Fantasy football daily notes – Geno Smith, Albert Okwuegbunam trending up


Read ESPN’s fantasy football daily notes every weekday to stay caught up on the news you need to know and get a head start on the fantasy football content coming today and tomorrow to ESPN.com and the ESPN Fantasy App.

The news: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Geno Smith would start the first preseason game.

What it means in fantasy: This looks like this is Smith’s job to lose and let’s be candid that’s not a bad thing for fantasy managers looking to draft DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. In Smith’s three starts in 2021, Metcalf caught 14 passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns. In four games with Smith, Lockett had 21 receptions for 246 yards. Metcalf and Lockett are currently undervalued in drafts as WR18 and WR31.


The news: Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett mentioned that Albert Okwuegbunam is doing everything for the offense

What it means in fantasy: There are two reasons why this is great news. First, Russell Wilson has another huge receiver with a wide catch radius he can turn to after Tim Patrick suffered a season-ending knee injury. Second, this is a sign that Okwuegbunam is pulling ahead of rookie Greg Dulcich. Okwuegbunam’s currently the TE22 in our draft trends. Don’t overlook him in deep or tight end premium fantasy formats.

Going deeper: The Broncos didn’t prioritize targeting tight ends vertically downfield last season under the previous coaching regime, but Okwuegbunam’s ability to create yards stood out, with 245 of his 330 receiving yards coming after the catch last season.


The news: Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead are listed as co-starters on Houston’s first unofficial depth chart

What it means in fantasy: When it comes to depth charts, it is best to take them with a grain of salt. Dameon Pierce is still the boost the Texans running game needs, and he should see a lot of action during the preseason. It is best to play the long game with him in fantasy leagues. A dismal Texans running game could be revitalized by Pierce, who has the makings of a league winner.

Going deeper: The Texans running game can’t get any worse. Houston finished last season with 1,422 rushing yards on 3.4 yards per carry, the worst in the league.


The news: Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury wants Rondale Moore to be used more widely across the offense.

What it means in fantasy: Following a discussion with the coaching staff about his lack of usage last season, Moore is expected to see plenty of targets early on with DeAndre Hopkins suspended for six games. His skill set is strikingly similar to Deebo Samuel’s, which is why he could be a great asset to the Cardinals if deployed in a similar manner. According to our draft trends, Moore is the WR68 and worth a shot in the double-digit rounds.


The news: Carson Wentz has had ups and downs during Commander’s training camp

What it means in fantasy: It has become a daily occurrence for reporters at Commander’s camp to criticize Wentz’s inaccuracy, but coach Ron Rivera said over the weekend that he is not “overly concerned” about it.

Going deeper: The same approach should be taken by fantasy managers, but I’m sure Terry McLaurin is weighing on your mind since he’s catching passes from Wentz. McLaurin received a career-defining payday this offseason, and his role in the Commander’s passing game will be critical.


Today on ESPN.com and in the ESPN Fantasy App

• Fantasy Focus podcast, 11 AM ET: Double Trouble with the Broncos and Chargers.

Coming Thursday:

• DJ Gallo reveals his list of best new and classic fantasy football team names

• Fantasy Focus podcast: Double Trouble with the Seahawks and Rams.

In case you missed it:

Matt Bowen identifies players who have the skills but just need an opportunity to become fantasy stars.

• Fantasy Focus podcast: Double Trouble with the Chiefs and Raiders.

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