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 email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
Five Cold Plays: Week 2
Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders (hamstring) is expected to play in Week 2 against the Rams after sitting out the season opener. Sanders practiced in full on Thursday and should make his season debut as the team's bell-cow back this weekend. Against a Rams Defense that gave up plenty of yardage on the ground against the Cowboys in Week 1, fantasy managers should consider Sanders a strong RB2 this weekend. In other injury news, defensive end Derek Barnett (hamstring) is also expected to play after practicing in full on Thursday. Undrafted rookie Nate Herbig will start at right guard, according to head coach Doug Pederson.
Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia said that wide receiver Kenny Golladay (hamstring) will be "very limited" in practice on Friday. Golladay missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday and is in real danger of missing his second straight game to kick off the 2020 season. Detroit's No. 1 receiver is on the wrong side of questionable for Sunday against the Packers, and you might even say he's doubtful at this point. You should be preparing for him to miss another game. Marvin Jones Jr., Danny Amendola and rookie Quintez Cephus should operate in three-receiver sets, with tight end T.J. Hockenson seeing more targets if Golladay sits again.
Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin (concussion) practiced Friday, Sept. 18, but still has not cleared the league's concussion protocol and will be listed as doubtful for the Week 2 game against the Carolina Panthers. Godwin is scheduled to go through more tests tomorrow and if doctors clear him then, he will be upgraded to questionable.
Fantasy Spin: Godwin owners are likely going to need to monitor the situation right up through the release of the pre-game inactive list Sunday.
Pittsburgh Steelers RB James Conner (ankle) said Friday, Sept. 18, that things are 'definitely trending in the right direction' for Week 2 after practicing Wednesday and Thursday.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy GMs will definitely to check his practice status later Friday, but things are surprisingly looking up for Conner following his early-game Week 1 injury. Have him ready for a RB2 role if he proves good to go.
Free agent PK Mike Nugent (Patriots) on Friday, Sept. 18, was signed to the Arizona Cardinals' practice squad.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper (ankle) is not expected to miss any time in Week 2. Cooper was a late addition to the injury report this week, which is always concerning, but it seems he is fine and fully expected to play. Cooper is a high-upside WR1 as long as he suits up, as the Falcons Defense was annihilated by the Seahawks passing game last week. Cooper will match up with rookie defensive back A.J. Terrell.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (concussion) remains in the league's concussion protocol and will be listed as doubtful for Week 2 against the Panthers. Godwin will go through more tests on Saturday, and if doctors clear him then, he will be upgraded to questionable. The good news is that Tampa's game is early on Sunday, but even then, you should be making plans to be without Godwin this weekend. Mike Evans will be a strong WR1 play with Godwin likely sidelined, while slot man Scotty Miller is also quickly rising up the PPR ranks as a flex play in deeper leagues. Both tight ends Rob Gronkowski and O.J. Howard become a bit more attractive as well in a good matchup against Carolina's shaky defense.
Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper (ankle) is expected to play in Week 2, head coach Mike McCarthy said Friday, Sept. 18. '(Cooper) went through the mock game and everything today,' McCarthy said. 'I don't foresee a setback there.'
Fantasy Spin: Cooper caught 10-of-14 targets for 81 yards in the Cowboys' opener, and has an even better matchup Sunday against the visiting Falcons. Barring any reversals of fortune in the next 48 hours, lock him in as a WR1 this week.
Detroit Lions WR Kenny Golladay (hamstring) will be 'very limited' in practice Friday, Sept. 18, as he deals with a hamstring injury, head coach Matt Patricia said.
Fantasy Spin: Golladay missed the Lions' opener and has yet to put in a full practice the last two weeks. Barring a sudden turnabout, count on going with another starting wide receiver option again this week.
Buffalo Bills linebackers Matt Milano (hamstring) and Tremaine Edmunds (shoulder) have both been ruled out for Week 2 against the Dolphins, according to head coach Sean McDermott. Both Milano and Edmunds have appeal in IDP leagues as tacklers, but you will not be able to plug them into your lineups this Sunday. However, even with Buffalo's middle of the defense at less than full strength, the Bills Defense/special teams should remain a top-five fantasy unit in Week 2 against a less-than-stellar Dolphins backfield that includes Jordan Howard, Matt Breida and Myles Gaskin.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd finished with seven catches for 72 yards and a score during the Thursday night loss to Cleveland. The 25-year-old made a noticeable improvement in this one after a miserable four-catch, 33-yard performance in Week 1 against the visiting Chargers. Though A.J. Green eclipsed Boyd for looks from rookie signal-caller Joe Burrow (13), he still made enough noise to appease the fantasy managers who had him starting. While Boyd will likely have a few more performances like the one he had against Los Angeles, he should also produce some efficient outings moving ahead.
Updating a previous report, Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said that tight end C.J. Uzomah (Achilles) will miss the rest of the season with a torn Achilles that he suffered in the Thursday night loss to the Browns. It had the looks of a season-ending injury when he was carted off the field. Uzomah will finish 2020 with eight catches on 11 targets for 87 yards and a touchdown in two games. Drew Sample should be expected to step in as the starter in Cincinnati, and although tight ends usually see more run with rookie quarterbacks, he'll be a low-end TE2 not worth chasing in the majority of leagues.
San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle's (knee) status for Week 2 will come down to a game-time decision on Sunday, Sept. 20, general manager John Lynch said in a Friday radio interview.
Fantasy Spin: Of course you're rolling with Kittle if he's cleared, and the good news it's an early kickoff for the Niners this week playing on the East Coast. Definitely get another tight end option at the ready now, though, just in case.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon ran for 46 yards off of 16 carries during the loss to the Browns. He also added four catches for 40 yards. Mixon trended in the wrong direction on the ground after posting 69 yards against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1. However, he did make his PPR fantasy managers a little more comfortable by providing an uptick in receptions and receiving yards. Nonetheless, opposing defenses may start paying additional attention to rookie signal-caller Joe Burrow after his three-touchdown performance on Thursday night. As a result, the door may open a little wider for the former Sooner to get some extra breathing room moving ahead, so fantasy managers should continue to give him a few more chances to turn things around before even considering benching him.
The Cincinnati Bengals fear that tight end C.J. Uzomah (Achilles) suffered a torn Achilles during the Thursday night loss to the Browns, according to a source. Uzomah had been one of rookie quarterback Joe Burrow's most effective targets in the early going through two weeks, but he was carted off the field on Thursday night. He'll undergo an MRI exam on Friday. The 27-year-old has eight catches on 11 targets for 87 yards and a touchdown through two games, but this had the looks of a season-ending injury. In a best-case scenario, Uzomah will probably be out for multiple weeks, which would make Drew Sample the team's top pass-catching tight end. If that's the case, Sample would merely be a low-end TE2 for fantasy gamers.
Updating a previous report, Cincinnati Bengals TE C.J. Uzomah (Achilles') has a torn Achilles' and will miss the rest of the season.
New York Jets WR Jamison Crowder (hamstring) has been ruled out for Week 2.
Fantasy Spin: Braxon Berrios was running in the slot in practice, and he's worth the speculative flyer off of waivers. He probably doesn't hold enough upside to start against the San Francisco 49ers, though. Breshad Perriman could see more looks, and he's a solid WR3.
Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hamstring) has been dealing with a hamstring injury for a couple of weeks, according to head coach Dan Quinn.
Fantasy Spin: Jones had nine catches for 157 yards in the season opener. So while it's worth monitoring in hopes that he doesn't aggravate it or make it worse, he's still worth running out there as your WR1.
New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder (hamstring) will miss his team's Week 2 contest against the San Francisco 49ers. This leaves the Jets really shallow at receiver, with Breshad Perriman taking on the role as the team's No. 1 option this week. Perriman becomes an intriguing flex play, though the 49ers Defense is really good and the Jets passing attack as the ability to be really inconsistent. We might also see more of Braxton Berrios, but he's not really a fantasy option outside of being a cheap punt play in DFS contests.