NFL preseason action has had little impact on the top of Pat Fitzmaurice's fantasy football rankings. The middles rounds—in particular, the Titans running back crops—are a different story.
There are plenty of fantasy football drafts taking place this week, and since I’ve shuffled some player around in my rankings over the past 24 hours or so, I thought I’d give you a quick rundown on some of the changes:
• With Tony Romo out for at least 6–10 weeks, rookie backup Dak Prescott moves up to QB27, and Romo falls to QB32. While Prescott has looked terrific in the preseason, defenses are going to be throwing more complicated looks at him when the regular season begins. Prescott runs well, which helps his fantasy profile, but the Cowboys figure to be extremely run heavy with a rookie under center. Also, Romo could take back his job at some point in the season. Another fallout from the Romo injury: Ezekiel Elliott falls one spot to RB5 on the concern that he’ll see more seven- and eight-man fronts now that Romo is out, Dez Bryant slides from WR7 to WR11, Jason Witten slides down one spot to TE15, and Terrence Williams tumbles to WR69.
• The Romo injury was followed by a gruesome injury in practice to Minnesota QB Teddy Bridgewater, who’ll miss the entire season. Don’t bother with any of the Minnesota quarterbacks (though for the record, I moved Shaun Hill up to QB35). I don’t think the Bridgewater injury significantly affects the fantasy value of Adrian Peterson, but I do think it boosts the value of his backup, Jerrick McKinnon (now up to RB44), since the Vikings figure to be so land-based on offense. Stefon Diggs slips a few spots to WR39, and other Minnesota pass catchers take hits as well. Diggs is the only one worth drafting; rookie Laquon Treadwell is a dynasty asset but has no value in redraft leagues this year.
• Jamaal Charles is behind schedule in his recover from a torn ACL, and since it’s unclear how soon he’ll be ready to make a significant contribution, he falls from RB7 to RB13. His top backup, Spencer Ware, who’s looked marvelous in the preseason, jumps up to RB43 and is well worth considering in the mid-to-late rounds, regardless of whether you own Charles.
• I’ve moved around some of the Ravens now that the preseason has provided a handful of clues about Baltimore’s confusing skill-position depth chart. Javorius “Buck” Allen hasn’t looked particularly sharp in exhibition games, and there’s been speculation that he might have been released if not for injuries to Kenneth Dixon and Lorenzo Taliaferro. Dixon’s knee injury is minor, and the rookie was coming on before being hurt. I’ve bumped him up a little despite the injury, since I think he’ll challenge to become the lead back by midseason. Allen slides down my board about 10 spots, though he remains a worthwhile asset in PPR leagues because of his pass-catching ability. I’ve also moved up Mike Wallace, who appears to be in sync with QB Joe Flacco.
• With Ladarius green going on the Steelers’ PUP list, he falls to TE24, while Jesse James moves up to TE28. I may be under-reacting on both, but there’s still a chance that Green could pop in an offense that makes heavy use of the tight end.
Be sure to check back for further updates as the preseason progresses.