. Injuries and bye weeks happen though, and Goff has Swift and Hockenson back and healthy along with his favorite target Amon Ra St Brown. Jameson Williams isn’t ready to go yet but will be another solid weapon for a team that is on the rise.
Mike Davis (18%) Kenyan Drake (10%)
When I started writing this article Drake had not yet signed with the Ravens, so this situation has become more complicated. The Ravens are dealing with injuries to their top two running backs JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards. Dobbins looks to be eased back into action and Edwards will miss Weeks 1-4. Davis could come in handy if you are in a deeper league needing help at running back, but the signing of Drake muddies the waters even further.
Ameer Abdullah (7% owned)
Few things are as unsexy as the Raiders’ running back room. The Raiders released Kenyan Drake and signed Abdullah who looks to be the primary passing rusher unless he loses out to Brandon Bolden. He would be most valuable in PPR leagues.
Isiah Pacheco (31% owned)
Another running back I had on the list before the backfield got more confusing is Pacheco. We thought the Chiefs would release Ronald Jones but he seems to have earned a roster spot in the final hours of training camp. The hype has died down quite a bit around Pacheco, but a late flyer on a high-powered offense isn’t the worst pick you could make in your drafts.
Tyler Allgeier (29% owned)
Allgeier is my favorite running back on this list because he doesn’t face nearly the competition that other players do and he was given a good amount of goal-line work in training camp. With news that Cordarrelle Patterson has been lining up at wide receiver for portions of camp and a new quarterback and rookie quarterback looking to win the starting job in Atlanta, Allgeier could earn a lot of early playing time if he gels with the QBs.
Jalen Tolbert (23% owned)
Considering the awful state of the Dallas Cowboys offensive line and depleted wide receiver corp, Tolbert could become a favorite target for Dak Prescott early this season. Amari Cooper is gone and even though Jerry Jones says Michael Gallup would play if this were the Super Bowl, this isn’t the Super Bowl, and Gallup isn’t ready. Look for the targets that don’t go to Pollard, Schultz, or Lamb to fly Tolbert’s way.
Wan’dale Robinson (9% owned)
The Giants are dealing with several injuries in their wide receiver corp and the fact that Kenny Golladay is still on the roster. Kadarius Toney is nursing a leg injury, and Sterling Shepard suffered an Achilles injury last season, leaving rookie Robinson in a prime position to become a favorite target of quarterback Daniel Jones. Jones is on a short leash himself, so he will likely be looking to secure a wideout he can trust on each drive.
Jahan Dotson (20%)
The Washington Commanders have a new quarterback at the helm with Carson Wentz which is less than exciting, and he’s going to have to get rid of the ball quick. Wentz may still surprise us this season and Dotson will likely be his #2 target behind Terry McLaurin. The Commanders likely will not be competing for a playoff spot but don’t let a bad team scare you off this talent at wideout.
Skyy Moore (42%)
I was surprised that Moore is still listed with less than 50% in Yahoo leagues, and that likely will not last long. Tyreek Hill is gone and the Chiefs added to the wideout room with JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes Scantling. Smith-Schuster looked to be Mahomes’ favorite target in training camp outside of Travis Kelce and Moore will likely not have huge games early in the season, but any player on this offense has the chance to be a real difference maker.
Gerald Everett (23% owned)
Everett joins the Chargers and their high-powered offense and looks to be slotted as their TE1. This has been touted as finally being Everett’s breakout year and is worth grabbing late in drafts if you decide to wait on Tight End.
Cameron Brate (9% owned)
Gronk has retired, again, leaving a hole at tight end for Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers signed Kyle Rudolph in the off-season but Brate will likely feature as the top wideout in an offense that will probably see Tom Brady play his final season. Maybe. Brate can be picked up in most redraft leagues for free.
Heather is from a tiny town in southeast Texas and is a lifelong Cowboys and Steelers fan. When she’s not obsessing over fantasy football she enjoys fishing, food, and is probably watching The Office with her dog right now instead of working.