NFL Preseason Week 2 Fantasy Football Recap
Two games into the preseason now and we should have a better idea of how these NFL offenses are shaping up for fantasy purposes, right? Not exactly. But maybe I can help. Below you will find a position-by-position look at how Week 2 went down to help you plan and adjust accordingly for upcoming redraft and best-ball leagues.
Note: All player ADPs mentioned are courtesy of 4for4’s Multi-Site ADP Tool.
Patrick Mahomes has a NICE arm: Overall, the Chiefs QB had an up-and-down performance, but notably, he nailed a 69-yard strike to Tyreek Hill late in the first half for his first TD of the preseason. He showcased the ability to get the ball downfield with accuracy and strength, teasing the potential of he and Hill this season. Mahomes finished 8-of-12 for 138 yards and looks appropriately priced as a mid-10th-round pick.
Bills QB race is most likely down to two candidates: A.J. McCarron reportedly suffered a hairline fracture to his right collarbone during Friday night’s matchup versus the Browns, potentially leaving just Nathan Peterman and rookie Josh Allen to compete for the starting gig. Peterman has completed 17-of-20 passes for 231 yards, two touchdowns and an interception this preseason, while Allen’s line is 18-of-32, 176 yards and two scores. I’d stay away from this mess in single-QB leagues, but perhaps throw a dart at whichever one you prefer super late in superflex, 2QB or best-ball leagues.
New York is still without a clear starter at QB: Rookie Sam Darnold returned to earth this week, throwing a pick and getting sacked a few times on his way to a mediocre 8-of-11 for 62 yards on the game. It was Teddy Bridgewater’s turn next, completing 10-of-15 passes for 127 yards, a TD and an interception. Veteran journeyman Josh McCown didn’t play, as they know what they have in the 39-year-old passer. Good thing they have a few weeks to sort it all out, but I’m keeping my distance in fantasy land.
Jameis Winston had quite a quarter: Coming in after Ryan Fitzpatrick kicked things off in the first, Winston posted 226 passing yards with TD tosses to Chris Godwin and Justin Watson in the second quarter alone. He’s clearly in midseason form. Despite a three-game suspension, he could be a steal at his current 15th-round ADP.
Cleveland’s ground game is strong, but not crystal clear: After collectively rushing for just 50 yards on 33 carries in the first preseason game, the Browns backfield shined, as Carlos Hyde posted 64 yards and a score on nine carries and rookie Nick Chubb added another 53 yards and a TD on 11 touches. Duke Johnson held his own with four carries for 27 yards, making this backfield still tough to navigate.
Draft Christian McCaffrey: If only it were that easy. The guy can ball and will be used everywhere this season in Carolina’s offense. McCaffrey had 120 yards from scrimmage in the first half, which included a monster 71-yard TD run. He also added four catches for 28 yards. He should see a minimum of 25 touches per game, plus wherever they can get him the ball in space. Currently, a mid-second-rounder, get him now before his ADP approaches first-round territory.
Don’t forget about James White: New England’s backfield is a confusing place and White seems to be the one we talk about the least. He showed us his fantasy-worth against the Super Bowl Champs, catching six balls for 61 yards, including a 20-yard TD, with another 31 yards on the ground. With knee injuries to both Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead, White could easily outperform his current 10th-round ADP, which is sure to climb in the coming weeks.
Royce Freeman is the guy in Denver’s backfield: The rookie technically split time with Devontae Booker, but overshadowed his teammate again, scoring his second NFL touchdown in as many games. Freeman showed speed and vision, rushing six times for 20 yards while on the field for the Broncos. I wouldn’t go crazy and reach for the former Oregon RB just yet, but he’s certainly showing the potential of a solid RB2.
Learn the name Chris Warren: If you’re in a deep league or play in best-balls leagues, Raiders RB Chris Warren could be your guy. A week after posting 86 yards on 13 carries, the undrafted rookie rushed for 110 yards on 18 touches, including a three-yard TD run. He may give Jon Gruden no choice but to roster him and could provide sneaky fantasy value if giving significant snaps.
Rookie Calvin Ridley is ready for primetime: Drafting first-year guys always has some risk, but Ridley looks like he belongs on an NFL field this season. He beat Atlanta corner David Amerson to snag a sweet 36-yard pass from Matt Ryan, then later connected with Matt Schaub for a score. At his current 12th-round ADP, the former Alabama WR looks a nice value and could produce as a WR3/borderline-WR2 this season.
Mike Williams is the real deal: I’ve been touting Mike Williams over Tyrell Williams all offseason and he showed everyone why on Saturday night. He was the seventh overall pick in 2017, but was sidelined due to injury. Now healthy, Mike Williams is ready to show his stuff, making an acrobatic 25-yard TD catch from Geno Smith to put the Chargers up early in the game. Currently an 11th-round pick, Williams could potentially provide WR2 numbers this season at a very nice price tag.
Grab some Taywan Taylor if you haven’t already: The sophomore Titan is about to shoot up draft boards after showcasing his insane quickness and yards-after-catch potential in Week 2 of the preseason. He finished with 4 catches for 95 yards and 2 scores, filling in pretty darn well for the injured Rishard Matthews. Taylor is currently free in both redraft and best-ball leagues, but that will be short lived.
Buy all the Trey Burton: Four of Mitch Trubisky’s first five completions were to Burton, as Bears coach Matt Nagy showed what he learned from his time spent with Andy Reid. If this is a preview of what’s to come, I love what I see in Burton’s potential volume. Fellow Chicago TE Adam Shaheen went down with an injured right ankle, which could mean even more work for Burton this season. The former Eagle finished his short stint on the field catching four of his five targets for 45 yards and a score.
Ian Thomas could be a thing: With Greg Olsen a tad long on the tooth and coming off a broken foot, rookie Thomas could emerge as the next big thing in Carolina. His preseason highlight was a 27-yard TD catch from Cam Newton. He’s big, fast and athletic, which of course are all positives in the game of football. I wouldn’t ditch any proven TE for Thomas just yet, but he could be a last-round desperation flier pick.
Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images.