2022 Fantasy Soccer Draft Prep: Cam Akers’ harm highlights largest losers from Preseason Week 3

August 29, 2022

With mainly two weeks left till Week 1 of the NFL season, most accidents aren’t that massive of a priority at this level. There must be loads of time for many gamers who’re coping with nagging accidents to get wholesome for Week 1, and lacking the ultimate week of the preseason with some minor difficulty is not any massive deal.

However I am beginning to get involved about Cam Akers. Akers has been sidelined for a number of weeks with an unspecified soft-tissue harm alongside backfield mate Darrell Henderson, and whereas Rams head coach Sean McVay instructed reporters Henderson will have the ability to observe this week, he could not say the identical for Akers following Saturday’s loss to the Bengals within the preseason finale. And, whereas most experiences to date have indicated that the harm is not thought-about a severe concern, Akers nonetheless is not operating at full velocity, per McVay. 

“Darrell undoubtedly will (observe),” McVay instructed reporters. “Darrell was capable of run full velocity at this time. We had been capable of get a exercise in on the grass. Cam wasn’t ready to do this fairly but, however I am actually enthusiastic about getting Darrell again on the market for us.”

Akers made his return from a ruptured Achilles late final season however struggled to make a lot of an impression within the playoffs, dashing for 172 yards on 67 carries because the lead again via the crew’s Tremendous Bowl run. A full offseason of labor figured to get him nearer to full velocity, however questions lingered, given how powerful Achilles accidents are typically to come back again from. I had Akers ranked as a mid-range RB2 coming into the preseason, however the truth that he is coping with one other harm and is not cleared to play but means I’ve to downgrade him to exterior of the top-20. Not simply because he might not be prepared for Week 1 – I would nonetheless wager he might be, at this level – however as a result of it presents one other potential land mine he has to keep away from, by way of avoiding re-injury. 

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Akers goes off the board within the fourth spherical in most drafts, however I would not contact him till the fifth and even sixth. There’s upside right here, however there have been additionally experiences previous to the harm that he was splitting first-team reps with Henderson, so he won’t even have the three-down function we’re hoping for when wholesome. 

We’ll need to see some constructive experiences from Akers within the subsequent few weeks as preparation shifts to Week 1, however it’s important to transfer Henderson up in your ranks at this level, as nicely. He is somebody who must be drafted across the eighth or ninth spherical, as each a possible Week 1 starter if Akers’ gradual restoration continues and as a bench choice with upside past that. 

Listed here are some extra gamers whose worth took a success this weekend.

Patriots offense

There have been bizarre vibes across the Patriots offense since minicamps when Invoice Belichick refused to call an offensive coordinator following the departure of Josh McDaniels. In coaching camp, it grew to become clear Matt Patricia and Joe Choose can be answerable for the offense, and that is not a duo that conjures up a ton of confidence, personally – the truth that Patricia is each teaching the offensive line and seemingly calling performs does not assist. And seeing Mac Jones visibly annoyed whereas going 9 for 13 for 71 yards and one fairly egregiously dangerous decide in opposition to a Raiders crew resting most of their starters undoubtedly did not assist. Historical past tells us to not wager in opposition to Invoice Belichick, however the regular drumbeat out of camp is that this offense has been an issue, and we did not see a lot from them within the exhibition video games to refute that. I am frightened. 

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Readability within the Chargers backfield

Given the utilization to date in camp and the preseason, I would just about moved Joshua Kelley into the Chargers No. 2 RB spot behind Austin Ekeler. Nevertheless, Week 3 noticed Larry Rountree get the beginning and play extra snaps with the “first-team” offense (led by Chase Daniel), with Kelly serving as extra of a transparent backup. That makes figuring out who Ekeler’s backup is far trickier, and I am assuming if one thing had been to occur to Ekeler, this may in all probability be a reasonably messy scenario – rookie Isaiah Spiller additionally looms as a possible choice, although he is in all probability a transparent RB4 on the depth chart proper now. Given the dearth of readability, I believe Spiller is maybe the very best wager for a late-round flier on this offense within the hopes he can emerge as a transparent No. 2, however you is perhaps finest off avoiding this one.

Garrett Wilson

The Jets invested rather a lot in Wilson, the No. 10 decide on this 12 months’s draft, but it surely appears to be like like they are not going to pressure him into the beginning lineup simply but. Although all experiences out of camp have been fairly constructive, Wilson was just about used as a backup in Sunday’s preseason finale, solely taking part in with the starters when Corey Davis got here off the sector, per Professional Soccer Focus. Elijah Moore and Braxton Berrios are seemingly forward of him on the depth chart, and that has seemingly been a constant function of the offense to date. That does not imply you possibly can’t or should not draft Wilson in re-draft codecs, however perceive you will must be affected person within the early going. Do not panic if he does not have a lot of a Week 1 function, you are drafting him for long-term upside. 

James Cook dinner

Cook dinner obtained the beginning Friday, however that was with the second-team offense – and it was with Zack Moss inactive. Does that imply Cook dinner is the No. 3 operating again? Doubtlessly, although it is nonetheless potential that this can be a state of affairs the place Cook dinner is extra of a third-down again and Moss is the precise backup to Singletary. Both manner, speak out of camp suggests all three must be energetic for sport days, and with Singletary fairly clearly the lead again, it is going to be powerful for Cook dinner to make a lot of an impression early on. His pass-catching abilities particularly might make him stand out on this backfield, however he is one other man you in all probability must be affected person with given his doubtless early-season function. 

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Mike Gesicki

In three drives with Tagovailoa, Gesicki was truly second among the many Dolphins tight ends in snaps. He ran many of the routes, however this was a three-man rotation with Durham Smythe and Cethan Carter. Gesicki has talked this preseason about having to mainly study a brand new place, because the Dolphins are asking him to be extra of a standard tight finish after he was used nearly solely as a receiver final season, and we have seen that in video games; he has lined up as an in-line tight finish 24 occasions in comparison with 14 within the slot, per PFF, after taking part in 85% of his snaps both within the slot or out large final season. There might be rising pains right here with Gesicki, and he won’t get sufficient alternatives to be way more than a touchdown-or-bust TE. 

Noah Fant

Over the Seahawks’ first 5 drives, no tight finish ran a route on greater than 50% of the dropbacks, as Fant continues to rotate with Will Dissly and Colby Parkinson. That has been a pattern all through the preseason, and it makes it awfully powerful to draft Fant at the same time as a late-round sleeper. I nonetheless assume he has very engaging abilities for Fantasy, however the function simply does not seem like it is going to be there in what figures to be a reasonably low-volume (to not point out dangerous) passing assault. In your commonplace 12-team league with no TE premium scoring, Fant might be finest left for waivers at this level.