New York Giants @ Cincinnati Bengals
Like all preseason the focus was on first-round pick Daniel Jones. The rookie did not disappoint. He impressed going 9 of 11 for 141 yards. While preseason isn’t always an indicator of the regular season as we’ve seen in the past with guys like Nate Peterman, it’s hard to ignore what Jones has done. He’s making a strong case for Eli Manning’s job.
Ryan Finley was efficient again completing 14 of 20 passes for 155 yards, however, he’s not who I want to focus on. Rookie change-of-pace back Damion Willis made some noise as a pass-catcher. He was targeted a team-high six times and grabbed three of those passes for 55 yards. Dynasty owners take notice.
Washington Redskins @ Atlanta Falcons
Neither Case Keenum nor Dwayne Haskins did much to separate themselves in this one. Whoever does start Week 1 did lose possibly their best weapon for Week 1. Tight end Jordan Reed suffered another concussion and it’s hard to imagine he’ll be ready for the season opener given his long history with head injuries and slow recovery.
There’s not much to unpack here. The only thing that stands out to me is that Ito Smith outperformed Brian Hill in the battle for the backup running back job. Smith rushed five times for 23 yards and a touchdown while Hill took four carries for just seven yards. Smith will likely start the season as Devonta Freeman’s handcuff.
Carolina Panthers @ New England Patriots
There was a collective gasp when Cam Newton went down in this one and needed medical attention. He left the game and would not return. He was later diagnosed with a mid-foot sprain and is now questionable for Week 1. Monitor this situation. The entire offense is downgraded without him.
We got a lot of insight in this one. Backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham went 15 of 19 for 134 yards. Then there was a bit of a scare when Damien Harris was forced out of the game with an injury. The good news is he is fine and will be good to go Week 1. The receivers are really interesting. Jakobi Meyers and Phillip Dorsett were the standouts. Both guys caught seven passes, Meyers on 12 targets and Dorsett was perfect with seven. However, we saw Meyers go for 74 yards and Dorsett flipped the digits with 47. Meyers continues to look good as he tries to earn regular season snaps.
Baltimore Ravens @ Philadelphia Eagles
No one worth noting was impressive for the Ravens. Michael Floyd, who I actually believe was our Breakout Player of the Year prediction years ago, was the offensive leader catching three passes for 54 yards and a TD. That is not a Fantasy relevant stat.
Unless you care about Josh McCown, which I don’t, JJ Arcega-Whiteside was the big story here. The rookie was targeted a team-high nine times and caught eight of those passes for 104 yards and a touchdown. He’s a dynasty darling and favorite sleeper this year, however, there are a lot of mouths to feed in Philly and he’ll struggle to sustain any consistent value.
Green Bay Packers @ Oakland Raiders
The Packers didn’t really play anyone so there is little to note. Wideout Equanimeous St. Brown was carted off though. He has since been diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain and will miss 4-6 weeks.
Nate Peterman continued his rampage as an elite preseason quarterback dating back to last year. It’s simply outlandish how he is so good in the preseason and literally the worst quarterback of all time in the regular season. Outside of an injury to a WR4 and Nate Peterman news this game was a total wash.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Miami Dolphins
Potential WR2 DJ Chark suffered a concussion in this game. He has been gaining hype this month and making a push for a starting job. It’s now a race against time for him to get cleared before Week 1. Terrelle Pryor also injured his hamstring.
Ryan Fitzpatrick got the start in this one over Josh Rosen. Fitz got a lot more playing time but didn’t do a ton to separate himself. Hopefully Miami realizes that it makes no sense to roll with Fitzmagic. We also saw Mark Walton serve as the pass-catching back and score a TD. That could be a reality Week 1 if Drake isn’t healthy enough to suit up. Most notably tight end Mike Gesicki played very well. He caught all three of his targets for 59 yards. It’s the most we’ve seen out of him since being drafted in the second round last year. They are giving him every opportunity to win that job.
Cleveland Browns @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This was not a strong showing by the Browns. Baker Mayfield struggled completing just 10 of 26 attempts for 72 yards and a pick. Kareem Hunt didn’t fair any better managing just 11 yards on five carries and Fantasy darling Rashard Higgins only hauled in three of his seven targets for 18 yards. Just a bad night for everyone we wanted to see have a good game for Cleveland.
Second-year back Ronald Jones continued to be just horrific. He was outplayed once again by Dare Ogunbowale and Andre Ellington. Jones carried the ball four times for eight yards and couldn’t pull in his only target. Again he has shown why no one should draft him in any round in any format. The wideouts looked better as Chris Godwin caught four passes for 52 yards and Tanner Hudson wrangled four of his team-high seven targets for 49 yards.
Buffalo Bills @ Detroit Lions
I don’t even know what to look for with Buffalo because I don’t want any of them on my Fantasy team. Frank Gore was clearly the best running back despite being the oldest running back in the league. He averaged 7.1 yards per carry gaining 57 yards on eight carries. TJ Yeldon also caught three passes out of the backfield for 51 yards. No one else did anything of Fantasy relevance. We would have liked to see Devin Singletary, but he only carried the ball once, although, it was a nine-yard TD.
There was nothing to love about Kerryon Johnson’s production, however, he did play the whole first series and did not come out on third down in this game. The man that Fantasy owners fear will take his third down work, Ty Johnson, caught an 11-yard touchdown on his only target. Rookie tight end TJ Hockenson grabbed three passes for 52 yards as he attempts to push Jesse James for snaps.