Despite what you’ve been told, the preseason actually does matter — at least in the world of fantasy football. You can gain a serious edge on the competition by paying attention to the games and searching for deep sleepers just as they are waking up, such as the current front runner of #teampreseason 2019: Patriots rookie wideout Jakobi Meyers.
We started these takeaway pieces with Thursday night’s game, and I’m here to bring you some key takeaways from Saturdays games, including Browns-Colts, Patriots-Titans, Chiefs-Steelers, Lions-Texans, and Cowboys-Rams.
Jakobi Meyers makes his case as preseason MVP, but we might be overreacting
Meyers has been stupid good through two preseason games, hauling in 12 of 14 targets for 151 yards and two scores, including a team-high 6-82-0 line on Saturday night against the Titans.
Meyers is tripling the receiving stats of all Patriots players, and he’s catching national attention:
Re-watching some Jakobi Meyers already. The release, the hands. Refine some of his route running and I dunno…what he’s doing to 2nd and 3rd team guys is just mean. And he’s worked some of the ones as evident by these last two weeks of joint practices/vs. own team. #Patriots
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) August 18, 2019
RotoViz’s Neil Dutton wrote a fantastic piece on Meyers just weeks ago, examining whether Meyers could be Brady’s newest security blanket. Meyers is also one of the mid-August deep sleepers to pay attention to.
But despite Meyer’s back-to-back impressive performances to open the preseason, there are plenty of reasons for skepticism:
- Alpha WR Josh Gordon has been reinstated, and Meyers is unlikely to be a threat to Gordon’s snap count
- Julian Edelman is still on the roster and is Brady’s most-trusted target
- The Patriots spent a 2019 first-round pick on WR N’Keal Harry
- James White remains one of the five best receiving backs in the NFL
- Meyers doesn’t have the most impressive comps
It’s an uphill battle for Meyers in 2019, but he’s a worthy dynasty stash and has at least earned appeal as a late-round flier in 2019 redraft leagues.
Here are some other takeaways from Saturdays action:
Eric Ebron is still catching TDs
Ebron led all TEs with 13 touchdowns last season, and if you paid attention to the 2018 preseason, you might’ve seen it coming after Ebron went 5-54-1 in Indy’s Week 3 preseason game last year.
He picked up where he left off on Saturday, catching just two passes for 28 yards, but converting another one into a score.
Mecole Hardman will be a problem for opposing defenses
Hardman has touched the ball three times in two preseason games. He has two TDs on those three touches. He’s quickly turning into one of Kansas City’s most undervalued fantasy assets for 2019. Here’s Matt Jones’ ceiling projection for Hardman in 2019, created using our Projection Machine.
James Washington stepped up for Pittsburgh yet again
Washington was impressive in preseason Week 1, and he followed up that performance with a team-high 4-78-0 line in preseason Week 2. JuJu Smith-Schuster is an obvious lock to be on the field every passing down in 2019, but with Antonio Brown no longer in Pittsburgh, there is plenty of opportunity to go around. Washington is certainly making his case.
Washington has a huge range of comps, ranging from the terrible (Cody Latimer, Laquon Treadwell) to the best of the best (Smith-Schuster, Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins). Given how profitable Big Ben’s passing offenses have been for WRs over the years, he is a name that needs to be on your radar.
The Darrell Henderson hype took a hit (again)
Henderson is supposed to be the fantasy community’s saving grace as it relates to Todd Gurley’s health. If Gurley misses, bummer, but at least we have Henderson! But Henderson has now turned in two straight games with fewer than 3.0 YPC. Yes, YPC is a noisy stat. But averaging 2.2 and 2.7 in your first two preseason games isn’t so hot.
Henderson’s saving grace in Week 2: He hauled in six receptions for 38 yards, including a 25-plus-yarder to open the game. There’s hope yet.