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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Sunday Morning Update: Week 2
New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead saw plenty of chances in the Week 2 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. He was the primary receiving back with James White (personal) inactive for this game. Burkhead rushed six times for two yards and caught four of six targets for 47 yards through the air. It was a nice uptick for Burkhead, but he won't be on the fantasy radar going forward. James White is expected to be back for their matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 3.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman was doing everything he could versus the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2. He caught eight of 11 targets for 179 receiving yards in the loss. He has been held scoreless through the first two games, but this performance was a step in the right direction. The Patriots don't have many weapons, so they will likely continue to lean on Edelman going forward. He should be considered a high-end WR3 versus the Las Vegas Raiders next week.
New England Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry is looking like he is primed for a breakout campaign in 2020. He hauled in eight of his 12 targets for 72 yards during the Week 2 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Harry saw the most targets on the team and tied with Julian Edelman for the most receptions. He should continue to be heavily involved in this offense going forward. Fantasy owners should be able to count on him as a flex option for next week against the Las Vegas Raiders.
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton continued his positive play versus the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2. He completed 30 of 44 passing attempts for 397 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Newton also rushed 11 times for 47 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. He was almost able to lead his team to a comeback victory, but was stopped on the goal line. Newton has looked sharp during the first two games of the season. He'll get a favorable matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 3. Fantasy owners should be able to continue to lean on Newton for that one.
New England Patriots running back Sony Michel was unable to get anything going on the ground versus the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2. He rushed seven times for 19 yards in the loss. The Patriots basically abandoned the running game in the second half, so Michel didn't see many chances after the second quarter. He'll get a matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 3, but fantasy owners should consider Michel a touchdown dependent RB3 right now.
Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins played efficiently for the second straight week in a loss to the Cardinals on Sunday. Haskins completed 19-of-33 passes for 223 yards and one touchdown and didn't throw an interception for the second consecutive week. He did lose a fumble, but Haskins has just one turnover through two games which was an issue for him as a rookie. He won't put up the flashiest stats, but Haskins seems to be a quality QB2 in fantasy. He'll have a good matchup with Cleveland in Week 3 where he should be started in two-quarterback leagues.
The Carolina Panthers Defense allowed 31 points to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a Week 2 loss. To make matters worse, Carolina didn't record a sack, but they did manage to pick up a fumble recovery and an interception. There may not be many promising days with this unit this year in fantasy, though there may be some weeks where they could be streamed. Perhaps they could be streamed in Week 3 against the Chargers, depending upon who they declare as their starting quarterback.
Carolina Panthers kicker Joey Slye made his lone field-goal attempt and both his extra-points in a Week 2 loss. Slye made the most of his opportunities, considering the limited amount of chances in the red zone. The 24-year-old has been efficient so far, making all four field-goals and missing just one extra-point. Slye should continue to be a solid, starting option for fantasy managers when he takes on the Chargers in Week 3.
Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson handled 13 carried for 55 yards and his first career touchdown in a loss to the Cardinals on Sunday. Gibson only had one catch for minus-three yards in the passing game, but it was good to see the rookie more involved than Week 1. Gibson's 13 carries were five more than anyone on the team and he was the one handling the red zone touches. Gibson is in a great spot to break out next week against a Browns Defense that's been gashed thus far in 2020.
Carolina Panthers tight end Ian Thomas wasn't targeted in a Week 2 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Thomas has sleeper potential but completely disappeared in the gameplan, as he inexplicably didn't see a pass thrown his way. This comes a week after he saw two targets in the first game of the season. He could be a streamer down the line, but there's no way to justify using him in any format for fantasy football right now.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR Keelan Cole posted six catches for 58 yards and a touchdown in Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans on seven targets.
Fantasy Spin: Cole averaged just 9.7 yards per reception, but he was still very productive. He is worth a look as a WR5 in most fantasy leagues, with a little more value in PPR formats, heading into Week 3 against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel was targeted just twice against the Buccaneers, though he also had four carries for 26 rushing yards. Samuel did see eight targets in Week 1, but other than that, he has been disappointing so far. One positive to take from this game is that the Panthers utilized him more as a runner, which is something that could add a lot of diversity to their offense. That's a role Samuel could play if Christian McCaffrey (ankle) is forced to miss time. Unfortunately, Samuel will be hard to trust in fantasy lineups until he proves he can produce with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
New York Jets WR Braxton Berrios caught six of his eight targets for 59 yards and a touchdown in a 31-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2.
Fantasy Spin: Jamison Crowder was inactive for the contest, and Breshad Perriman and Chris Hogan both suffered injuries. Berrios could have flex value as the best receiver still standing for the Jets, especially if Crowder remains sidelined.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR DJ Chark Jr. registered four receptions for a game-high 84 yards on four targets in Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans.
Fantasy Spin: Chark was unable to find the end zone like in Week 1, but his fantasy production was about the same with the big bump in receiving yardage. He remains a solid WR3 or flex fantasy option in leagues of 12 or more teams heading into Week 3 against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday.
New York Jets TE Chris Herndon caught one of his four targets for five yards in a 31-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2.
Fantasy Spin: After catching six passes in the opener, Herndon was almost blanked in Week 2, and he is averaging just 6.0 yards per reception so far this season. Outside of dynasty formats, Herndon doesn't need to be rostered.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson looked great for the second consecutive game. Anderson caught nine of 10 targets for 109 receiving yards in a loss to Tampa Bay. The 27-year-old has been targeted an impressive 18 times in two games and has been very efficient with his looks. Anderson comes with some weekly risk because of how deep he's usually targeted. However, if he continues to see this kind of volume, he'll have no trouble smashing his ADP. Up next is a matchup with the Chargers, who struggled to contain Chiefs' deep-threat Tyreek Hill.
New York Jets RB Frank Gore became the oldest running back in NFL history to record at least 20 carries, rushing 21 times for 63 yards in a 31-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2.
Fantasy Spin: With Le'Veon Bell sidelined, Gore assumed a workhorse role. He should remain the lead back while Bell is out, but he only has so much upside in the Jets' struggling offense. At best, he is a volume-based flex option.
Carolina Panthers running back Mike Davis caught all eight of his targets for 74 receiving yards against Tampa Bay in Week 2. Davis did his best Christian McCaffrey (ankle) impression after the star back left with an ankle injury and was pretty convincing as a receiver out of the backfield. Eight targets is nothing to sneeze at- if McCaffrey's injury is more serious than the team believes, Davis could be a nice waiver wire pickup, particularly in PPR formats.
New York Jets QB Sam Darnold completed 21 of his 32 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown in a 31-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2.
Fantasy Spin: The Jets have been a mess on offense to start the year, and Darnold is averaging under 200 yards passing through two games. He isn't even a QB2 candidate at this point.
Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey carried the ball 18 times for 59 yards with two touchdowns and caught four of five targets for 29 receiving yards in a Week 2 loss to the Buccaneers. McCaffrey left the game with an ankle injury and will have an MRI on Monday, though the team is optimistic that it's not too serious. If McCaffrey is able to suit up against the Chargers, he'll obviously be in fantasy lineups. However, backups Mike Davis and Trenton Cannon would pick up the slack in the event that he's unable to play. Stay tuned for the results of his MRI.