Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

Preseason Depth Chart Risers and Fallers


Every year, we see different players move up and down in the depth charts before the season starts. Even during the season, we see players rise and fall on the depth chart. This never fails during the pre-season due to trades, injuries, rookies, and other factors. This year has been no different.

While depth charts appear to be finalized, there’s a good chance we see more changes before the start of the regular season. Whether it be a third-string running back swapping places with a fourth-stringer, or a starter lose their spot to a rookie, these changes are inevitable. There’s always an outside chance that we see someone like LeSean McCoy or Carlos Hyde either get cut or traded, which could totally change the landscape of some depth charts.

Don’t be surprised if some of the following names on this list move around in the next few weeks or after Week 1. For the time being, here are some players we’ve seen rise or fall on their team’s depth chart this pre-season.

Editor's Note: Get any rest-of-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS Tools, Lineup Optimizer and Premium DFS Research through the Super Bowl. Sign Up Now!

 

Risers

David Montgomery (RB, CHI)

The first name on this list shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, but David Montgomery looks like the real deal and has quickly climbed to the top of the Bears depth chart. The Bears general manager, Ryan Pace has been known for going out and getting his guy in the NFL Draft. In the 2019 NFL Draft, the Bears came into it without too many draft picks, and they used what they did have to trade up to take Montgomery 73rd overall.

For the last couple of seasons, it's been clear that the Bears aren't crazy about what they had in Jordan Howard, and we saw that even more so after they traded him to the Eagles. Tarik Cohen is an offensive weapon, but his role is more of the pass-catching back or change of pace guy. Montgomery finds himself in a very appealing spot with a team that has a great defense and is in need of a featured running back.

In a relatively weak draft class, there were a few names at the running back position worth targetting including Josh Jacobs, Miles Sanders, and Montgomery. He isn't someone with as much upside as a guy like Jacobs, but Montgomery is a very well-rounded back who isn't overly impressive in any category, but the Bears made it clear that they want him and he's been excellent so far in the pre-season. This was somewhat expected after where the Bears drafted him, but it's clear that Montgomery is going to take the lead role and run with it. Montgomery has a nice opportunity in front of him and has the chance to end up being the best running back in this class for fantasy purposes.

 

Ronald Jones II (RB, TB)

Before I get into the next guy on this list, let it be known that I am far from a believer. Ronald Jones is currently listed as the starter on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster and has made a few nice plays in pre-season and training camp. After putting up a whopping 1.9 YPC in his rookie campaign, Jones was one of the most disappointing rookies from the 2018 class. As a Buccaneers fan, I'll admit that when they chose him in the 2018 NFL Draft, I turned the TV off and walked away. There were plenty of red flags surrounding Jones as a prospect, and he is someone I wasn't interested in at all in rookie drafts.

All that being said, Jones has shown flashes in pre-season and has the potential to have a major role in this offense. Peyton Barber is an average running back, and Jones couldn't even beat him out last year. That being said, this Tampa Bay offense is going to be an exciting one to watch and will have plenty of fantasy football options. We've seen what Bruce Arians can do with a weapon like David Johnson out of the backfield in Arizona, and there is inevitable PPR upside for whoever the lead back ends up being. As of now, Jones is listed as the starter, and while I don't expect that to remain the case into the season, there's no denying the upside that a running back in that offense could have. Especially for fantasy purposes.

 

Trey Quinn (WR, WAS)

Prior to the 2019 NFL Draft, Trey Quinn is someone that I was a big fan of as a late-round potential sleeper candidate. The hype for Quinn died down a bit after the Redskins drafted Terry McLaurin early than I expected, and even more so after they drafted Kelvin Harmon late, who is someone I am a big fan of. Surprisingly enough, Quinn is now listed as the WR1 on that offense, but he is someone I see more as a slot receiver type of guy. Paul Richardson and Josh Doctson are listed as the WR2 and WR3, with the rookies following them.

Quinn didn't do much in his rookie campaign and finished the season with just two games where he put up any sort of production. He totaled nine grabs on 10 targets for 75 yards and one touchdown. I don't expect Quinn to remain as the WR1 on the depth chart, but he's clearly getting some love from the Redskins coaching staff, and could offer some sneaky PPR upside in 2019, as someone you can get extremely late in your fantasy drafts, or even as someone off the waiver wire.

 

Fallers

Kenyan Drake (RB, MIA)

One of the more popular names of the pre-season has been the second-year running back in Miami, Kalen Ballage. Kenyan Drake has been a popular name for a breakout candidate with Adam Gase out of Miami, but an injury has been causing some problems. He's been out with a foot injury and heads into the regular season questionable to start, making his foreseeable future in question.

While Drake is technically still listed as the lead running back for the Dolphins, it's definitely worth monitoring and could turn into a running back by committee if he misses time. Rookie running back Myles Gaskin is also a name to monitor as we head into the 2019 season. While Drake could end up being healthy and come into the season as the main running back in that backfield, it's definitely worth noting that he's seen a decent drop in ADP and value recently, and rightfully so.

 

Jordan Howard (RB, PHI)

One popular one of this past off-season is the former Chicago Bears running back, Jordan Howard. After landing in Philadelphia, there was a brief period of time where Howard saw a spike in value and ADP, as he was viewed as the potential lead running back. The 2019 NFL Draft put a stop to that as rookie Miles Sanders landing in Philadelphia and is a very exciting player to watch, and also has a lot of upside for fantasy purposes.

The biggest knock on Howard in the past has been his lack of pass-catching upside. The main form of production that I expect to come out of Howard is from his goal-line work. The Eagles have Sanders as well as Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, Josh Adams, and even veteran Darren Sproles. While this backfield has been a committee over the past few years, the main reason for that I'm chalking up is due to the lack of talent. Sanders is an explosive back who profiles as a potential three-down back and can catch out of the backfield well. Howard quickly has fallen from being listed as the starter, to being listed as the backup to Sanders, as expected.

 

Dante Pettis (WR, SF)

Heading into the 2019 season, one of the more polarizing and potential breakout candidates has been Dante Pettis. If there is anyone that's lost some steam thanks to pre-season games and news, it's him. Multiple reports have come out from Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers offense about Pettis struggling and even some talk about him not having a starting role. While I don't believe that this is the case, there is definitely some concern around him and he's lost some of his hype for sure.

Rookie wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd have looked great in the pre-season, but if anything I think this is just motivation for Pettis to take a step forward in 2019. Samuel is one of my favorite rookies in this class, and he's looked extremely explosive and could end up being just as good as Pettis this year, potentially even taking over the WR1 role for that offense. If Pettis' value continues to drop as we get closer to the NFL season, he may end up being a nice value in drafts. Regardless of your thoughts on Pettis and this San Francisco group of pass-catchers, there's definitely some reason for concern with him and the situation is worth monitoring.

More Fantasy Football Analysis




More Recent Articles

 

2019 RotoBaller NFL Challenge - And The RT Sports Winner Is...

What a season, RotoBallers. Fantasy football is always a fun, interesting, and long season - filled with injuries, breakout players, and different strategies. It takes stamina and endurance to win the marathon, and we're here today to recognize those who pulled it off. With 156 teams competing to be crowned champ of the 2019 Fantasy Football RotoBaller... Read More


WR Target Share and Impact (AFC South & West): 2019 Review

With the season over and April's NFL draft ahead of us, it's time to look at how each team shared their targets among their available receivers last season. Not every team splits up the targets in the passing game in the same way, and that has a great impact on the fantasy points any given... Read More


Best Waiver Wire Pickups from 2019

Each and every year we see an incredible number of players step foot on the NFL gridiron. Just in 2019, using Pro-Football-Reference.com Play Index, a total of 2,025 players took part in at least one game while one (Emmanuel Sanders) did the impossible and played 17 (!) games in the regular season as he was... Read More


Tight End VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The 2019 fantasy football season is over. That is not something we like to say considering the empty path we have ahead of us until we reach draft season again in eight months. The good thing about it, though, is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few weeks... Read More


Biggest Surprises of 2019: Running Back

The 2019 NFL season was an interesting year for the running back position. Christian McCaffrey was the overall RB1, but some of the other top players fell below expectations. That led to some interesting final results when the final season standings came around. And while some of those -- Dalvin Cook as the RB3, Leonard... Read More


Quarterback VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The 2019 fantasy football season is over. That is not something we like to say considering the empty path we have ahead of us until we reach draft season again in eight months. The good thing about it, though, is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few weeks... Read More


2019 RotoBaller NFL Challenge - And The @Fleaflicker Winner Is...

What a season, RotoBallers. Fantasy football is always a fun, interesting, and long season - filled with injuries, breakout players, and different strategies. It takes stamina and endurance to win the marathon, and we're here today to recognize those who pulled it off. With 343 teams - across two divisions - competing to be crowned champ... Read More


Introducing the 2020 Rookie Tight End Class

Out of all the skill positions, tight end is the one where rookies have the most issue making an immediate impact. But there's still always some value at every position in every NFL Draft, and the 2020 one is no exception, even if people are very down on this year's crop of tight ends. Let's... Read More


Can a New Coach Fix Baker Mayfield in 2020?

Another season has passed and another disappointment by Browns fans has been realized. Baker Mayfield got the head coach he wanted in Freddie Kitchens in 2019. In 2020, hopefully he's got the one he needs in Kevin Stefanski. Last season, under Kitchens, Mayfield had a coach he could control and manipulate. He did just that... Read More


Wide Receiver VOS (Values Over Starter): 2019 Season In Context

The one (and only) good thing about fantasy football season ending is that we have plenty of time to analyze what happened during the past few months and put performances into context to prepare for next season. As football is an ever-evolving game, though, it makes sense to assess how good players were in fantasy... Read More


The King's Keeper Corner: NFL Postseason Impacts on Player Outlooks

With a break in the postseason NFL action, it is time to reflect on what we have seen in the playoffs so far and how certain performances will affect fantasy football outlooks in keeper and dynasty formats. How players respond and what they deliver at the most intense and critical times of the season can... Read More


Introducing Value Over Starter Football Metrics

When it comes to fantasy sports, we're always looking for the highest possible Return On Investment or ROI. This concept is easy to understand: in both Daily Fantasy and re-draft/fantasy leagues, ROI would come down to how many points a player returns relative to his salary, or the price you paid (given his ADP on... Read More


Biggest Breakouts of 2019: Quarterback

2019 was a very interesting season of fantasy football, to say the least. It's safe to say no one was banking on the season that we saw from Lamar Jackson but he wasn't the only one to stand out. At the quarterback position, we saw some really exciting players start to shine and some older... Read More


Goodbye Runners, Hello Pass-Catching RBs: 2019 Season Trends

As the 2019 summer kept going we all had two things in our minds with regard to September's fantasy drafts and both of them were related to running backs: Where in the world are Ezekiel Elliott and Melvin Gordon and when will they be back? It made sense back then (and it still does now,... Read More


Where Does 2019 Rank Historically Among ADP Movers?

I have worked on a season-review series of articles in which I have analyzed the biggest winners and losers in terms of ADP entering draft season compared to the end of the year final results. It was plenty of fun looking back at the gambles most of us took which ultimately paid off, but also... Read More