Fantasy football daily notes: Rhamondre Stevenson, Melvin Gordon updates

Second-year Patriots running back Rhamondre Stevenson is working his way up the depth chart onto sleeper lists this preseason. Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire

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: Rhamondre Stevenson was given reps as the Patriots' third-down back during practice on Monday. It appears that his offseason focus on improving his catching ability, running routes, blitz pickup, and pass protection has paid off.

What it means in fantasy: It would significantly raise Stevenson's floor and ceiling for fantasy purposes if he could absorb a large percentage of the retired James White's vacated touches. While rookie Pierre Strong has been struggling in pass protection, many expected Ty Montgomery to receive those touches. That does not seem to be the case. Stevenson is the RB33 in our live draft trends.

Going deeper: White averaged 5.4 targets per game in his Patriots career.

The news: Melvin Gordon III returned to practice Monday

What it means in fantasy: Gordon's foot injury was never considered serious and he missed just a couple days of practice before the Broncos' preseason opener. Denver's coaching staff has publicly stated that the backfield will remain a committee. Gordon and Javonte Williams split the touches in the backfield evenly last season and history could repeat itself in 2022. Gordon remains an underrated flex option in fantasy leagues.

The news: Jaylen Warren, an undrafted rookie running back, worked with the Steelers' first-team offense on Monday.

What it means in fantasy: In addition to a strong preseason debut, Warren had a great training camp and is expected to be the backup for Najee Harris this season. It looks like he'll make the team and is worth a look in dynasty leagues.

Going deeper: Harris averaged 22.4 touches per game last season. Warren could inherit a portion of this workload if Harris missed time.

The news: Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson Jr. have been sidelined because of "soft tissue" injuries

What it means in fantasy: Rams head coach Sean McVay doesn't seem overly concerned about their respective injuries, but fantasy managers feel differently. Don't panic, there is still time until the regular season begins. Akers (RB16) and Henderson (RB48) should still be drafted at their average draft positions.

The news: Adam Schefter mentioned during the ESPN Fantasy Football Marathon that Alvin Kamara's regular season availability is unlikely to be affected by his felony battery case

What it means in fantasy: Several hearings for Kamara have already been postponed by his lawyers. According to our draft trends, he is the RB8 in 2022, with his availability trending in the right direction. For fantasy managers Kamara has been a nice value in drafts considering his statistical body of work.

Going deeper: Kamara has averaged 17.6 touches per game in his career. This trend is likely to continue in 2022.

The news: Darren Waller talked candidly on the "Bussin' With The Boys" podcast about the team's handling of red zone offense under Gruden in recent seasons, and said he believes that the Raiders could use him more in the red zone this season.

What it means in fantasy: The Raiders were never better than 22nd in the league in red zone touchdown efficiency during Jon Gruden's second tenure with the team. Fantasy managers should salivate at the prospect of Waller being used similarly to how new coach Josh McDaniel used tight end Rob Gronkowski during his time in New England.

Today on ESPN.com/Fantasy and in the ESPN Fantasy App

• Eric Moody's favorite late-round targets

• NFL Nation reporters' collected fantasy football insights

• Fantasy Focus podcast: Draft Strategy Part 2 (11 a.m. ET)

• Fantasy Football Marathon Mock Draft Special (7 p.m. ET on ESPN)


• Matt Bowen and Tristan H. Cockcroft name their All-2025 fantasy football team

• Fantasy Focus podcast, live at 11 a.m. ET

In case you missed it:

Mike Clay's Ultimate Draft Board: Perfect picks for every round

Eric Karabell's Weekend Wrap: insights on the NFL preseason

• Fantasy Focus podcast: Draft Strategy Part 1