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Fantasy football takeaways: Preseason Week 2

The latest NFL Fantasy LIVE podcast talks Preseason Week 1 takeaways. The gang also weighs in on some new sleeper candidates and they shell out another round of Daily Daps. Like, subscribe and listen!

Following last wekeend's full slate of preseason action, we have a copious amounts of key fantasy takeaways that could help you prepare for your upcoming draft. Below, we break down every single Week 2 preseason game.


Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers

» The biggest news from this game was star wide receiver Jordy Nelson suffering what is believed to be a torn ACL. This is major news for fans who drafted Nelson already, as he's likely lost for the year. This is not, however, major news for the Packers offense. They are deep at wide receiver (though no one else on the roster is of Nelson's caliber), and still have that guy named Aaron Rodgers under center. The offense should still be one of the highest scoring in the league.

»Eddie Lacy somehow looks bigger AND quicker in the preseason so far. He's shown good vision averaging over six yards per carry in preseason action. With Nelson sidelined for potentially the whole season, Lacy could see more targets in the passing game, too, further cementing his stock as one of the must-have first-round running backs.

» When it comes to Nelson's replacement, it will be some combination of Davante Adams, Jeff Janis and Richard Rodgers. Adams will slide in as the No. 2 wideout and his ADP should skyrocket in the coming weeks. Janis and Rodgers both present excellent late-round value, as Adams is unlikely to command all of Nelson's 151 targets from 2014.

»Markus Wheaton looked good and caught a short touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger, but we still like Martavis Bryant as the better mid-round option to target behind Antonio Brown. His big play potential is just too enticing to pass up.

»DeAngelo Williams looked spry again, and is an option for owners who take Le'Veon Bell in Round 1 and need a two-week fill-in. However, it might be more prudent to look elsewhere to replace Bell's missing production, as Williams' value goes through the floor after Week 2.

Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers

» There wasn't much to take away from the Cowboys performance with most of Dallas' key players getting the night off. Joseph Randle had a couple of nice runs, but there's still no reason to think this won't be a committee situation during the regular season.

»Carlos Hyde showed some good things, rushing for 39 yards on just seven carries. There's still no indication that the Ohio State product is going to be a three-down back this season, but his ability to run hard and pick up big chunks of yardage could (in theory) prevent the 49ers from facing a lot of third downs. Wishful thinking, I know.

» It was another uneven performance from Colin Kaepernick. The Niners signal-caller completed just two of his five attempts for a paltry 13 yards. The days of Kaepernick looking like a QB1 are getting further in the rearview mirror.

»Jarryd Hayne: Great punt returner or greatest punt returner?

St. Louis Rams at Tennessee Titans

» Pump the breaks on the David Cobb hype train. Bishop Sankey was the starting running back and ran well in this game with a 7.5 YPC average on his six rush attempts. Cobb's downhill running style netted him 26 yards on eight attempts and he added one catch for eight yards. The Tennessee backfield is likely to be a frustrating situation all season.

»Dexter McCluster dropped an easy touchdown pass from Marcus Mariota at the end of the first quarter. The rookie signal-caller had an impressive 35-yard completion on the run showcasing his accuracy and mobility, but finished with just 59 passing yards before he was done for the night. The dropped touchdown would have made his final stat line much juicier.

» Rookie wideout Dorial Green-Beckham had a nice evening for the Titans with four catches for 40 yards. He's a huge target at 6-foot-5, 237 pounds, and is a great outside threat. If you're looking for upside from a wide receiver late in your draft Green-Beckham is a very interesting target.

» It'd be nice if we could peg a legitimate fantasy wideout from the Rams' receiving corps, but there are so many guys for receptions to be distributed to, it's difficult to pick a favorite. Plus, the team is still without Brian Quick who is working his way back from an injury but has impressed in training camp. Once he's back in game action, Quick is probably the guy to target in St. Louis.


Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers

»Ryan Tannehill looked dialed in for the second preseaso game in a row. The Dolphins quarterback completed 12 of his 15 passes and effectively moved the offense against the Panthers defense. This has always been a system effectively designed around Tannehill's strengths, and so far through the preseason series, he's looking better than ever. Tannehill even uncorked a perfect deep ball to Jordan Cameron, who dropped the sure touchdown. He's one of the few quarterbacks after the early rounds who could be an every week fantasy starter.

»Damian Williams has the backup running back gig all but locked up. The second-year runner scored two touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving, both of which came with the first team. Williams has talent, and looks like a good fit in Lazor's offense. He needs to be on every waiver-wire speed dial list in case Lamar Miller goes down.

» The Panthers offense could be in major trouble. Playing in their first game since Kelvin Benjamin tore his ACL, Carolina could not move the ball in the slightest early in the game. It felt like a blessing they even had nine points at half time. Corey Brown is now the top wide receiver on the depth chart, but really failed to impress in his first chance at the gig. Brown dropped two passes, including a dart Cam Newton fired between multiple defenders in the end zone. It may help to get Devin Funchess in the fold, but this passing game is getting dangerously close to all out avoid turf.

Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles

» There wasn't much to take away from the Ravens performance. But we can say this -- Joe Flacco is still not elite. At least when it comes to fantasy. Flacco threw a pair of first quarter interceptions and made us all long for his postseason edition.

» It was hard to highlight just one Eagles player this weekend since just about everything the first and second-stringers did turned out right. One thing that's certain is that the Nelson Agholor hype train continues to pick up passengers. If Philly's offense can operate as efficiently as it did last weekend, there will be plenty of fantasy options.

» Along those lines, all three of the Eagles primary running back options made nice contributions. DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews each ran for touchdowns and Darren Sproles posted 25 total yards on four touches. That's good news for Chip Kelly. Bad news for the rest of us.

Chicago Bears at Indianapolis Colts

» Following an ugly wide open drop, T.Y. Hilton redeemed himself with a beautiful reception on a perfectly thrown deep pass over the middle from Andrew Luck. This duo is locked in as one of the best in the entire NFL and Hilton seems like a great steal with his current third-round ADP.

» Veteran Frank Gore only had two carries, but he looked like a tank on both of them. If he can stay healthy and doesn't run out of gas, he will have a huge year in Indy.

» After Luck scored a rushing touchdown, he found Andre Johnson on the goal-line for a 2-point conversion. Johnson remains undervalued at his Round 6 ADP and poses a huge threat in red-zone situations.

»Jay Cutler spread his targets around between Martellus Bennett, Marquess Wilson and Eddie Royal with Bennett looking like the most impressive pass-catcher for Chicago.

»Matt Forte looked like his usual self and got a decent amount of work in with 8 carries for 24 yards and added a 12-yard reception. Many are down on him this season but he's still a rock-solid option as Chicago's feature back. Jacquizz Rodgers worked in behind Forte with the first-team offense.

»Jeremy Langford had a sloppy 46-yard run in the third quarter and finished with 80 yards on just nine carries for Chicago. He's merely a handcuff candidate to Forte. Colts rookie runner Josh Robinson also got a lot of work in the second half and tallied 13 carries for 61 yards. He runs hard, has had a great preseason and is an interesting deep sleeper should anything happen to Gore.

New England Patriots at New Orleans Saints

»Drew Brees and Brandin Cooks absolutely abused the Patriots first string defense. Brees threw ten passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns. Cooks caught four of those for 117 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown. We're not expecting those kind of numbers to come out every week, but this offense still has a high ceiling. Their numbers should also serve caution about the Patriots defense. New England is unwisely playing Pro Bowl free safety at right cornerback, a spot he's previously sputtered in. McCourty was one of the players responsible for Cooks' score. This is a defense we will target all season.

»Khiry Robinson once again looked like the best running back on the Saints. He's not going to play a big role if Spiller and Ingram are healthy, but make sure to keep a finger on the waiver-wire trigger over his name.

» Add another name to the Patriots backfield mess: Dion Lewis. The 5-8 former Pitt Panther hasn't seen game action since 2012, but looked excellent against the Saints. He ran for a touchdown, and more importantly caught five passes. Last we saw Lewis he was set to take on a big role for the Browns in 2013, but broke his leg before the season got off the ground. But Lewis can play, and he reminded us of that yesterday. We've spent all summer debating between Travaris Cadet and James White as the replacement for Shane Vereen, but Lewis might steal this job in the eleventh hour. Just something to consider.

Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Giants

»Allen Robinson did not have his best day at the office, as he let two good Blake Bortles passes get away from him. However, he still caught three passes for 64 yards, good for a nine point PPR day. This just served as a reminder that, even when Robinson falters a bit, he still has such a safe floor.

» The Jaguars need T.J. Yeldon to suit up for them. Their running backs collectively averaged 2.4 yards-per-carry. Denard Robinson remains the primary backup, but did not do much with his six carries.

Denver Broncos at Houston Texans

» The Broncos offense did not look great. Peyton Manning looked uncomfortable, and the first string offense did not move the needle much. We're not panicking yet, but this is a need-to monitor storyline. Ronnie Hillman was the best player in a Denver uniform on Saturday. He's been on fire in the preseason, and the coaches have reportedly awarded him the title of the backup running back to C.J. Anderson. We can officially put Montee Ball (four carries for four yards) to rest.

»Chris Polk averaged a steady 5.1 yards-per-carry and caught five passes in his bid to earn reps in the Texans backfield. The former undrafted free agent is the best pass catcher among their running backs, and that's his best bet to earn snaps.

»Brian Hoyer's performance, and maybe more Ryan Mallett's lack of, saw the veteran win the starting job. Last year with the Browns, Hoyer struggled to maintain consistency, but we aren't looking to him for any fantasy value. However, Hoyer feels like the safer bet to keep DeAndre Hopkins' stock afloat. That's all we are here for.

Oakland Raiders at Minnesota Vikings

»Latavius Murray hasn't been on a hype train so much as it's been a hype roller coaster. He was up early in the offseason, then started to come down in training camp. After a nice showing against the Vikes, Murray's draft value is on its way back up -- even if slightly. He'll still have to deal with Roy Helu taking some of the third down work, but he reaffirmed why people were so high on him to begin with.

» It was a so-so evening for Derek Carr. The second-year quarterback finished 4-of-8 for 78 yards, but 40 of those yards came on one big connection to Amari Cooper. It's encouraging to see the young pass-catch duo have such an early rapport, now we're looking for consistency.

» Take this with a grain of salt, but the front seven for the Raiders got a lot of pressure. The team has high hopes for Khalil Mack this season. If he gets help from his teammates up front, Oakland could be a surprising defensive option.

» While Carr sputtered, Teddy Bridgewater continues to impress. He started slow but finished strong with 89 passing yards and a touchdown. The more you watch Bridgewater, the more you believe he could challenge to be a QB1 very soon ... maybe even this season.

» Much like last season, Bridgewater had eyes for Charles Johnson. The young wideout caught four passes for 40 yards and a touchdown. Much of the passing game should run through Mike Wallace, but Johnson is showing that he should be considered for a sizable role as well.

San Diego Chargers at Arizona Cardinals

» San Diego didn't play a lot of its regulars, but both Danny Woodhead and Branden Oliver did see a handful of carries with Oliver blasting in for a touchdown. Even when Melvin Gordon is ready to go, this could be a harbinger of how the backfield operates.

» Remember how drastically different the Cardinals offense was with Carson Palmer compared to without him? Watching the veteran hook up with his cadre of receivers showed why Palmer will be such a big part of Arizona's offensive success. It also showed that John Brown will be a big part of the Redbirds' aerial attack.

» Bruce Arians might want to have one bell-cow running back, but David Johnson showed that he could be a worthy understudy if Andre Ellington can't fulfill his duties. Johnson's strong showing (13 rush, 66 yards) also showed that Chris Johnson isn't a necessity on this roster barring a rash of injuries.


Atlanta Falcons at New York Jets

»Chris Ivory had a strong performance in this game for the Jets. He looks like the clear lead back and more importantly, was involved in the passing game with three catches for 20 yards. If Ivory is truly becoming the Jets three-down back, he's an amazing bargain at his Round 10 ADP.

»Brandon Marshall looked like his healthy old self with four catches for 62 yards. If he and Ryan Fitzpatrick can build some more chemistry before the regular season, he is also a crazy steal in drafts as a low-end WR2 with a Round 10 ADP.

»Julio Jones started the game but was held without a catch. He remains locked in as a top-5 fantasy receiver this season.

» Neither Devonta Freeman nor Tevin Coleman played as they both continue to nurse hamstring injuries. The Falcons run game was virtually non-existent without them on Friday.

» With Roddy White slated for elbow surgery (though he's expected back by Week 1), Leonard Hankerson becomes an interesting sleeper. Hankerson had three catches for 15 yards and scored a touchdown against the Jets. Hankerson is the No. 2 receiver behind Jones if White misses time.

Seattle Seahawks at Kansas City Chiefs

» The Chiefs first string offense produced mixed results. Alex Smith was under duress all night, and even threw an interception when pressured. For the second week in a row, Chase Daniel outplayed the starter. Smith and Jeremy Maclin hooked up for three catches, including one touchdown. It was interesting to note that Maclin's score came when the Chiefs lined up in the backfield, and he faded out to the flat when the team was in the red zone. Yes, Maclin's stats will fall off in Kansas City, but this team is still going to find way to get him the ball.

» There were several talented backup running backs that impressed Friday night. Christine Michael's 10 for 27 rushing line looks ghastly, but Michael was pretty consistently eluding defenders in the backfield. Even through the trash, he looked decisive and hit holes with confidence. He also looks stout in pass protection, including a wallop delivered to Dee Ford that broke the Chiefs' pass rusher's ribs. It was the kind of "little things" performance that is more important for Michael to put on film, rather than dazzlers. Knile Davis also did well in his chances, especially when he got into space. However, the Chiefs might have something here with Charcandrick West. The young back looked good for the second consecutive week.

»Jimmy Graham looks to be in mid-season form. He and Russell Wilson are on the same page, and abused the Chiefs on passes in traffic, and off the play action. Graham won't get the same target load he saw in New Orleans, but this team is going to love having him in the fold.


Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins

» The flavor of last week's preseason games, rookie Ameer Abdullah, was practically a no-show in this one as he received just two carries for seven yards the entire game. He still projects to play a major role for the Lions out of the gate, so the team may have simply been preserving him for the regular season with Joique Bell still on the shelf.

» Rookie runner Matt Jones was the brightest star for Washington. He collected 44 yards on eight rushes and scored on a 1-yard touchdown run. Jones showed off his explosive and powerful north/south style with hard runs up the middle, including an awesome 24-yard scamper. If Jones keeps playing like he did Thursday night, he could have a bigger role than expected once the regular season gets underway.

» Don't get too excited about wideout Rashad Ross (4-39-1). He remains buried on Washington's depth chart despite his big night.

»Alfred Morris' playing time was extremely limited as he only saw carries on Washington's first drive. His three runs went for a total of 10 yards, most of which were gained on a single run. He remains a solid RB2 target.

» Another rookie running back, Zach Zenner, was the highlight out of the Detroit backfield. Zenner piled up 81 yards from scrimmage including 59 receiving yards on five catches and added a touchdown reception. He averaged a solid 5.5 YPC on his four runs for 22 yards. He also had a 45-yard run in the third quarter that was called back on a holding penalty. The undrafted South Dakota St. product is an interesting guy for dynasty startups, and if Bell is limited in any way during the regular season, Zenner could get an opportunity to shine. He's merely a deep sleeper in re-draft leagues for now.

Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns

»Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell surprisingly performed better against Buffalo's tough defense than they did last week versus Washington. Both backs played into the third quarter and West led with 11 carries for 42 yards while Crowell had just five attempts for 14 yards, the majority of which came on a 13-yard run. Even though he didn't play well in pass-protection, Crowell is still the back to target in fantasy drafts while we wait for rookie Duke Johnson (hamstring) to get healthy.

»Josh McCown looked so bad in the first half, he actually made the mediocre Johnny Manziel look somewhat talented in the second half. Manziel threw zero interceptions and was 10-for-18 for 118 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 19 yards. Based on the developments from this contest, Manziel might very well be the Browns' starting quarterback sooner rather than later. Alas, neither signal-caller looks like a viable option for fantasy purposes at this point.

» Save for tight end Charles Clay, not a single fantasy-relevant player took the field on Thursday night for the Bills. So other than some preseason hype surrounding Tyrod Taylor and a great performance by Buffalo's defense (which doesn't shock anyone), there isn't much to take away here.

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