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 Fantasy Risers and Fallers


NFL preseason action is a great opportunity to catch glimpses of what to expect from players come Week 1. Several names can boom or bust their fantasy stocks based on how well they perform in that span, making it especially important for fantasy owners to be aware of how each player has been doing.

While you never want to overreact to exhibition games and/or practices, there are certainly some situations you should pay attention to before making your final draft list.

Here are some preseason risers and fallers worth mentioning.

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

Tyrod Taylor (QB, CLE)

Despite the immense pressure to get the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft into action as soon as possible, Cleveland Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor has put together two solid preseason performances that all but cement his Week 1 status as the man under center. His Week 1 preseason game against the New York Giants was especially noteworthy, as he completed all five of his pass attempts for 99 yards and a touchdown including two deep throws for over 30 yards each. Taylor was well-renowned for his streamer appeal while in Buffalo, but he could be a solid sleeper candidate now that he has a bevy of weapons in Cleveland.

Christian McCaffrey (RB, CAR)

The Carolina Panthers decision to sign C.J. Anderson surely inspired fear in the hearts of Christian McCaffrey truthers, but McCaffrey's usage to date has been incredibly promising for his fantasy prospects this upcoming season. He has received the majority of the work with the first-team offense in the Panthers two preseason games and been incredibly productive, rushing nine times for 103 yards and two touchdowns while catching six passes for 57 yards. McCaffrey is passing the eye test with flying colors and could push his ADP even further up if he continues his streak of stellar performances.

Royce Freeman (RB, DEN)

The Denver Broncos might have found a gem in running back Royce Freeman, who has been living up to his reputation as a between-the-tackles bruiser since debuting against the Minnesota Vikings in the preseason. Although Devontae Booker has been splitting time with him, Freeman appears to be the clear-cut goal-line back and has scored a touchdown in both of his preseason matchups. Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is craving a rusher to fit his power scheme and although Booker may hold the starting job in Week 1, it is only a matter of time before Freeman works his way to the top.

Mike Williams (WR, LAC)

The injury to Los Angeles Chargers tight end Hunter Henry took away a huge red zone threat for the team, with tight ends having accounted for 32-percent of the team's targets inside the 20-yard line last season. At 6'4, 220 lbs, former first-round pick Mike Williams has been developing into the perfect player to fill that void. With reports coming out of training camp that he is being heavily used in scoring situations, and an impressive touchdown in Week 2 of the preseason that saw him high-point a jump ball in the end zone, Williams should be a name on every fantasy owner's radar.

Trey Burton (TE, CHI)

Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton has received plenty of hype as the next Travis Kelce after former Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy became his head coach. His third preseason performance did nothing short of fuel the praise, as he caught four of his five targets for 45 yards and a touchdown while showing great rapport with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Add in the fact that tight end Adam Shaheen was carted off the field with an ankle injury and it looks quite possible that Burton could return significant value for fantasy owners.

 

Fallers

Ronald Jones II (RB, TB)

You know something is wrong when you still aren't being talked about as the workhorse for your team after losing your presumed starter to free agency and your fellow backfield-mates dealing with injuries. Such is the case with Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II, who appeared to have a clear path to fantasy relevance when Doug Martin left for Oakland and Charles Sims went down with a knee injury. Unfortunately, Jones' total carries have outnumbered his yards gained on the ground through two preseason games and Peyton Barber looks to be shining as the team's top option. With a below-average offensive line and quarterback Jameis Winston suspended to open the year, fantasy owners should take a hard pass on Jones until he can show glimpses of promise.

Jerick McKinnon (RB, SF)

Expectations are at an all-time high for San Francisco 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon, who is in line to be featured in a prolific Kyle Shanahan offense with a promising young quarterback under center. Those lofty goals might need to be tempered a bit, as McKinnon will reportedly miss the entire rest of the preseason with a knee issue and could have injury problems that resurface throughout 2018. Although the threat of fellow backfield-mate Matt Breida will also be stalled given how he will also miss the rest of the preseason with a banged up shoulder, McKinnon's second/third round ADP should almost certainly take a hit.

Case Keenum (QB, DEN)

Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum is coming off of one of his best seasons where he threw for career-highs in passing yards and touchdowns with Minnesota. While Keenum isn't necessarily expected to be as prolific as he was last year, he really hasn't shown too well for the Broncos with nine of his 17 passes going for 83 yards and no touchdowns in two preseason contests. It may be too soon to say Keenum will bust, but many were hoping he could enable bounce-back years from wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. At this point, that dream is slowly fading.

Devante Parker (WR, MIA)

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Devante Parker couldn't have asked for a better situation to break onto the scene in fantasy, as target-hound wideout Jarvis Landry is now a Cleveland Brown. Unfortunately, most of the news from the Dolphins organization was negative for Parker getting more targets even before he injured his finger and become questionable for Week 1 of the regular season. Most fantasy owners are likely avoiding Miami pass-catchers outside of deep leagues and Parker's name should undoubtedly be at the top of that list.

George Kittle (TE, SF)

While San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle showed plenty of promise over the final three weeks of the 2017 season with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, it looks like fantasy owners won't get a chance to see how that connection will look until the 2018 regular season. Kittle was rushed to the locker room in the team's first preseason game after injuring his shoulder and isn't likely to see much more, if any, preseason action. Although Kittle has avoided structural damage, it won't be possible to get any more insights for making a clear projection for the upcoming fantasy season before September.

 

More Draft Prep and Analysis




More Recent Articles

 

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


Biggest Busts of 2019: Tight End

2019 was not the record-breaking season for tight ends 2018 was. San Francisco’s George Kittle (most receiving yards for a TE in a season) and Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz (most receptions for a TE in a season) did not break the records they set last season, although both were fine for fantasy players. Kansas City’s Travis... Read More


Rushing Quarterbacks Are Becoming Necessary

The 2019 fantasy season is over. We are all thinking about what to do come 2020 draft day. So let me ask you something. What if I offer you the chance of drafting a quarterback who is a lock to finish the season with 270 fantasy points? Would you take him and make him your... Read More


Biggest Breakouts Of 2019: Wide Receivers

As we enter the initial phase of offseason activities you have recently completed a painstaking process of creating and managing rosters, with the goal of winning fantasy championships in 2019. Now, many of you have already shifted your focus toward planning your drafts in Best Ball and redraft leagues, while others are contemplating how you... Read More


Tight End ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward their owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More


Running Back ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, a sure-fire player is expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they end up as a season-long dud, though,... Read More


Biggest Surprises of 2019: Tight End

The 2019 NFL season was anything but predictable. I mean, the Tennessee Titans made the AFC title game! Andrew Luck retired right before the season! [Insert one of many, many other things here, because all lists need three items but I couldn't decide between all the possible third options.] One position where things at the... Read More


Wide Receiver Risers and Fallers: 2019 Season Review

We continue our series covering the biggest risers and fallers of 2019 with the wide receiver position. I'll look at both 2018 and 2019 statistical outcomes from every player, contrast their performances, calculate differences in each category and come up with the most prominent names going forward. This past season, receivers didn't dominate in fantasy,... Read More


Wide Receiver ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More


XFL Fantasy Football Rankings (Preseason)

As of this writing, there is exactly one month until XFL regular-season action begins. On February 8, the latest upstart professional league will kickoff (again) with spring football. It goes without saying that we hope it goes better than the first time, back in 2001, and lasts longer than the AAF. Before you settle in... Read More


Biggest Busts of 2019: Quarterback

The 2019 NFL season is over, and it's time to look back on what happened. 2019 was a year where some quarterbacks -- Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen -- leaped up to the top of the fantasy charts, while other guys faded from where they were expected to perform. Today, I want to talk about three... Read More


Quarterback ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward their owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More


Biggest Breakouts of 2019: Running Back

The 2019 fantasy football was filled with plenty of surprises across the board. Between guys like Devante Parker breaking out and David Johnson being a total dud, there was plenty of action that kept the fantasy season interesting. At the running back position, there were some very interesting young names that took off and broke... Read More