The 2022 NFL regular season is fast approaching and we have plenty of fantasy football news, injuries, and rumors that may impact your leagues. Tom Brady has finally returned to Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice from The Bahamas, but he could still be a risk in fantasy football drafts. Plus, the Bucs got back a couple of key players from the NFL injury report yesterday. We also had the Carolina Panthers officially name Baker Mayfield as their starting QB for Week 1 as his fantasy football ADP and NFL pre-season projections should rise a bit now. Then there's a possible fantasy football sleeper to keep an eye on in Green Bay. Be sure to check out fantasy football player rankings before you participate in your own drafts. Let's get to all of the latest 2022 NFL Training Camp news, NFL injury notes, and more NFL Preseason nuggets from Monday. 


Tom Brady Returns to Buccaneers Practice From The Bahamas

After being away from Tampa Bay Buccaneers camp for the past week-plus, Tom Brady finally returned to practice on Monday. Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson reports that Brady was vacationing at an exclusive Bahamas resort with his family. At least it’s not an injury, retirement, or any other medical issue for the Bucs QB. Still, taking a vacation in the middle of training camp is definitely odd timing. We were originally told by Tampa Bay head coach Todd Bowles that Brady would be absent from practice due to “personal things,” a vague description which led to plenty of speculation. If you’ve drafted Brady already, it’s definitely a good sign to see him back at practice and in full health. Still, our own Justin Fensterman laid out why Brady is a risky pick in fantasy football drafts right now. 

Baker Mayfield Officially Named Panthers Week 1 Starter

We were told last week by reports that this would be the case. Now, the Panthers made it official themselves on Monday. It’ll be Baker Mayfield as Carolina’s starting quarterback for a Week 1 matchup against the Cleveland Browns. This is something we all expected when the team traded for him this summer, but now we know for sure that it’s Mayfield over Sam Darnold to begin the season. For fantasy purposes, Mayfield is a slight upgrade over Darnold if you roster any Panthers pass-catchers. 

Mike Evans & Chris Godwin Back at Buccaneers Practice

While Tom Brady stole all the headlines Monday, a couple of other key Tampa Bay offensive players also returned to practice. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were both back for Tampa Bay after being out the past few weeks. Evans suffered a hamstring injury earlier in August but it was never considered that serious. His return to practice makes him likely to play in Week 1, barring any setbacks of course. As for Godwin, this is pretty significant since the wideout is coming off an ACL tear late last season and is apparently back a bit sooner than expected. He may not be active for Week 1, but he's still a bargain at his current fantasy football ADP if he's playing the large majority of the season now.

Split Backfield in Green Bay?

If you’ve drafted Aaron Jones in fantasy, a Packers split backfield is the last thing you want to hear. If you’re on the AJ Dillon wagon, then this is just another positive sign that he could be one of the better fantasy football sleepers at the RB position. Well, according to head coach Matt LaFleur, Jones and Dillon will be “1A and 1A” options in the Green Bay backfield this season. LaFleur also called them “two of the premier backs in the league.” We have heard rumblings about the Packers splitting work between Jones and Dillon, especially in the passing game, but this is coming right from the horse's mouth. With Dillon being the bigger back, we could see him outperform Jones in fantasy this year with more goal-line and redzone touches.


Will the Raiders Release RB Kenyan Drake?

According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the Las Vegas Raiders plan to release running back Kenyan Drake. This is an interesting development and could have fantasy ramifications in multiple ways. First off, this means one less guy vying for touches in the Raiders’ RB room and should mean more passing-down work for either Ameer Abdullah or Brandon Bolden. If you’re looking for a late-round PPR running back, Abdullah could end up in that James White role we’ve seen in the past with Josh McDaniels’ offenses. Plus, this appears to be another vote of confidence in rookie Zamir White as he pushes Josh Jacobs for both rushing and receiving production in the Las Vegas backfield. As for Drake, we’ll see if he does indeed get released or if the Raiders work a trade soon. Either way, the dynamic RB could be a nice asset for both fantasy and real-life depending on which team he ends up on.  

Raiders Trade QB Nick Mullens to Vikings

Can I interest you in an NFL trade featuring a backup quarterback? No, we’re not talking about Jimmy Garoppolo. Instead, we have the Las Vegas Raiders trading away QB Nick Mullens to the Minnesota Vikings for a conditional seventh-round pick. This move has little-to-no fantasy football relevance for most managers in normal-sized redraft leagues. In 2QB or SuperFlex formats, though, Mullens might actually emerge as Kirk Cousins’ main backup in Minnesota now – which puts him one injury or positive COVID test away from becoming the Vikings’ starter. Plus, if you roster Kellen Mond in dynasty leagues, this trade doesn’t exactly bode well for his long-term success. The Vikings clearly wanted a better backup QB option behind Cousins, and it appears Mullens is safer than Mond. 

Commanders TE Logan Thomas Activated From PUP List

With the regular season just two weeks away, the Washington Commanders have activated tight end Logan Thomas off of the PUP list. This is great news for those that have taken a shot on Thomas in drafts in hopes that he doesn’t miss much time. Thomas tore his ACL and MCL last December following a horrible knee injury. He’s still unlikely to suit up in Week 1, but the Washington TE might not miss as many games as originally thought. Our own Andrew Cooper has noted how much Wentz likes to target his tight ends, which could make Thomas a sneaky fantasy football flier for those willing to wait it out. 

Giants DE Kayvon Thibodeaux Out 3-4 Weeks

All things considered, this is pretty good news for New York Giants fans and those of us in IDP fantasy football leagues. When rookie defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux went down in the Giants’ preseason game on Sunday following a low chop block, an ACL tear or significant knee injury looked very possible. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that it’s just a sprained MCL and now a 3-4 week absence for Thibodeaux after his MRI on Monday. Schefter also notes that the ACL and meniscus were intact and the Giants are hopeful their top-5 pick can be out there for Week 1. 

Other NFL News:

  • Jameis Winston returned to New Orleans Saints practice after missing the last couple of weeks with a foot injury. 
  • Minnesota Vikings released wide receiver Albert Wilson after signing him to a one-year deal in May. We’ll see if another team picks him up before the season. 
  • Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman returned to practice after dealing with a groin injury. He had been sidelined since last Wednesday and missed the Chiefs’ preseason game over the weekend. 

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