Fantasy Football 2022: Training Camp Roundup (8/31)


It can be hard to prep for fantasy football during training camp and the preseason. Things happen every day that might be a huge deal for fantasy … or might be no deal at all. Sometimes we can figure it out, but sometimes it’s just a matter of paying attention to what happens to know what might matter just so things don’t slip through the cracks.


So each day in this space, we’ll take a trip through the top news and takeaways around the league’s training camps to offer up what fantasy managers need to know as we head through draft season and into the 2022 NFL regular season.

Trey Sermon cut from San Francisco

Well, that was relatively surprising. Throughout the preseason, Kyle Shanahan praised Trey Sermon for his excellent play in practice, leading many to speculate that he was the frontrunner for the team’s backup running back spot. For what it’s worth, his preseason production (19 carries for 39 yards and three receptions for 14 yards) didn’t really flash any improved playmaking after an underwhelming rookie season.

Ultimately, Sermon was never able to establish a role in San Francisco’s wide-zone running scheme after the team took him in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Sermon fell behind a sixth-round pick last season (Elijah Mitchell) and ultimately couldn’t steal a role from a 2022 third-round pick (Tyrion Davis-Price) and an undrafted free agent (Jordan Mason). The 49ers still have a chance to get Sermon on the practice squad if he goes unclaimed on waivers, but at this point, it looks like his tenure in San Francisco will be a one-and-done. Sermon can have value as a downhill runner in the right system, but it’s hard to believe he will have any fantasy impact for the foreseeable future. 

Kenyan Drake Officially Signs with Baltimore

Rumors began to surface yesterday that Kenyan Drake was favored to sign with the Baltimore Ravens after he was released by the Las Vegas Raiders. Well, the veteran running back officially put the pen to paper on Wednesday. Baltimore has been committed to gradually getting J.K. Dobbins back to full speed after last season’s ACL tear and recently put Gus Edwards on the PUP list to start the season. The Ravens were poised to begin the season with Mike Davis and Justice Hill as the only healthy running backs but now have added to the room.

Drake was effective in spurts with the Raiders last season, carrying the ball 63 times for 254 yards and two touchdowns while adding 30 receptions on 40 targets for 291 yards and a receiving score. An ankle injury limited him to just 12 games. Drake is an interesting late-round target in fantasy drafts behind one of the NFL’s top offensive lines and may be the most talented healthy running back on the roster until Dobbins and Edwards get cleared to go full speed.

In leagues with deep benches (and best ball leagues), Drake is probably worth a late-round dart throw. But it’s hard to believe he has much long-term appeal as a fantasy asset once the team’s backfield is back to full strength. 

Jalen Reagor Traded to Minnesota

The football gods have a funny sense of humor. Just two seasons ago, the Eagles made the critical error of selecting Jalen Reagor over Justin Jefferson. As we all know, Jefferson has emerged as arguably the best young wide receiver in the NFL while Reagor… hasn’t. In two seasons, Reagor has just 64 receptions on 111 targets for 695 yards and three touchdowns. It’s also worth noting that he has five total drops in his career, four of which came during last season. The third-year receiver has flashed some big-play ability as a returner with the Eagles as well. Now Reagor heads from the Eagles to the Vikings, where he will try to resuscitate his career aside from the guy he’s most frequently compared to.


Reagor isn’t going to have an easy road to establishing himself with the Vikings. Minnesota has a clear three-receiver hierarchy in Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and K.J. Osborn locked in. They also have solid pass-catchers in tight end Irv Smith Jr. and Dalvin Cook. Thielen has struggled with health (which would at least give Reagor a chance to get on the field), but until an injury happens, expect the veteran receiver to function as a returner until further notice.

Sony Michel Lands with the Chargers

Miami used the cut period to pare down their backfield after making various additions in the offseason. The Dolphins added Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert and Sony Michel to their running back rotation. After the final preseason cut down, Michel was established as the odd man out. He didn’t last long in free agency, taking just one day before deciding to sign with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Ultimately, it will be interesting to see how the Chargers choose to utilize Michel in a pretty crowded backfield that has been a mystery for most of the offseason. Austin Ekeler will be the unquestioned lead back, but it is an open secret that the team wants somebody to give him breaks to keep him healthy for the entire season. Fourth-round rookie Isaiah Spiller was the favorite to take the role before an ankle injury forced him to miss most of the summer. Joshua Kelley seemingly used that time to emerge as the second back, but he has struggled to be productive at the NFL level. Now, Michel will have a chance to earn a short-yardage role and possibly some goal-line work.

Given the inconsistency from Kelley and the mystery behind Spiller, Michel seems like an excellent flier to take late in drafts in an explosive offense with a top-tier offensive line. At the very least, his role is worth monitoring, and he could be an interesting waiver-wire target if he goes undrafted. 

Alex Leatherwood Claimed by Chicago

Alex Leatherwood was arguably the most notable cut during this preseason, going from a shocking top-20 pick in the NFL draft to completely off the Las Vegas Raiders in just one season. Leatherwood struggled mightily in his rookie season with the Raiders, starting as an overmatched right tackle before moving inside and rating as a bottom-3 guard, according to PFF, in one season. The rookie offensive lineman never found his groove and was routinely power rushed back into the quarterback, which spelled his doom with a new coaching regime in town.

It didn’t take Leatherwood long to find a new home in Chicago, though. The Bears are a team that is undergoing a complete rebuild with a young offensive line. Leatherwood represents the perfect gamble for a team trying to establish a new core. Chicago has a starting offensive line set and can be patient developing Leatherwood to see if they can salvage any of his talents while the Raiders pay a majority of his rookie deal for the next three seasons (four if they pick up his fifth-year option). If Leatherwood doesn’t pan out, he can be cut at a minimal loss. It is the ideal gamble for a team that has an entirely new front office and coaching staff trying to establish their future with a young quarterback. 

Previous 2022 Fantasy Football Tiers: Quarterback Next Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: 2022 Bold Predictions for Each Team (AFC)