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NFL Preseason Musings and Observations

Terry McLaurin may be missing some time after a foot / ankle injury, but Jahan Dotson (5 catches, 7 targets, 76 yards) is more than capable of carrying the offensive load – especially if Sam Howell looks this comfortable in season (19 of 25, 188 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs). Dotson is way too low on draft boards for the upside he presents.

  • Doctor’s Note: Terry McLaurin likely has a mild grade 1 Turf Toe. He likely plays week 1, but best-case scenario isn’t 100% until week 3-4, with elevated reinjury risk

Dameon Pierce may have faltered down the stretch last year, but he’s been involved early and often in the preseason with 67% of the snaps in week 2, nearly 60% route participation. He was also involved in 4 snaps on 3rd or 4th and long in the first two drives of the Texans’ week 2 preseason game – something he did less than 5% of the time last season. It’s hard to imagine he has a worse QB at the helm this season, he’s likely slightly under drafted and value at current ADP.

 

Darren Waller may be getting all the hype, but don’t sleep on Darius Slayton who saw an 80% route participation and is the clear WR1 in the Giants’ offense.

  • Doctor’s Note: Travis Kelce may be an anomaly, as Tight Ends tend to begin their decline around age 29. At 30 years of age, and with a length injury history, Waller certainly carries his fair share of risk – at current ADP, it’s a gamble that could pay off, or cost you if the rest of your roster isn’t shored up. 

 

The Titans are the walking wounded – Treylon Burks, Kyle Phillips are expected to miss multiple weeks, and Chig Okonkwo left practice early on Monday. 

 

Vikings rookie WR Jordan Addison was back on the field with a red no-contact jersey after being in the concussion protocol last week.

 

Young QBs love having a security blanket, and while admittedly a small sample size, Luke Musgrave has been Jordan Love’s favorite target, carrying a 31.57% target share on 19 of Love’s preseason attempts.  

 

Joshua Kelley is the clear backup to Austin Ekeler – new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore ran a running back by committee between Pollard and Zeke last year. Is the community too high on Ekeler at ADP?

 

The Colts have opened the door to trade talks on RB Jonathan Taylor. The proverbial cupboard with regards to fantasy relevance in Indianapolis seems bare at this point.

 

Jaylen Waddle (midsection) was in uniform but did not take reps with the team on Tuesday.

 

Jaxon Smith-Njigba suffered a wrist fracture and the Seahawks are optimistic about his timeline, he will likely be out a minimum of 3-4 weeks.

  • Doctor’s Note: Given the nature of the injury, JSN is unlikely to be 100% until week 4-6

 

Before the disaster that was the 2022 season for the New England Patriots, Hunter Henry caught 9 touchdowns in 2021 as he established a rapport with Mac Jones. Last season, he was routinely going off at +400 or more for anytime touchdown bets. With a new offensive coordinator in tow, and Mike Gesicki having suffered a shoulder injury, keep an eye on the price for Henry early in the season.

 

Are the Eagles due for regression? While they answered almost every question thrown their way last season, they had a tremendously easy schedule. They’ll begin this season with several key coordinators gone, and a much tougher road back, with the dreaded super bowl “runner up hangover”. When you’re drafting, you’re typically paying for past performance. Remember that you need a player to nearly replicate their performance to justify the newly inflated ADP.

Did You Know?

Justin Jefferson may be the consensus 1.01 on most platforms, but the books have Ja’Marr Chase as the favorite for Most Regular Season Receiving Touchdowns at around +500.

This takes serious guts, but if you’re looking at cheap QBs in your fantasy league, the combination of streaming Danny Dimes on the road & Jared Goff at home – both QBs known for playing better in those circumstances finished as the #5 overall fantasy QB last year (it didn’t matter whom you played if both had the same situation in the same week). I know, it sounds crazy, but winning a title takes guts, and if you’re looking to load up on other positions, this type of ingenuity (or crazy) might be the type of move that gets you over the top.

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