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Sunday, August 27, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL PRESEASON WRAPUP: SATURDAY

-Prior to the start of training camp, I made note of how Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan was a firm bust candidate for 2017 fantasy football on a number of fronts.  First his 2016 numbers were in clear outlier territory and now he was moving on without OC Kyle Shanahan who departed to coach San Francisco.  Changes in OC's always involve an adjustment phase and it looks like that is what Ryan is going through as he was dreadful Saturday in completing just 4-of-11 throws for 36 yards and 1 INT.  Now overall I think Ryan will be fine in a 2013-15 numbers kind of way but his ADP is above that line and reflecting last season which is trouble.

-Oakland Raiders third-year wideout Amari Cooper could be sitting on an explosive breakout as he caught four balls for 78 yards and a score.  Yes Michael Crabtree remains to annoyingly take looks from him but Cooper has star potential that could be revealing itself in 2017.

-Alfred Morris seems to have big summer performances down pat as he rumbled for 56 yards on only 9 carries Saturday for the Dallas Cowboys.  Morris is averaging 5.27 per carry this summer and is challenging Darren McFadden for the starting spot in place of the suspended Ezekiel Elliott.  While McFadden will likely start, count on Morris at least getting goal-line work.

-Jamaal Charles was just an aging curiosity when the summer began but no longer as he had a big performance Saturday in rushing for 42 yards on just 6 carries, while also catching two passes.  Charles showed his old explosion and instant acceleration and at the very least could be working toward a 50/50 split with C.J. Anderson.  As a result, Charles should be added in all formats and that is especially true in PPR.  Of course Charles' development will hurt Anderson's fantasy football value as well.

-Denver Broncos wideout Demaryuis Thomas exited early Saturday night with a minor groin injury after catching just one pass.  All signs point to Thomas being fully ready to go in Week 1 and he remains a top WR 2 in fantasy football due mainly to the rough QB play under center with the noodle-armed Trevor Siemian.

-Emmanuel Sanders himself is a WR 2 and has more value in PPR formats as he caught two balls for 25 yards Saturday night.  Another victim of the rough QB play in Denver, Sanders is not as exciting to own as he was with Peyton Manning in town.

-New York Jets QB Bryce Petty can't catch a break.  After coming in and throwing three touchdowns passes late to spark the team Saturday versus the New York Giants, his knee buckled on a hit and trouble lies ahead.  Petty said afterward his knee was unstable and he could be out for awhile.  Meanwhile Christian Hackenberg was brutal yet again (a late TD in relief of Petty was window dressing) and so count on Josh McCown to be under center in Week 1.

-John Brown is back on the fantasy football radar after catching two passes that both went for scores and a total of 49 yards,.  While Brown had an almost completely washed out 2016 due to a sickle cell issue and injuries, he remains a big-play wideout in the mold of DeSean Jackson who could be a nice WR 3 if he stays upright.

-Houston Texans fans didn't get anything encouraging from QB Tom Savage Saturday night as he completed 10-of-16 throws for 79 yards.  Savage has decent accuracy but he can't throw deep and so WR DeAndre Hopkins is going to be hurt again in terms of numbers.

-Derek Carr tossed a 48-yard score to WR Amari Cooper as part of his 13-of-17 day for 144 yards and the one score.  I find it a bit strange that Carr is not getting a lot of love at fantasy football drafts given his potent receiving corps, which also got better with the addition of tight end Jared Cook.  Take advantage of the discount.

-DeShon Kizer was terrible Saturday night in completing 6-of-18 throws for 93 yards and an INT.  Despite the outing, Kizer should be starting in Week 1 and his big arm is a good thing for WR Kenny Britt.

-Mark Inrgam and Adrian Peterson seem set for a firm committee at running back for the New Orleans Saints which will hurt both.  Count on Ingram handling third down duties, with Peterson likely manning first and second down.  That will hurt both greatly in fantasy football terms and they each barely qualify for RB 2 status.


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