2017 Fantasy Football: Preseason Fantasy Stock - Week 2
With preseason underway, there will be updates daily to this 2017 Fantasy Football Preseason Stock page. Games will be added as I watch them. Adjustments will be made on my 2017 Fantasy Football Rankings accordingly. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
Brandon Marshall, WR, Giants
Brandon Marshall technically dropped a pass in the first quarter on a deep pass versus Cleveland. It was a bit overthrown, but Marshall may have reeled the ball in had he dived for it. Given that this was the preseason, however, I don't blame Marshall for not putting his body on the line for a catch. Still, this was the only target Marshall saw, and that's because he suffered a shoulder injury. He underwent X-rays as well.
Paul Perkins, RB, Giants
Paul Perkins struggled against the Browns, mustering only 10 yards on six carries. It wasn't surprising at all to see the Giants fail to run the ball effectively, as it's been a long time since they've been able to put together a strong ground attack.
Saints at Chargers
Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
The big play at the start of the Saints' second preseason contest was Alvin Kamara's 50-yard touchdown sprint. Kamara broke into the open field, thanks to Ryan Ramczyk's block, and was gone. Kamara also added a 20-yard reception in the opening quarter. Kamara, who tallied 61 yards and a score on five attempts, is a special talent who will be a factor in the team's passing attack. Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram complicate things, but Kamara is worth drafting in the final few rounds - especially in PPR formats - because of his potential.
Packers at Redskins
Martellus Bennett, TE, Packers
Martellus Bennett was targeted twice on his only drive at Washington, and he was the recipient of Aaron Rodgers' touchdown. One is the smallest sample size, but it makes sense that Bennett will be a huge red-zone target for Rodgers this year. It was nice that we could see that they at least have some sort of a rapport.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins
Kirk Cousins had a misleading stat line against the Packers. He went 14-of-23 for 144 yards and a touchdown. However, a bulk of his yardage, as well as his touchdown, came against the backups. Cousins struggled versus the Green Bay first-stringers. He had Vernon Davis for a potential touchdown, but underthrew him, allowing a defender to break up the pass. He then overshot Terrelle Pryor on a third down. Cousins was nearly pick-sixed after that by two players on a toss to Jamison Crowder. He later failed to hit an open Crowder, sailing the ball over his head. Cousins made some nice throws as well, but he was way too inconsistent, and he remains an overrated fantasy option.
Jamison Crowder, WR, Redskins
Jamison Crowder tied the Redskins team lead in targets against the Packers with five. He caught only two balls for eight yards and a touchdown, but it's clear that Kirk Cousins loves targeting him. Crowder's stat line would've been better had Cousins not misfired so often. I like him at his 6.10 ADP.
Terrelle Pryor, WR, Redskins
Terrelle Pryor snatched one of his two targets for 11 yards against the Packers. I've always felt that Pryor has been overrated from a fantasy perspective, and it doesn't seem like he and Kirk Cousins have a great rapport.
Rex Burkhead, RB, Patriots
Rex Burkhead saw most of the work with the starters because Mike Gillislee was out with a hamstring. Burkhead certainly did not disappoint. He gained 20 yards on seven carries, but did most of his damage as a receiver out of the backfield. He caught three passes for 50 receiving yards and a touchdown. He's going to split touches with Gillislee, but Burkhead's fantasy stock is definitely looking up.
Bruce Ellington, WR, Texans
With DeAndre Hopkins out, Bruce Ellington shined versus the Patriots. Ellington secured a 37-yard bomb over Malcolm Butler and then broke a tackle on his next reception. He finished with four catches for 93 yards. This performance was not surprising at all; I liked Ellington a lot as a sleeper last year before he suffered a season-ending injury in the preseason. With Will Fuller out for half the year, Ellington could be a key contributor. He's a late-round flier, though there are better ones because Houston has a mediocre passing attack, at best.
Lamar Miller, RB, Texans
Lamar Miller had an average night against the Patriots. He converted a third-and-1 and showed nice vision on his longest carry. However, that was for only four yards, and Miller's seven attempts went for just 18 yards. Houston's run blocking doesn't seem all that great, and I think Miller is overrated a bit in fantasy circles.
J.J. Nelson, WR, Cardinals
With John Brown's season in doubt, J.J. Nelson continues to look better for fantasy purposes. Nelson tied for the team lead with four targets against the Bears, catching two of them for 26 yards.
Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders
Thirty-one of Derek Carr's 100 yards against the Rams came from one Amari Cooper catch. It was a great reception, where Cooper made a ridiculous leaping catch over three defenders. The Raider announcers mentioned that Cooper is in terrific shape, and it shows. In less than a half of action, Cooper caught three balls for 46 yards.
Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
Todd Gurley looks like he's going to have a huge year. He struggled in 2016, but ran behind one of the worst offensive lines we've seen this decade. The Rams made improvements to their blocking, and Sammy Watkins' presence will make it difficult for teams to put eight men in the box. Gurley tallied 38 yards and a touchdown on eight carries against the Raiders. He also caught a 12-yard pass. Gurley ran impressively, picking up multiple short-yardage opportunities. He also churned his legs to move the pile nine yards on a second-and-1 play.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams
Jared Goff's favorite receiver appears to be third-round rookie Cooper Kupp. The third-round rookie saw a team-high seven targets at Oakland, catching six of them for 70 yards and a touchdown. His score was a 23-yarder on a busted coverage, but Kupp is an impressive rookie nonetheless.
Marshawn Lynch, RB, Raiders
Marshawn Lynch saw his first action with the Raiders. He played only one drive against the Rams, but his impact was felt right away. Lynch opened with a 6-yard burst, showing some nice explosion. His two attempts went for 10 rushing yards. Lynch looks like he has some juice remaining, and playing behind Oakland's stellar offensive line will certainly help him be productive.
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos
Demaryius Thomas was able to secure just one of his three targets for four yards in the second preseason game, thanks to Paxton Lynch's inaccuracy. If Lynch has to start during the year, Thomas' numbers are going to take a nose dive. I would avoid him in fantasy, as he's being drafted too early.
Joe Williams, RB, 49ers
Joe Williams was mysteriously handed the ball only once against the Broncos, which he turned into one yard. Williams has great talent, but he must be terrible in practice because he's very low on the depth chart right now.
Ameer Abdullah, RB, Lions
Ameer Abdullah didn't see much action in the second preseason game, but he looked great whenever he had his hands on the ball. Abdullah gained 16 yards on four carries and caught a 5-yard pass. His only blemish was allowed a sack on a blitz pick-up, but Abdullah appeared as though he could be a fantasy RB1 if he can somehow stay healthy all year for a change.
Kareem Hunt, RB, Chiefs
Kareem Hunt showed well against the Bengals. Spencer Ware started, but saw just one carry. Hunt shouldered the entire workload for the rest of the opening half. He picked up a third-down conversion, then broke several tackles on a gain of 21. He failed to convert a third-and-1 in the red zone, but did very well otherwise. Hunt gained 40 yards on eight carries, and that was with a 6-yard gain being negated by a hold. Hunt also caught all three of his targets for 23 receiving yards. It's quite apparent that Hunt is more talented than Ware. At the very least, Hunt will eat heavily into Ware's workload, making Ware an extremely risky pick at his 4.05 ADP.
Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys
With Dak Prescott looking great, Dez Bryant's fantasy stock is also up. Bryant didn't see much action against the Colts, but he caught two passes for 55 yards in less than a quarter of action. Bryant broke a tackle following a short slant, gaining 23 yards. He also made a great adjustment on a back-shoulder throw against Vontae Davis, then ran into the end zone for a 32-yard score.
Marlon Mack, RB, Colts
Making his NFL debut, Marlon Mack made the most of his opportunity. He made some nice cuts on his runs of 10 and 13 to start his outing. Mack finished with 45 yards on five carries. With Gore now 34, Mack is worth adding in the late rounds because he has RB2 potential if he starts.
Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys
Dak Prescott thrived in his first preseason action. He was a near-perfect 7-of-8 for 106 yards and a touchdown, with the lone incompletion being a batted pass. Prescott enjoyed excellent pass protection from one of the worst defenses in the NFL, but Prescott was still extremely accurate against the Colts. One of his best throws was when he completed a perfect back-shoulder pass toward Dez Bryant, who beat Vontae Davis for a 32-yard touchdown. Prescott is one of my favorite fantasy value picks at quarterback this summer.
Devin Funchess, WR, Panthers
Devin Funchess continued to struggle, catching only one pass on three targets for eight yards at Tennessee. However, the lone reception concluded with a lost fumble, forced by Logan Ryan. Funchess has yet to prove anything, so he's undraftable.
Derrick Henry, RB, Titans
Derrick Henry looked great in his preseason debut, and that continued to be the case in his second exhibition affair. Henry played way too late into the second quarter for my liking, but he was able to trample over Carolina's starting defense. He converted a second-and-1 despite appearing to be stuffed in the backfield, and then he sprinted for a 17-yard run following an interception versus the No. 1 defense even though Marcus Mariota was no longer in the game. Henry finished with 36 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Given that DeMarco Murray is injury-prone, Henry is worth obtaining as a high-upside target.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans
Marcus Mariota finished his second preseason game 6-of-8 for 61 yards and a touchdown to go along with a 9-yard scramble. He did this on just two drives versus Carolina's fearsome defense. One of his incompletions was thrown away. Mariota, thanks to his terrific blocking and rushing ability, could end up being a fantasy QB1 this season.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
Dalvin Cook was the story for Minnesota's offense against the Seahawks. Cook had three consecutive impressive runs of 15, nine and nine, thanks to terrific blocking and his great vision. He did this against Seattle's first-string defense, which is notoriously stout against the run. More notably, the Vikings were missing two starting offensive linemen (Riley Reiff, Alex Boone). Cook, who had 40 yards on seven carries, along with a 10-yard reception on a checkdown, is going to have a big year.
Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings
Stefon Diggs looked great against the Seahawks, catching four of his five targets for 65 yards. He converted a third-and-3 with a 5-yard catch despite taking a jarring hit from Earl Thomas. He then followed that up with a 39-yard grab, thanks to a gaping hole in Seattle's zone coverage. The lone failed target was when Richard Sherman had excellent coverage against him, and Diggs actually had to knock the ball away to prevent an interception. Still, Diggs is a strong WR3 option despite playing in a lackluster passing attack.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Seahawks
Eddie Lacy started against the Vikings, but only because Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise were both sitting out. Lacy had a great run of nine where he spun around and burst forward with nice power, but he didn't do much else. I saw a funny joke on Twitter where someone said that the Seahawks are ready to roll, while Lacy is looking like he's ready for a dinner roll. Lacy was outplayed by fourth-string running back Chris Carson, and I'm wondering if Seattle is actually going to keep Lacy. Once again, Lacy is being drafted too early, as Rawls, Prosise and even Carson provide more value.
Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks
Kasen Williams was trending on Twitter for his 27-yard catch over Xavier Rhodes in the second preseason game. Williams looked good, catching two balls for 28 yards and a touchdown. He nearly secured a second score on a deep Russell Wilson pass, but a Minnesota defensive back committed an uncalled defensive pass interference that ruined a potential big play. I wouldn't recommend Williams as a late-round pick just yet, but he's worth monitoring. Plus, his emergence complicates things for Tyler Lockett, who has his injury issues.
Blake Bortles, QB, Jaguars
It appears as though the Blake Bortles era is about to end. Bortles was trending on Twitter for hours Thursday night, and for good reason. He was atrocious against the Buccaneers, going 8-of-13 for only 65 yards. Bortles had two horrific throws. The first was a shot downfield that was underthrown so severely that it was nearly picked by a cornerback who was five yards behind Allen Robinson. The second was when Bortles heaved the ball at Robinson's feet for what should've been a gain of 15 yards, prompting boos from the crowd. Bortles did incur a drop from Marcedes Lewis, but he was also guilty of throwing short of the first-down marker on third down on multiple occasions, which would explain his low YPA. Bortles could be benched sometime soon, so he's undraftable unless you're in a 2-QB league.
Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers
Doug Martin has endured an up-and-down career, but this year looks like an up for him. Martin will be suspended for three games, but he's in excellent shape. He was terrific against the Jaguars, gaining 30 yards on five carries. He also caught two passes for 11 receiving yards.
Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars
Allen Robinson caught five passes for 40 yards against the Buccaneers. He saw eight targets, which is a good thing. However, given Blake Bortles' severe struggles, it's hard to really like Robinson as a fantasy option this year. Jacksonville's defense is a solid unit, so there won't be many garbage-time opportunities for Bortles, which is how Allen accumulated most of his fantasy stats in 2015.
Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers
Jameis Winston went 21-of-29 for 196 yards in one half of action at Jacksonville. He was mostly excellent, especially on the opening possession when he marched the Buccaneers down the field for a touchdown. His best play was when he kept a play alive with his legs on a third-and-6, but instead of scrambling, he kept his eyes down the field and found Adam Humphries for a gain of 15 yards. Winston's numbers could've been even better, but Mike Evans dropped a 43-yard touchdown. I like Winston a lot this year as a low-end QB1 you can obtain in the middle rounds.
DeVante Parker, WR, Dolphins
DeVante Parker dropped a pass, but otherwise looked good against the Ravens. He caught one ball for 16 yards, but had a 30-yard reception wiped out by a holding call. More importantly, he saw four of Jay Cutler's seven targets. It's a small sample size, but it appears as though Cutler prefers throwing to Parker rather than Jarvis Landry.
LeGarrette Blount, RB, Eagles
LeGarrette Blount had trouble finding running room in his Eagles debut last week. That continued to be the case against Buffalo. Granted, Jason Peters was missing, but Philadelphia had issues blocking Buffalo's front. Blount finished with eight yards on five carries, with all eight yards coming on one attempt. He also fumbled after making a short reception. Blount is being taken way too early in fantasy drafts.