As we move into the third week of the preseason, we go around the NFC to examine the latest news, updates, and trends from Fantasy Football perspectives. Here is the latest NFL Preseason Fantasy Report, focusing on the NFC training camps and exhibition game impacts.
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NFL Preseason Fantasy Report
Arizona: TE Ricky Seals-Jones was listed third at TE on last week’s depth chart but is still expected to have a key role in the passing game. He’ll go undrafted in many Fantasy leagues because of his disappointing 2018 season, but should definitely be on your watch list as a possible free-agent add.
Atlanta: Ito Smith has rushed for TDs in each of the past two NFL Preseason games and caught three passes for 45 yards in his most recent outing. Devonta Freeman is a notable injury risk and Smith could see a significant boost in appeal if and when Freeman misses more time.
Carolina: Rookie Jordan Scarlett looked pretty good during his first taste of preseason action on Thursday. He carried eight times for 35 yards and caught one pass for 14 yards. Scarlett can possibly sew up the backup job to Christian McCaffrey with more impressive play. Stopgap Cameron Artis-Payne is the only hurdle in his way.
Chicago: Matt Nagy rested his starters and key players in Friday’s NFL Preseason game, and that included rookie running back David Montgomery. But free-agent pickup Mike Davis was also rested. For those with high expectations for Montgomery, consider that Davis should share a lot of work with him at RB to open the season.
Dallas: Tony Pollard has been the talk of camp while Ezekiel Elliott has been out, but there may be some uncertainty about how much of the RB load he will carry if the Zeke holdout bleeds into the regular season. There could be a timeshare with Alfred Morris. Dallas brought the veteran RB back because they are very comfortable with him, while a rookie like Pollard does need preseason reps to get a long look from the organization and to get further acclimated to the pro game.
Detroit: T.J. Hockenson registered his first NFL Preseason reception on Friday, catching a 22-yard pass. He is going to see a lot of field time as a rookie because the Lions want to pound the ball and his blocking is an asset. Matthew Stafford has long lacked a quality TE, so Hockenson does have some TE2 promise in his first NFL season.
Green Bay: Geronimo Allison and Marques Valdes-Scantling continue to wage what seems to be an NFL Preseason battle for official No. 2 WR status. Neither has distinguished themselves in a major way, but when the season begins, they will likely have distinctive roles in the offense. MVS will likely work on the outside and Allison in the slot. That should mean Valdes-Scantling will be a big-play target, but Allison could be more reliable. Expect the former to be boom or bust while the latter is more serviceable for PPR purposes.
Los Angeles Rams: Darrell Henderson totaled 54 yards from scrimmage in the most recent preseason game, including a 26-yard reception. But Malcom Brown was rested, and if and when Todd Gurley misses time this year, both RBs could see significant work. Henderson is the assumed handcuff to Gurley but could be a timeshare back to start out in such a scenario.
Minnesota: In Sunday’s NFL Preseason game, rookie Alexander Mattison looked like an RB who could handle a featured workload if needed. He rushed for 41 yards on 10 carries. He did nearly lose a fumble, but bounced back and continued to work hard for yardage. Mattison can be a solid Fantasy RB if needed to step in for Dalvin Cook at any time.
New Orleans: Tre’Quan Smith has been displaying improved route running in camp and could be ready to show signs of breaking out when play begins for real. He has not stirred a lot of buzz during this NFL Preseason, but his fundamentals look improved.
New York Giants: Daniel Jones has performed better than many expected this preseason, but he is not going to be given a starting position any time soon. Eli Manning has done nothing to lose the job yet and completed all four of his passes to lead a TD drive in the most recent NFL Preseason game against Chicago. Jones may be spurring Manning to keep his game elevated. Solid play from either QB can only help the Giants’ pass-catchers.
Philadelphia: Miles Sanders is creating some excitement at RB, as he had impressive 12 and 16-yard runs in the team’s most recent NFL Preseason Game. Sanders has been flashing a lot of promise. Doug Pederson seems to have an affinity for RB timeshares or committees, but local insiders have been hinting that Sanders will earn the lead RB role. Sanders could at least be a high-end Fantasy flex player as a rookie.
Seattle: Even before D.K. Metcalf suffered a knee injury, the Seahawks had indicated they intended to get WR Jaron Brown more involved in the passing game this year. In their most recent NFL Preseason Game on Sunday, Brown started alongside Tyler Lockett and caught two passes for 52 yards. Consider Brown as a final-round flier in larger leagues and keep him on your watch list in other formats.
San Francisco: The Fantasy stock of Jimmy Garoppolo continues to drop. It was widely reported recently when the QB threw five interceptions in a practice. Then in Sunday’s NFL Preseason game, Garoppolo completed just one of six passes and was intercepted once. He was nearly picked off twice. Garoppolo is the 21st QB off the board in Fantrax drafts and may continue to tumble. He could start the season slowly, though, and pick up his play thereafter. He is still worth a QB2 fantasy pick.
Tampa Bay: Dare Ogunbowale continued his impressive NFL Preseason with a 41-yard reception in the most recent exhibition game. He could at least win the third-down back job and could eventually carve out more playing time if he continues to play well and the other Tampa Bay RBs look uninspiring. He’s a name to add to your Watch List.
Washington: Derrius Guice is expected to make his NFL Preseason debut on Thursday. But in the team’s most recent exhibition game, Adrian Peterson tore off a 26-yard run on his first preseason carry. You can get Peterson in double-figure rounds and he is worth the depth play. Guice’s outlook remains somewhat foggy even though he is about to finally return to game action.
What storylines are you watching in the NFL? For more great rankings, sleepers, and analysis check out the 2019 Fantrax Fantasy Football Draft Kit.
Scott Engel is an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s Hall of Fame and a four-time award winner. He was one of the driving content forces in the rise of RotoExperts.com and was the lead host on the RotoExperts in the Morning for six years on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. He was also instrumental in the launch of the FNTSY Sports Network. Scott was the first-ever Senior Writer and Managing Editor at CBS SportsLine and won a company Hall of Fame Award. He was also an Associate Editor and Fantasy analyst for ESPN.com. He has been the featured Fantasy Writer on Seahawks.com since 2012 and his work has been syndicated to the Associated Press, NFL.com, New York Daily News, New York Post, Yahoo Sports, Bloomberg Sports, Sports Illustrated and many others. He is a credentialed media member who won an FSWA award in 2016 for his Insider Fantasy Reporting. Known as “The King”, Scott is on Twitter @scotteTheKing
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