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Thursday, August 10, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL PRESEASON WEEK 1 WRAPUP: PANTHERS/TEXANS

Already the Hall of Fame Game has been played and now the rest of the NFL is getting in on the preseason action starting with the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans Wednesday night.  Let's take a look at the fantasy football-worthy items to come out of the game.

-Greg Olson made a cameo appearance for the Panthers in the game and managed to snag a 32-yard pass down the middle.  For as injury prone as consensus top tight end Rob Gronkowski annually is, you can make the case that the ultra-durable Olson is deserving of being the top pick at the position.  

-Houston Texans QB Tom Savage did well on paper in completing 9-of-11 throws for 69 yards but most were of the short variety and there was no electricity at all during his stint.  Savage is expected to start Week 1 but it shouldn't be long before rookie DeShaun Watson gets a shot since he is head-and-shoulders more physically gifted then the uninspiring Savage.  The problem here of course is the very negative effect the shaky QB play has on star WR DeAndre Hopkins and running back Lamar Miller.  Hopkins saw his numbers drop drastically a year ago with similar QB problems under center and Miller faced stacked boxes which he couldn't shake.  We are inclined to avoid both.  

-Kelvin Benjamin has been ignored in early drafts after his somewhat disappointing comeback from ACL surgery in 2016 but he started the preseason strong by catching two passes for 40 yards and a touchdown from backup QB Derek Anderson.  Benjamin has more value in standard formats then he does in PPR given the fact he has never been a big receptions guy but another year removed from the surgery could help him have a career-best season in 2017.

-Christian McCaffrey looked good in his NFL debut as he rushed for 33 yards on 7 carries but he is looks to be in a very uncertain fantasy football position in at least standard formats given the continued presence of veteran Jonathan Stewart.  McCaffrey should be good for upwards of 50 receptions though and that could sneak him into RB 2 status in PPR leagues.  

-Devin Funchess worked with the Carolina starters and caught just one pass for four yards but the kid has shown a nose for the end zone in his young career.  Not the worst way to use a very late round pick in standard formats.  

-Alfred Blue worked in front of rookie D'Onta Foreman and he scored a touchdown during his appearance.  Lamar Miller will likely get the lion's share of touches in the Houston backfield but Blue could possibly earn a goal-line spot.  


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