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#169 15 Takeaways From Yesterday’s Games

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The action was flying yesterday. Here’s everything that stood out for me...

  1. Xavier Jones is the back you want behind Darrell Henderson. Rams RB Xavier Jones played most of the snaps on the first drive and had 6 rushes for 21 yards, as well as 2 receptions for 6 yards. Jake Funk also played 5 snaps with the starters on the second drive. 
  1. Malcolm Brown is a thing. Dolphins RB Myles Gaskin, who has been routinely going in the 5th and 6th round of drafts, played behind Brown in the Dolphins preseason opener. Brown played 16 snaps, double Gaskin, and got all the goal line carries. After the game Head Voach Brian Flores said they like all three backs (Salvon Ahmed, included) and that they’ll continue “working all three guys.”
  1. Gio Bernard’s role confirmed. The Bucs played all three running backs during the six snaps with the starters. Bernard was the passing down back during both third-and-long attempts, which confirms the role fantasy land has expected for him. Leonard Fournette is likely the back getting squeezed the most this year by the presence of Bernard. 
  1. Browns WR Donovan Peoples-Jones stays hot. Peoples-Jones earned 5 targets and turned them into 3 receptions for 26 yards. The Browns sat most of their top pass catching options last night, but still very encouraging to see DPJ crush these opportunities. 
  1. Marquez Callaway could be the Saints top pass catcher. Similar to DPJ in Cleveland, Callaway continued his red hot summer. He flashed for 61 yards on 3 catches and played every snap with the starters. Saints TE Adam Trautman didn’t receive a single target and pass-blocked on three of his nine pass plays.
  1. Josh Palmer > Tyron Johnson & Jalen Guyton. Chargers rookie WR Josh Palmer turned 6 targets into 6 receptions and 36 yards, while Guyton led the WRs in snaps. We’ve been trying to identify the WR3 here behind Keenan Allen and Mike Williams all training camp and the rookie looks like he’s on his way to locking it up. 

7. Justin Fields is legit. It’s going to be really hard to keep Bears rookie QB Justin Fields on the bench. He threw for 142 yards and 1 TD on 20 attempts. He also got it done on the ground, rushing 5 times for 33 yards and a TD. In case it still needs to be said, Fields is inevitable. 

  1. Corey Davis is the guy for the Jets. At least until WR Elijah Moore gets fully healthy. Davis played on 9 of the first 11 snaps, drew 4 targets on each one of his pass routes, and turned 2 receptions into 18 yards. In the backfield, rookie RB Michael Carter split snaps with Ty Johnson while Johnson played all the third-down snaps. Tevin Coleman sat this game out. 
  1. Phillip Lindsay is the lead back in Houston. Lindsay out-snapped David Johnson 8 to 2 last night while serving as the primary rusher on early downs. Johnson mixed in on passing downs, but there’s no reason to think Lindsay isn’t the lead back here. 
  1. Trey Lance looked solid. The 49ers rookie QB played two drives with the starters. His stat line wasn’t pretty (5-for-14), but his WRs had 4 drops. He did connect with Trent Sherfield on an 80 yard TD bomb and looked mostly comfortable in his debut. In the backfield, Raheem Mostert didn’t play, but rookie Trey Sermon started the game and also played on passing downs. 
  1. Hunter Renfrow > John Brown. The Raiders rested their starters last night, which included WRs Bryan Edwards, Henry Ruggs, and Renfrow. This notably did not include John Brown, who appears like the odd man out for now.
  1. Damien Williams is a priority late target. The Bears backup RB played all of the snaps with the first team after David Montgomery limped off the field early in the game. It doesn’t sound like it’s serious, but Williams looked good in relief. The fact that he has fresh legs after sitting out a year is a nice bonus.
  1. KJ Hamler pops off. We highlighted Broncos WR KJ Hamler the other day and he flashed in a big way yesterday with Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick resting. Hamler converted his 2 targets into 2 receptions for 105 yards and 1 TD. Hamler is what we previously hoped players like John Ross and Phillip Dorsett would be. 
  1. Javonte Williams controls the backfield. Rookie Broncos RB Javonte Williams took advantage of Melvin Gordon being held out of action with a minor groin injury, rushing for 29 yards on 5 carries. With Mike Boone out 4-6 weeks, Williams should have an opportunity to get off to a fast start. 
  1. Marvin Jones Jr. the top dog for now. Trevor Lawrence connected with Jones Jr. on a beautiful deep pass and finished with 3 receptions for 52 yards on 4 targets. Laviska Shenault only played slot snaps when the starters lined up in 11 personnel. 


📊 Stat of the Day


🚑 The Injury Ward 

* Good news out of Cowboys camp:

* Titans coach Mike Vrabel said Darrynton Evans is day-to-day with his knee injury. This is great news considering it looked a lot worse when he exited the game the other night.

* New Texans WR Anthony Miller dislocated his shoulder Saturday. Miller has had previous shoulder surgeries, so this isn’t good at all. 

* Chargers RB Justin Jackson injured his groin in yesterday’s game and will undergo further tests.

* Washington activated Curtis Samuel off the PUP list.


🐦 Tweet of the day.

Regardless of which one you are, welcome. Fantasy draft season is here (via NBC Sports Edge).


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