Overreactions to NFL Preseason Week One
With the first full week of the NFL preseason under wraps, it’s officially time to start overreacting to what we saw. This is a tradition amongst fantasy owners, we see a couple splashy plays, overreact, and shoot players to the top of our cheat sheets. Here are some of our overreactions after watching each of the week one preseason games.
We Can Definitely Trust Rookie Wide Receivers
I have been preaching that Agholor is going to have a top 20 type season for the past month, but go ahead and add Phillip Dorsett and Tyler Lockett to that mix as well. When they get back, Breshad Perriman and DeVante Parker will be extremely fantasy relevant this season, especially as GPP plays on FanDuel and DraftKings. The most talented receiver of the group, Amari Cooper is likely going to be too pricey to roster, and his ADP is already too high. I’m committed to my argument that the Raiders receivers (specifically Butler and Holmes) were underrated last season, and that Derek Carr’s rookie season was drastically overrated.
How to use the overreaction in your fantasy drafts..
My recommendation with this crop of receivers is to let someone else take Cooper early, and in general to avoid drafting receivers with bad QB’s. If you really want him plan on targeting Agholor, who’s current ADP is 92, in the late 5th to early 6th round. Of Dorsett and Lockett, I definitely prefer Dorsett. Seattle has never utilized their wide receivers, and there is still a ton of names to compete with on the Seahawks WR depth chart. He will be fun to watch this season, but isn’t draftable as a fantasy wide receiver this season.
Dorsett on the other hand saw three targets/completions on his first drive with Luck, and played as the 3rd wide receiver with Hilton and AJ in the game. It will be hard to get a ton of targets in that offense, but he’s a great guy to target later in drafts and stash if AJ or Hilton go down at some point this season.
Speaking of potential draft and stash guys, Justin Hardy didn’t play with the first team offense as Leonard Hankerson slid into the Harry Douglas role, but he did spell Julio and for the most part looked great. With the injury history for both Roddy and Julio, I think Hardy is a no brainer pick late in drafts, and could have huge upside not only if there is an injury in Atlanta, but if he can win that number three receiver job.
The Bucs are Awful, but Fantasy Relevant Again
The defense provided no pass rush, the linebackers were awful in coverage, and the DB’s weren’t much better, but the most disappointing thing Bucs fans should take away from preseason week on is that the offensive line hasn’t improved. Jameis’ reads and release looked slow which is a disaster when you consider he had and will have no time. The running game looked a little better, but Doug Martin had to be Muscle Hamster or Baby Rhino, or whatever his current nickname is, to earn the 19 yards he gained on his 5 carries.
However, there is reason for daily fantasy players to pay attention to Tampa. Dirk Koetter and Lovie Smith look like they are going to let Jameis air it out and throw the ball down field. So, while you can expect a bunch of multi-interception games, keeping his salary capped, Jameis could have the occasional big game against suspect pass defenses in games where the Bucs are trailing big in the NFC South… Yes I’m talking about Jameis as a potential value pick against the Saints and Falcons.
Keep in mind that the Bucs have the easiest fantasy schedule in the NFL, so you can expect a lot of rookie moments, but also big games from Winston in year one. I will target Doug Martin over Jameis in their easy week one and two matchups against the Titans and Saints, but after playing the Texans, Panthers, and Jags the Bucs will get a bye week and then come back to the Redskins, who stuffed the run and were shredded by the pass last season. This could be a great week to target Jameis (currently priced at $6,000 on DraftKings and $6,900 on FanDuel) as a high upside value pick in GPP’s.
Ryan Mallett Should Be the Texans Starting Quarterback
Hoyer played well, but there are two things I can say for certain about the Texans QB battle: First, you aren’t winning a Super Bowl with Brian Hoyer. You may be a wild card team, but aren’t beating the Colts, Broncos or Steelers with Brian Hoyer. Second, you can’t draft your future quarterback until you know what you have in Mallett. If Bill O’Brien is starting Hoyer to manage the game, he clearly doesn’t understand football, and I think he does.
A game managing quarterback hasn’t won a super bowl since Trent Dilfer did it in 2001, and it’s debatable whether or not Hoyer can be considered a manager of games… He threw more interceptions than touchdowns last season. Beyond that, how do we know Mallett can’t manage games? Granted, you have to look at preseason games to determine this, but Mallett has a 2:1 touchdown to interception ratio over his NFL career.
Roll the kid out there for 16 games, run the ball, keep your hands on the reins while letting him push the ball down field to Hopkins on occasion, and see what the hell you have there.
The Vikings Line and AP’s Value Was Destroyed With the Phil Loadholt Injury
Ok, this is definitely an overreaction, but Loadholt is one of the better run blocking offensive linemen in the NFL, and this is an o-line that struggled to run block last season. AP averaged 3.6 ypc in his one game, and Asiata only averaged 3.5 ypc as his primary replacement. AP is a freak and is going to go for 1200 yards and 12 touchdowns regardless, but the real threat to his value may be the Vikings passing game.
If Norv Turner feels like he’s slamming his head against a wall with the running game, and Teddy is finding Wallace, Rudolph, Johnson, Wright, and Patterson as open as they were against the Bucs, this could turn into a 60/40 passing team in a hurry. Given McKinnon is going to play on passing downs, and AP’s limited value as a receiver, if he doesn’t hit 300 carries, you can likely forget about him finishing as the number one fantasy running back.
Issues in New York
The Giants couldn’t stop the run last season, but were solid against the pass. That being said, the depth chart at DB and S wasn’t pretty, and is now decimated. Injuries to Landon Collins, Jayron Hosley and Trumaine McBride in the preseason opener, combined with the already injured Prince Amukamara Chykie Brown has really thinned out the Giants pass defense. To quote Coughlin, ‘You certainly can count as well as I can…’
The one thing we know for certain in the NFL is that if you start pulling DB’s off of the street, NFL offenses will find and exploit those guys in a hurry. This is definitely a situation worth watching ahead of their week one matchup with the Cowboys.
As far as the other New York team is concerned, the writing is on the wall with Geno, and at this point the Jets have to be seriously considering cutting ties altogether. The argument was clearly not all on IK, and clearly was not a sucker punch, and now the Post has Geno playing catch with a friend in the parking lot of his apartment complex. Obviously this is completely agains team and doctor orders, and was news to coach Todd Bowles, who said it would be ‘dealt with’. Geno also showed off that awesome decision making, passing on a shirt but taking the time to throw on eye black to play a game of parking lot catch.