Steelers v Bills
The Pittsburgh first team offense played very little in this one. We did see some DeAngelo Williams playing with Big Ben and co. and while he’s nowhere near as explosive or shifty as Le’Veon Bell he should be a pretty decent fill in for the first two games and might be a good gamble week one against a weaker New England run D.
Buffalo has really impressed me this preseason. They demolished Pittsburgh in this game and are still without many of their starters in offense. Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manual both looked good in this one, with each only throwing one incompletion and adding some run yards. Taylor is the likely week 1 starter and has some obvious upside given his ability to run, he’s currently min-priced for week 1 on DraftKings. TE Charles Clay had a mammoth 50 yard score. He could be a bigger part of the offense than people think and has good athleticism for his position.
Jets v Giants
The Giants defense is probably going to be a very good group to target for daily fantasy this year. Ryan Fitzpatrick looked very solid in this game, mainly due to the ineptitude of the Giants D. Fitz is an upgrade in passing for the Jets and he’s already developed rapport with Brandon Marshall, targeting him 12 times through 3 preseason games, the most of all the Jets receivers. Both could be sneaky fantasy targets in higher scoring games. I also like the way Chris Ivory looked. He’s averaged 5.8 ypc in preseason and is going to be the featured back in this offense.
The Giants have started slow but fantasy wise I’m not worried. With a porous defense the Giants are simply going to have to throw 40 times a game just to keep things close. This is going to be great for Odell Beckham who got 6 targets in about a quarter or so of work and just missed a couple of huge plays. The other Giant I’m excited for this year is Shane Vereen who looked like the best running back to me in this game. With the weak Giants defense Vereen will see a lot of snaps simply due to game flow many weeks.
Viking v Cowboys
The Cowboys look like they’re still going to be a run first team. Both Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden ran the ball well in this one, with McFadden getting some truly massive holes to run through. I don’t know what the workload will be but Dallas has insisted they will share carries making both of them potential weekly targets. Tony Romo looked fine and should be in for another decent year, although his numbers will be held back by the Cowboys run first approach.
The Vikings looked a little out of synch on offense in this one. Teddy Bridgewater was under a lot more pressure than in the first two games and he couldn’t get much going. Inserting Adrian Peterson into this lineup week 1 is really going to help settle things down and help this offense move the ball with more consistency. I still like the Vikings as a bit of a sleeper team this year.
Browns v Bucs
The Bucs Jameis Winston really looked bad in this game. To his credit he was under pressure all night and really had no chance on many throws, but he also made a ton of bad decisions. Winston threw a complete floater inside his own 20 in the first quarter that led to a Browns TD. With the Bucs O-line being weak and Winston simply not looking good, I’ll be targeting fantasy defenses against this team all year. The one Buc player I think does look good is Doug Martin. He’s the clear starter right now and had a beautiful 20 yard run for a td in this game. He should get a good workload week 1.
The Browns offense was the benefactor of a lot of good field position. They are still not a team I would target all for fantasy purposes this year as there is just not much upside with most of their players. The biggest news for them was that rookie Duke Johnson suffered a concussion in this game and might miss week 1 of the regular season. If he’s out Crowell and West get a slight bump.
Falcons v Dolphins
The Dolphins offense looked to be in good form in this game. The Dolphins have really worked the short to intermediate pass game this preseason and that should benefit second year player Jarvis Landry going forward, Landry caught 5 balls for over 80 yards in this game. Lamar Miller also caught 5 passes and the Fins have used the RB a lot in the passing game this preseason, expect Miller to have one of the higher reception totals for RBs and be a good ppr play for fantasy.
The Falcons first team offense didn’t play a ton in this one and Julio Jones didn’t even see the field. Rookie Tevin Coleman saw the field briefly in this one and showed his athleticism when he turned a 2 yard loss into a 6 yard gain. Other than that ATL had trouble running the ball, they are still going to be a pass heavy team and rely on the arm of Matt Ryan this season to get them to the playoffs.
Redskins v Ravens
This game was pretty intense. The Ravens have had a brutal preseason and came out pretty fiery in this one. Steve Smith took a short Joe Flacco pass 50 or so yards for a TD and looked to be fired up, he’d later be ejected for fighting (classic Steve!). With Breshad Perriman out Smith will once again be the best receiving option for Flacco and should see some big games. Still this will be a tough offense to target as they can be very inconsistent. Justin Forsett should see big workloads and also had a strong game in this one.
The Redskins have all but anointed Kirk Cousins the starter. Cousins is sadly an upgrade over RGIII but he’s also a turnover machine waiting to happen. His first pass in this one was an INT straight into the hands of Terrell Suggs. Cousins is a one read QB who can make pro throws but since he doesn’t read the field well he throws into coverage a ton and turns the ball over way too much. Cousins TD in this game came when he threw into double coverage and the ball was deflected up but luckily bounced straight into the hands of his WR for an easy TD. In the past Cousins has had big games against poor pass D’s and been destroyed by good ones, I expect that trend to continue this season. Matt Jones once again looked like the best RB for Washington in this one and I expect he’ll cut into Alfred Morris’ workload as the season wears on.
Bears v Bengals
Andy Dalton led the Bengals for a TD in this one and then left with a sore neck. It doesn’t seem to be a big issue but it’s something to keep an eye on. I expect the Bengals offense to be up and down all season. It’s capable of some big games but also capable of being totally ineffective, don’t over commit to any Cincy players in a given week.
Matt Forte should once again be in for a big workload. He’s been going a little under the radar this preseason in terms of news but he’s a great receiver and the Bears will likely try to limit Jay Cutler’s throws as much as possible this year. With Alshon Jeffrey out Martellus Bennett had a big game, catching all 7 of his targets. Bennett will benefit from Marshall’s departure and should be a consistent ppr option all season, a great target for your 50/50’s on DraftKings.
Colts v Rams
The Indy offense is once again looking like a largely pass-based run and gun style offense. The Colts gained almost nothing on the ground when their starters were in but had success with long passes over the middle to TY Hilton and Andre Johnson. Johnson looks very fit to me and might still have a big season or two left in his body. I don’t think TY’s production will fall though and he might even get a boost from Andre’s presence. Frank Gore might have a few big ppr games as the starting RB but big running games will be few, the Colts just don’t run block very well.
St. Louis has a ferocious D-line and will probably give fits to teams with inexperienced QBs and weak O-lines, their secondary can be exposed though (which is what Andrew Luck did here). Tre Mason suffered a hamstring injury and is now questionable for the opener, if he misses Benny Cunningham could be a good play at almost min price week 1. Nick Foles showed off his down field passing ability in this one, completing a long TD pass to Chris Givens. The Rams offense might still be low volume passing wise but Foles brings better pocket awareness and isn’t afraid to sling the ball downfield.
Eagles v Packers
The big news in this one was that Randall Cobb came up semi lame after an early catch. Right now it looks like just a shoulder sprain but he’s still questionable for week 1. If Cobb is out for week one Davante Adams becomes a must play, but other wide-outs Jeff Janis and Ty Montgomery could be big plays too. Janis caught a TD in this one but Montgomery might be the better all-around player and looked decent in this game catching a nicely thrown 52 yard pass. Backup Brett Hundley looked much better in this one, I don’t know why Hundley fell in the draft but in my opinion he is a better long term prospect than a couple of the QBs who were picked in front of him.
Philly looked absolutely surgical in this one. Sam Bradford showed off his accuracy and threw for three TDs before departing. The Eagles defense also looked good and the secondary is much improved over last year. The Eagles were hands down the best looking team all of preseason. The RBs will be a rotation and frustrating for fantasy but at wide-out look for Jordan Matthews to have a monster year.
Seahawks v Chargers
Seattle’s offense really struggled in this one. The starters played more than a half but really had trouble finishing drives. The Seattle O-line has been a source of frustration this preseason and Russell Wilson has been under fire in all of the games. Jimmy Graham-Wilson also looked a little off as they only connected on 2 of 5 targets. Ultimately I wouldn’t be too worried about Seattle. They may have some off games offensively but we know how quickly Wilson can rack up yards with his feet and how effective Graham can be in the red zone. I expect them to pick it up on offense as the season progresses.
San Diego looked equally inept on offense and rookie Melvin Gordon has done nothing to impress me. Gordon came out of rushing powerhouse Wisconsin and you have to wonder if he’s actually the high powered runner he was labeled as at the draft or if he is simply a product of the program. The Chargers Stevie Johnson led the team with 6 targets. You have to wonder how much he’ll take away from Keenan Allen’s production this year. It might be a situation to avoid for fantasy.
49ers v Broncos
This is tale of two teams struggling on offense. Peyton Manning wraps up preseason with zero TDs. He was sacked 3 times while in the game and his O-line looks to be in slight disarray as well. I really expect the Broncos to rely heavily on the run game this year and would look for both CJ Anderson and Ronnie Hillman to be in play for fantasy many weeks. Hillman has looked good all preseason and is the superior athlete but expect Anderson to see the bulk of the carries and workload to start the year.
The 49ers are also going to be a run first team. Carlos Hyde has looked decent and Colin Kaepernick is also a threat to run when he gets space, Kaepernick had a nice 34 yard run in this one, a reminder that he can produce fantasy points in bunches when he gets room. Still, passing-wise Kaepernick looks the same, jumpy, indecisive and inaccurate. It will be hard to rely on the 49er WRs this year and I’d avoid them most weeks unless there was a good matchup or a high scoring game was expected.
Cardinals v Raiders
The story of this one was how good Khalil Mack and the Raiders defense looked and how bad the Cardinals offense looked. Carson Palmer got pasted numerous times in this game and the Cardinals first team got outplayed by Oakland. The Cards passing game might be off limits vs good pass rushes.
Oakland’s running game was equally feeble as the Cards didn’t let Latavius Murray or any of the other Raider backs get going. Derek Carr was pretty inaccurate in this game but he did target Amari Cooper a game high 9 times. Cooper looked great after the catch in this one and had a huge gain on a play where he made the Cards defensive backs look foolish. Cooper could be a great target in games where Carr is forced to throw the ball.
Texans v Saints
The Saints starters sat for most of this game and their offense was muted as a result. Brandin Cooks looked great once again in limited action and will be a massive play in fantasy this year.
Brian Hoyer started the game and actually looked OK running the offense. He hit DeAndre Hopkins on a long TD that called back (it looked like a catch on TV). Hopkins is stupidly talented and if Ryan Fitzpatrick can create big games for Hopkins than so can Hoyer. Alfred Blue once again started the game and scored a short TD. Even without Arian Foster Houston will be a run first team and so Blue will have some value early in the season for fantasy.