Weekly Wrap Up: NFL Preseason Week 1 notes

·5 min read

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NFL Preseason Week 1 is underway

With Week 1 of the preseason underway, we finally got to see some of the rookies and veterans with something to prove. Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley both got reps with the Giants' starters. Kenny Golladay did as well but a third-down drop had social media coming for his neck. On the other side of that game, the Patriots decided against starting their key players. Rookie speedster Tyquan Thornton scored in the first quarter. In the Ravens/Titans game, Malik Willis got the start (for the Titans) and showed promise after a shaky start. He ran in for a score and connected on a 48-yard pass to Racey McMath, showing the arm strength. Tyler Huntley got the start for the Ravens and was lights out going 16-of-18 for 110 yards and a touchdown. Another popular name in dynasty circles, Tyler Badie, carried the ball six times for 19 yards and caught a pass for nine yards. The biggest star of the game was Ravens' rookie tight end Isaiah Likely. He showcased his strong hands, run after-the-catch ability and route running en route to four receptions and 44 yards. It's just the beginning. We have a whole weekend of preseason football to juice up players' ADPs.

Sweet feet out

The Ultimate pass-catching, impact-playing, PPR machine James White has decided to call it a career. White spent the entirety of his eight-year career with the New England Patriots, securing three Super Bowl rings. None of those showcased his talent more than Super Bowl LI when he grabbed 14 receptions (a Super Bowl record), 110 yards and ran for another 29 yards, scoring three total touchdowns. His final score in that game gave his team the victory. As Tom Brady's trusted third-down back, it's amazing that he didn't even reach 1,300 rushing yards in his career for how impactful he was. White's career year came in 2018 when he amassed 1,176 yards from scrimmage and scored 12 touchdowns. He added a career-high 87 receptions which gave him the RB7 finish in PPR fantasy formats.

The official torch must now be passed onto a new pass-catcher out of the Patriots backfield. The now departed Brandon Bolden led all Patriots' running backs with 41 receptions for 405 yards and two touchdowns last season. Rhamondre Stevenson has all the offseason buzz to take over this role while also getting some early-down work. Veteran WR/RB Ty Montgomery or rookie Pierre Strong could also force the issue and challenge for third-down work. What we do know is that it's not likely to be Damien Harris, who heads the early-down rushing work. Another factor is former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is no longer in the building. There have been rumblings of the Patriots' offense looking like the ‘Little Giants' so who knows what's really in store. The preseason games should tell us more.

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Geno ready to roll

It's been reported Geno Smith has a nice lead on the Seahawks' quarterback job over Drew Lock. He will start the team's first preseason game this weekend. He was asked by NFL Network reporters flat out, “Who is the team's starting quarterback?” Smith declined to give an answer but instead deferred to his coaches and mentioned how he will let his play do the talking. Smith is aware that not many expect much out of him and his team, but feels like his experience with the team and offense will have the Seahawks surprising some. Smith enters his third season with the Seahawks with hopes that he can revive his career. In three starts (four played) last season Smith was impressive passing for 702 yards, five touchdowns and only one interception. Smith winning the job would likely be better for DK Metcalf's and Tyler Lockett's fantasy prospects. If Lock is able to rally and win the job, he will likely limit the passing game with his decision making and rushing upside. With Seattle expected to be behind in games, Smith will at least help keep them afloat offensively.

Injury news

Broncos running back Melvin Gordon missed practice with a foot contusion and the team is monitoring it. The severity of the injury is not yet known, however, fans immediately raced to Twitter to say “Javonte SZN'' as if a man's foot isn't hurting. Many do expect Javonte Williams to take on more of the workload, but Gordon will definitely be a factor. All-Pro return man for the Browns Jakeem Grant will miss the season with a torn Achilles. In some fantasy-related news, Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny is dealing with a groin injury. After finishing the final six weeks as RB1 last season, many still have question marks about Penny's ability to stay healthy. This and the presence of Kenneth Walker have been baked into Penny's ADP. With Penny sidelined, Walker will get to put his abilities on display. Pete Carroll recently praised Walker for his work in pass protection.