We recap Week 2 of the preseason from a fantasy perspective as we inch closer and closer to the regular-season opener between the Packers and Bears.
Two preseason weeks are now in our rearview as we inch closer and closer to the opener between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears on Sept. 5. We recap each Week 2 preseason game from a fantasy perspective while focusing our attention on some of the key players who should have an impact this year.
Chicago Bears @ New York Giants
• Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones went 11-for-14 for 161 yards. Although he did have two fumbles, Giants fans are ecstatic with how he has looked thus far and it would not be surprising to see the team turn to him at some point early on if they struggle out of the gate.
• Giants WR T.J. Jones looks like he will have a chance to make an impact while Golden Tate is out on a four-game suspension. Jones caught three passes for 32 yards and a TD.
• Bears rookie WR Riley Ridley (Calvin’s brother) is making a case to be the WR5 for the Bears. He finished the game with three catches on five targets.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Jacksonville Jaguars
• Eagles rookie RB Miles Sanders looks like he's going to be an outstanding back and is climbing up draft boards after rushing for 31 yards on only six attempts.
• Eagles QB Carson Wentz will now be backed up by veteran QB Josh McCown after Cody Kessler left the game with an injury.
• The RB3 position for the Jaguars looks like it’s coming down to Thomas Rawls vs. Alfred Blue. Blue was higher on the team’s depth chart coming into camp, but Rawls has looked better in practice and in games.
Green Bay Packers @ Baltimore Ravens
• Ravens rookie RB Justice Hill saw his draft stock climb after rushing 10 times for 49 yards and a TD. If Hill continues at this pace, he could easily share carries with Mark Ingram.
• Ravens WR Chris Moore finished the game with four catches for 54 yards and a TD. The Ravens talked about Moore starting in Week 1. Keep an eye on this situation as it is fluid with rookies Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin still unproven.
• Packers WR (and Aaron Rodgers favorite) Jake Kumerow is making a bid to be the WR4 for the team, giving him nice late-round sleeper value in drafts.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Washington Redskins
• If QB Andy Dalton should get injured, rookie QB Ryan Finley has looked exceptional thus far. Finley finished 20-for-26 for 150 yards and 2 TDs. In fact, if the team struggles this season, look for Finley to get a chance to play late in the season.
• Bengals rookie RB Trayveon Williams has cemented the RB3 position and will have the RB2 to himself in 2020 when Gio Bernard is let go in the offseason.
• Redskins rookie QB Dwayne Haskins may have thrown for his first TD, but Case Keenum seems to have a stranglehold on the starter’s job (at least for now.)
New York Jets @ Atlanta Falcons
• Falcons rookie RB Qadree Ollison has separated himself from Brian Hill and should be the RB3.
• Jets LB Avery Williamson tore his ACL and will be out for the season. This precipitated Adam Gase to declare RB Le’Veon Bell out for the remainder of the preseason.
• Jets QB Sam Darnold has looked very sharp in Gase’s up-tempo offense. His stock is on the rise in recent Online Championship drafts.
Oakland Raiders @ Arizona Cardinals
• Cardinals rookie QB Kyler Murray was abysmal throwing 3-for-8 for only 12 yards. This poor showing should drop Murray one to two rounds in fantasy drafts.
• Cardinals rookie WR Andy Isabella scored a long-distance TD against backups, but he showed that he is fully healthy after being injured earlier in training camp.
• Hard Knocks star Keelan Doss had five receptions for the Raiders and looks to have an outside chance at the WR5 position.
Buffalo Bills @ Carolina Panthers
• Bills WR Cole Beasley showed that he has earned the trust of Josh Allen as he was a major outlet during the game with five receptions. This could be a major foreshadowing of what will happen this season.
• Bills QB Josh Allen looks way more poised in the pocket and could be a nice late-round sleeper selection in drafts this season. Allen went 9-for-11 for 102 yards which is a testament to his improved accuracy.
• Panthers rookie RB Jordan Scarlett is auditioning to become the team’s short-yardage back. If he does, this will lower Christian McCaffrey’s value slightly due to fewer goal-line carries.
Miami Dolphins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
• Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said after the game that RB Dare Ogunbowale is inching closer to the team’s RB3 position. Ogunbowale had 34 yards rushing to go with 54 yards receiving and could be a sleeper if Ronald Jones cannot impress the coaching staff.
• Bucs WR Justin Watson continues to be an under-the-radar name who could end up being a fantasy sleeper much like Adam Humphries was in years past.
• Dolphins QB Josh Rosen seems to have fallen behind Ryan Fitzpatrick for the starting QB position. This might help Dolphins offensive players as Fitzpatrick will be way more aggressive throwing downfield.
Cleveland Browns @ Indianapolis Colts
• Colts QB Jacoby Brissett looks much more polished and can be a decent backup while Andrew Luck remains on the sidelines. Brissett went 8-for-10 for 100 yards and had one rushing attempt for 11 yards.
• Colts WR Deon Cain is doing everything he can to earn himself more playing time. Cain was injured all last season, but right now looks to be the WR5 with possibly more if he can continue his strong preseason.
• Browns WR Rashard Higgins is firmly entrenched as the team’s WR3 and could have sneaky value at the end of drafts.
New England Patriots @ Tennessee Titans
• There are many in the Titans organization who think Ryan Tannehill, not Marcus Mariota, should be the team’s starting QB. Tannehill outplayed Mariota once again and Week 3’s game could be pivotal in determining the starter.
• Titans UDFA RB Alex Barnes looks like he has locked down the RB3 job rushing for 42 yards on seven carries.
• Patriots rookie RB Damien Harris looked solid rushing for 80 yards. Harris will need an injury to Sony Michel and/or James White to get playing time, but if he gets a shot he might run away with the job.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Pittsburgh Steelers
• Steelers WR James Washington looks like he has made a dramatic improvement this offseason and has positioned himself for more snaps. Many around the team feel that he will be the WR2.
• Look for Steelers QB Mason Rudolph to be named Ben Roethlisberger's backup over Josh Dobbs.
• Regardless of Damien Williams’ injury, Chiefs RB Darwin Thompson has secured a spot on the team and touches in the offense. Thompson has amazing quickness and could be an excellent receiver out of the backfield.
Detroit Lions @ Houston Texans
• Texans WR DeAndre Carter has moved into the team’s WR4 spot after catching three passes for 40 yards.
• With QB A.J. McCarron’s injury, Joe Webb will be Deshaun Watson’s backup in case of injury.
• With Lions WR Jermaine Kearse out for the season, Chris Lacy has been earning reps with the first team and could be next in line in case there is an injury to one of the team’s starters.
Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Rams
• Even if Zeke Elliott returns, Cowboys RB Tony Pollard has secured himself a place on the team’s roster. Pollard has proven to be adept both running and receiving and could have nice stand-alone value in fantasy leagues if Elliott continues to holdout.
• Cowboys WR Michael Gallup is ready to ascend to the next level in this offense and could be one of the breakout middle-round players in fantasy drafts this season.
• Rams rookie RB Darrell Henderson has struggled with the zone blocking scheme in training camp but looked decent running for 16 yards and catching another 38. He looks to have secured the RB3 job for now with a chance at RB2 with more familiarity with the offense.
New Orleans Saints @ Los Angeles Chargers
• Saints QB Taysom Hill excelled in this game, passing for 136 yards and 2 TDs (and rushing for 53 yards), but the team still thinks that Teddy Bridgewater is better equipped to run the offense if anything should happen to QB Drew Brees. Look for Hill to be used much like he was last season.
• If Melvin Gordon’s holdout continues, look for Justin Jackson to get about half of the workload with Austin Ekeler.
• Chargers safety Derwin James will be out for three months with a stress fracture in his foot. James’ loss will be felt immediately as he was a sure tackler and a terrific defender. His absence should drop the Chargers defense to more of a waiver wire selection than a weekly fantasy play.
Seattle Seahawks @ Minnesota Vikings
• Everyone has Vikings rookie RB Alexander Mattison pegged as Dalvin Cook’s backup, but Mike Boone is showing that he can play too. Boone rushed for 66 yards on 21 carries and had one reception for 45 yards. If Cook should miss time with an injury again, Boone will assuredly get a ton of opportunities.
• The Vikings showcased WR Laquon Treadwell this week in hopes of drumming up some trade value. Treadwell has been a huge disappointment thus far, but he does have good size and should catch on somewhere if he is cut. Olabisi Johnson and Chad Beebe look to have the inside track on the WR3 and WR4 spots in Minnesota.
• With Seahawks rookie WR D.K. Metcalf out with a knee injury, David Moore becomes a very interesting name at the end of drafts. Moore had five TDs last season and earned the trust of QB Russell Wilson. He should slide into the WR2 spot until Metcalf returns.
San Francisco 49ers @ Denver Broncos
• 49ers QB Jimmy Garappolo went 1-for-6 for zero yards after throwing five Interceptions last week in practice. Something seems amiss with his confidence and fantasy owners should watch him carefully in Week 3 to make sure that he's on track to start.
• The Broncos have still not decided if rookie QB Drew Lock or Kevin Hogan will be the backup QB to Joe Flacco this season. Lock is certainly the QB of the future, but Hogan appears to be more game-ready should Flacco miss time early on.
• Broncos WR DaeSean Hamilton is back and healthy and is a great undervalued fantasy pick in the middle rounds. Hamilton went 2-for-21 this week, but more importantly, it was good to see him get reps after missing time in training camp.
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