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Preseason News and Notes: Week 2

Tue Aug 20 5:24pm ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Murray struggled last time out


It is hard to believe, but we are already halfway through the preseason schedule. There are just two weeks left before some real football. But before that happens, there is a lot to be decided. Below is the latest look from around the league, taking a closer look at the preseason games in Week 2 and what it means to fantasy owners. 

Rookie quarterback Kyler Murray had a decent first game but had a rough showing his second time out. Murray was just 3-of-8 for 12 yards and was sacked twice. He missed on some throws and looked tentative in the pocket. It shouldn’t be a huge a surprise he had some struggles, though. He is a rookie and is playing in an offense that isn’t the best. Fantasy teams might want to temper their expectations a little with the rookie quarterback. 

Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders played in his first game of the preseason, trying to return from his torn Achilles’ tendon. Sanders looked good in his return, showing off the speed from past years. He ran once for 19 yards and caught a pass for five yards. Sanders is making a strong recovery and should be ready for Week 1.

Patriots rookie running back Damien Harris got a big workload in the second preseason game and did well with his chances. He had 14 carries for 80 yards and caught four passes for 23 yards. Harris could be playing his way into a role with the Patriots for the coming year. There could be a logjam at running back for the Patriots this year with several quality options on the team. 

Former rugby star Christian Wade continues to make plays with his chances. He ran twice for just four yards but had a reception for 48 yards. It seemed like he might be a long shot to make the roster at first but Wade is playing well. He could crack the roster to start the year and eventually carve out a speciality niche with the team. 

Cowboys rookie running back Tony Pollard is alleviating some of the worries about Ezekiel Elliott holding out. Pollard had a great game his last time out, rushing five times for 42 yards and a touchdown. He also caught a pass for nine yards. He is proving capable in a starting role, which could make it harder for the Cowboys to cave in to Elliott’s demands. We’ll see.

Patriots rookie receiver Jakobi Meyers continues to make his presence known. He led the Patriots in receiving again, catching six passes for 82 yards. He is outplaying first-round pick N’Keal Harry despite not even being drafted. Meyers is making a strong case to not only make the roster but earn playing time for a shallow receiving corps. 

All the talk in Steelers camp is Donte Moncrief currently is the starter opposite JuJu Smith-Schuster. James Washington is making a push, though, especially after his last preseason game. Washington had four receptions for 78 yards. Don’t discount Washington for the starter’s job just yet. He still has a legit shot to earn it before the preseason is over. 

The Bills signed receiver Cole Beasley this offseason to take over a slot receiver role with the team. He seems to have quickly become a favorite target of Josh Allen. Beasley had five receptions for 44 yards their last preseason game. Beasley could really rack up the receptions in this offense.  

Bucs tight end Tanner Hudson had another huge game, finishing with six receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown. He has been the talk of camp for the Bucs but still isn’t even guaranteed a roster spot because the team is deep at the position. He is a player to keep an eye on, though, if he makes the team. He could push Cameron Brate for the No. 2 job. 

San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had a preseason debut to forget. He was 1-of-6 with an interception. This comes after reports of Garoppolo throwing five interceptions in practice earlier in the week. He obviously has a ways to go to get back to his old self, returning from a torn ACL. He could have some issues early in the season. 

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
Greg Olsen Sep 19 4:30am ET

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen(back) continues to be a top performer at his position in 2019. Despite not having a touchdown catch thus far, the veteran has still racked up 10 receptions (18 targets) for 146 yards. With the struggling Cam Newton (foot) possibly unable to play, Olsen has a chance to get some looks from potential starter Kyle Allen on Sunday against a lousy Cardinals Defense. The 36-year-old can still be found on waivers in some leagues and is worth a start (if he plays), especially in Week 3, regardless of who is under center. Keep an eye on his status.

From RotoBaller

Kyle Allen Sep 19 1:40am ET

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel may have to play without quarterback Cam Newton (foot) against the Cardinals. With the veteran signal-caller still without a touchdown toss on the year, Samuel may actually benefit without Newton in the lineup in Week 3. Throughout two starts in 2018, Kyle Allen, who is projected to take over if Newton isn't available, made Samuel a priority during his time under center as he led the team in looks while finishing with nine receptions (17 targets) for 113 yards and a score. As a result, Samuel should be on the minds of fantasy managers as his outlook is favorable against a weak Cardinals Defense on Sunday despite having an inexperienced quarterback.

From RotoBaller

D.J. Moore Sep 19 12:00am ET

Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore will look to keep things going on Sunday in Arizona. Moore has been one of the focal points for Carolina this season, currently leading the team in targets (24), receptions (16), and receiving yards (165). Despite the potential start of sophomore quarterback Kyle Allen, who would fill in for Cam Newton (foot) if he is unable to go, Moore will still likely produce. The 22-year-old racked up six receptions (15 targets) for 100 yards with Allen under center in 2018. He should remain a starter in a majority of fantasy leagues even if Newton isn't able to suit up on Sunday against a lousy Cardinals Defense.

From RotoBaller

Christian McCaffrey Sep 18 11:40pm ET

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey will surely rebound in Week 3 against the Cardinals. After a dismal performance against the Buccaneers that saw the 23-year-old rush for just 37 yards on 16 attempts, the Panthers will next square off with one of the lousiest defensive teams in the league on Sunday. With the Cardinals allowing a league-worst 30.38 fantasy points per game to opposing backs this season, McCaffrey is a must-start in all fantasy formats in addition to being featured in daily contests. Get him in your lineup.

From RotoBaller

Paul Perkins Sep 18 11:13pm ET

Detroit Lions RB Paul Perkins is learning his new team's playbook this week, and he is excited about the chance and wants to be explosive. 'I'm going to go home and look over some stuff,' he said Wednesday, Sept. 18. 'But the offense seems pretty dope and it seems it can get a lot of guys the ball.'

Fantasy Spin: Initially Perkins is likely to see a bulk of his action on special teams, where he has excelled. He missed the 2018 season due to a pectoral injury. For now, avoid Perkins in all fantasy formats, but stash the name away. He might not be quite done yet, and could re-emerge as a fantasy option if injuries strike in the Motor City.

From TheHuddle

Shaquil Barrett Sep 18 11:13pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers DE Shaquil Barrett earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his three-sack performance in Week 2 against the Carolina Panthers.

From TheHuddle

Taysom Hill Sep 18 10:53pm ET

New Orleans Saints QBs Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill will both play in Week 3 against the Seattle Seahawks, with head coach Sean Payton declining to name a starter Wednesday, Sept. 18.

Fantasy Spin: Bridgewater is likely to play more snaps, with Hill subbing in for his regular assortment of Wildcat formation plays, especially in short-yardage situations and plays near the goal line. For those looking for a streaming option in fantasy, Bridgewater is certainly the better bet.

From TheHuddle

Kenny Golladay Sep 18 10:20pm ET

Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay is in line to have a big day Sunday when the Lions take on the Eagles in Philadelphia. Golladay is coming off a 117-yard, one-touchdown performance and should be able to build off those numbers against a leaky Eagles secondary. Through the first two games of the season, the Eagles have already allowed three 100-yard receiving performances and six passing touchdowns and are seemingly not able to stop anything through the air. That bodes well for Golladay's chances in this matchup. Golladay can be considered a solid WR2 and has a very good opportunity to exceed the 100-yard mark for a second straight game.

From RotoBaller

Derek Carr Sep 18 9:20pm ET

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr failed to capitalize in a juicy Week 2 matchup, making him difficult to trust with a grimmer task ahead in Week 3. The team will travel to take on a stout Vikings Defense who finished third-best in 2018 giving up 196 passing YPG. Carr has looked more comfortable overall in year two under Head Coach John Gruden, but the deck is stacked against him this week as eight-point underdogs. He could save face with some late garbage time points, but he shouldn't be relied upon in any fantasy format in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Tre'Quan Smith Sep 18 9:00pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday. Smith got his legs caught underneath him at the end of the Week 2 loss to the Rams and could be questionable for Week 3 against the Seahawks. The 23-year-old has only five receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown through two weeks and is fourth in the pecking order behind Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn and Jared Cook, making him extremely inconsistent for fantasy owners in much deeper leagues. With Teddy Bridgewater now at quarterback with Drew Brees (thumb) out at least six weeks, Smith should be planted on benches where he's owned.

From RotoBaller

Darren Waller Sep 18 9:00pm ET

Oakland Raiders tight end Darren Waller has displayed a positive chemistry between himself and quarterback Derek Carr, and it should only grow stronger throughout the season. He currently leads the team with 13 catches and 15 targets through two games while showing a slick pair of hands and a dynamic athletic ability. With the Raiders playing a tough road contest this week versus the Vikings, Waller's ceiling isn't as high, but he should see plenty of volume as eight-point underdogs. Minnesota gave up a 9/77/0 line to Falcons tight end Austin Hooper in Week 1 while they played catch-up, giving Waller a projection somewhere in this neighborhood for Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Trevor Davis Sep 18 9:00pm ET

The Oakland Raiders acquired wide receiver/kick returner Trevor Davis from the Packers on Wednesday, according to a source. The speed demon is one of the league's better punt and kick returners and should compete for a spot on the receiver depth chart in Oakland. The 26-year-old had just one catch for 28 yards in two games this year in Green Bay and has nine receptions for 122 yards and one touchdown in 29 career games played. He'll mainly be used on special teams in his new home and can be ignored for fantasy purposes unless you're in a really deep league that counts return yardage.

From RotoBaller

Matthew Stafford Sep 18 8:50pm ET

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford will look to rebound after a so-so Week 2 performance when the Lions take on the Eagles in Week 3. Stafford faces an Eagles secondary that has allowed 680 yards through the first two weeks of the season, which places them just above the Raiders for second-most yards allowed through the air. He has also thrown the ball a healthy 75 times through two games, and this matchup is lining up to follow that trend. Stafford's floor can be considered in the high-upside QB2 range this week in a matchup where he should have no problem moving the ball.

From RotoBaller

Michael Badgley Sep 18 8:50pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (knee) and kicker Michael Badgley (groin) were both limited in practice on Wednesday. Allen should be fine to play in Week 3 against the Texans against a secondary that consistently gets burned deep. The Chargers top wideout ranks third in the NFL after two games with 25 total targets. Allen is a top-five fantasy receiver this Sunday. Badgley has yet to kick in a game this year but is getting closer to making his season debut. He can't be trusted in fantasy until he proves his health. Ty Long has been filling in but has made just two of his four field-goal attempts, including two big misses in the Week 2 loss to the Lions.

From RotoBaller

David Njoku Sep 18 8:40pm ET

Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku (concussion, wrist) has a broken wrist that could require surgery, according to a source. Njoku was also knocked out of the Monday night game after suffering a concussion. He is seeking more opinions to determine if surgery is necessary and how long he'd be sidelined if he goes under the knife. It's a tough break for Njoku's owners, as they'll be without him for multiple weeks at least. Demetrius Harris is Cleveland's backup tight end, but he's unlikely to become a big part of the weekly game plan. Quarterback Baker Mayfield takes a slight hit in value, while wide receiver Jarvis Landry could be used more underneath and in the middle of the field.

From RotoBaller

Aaron Donald Sep 18 8:33pm ET

Los Angeles Rams C Austin Blythe (ankle) and TE Tyler Higbee (chest) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18. RB Malcolm Brown (ankle) and DT Aaron Donald (back) were limited during practice.

From TheHuddle

Tevin Coleman Sep 18 8:23pm ET

San Francisco 49ers RB Tevin Coleman (ankle), DE Dee Ford (quadriceps), S Jaquiski Tartt (ankle), WR Jalen Hurd (back), OT Joe Staley (leg) and WR Trent Taylor (foot) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 18. DE Nick Bosa (ankle) and S Jimmie Ward (hand) were limited during practice.

From TheHuddle

Kerryon Johnson Sep 18 8:20pm ET

Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson could be in line for a big Week 3 performance against an ailing Philadelphia Eagles squad. Johnson should be able to do some damage through the air against an Eagles Defense that has allowed 15 receptions to running backs through the first two weeks of the season, and with Eagles defensive tackle Tim Jernigan sitting out this week, finding holes on the ground will be an easier task as well. Johnson has the chance to see an expanded workload after the recent release of C.J. Anderson and will slot in as a high-upside RB2 in what could be a shootout at the Linc.

From RotoBaller

Kyle Allen Sep 18 8:20pm ET

Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen is trending toward starting over Cam Newton (foot) in Week 3 against the Cardinals. Newton aggravated a foot injury he initially suffered in the preseason and missed practice on Wednesday. He was also seen in a walking boot, so it's looking doubtful that he plays this Sunday in Week 3. If Newton is inactive, it'll be a downgrade to all Panthers receivers, while running back Christian McCaffrey will likely be heavily utilized to take pressure off Allen. Even in a good matchup with Arizona's soft secondary, Allen would be a last-gasp QB2 for fantasy purposes.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Lockett Sep 18 8:03pm ET

Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett (non-injury) was limited during practice Wednesday, Sept. 18.

Fantasy Spin: Lockett caught 10 of his 12 targets last week and finished with 79 yards. He will continue to be the main target in the passing game for the Seahawks and can be a No. 2 or No. 3 fantasy receiver.

From TheHuddle