NFC Recap: Week 1 Preseason Musings
NFC Recap: Week 1 Preseason Musings
We will recap Week 1 of the preseason by continuing with news and notes from the NFC teams. This is a continuation of the training camp series that has been released throughout the start of the NFL offseason. The AFC will continue to come out on Tuesday with the NFC being released on Wednesday. Feel free to click either of the conference links to read last weeks recaps.
As with the training camp series, teams will be sorted by division and the rank they finished last season. There are plenty of noteworthy items to cover, so let us get rolling.
The Dallas Cowboys were upended by the San Francisco 49ers with a final of 9-17 on Saturday night. All of the buzz coming out of this one seems to be about Tony Pollard. The rookie only saw 4 carries for 16 yards, but his showing in practice, while Ezekiel Elliott holds out, is what has set Twitter afire.
Pollard was efficient on his touches while sharing the workload with Darrell Henderson, racking up 8.6 yards per touch as a junior at Memphis. Blake Jarwin continued his hot preseason as well and was covered in depth in last week’s write up here. Meanwhile, a closer look at Pollard’s college numbers showed he scored on 7.7% of his touches.
The Philadelphia Eagles were outscored by the Tennesse Titans with a score of 10-27 on Thursday night. There was not a lot to get excited about here offensively, but Dallas Goedert had a solid 3 receptions on 5 targets for 50 yards. Goedert continues to rise up the dynasty ADP draft boards. An injury to Zach Ertz would grant you an instant winning lottery ticket.
The Washington Redskins were whitewashed by the Cleveland Browns with a final of 10-30 on Thursday night. For the Redskins, there were not a lot of positives. Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins had a forgettable debut, completing just 8 of 14 passes for 117 yards and 2 interceptions. It is not surprising considering the inexperience of the Ohio State grad. Haskins only played one full season in college as a sophomore. His yards per game were right there with the best of them, but one good college season does not make an NFL caliber starter.
New York Giants
Wrapping up the NFC East Week 1 recap, we had the New York Giants beating the New York Jets by a score of 31-22 on Thursday night. The other first-round rookie in the NFC East fared much better. Daniel Jones looked surprisingly sharp, completing all 5 of his passes for 67 yards and a touchdown.
Detroit Lions castoff T.J. Jones looked sharp, snaring all 6 of his targets for 72 yards and a touchdown. The opportunity could be there for him with Golden Tate’s suspension being upheld and injuries devastating the rest of the Giants receiving corps. Jones lacked targets in the Motor City but made the most of them when he got them. You can see he was able to hang with the big boys on a point per opportunity ratio.
The Chicago Bears notched one in the loss column with a 13-23 loss on Thursday night to the Carolina Panthers. The hype train for rookie David Montgomery is rolling down the tracks full steam ahead. The Iowa State grad carried 3 times for 16 yards and a touchdown while adding another 3 catches for 30 yards to boot.
While we are all well aware of Montgomery’s prowess, a name to watch should Anthony Miller miss any time is Javon Wims. Wims caught just 2 of 3 targets for 15 yards but has been the most improved receiver for the Bears year over year. Wims lead all pass catchers in yardage in 2018, but only received 4 catches for 32 yards in the regular season. The depth chart is crowded for sure, but Matt Nagy seems to like the young JUCO transfer (Georgia). While a very small sample size, the Quarterback Rating by Receiver tool from FFStatistics shows us that Wims ranked third at the position for Mithcell Trubisky’s passer rating.
The Minnesota Vikings took care of the New Orleans Saints by a final of 34-25 on Friday night. While Mike Boone hit the home run of the night, Alexander Mattison was the story of this one going for 30 yards on 9 carries and hauling in one of two targets for 1 yard and a touchdown. Mattison could be a league winner if Dalvin Cook misses any amount of time. Mattison is no stranger to the end zone either.
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers edged the Houston Texans by a score of 28-26 on Thursday night at Lambeau Field. Dexter Williams saw a lot of work with Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams both sidelined. The rookie averaged a solid 4.4 yards per carry, going for 62 yards on 14 carries. The other Williams (Dexter) is a bit of an unknown to the casual fantasy owner but is a name to watch going forward.
The Notre Dame grad had a solid senior season scoring 13 touchdowns and was drafted in the sixth round in 2019. With a new coaching staff in town, Dexter Williams will have a chance to beat out the other Williams (Jamaal). Add to the fact that Aaron Jones has yet to play a full season and you can see why he is a name worth monitoring. By the way, Williams scored those 13 touchdowns in just nine games and averaged over 100 yards per game.
The Detroit Lions were embarrassed by the New England Patriots by a score of 3-31 on Thursday night. The Lions somehow managed to surpass the Jaguars in terms of total yardage futility for Week 1 registering a paltry 93 yards of total offense. Granted Matthew Stafford did not play at all, but it is still hard to fathom an NFL offense cannot get 100 total yards in four quarters of football. There are no stat lines worth highlighting here, instead, watch some highlights of T.J. Hockenson, the future in Motown.
New Orleans Saints
As noted in the NFC North Week 1 recap, The Minnesota Vikings took care of the New Orleans Saints by a final of 34-25 on Friday night. Lil’Jordan Humphrey led the Saints in receiving with 42 yards on 2 catches and a touchdown for good measures. Latavius Murray showed some receiving chops as well with 3 catches for 32 yards. His usage this year is difficult to predict, but it is worth noting his usage in the passing game.
Looking at Alvin Kamara’s splits with and without Ingram last year, maybe we see a window into what we may see from Murray. Kamara averaged 13.37 fewer points when Ingram was on the field. Give those points to Murray on a weekly basis and he is worth his ADP of 7.08 and RB35.
The Miami Dolphins defeated the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 34-27 on Thursday night. Qadree Ollison may have put Ito Smith on notice in this one. Ollison was much more effective than he was in the Hall of Fame game, rumbling for 41 yards on 8 carries and a touchdown. Meanwhile, Smith plodded along for 7 yards on 4 carries and a score as well. For the preseason, Smith has 7 carries for 13 yards as opposed to 14 carries for 43 yards for the rookie Ollison.
Neither Devonta Freeman or Smith was particularly efficient with their touches the last season, averaging under a point each. Ollison may have a chance to earn time if he continues to shine in the preseason.
The Carolina Panthers started the preseason off on the right foot with a 23-13 victory over the Chicago Bears on Thursday night. Rookie Elijah Holyfield stole the show, scoring on the ground and through the air. On the ground, the Georgia grad rumbled for 26 yards on 8 carries and picked up an additional 13 yards on 2 receptions.
The Panthers recently said they were taking away Chrisitan McCaffrey’s goal-line work. Could Holyfield be the beneficiary? A little nugget from FFStatistics creator Addison Hayes should put McCaffrey owners concerns to rest.
Looked into CMC’s carries inside the 5 last year and instead found this stat:
CMC had 12 carries inside the 5 in 2018.
Peyton Barber also had 12 carries inside the 5 in 2018.
Doug Martin has 11 carries inside the 5 in 2018. https://t.co/muInEY7gFZ
— Addison Hayes (@amazehayes_) August 13, 2019
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were edged out by the Pittsburgh Steelers with a final of 28-30 on Friday night. This was a true preseason game with the likes of Ryan Griffin throwing for over 300 yards and Spencer Schnell snagging 7 catches for 119 yards. Obviously, the starters played very little in this one, but on a positive note, Ronald Jones III averaged 4.5 yards per carry.
It is a little hard to excited about any RB1 in an Arians offense. That was covered here last week. Chris Godwin did manage to go for 20 yards on 2 catches and found the end zone as well. Let us instead focus on the WR2 in the Arians offense.
Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams were shocked by the Oakland Raiders with a low score of 3-14 on Saturday night. Another dud of a box score here but at least we were able to get a sneak peek at Darrell Henderson. Henderson was mentioned above with Tony Pollard. There are obviously a ton of opinions on Todd Gurley one way or the other. If Gurley misses any time at all, you will wish you had maybe overpaid a bit for Henderson.
It is interesting to note the different ADP trends in different formats for the Memphis rookie.
The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos with a final of 22-14 on Thursday night. Rashaad Penny disappointed a bit after the amount of preseason hype he has been getting in the community. Penny rushed for 15 yards on 6 carries (2.5 YPC) but did catch 1 of 2 targets for 27 yards. The concern here was Pete Carroll coming out and saying he wanted to get Chris Carson more catches in 2019.
This is where Penny was supposed to thrive. If Carson is going to be staying in for more passing downs than anticipated, then obviously it changes both players value substantially. Monitor the situation throughout the next three games, and especially in the Week 3 game. Carson was a straight stud down the stretch last year as evidenced by his weekly metric plot from FFS.
San Francisco 49ers
As covered in the NFC East Week 1 recap, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Dallas Cowboys with a final of 17-9 on Saturday night. Jalen Hurd continued his solid preseason and should see his ADP fly up the charts. Hurd hauled in 3 of 5 targets and 2 touchdowns. The injury to Trent Taylor opened up some playing time for the talented rookie.
While the receiver room is crowded in the Bay Area, Hurd has a unique skill set, being a former running back at the University of Tennessee. The presence of Deebo Samuel, the aforementioned Taylor, Marquise Goodwin, and Dante Pettis make Hurd far from a lock for production. However, you have to take notice of someone like this reaching paydirt twice.
Samuel also looked good in this one registering 2 catches on 4 targets for 61 yards and added another 14 yards on his lone carry. A look at Hurd’s college numbers shows that he was viable in the passing while playing the running back position.
The Arizona Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles Chargers by a score of 17-13 late Thursday night. Barely any of the starters played much, if at all, in this one. The big news, of course, was the debut of Kyler Murray. The rookie phenom was serviceable, completing 6 of 7 passes for 44 yards and zero touchdowns. The intention was likely to just get Murray some reps. Murray did not record any stats on the ground in his short time on the field.
The Cardinal offense is projected to be up-tempo, playing into the former Heisman Trophy winners skill set. A look yet again at Kliff Kingsbury’s offensive results while in college.
This concludes the preseason NFC Week 1 recap article. Thank you for coming back for the third edition of the training camp fallout and preseason coverage series. Next week there will be the fourth update from both conferences that will bring you up to speed on the latest issues relating to fantasy. Be sure to keep a lookout for the AFC each Tuesday and the NFC every Wednesday. As we gear up for peak draft season, these are the issues we need to be paying the closest attention to.
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