2017 Fantasy Football: Preseason Fantasy Stock - Week 3
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.
Pierre Garcon, WR, 49ers
Pierre Garcon had a solid performance in the 49ers' dress rehearsal, catching all six of his targets for 64 yards. Garcon is a great route-runner, so it's no surprise that he has adjusted to a new offense so quickly. Garcon is going to have a solid year as a consistent WR3.
Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers
The 49ers' new regime was down on Carlos Hyde earlier in the offseason, but Hyde showed up to training camp in great shape. It has looked more and more like Hyde would earn a big role in the offense, and now it's evident that he'll be the primary ball-carrier, and not either Joe Williams or Matt Breida. Hyde gained 19 yards on seven carries versus the Vikings, and he also caught all three of his targets for 45 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins
Washington's offense has struggled this preseason. The pass protection hasn't held up, while Kirk Cousins hasn't looked quite right without his top two receivers from a year ago. The struggles continued in the dress rehearsal, as Cousins finished 10-of-19 for 109 yards and an interception in two-and-a-half quarters of action. Cousins has been very overrated in fantasy mock drafts this summer, as his ADP has been way too high.
Robert Kelley, RB, Redskins
Washington's best offensive player in the dress rehearsal was Robert Kelley. He gained 57 yards and a touchdown on just 10 carries. He converted a third-and-1 early in the game, and then made a spin move on a 9-yard burst. More importantly, rookie Samaje Perine wasn't very impressive, mustering only five yards on as many attempts.
Terrelle Pryor, WR, Redskins
Terrelle Pryor struggled against the Bengals. He dropped a big gain despite being wide open. He converted a 17-yard reception while getting hit after that, but he couldn't hang on to the ball a bit later when Dre Kirkpatrick was able to knock it out of his hands. Pryor caught just one of his five targets for 17 yards, as he and Kirk Cousins simply don't appear to be on the same page just yet. Perhaps that'll change, but Pryor is being drafted too early.
Kevin White, WR, Bears
Kevin White will have to live up to his first-round billing with Cameron Meredith out for the year. The problem is that White is so inconsistent, but he'll at least have the opportunity. White caught just two passes for 30 yards in more than a half of action. However, he also drew an interference flag in the end zone.
Kendall Wright, WR, Bears
Kendall Wright had a nice performance against his former team. Wright caught three of his four targets for 35 yards, as he was clearly motivated to show up the Titans. He'll see an uptick in targets in the wake of Cameron Meredith's injury.
Jamaal Charles, RB, Broncos
A major storyline in the third preseason game is how Jamaal Charles looked. Charles took his first carry for seven yards to a standing ovation. He later made a man miss on a gain of 12 yards. Charles obviously isn't the same player as before, but he still has some elusiveness. He did a bit of everything, and he made just one blunder in this contest, as he failed to look for a pass. I wouldn't draft Charles, but he's worth adding if C.J. Anderson goes down.
Michael Thomas, WR, Saints
Michael Thomas caught all four of his targets from Drew Brees in the third preseason game for 27 yards. Thomas displayed some sick route-running in this game. On one play, he stopped on a dime, causing the cornerback to fall backward. Thomas was able to snatch a pass as a result. Thomas is going to have a huge season.
John Brown, WR, Cardinals
John Brown has moved around a lot in my fantasy football rankings. I was initially down on him, then high when I learned he was in great shape, but then dropped him considerably after Bruce Arians criticized his health. Brown could be moving back up after his performance in the third preseason game. Brown looked great, catching two passes for 49 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His first was a perfect 28-yard bomb from Carson Palmer. The second saw Brown make an impressive over-the-shoulder grab from Drew Stanton. Brown could have a huge year if he can stay healthy, but that still is a concern.
Frank Gore, RB, Colts
Frank Gore did not look like a 34-year-old. He looked nimble for his age in the third preseason game, gaining 23 yards and a touchdown on five carries. It's tough to trust Gore, who could wear down as the season progresses, but Gore looked like he could still have a number of decent fantasy performances remaining in the tank.
Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders
Amari Cooper is in much better shape this season, and it's paying off. Cooper saw a team-high six targets in the third preseason game, catching four of them for 78 yards and a touchdown in less than a half of action. Cooper's numbers could've been even better had Derek Carr not been off the mark to begin the evening.
Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys
Jason Witten led the Cowboys with six targets in the third preseason game. He hauled in all six for 74 yards and a touchdown. Witten is 35, but he didn't look nearly that old. Part of this production was because of Oakland's horrendous linebacker play, but Witten is still a decent fantasy option, especially with Dak Prescott now having experience under his belt.
Corey Coleman, WR, Browns
Corey Coleman was the star of the third preseason game. He opened the evening with a great, 32-yard diving reception. He followed that up with an 11-yard fingertip grab, and then made a leaping catch for 13 yards. Coleman wasn't credited with a 16-yard back-shoulder grab because of offensive pass interference, but the point was made. Coleman caught four of his seven targets for 66 yards in a single half of action. He looks like the real deal, and with DeShone Kizer not being shy of launching passes downfield, Coleman will have an opportunity to post quality numbers in his sophomore campaign. He's worth his 10.09 ADP.
Charles Clay, TE, Bills
If Nathan Peterman starts for the Bills, Charles Clay can be used as a bye-week streamer tight end. Peterman seemed locked in on Clay at times, targeting his intermediate weapon on six occasions. Remember, Peterman won't have Tyrod Taylor's scrambles, so there will be more targets to go around.
Zay Jones, WR, Bills
It was good news-bad news for Zay Jones in his third preseason game. The good news is that he saw a combined nine targets from Tyrod Taylor and Nathan Peterman, leading the team in that category. He also drew an interference flag in the end zone. The bad news is that he came up with just three receptions for 28 yards. The 33-percent completion rate was a byproduct of poor quarterbacking and a pair of drops. Still, I'm inclined to give Jones a stock-up arrow for his usage.
Jeremy Maclin, WR, Ravens
With Joe Flacco out once again, there isn't much to say about the Baltimore offense in the third preseason game. The biggest take-away is that while Jeremy Maclin played, he didn't catch a single pass. In fact, Maclin was confused on one occasion, as he didn't know which play the Ravens were about to run. Maclin was also whistled for an illegal crack-back block, negating a 17-yard run. It wasn't a good look for Maclin, who will need to clean up his act.
Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers
It was nice to see Keenan Allen play extensive action. Allen caught five passes for 45 yards on a handful of drives in the third preseason game. I was worried every time Allen had the ball, as I was concerned he'd get hurt, but Allen popped back up every time after displaying his talent. Allen can post WR1 numbers if he remains healthy.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Rams
Sammy Watkins was not targeted in the preseason dress rehearsal. In fact, the only thing he did on offense was show a half-hearted attempt to touch down the Charger who intercepted Jared Goff. If Goff struggles like he did in this contest, it's going to be a rough year for Watkins' fantasy production.
Bilal Powell, RB, Jets
The third preseason game was a very disappointing night for Bilal Powell. Matt Forte handled the entire workload with the starters, and Powell wasn't even seen until late in the second quarter. Forte actually had a nice game, gaining 43 yards on 10 carries. He was tackled in the end zone for a safety, but that wasn't his fault; Jason Pierre-Paul exploded past Brandon Shell for the tackle for loss. Powell, meanwhile, was better - 32 yards on seven attempts along with four catches for 110 receiving yards and a touchdown - but he wasn't even part of the offense until Forte was given a breather. Powell saw action deep into the third quarter, which is very discouraging. Powell is a superior player compared to Forte, so the usage is very puzzling.
Kareem Hunt, RB, Chiefs
In the wake of the Spencer Ware news, Kareem Hunt should obviously be drafted much earlier; I wouldn't think it's a mistake to take in the fourth or fifth round. Hunt had a mixed outing against the Seahawks, gaining 39 yards on nine carries. He picked up a couple of third-and-1 opportunities, looking good doing so. However, he made a mental error on one play, failing to see a wide-open hole that would've allowed him to burst for a big gain. Instead, he was tackled for a short one. Hunt's vision needs improvement, but he's going to have an opportunity to be Kansas City's primary ball-carrier.
Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs
Spencer Ware suffered a non-contact injury to his knee at Seattle. The knee buckled, and he grabbed it while on the ground. He tried to get up, but couldn't. Ware had to be carted off, and it's obviously not looking good. He could be out for the year.
Ameer Abdullah, RB, Lions
Theo Riddick saw his first action of the preseason, but Ameer Abdullah still handled the majority of the workload against the Patriots. Abdullah gained 60 yards on 13 carries and also caught three balls for 39 receiving yards. Abdullah looked great, and he's going to have a big year if he can remain healthy.
Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
Tom Brady was extremely sharp in the preseason dress rehearsal, going 12-of-15 for 174 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in less than a half of action. The announcers remarked that Brady looked like a "20-year-old," and they were accurate in that assessment. Brady is 40, yet he's showing no signs of regressing. The pick wasn't even his fault, as Chris Hogan ran the wrong route.
Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots
Julian Edelman suffered a non-contact leg injury in the first quarter of the dress rehearsal. He grabbed the back of his knee and had to leave the field for the rest of the evening. It's unclear how severe the knee injury is, but non-contact maladies tend to be the worst, and the Patriots fear a torn ACL. If you've already drafted Edelman, make sure you pick up Chris Hogan.
Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions
Kenny Golladay played with the starters in the dress rehearsal, which is definitely a positive. Unfortunately, Golladay caught only one pass for two yards. His short reception was tracked down by Stephon Gilmore, who tackled him shy of the first-down marker. A bit later, Golladay had a chance to make a reception of about 20 yards, but Matthew Stafford threw to his wrong shoulder, allowing Gilmore to make the pass break-up. The final stat line is disappointing, but Golladay deserves a stock up. As mentioned, he played with the starters, and it's also very revealing that he drew coverage from Gilmore. It's a sign that the opposition knows how talented he is.
Chris Hogan, WR, Patriots
Tom Brady targeted Chris Hogan more than any other receiver at Detroit. Hogan saw five balls go his way, and he caught four of them for 70 yards and two touchdowns. One reception was a terrific one, as he made the catch with a defender draped all over him. Hogan could have a huge year if Julian Edelman is out for the season with his non-contact knee injury, as he and Edelman are effectively the same player. Edelman is obviously more seasoned, thanks to his experience in the offense, but Hogan could have similar production.
Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
Cam Newton finally saw some action in the preseason. However, it was an underwhelming performance, and it's not yet clear how healthy he is. Newton played just one drive against the Jaguars, tossing only two passes. Both attempts were short connections that totaled 21 yards, including a touchdown. However, it's discouraging that Newton and his questionable shoulder didn't try anything downfield. Perhaps Ron Rivera was worried about the wet, sloppy conditions, but the fact that Newton was on the field for only one possession has to be discouraging for his fantasy outlook.
Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins
The star of the Dolphins' dress rehearsal was Jay Ajayi. Despite battling a fearsome front seven without some of his starting offensive linemen, Ajayi exploded for 53 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries. A chunk of this came on a 26-yard burst when Ronald Darby missed a tackle. Ajayi showed tremendous power, and it's very promising that he was able to do so well without some of his starters.
Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles
Zach Ertz finished the 2016 campaign on a strong note, and it appears as though he's going to pick up where he left off. Ertz caught all three of his targets for 44 yards in the dress rehearsal. This included an impressive diving catch on his final drive. Ertz provides outstanding fantasy value at tight end.
Wendell Smallwood, RB, Eagles
The scuttlebutt this week was that second-year running back Wendell Smallwood could overtake LeGarrette Blount as Philadelphia's starting running back. Blount had an impressive 16-yard run against the Dolphins, but struggled otherwise. Smallwood, meanwhile, was far more impressive. His first preseason carry went for nine yards, and then he ran for six yards, though he could've gotten more had he shown good patience. Smallwood's best burst was for a gain of 10, as he was able to break out of a tackle that would've limited him to just one yard. I don't know if Smallwood (4 carries, 28 yards) is going to start over Blount, but he's certainly going to be involved. He's going to move up the charts in my Fantasy Football Sleepers list.