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NFL Playoffs League - FFL: Week 1 | NFL: Week 3

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
Davante Adams Sep 25 2:50pm ET

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams (hamstring) hasn't been able to practice this week as he's been dealing with a hamstring injury that he suffered in Week 2. On Friday, head coach Matt LaFleur said that the team would give Adams "the rest of the week" to get back up to speed, but also added that Adams was "probably doubtful" for Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints. Fantasy owners should prepare to be without Adams this week. If Adams indeed misses the game, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard would be the biggest beneficiaries.

From RotoBaller

George Kittle Sep 25 2:00pm ET

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (knee) has been ruled out for Week 3 against the New York Giants. He will miss his second-straight game while he continues to deal with a sprained left knee. Kittle had been practicing on a limited basis the past few days, but the team is proceeding with caution for the star tight end. Jordan Reed, who caught two touchdowns in Week 2, stands to benefit most from Kittle being sidelined. However, keep in mind that Reed will be catching passes from backup quarterback Nick Mullens in the game, as the team's starter Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) has also been ruled out. Kittle seems to have a decent chance to make his return in Week 4 as long as he doesn't have any setbacks.

From RotoBaller

Jimmy Garoppolo Sep 25 2:00pm ET

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) will be sitting out this week's game against the New York Giants. Garoppolo suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 2 against the New York Jets. He sat out the second half of the game while backup quarterback Nick Mullens took over. Mullens will be getting the start in Week 3, which will make things a bit tougher on all San Francisco pass-catchers. Mullens shouldn't be considered a target for fantasy. Jerick McKinnon and Jordan Reed are the two most attractive offensive players in San Francisco this week, while Jeff Wilson Jr. and Kendrick Bourne are potential desperation plays.

From RotoBaller

Indianapolis Colts Sep 25 1:50pm ET

The Indianapolis Colts Defense had a great Week 2, allowing just 11 points and grabbing three interceptions. They will look to carry this momentum into Week 3 against the Jets. The Jets are averaging just 15 points per game over the first two weeks, their offensive line is bad and their best offensive weapons are injured. The Colts are also at home, where they played very well last week. They are without safety Malik Hooker for the rest of the year, so it will be a challenge to fill that void on the back end of the defense. With that being said, the Jets are so bad that we should expect the Colts to have a good defensive performance this week. They are the most expensive defense this week at a DFS price of $4,100.

From RotoBaller

Nyheim Hines Sep 25 1:40pm ET

Indianapolis Colts running back Nyheim Hines had a bad Week 2, seeing just nine snaps and catching one ball for four yards. Part of Hines' lack of snaps last week were due to Indianapolis getting ahead early and running the ball with rookieJonathan Taylor. Taylor's emergence means even less rushing attempts for Hines, which means he only carries value in the passing game. Playing a bad Jets team likely means he won't see a lot of snaps again, other than some third downs here and there. Hines may have some flex value in deeper PPR leagues if he can see some red-zone time on third downs, but he is probably best suited on the bench this week.

From RotoBaller

DeAndre Hopkins Sep 25 1:10pm ET

The Houston Texans have no interest in signing free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown. Houston traded All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins to the Cardinals in the offseason and have gotten off to an 0-2 start against tough competition. They have a full receiver room, though, with Brandin Cooks, Will Fuller V, Randall Cobb, Kenny Stills, DeAndre Carter and Keke Coutee on the roster. Brown has plenty of talent, but he's become a headache because of off-the-field issues, and the NFL suspended him eight games for the 2020 season. Some teams have interest in the former Steeler for later this season, including the Seahawks, but it appears the Texans won't be one of them. Brown might be worth stashing in deeper leagues for the end of the year, but ultimately his fantasy value will depend on where he lands.

From RotoBaller

Jamison Crowder Sep 25 12:50pm ET

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase said that wide receivers Jamison Crowder (hamstring) and Breshad Perriman (ankle) have been ruled out for Week 3 against the Colts. It'll be Crowder's second straight missed game. The Jets offense is an absolute disaster right now, as running back Le'Veon Bell is also out for multiple weeks. Chris Hogan and Braxton Berrios will be quarterback Sam Darnold's top targets this Sunday, making Indy's defense an excellent streaming option. You'd have to be really desperate to consider Hogan or Berrios in a flex spot in the deepest of leagues. Tight end Chris Herndon had a quiet Week 2, but he has some sleeper appeal with all of New York's pass-catchers injured.

From RotoBaller

Jonathan Taylor Sep 25 12:40pm ET

Indianapolis Colts rookie running back Jonathan Taylor will make his second consecutive start against the Jets in Week 3. Taylor had a whopping 26 carries in Week 2 and was able to rush for over 100 yards. The Jets Defense has given up an average of 140 rushing yards per game over the first two weeks, so Taylor will look to build on last week's performance. Taylor's 3.9 yards per carry last week was a bit lackluster, but his heavy workload gives him a great opportunity to put up a respectable amount of fantasy points. He has also shown that he can be an option in the passing game, so he adds some value there. He has a DFS price of $7,000 and should definitely be considered a great starting option this week.

From RotoBaller

T Y Hilton Sep 25 12:40pm ET

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton has not had a great start to the season, catching just seven passes for 81 yards thus far. He has a good matchup this week against the Jets, but it seems as if the Colts are going to be a run-first team after having success last week. With just seven catches over his first two games, Hilton is clearly still trying to build a relationship with quarterback Philip Rivers. He will have a good opportunity to see targets, considering the Colts are banged up at tight end and wide receiver. This will be as good a week as any for Hilton to get his season going. At a DFS price of $5,600, Hilton could potentially be a sneaky good flex option this week.

From RotoBaller

Mo Alie-Cox Sep 25 12:40pm ET

Indianapolis Colts tight end Mo Alie-Cox got the start in Week 2 and took advantage of it, catching five passes for 111 yards. It was his first fantasy relevant game of his career, so it is difficult to expect him to have another strong performance in back-to-back weeks. QuarterbackPhilip Rivers has a good history with tight ends, so it is understandable that Rivers liked Alie-Cox's massive frame. There is a lot of uncertainty for Alie-Cox's snap count this week due to Jack Doyle's status being undetermined at this point. Fantasy owners are probably thinking that Alie-Cox has a chance to have another good performance against a bad Jets team, but there is more bust potential than boom potential.

From RotoBaller

Alshon Jeffery Sep 25 12:40pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said that wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (foot) has been ruled out for Week 3 against the Bengals. Jeffery has yet to play this season but is trending upwards and has a chance to make his 2020 debut within the next few weeks, barring some sort of setback. The Eagles need him back, too, as they put rookie first-round receiver Jalen Reagor (thumb) on Injured Reserve this week. DeSean Jackson, Greg Ward Jr. and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside should operate in three-receiver sets moving forward, with D-Jax being the only real fantasy option in standard-sized leagues as more of a boom/bust WR3/flex for fantasy managers. Philly should continue to target tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert heavily as well.

From RotoBaller

Philip Rivers Sep 25 12:30pm ET

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers is set to face off against the New York Jets this Sunday. The Jets Defense had a miserable Week 1 against the pass when Bills quarterbackJosh Allen shredded their secondary. They had a better Week 2 against the pass, specifically because the 49ers got up early and ran the ball. It is reasonable to expect the same type of performance from the Colts offense this week after they had success running the ball in Week 2. A run-dominant offense makes Rivers a bad play for Week 3 against the Jets. Rivers also has not had a great start to the season, with just two passing touchdowns to three interceptions and an average passer rating of 92.3. Rivers has a DFS price of $6,000, but there are better options out there for relatively the same price.

From RotoBaller

Jordan Akins Sep 25 11:50am ET

Houston Texans tight end Jordan Akins has clearly taken the reins as the No. 1 tight end for the Texans, playing over 80 percent of offensive snaps in Week 1 and Week 2 this year. Last week against Baltimore, Akins was targeted seven times, catching all of them for 55 yards. This week's matchup with the Steelers is a tough one and we're not quite sold on Akins having the same level of usage in Week 3 that he did in Week 2, but he's trending in the right direction and is an upside streaming play for fantasy managers who find themselves with a need at tight end.

From RotoBaller

Brandin Cooks Sep 25 11:40am ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Brandin Cooks (quad) showed some encouraging signs in Week 2, being targeted eight times and finishing with five receptions for 95 yards. Cooks was eighth in the league in air yards last week. If Cooks is trending towards being quarterback Deshaun Watson's top deep option, he'll always have boom potential, but this receiving corps is just too messy and this Steelers Defense is just too good for us to consider him as anything more than a risky WR3/4 play with some upside on Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Raheem Mostert Sep 25 11:40am ET

San Francisco 49ers running backs Raheem Mostert (knee) and Tevin Coleman (knee) have both officially been ruled out for Sunday's game against the New York Giants. Both players sustained knee injuries in the team's Week 2 win over the New York Jets. The team has said that they expect to be without Coleman for about four weeks, whereas Mostert, who is dealing with an MCL injury, could be back sooner. Mostert should be held in all fantasy leagues while Coleman should be dropped anywhere he's owned. In the short term, Jerick McKinnon stands to benefit most and is a solid RB2 in Week 3, especially in PPR leagues. Jeff Wilson Jr. is also a potential flex option and rookie JaMycal Hasty will likely get some opportunities as well.

From RotoBaller

Randall Cobb Sep 25 11:40am ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Randall Cobb was expected to be a key part of the underneath game for the Texans in 2020, but so far has been an afterthought. After a five-catch, 59-yard Week 2, a few things have become clear. First, Cobb has just enough usage to make him a viable flex option in a 14-team league. Second, Cobb has a low enough floor to make playing him in a deep league still a risky proposition. Maybe his role will grow as the season rolls along, but for now you can consider him a fringe option in full PPR and not worth a play in standard scoring due to his reliance on short receptions.

From RotoBaller

Will Fuller Sep 25 11:30am ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller V was the team's leading receiver in Week 1, then wasn't targeted in Week 2. So, what do we make of this heading into Sunday's Week 3 contest against the Steelers? It should be noted that Fuller dealt with hamstring issues during that Week 2 game against Baltimore and that he seems to be good to go in Week 3. Still, no targets? It's really hard to trust Fuller against a good Steelers secondary, setting him up to be a high-ceiling, zero-floor WR3 option this week. Fuller could break off a 70-yard touchdown, or he could have no receptions for a second week in a row.

From RotoBaller

Nick Mullens Sep 25 11:30am ET

The San Francisco 49ers have officially named quarterback Nick Mullens their starter in Week 3 against the New York Giants. Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) will be sidelined for the game as he continues to nurse a high ankle sprain. Mullens isn't someone worth starting in fantasy in Week 3. The 49ers will likely be very conservative on offense, calling a lot of running plays and dump-offs. Mullens played the second half of the team's game in Week 2 against the New York Jets and completed eight of 11 passes for 71 yards and an interception. He was also sacked twice. All 49ers pass-catchers suffer with Mullens under center, though none of them other than George Kittle (knee) if he suits up, figured to be solid starting options this week regardless.

From RotoBaller

Deshaun Watson Sep 25 11:20am ET

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has had some tough matchups to open the 2020 NFL season and that continues on Sunday as he faces the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh's defense is a talented group that should be able to pressure Watson and force early throws into a strong secondary, limiting his ceiling. Still, Deshaun Watson is Deshaun Watson, a multi-pronged threat who can bide time with his feet and search for mismatches in the deep passing game, so you're definitely playing him in any season-long league where you have him rostered. He's just risky enough to avoid in most of your DFS contests, though.

From RotoBaller

David Johnson Sep 25 11:20am ET

Houston Texans running back David Johnson is an incredibly risky play in Week 3 against a Steelers Defense that's allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. Johnson will look to do better than Giants back Saquon Barkley, who had just six rushing yards against Pittsburgh in Week 1. Johnson's still got a decent floor because of his projected share of the rushing attempts in this one and his usage in the passing game, but he's also got a low, low ceiling in this meeting. He's a risky RB3 option.

From RotoBaller