by Nick Ercolano
August 21, 2018
As week 2 wraps up, there is just one more week of meaningful preseason games to go, the dress rehearsal, week 3. We're getting a clearer and clearer picture of what team's want to do with their starters and their offenses in 2018. Before we start, I want to hear what some of your guy's biggest takeaways from Week 2 action was. Drop a comment down below --- go do that --- hit that thumbs up button while you're down there and subscribe if you're new to the channel.
Tomorrow's video will be my top players to avoid at the WR position - Thursday is the best spot to draft from video - Friday will be breaking down my WR Rankings by tier, Saturday will be my Etown Get Down League meeting/punishment bnehind the scenes meeting. Sunday, will be live streams - make sure you hit the bell down below to get notified when I go live on Sunday!
Any who, here are my top takeaways from this weekend's NFL Week 2 preszn games:
I went back and watched all of Thursday night's games and basically tweeted out a thread of my thoughts on them:
Tom Brady is my favorite option behind all of the QBs not named Aaron Rodgers, especially in 6-point per pass TD leagues - he's very likely going to lead the NFL again in passing TDs. Vegas has him as the odds-on favorite to do so. And speaking of Aaron Rodgers & Davante Adams, that's going to be a big thing man, Adams is firmly in that mid 2nd round discussion. Jamaal Williams was used all over the field, he has a minor ankle injury but I'm fully okay letting his ADP dip a bit because of it and pouncing on it.
James Washington is a great late-round pick. The guy is super talented, the opportunity is, of course, going to be hard to find with Brown, JuJu and Bell there, but if anything happens to those guys, Washington could be a top-20 WR. And speaking of Bell, once again James Connor is looking really good out there so far. This defense is looking bad in PIT without Shazier, I want as much of this offense as I can get.
Tyreek Hill - caught that deep bomb from Mahomes. That's going to happen, but it's still going to be very boom or bust from game to game, I'm still standing pat, with my fading Hill as a 3rd round pick. Watkins didn't catch a ball, but he did see 3 targets and what's more encouraging is his usage, per Graham Barfield:
He's moving all over the field, as they said in preszn. I love that. But, I do want to see some of this turn into production. I still like Sammy a lot as a mid-round pick if you go RB heavy early on.
Y'all know I love Kerryon Johnson, but again, the question marks are real here in terms of how they use him. He was once again, the third RB into the game. There were 13 snaps with the 1st team offense, Abdullah started and saw 5, Riddick had 4 including a bunch of work in the passing game obviously (3-50) and Johnson saw 4. It's clear that they're not looking to use Johnson as the bellcow here - expectations need to be tempered here and you need to realize this is very much likely to be a committee.
Carlos Hyde balled out once again, running for 64 yards on 9 carries and another score, 60 of his 64 yards came after contact. I originally had Hyde listed as one of my top busts in my draft guide, but 1. That was because his ADP started out at around pick 55, but I have since taken him off that list and replaced him. If you wanna snag my draft guide you can do that ---
****Plug draft guide****
Back to your regularly scheduled programming. Hyde is clearly far ahead of Nick Chubb in this backfield for starting duties, this line is looking good and Hyde has become a solid mid-round RB for fantasy being undervalued at his current ADP of RB38, 98th overall.
Let's talk about the running backs in the Miami vs. Carolina game. C-Mac, shaping up to be the legit workhorse, bellcow in Carolina. He's handled 80% of the first-team RB snaps and 83% of the 1st team RB touches. Obviously, he broke off the huge run, 71 yards to the crib, something he didn't do at all last year. He finished the game 5-92-1 and caught 4 balls for 28 yards. If he has another game like this in Week 3, and dominates the touches, his ADP might creep into the back-end of the first round of 12-team leagues and I can't really argue it. I know I've been pretty anti-CMac this summer, but guys the only way I can give you the best analysis is to be completely objective. And that's what I'm doing here. It's clear C.J. Anderson isn't going to be as big of a part of this offense as most people including myself expected and you have to analyze accordingly. C-Mac could be a league winner this year - he was an absolute bellcow at Stanford and is shaping up to be for the Panthers in 2018. The other running back, on the opposite team, Kenyan Drake - another guy I've been fading, not because I think he's a bad back but because the situation is still murky - though he did look good in this one, very good. He was used as the feature back, Drake got 11 touches with the first team offense, carrying the ball 8 times for 54 yards, also caught 3 passes. He turned a beautiful backfield hit into a 34-yard run. However, Gore didn't play and Ballage was out with a concussion, so we still don't know what the regular szn split will be here, who will get GL carries - it's still a bad offense with a bad offensive line - I'm still not picking Kenyan Drake at his current 36th overall price tag.
David Johnson is just an absolute animal and I think I'll be moving him up to my 3rd overall ranked player this week - And in relevant news, possibly my 2nd overall ranked player ahead of Zeke depending on the severity of Zack Martin's injury - he left the game with a knee injury - supposedly it's just a hyperextension - which is obviously best case as opposed to a tear or anything. We'll have to wait on an MRI for more news. Martin was PFF's #1 overall graded NFL guard last year - he's an enormous piece of this offense.
Taywan Taylor - I've talked about him a few times this summer, but now he needs to be firmly on your draft radar - he blew by the Bucs defense for a long TD catch on a screen/slant, on his way to a 4-95-2 day. We have no idea still what's going on with Rishard Matthews, he's missing all of these reps in a new offense, this could be a big breakout for the 2nd year WR Taylor. Jameis Winston played a lot of this game, putting up numbers that we should have already expected from him, completing 13-for-18, 226 yards and 2 scores, to <3 Chris Godwin and Justin Watson. D-Jax is still very much a thing. The only WR worth rostering earlier than a double-digit round pick is Evans at this point - there's just too much uncertainty with what everyone's role is going to be, although Godwin has monster upside.
Before we talk about my favorite rookie running back, Ronald Jones, I want to thank today's sponsor
Peyton Barber once again dominated this backfield, rushing 6 times for 32 yards, catching a pass. Rojo ran 4 times for 2 yards and now has more rushes than rushing yards this offszn, the only target he got in this game, he again couldn't come up with. It's a horrible start to RoJo's preszn and Barber is quietly pulling away with a monster role in this offense. Barber has warranted 7th round draft capital, maybe even 6th.
This was a tweet from Addison Hayes, which made me chuckle - Addison Hayes is the creator of the website FFStatistics.com which I highly recommend you guys all check out - he's going to be a guest on my channel soon in the FF industry series, probably in a few weeks, so stay tuned for that.
Going back to Jameis Winston though, he's going to be undrafted in a ton of leagues, their first 3 games @NO, PHI, vs. PIT aren't a great slate anyways, and you look at someone like Big Ben at QB10 or 12 and they have a great early szn schedule - starting off with CLV, KC, TB which is fantastic, or if you really want to spend 0 draft capital on the QB position, Alex Smith and the Skins start off with Arz, IND, GB then you can plug Winston in depending on matchups. you can take advantage of and then have Winston for a late, late pick and when he comes back he plays Chicago, bye, Atlanta, Cleveland.... just saying.
Trey Burton, might be taking a bit of an L on this one too. Well, not an L, but might need to be higher on him. They're literally just using him as a big WR. But, the big thing here is that Adam Sheehan left with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury. It's been reported that it's just a low ankle sprain thankfully. Now, these two guys play almost completely different positions in Matt Nagy's offense but if Sheehan misses time, that's could mean a lot more work for Burton down by the EZ, where I expected Sheehan to play a very big role here. Per Dr. Jesse Morse of the Fantasy Drs:
3-5 weeks puts him coming back like halfway through September, if not longer. Reports say he has an outside shot of coming back for Week 1, but we'll see. Definitely not a good thing for Sheehan, and raises Burton's ceiling. He'll be moving ahead of Jimmy Graham, George Kittle because of his injury, possibly Kyle Rudolph, we'll see.
Moving over to Denver, we have Case Keenum targeting Emmanuel Sanders on 6 of his 13 throws, whoop. What's even better is that he ran out of the slot on a lot of his routes, did Sanders. That's great considering Keenum was in love with Adam Thielen last year in Minnesota, targeting him nearly 9 times/game. He also missed Sanders on a wide-open would be 18-yard TD. If y'all didn't already know, I love Sanders this year in redraft leagues. Demaryius Thomas didn't play in those one however, nursing some kind of wrist injury that happened on Thursday, but until we hear more about it, I think we can assume it's minor. Denver's back up, Chad Kelly, looks like the truth - he's a big name to keep an eye on if you're in 2QB leagues, with deeper rosters or big league size. The running back battle here in Denver is something that's piqued everyone's interest, between Royce Freeman and Devontae Booker. For the 2nd straight week, Freeman out-performed Booker, but they were on the field for virtually the same amount of plays. Well, literally. Both saw 10 snaps with the first team. Booker ran for 17 yards on 4 carries & caught a pass for 10 yards, Freeman rushed for 20 yards on 6 carries, including a 4-yard score. He also caught a pass for 6 yards. So, we're seeing a near-even split, I'm really intrigued as to what happens in their regular szn dress rehearsal this weekend. Booker has started both game, but both have been used plenty on the ground, and through the air, Freeman has two touchdowns through two games, and it looks like he'll be the GL back here, not surprisingly he's looking like Jerome Bettis ate Jerome Bettis. But yeah, like I've been saying all offseason, I like both guys at their current ADP, although Freeman's price is rising quickly - I've seen him go as high as the 4th round in some drafts, which is going to be a little pricey for me tbh.
Let's move over to Seattle - where Russell Wilson played the entire 1st half, went 13-for-21, 193 yards. One guy to point out here, that I had been taking a ton in bestball drafts and I'm really glad I have is Jaron Brown. We have Doug Baldwin banged up with this knee, Graham and Richardson are gone of course, there's not a lot of depth here. There's Lockett who is in line for WR2 duties, but he's had a hard time staying healthy. There's 221 year old Brandon Marshall, who's 221 years old and I have literally not an ounce of confidence that he is even 50% of the player he once was. Positions are up for grabs here, and Brown's skill set, his athleticism is a great match with Wilson's kind of scramble and make plays downfield. And we saw it in this week's preseason game, where Brown caught a 29-yard pass and a 45-yarder from Wilson. Look at Brown's PlayerProfiler profile:
6-2, a big outside receiver, with really good speed, 87th %tile SPARQ score, best comparable player is Marvin Jones. He's been in the league for a minute though, and was never able to make a big impact on the Cardinals, which does concern me considering they never had someone earn the WR2 role behind Fitz over the last three years. Not saying to draft him in 10-team leagues, but in deeper leagues where you need depth, you could do a lot worse, he has solid upside.
Let's talk about the 49ers and Texans game. So, San Fran passing game looked good, let by Jimmy FG, who may need to be known by Jimmy TD from now on, 10-for-12, 136 yards and a score, and all reports about the cnx between him and Marquise Goodwin are coming to fruition. Goodwin has been the clear WR1 here, he caught another 40-yard bomb from Jimmy G. His ADP has been shooting up over the recent weeks, with all the camp reports followed by two strong preszn performances. Over the last month, from July 20 to August 20, he's gonna from pick 85 up a full 20 spots to 65. I'm definitely okay targeting him at pick 65, I would put the cut-off as a 6th round pick, I wouldn't go any higher. George Kittle has been sidelined, although his shoulder which showed no structural damage or anything is expected to be ready for Week 1. Goodwin isn't a guy I'm necessarily targeting everywhere, but I'd definitely like to own a share or two of him this year. The 49ers backfield is an absolute mess - we have McKinnon with his calf strain, which will sideline him until at least Week 1, is backup Matt Breida injured his shoulder and faces the same fate, now we have Joe Williams with a fractured rib who's out probably until at least Week 1, maybe further. They bring in Alfred Morris who had career years under Kyle Shanahan back in the day in Washington, and Jeremy McNichols who a lot of people liked coming out of school, drafted and then cut by the Bucs - he started and touched the ball 13 times in this once, a name to keep an eye on, but McKinnon is still definitely the guy to own here, don't forget the contract he got, they have every intention on making him the guy - however I've severely moved him down my rankings because of the injury - we don't know if he'll be good to go for Week 1, the calf injury gives him a decent chance of re-injury, Dr. Jesse Morse said the calf is tricky because it may feel good, but you have no idea how it's going to react until you're out there and really cutting and stopping on it. For that reason, I'm out as of now on McKinnon's 3rd round ADP.
Anywho, that's going to wrap it up for today's recap! Hope y'all enjoyed, and give a thumbs up if you did, subscribe to the channel if you're new!
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