- Preseason Fantasy Takeaways That Actually Matter
Preseason Fantasy Takeaways That Actually Matter
Through 2 weeks of NFL Preseason action, teams and players are looking to round into regular season form for a fast approaching Week 1. Fantasy managers are deep into Draft season, and everyone is looking for the smallest advantage to push their roster over the top.
With that in mind, let’s dive into 5 Fantasy Takeaways from the first two weeks of exhibition play.
The Steelers Offense Might Be Really Good
Behind what has appeared to be a vastly improved Offensive Line, the Steelers have shown serious firepower on the offensive side of the fooball. The growth of that front 5 is having a trickle-down effect across the board. Najee Harris is being drafted too low after Offensive Coordinator Matt Canada re-emphasized that Najee is the RB1 in Pittsburgh. That said Warren is a threat to go the distance on any play. He’s the best RB handcuff in the league and could warrent flex consideration in 12+ team leagues.
The Passing offense looks ready to absolutely explode with a soaring Kenny Pickett looking like the next great AFC QB. The sheer number of pass-catching options might limit the individual production to a degree, but if Pickett has really taken a big leap heading into year 2, Diontae Johnson should remain a PPR target monster, and George Pickens could elevate into true WR2 territory with upside. Also, Tight End Pat Freiermuth might score 10 TDs this year as the as Pickett’s preferred Red Zone target. Take a flier on a piece of this offense with confidence.
Second-Year Wide Receivers Showing Out
Pittsburgh’s Pickens isn’t the only 2nd-year Receiver earning a ton of hype heading into 2023. Of course guys like Garrett Wilson (NYJ) and Chris Olave (NO) get the most attention, and rightfully so, but there’s a bevy of Sophomore pass-catchers earning high praise through 2 weeks of Preseason play. Atlanta’s Drake London and Washington’s Jahan Dotson are drawing rave reviews, despite questionable QB situations. Christian Watson looks like the clear WR1 in Green Bay and has major big-play upside. The list of intriguing names goes on with guys like Alec Pierce (IND), Skyy Moore (KC), and John Metchie III (HOU) looking to breakout as well.
— NFL (@NFL) August 12, 2023
Running Back Drama Should Affect your Draft Strategy
The story of the offseason so far might be the devaluation of the Running Back position across the league. It certainly has affected Fantasy Drafts, with stud backs like Jonathan Taylor (IND) and Josh Jacobs (LV) seeing their respective ADPs plummet despite being two of the few true workhorse runners left in the league. In Taylor’s case, the water is especially muddy after the Colts granted him permission to seek a trade as of Aug. 21.
With more good RBs available in the middle rounds of drafts, many RB truthers (like myself) find themselves in a bit of a connundrum when it comes to draft strategy. In fact, taking WRs and even QBs and TEs earlier is proving to be a savvy roster-building option in 2023, with backs like Alexander Mattison and David Montgomery available as late as Rounds 6 to 8 in both standard and PPR formats. Based on that kind of draft value, it could pay major dividends to wait a little longer to land your starting RBs in 2023.
Dalton Kincaid Is Going to be Featured in Buffalo
Through 2 preseason contests, Kincaid is getting plenty of run with the Bills first team offense, and he looks good doint it. Against the Steelers in Week 2, Kincaid caught 3 passes on 4 targets for 45 total yards. The Bills targeted Kincaid specifically in the 2023 NFL Draft, trading up for him to make sure they didn’t miss out on the standout pass-catching TE from Utah. The Rookie runs routes like a big-bodied receiver, and could become Josh Allen’s 2nd favorite target early. He’s a potential steal at TE for managers with a consensus ADP of 124th overall via fantasypros.com.
Bijan Robinson should be the 1st Running Back off the Board in All Formats
Did you see this guy in limited action vs Cincinnati on Saturday? Bijan just moves different. He has legit breakaway ability from anywhere on the field, can catch balls out of the backfield in the passing game, and should be the clearcut RB1 for the most run-heavy team in football. What’s not to love? I’m taking him over both Christian McCaffrey (SF) and Austin Ekeler (LAC) and 3rd overall behind WRs Justin Jefferson (MIN) and Ja’Marr Chase (CIN). All it took was his first NFL rush that went for 12 yards to sell me.
— Jeremy Betz (@thebetz93) August 22, 2023
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