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Sat Aug 17th 2019

15 Lessons From Preseason Week Two

Players on the rise or fall

It's important not to read too much into preseason games given that you never know what coaches are looking for and trying to accomplish in these games.  If you watch carefully, however, you can take away several things that affect players' dynasty values.  I just finished watching all of the preseason games played on Friday and Saturday, and here are 15 things I took away that changed player values in my rankings. 

1. Sam Darnold is going to challenge to be a QB1.

  • Sam looked great again this week.  He was on target and on time on plays and quick to adjust and make something out of broken plays.  His dynasty value is on the rise.  I moved him up to my #11 ranked QB.  It's true that Adam Gase has indeed been a drain to player values apart from his time coaching Peyton Manning, but I believe this year will be different.  Darnold is far better than Tannehill who Gase was strapped to for the last few years.  He is going to be the tide that lifts all the boats in New York, included Gase.

2. Ryan Finley could be better than Andy Dalton.

  • Finley looked great for the second week in a row.  I could not tell much a difference between his passing ability and control of the offense than Dalton's.  Dalton has always been an average quarterback.  Thus the "Dalton Scale" if you listen to the Around the NFL podcast.  Finley has room to improve.  Whereas Cincinnatti already knows what they have in Dalton.  It's highly unlikely that they will name him the starter before the season, but if the team struggles this year (which they very well could), expect Finley to get some time to prove himself and be the team's starting QB next year.

3.  Cole Beasley could be PPR monster.

  • Beasley caught 5 passes on 5 targets early in the game.  He's going to be their check-down target and rack up receptions this year.  I listened to a podcast by a beat reporter last week and he said he would be surprised if Beasley had less than 100 receptions.  It looked like it in this game.  I doubt he'll score many touchdowns or have many long plays, but in PPR leagues he could be a solid flex play every week.

4. I was wrong about Bruce Anderson.

  • I'm sad to say that I was wrong on Bruce Anderson.  He is not going to be in the mix in the Tampa Bay backfield even though it is super weak.  I suspect he will even be cut.  I listened to a podcast from a beat reporter for Tampa Bay and that's what the reporter predicted too.  This week's preseason game made that even more likely.

5. Daniel Jones will start sooner than later.

  • Jones had 2 fumbles in the game so that definitely looked bad, but apart from that, he looked great again.  The Giants benched Manning once last year and it became a PR nightmare.  The PR nightmare continued when they drafted Jones who many thought was going to be bust or at least was drafted too early.  So far he's proved the consensus wrong and Giant fans are starting to believe.  When they bench Eli this time, there will be no PR problem.  Everyone will want it.   This is going to happen sooner than later.

6. Jack Doyle is back.

  • I've always been higher on Doyle than everyone else.  Perhaps that explains why I have him so many of my teams.  I continue to have him ranked ahead of Ebron because he will be on the field more than Ebron since he's a better blocker.  His injuries and the emergence of Ebron have caused his value to dip but not for me.  If he's healthy he'll have more catches and yards than Ebron.  Ebron may have more TDs because he is great in the red zone, but Doyle can be too.  It was just great to see him on the field again and give me confidence in ranking him as my #9 TE.

7. Ty Montgomery might be the RB2 behind Leveon Bell.

  • Ty looked good, even though it's still weird to see a guy wearing a number 88 jersey in the backfield.  People like Elijah McGuire and the recently re-signed Bilal Powell better than Ty, but they may be wrong.  I was, so moved Ty ahead of both of them.  I would not be surprised to see Bell injured this year after taking a year off from football last year.  The handcuff in New York could hold great value.  I suspect it's Ty is the handcuff to own.

8. Adrian Peterson will not die.

  • Peterson is not human.  His first carry of the preseason is a 26-yard run in his typical galloping style.  Granted, he had only 5 yards on his other 3 carries, but that's always been what he does.  He makes his hay on big plays.  Darius Guice is still not cleared for contact.  Peterson is going to play a lot this year and is worth buying in leagues where you need a quick fix at RB.

9. Deon Cain is going to get some work.

  • Cain was targeted early and often in this preseason game.  Chester Rogers started ahead of him, but it sure seemed like they coaches were seeing what the had in Cain a year after his ACL surgery.  It's a packed WR corps in Indianapolis since they drafted Paris Campbell and signed Devin Funchess in free agency.  I still believe holding Cain as the last spot on your roster is wise.  There is still a competition for the WR 2 and 3 spot in Indianapolis.

10. Tommy Sweeney or Dawson Knox will make an impact.

  • I was encouraged to see Josh Allen be more accurate and target his TEs in this preseason game. Sweeney had 2 nice catches for 47 yards.  One of these rookie TEs (Sweeney or Knox) will be targeted in this offense.  I was higher on Knox than most analysts and drafted him in the last round of rookie drafts.  His training camp injury is giving Sweeney the chance to earn the job.  I still like Knox more, but the battle is getting interesting.

11. Auden Tate is a deep sleeper.

  • I remember having Auden Tate among my top 10 rookies in the 2018 draft class before the NFL draft.  But when he was not drafted until the 7th round, I dropped him quite a bit and never drafted him.  He's looked great this preseason and is doing what he does best - high-pointing balls and boxing guys out in the red zone.  He scored a TD again this week, as he did last week.  He could get some work with AJ Green out and prove that he's worthy of more reps.

12. Chris Moore is a guy to hold.

  • Moore played most of the first half snaps opposite rookie Miles Boykin, but received a lot more action.  He caught all 4 of his targets for 54 yards and a touchdown.  Marquise Brown (also a rookie) could certainly come back and take his spot if he gets healthy, but Moore as more experience and could hold off both rookies.  I'm going to pick up Moore in several of my leagues this week since he is on the waiver wire in most of them.

13. The Jets defense is underrated.

  • Gregg Williams always makes defenses better fantasy options.  He's super aggressive which results in sacks and turnovers.  Add to that the defensive stars on the roster at every level with Leonard Williams, CJ Mosley, Jamal Adams, and rookie Quinnen Williams, and the Jets are sure to improve.  This is a DST on the waiver wire in more of my leagues.  They should be picked up this week if so. 

14. Tony Pollard is looking the part.

  • Jerry Jones is playing hardball with Zeke and Saturday's game made it easier for him to do so.  Pollard looked great.  I was skeptical on Pollard given that he never had a full workload in college but he has the size and big-play ability to be an NFL starter even if he was not in college.  He had 8 yards per carry Saturday and 1 touchdown.  I still believe Zeke will come back to play this year with or without a contract, but Pollard's value is still rising regardless.  Dallas could very well move on from Zeke after his rookie contract if Pollard continues to show that he has what it takes.

15. Darrell Henderson has room to grow.

  • All the buzz around Henderson is starting to fade.  I saw him drafted as the #3 rookie in one of my rookie drafts.  That looks pretty ridiculous now.  He looked decent in the passing game on Saturday,  at least on one big catch, but his running thus far has been unimpressive.  I would not be surprised if Malcolm Brown is the RB2 in LA, and he is far easier to buy than Henderson.  They're going to give him every chance to succeed, but I am not convinced that he can.  Plus, I think the Gurley injury is being extremely overrated.  I'm 100% out on Henderson at his price.

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