Falcons v Jets
Matt Ryan should see an increase in playing time in this game. He was deadly on one drive in the first week and if he gets even a quarter of action here he could go for multiple scores. The player who should get the most volume though is TJ Yates. The Flacons aren’t exactly deep at QB and they probably want to give Yates as many reps as they can for experience purposes and to make sure they don’t need to bring in another arm. Yates is pretty average for a backup but capable of a big game against second stringers. I’d probably give the edge to Ryan here and just hope the explosiveness of this offense gets him big numbers before he’s pulled.
With Geno Smith’s broken jaw comes more playing time for the Jets “backups”. I use quotations because the Jets are now forced to go with Ryan Fitzpatrick (a backup) as their starter. Fitzmagic should see a decent chunk of playing time, although the Jets might want to limit his snaps since they have literally nothing behind him. Ok the Jets did sign Matt Flynn… done laughing? Flynn should get a long look in this game as Bryce Petty the third stringer looked bad in the first preseason game. Flynn is at least capable of dominating weak defenses and so could be a decent play here.
The Falcons running game gets interesting this week. Both Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman are game time decisions. Both had been out with hamstring issues but both are near full health now. Of the two I would 100% suggest going with Coleman if he plays. He’s the more explosive player and might get more work against second stringers considering he’s a rookie. If one or both are out I’d probably suggest making UDFA Terron Ward a play. Antone Smith (the number 3 back) is 100% out for this game and so Ward should get more of a chance to play. He didn’t do much in week 1 but the volume should be increased this week with Smith out.
The Jets RB situation is fairly settled. It looks like Chris Ivory is going to be the starter and probably won’t get a ton of carries in preseason since the idea will be to feed him a ton in the regular season to keep the ball out of the QBs hands. Bilal Powell got quite a bit of work in the first game and that might continue here. He looks like the backup but will be pushed by third stringer Zach Stacey at some point. I’d personally be very tempted to use Stacy here since he figures to get a little more work as the preseason progresses and quite frankly is probably a better back than Powell. He could be a strong play against third stringers.
Julio Jones looked his dominant self in his one drive last week. It’s plausible he plays a little more in this game and honestly considering the randomness of playing time in preseason going with Julio might not be a bad play. He could rack up 70 yards and a td very quickly. The players I’d be more interesting in targeting though would be rookie Justin Hardy and veteran Leonard Hankerson. Hankerson was a college star who was released by the Redskins after being ineffective in his time in Washington. He’s been the talk of camp though and looks like the favourite for the number 3 role in this offense (and possibly might even start to take away snaps from Roddy White if White can’t stay healthy). Hardy looked good in his first preseason game but is more of a ppr play. I like Hank for the upside.
The Jets first preseason game is probably a microcosm of what their season will look like. No Jets receiver caught more than 2 balls. Rookie Devin Smith, drafted to provide depth, is out. I’d try and avoid taking any Jets WRs on this slate but if I had to take one DeVier Posey is probably your best bet. He’s battling for the third spot with second year man Shaq Evans who has little experience and is coming off a serious shoulder injury. Both Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall are healthy and will start but it’s unknown how much either will play much and the quarterback situation is simply not conducive to a big game for either on limited volume.
Levine Toilolo should see some more snaps here, he’s now third on the depth chart but will get work against the third teamers and is a big body for the backup QBs to throw too. I’d also consider Tony Moeaki, he’s battling for starting duties and the Falcons should make an effort to see what he has to offer. Moeaki is talented but has been hurt for basically his entire career. He’s actually healthy right now (as of writing this) and should get decent time on the field so a big game is plausible here.
For the Jets Jace Amaro is now listed as the number one TE and confirmed as the first string “H”, or move TE on the team. This essentially means he’s going to be the preferred pass catcher for Jets this year (at TE) and likely a safety valve for their under-par quarterbacks. I’d probably gamble on Amaro getting a decent chunk of playing time here, possibly even a half. Kellen Moore is also an option and might see the field more since he’s essentially the backup to starting “Y” TE Jeff Cumberland. Moore is not a great pass catcher though so he’d be a play based purely on the hope he plays the entire second half against weak competition.
Seahawks v Chiefs
The Chiefs actually gave Alex Smith almost an entire quarter in the first game and have announced that the starters could conceivably play close to a half in this game. I think with that volume you to consider playing Smith who was chucking the ball downfield more than usual in his first outing. Andy Reid seems determined to send a message that the Chiefs will be more passing oriented this year and a passing td for Smith (or two) seems likely. Preseason star Chase Daniels who has made a career out of racking up points against second and third stringers in the preseason, had 3 tds in his first outing. The only worry is that the Chiefs may give more garbage time to third and fourth stringers. I would probably roll with Smith if going with a KC QB.
For the Seahawks the Backup Tavaris Jackson will be out for this game with an ankle sprain. That means the only two QBs on the roster will be Russell Wilson and RJ Archer. I seriously doubt the Hawks will play Wilson more than a quarter given how important he is to this team, which means Archer may get a ton of playing time. From a talent perspective there’s nothing here to get excited about, but if Archer’s getting at least a half of football on a short slate you need to consider him in your games this week. In week one he threw for over 100 yards and a td so there’s some potential.
At running back there’s actually a competition brewing over who will be Jamaal Charles’ backup. The very talented Knile Davis is being pushed by Charcandrick West who racked up nearly 80 totals yards in the first preseason game. Both of these players should continue to see decent volume but with the Chiefs knowing what they have in Davis (plus he had a small knee scare in the first game), West might get a lot more of the work. I always like to side with the talent when possible and Knile Davis is a big play waiting to happen but the coaches seem to love West and he is probably the safer play, it appears as though he’ll get more work against the third stringers.
I doubt Marshawn Lynch will play much in this game and so given that information I’d have to recommend rostering Christine Michael. Michael is talented but did not look great in week 1. I’d still have to give him the edge over any other backups though since a big game is possible if he gets going and quite frankly he needs to show there’s a reason for Seattle to keep him. UDFA Thomas Rawls looked mighty good in the first game and is the other back to target here. He had a nice 19 yard receiving td and is pushing Michael for the third spot. His good work last week probably guaranteed him more playing time in this game.
I might have jumped the gun last week when I mentioned Chris Conley but this week it looks like Conley is going to both play and possibly be featured. While Jeremy Maclin and Albert Wilson will start for the Chiefs, both Junior Hemingway and De’Anthony Thomas look to be out for this game meaning more targets and snaps for Conley. Conley is an athletic freak and there’s buzz building around him in Chiefs camp as we speak. He’s definitely the person I would target in this offense as he should trump the starters in playing time and has the skills for a big game. It should be noted that Wilson and Maclin are still both options since the starters will play close to a half for the Chiefs.
Chris Matthews is out for the Seahawks at WR leaving an already thin group even thinner. Even though he failed to catch a pass in week one Tyler Lockett showed off his impressive speed when he returned a kick for a td. I can’t see the Hawks not trying to get Lockett more involved and so I’m recommending him once again. He is a big play waiting to happen and will get snaps against second stringers all night. Other second string options here are Kevin Norwood and Ricardo Lockette although neither have the same upside as the aforementioned rookie.
Travis Kelce caught two passes in limited playing time in week one and could see up to a full half of play. There’s not another TE on the Chiefs I would even consider playing. If Kelce is getting nearly a full half of work he should be a good play and at least get you something in terms of points.
Cooper Helfet is the only Seahawk tight end other than Jimmy Graham who caught in pass in week 1 and he’s probably a good bet to play well into the game. Helfet is a decent pass catching option and more than capable of landing you a few yards after the catch as well. You might see starter Jimmy Graham get going here too. After only getting one catch in week 1 you have to think Pete Carroll will want to start building chemistry with his star QB and TE. Graham is risky since he might only play a couple series (could not find any info on how long the starters for Seattle will play), but he should get a red zone target or two in this game if the opportunity arises.