Show Navigation
Show Menu

Fantasy Football Preseason Takeaways - Week 3

By Jared Smola | Updated on Wed, 30 Aug 2023 . 8:57 AM EDT

Arizona Cardinals Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

The Cardinals sat:

  • QB Kyler Murray (knee)
  • QB Colt McCoy
  • RB James Conner
  • WR Marquise Brown
  • WR Michael Wilson
  • WR Rondale Moore
  • WR Zach Pascal
  • TE Trey McBride
  • TE Zach Ertz

RB Keaontay Ingram got the start -- further confirmation that he'll open the season as the No. 2 RB.

WR Greg Dortch also played in this one, suggesting that he's no higher than fifth on the depth chart.

Week 2

QB Kyler Murray (knee) and TE Zach Ertz (knee) did not play for Arizona.

RB James Conner handled the Cardinals' first two RB carries and then called it a night. Put him on ice until Week 1, please.

Keontay Ingram was the next RB in the game for Arizona, confirming that he's the favorite for the No. 2 job.

WR routes on nine QB Colt McCoy dropbacks, per Pro Football Focus:

  • Marquise Brown - 8
  • Michael Wilson - 8
  • Rondale Moore - 7
  • Zach Pascal - 1

Rookie WR Michael Wilson has seemingly locked up a Week 1 starting job.

Week 1

These Cardinals did not play:

  • QB Kyler Murray (knee)
  • RB James Conner
  • WR Marquise Brown
  • TE Trey McBride
  • TE Zach Ertz (knee)

RB Keaontay Ingram also didn't play vs. the Broncos. He missed some practice time recently with an undisclosed injury. It's unclear if he was held out because of that -- or if he's locked up the No. 2 RB job behind Conner.

WR Rondale Moore played just one snap in a 2-WR set, per Pro Football Focus. He was Arizona's primary slot receiver and caught one of two targets for 13 yards. But his fantasy value takes a hit if he's not going to be out there in 2-WR looks.

    

Atlanta Falcons Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

The Falcons sat everyone of consequence.

Week 2

RB Cordarrelle Patterson (soft-tissue injury) did not play.

QB Desmond Ridder made his preseason debut, completing 7-of-9 passes for 80 yards and this fairly unlucky red-zone INT. It was a solid showing.

Here's how Atlanta's backfield shook out with Ridder:
Bijan Robinson
- 12 snaps, 6 routes, 4 carries, 1 target
Tyler Allgeier
- 5 snaps, 3 routes, 1 carry, 0 targets

TE Kyle Pitts ran a route on just five of Ridder's 10 dropbacks. TEs Jonnu Smith and MyCole Pruitt combined for seven routes. Maybe the Falcons were taking it easy on Pitts in his first action since last November's knee injury. But it's at least slightly worrisome after a frustrating 2022 season.

See where Kyle Pitts sits in the updated TE rankings.

Week 1

The Falcons held out everyone who has even a shot to make an impact on offense this season, including:

  • QB Desmond Ridder
  • QB Taylor Heinicke
  • RB Bijan Robinson
  • RB Tyler Allgeier
  • RB Cordarrelle Patterson
  • WR Drake London
  • WR Mack Hollins
  • WR KhaDarel Hodge
  • TE Kyle Pitts
  • TE Jonnu Smith

   

Baltimore Ravens Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

The Ravens sat all notables besides RB Justice Hill, who played the first four snaps and then called it a night. It's still unclear whether Hill or Gus Edwards will open the season as Baltimore's No. 2 RB.

Week 2

The Ravens held out:

  • QB Lamar Jackson
  • RB J.K. Dobbins
  • RB Gus Edwards
  • WR Rashod Bateman
  • WR Odell Beckham
  • WR Nelson Agholor
  • TE Mark Andrews
  • TE Isaiah Likely

WR Zay Flowers played six snaps, turning two targets into two catches, 37 yards, and this TD. He's ready.

After playing behind RB Justice Hill in the preseason opener, RB Gus Edwards was in uniform but never hit the field in this one. Hill started and ripped off 35 yards on three touches. It remains unclear who will open the season as Baltimore's No. 2 RB.

Week 1

The following Ravens did not play:

  • QB Lamar Jackson
  • RB J.K. Dobbins
  • WR Rashod Bateman
  • WR Odell Beckham
  • WR Nelson Agholor
  • TE Mark Andrews

RB Justice Hill got the start, while RB Gus Edwards didn't carry until the second quarter. RB Melvin Gordon didn't touch the ball until the third quarter. It's worth noting that Edwards is listed ahead of Hill on Baltimore's initial depth chart -- but it looks like the No. 2 job might be up for grabs. We'll see what the second preseason game shows us.

WR Zay Flowers played 10 snaps and ran seven routes in his preseason debut. He wasn't officially targeted but caught a pass behind the line of scrimmage and gained one yard. He also drew two defensive penalties.

    

Buffalo Bills Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

RB Latavius Murray (rest) and WR Khalil Shakir (ribs) did not play.

QB Josh Allen played 13 snaps, leading the Bills on a 72-yard TD drive. He completed 5 of 7 passes for 49 yards.

WR and TE routes on Allen's 7 dropbacks, per PFF:

  • Stefon Diggs - 7
  • Gabriel Davis - 7
  • Deonte Harty - 5
  • Dalton Kincaid - 5
  • Dawson Knox - 4

TE Dalton Kincaid ran a route on 13 of Allen's 19 dropbacks over the last two games -- a 68% route rate that would give him a shot at low-end TE1 production.

RB Damien Harris made his preseason debut. Here's how the backfield work was split with Allen:

  • James Cook - 9 carries, 4 routes, 4 carries, 0 targets
  • Harris - 4 snaps, 2 routes, 1 carry, 0 targets

Harris' one carry came from the Bears' two-yard line, which he converted for a TD. That could mean Harris is in line for goal-line work, although it's also worth noting that RB Latavius Murray was held out of this game.

Week 2

RB Damien Harris (knee) and TE Dawson Knox (finger) did not play for Buffalo.

QB Josh Allen played 16 snaps across three series. He went 7 of 10 for 64 yards, 0 TDs, and 0 INTs, producing 0 points. Allen was pressured on 50% of his dropbacks, per Pro Football Focus, highlighting some potential offensive line concerns in Buffalo.

RB James Cook didn't pop in the box score, carrying three times for just three yards. But he played 14 of Allen's 16 snaps. Harris' absence is notable, of course. But it's still bullish usage for Cook's 2023 fantasy value.

http://www.w3.org/2000/svg">

How valuable is James Cook in YOUR fantasy league?

WR routes on 12 Allen dropbacks, according to PFF:
Stefon Diggs - 10
Gabriel Davis - 10
Deonte Harty - 6
Trent Sherfield- 2
Khalil Shakir - 2
Justin Shorter - 2

It looks like Buffalo will open the season with a 3-WR set of Diggs and Davis outside, with Harty in the slot.

Tough to know how much to take from TE Dalton Kincaid's usage with Knox out. But the rookie ran a route on eight of Allen's 12 dropbacks and was targeted on one of Allen's 10 passes.

Week 1

The Bills held out:

  • QB Josh Allen
  • RB Damien Harris (knee)
  • WR Stefon Diggs

RB James Cook played every snap on Buffalo's first two drives, taking four carries for 20 yards, including this TD.

Gabriel Davis, Trent Sherfield, and Deonte Harty were the only WRs to play on the first two drives. WR Khalil Shakir played 20 snaps with the second- and third-team offenses. He has work to do if he wants to win the No. 3 WR job.

Harty played 10 of his 13 snaps in the slot. He looks like the current favorite to be Buffalo's primary slot receiver in 3-WR sets.

    

Carolina Panthers Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

The following guys didn't play for Carolina:

  • RB Miles Sanders (groin)
  • RB Chuba Hubbard (ankle)
  • WR D.J. Chark (hamstring)
  • WR Terrace Marshall (back)
  • WR Laviska Shenault (concussion)

QB Bryce Young had his best outing of the preseason, completing 7 of 12 passes for 73 yards and this TD to WR Adam Thielen. Young also ran three times for 21 yards -- a reminder of the sneaky rushing upside we wrote about in Fantasy Football Sleepers.

Here's Young's final target distribution this preseason (including plays negated by penalty):

  • Adam Thielen - 8
  • Jonathan Mingo - 5
  • D.J. Chark - 4
  • Hayden Hurst - 2
  • Derek Wright - 2
  • Laviska Shenault - 1
  • Chuba Hubbard - 1
  • Ian Thomas - 1
  • Raheem Blackshear - 1

Week 2

RB Miles Sanders (groin) and WR Terrace Marshall (back) did not play.

QB Bryce Young played 21 snaps across two possessions. He managed only 35 yards on 3-of-6 passing. Young has averaged just 4.7 yards per pass attempt through two preseason games.

WRs Adam Thielen, D.J. Chark, and Jonathan Mingo all ran a route on all eight of Young's dropbacks, per Pro Football Focus.

TE Hayden Hurst also ran a route on every Young dropback ... for the second straight week.

Here's Young's target distribution through two preseason games, including plays negated by penalty:
D.J. Chark - 4
Jonathan Mingo - 3
Adam Thielen - 3
Hayden Hurst - 2
Laviska Shenault - 1
Chuba Hubbard - 1

RB Chuba Hubbard played on 20 of Young's 21 snaps, according to PFF, but injured his ankle.

Week 1

RB Miles Sanders sat this one out with a minor groin injury.

QB Bryce Young played 11 snaps in his preseason debut, finishing 4 of 6 for 21 yards, 0 TDs, and 0 INTs. Here are all of his throws.

Young's target distribution:
D.J. Chark - 2
Adam Thielen - 1
Laviska Shenault - 1
Hayden Hurst - 1
Chuba Hubbard - 1

Six different WRs saw the field Young. Here's how the routes broke down on seven dropbacks, per Pro Football Focus:
Adam Thielen - 5
Jonathan Mingo - 5
Terrace Marshall - 4
D.J. Chark - 3
Laviska Shenault - 2
Shi Smith - 2

TE Hayden Hurst ran a route on all seven of Young's dropbacks. He continues to look like one of the best late-round TE values in fantasy drafts.

TIP

Prioritizing value is the first pillar of our fantasy football draft strategy.

  

Chicago Bears Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

WR Chase Claypool (hamstring) did not play.

QB Justin Fields played three series, completing 2 of 6 passes for 51 yards.

The only positive play from Chicago's first-team offense was this 40-yard catch and run by WR D.J. Moore.

We saw different backfield usage in this one:

  • RB Khalil Herbert played the first- and second-down snaps on the first two drives.
  • RB Roschon Johnson replaced Herbert for 3rd-and-10 and 3rd-and-11 snaps on those two drives.
  • RB D'Onta Foreman played the third drive.

Herbert remains the top fantasy option in this backfield, but it doesn't look like his role will be as valuable as we thought after the preseason opener.

Week 2

The Bears held out most notables:

  • QB Justin Fields
  • RB Khalil Herbert
  • RB Trestan Ebner
  • WR D.J. Moore
  • WR Darnell Mooney
  • WR Chase Claypool (hamstring)
  • WR Velus Jones
  • WR Tyler Scott
  • TE Cole Kmet
  • TE Robert Tonyan

It's certainly notable that RB Khalil Herbert didn't play. RB D'Onta Foreman got the start and was eventually replaced by RB Roschon Johnson, who played until halftime. It continues to look like Herbert will open the season as Chicago's lead back.

Week 1

QB Justin Fields racked up 129 yards and two scores on three passes in this one. Neither of his TD throws were caught past the line of scrimmage. Your fantasy outlook on Fields should not change after this game.

You've probably seen RB Khalil Herbert's 56-yard catch-and-run TD by now. But the more important note from this game was that Herbert was on the field for all seven of QB Justin Fields' snaps. He looks like Chicago's clear backfield leader and is climbing our RB rankings.

D'Onta Foreman was the second RB to hit the field for the Bears, followed by Trestan Ebner, and then Roschon Johnson.

   

Cincinnati Bengals Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

The Bengals sat all notables ...

Except RB Chase Brown. The rookie appears to be No. 3 on the depth chart of healthy RBs, behind Joe Mixon and Chris Evans. And he's also likely behind Trayveon Williams, who remains out with an ankle injury.

Week 2

The Bengals were without the same key players as last week:

  • QB Joe Burrow (calf)
  • RB Joe Mixon
  • RB Trayveon Williams (ankle)
  • WR Ja'Marr Chase
  • WR Tee Higgins
  • WR Tyler Boyd
  • TE Irv Smith

RB Chris Evans once again started over RB Chase Brown. Neither player got anything going on the ground. Evans caught both of his targets for 20 yards, while Brown caught one of two for no gain. The Athletic’s Paul Dehner believes that Evans could play a passing-down role this season.

Week 1

The Bengals held out:

  • QB Joe Burrow (calf)
  • RB Joe Mixon
  • RB Trayveon Williams (ankle)
  • WR Ja'Marr Chase
  • WR Tee Higgins
  • WR Tyler Boyd
  • TE Irv Smith

RB Chris Evans got the start and out-played rookie RB Chase Brown. Evans took seven carries for 49 yards, highlighted by this 33-yard burst. Brown managed just 12 yards on eight carries, although he also caught all three of his targets for 33 yards. The Bengals' No. 2 RB job is still up for grabs.

   

Cleveland Browns Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

RBs Nick Chubb (rest) and Jerome Ford (hamstring) did not play.

QB Deshaun Watson completed 5 of 10 passes for 92 yards and a score across four possessions. He connected with WR Amari Cooper for this 53-yarder and tossed a 10-yard TD to TE David Njoku. Watson lost a fumble on a missed exchange with RB Jordan Wilkins, but it was a positive outing overall.

WR and TE routes on Watson's 11 dropbacks, per Pro Football Focus:

  • Amari Cooper - 11
  • Donovan Peoples-Jones - 11
  • David Njoku - 11
  • Elijah Moore - 8
  • Jordan Akins - 3
  • David Bell - 1

TE David Njoku ran a route on all 16 of Watson's dropbacks this preseason.

Week 2

The following guys didn't play:

  • Deshaun Watson
  • Nick Chubb
  • Jerome Ford (hamstring)
  • Amari Cooper
  • Elijah Moore (ribs)
  • Donovan Peoples-Jones
  • David Njoku
  • Harrison Bryant
  • Jordan Akins

RB John Kelly got the start for the second straight week but mustered just 20 yards on eight carries. He's averaged 2.8 yards per carry across three preseason outings.

WR Cedric Tillman drew the start alongside WR David Bell. Tillman caught two of three targets for 50 yards, including this impressive snag. Tillman continues to look like Cleveland's No. 4 WR to open the season -- and a nice dynasty stash.

K Cade York made FGs of 43, 37, and 43 yards. But he missed a 46-yarder that was negated by a penalty -- and then missed the subsequent 41-yarder. York is now officially 3 for 6 on FGs this preseason and might be in danger of losing his job.

Week 1

The Browns held out RB Nick Chubb and WR Amari Cooper. RB Jerome Ford was sidelined with his hamstring injury.

QB Deshaun Watson played the first series, completing all three of his passes for 12 yards and running three times for 20 yards. One of those runs was designed.

Donovan Peoples-Jones, Elijah Moore, and Cedric Tillman were the top three WRs with Watson. It looks like Tillman has already claimed the No. 4 spot on the depth chart.

Moore played eight snaps before exiting with what sounds like a minor rib injury. Those eight snaps included a catch for six yards on Cleveland's first offensive snap and this explosive run from the backfield for 18 yards.

  

Dallas Cowboys Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

The Cowboys sat everyone who has seemingly locked up a roster spot.

That included RBs Rico Dowdle and Deuce Vaughn. RB Malik Davis played, leaving him as a shaky bet to make the final 53-man roster.

Week 2

Dallas held out:

  • QB Dak Prescott
  • RB Tony Pollard
  • WR CeeDee Lamb
  • WR Brandin Cooks
  • WR Michael Gallup
  • TE Jake Ferguson

TE Jake Ferguson sitting is more confirmation that he'll open the season as the starter. 

Rookie TE Luke Schoonmaker made his preseason debut in this one. He played behind TEs Peyton Hendershot and Sean McKeon, finishing with two catches for 22 yards.

RB Rico Dowdle started this game and was followed by RB Malik Davis, and then RB Deuce Vaughn. Dowdle remains second on the Cowboys' depth chart.

Week 1

The following guys did not play for the Cowboys:

  • QB Dak Prescott
  • RB Tony Pollard
  • WR CeeDee Lamb
  • WR Brandin Cooks
  • WR Michael Gallup

RB Deuce Vaughn played behind RBs Malik Davis and Rico Dowdle but was clearly Dallas' best RB in this one. The rookie ran eight times for 50 yards and a TD, with 43 of those yards coming after contact, per Pro Football Focus. Here are all of Vaughn's carries and targets.

    

Denver Broncos Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

The Broncos sat:

  • QB Russell Wilson
  • RB Javonte Williams
  • RB Samaje Perine
  • WR Jerry Jeudy (hamstring)
  • WR Courtland Sutton
  • TE Greg Dulcich
  • TE Adam Trautman

Marvin Mims, Brandon Johnson, and Lil'Jordan Humphrey operated as Denver's top three WRs. We had penciled in Marquez Callaway as the No. 4 WR, but it looks like he's no higher than sixth. It's unclear who will be the No. 3 WR if Jerry Jeudy isn't ready for the opener.

Week 2

QB Russell Wilson played 12 snaps on his lone series, completing 3 of 6 passes for 24 yards. He's averaging 6.2 yards per pass attempt through two preseason games. It's worth noting that Wilson ran three times for 25 yards, with one of those runs coming on a read-option.

RB Javonte Williams hit the field for the first time since last October's multi-ligament knee injury. He played 12 snaps, carrying three times for 12 yards and catching four of five targets for 18 yards. Denver clearly made it a point to get Williams involved in the passing game, throwing him three screens and splitting him out wide for 1 snap. Williams didn't do anything spectacular but certainly didn't look limited coming off the injury. He said afterward that he feels "100 percent" and is "good to go" for Week 1. 

WR Marvin Mims operated as the No. 3 WR in his preseason debut, catching his lone target from Wilson for eight yards. The rookie is an intriguing late-round flier.

Better news for TE Greg Dulcich in this one. He ran a route on six of Wilson's eight dropbacks. TE Adam Trautman ran two routes with Wilson.

Week 1

QB Russell Wilson played 20 snaps across four possessions. He started slow, completing just four of his first nine passes. But Wilson closed the night by completing three of his last four, capped by this 21-yard TD to WR Jerry Jeudy.

Wilson's target distribution:
Courtland Sutton - 5
Jerry Jeudy - 3
Adam Trautman - 3
Samaje Perine - 1

TE Adam Trautman out-snapped TE Greg Dulcich 15 to 10 with the first-team offense, per Pro Football Focus. More alarming for Dulcich is that he ran fewer routes than Trautman (7 to 9). We'll keep a close eye on that split in Denver's second preseason game. If that's the plan for the regular season, Dulcich will not be a reliable fantasy play.

    

Detroit Lions Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

The Lions sat all notables.

Week 2

The following guys didn't play for Detroit:

  • QB Jared Goff
  • RB Jahmyr Gibbs
  • RB David Montgomery
  • WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (ankle)
  • WR Jameson Williams (hamstring)
  • WR Marvin Jones
  • WR Kalif Raymond
  • WR Josh Reynolds
  • TE Sam LaPorta

TE Sam LaPorta getting the day off is more confirmation that he's set to play a big role right out of the gate.

Week 1

The Lions held out:

  • QB Jared Goff
  • RB David Montgomery
  • WR Amon-Ra St. Brown
  • WR Marvin Jones
  • WR Kalif Raymond
  • WR Josh Reynolds
  • WR Denzel Mims

WR Jameson Williams played a whopping 51 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. He turned seven targets into just two catches for 18 yards. One of those missed connections was this drop that would have gone for 30+ yards. Williams did at least make this tough grab to convert a two-point conversion.

TE Sam LaPorta failed to catch his lone target but played 16 of 18 snaps with the "starters," per PFF. The rookie is locked in as Detroit's lead TE.

   

Green Bay Packers Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

RB Aaron Jones (rest) and WR Romeo Doubs (hamstring) did not play.

QB Jordan Love went 9-of-15 for 63 yards and this TD to WR Christian Watson on three possessions. Love finishes the preseason with a 63.6% completion rate and 5.8 yards per attempt.

More elite usage for TE Luke Musgrave, who ran a route on 16 of Love's 18 dropbacks. That gives him an 89% route rate for the preseason.

Week 2

QB Jordan Love connected on 5 of 8 passes for 84 yards and this TD to WR Jayden Reed across three possessions.

WR Christian Watson, WR Romeo Doubs, and TE Luke Musgrave ran a route on all nine of Love's dropbacks, per Pro Football Focus. Reed ran a route on six of nine.

Route rates with Love through two preseason games:

  • Doubs - 100%
  • Watson - 95%
  • Musgrave - 90%
  • Reed - 63%

If nothing else, the Packers should have a relatively condensed target tree this season.

TIP

Luke Musgrave recently joined our list of 2023 Fantasy Football Sleepers.

Week 1

QB Jordan Love played two series, capping his night with a nine-yard TD to WR Romeo Doubs. Love finished 7 of 10 for 46 yards, that TD, and no INTs.

Love's target distribution:
Christian Watson - 3
Luke Musgrave - 3
Romeo Doubs - 2
Jayden Reed - 1
Aaron Jones - 1

TE Luke Musgrave was on the field for all 12 of Love's snaps and ran a route on eight of Love's 10 dropbacks. If that type of usage continues into the regular season, Musgrave will be a fantasy factor.

 

Houston Texans Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

WR John Metchie did not play.

QB C.J. Stroud played nine snaps across two possessions. He went 2-of-4 for 16 yards and this TD to WR Nico Collins. Stroud finishes the preseason with a 55.0% completion rate and 4.5 yards per attempt.

Collins was targeted on six of Stroud's 20 passes this preseason -- good for a 30% target share.

Collins, Robert Woods, and Noah Brown operated as the top three WRs and figure to open the season as such. Metchie and WR Tank Dell will need to work up the depth chart.

RB Dameon Pierce played all nine of Stroud's snaps and ran a route on all four of Stroud's dropbacks. Pierce is seemingly set to play something close to an every-down role this year.

Week 2

WR Tank Dell did not play after experiencing some tightness in pre-game warmups, HC Demeco Ryans said.

QB C.J. Stroud looked a bit better in this game than he did in his preseason debut. But he still managed just 60 scoreless yards on 7-of-12 passing in one half of action. The rookie has averaged 4.6 yards per pass attempt through two preseason games.

Stroud's target distribution, including plays negated by penalty:
Nico Collins - 4
Noah Brown - 3
Dalton Schultz - 3
Robert Woods - 1
Devin Singletary - 1
Andrew Beck - 1

RB Dameon Pierce played all 14 snaps and ran a route on all eight pass plays on Houston's first two drives, according to Pro Football Focus. RB Devin Singletary then played the rest of the first half with Stroud. Pierce obviously won't play every snap this season -- but this showing was bullish for his 2023 role (and bearish for Singletary's).

Week 1

The Texans held RB Dameon Pierce and WR Robert Woods out.

QB C.J. Stroud got the start and played two series. He finished 2-of-4 for 13 yards and this ugly INT

QB Davis Mills, meanwhile went 9-of-12 for 99 yards, 1 TD, and 0 INTs. We’re still expecting Stroud to be Houston’s Week 1 starter – but this wasn’t an ideal start.

Rookie WR Tank Dell started alongside WR Nico Collins. Dell played the entire first half, corralling five of eight targets for 65 yards, flashing impressive burst and making this juggling TD catch.

John Metchie, meanwhile, operated as the No. 3 WR with Stroud and finished with one catch for five yards.

We’ll see how Woods fits into this picture. But, as of now, Dell looks like a better late-round flier than Metchie.

    

Indianapolis Colts Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

QB Anthony Richardson played the entire first half of this one and gave us a good glimpse of what to expect -- at least early on this season. The passing was ugly: 6-of-17 for 78 scoreless yards. But he ran five times for 38 yards. That's enough to support him as a low-end QB1, with spike-week potential. We'll see if the passing improves.

Josh Downs operated as the clear-cut starting slot receiver, running a route on 20 of Richardson's 21 dropbacks, per Pro Football Focus. We're still skeptical that there will be enough passing volume in Indy to support Downs as a viable fantasy play. But it's at least encouraging that the rookie has already won a starting job.

RB Deon Jackson got the start but split snaps and touches almost down the middle with RB Evan Hull. That's likely what the Colts backfield will look like come Week 1 if RB Jonathan Taylor and RB Zack Moss are out.

Week 2

The Colts sat:

  • QB Anthony Richardson
  • RB Jonathan Taylor
  • RB Zack Moss (hand)
  • WR Michael Pittman
  • WR Alec Pierce
  • TE Jelani Woods (hamstring)
  • TE Mo Alie-Cox
  • TE Kylen Granson

Josh Downs was the primary slot receiver with the "first-team" offense, finishing with two catches on three targets for 20 yards. WR Isaiah McKenzie eventually replaced Downs and played into the third quarter. McKenzie played over Downs in the preseason opener, but this pivot seemingly suggests that Downs will open the season as the Colts' starting slot receiver.

RBs Deon Jackson, Evan Hull, and Kenyan Drake all played with the "first-team" offense. It remains entirely unclear what this Colts backfield would look like if RB Jonathan Taylor isn't suiting up come Week 1.

Week 1

QB Anthony Richardson completed 7 of 12 passes for 67 yards, 0 TDs, and 1 INT across three series in his preseason debut. The INT was a bad throw and decision with pressure in his face. But Richardson also threw a beautiful deep ball that was dropped by WR Alec Pierce. It was an up-and-down performance, which figures to be the norm for the rookie this season.

WR Josh Downs did not play any snaps with Richardson and the first-team offense. WR Isaiah McKenzie was the starting slot receiver. We'll see if Downs can pass McKenzie on the depth chart over the next few weeks.

Richardson's target distribution:
Isaiah McKenzie - 4
Michael Pittman - 3
Kylen Granson - 2
Evan Hull - 2
Alec Pierce - 1

   

Jacksonville Jaguars Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

QB Trevor Lawrence diced the Dolphins for 92 yards on 8-of-10 passing across two possessions. He finishes the preseason with an 81.3% completion rate and 8.0 yards per attempt.

Lawrence's target distribution this preseason (including plays negated by penalty):

  • Calvin Ridley - 5
  • Christian Kirk - 4
  • Zay Jones - 3
  • Luke Farrell - 2
  • Evan Engram - 1
  • Travis Etienne - 1
  • JaMycal Hasty - 1

Lots to talk about in the Jaguars' backfield from this game. First, the snap and touch counts with the first-team offense:

  • Travis Etienne - 16 snaps, 7 routes, 8 carries, 0 targets
  • Tank Bigsby - 9 snaps, 3 routes, 6 carries, 0 targets

Etienne got the start but rotated with Bigsby throughout the opening drive. Bigsby got carries from the Miami 11- and 6-yard lines -- but lost a fumble on the second. The two RBs continued to rotate on Jacksonville's second drive. Etienne got the carry near the end zone on that series, punching it in from 3 yards out.

It was basically a 2-to-1 split in favor of Etienne, with both guys seeing the field in all situations. It's certainly possible that it's what we see come Week 1.

Week 2

The Jaguars held out the following players:

  • QB Trevor Lawrence
  • RB Travis Etienne
  • WR Calvin Ridley
  • WR Christian Kirk
  • WR Zay Jones
  • WR Jamal Agnew
  • TE Evan Engram

Those guys are all locked into Week 1 roles. So the fact that RB Tank Bigsby played extensively in this game isn't the best news for his early-season fantasy value. On the plus side, Bigsby looked awesome. He took 13 carries for 70 yards, highlighted by this 11-yard scamper. The rookie won't be someone to use in fantasy lineups early on, but he remains at least a strong handcuff to RB Travis Etienne.

Week 1

QB Trevor Lawrence and the first-team offense played 13 snaps across three possessions. Lawrence threw a bad INT on his second pass but bounced back to complete his final four passes for 33 yards and this TD to WR Christian Kirk.

Lawrence's target distribution:
Christian Kirk - 2
Calvin Ridley - 2
Evan Engram - 1
JaMycal Hasty - 1

RB Travis Etienne was on the field for 10 of Lawrence's 13 snaps. RB JaMycal Hasty played two (both passes) and RB Tank Bigsby one.

Bigbsy was stuffed on a 3rd-and-1 on that lone carry with the starters. He continued playing with the second-team offense and finished the game with 52 yards on nine carries

 

Kansas City Chiefs Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

These Chiefs did not play:

  • QB Patrick Mahomes
  • WR Kadarius Toney (knee)
  • WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling
  • TE Travis Kelce

RB Isiah Pacheco made his preseason debut, playing two snaps and carrying once for no gain. It's worth noting that RBs Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon hit the field before Pacheco. But we're still expecting Pacheco to open the season as Kansas City's lead ball carrier.

RB Deneric Prince was the fifth Chiefs RB to play in this one -- behind Edwards-Helaire, McKinnon, Pacheco, and LaMical Perine. Prince's spot on the 53-man roster seems to be in serious jeopardy.

Week 2

RB Isaiah Pacheco (shoulder, hand) and WR Kadarius Toney (knee) didn't play.

QB Patrick Mahomes played 20 snaps, finishing 10 of 15 for 105 yards, 1 TD, and 0 INTs.

Mahomes' 15 throws went to 10 different players.

Here's how the WR pass routes shook out on 15 Mahomes dropbacks, per Pro Football Focus:

  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling - 14
  • Skyy Moore - 10
  • Justin Watson - 5
  • Rashee Rice - 5
  • Richie James - 5
  • Justyn Ross - 2

Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Skyy Moore look primed to open the season as Kansas City's top two WRs. The No. 3 spot will likely be a rotating cast at least until Kadarius Toney returns.

WR Rashee Rice made a case for playing time with a strong showing in this one: eight catches on nine targets for 96 yards. Note, though, that seven of those catches came from backup QBs.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon were the only RBs to play with Mahomes. RB Deneric Prince played deep into the fourth quarter. His roster spot might not be as secure as we thought.

Week 1

Injured RB Isiah Pacheco and WR Kadarius Toney didn't play.

QB Patrick Mahomes played one series, completing both of his passes for 15 yards.

WRs Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore, and Justin Watson started the game. WR Rashee Rice also hit the field with Mahomes. WRs Richie James and Justyn Ross only played with the backups -- although they both scored TDs.

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire drew the start and played on Mahomes' first four snaps. RB Jerick McKinnon played on Mahomes' final two snaps (a 3rd-and-6 and a 4th-and-1).

RB Deneric Prince recorded his first offensive touch in the second quarter with backup QB Blaine Gabbert.

  

Las Vegas Raiders Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

The Raiders sat:

  • QB Jimmy Garoppolo
  • QB Brian Hoyer
  • RB Josh Jacobs
  • RB Ameer Abdullah
  • RB Brandon Bolden
  • WR Davante Adams
  • WR Jakobi Meyers
  • WR Hunter Renfrow
  • WR DeAndre Carter
  • TE Austin Hooper

RB Zamir White got the start and carried three times for three yards. He finishes the preseason with just 3.3 yards per carry.

TE Michael Mayer played 20 snaps, catching both of his targets for 20 yards. The rookie played 41 snaps this preseason but ran a pass route on just 18 of them.

Week 2

WR Hunter Renfrow did not play.

QB Jimmy Garoppolo played one series, completing all four of his passes for 39 yards. He's reportedly been better in camp lately after a rough start.

TEs Michael Mayer and Austin Hooper each ran just one route on Garoppolo's four dropbacks, per Pro Football Focus. Mayer wound up playing 21 total snaps in this game but ran a pass route on just seven of them. The rookie should eventually emerge as Vegas' lead pass-catching TE but won't be an early-season fantasy option.

Week 1

The Raiders held out the following players:

  • QB Jimmy Garoppolo
  • QB Brian Hoyer
  • RB Brandon Bolden
  • WR Davante Adams
  • WR Jakobi Meyers
  • WR Hunter Renfrow
  • WR DeAndre Carter
  • TE Michael Mayer
  • TE Austin Hooper

RB Zamir White drew the start and dominated work with the "first-team" offense. The second-year back carried 13 times for 43 yards and a score, only giving way to RB Ameer Abdullah in obvious passing situations. White will be the Raiders RB to use in fantasy lineups if Josh Jacobs' holdout bleeds into the regular season.

    

Los Angeles Chargers Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

The Chargers sat the usuals:

  • QB Justin Herbert
  • RB Austin Ekeler
  • WR Keenan Allen
  • WR Mike Williams
  • WR Josh Palmer
  • TE Gerald Everett

RB Joshua Kelley again started over RB Isaiah Spiller and ripped off this 75-yard TD on his second and final carry of the night. Spiller managed just 14 yards on five carries. Kelley will open the season as the Chargers' No. 2 RB.

WR Quentin Johnson played 23 snaps, catching both of his targets for 15 yards. He finishes the preseason with 1.88 yards per route run -- a solid number, especially considering he played 0 snaps with QB Justin Herbert. There's talk that Johnston might open the season as the Chargers' No. 4 WR, but we expect him to pass Josh Palmer and emerge as a fantasy factor by the end of the season.

Week 2

These Chargers sat the same players as last week:

  • QB Justin Herbert
  • RB Austin Ekeler
  • WR Keenan Allen
  • WR Mike Williams
  • WR Josh Palmer
  • TE Gerald Everett

RB Isaiah Spiller (5 carries, 27 yards) out-produced RB Joshua Kelley (4 carries, 9 yards). But Kelley got the start for the second straight week and remains the favorite to open the season as the No. 2 RB.

WR Quentin Johnston played 23 snaps in this one, finishing with three catches for 37 yards (and no drops!). The rookie has notably played 41 of his 43 snaps out wide this preseason.

Week 1

The Chargers held out:

  • QB Justin Herbert
  • RB Austin Ekeler
  • WR Keenan Allen
  • WR Mike Williams
  • WR Josh Palmer
  • TE Gerald Everett

RB Joshua Kelley got the start over RB Isaiah Spiller, but the two rotated into the early second quarter. Both guys were effective, with Kelley carrying nine times for 54 yards and Spiller toting it five times for 27 yards. Kelley still looks like the favorite for the No. 2 RB job, but the battle probably isn't settled.

WR Quentin Johnston got a lot of action in this one: 20 snaps, 12 pass routes, and six targets. He caught three for 10 yards and this TD on a nice release and route. He also dropped a couple of catchable balls -- although this one was a tough play. Johnston lined up out wide on 18 of his 20 snaps.

  

Los Angeles Rams Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

As usual, the Rams rested all notables.

Zach Evans was the third RB to hit the field, behind RBs Ronnie Rivers and Royce Freeman. The rookie looks like a long shot to make the 53-man roster.

Week 2

The Rams again sat their key starters:

  • QB Matt Stafford
  • RB Cam Akers
  • RB Kyren Williams
  • WR Cooper Kupp (hamstring)
  • WR Van Jefferson
  • WR Tutu Atwell
  • WR Puka Nacua
  • TE Tyler Higbee

WR Puka Nacua was a new addition to the list of guys sitting. That might suggest the rookie has secured a top-four spot on the depth chart.

RB Zach Evans again played behind RBs Ronnie Rivers and Royce Freeman. The rookie is off the redraft radar for now.

Week 1

The following guys didn't play:

  • QB Matt Stafford
  • RB Cam Akers
  • RB Kyren Williams
  • WR Cooper Kupp (hamstring)
  • WR Van Jefferson
  • WR Tutu Atwell
  • TE Tyler Higbee

That suggests that Kyren Williams is the No. 2 RB (which we already assumed) and that Tutu Atwell is the No. 3 WR.

RBs Ronnie Rivers and Royce Freeman hit the field before Zach Evans. The sixth-round rookie has some depth-chart climbing to do.

   

Miami Dolphins Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

WR Jaylen Waddle (midsection), RB Jeff Wilson (undisclosed), and RB De'Von Achane (shoulder) did not play.

QB Tua Tagovailoa played two series, going 4-of-6 for 67 yards, 0 TDs, and 0 INTs. He averaged 9.8 yards on his 13 attempts this preseason.

WR Tyreek Hill made this 32-yard catch and run on the first play from scrimmage, played two more snaps, and then called it a day.

Week 2

WR Jaylen Waddle (midsection) and RB Jeff Wilson (undisclosed) did not play for Miami.

QB Tua Tagovailoa tossed this ugly INT on his first pass of the game. He bounced back to complete 5 of his final 6 passes for 61 yards.

RB Raheem Mostert played 11 of Tagovailoa's 15 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. RB Salvon Ahmed played the other four.

RB Devon Achane played 0 snaps with the first-team offense -- and then exited with a shoulder injury. The rookie remains an intriguing stash, but he won't be an early-season fantasy option.

Devon Achane has moved down our RB rankings.

TE Durham Smythe notably ran a route on all seven of Tagovailoa's dropbacks, per PFF, and was targeted on two of Tua's seven passes. It's still tough to imagine Smythe emerging as a fantasy factor after 2022 lead Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki saw just 52 targets. But Smythe is at least worth monitoring early this season.

Week 1

Miami held out:

  • QB Tua Tagovailoa
  • RB Jeff Wilson
  • RB Raheem Mostert
  • WR Tyreek Hill
  • WR Jaylen Waddle (abdomen)
  • TE Durham Smythe

Despite Wilson and Mostert sitting, RB Devon Achane was still just the third RB to hit the field for the Dolphins -- behind RBs Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed. The rookie mustered just 25 yards on 10 carries but caught all four of his targets for 41 yards. He was split out wide for six of his 33 offensive snaps, per Pro Football Focus. We're still expecting Achane to be one of Miami's top-three backs by the time Week 1 rolls around, but his usage will be worth watching closely in the second week of preseason action.

  

Minnesota Vikings Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

These Vikings did not play:

  • QB Kirk Cousins
  • RB Alexander Mattison
  • RB Ty Chandler
  • RB Kene Nwangwu (undisclosed)
  • WR Justin Jefferson
  • WR Jordan Addison
  • WR K.J. Osborn
  • TE T.J. Hockenson (back)
  • TE Josh Oliver

RB DeWayne McBride played, suggesting that he's fourth on the current depth chart.

Week 2

Minnesota again sat most of their notables:

  • QB Kirk Cousins
  • RB Alexander Mattison
  • RB Kene Nwangwu (undisclosed)
  • WR Justin Jefferson
  • WR Jordan Addison (concussion)
  • WR K.J. Osborn
  • TE T.J. Hockenson (ear infection)
  • TE Josh Oliver

Ty Chandler again operated as Minnesota's clear lead back. He wasn't nearly as effective as he was in Week 1, managing just 24 yards on 11 carries. But he continues to look like the No. 2 RB to open the season.

Rookie RB DeWayne McBride didn't hit the stat sheet until the second quarter. He finished with six carries for 18 yards and a score, plus a catch for 11 yards.

Week 1

The Vikings sat all their key starters, besides WR Jordan Addison. The rookie played 27 snaps and officially finished with one catch on three targets for 22 yards. It sure looked like he caught this one, although it was called incomplete.

With RB Alexander Mattison held out and RB Kene Nwangwu sidelined with an injury, RB Ty Chandler got three-down usage in the first half and looked good. He finished with 11 carries for 41 yards and caught all four of his targets for 29 yards. HC Kevin O’Connell was impressed.

   

New England Patriots Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

The Patriots sat all notables.

Week 2

RB Ezekiel Elliott, RB Pierre Strong, WR Tyquan Thornton (shoulder), and TE Mike Gesicki (shoulder) did not play.

QB Mac Jones played three drives, going 6 of 9 for 52 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, and a lost fumble.

Jones' target distribution, including plays negated by penalty:

  • Kendrick Bourne - 4
  • Demario Douglas - 2
  • DeVante Parker - 2
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster - 1
  • Hunter Henry - 1

Week 1

These Patriots did not play:

  • QB Mac Jones
  • RB Rhamondre Stevenson
  • WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
  • WR DeVante Parker
  • WR Kendrick Bourne
  • TE Hunter Henry
  • TE Mike Gesicki

Bad news for WR Tyquan Thornton: He played in this game. Good news: He caught both of his targets for 31 yards, including this impressive snag.

RB Pierre Strong got the start, but RBs Kevin Harris and J.J. Taylor rotated throughout the game. The trio combined for 35 yards on 18 carries (1.9 YPC). The Patriots remain a strong candidate to add a veteran RB before Week 1.

 

New Orleans Saints Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

These Saints did not play:

  • QB Derek Carr
  • RB Alvin Kamara
  • RB Jamaal Williams
  • WR Chris Olave
  • WR Michael Thomas
  • WR Rashid Shaheed
  • TE Juwan Johnson
  • TE Foster Moreau
  • TE Taysom Hill

RB Kendre Miller played 26 snaps, carrying eight times for 14 yards and catching three of five targets for 10 yards. Poor efficiency. But the usage -- particularly in the passing game -- is encouraging.

Week 2

The Saints sat basically everyone:

  • QB Derek Carr
  • RB Alvin Kamara
  • RB Jamaal Williams
  • WR Chris Olave
  • WR Michael Thomas
  • WR Rashid Shaheed
  • WR Tre'Quan Smith
  • TE Juwan Johnson
  • TE Foster Moreau
  • TE Taysom Hill

RB Kendre Miller was the star of this game. He scored a 7-yard rushing TD and made this diving grab for 27 yards. The rookie looks ready to play a significant role alongside RB Jamaal Williams while RB Alvin Kamara serves his three-game suspension to open the season.

Week 1

Everyone played for the Saints outside of injured WRs Rashid Shaheed and Tre'Quan Smith.

QB Derek Carr was sharp on his one possession, completing 6 of 8 passes for 70 yards and a TD.

Carr's target distribution:
Michael Thomas - 2
Juwan Johnson - 2
Alvin Kamara - 2
Chris Olave - 1
Keith Kirkwood - 1

Here's WR Michael Thomas' 16-yard reception.

TE Juwan Johnson played nine snaps and ran five routes with Carr vs. TE Foster Moreau's five snaps and two routes, per Pro Football Focus.

RB Alvin Kamara was on the field for 10 of Carr's 12 snaps. RB Jamaal Williams played the other two.

RB Kendre Miller only hit the field with the second-team offense -- and then hurt his knee.

    

New York Giants Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

The Giants held out: 

  • QB Daniel Jones
  • RB Saquon Barkley
  • RB Matt Breida
  • WR Darius Slayton
  • WR Isaiah Hodgins
  • WR Parris Campbell
  • TE Darren Waller

More confirmation that Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, and Parris Campbell will open the season as New York's top three WRs.

Week 2

RB Saquon Barkley was held out. WRs Wan'Dale Robinson (knee) and Cole Beasley (leg) did not play, either.

The Giants called pass on all 10 of QB Daniel Jones' snaps.

Jones was sharp, completing 8 of 9 passes for 69 yards and a TD to TE Daniel Bellinger. Jones also ran once for six yards.

Jones' target distribution:
Darren Waller - 4
Parris Campbell - 2
Isaiah Hodgins - 1
Jalin Hyatt - 1
Daniel Bellinger - 1

That's a 44.4% target share for TE Darren Waller, who ran a route on eight of Jones' 10 dropbacks. If his healthy cooperates, Waller is in for a big fantasy season.

Waller is climbing the TE rankings.

WR routes on Jones' 10 dropbacks, per Pro Football Focus:
Darius Slayton - 8
Isaiah Hodgins - 7
Parris Campbell - 6
Jalin Hyatt - 3

Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, and Parris Campbell are set to open the season as New York's top three WRs. Jalin Hyatt looks like the No. 4 -- with the potential to move into the top three by season's end.

Hyatt remained in the game with the Giants' second-team offense and caught this 33-yard TD.

RB Matt Breida was on the field for all 10 of Jones' snaps. He's the Giants' No. 2 RB behind Barkley.

Week 1

The Giants sat:

  • QB Daniel Jones
  • RB Saquon Barkley
  • WR Darius Slayton
  • WR Parris Campbell
  • TE Darren Waller

Slayton and Campbell are healthy as far as we know, which seemingly means they're locked into top-three roles.

RB Matt Breida played with the "starters," so it looks like he's currently No. 2 on the depth chart behind Barkley. RB James Robinson was next to hit the field, followed by rookie RB Eric Gray.

   

New York Jets Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

The following injured Jets did not play:

  • RB Breece Hall (knee)
  • RB Dalvin Cook (shoulder)
  • RB Israel Abanikanda (thigh)
  • WR Allen Lazard (shoulder)

QB Aaron Rodgers made his (preseason) Jets debut, completing 5 of 8 passes for 47 yards and a score on two possessions. The TD was a beautifully thrown ball to WR Garrett Wilson at the front pylon.

Wilson was targeted on three of Rodgers' eight passes, catching them all for 30 yards and the score.

TEs Tyler Conklin and C.J. Uzomah again split snaps with the first-team offense. Uzomah (3) actually ran more routes than Conklin (2), according to Pro Football Focus.

Week 2

The Jets sat:

  • QB Aaron Rodgers
  • RB Breece Hall (knee)
  • RB Dalvin Cook
  • RB Michael Carter
  • WR Garrett Wilson
  • WR Corey Davis
  • WR Randall Cobb
  • TE Jeremy Ruckert

TE Tyler Conklin ran five routes to TE C.J. Uzomah's four with the "first-team" offense, according to Pro Football Focus. It's possible that this is more of a committee situation than we saw last season.

Week 1

The Jets held out:

  • QB Aaron Rodgers
  • RB Breece Hall (knee)
  • WR Garrett Wilson
  • WR Randall Cobb

RBs Michael Carter and Zonovan Knight split snaps with the first-team offense. RB Israel Abanikanda didn't play until the second-team hit the field -- but earned a better Pro Football Focus rushing grade than Carter or Knight. This will be a tough situation to peg if Hall isn't ready for Week 1.

  

Philadelphia Eagles Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

The Eagles sat all notables. That included RBs D'Andre Swift, Kenneth Gainwell, Rashaad Penny, and Boston Scott -- a sign that all four will make the 53-man roster. RB Trey Sermon played, meaning he's likely on the outs.

Week 2

The Eagles held out:

  • QB Jalen Hurts
  • RB D'Andre Swift
  • WR A.J. Brown
  • WR DeVonta Smith
  • WR Quez Watkins
  • TE Dallas Goedert

RB Kenneth Gainwell got the start. He was followed by RB Boston Scott, and then RB Rashaad Penny. Penny ripped off a nice 16-yard run. But, based on the first two preseason games, it looks like he'll open the season no higher than No. 3 on the depth chart.

Week 1

The following players were held out:

  • QB Jalen Hurts
  • RB Kenneth Gainwell
  • RB Boston Scott
  • WR A.J. Brown
  • WR DeVonta Smith
  • WR Quez Watkins
  • WR Olamide Zaccheaus
  • TE Dallas Goedert 

The two notables who did play: RBs D'Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny. Swift started game and played six snaps, carrying twice for 24 yards. Penny played into the second quarter, totaling 9 carries for 34 yards on 27 snaps.

HC Nick Sirianni said afterward that we shouldn't read too much into the usage. What's become clear over the past couple of weeks, though, is that RB Kenneth Gainwell is set to play a significant role in this backfield.

    

Pittsburgh Steelers Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

Yet another strong showing from QB Kenny Pickett, who completed all four of his passes for 86 yards. He connected on this 33-yarder to WR Diontae Johnson and this 35-yarder to WR George Pickens. It's certainly worth noting that it all came against Atlanta's second-team defense, but it was an impressive outing nonetheless. Pickett finishes the preseason with an 87% completion rate, 13.3 yards per attempt, 2 TDs, and 0 INTs.

RB workloads with the first-team offense:

  • Najee Harris - 7 snaps, 2 routes, 4 carries, 1 target
  • Jaylen Warren - 4 snaps, 2 routes, 2 carries, 0 targets

Harris out-snapped Warren 16 to 12 with the first-team offense this preseason. We don't expect the split to be quite that close in the real games, but it's clear that Warren will play a significant role this year.

Week 2

QB Kenny Pickett was sharp again, completing 3 of 4 passes for 43 yards and a TD. His numbers through two preseason games:

  • 81.8% completion rate
  • 10.3 yards per attempt
  • 2 TDs
  • 0 INTs

RB Najee Harris out-snapped RB Jaylen Warren five to two with Pickett. But Warren snapped off this 62-yard TD on his only carry. It's certainly possible that he siphons more work from Harris than he did last year.

Week 1

QB Kenny Pickett took the Steelers on a 10-play TD drive on his only series. He finished 6 of 7 for 70 yards and this TD to WR George Pickens.

Pickett's target distribution:
Diontae Johnson - 3
George Pickens - 1
Pat Freiermuth - 1
Najee Harris - 1
Jaylen Warren - 1

RB Jaylen Warren out-snapped RB Najee Harris 6 to 4 with Pickett. That split will be worth watching closely in preseason Week 2.

WR Calvin Austin hit the highlight reel with this 67-yard TD. But it came in the third quarter. Austin played 0 snaps with the first-team offense and is still a ways away from fantasy relevance.

  

San Francisco 49ers Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

RBs Christian McCaffrey (rest) and Elijah Mitchell (adductor) did not play.

QB Brock Purdy was sharp again, completing 5 of 9 passes for 73 yards. He capped his second and final possession with a 5-yard rushing score.

TE George Kittle ran a route on just six of Purdy's 10 dropbacks and drew just one target. It's far too small a sample to draw any serious conclusions -- but it doesn't do anything to allay the concerns we've talked about with Kittle all offseason.

TIP

Kittle made our list of Overvalued Players.

RB Jordan Mason drew the start and played every snap on San Francisco's first two drives. He finished with 9 carries for 59 yards (6.6 YPC) but lost a fumble at the goal line. RB Ty Davis-Price was the next man in for San Francisco, finishing with 61 yards on 10 carries. Mason looks like the favorite to open the season as the No. 3 RB.

Week 2

RB Christian McCaffrey, RB Elijah Mitchell (adductor), and TE George Kittle (adductor) did not play.

QB Brock Purdy hit the field for the first time since undergoing elbow surgery and looked good. He completed 4 of 5 passes for 65 yards, 0 TDs, and 0 INTs on his one possession. Here are all of his throws.

RB Ty Davis-Price played all nine snaps with Purdy. RB Jordan Mason came on for San Francisco's second series and rotated with Davis-Price for the rest of the first half. The 49ers' No. 3 RB job remains up for grabs.

Week 1

The 49ers held out the following players:

  • QB Brock Purdy
  • RB Christian McCaffrey
  • RB Elijah Mitchell
  • WR Deebo Samuel
  • WR Brandon Aiyuk
  • WR Jauan Jennings
  • WR Ray-Ray McCloud
  • WR Danny Gray
  • TE George Kittle

QB Trey Lance got the start and was not nearly as good as his final numbers (10-of-15 for 112 yards and a TD) suggest. The TD was fluky -- a would-be INT that caromed off a defender's hands. Lance looked generally indecisive and took four sacks.

QB Sam Darnold looked better, completing 5 of 8 passes for 84 yards, 0 TDs, and 0 INTs. He took 0 sacks.

RB Jordan Mason drew the start and appears to be ahead of RB Ty Davis-Price for the No. 3 job.

      

Seattle Seahawks Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

The Seahawks sat:

  • QB Geno Smith
  • RB Ken Walker
  • RB Kenny McIntosh (knee)
  • WR D.K. Metcalf
  • WR Tyler Lockett
  • WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba (wrist)
  • WR Dee Eskridge
  • TE Noah Fant
  • TE Will Dissly

RB Zach Charbonnet started over RB DeeJay Dallas for the second straight week. Dallas notably replaced Charbonnet on passing downs, though, so it doesn't look like the rookie will open the season in that role.

Week 2

The Seahawks held out:

  • RB Ken Walker (groin)
  • RB Kenny McIntosh (knee)
  • WR D.K. Metcalf
  • WR Dee Eskridge

QB Geno Smith played two series, completing 5 of 6 passes for 46 yards, 0 TDs, and 0 INTs.

RB Zach Charbonnet drew the start over RB DeeJay Dallas. The rookie played 10 snaps, carrying three times for 31 yards.

WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba has played 13 snaps out wide and 13 snaps in the slot through two preseason games. Seattle seems comfortable using JSN all over the formation.

TE routes on seven Smith dropbacks, per Pro Football Focus:

  • Noah Fant - 3
  • Colby Parkinson - 3
  • Will Dissly - 2

Week 1

Seattle sat the following players:

  • QB Geno Smith
  • RB Ken Walker (groin)
  • WR Tyler Lockett
  • WR D.K. Metcalf
  • TE Noah Fant

WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba got 12 snaps and was targeted on four of his eight routes. He caught three of them for 25.

RB DeeJay Dallas got the start over RB Zach Charbonnet, with Walker and Kenny McIntosh (knee) out. Charbonnet finished with 14 yards on four carries and two catches for 14 more yards, highlighted by this flattening of S Lewis Cine.

  

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

RB Chase Edmonds and WR Mike Evans did not play.

QB Baker Mayfield played two series, completing all six of his passes for 43 yards and this TD to WR Chris Godwin.

Godwin was targeted on four of Mayfield's 6 throws, catching them all for 30 yards and the TD.

RB Rachaad White made his preseason debut and was on the field for all nine of Mayfield's snaps. He played eight more snaps after Mayfield exited and finished with 39 yards on seven carries (5.6 YPC).

Week 2

Tampa sat the following players:

  • QB Baker Mayfield
  • RB Rachaad White
  • RB Chase Edmonds
  • WR Mike Evans
  • WR Chris Godwin

QB Kyle Trask started and wound up playing 61 snaps (basically a full game's worth). He completed 20 of 28 passes (71.4%) for 218 yards (7.8 YPA), 1 TD, and 0 INTs. It was a solid showing, especially without his top two WRs. But Mayfield remains the favorite to open the season as Tampa's starter.

Rookie RB Sean Tucker had a nice showing, taking seven carries for 37 yards and catching all three of his targets for 18 yards. It's certainly possible that he eventually emerges as the No. 2 RB behind White.

Week 1

The Bucs held out RB Rachaad White and WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.

Round 1 of the QB battle goes to Baker Mayfield. He got the start vs. the Steelers and finished 8-of-9 for 63 yards, 1 TD, and 0 INTs across three possessions. QB Kyle Trask played the next four series, completing 6 of 10 passes for 99 yards, 0 TDs, and 1 INT.

RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn drew the start but out-snapped RB Chase Edmonds just 14 to 11 with Mayfield, according to Pro Football Focus. Vaughn looks like the current favorite for the No. 2 RB job, but the battle probably isn't over.

  

Tennessee Titans Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

Tennessee sat:

  • QB Will Levis (lower body)
  • RB Derrick Henry
  • RB Hassan Haskins
  • WR DeAndre Hopkins
  • WR Treylon Burks (knee)
  • WR Kyle Philips (knee)
  • TE Chig Okonkwo (undisclosed)

QB Ryan Tannehill handed the ball off three times and then called it a night. Ok then.

RB Tyjae Spears averaged just 3.1 yards across nine carries but had another impressive run. The rookie finishes the preseason with 22 carries for 117 yards (5.3 YPC) and one TD. He's locked in as the No. 2 RB.

Week 2

These guys didn't play for Tennessee:

  • QB Ryan Tannehill
  • QB Will Levis (lower body)
  • RB Derrick Henry
  • RB Hassan Haskins
  • WR DeAndre Hopkins
  • WR Treylon Burks (knee)

QB Malik Willis played the entire game. He finished with 85 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT on 10-of-17 passing and added 91 yards on 11 carries. It's the kind of stat line you could expect to get from him if he hits the field this season. It's still unclear who will open the year as Tannehill's backup.

Another strong outing from RB Tyjae Spears: 7 carries for 57 yards and a TD. The highlight was this explosive 33-yard score. Spears has averaged 6.8 yards per carry through two preseason games.

Pro Football Focus' Nathan Jahnke notes that TE Chig Okonkwo played 100% of Tennessee's 11-personnel snaps in this game -- up from 18% last year. That's a key note because teams tend to pass often out of 11 personnel. After a highly efficient rookie season, Okonkwo is in for a significant boost in playing time this year.

Week 1

The Titans held out:

  • QB Ryan Tannehill
  • RB Derrick Henry
  • WR DeAndre Hopkins
  • WR Treylon Burks
  • TE Chig Okonkwo

QBs Malik Willis and Will Levis rotated drives throughout the game. Willis was more effective, completing 16 of 25 passes for 189 yards (7.6 YPA), 0 TDs, and 1 INT. He also ran three times for 22 yards and a score. Levis went 9-of-14 for 85 yards (6.1 YPA), 0 TDs, and 1 INT. Willis earned a 73.2 Pro Football Focus passing grade to Levis' 48.3.

It was a nice debut for RB Tyjae Spears, who carried six times for 32 yards and caught his lone target for four yards. He remains a strong bet to open the season as Tennessee's No. 2 RB.

  

Washington Commanders Preseason Takeaways

Week 3

The Commanders held out:

  • QB Sam Howell
  • RB Brian Robinson
  • RB Antonio Gibson
  • WR Terry McLaurin (toe)
  • WR Jahan Dotson
  • WR Curtis Samuel
  • TE Logan Thomas

Cole Turner worked as the first-team TE and finished with four catches (on four targets) for 20 yards. He's had a nice August and could pop onto the fantasy radar if TE Logan Thomas misses time this season.

Week 2

TE Logan Thomas (calf) did not play.

QB Sam Howell played the entire first half and was excellent. He completed 19 of 25 passes for 188 yards, 2 TDs, and 0 INTs. He added 17 yards on three carries. Howell has registered a 75.7% completion rate and 7.2 yards per attempt through two preseason games.

Howell's target distribution:
Jahan Dotson - 7
Dyami Brown - 4
Brian Robinson - 4
Terry McLaurin - 3
Antonio Gibson - 3
Cole Turner - 2
Curtis Samuel - 1

For the second straight week, RBs Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson split work almost right down the middle. Here's how it shook out in this one:

  • Robinson: 19 snaps, 11 routes, 5 carries, 4 targets
  • Gibson: 23 snaps, 16 routes, 4 carries, 3 targets

Week 1

TE Logan Thomas (calf) did not play, but the Commanders used the rest of their regulars.

A nice preseason opener for QB Sam Howell, who went 9-of-12 for 77 yards and this TD to WR Jahan Dotson in three series. Howell also ran once for eight yards to convert a 3rd-and-6.

Howell's target distribution:
Cole Turner - 3
Jahan Dotson - 2
Curtis Samuel - 2
Antonio Gibson - 2
Terry McLaurin - 1
Brian Robinson - 1

RB Brian Robinson out-snapped RB Antonio Gibson 11 to 10 with the first-team offense, per Pro Football Focus. Both guys ran seven pass routes.

     

Preseason Takeaways Matter: Updated Rankings

If you're not altering your rankings based on preseason action, you're doing it wrong.

Our fantasy football rankings are updated every single day from now until the start of the regular season.

Those always-fresh rankings fuel the customized cheat sheet on your Draft War Room.

It's the most powerful drafting tool in the game.

Get your customized cheat sheet now!

Other rankings are stale  before the 2nd round.

Draft using the best dynamic tool in the industry. Our fantasy player valuations (3D Values) change during your draft in response to...

  1. Exact league settings - direct sync
  2. Opponent and Team Needs
  3. Positional scarcity & available players
  4. Ceiling, injury risk, ADP, and more!

You need a dynamic cheat sheet that easily live-syncs with your draft board and adapts throughout your draft using 17 crucial indicators.

Get your Draft War Room Today
Compare Plans » Compare Plans »

Turn your phone into a draft weapon with our FREE APP

Download on the App Store Get It on Google Play