Who Are We Watching As NFL Preseason Winds Down?
There’s only one week of preseason games left, but several notable roles are still undecided for a number of teams. How these situations shake out can have a major impact on player values. Our experts look at the most important battles to watch as we near the regular season.
What undecided team role will have the biggest fantasy impact?
JoshADHD: For me, it’s how early Philadelphia trusts Miles Sanders as a lead back. Personally, I’ve been drafting him any time I can in the fifth-eighth rounds understanding that his potential in this offense is a top five RB. Will Jordan Howard have a role? I have zero doubt. Will it be a large enough role to defray Sanders’ upside? I don’t believe so.
JSURab: If Darwin Thompson wins the No. 2 running back job in Kansas City, he’s a guy who could push Damien Williams and possibly eventually take over the starting role. We haven’t seen Williams handle a full workload and he has already missed time with a hamstring injury this season. The Chiefs running back situation is one to monitor, especially given the success of head coach Andy Reid’s lead backs.
Chris Gimino: If we’re talking potential impact for the price point, then I am significantly more interested than the field in guessing at this WR situation in Baltimore. Miles Boykin is a 6-foot-4-inch, 220-pound monster occupying the outside in an offensive with zero legitimate competition for a player of that archetype. Lamar Jackson has demonstrated better than expected capability as a passer this offseason, and part of that has involved developing some chemistry with Boykin. Draft him in any remaining Best Balls, and stash him on deeper 12- and 14-team high stakes leagues.
Nathan Coleman: The Steelers have a crater-sized hole with the exodus of helmet aficionado Antonio Brown. Pittsburgh currently ranks third in available air yards and sixth in targets, making their WR2 position a valuable commodity in fantasy. Sophomore James Washington has flashed in the preseason, but Donte Moncrief finds himself atop the current depth chart. Leading the league in pass attempts in 2018, the offense is fully capable of supporting another wideout opposite target magnet JuJu Smith-Schuster.
STLCards: There are a lot of viable choices here, but I’ll go with the second WR spot in Pittsburgh. James Washington has the ability to be a fantasy difference maker in 2019 if he garners a 70-80% snap share. This situation is still fluid, and perhaps Pittsburgh uses enough three-wideout sets to render Washington relevant regardless of the depth chart. His upside runs laps around Donte Moncrief, though, and it would be nice to see Washington as a full-time starter.