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Saturday, August 11, 2018

2018 FANTASY FOOTBALL PRESEASON WEEK 1 WRAPUP: SAM DARNOLD LOOKS TO BE REAL DEAL

-You can already hear and see this one coming.  Only one game into the New York Jets' preseason slate and the chorus is becoming defeaning when it comes to rookie quarterback Sam Darnold.  While Darnold did himself no favors by holding out for the first few days of training camp, he has gotten up to speed quickly and showed off the accuracy and impressive arm that made him arguably the top passer in the 2018 NFL Draft.  Now Darnold has his sights set on the starting job for Week 1 and his performance Friday night certainly makes it seem like he may be ready for such an assignment as he completed 13-of-18 throws for 96 yards with 1 TD; while also adding 8 rushing yards on the ground.  The plan has been publicly stated by head coach Todd Bowles that veteran Josh McCown (who has very good himself a year ago) would start Week 1 but we all know how quickly things can change.  Now in terms of fantasy football, Darnold has little value as we speak but that could change down the road given the pedigree here.  At the very least, preseason Game 2 looks to be all the more important to check out. 

-What is interesting about the Jets' QB situation is that they also seem to have a decent trade chip in Teddy Bridgewater.  By now we all know the story of how it took Bridgewater two seasons to come back from what was a gut-wrenching knee injury and that is how the Jets were able to snag him on just a one-year deal this past winter.  Well, Bridgewater looks to be back to his old accurate self as he completed 7-of-8 throws for 85 yards and a score Thursday.  Right now you have to think the Jets are getting calls on Bridgewater and they will likely be top team to call when a starter gets injured during the regular season.  Like he was before the knee injury, Bridgewater only has minimal fantasy football value due to his lack of arm strength but this is still a story to keep tabs on. 

-The Jets wound up going with Bilal Powell and not Isaiah Crowell to begin the game Thursday night which was a mild surprise and the latter quickly exited with a head injury.  Powell was ineffective in rushing for just 5 yards on 6 carries with one catch for another 7 but he has always had some upside in PPR formats due to his ability to catch the football.  Either way, it looks like Powell and Crowell are headed for a strict timeshare which means both are just RB 3's in fantasy football this season. 


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