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Preseason News and Notes: Week 1

Tue Aug 13 1:47pm ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Daniel Jones has great debut


Fantasy football season is quickly approaching. We have already had our first week of preseason action. Each week we will give a recap of the preseason games, giving you a look at some of the most important fantasy notes coming from the action. So without further ado, here is our look at this past week. . . . . . 

The big news from camp this week is all the drama surround Raiders receiver Antonio Brown. He is still dealing with his nasty foot injury and is yet to return to practice. But the other news is Brown is bent out of shape over not being able to use his old helmet. He actually threatened retirement over the issue, but has since recanted after losing his appeal. Either way, you have to worry about all the craziness surrounding Brown. Is he worth a high draft pick? He could end up being a boom or bust pick for fantasy teams. 

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones had a great debut in New York, causing quite the buzz. He was a perfect 5-of-5 for 67 yards and a touchdown. Jones showed why the Giants used a first-round pick on him, hoping to have found their quarterback of the future. Sure, this was just one preseason game, but it was an encouraging performance from a pick that was really questioned on draft day. Jones could be moving closer to unseating Eli Manning as the starter. 

The Browns got great results from their first-team offense, seeing Baker Mayfield easily move the team down the field. Mayfield was 5-of-6 for 77 yards and a touchdown. He looked great and ready to take the big step forward many hope he will this season. Mayfield is getting a lot of fantasy love in early drafts and this showing could boost his stock even more. Mayfield looks ready to explode.  

It is looking more and more like a true timeshare in Denver this year. Second-year back Royce Freeman has looked very good camp and carried that over to his first preseason game, rushing three times for 49 yards. Phillip Lindsay had a breakout rookie year but don’t discount Freeman to get a lot of work this season. He is ready to take a big step forward in year two, splitting work with Lindsay at the running back spot. 

Rookie running back Devin Singletary had nine carries for 27 yards and three receptions for 21 yards in his first preseason action. The Bills are getting the rookie back a lot of early looks in the running and passing game. He has a chance to play a big role this season, especially if the veteran backs ahead of him show any signs of slowing down. It would not be a surprise to see Singletary starting at some point this season for the Bills. 

There are reports in Steelers camp that receiver James Washington is falling behind Donte Moncrief in the race for the starter’s job in Pittsburgh. Washington had a great showing in the first preseason game, though, catching four passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. We would not count Washington out to start just yet. He is the younger option of the two with more longterm potential. Keep him on your radar the rest of camp and preseason action. This is a position battle to watch for fantasy teams. 

The rookie receiver that is supposed to be the difference maker for the Seahawks this year is D.K. Metcalf. But for now, undrafted rookie Jazz Ferguson is the rookie making waves for Seattle. He had four receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown in the preseason opener. Ferguson is a huge target with plus speed. He has a chance to not only make the roster but be the most productive rookie receiver for the Seahawks if he keeps progressing. 

Another undrafted rookie receiver that is playing well is Patriots receiver Jakobi Meyers. He is actually outplaying N’Keal Harry at the moment, performing better than the first-round pick in camp and preseason action. Meyers was the top receiver for the Patriots in their first game, catching six passes for 69 yards and two touchdowns. You never know with Patriots receivers but Meyers could be playing his way into a role with the Patriots this season. Put him on your radar for a late-round pick.

Don’t forget about Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert come draft day. He might be No. 2 on the depth chart but he is going to get his chances and if Zach Ertz were to get hurt, Goedert’s fantasy value would skyrocket. He had three receptions for 50 yards in the Eagles first preseason game. Goedert just makes plays. He has value as a backup tight end for fantasy teams.  

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

Player Notes
Kenny Golladay Sep 25 12:50am ET

Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hamstring) was limited in practice for the second straight day on Thursday but is in line to make his season debut in Week 3 against the Cardinals. Golladay suffered a strained hamstring in practice on Sept. 9 and has missed the first two games of the season. Normally a pretty solid WR1 option for fantasy lineups, the Lions No. 1 wideout will carry a bit more risk with him if he makes his 2020 debut this weekend. Plus, Golladay will likely be covered by Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, which won't be an easy task by any means. You're probably starting Golladay if he's active, but it might be wise to temper expectations a bit. If he's back, it'll be bad news for Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola.

From RotoBaller

A.J. Brown Sep 25 12:40am ET

Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (knee) missed his second straight practice on Thursday. It's not a good sign for the 23-year-old after he missed the Week 2 game. Brown will need to get in at least a limited practice on Friday to have a shot at suiting up this Sunday against the Vikings. Have a backup plan in place if you own him. Corey Davis will be worth flex consideration if Brown misses another game, Adam Humphries would have some sleeper potential in DFS and deeper leagues, and tight end Jonnu Smith would have real TE1 appeal after going for four catches, 84 yards and two touchdowns without Brown in the lineup last weekend.

From RotoBaller

Laviska Shenault Jr. Sep 25 12:30am ET

Jacksonville Jaguars rookie wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. was a popular pick to have a breakout game against the Dolphins in Week 3, but it didn't happen, as he finished with just 33 receiving yards. Shenault did record five receptions, but with his usage mainly coming in the short-yardage passing, Shenault didn't have the chance to do much with the opportunities he received. Moving forward, Shenault is a low-ceiling fantasy option until we actually see him used in a way that offers a chance for him to produce more than just a handful of yards.

From RotoBaller

Chris Thompson Sep 25 12:20am ET

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Chris Thompson continued to see his role expand on Thursday night, catching five passes for 35 yards and adding three rushing yards on two carries. Thompson isn't the same receiving threat that he was in Washington, but he's becoming a larger part of things for the Jaguars. That doesn't mean you need to rush out and put him in your fantasy lineups moving forward, but it's worth keeping an eye on what Thompson does in Week 4 against the Bengals.

From RotoBaller

Keelan Cole Sep 25 12:10am ET

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole caught four passes for 43 yards in Thursday's loss to the Miami Dolphins. It was Cole's first game this year without a touchdown. Thursday showed us what Cole's floor this year likely looks like: a handful of catches with an average of around 10 yards per reception. You'll take that in deeper leagues, but he's likely just a tad too inconsistent to be a weekly start in 12-team leagues, especially when you consider this was a matchup that felt ripe for the taking for the Jaguars passing game and they responded with their worst offensive output of the season.

From RotoBaller

Chris Conley Sep 25 12:10am ET

With D.J. Chark Jr. (chest/back) out, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Chris Conley was a popular pick to see an expanded role on Thursday night. And he did, as he led the team in targets with eight. The problem? Drops and some poor positioning led to Conley catching just three of those passes for 34 yards. This was his chance to impress and show he deserved a larger role, and it just didn't happen. Conley's on the fringes of rosterability in season-long leagues at this point, with his value fully dependent on Chark missing more time.

From RotoBaller

James Robinson Sep 25 12:00am ET

Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson was the only consistent source of production in Thursday's loss to the Miami Dolphins. The undrafted rookie ran the ball 11 times, finishing with 46 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also led the team in receptions, catching six of them for 83 yards. Robinson might be the only player who can be a weekly starter on this offense right now and should be considered a fantasy RB2 going forward. Even when the Jaguars offense looks like a train wreck, Robinson manages to get his numbers.

From RotoBaller

Gardner Minshew II Sep 24 11:50pm ET

The Jacksonville Jaguars weren't supposed to be blown out by the Miami Dolphins on Thursday, but they were, as the Dolphins took the 31-13 victory. Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II struggled all night, going 30-for-42 for 275 yards with no touchdowns while throwing an interception and narrowly avoiding throwing a second. He also added 22 yards on the ground. Minshew was a huge disappointment to fantasy managers, and now we have reason to doubt the mustached passer, who we thought was on his way to being a consistent fantasy QB2.

From RotoBaller

Lamar Jackson Sep 24 11:30pm ET

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has his most formidable challenge of the 2020 season thus far against the Chiefs on Monday night. The third-year signal-caller has played relatively well against Kansas City throughout his career (two games), throwing for 414 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 22 carries for 113 yards and an additional score. While his previous performances against the squad doesn't guarantee a similar output, it is reasonable to assume that fantasy managers may see the same type of production once again. In case there was any doubt, keep him starting in all formats.

From RotoBaller

Drew Sample Sep 24 11:20pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Drew Sample caught seven of his nine targets for 45 yards against the Browns in Week 2. Although it's unlikely that rookie quarterback Joe Burrow will throw 61 passes against the Eagles as he did against Cleveland, the sophomore will likely be in line for an uptick in production after Cincy lost C.J. Uzomah (Achilles) for the remainder of the 2020 campaign. While Sample probably can't be depended on for consistent production moving ahead, he is a suitable dart throw for those in need of a tight end in Week 3 and the remainder of the year.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Boyd Sep 24 11:10pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd has racked up 11 catches for 105 yards and a touchdown throughout his first two games of the year. With A.J. Green back in the mix after missing some time due to injury, concerns emerged as to whether or not Boyd would be able to produce a third-straight 1,000-yard season. Nonetheless, as the 25-year-old builds a familiar rapport with rookie signal-caller Joe Burrow, the door could open for an uptick in fantasy production moving head. While Green, John Ross III, and Tee Higgins will also be looking for Burrow's attention, Boyd may emerge as the undisputed No. 1 wideout for the team from a production standpoint. As far as his Week 3 outlook against the Eagles, fantasy managers should keep him starting, regardless of format.

From RotoBaller

Joshua Kelley Sep 24 11:00pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers running back Joshua Kelley continues to get work as the No. 2 running back. Kelley received 52% of the snaps out of the backfield and 23 carries compared to the 16 that starter Austin Ekeler got. Kelley has now recorded 124 rushing yards on 35 attempts and has scored one touchdown in two games. He has also chipped in with a pair of catches for 49 yards. The Chargers have a favorable matchup against a Panthers Defense that has given up the sixth most points per game this season. Kelley is a solid option at the flex position for managers in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Keenan Allen Sep 24 11:00pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen will look to build off of a strong Week 2 outing in Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers. Allen was a beneficiary of rookie quarterback Justin Herbert drawing the last minute start over Tyrod Taylor (chest) this past Sunday. Allen capitalized by hauling in seven of his 10 targets for 96 yards. The Panthers Defense is 10th in the league in allowing the fewest receiving yards per game, but that same defense has allowed 32.5 points per game this year and that would increase the odds of Allen getting a chance for his first touchdown. Allen should be considered a low-end WR2 in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Hunter Henry Sep 24 11:00pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry has been off to a hot start in 2020, but will have a tough challenge against the Panthers in Week 3. Henry has been one of the better options at a tough position and most importantly has looked healthy in two games. The Panthers have been successful in shutting down the tight end position thus far and have held Darren Waller, Jason Witten, O.J. Howard and Rob Gronkowski to just eight catches and 58 yards over the first two weeks. Henry should still be considered a TE1, but this will be his toughest test so far this season.

From RotoBaller

A.J. Green Sep 24 10:50pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green hasn't had the most spectacular 2020 campaign but will attempt to get on track against Philadelphia in Week 3. Despite being targeted 22 times by rookie signal-caller Joe Burrow throughout the first two games of the year, the veteran has hauled in only eight of them for an unimpressive 80 yards. After having not played for nearly two years due to injury, the 32-year-old may have needed a game or two to get rid of any residual rust. While many are likely apprehensive about starting him against the Eagles due to his underwhelming play thus far, he has done enough throughout his career to earn another start or two before fantasy managers decide whether or not to pull the plug. For now, keep him starting.

From RotoBaller

Austin Ekeler Sep 24 10:50pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler will look to continue his strong season with a matchup against the Panthers in Week 3. Ekeler has been sharing work with rookie Joshua Kelley and received 56% of the snaps in Week 2. Kelley also got a big chunk at 52% last Sunday. The backfield has worked out well so far for fantasy managers and Ekeler should be considered a low-end RB1 against a defense that is allowing 127.5 yards per game and 32.5 points. Ekeler has rushed for 177 yards on the season with five receptions for 58 yards.

From RotoBaller

Joe Mixon Sep 24 10:40pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon will look to get things going against Philadelphia on Sunday. The 24-year-old has been a colossal disappointment through the first two games of the year, racking up an underwhelming 115 yards off of 35 attempts for a miserable 3.3 YPC. He has also hauled in just five catches for 42 yards. The former Sooner isn't a stranger to slow starts, especially since he didn't score on the ground until Week 11 of the 2019 campaign. Although Mixon hasn't done much to earn the trust of fantasy managers, there aren't many options with an upside as high as his. Keep him starting in all formats against the Eagles in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Joe Burrow Sep 24 10:20pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow will look to keep things on track in Week 3 against the Eagles. The rookie has had an impressive inaugural season, throwing for 509 yards, three touchdowns, and only one interception throughout his first two games. He has also racked up 65 yards and an additional score on 15 attempts on the ground. The 23-year-old has displayed maturity and game-management skills well beyond his years. Although he may have a few rough performances over the team's next 14 games, fantasy managers, especially in deep, Superflex leagues, shouldn't hesitate to roll with Burrow against Philadelphia on Sunday as the upside is certainly there.

From RotoBaller

Cleveland Browns Sep 24 9:40pm ET

The Cleveland Browns Defense is a solid fantasy option for their Week 3 matchup against the Washington Football Team. Washington's offense has not been very potent through two weeks, scoring 42 total points and while allowing seven sacks and committing two turnovers. Cleveland is installed as a seven-point home favorite in a game that could be rather low-scoring. Fire up the Browns defense as a top-10 fantasy option for Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Leon Jacobs Sep 24 9:03pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars LB Leon Jacobs (knee) suffered a knee injury during the Week 3 game and has been ruled out.

From TheHuddle