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NFL Preseason Week 3 Review - Fantasy Impact


Week 3 of the NFL preseason is typically a dress rehearsal for teams and we get the best idea yet of how players will be used.

While some NFL teams still chose to rest their starters, many inexplicably didn't. Unfortunately, we also had a major injury with Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee going down for the season with a major knee injury. Thankfully, the injury report isn't too long overall this week as you will see below.

This will be the last update of the preseason, as next week teams will only be playing players who are on the roster bubble and are unlikely to have an immediate impact, if any. Use this knowledge in your drafts and good luck!

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Injuries

Marqise Lee injures knee

While we haven’t gotten official word of Marqise Lee’s knee injury at the time of this writing, it sure looked bad. Lee has been ruled out for the season, leaving the Jags without their top returning receiver. Keelan Cole was already the other wide receiver to own on this team, and he now gets a big bump and should see his ADP rise. Dede Westbrook and Donte Moncrief appear to be vying for the number two receiver position now. While it’s hard to predict who it will be, Moncrief has played 58% of snaps with starters while Westbrook has played 49%. It’s likely they share this role, but if having to choose, Moncrief seems like the pick - especially if he picks up the red zone slack. For now, Cole is the best option.

Rishard Matthews taken off PUP

While not technically an injury, it is still big news. Rishard Matthews had spent the entire preseason on PUP with a mysterious injury but he was removed after passing physical. This is bad news for Taywan Taylor and Tajae Sharpe who were being hyped as potential sleepers with Matthews out. Matthews should assume his receiver duties opposite second year player Corey Davis in Week 1. His ADP has dipped considerably and he now looks like a bargain late in drafts.

 

Stock Up, Stock Down

Phillip Dorsett Stock Up

I mentioned Phillip Dorsett as a rising player last week, and nothing has changed. If anything, his stock is even higher. He led the Patriots in targets and receptions with the starters in the third preseason game, and appears locked in as the number two opposite Chris Hogan while Julian Edelman serves his suspension. With Kenny Britt, Jordan Matthews, and Malcolm Mitchell off the roster, Dorsett's role seems fairly secure. Once Edelman returns, Dorsett should still have a role on the outside. He’s worth a late-round flier pick in your drafts.

Sam Darnold Stock Up

Sam Darnold started for the Jets in their third preseason game, which is usually a dress rehearsal for teams. Not only that, he looked good doing it, going 8-of-16 with one touchdown and no interceptions. Darnold is making a strong case to start Week 1, and even if he doesn’t he should get his chance sooner rather than later. While he likely doesn’t have much value in single quarterback leagues, he looks like a good pick in SuperFlex and 2QB leagues.

Denver Running Backs Stock Down

There is a ton of hype for rookie Royce Freeman who has seen his ADP skyrocket all the way into the 3rd/4th rounds. Unfortunately for Freeman drafters, it appears the Broncos will start the season with a committee approach. During the 33 snaps the starters played in the dress rehearsal game, Devontae Booker played 15, Freeman played 10 and Phillip Lindsay played 8. Freeman has looked good and has broken off some big runs, but it appears both Booker and Lindsay are going to have a role to start. Freeman’s role could grow as the season goes on, but for now he seems locked into a RBBC.

Emmanuel Sanders Stock Up

Emmanuel Sanders' stock has been rising, and the last preseason game did nothing to change that. Sanders was targeted eight times by Case Keenum and is playing a ton of snaps out of the slot. Adam Thielen feasted out of the slot a year ago with Keenum, and Sanders could do the same this year. He looks like a mid-round steal at the moment.

Courtland Sutton Stock Up

Speaking of Denver wide receivers, rookie Courtland Sutton continues to be rising as well. With Emmanuel Sanders playing the slot more, Sutton has been playing out wide opposite Demaryius Thomas. If Sanders or Thomas go down, Sutton will see a big bump. Still, he should have some redraft value and is worth a late round flier.

Quincy Enunwa Stock Up

Remember Quincy Enunwa? In 2016 he had 857 yards and four touchdowns as a second year breakout. After missing all of 2017, he is back and looks healthy. He led all Jets wide receivers with 29 snaps (out of 32)with the starters, and should have a sizable role in this offense. Enunwa isn’t even being drafted in most leagues - and while Robby Anderson should remain the team’s number one receiver, Enunwa will have fantasy value and needs to be rostered.

Dion Lewis Stock Up, Derrick Henry Stock Down

For some reason Derrick Henry is being drafted ahead of Dion Lewis, despite the fact that the Titans seem to prefer Lewis. Lewis out-snapped Henry 22-to-19 with the starters in the preseason, but more importantly he out-snapped him eight-to-two on third downs. Even last year the Titans preferred a one-legged (now retired) DeMarco Murray over Henry in the passing game, and there is no reason to think the same won’t happen with Lewis. Henry is once again being overdrafted, while Lewis looks like a great value.

David Njoku Stock Up

David Njoku has been lighting it up all preseason, and I am admittedly late to the party. He played all but 10 starter snaps in the preseason and ran 36 routes. He’s made tons of plays as well, and has a quarterback that has supported solid tight end options in the past. He looks poised for a breakout year and is a bargain at his current position.

Tre'Quan Smith Stock Up

Rookie Tre'Quan Smith has been lighting it up this preseason for the Saints, though he doesn’t have a clear path to snaps to start the year. He will likely start behind Ted Ginn and Cameron Meredith - but similar to Juju Smith-Schuster a year ago, he could move up to the number two role before long. If you’re in a deeper league, he is worth a bench stash.

 

More Draft Prep and Analysis


Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.




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