Fantasy Football: NFL Preseason Takeaways

 

Aug 25, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws a pass against the Seattle Seahawks during a NFL football game at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the Cowboys 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Preseason Takeaways: Fantasy Football Preview

For most, preseason is a 15 minute television appointment. Fans watch the starters play a few series, or maybe watch the highly touted rookie throw a few balls, but that’s it. I’m here to hopefully sum up the key takeaways from the preseason. While the validity of their fantasy football implication could be debated, they can still provide context for different situations that may crop up during a season. Plus, I’m getting tired of talking baseball anyways.

Deandre Washington could put the pressure on Latavius Murray

While Latavius should be a three down back, and get almost all of the goal line work, DeAndre Washington’s presence may place some added pressure on Murray. Washington ran with the second team and had an outstanding performance in preseason week one, rushing 8 times for 43 yards, and having one catch for 32 yards. He proceeded to follow that up with 55 yards on just 8 carries in week three, and had 4 catches for 39 yards in week four. It’s only preseason, but if for some reason Murray doesn’t pan out, or deals with injury, remember the name DeAndre Washington.

Dak Prescott is the real deal and Romo’s injury opens the door

It’s safe to say Tony Romo is currently in mid-season form. Getting the injury out-of-the-way now gives us a chance to get an extended look at rookie, Dak Prescott. Prescott was an absolute beast in the preseason. His best game came in week two, where he threw for 199 yards, 2 touchdowns, and rushed for 28 yards and another 2 touchdowns.

I’m split on how we should now view the Cowboys’ offense. On one hand, we are extremely bias towards viewing Romo in a negative light. I think he’s a much better quarterback than people give him credit for and his numbers prove that. On the other hand Prescott offers a new dimension to this offense, with his ability to run.

Rookie QB’s generally struggle in their first year, but I think more often than not, this can be attributed to being drafted to a sub par team, and stepping into a much tougher situation. The early injury to Romo is a much different situation than say, Jared Goff being drafted to the Rams. With the sudden change, the lack of tape on Dak should benefit him early, but we’ll have to monitor how his performance changes once teams get a better look at him.

Aug 20, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller (15) reacts after catching a touchdown pass against the New Orleans Saints in the first quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Will Fuller is emerging as Houston’s deep threat

The pride of Roman Catholic High School, Will Fuller, has had an eye-opening preseason. Of the 68 plays ran by the starters, Fuller found himself in on 64 of them. However, its uncertain how Fuller will be used. Houston could target him on deep shots and he could become a player with tremendous upside. Yet, I could also see him being used in more of a decoy role in his first season. He has the ability to not only take the top off of a defense, but also draw attention away from DeAndre Hopkins. Either way, I’m “bullish” on the Texans’ offense this year.

Rookie Tajae Sharp has taken over the WR 1 role for the Titans

I’ll try to contain my love for Tajae Sharp as much as possible, but boy will that be hard to do. The first year player out of UMass, has solidified his role as the number one receiver in this Titans’ offense. Sharpe’s most impressive game came in week two, where he caught all 6 of his targets for 68 yards. More importantly, of the 21 snaps that the starters played that week, he played 17. While its assumed the Titans will slowly and methodically run the ball, Sharp is someone to keep an eye on in deeper season long leagues and dynasty leagues. He’s also min price on DraftKings in week one.

Ravens have a much too crowded backfield

After the recent news of the Ravens cutting Justin Forsett, it has more recently been reported that the team intends to resign him. Seemingly a dollars and cents move, Forsett will join an all too crowded backfield. During the preseason, carries were spread throughout Forsett, West, Dixon, and Allen. I’ll be off of all of them, as the uncertainty and time share are not too appealing.

Sep 1, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive end Denico Autry (96)and linebacker Shilique Calhoun (91) combine against Seattle Seahawks running back Christine Michael (32) during the first quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Christine Michael receiving all the preseason hype again

Fire up the Christine Michael hype train yet again. This year’s hype seems to be picking up more steam than usual. He has been quite impressive, as through the first three games of the preseason, he rushed 24 times for 157 yards. The talent has never really been in question for C-Mike, but more of his work ethic and ability to learn the playbook. If Rawls’ injury continues to linger, C-Mike could be primed for a breakout. 

Sammie Coates is no longer with the starters

Sad news for the Sammy Coates hopefuls. Talk about squandering an opportunity. The job was there for the taking, but it appears as if Coates is out of the picture for now. Of the 19 snaps in which Big Ben played in week three, Coates saw none of them. Eli Rodgers made his mark as the slot receiver, playing on 17 of those snaps and Markus Wheaton on the outside, saw 18.

Other notable story lines:

  • Derrick Henry is a stud and should press DeMarco Murray
  • Michael Thomas hype is still unclear, but could give Willie Snead competition in two wide receiver sets
  • Ivory and Yeldon should split carries
  • Kenny Stills now moves ahead of DeVante Parker
  • Tyler Boyd is seeing time across from A.J. Green
  • Jamaal Charles is behind schedule for his injury
  • Dion Lewis is out, which now opens the door for other Patriot running backs
  • Wentz will be starting for the Eagles and Bradford is set to start week two for the Vikings

 

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