Preseason fantasy football watch guide

August 08, 2019 - 12:52 am
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Louie DiBiase

Twitter-@DiBiaseLOE

The NFL preseason kicks off Thursday night with 11 games on the dock. While Bills fans will be occupied as Buffalo takes on the Indianapolis Colts, the exisistence of NFL Game Pass will provide time to take a look around the league.

Not to mention the five games scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

What teams and players should fantasy owners take a closer look at this week? Could anyone actually affect their fantasy value based on preseason performances?

Here is your fantasy guide to the 2019 NFL preseason:

Will Miami stick to Kalen Ballage over Kenyan Drake as RB1 against Atlanta?

Despite his efficient play over the last two seasons, Kenyan Drake was not a favorite of former Head Coach Adam Gase. Now, he finds himself behind second-year RB Kalen Ballage early on in the Brian Flores-era of Dolphins football.

Will that remain the case against the Falcons Thursday night? If it does, continue to proceed with extreme caution when determing the right round to take a chance on Drake's talent.

Has Lamar Jackson improved as a passer?

If the electrifying signal caller suits up for Baltimore Thursday night against the Jaguars, it will be interesting to see if his accuracy has improved.

The former Heisman Trophy winner is the most dangerous running QB in the NFL. If he can show progress from an inconsistent rookie season as an accurate passer, he could go from someone owners take late after waiting on QB, to a top-tier fantasy QB.

Even for a series or two, it will be a good test going up against Jacksonville's defense to start off the year. As the preseason goes on, his playing-time will increase.

Geronimo Allison vs Marquez Valdes-Scantling for Green Bay's WR2 job

Neither Geronimo Allison or Marquez Valdes-Scantling are household names. However, the two young receivers will contine their battle for the second WR for Aaron Rodgers on Thursday against the Houston Texans.

Both will likely see a sizeable workload in 2019 but gaining a rapport in the preseason with Rodgers will give either target the upper-hand to finish second in targets behind Davante Adams.

If Rodgers has a Comeback Player of the Year-caliber season, one of these two receivers could be the steal of your draft. Keep a close eye on this battle Thursday night.

Rookies to watch

Preseason takeaways for starters should always be taken with a grain of salt. The more signifcant stock to place on the preseason is the evaluation process of the rookies.

Three rookies could set themselves up for big roles in the regular season with strong showings in August.

  • Seattle Seahawks WR D.K. Metcalf

Metcalf was the consensus top WR in the 2019 NFL Draft by most media outlets but the NFL didn't agree. Metcalf fell to Seattle at the bottom of the 2nd round. The fit could not be better. Both QB Russell Wilson and Metcalf thrive on the deep ball.

If the Ole Miss product can make those splash plays this preseason, expect the rookie to be a big part of Seattle's offense this year.

  • Kansas City Chiefs RB Darwin Thompson

Thompson has a real path to eventually becoming the starting RB for the Chiefs. The 6th round pick was one of the best running backs at breaking tackles in college football last year. His ability as a receiver makes him an enticing player in Andy Reid's offense.

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