The preseason is already underway, and there have already been plenty of injuries and newsworthy notes than have influenced fantasy football. As draft season is nearing, players will start to fluctuate in ADP. Some of these ADP changes are not yet present, but based on recent news, these changes will/should be expected. We already addressed the risers. Here are four fantasy football fallers and how you should value them moving forward:
RB Josh Jacobs (LV)
The Hall of Fame game last week was a real eye-opener in terms of what fantasy owners can expect from Josh Jacobs this season. It was also really telling that HC Josh McDaniels kept Jacobs busy the first two possessions of the game. Jacobs finished the first quarter with 5 carries for 30 yards, as well as 2 receptions for 14 yards. His night was over after that.
McDaniels favors the RB committee approach, and it felt like Jacobs had to prove himself as the starter. Rookie Zamir White and veterans Ameer Abdullah and Kenyan Drake all had their fair share of work the rest of the game. They all looked capable of being on the field. This backfield is going to get very murky at times. Considering Jacobs was already a deadzone RB in fantasy drafts, this preseason game was not very encouraging that he can be trusted in the regular season. Jacobs is still a player worth avoiding in 2022.
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC)
CEH trending downward is not solely responsible on him. One player that has been getting all the hype during KC’s training camp is 7th-round rookie RB Isiah Pacheco. With rumors that Ronald Jones may be on the roster bubble, Pacheco is certainly making a name for himself. Pacheco has been getting work with the first-team offense, so he may earn some valuable playing time over CEH.
Maybe Pacheco is overhyped, but he could be a potential fantasy sleeper this season and would rise tremendously if Clyde were to miss any games. The splits between both RBs will be worth monitoring the rest of the preseason.
As for CEH, he is going in drafts as the RB25 (59 overall). He is going around players I would much rather prefer, such as WR Courtland Sutton, RB AJ Dillon, and WR Marquise Brown. To stay fantasy-relevant, Clyde just needs to stay healthy and make the most of his opportunities. It is his starting job to lose.
WR Diontae Johnson (PIT)
Johnson finished as a Top-10 WR in fantasy last season, notching over 1,000 yards on 107 receptions (169 targets). That was with future HOFer Ben Roethlisberger at the helm. As of now, Mitch Trubisky looks to be the leading candidate to start in 2022, which would be a downgrade for the passing offense. It is hard to imagine Trubisky sustaining Johnson’s 2021 target share and volume. This is not to mention some of the other weapons the Steelers have, such as Chase Claypool and rookie George Pickens, who has been having a fantastic training camp so far.
Johnson’s ADP has been slowly dipping since the beginning of the offseason, and there is still some uncertainty as to who the starting QB will be. He was a very reliable fantasy WR in previous years, but Johnson could be more volatile in 2022. He is not a player worth avoiding in general, but proceed with some caution.
QB Deshaun Watson (CLE)
This one is fairly self-explanatory. Deshaun Watson is already facing a six-game suspension. With the NFL’s appeal, however, Watson could potentially miss all of 2022. Watson was once a late-round dart throw in hopes he would be back mid-season and for the fantasy playoffs, but that looks bleak. Watson would exceed his late ADP if able to play, but we will just have to wait and see.
It was a tough call for fantasy managers who already had their drafts weeks ago. If you already drafted him, hold him for now. For those drafting in late-August and early-September, Watson might be worth avoiding altogether. The Browns offense obviously takes a hit without him, so you can consider WR Amari Cooper and RB Nick Chubb trending downward too. Especially Cooper, it may be too hard to trust him at his ADP with Jacoby Brissett as his QB. Overall, Watson’s verdict should come sooner rather than later, so that will decide his fate for 2022.
These fantasy football fallers are guys trending downward but could turn into potential values. Stay alert of these players leading up to your fantasy drafts. Find better players with higher upside at their ADP.