NFL Preseason, Week 2: Getting Closer To Your Draft

Part 1

Week two of the NFL preseason started Thursdays night. The second preseason game gives us slightly more insight into players who are fantasy relevant, but it’s more about their backups and up and coming players. Week 3 will be all about the starters.

Eagles

In general everyone thinks the Eagles are going to be able to get through the post Super Bowl regression that is typical of NFL teams. I don’t. They will have regression!

Nick Foles not only got injured, but when he played he threw wild passes all night, and looked bewildered in the pocket. I hope he’s ok, but if not…

Nate Sudfeld looked capable of keeping this offense productive until Wentz is ready in game 2 …3…4 or so. There were flashes of goodness for Nate last night. So, the offensive weapons you draft shouldn’t be impacted as much as you would think if Nate had to give er the old college try.

Ajayi is going to be utilized, but I have a mixed reaction to his performance. He didn’t get a lot of play, but he looked great on a few plays and terrible on a few others. Make no mistake, right now, he’s THE guy on the Eagles. Unless Clement comes in healthy and plays better than Ajayi, which I think IS possible,  Ajayi will get 20-25 touches a game.

We haven’t seen Clement, yet. So, maybe my opinion of Ajayi is skewed at this time. I do, however, believe given the opportunity, Clement would be great as the bell cow Back. He might even be better than Ajayi.

We can’t forget about Sproles and Smallwood too. They will be contributors, but less than what I think the general consensus thinks, which is a running back committee (RBBC) on the eagles. It is not going to be an RBBC, which, by the way, sounds dirty.

Zach Ertz had a nice Catch.

Patriots

Tom Brady is the GOAT. I love that he has 5 Rings, and still gets fired up in a preseason game. He is truly a unique human.

James White was heavily involved and did a really good Job. He scored and looked like he normally does in the preseason, good. I can’t wait to see him in the playoffs.

Jeremy Hill had a quieter second week, but he’s still trending upwards to me because Gillislee may not make the team, and both Burkhead and Sony Michel are injured, which is also how I was reminded that Brandon Bolden is still on the Patriots and ready to work in the playoffs too.

This game made it clear that the Patriots will be using their running backs a lot like they did last season, which makes you want one of them. The problem is there are too many of them. Plus, In this offense, we will probably see 2-3 Rb’s used in any given game – never one RB.

It is hard to spend high Draft capital on any of these players, but Sony Michel is insanely talented and should be one of the main fantasy assets for the Patriots this season, when he returns healthy, despite the RBBC situation. It seems like he should be ready for week 1, but we’ll have to monitor that as your draft gets closer. So, if you must draft one, even though we haven’t seen him yet, draft Sony Michel. I doubt you will be disappointed.  

My boy drops the ball more frequently than I would like, but Chris Hogan is clearly the number one Wide Receiver on this team right now. Well, he’s behind, of course, pass catching, gigantic-sure-handed Tight End, Rob Gronkowski.

There are expectations about the Receivers in New England. Many believe Phillip Dorsett or Kenny Britt will emerge. Some think Decker will show better after some time on the team. He’s just a bit rusty. Cordarrelle Patterson might finally be fantasy relevant this season. I never understood why he wasn’t used more on the Vikings or even on the Patriots last year. Every time he gets the ball he seems to be, as they say, and I over-use, Electric! Is he a jerk or does he have bad breath or something I’m missing?

Patriots Defense had some nice plays too, especially by linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley (How did you pronounce that?).

Unfortunately, their first round pick, Offensive Tackle Isaiah Wynn is out for the season with a torn Achilles. He was a promising upgrade to their O-line.

Steelers

Backup Quarterback Mason Rudolph had some really nice plays on the night, but it started out with an interception. It was good though. Kind of like knocking the sails out of him early, gave him the confidence to play well because the pressure was off from the interception. It was a good showing.

More impressive to my visual input receptors was Josh Dobbs. He can run, but he’s a studly stand in the pocket Quarterback with a really good arm.

I mention both of these backup quarterbacks because Big Ben just gave us a scare that landed him in the concussion protocol. It’s nice to know that your fantasy assets should do well despite their leader going down.

I don’t draft Le’Veon Bell’s backup as a handcuff because both James Conner and Jaylen Samuels would be used in the event that Bell was injured. Both Running Backs had great performances in their second preseason game. I expect nothing fantasy relevant from them this season. Well, we may see something from Jaylen because he’s so diverse in his capabilities.

I want shares in James Washington. He impressed me multiple times yesterday, but one of his two Touchdowns catches, in particular, where he reached over the defender and gestures with a swift grab, “GIVE ME THAT DAMN BALL”, which is going to define his season competing for targets with JuJu Smith-Schuster – who has a Touchdown in both preseason games now. So, competition is tight for targets on the Steelers.

Although, the targets may be there considering neither Tight End stands out too much. Yes, Jesse James may get a few targets this season, and no, we haven’t seen Vance McDonald play this season, yet, but the normal target share a tight end commands on a team that uses their Tight End, 40-80 a season, will be mostly spread to other players. One of the reasons I like James Washington so much.

Packers

Mason Crosby is the all time leading scorer for the Packers.

Aaron Rodgers still got it! I think this is going to be the year that Rodgers shows love to the Tight End position. Jimmy Graham and Rodgers have the connection already, scoring a Touchdown in their first action together.

Jamaal Williams leaves the game with a minor ankle injury. This is something to monitor because the running back on a Rodgers led offense should do really well.

Ty Montgomery fumbled on his first touch, but he shook it off and had some great plays after that initial blunder. Ty will be involved in the passing game.

The Packers seem to be quietly putting together a Super Bowl offense, but then again their offense has never been the issue in the postseason. Although, in contrast to what I saw with the Steelers, if Aaron Rodgers is sidelined, the Packers playoffs and Super Bowl chances are seriously diminished. In other words, this team is reliant on Aaron Rodgers for success. In fantasy terms, if Rodgers misses time, it negatively affects your Green Bay Fantasy Players.

Either way, Davante Adams is going to have an incredible 2018 campaign. He could easily be in the top 5 receivers this season, if Rodgers is healthy. I’d like to see Randall Cobb, and Geronimo Allison in the next game. Their value is cloudy to me.

Lastly for Green Bay, watch out for wide receiver Jake Kumerow. He scored in both preseason games in extravagant fashion. Both were long touchdowns. He’s not fantasy relevant though. So, moving on…

Jets

Sam Darnold looked more like a rookie last night than he did in his first game. He started with the first team. I’m not saying he couldn’t handle it. I am just saying he had rookie moments and he’s going to learn.

Darnold was outshined, in my opinion, by Teddy Bridgewater. He wasn’t perfect, he threw an interception, but he was poised, ready to run if needed, evasive in the pocket, and his arm was like a cannon. I may be leaning on the side of starting Bridgewater for the season to let Darnold learn and settle into the NFL’s game speed et al. Who they start at Quarterback in game 3 will be telling.

Bilal Powell showed his pass catching skills and power as a rusher. With Isaiah Crowell and Elijah Mcguire out with injuries for now, with Crowell expected back sooner than later, Powell should have a big role on this offense in 2018. Granted, Thomas Rawls looked good too, but Bilal is going to be fantasy Relevant and he’s being drafted in the latest rounds of drafts. Bilal is a value in the 14th round of 12 team leagues. I love Crowell too, but his injury scared me a bit.

Either way, owning the right Jets Running back this season may be a good move because they are considered to have the 4th easiest schedule according to FantasyPros.

The Jets Starting Receivers barely played. This is the insight into how this team plans on getting their wins; Manage the game with the run and defense; Throw to the Running Backs; Don’t make mistakes.

Tight End Clive Walford had two really nice plays. A Jets Tight End may be involved this season. Get out of town!

5th year journeyman running back George Atkinson showed sparks of promise too.

Redskins

Alex Smith looked calm in the pocket. He was comfortable. He didn’t play much, but in his limited action he he did what he does, which is throw accurately, and make plays. A lot of people forget Alex Smith’s pedigree. He was a first overall draft pick in 2005. , and he’s always been used as a game manager, until last season, which is why I believe the Redskins signed him. They want to unleash the beast. Don;t sleep on smith in the late rounds.

…and don’t give me that shit either, that he doesn’t have the same talent he had in Kansas City. That may be true, but it is yet to be determined. They have some talent left, after injuries, on the Redskins.

Samaje Perine looked amazing on that one play. Oh, wait, he’s out for the season. Just kidding. He’s fine, and to me the most likely candidate to win the starting job.

In Perine’s absence, fit Rob Kelly did a great job holding the line.

Although, It was Kapri Bibbs that shocked me the most. I know they’re playing against vanilla defenses and its the backups, but, after adding enough caveats, Bibbs looked better than I’ve ever seen him look in the NFL. He was hyped up when he came into the NFL. So, I’m wondering if there’s anything really here or if this is just a poor defensive play created illusion?

Vernon Davis had a nice catch. When are we going to see the never injured, often healthy Jordan Reed?

Undrafted Wide Receiver Cam Sims really impressed me. He didn’t always make the play, but everything he was involved in was exciting. He might be relevant this season if he is called upon.

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. If you agree or disagree, reach out and argue with me on theses social media platforms…

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2018-08-17T21:43:25+00:00

2 Comments

  1. Ayelet August 17, 2018 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    James Washington looks like the real deal. PIttsburgh has always done a great job of developing receivers. He will be fantasy relevant this year.

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