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James Conner
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Week In Review

Preseason Week 2 Notes and Usage

by Hayden Winks
Updated On: August 20, 2019, 12:37 pm ET

Los Angeles Chargers

DNP: Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon, Keenan Allen

The Chargers’ Big Three didn’t suit up, so all eyes were on the Hunter Henry and the running back competition. Austin Ekeler started the first two drives, and Justin Jackson got drives #3 and #4, which included a drive with the second-team offense. When it was Ekeler’s drive, Justin Jackson would, for the most part, come in on third downs (particularly short-yardage) and vice versa. I’m not willing to call this a 50/50 backfield, however. Ekeler should see closer to two-thirds of the snaps and touches if Melvin Gordon holds out, while Jackson sees the rest and potentially a chunk of the goal-line carries. My stance has stayed the same: I want Melvin Gordon in the third round while everyone else drafts Ekeler and Jackson … Henry played on 20-of-21 first-team snaps and continues to look very comfortable. He remains a mid-round target as an upside TE1 with a reasonable floor.


Los Angeles Rams

DNP: Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Gerald Everett, Tyler Higbee

The starters didn’t play, so all eyes were on third-round rookie RB Darrell Henderson, who saw six carries (16 yards) and six targets (38 yards) on 30 snaps. Henderson’s inexperience with the Rams’ zone scheme is worrisome for his rushing outlook, but the upside with Henderson is as a receiver and as a big-play runner. Henderson looked comfortable catching the rock this preseason and is still a reasonable high-upside, mid-round pick with a knee injury limiting Gurley. 


Miami Dolphins

DNP: Kenyan Drake, Kalen Ballage, DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see a preview of how touches and snaps would be split between Drake and Ballage, so I’ll continue to put stock in how they were split in the first preseason gamePreston Williams drew the start with others out, but it was a bad game for the undrafted rookie. Williams had three drops and only picked up seven yards on six targets … Josh Rosen was given the start, and he had a very Rosen-like stat line (10-of-18 for 102 yards and no scores). Ryan Fitzpatrick played just for a bit, but he did have the best highlight of the preseason when he trucked a corner. Fitzpatrick doesn’t play the game like a Harvard grad.


Minnesota Vikings

DNP: Dalvin Cook

Kirk Cousins and the first-team offense played 19 snaps. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen were full-time players obviously, as was backup RB Alexander Mattison. If Mattison’s usage is what we can expect Dalvin Cook to get in the regular season, then he’s going to smash his mid-second round price. Cook should be drafted at the Round 1/2 turn where the elite receivers are being selected. Mattison also makes a ton of sense at ADP, too. He’s a potential bellcow if Cook misses time.


New England Patriots

DNP: Tom Brady, Sony Michel, James White, Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, Matt LaCosse

The first-team offense didn’t play, but we got our first look at third-round rookie RB Damien Harris, who missed the first game with a wrist injury. Harris looked great, catching all four of his targets and rushing for 80 yards on 14 carries. The reliable running back is, at worst, a handcuff to Sony Michel and, to a lesser extent, James White, but there’s a small chance Harris plays into a role even if everyone stays healthy … Josh Gordon was reinstated and should be taken off the non-football injury list shortly. His return is (sorta) bad news for N’Keal Harry, who may turn into a buy if his ADP falls too far with the Gordon news. 


New Orleans Saints

DNP: Drew Brees, Michael Thomas

The Saints have been somewhat rotating drives with Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray, but it’s tough to say if Kamara is giving up the last drive because that’s the game plan or if the Saints are pulling him one drive earlier. Here’s what I mean:

Drive #1: Kamara (4), Murray (2), Kamara (1)

Drive #2: Murray (2), Kamara (1)

Drive #3: Kamara (3)

Drive #4: Murray (6), but was Kamara already done for the day?

I’m guessing that the Saints would’ve subbed Kamara into that drive if it were the regular season, which would put Kamara’s snap share closer to 70% instead of the 61% of snaps he’s seen with the first-team offense this preseason. 


New York Giants

DNP: Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram

Golden Tate was the only play-maker to suit up, so all eyes were on Eli Manning and Daniel Jones. Manning was perfect, completing all four of his passes for 42 yards and a score, while Jones had an up-and-down evening. Jones was more than fine as a passer (11-of-14 passes for 161 yards and one touchdown), but he had fumble problems and other rookie mistakes. The Giants would be dumb not to see what they have in Jones from the get-go, so expect Manning to start Week 1. 


New York Jets

DNP: Le’Veon Bell

Sam Darnold played 16 snaps, and it was more of the same. The offense looks much improved from last year … Ty Montgomery played all 16 snaps and appears to be a direct handcuff to Bell, who should be on the field for most snaps whenever he’s healthy. Montgomery continues to go too late in fantasy drafts … The Jets three receivers are set. Robby Anderson (16), Jamison Crowder (14), and Quincy Enunwa (16) are all near full-time players. … Chris Herndon also played full-time snaps in the second preseason game, and he remains an affordable tight end in deeper fantasy leagues as a potential low-end TE1 when he returns from his four-game suspension … One of the best cheap stacks for Best Ball drafts is a combination of Darnold, Anderson, Crowder, Montgomery, and/or Herndon. 


Oakland Raiders

DNP: Antonio Brown

Derek Carr and the starting offense played six snaps, ending the drive with a Ryan Grant touchdown catch. ...  Four of those six plays were handoffs to first-round rookie RB Josh Jacobs, who was in on all six first-team snaps. Jacobs looked more than fine … Tyrell Williams played on all first-team snaps as well. Ryan Grant played in front of Day 3 rookie slot WR Hunter Renfrow, who reportedly has been playing well in camp … Darren Waller was in on all first-team snaps, but unlike other starters, he stayed on the field after Carr was done for the day. 


Philadelphia Eagles

DNP: Carson Wentz, Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor, Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert

The Eagles aren’t playing most of their starters, but we got another look at rookie Miles Sanders vs. Jordan Howard. Here are how snaps were divided up in the order of when they came into the game:

Drive #1: Sanders (6), Howard (2)

Drive #2: Howard (3)

Drive #3: Sanders (2), Howard (7), Sanders (3)

Total Week 2 First-Team Snaps: Howard (12), Sanders (11)

Total Week 1 First-Team Snaps: Howard (9), Sanders (6)


Pittsburgh Steelers

DNP: Ben Roethlisberger

The “first-team” offense played 14 snaps. James Conner was in on all of them, while Jaylen Samuels played after Conner subbed out for the day. Conner was used as a bellcow and deserves to be drafted at the top of the second round of fantasy drafts … Donte Moncrief started and is the heavy favorite to be the No. 2 receiver. James Washington was the best receiver in the game, catching 4-of-5 targets for 78 yards. Washington is projected to be the WR3 with rookie WR Diontae Johnson as a distant fourth or fifth option. In fact, there’s a chance Johnson is a healthy scratch to begin the year. 


San Francisco 49ers

DNP: Jerick McKinnon

Jimmy Garoppolo looked terrible. He’s rusty and didn’t look comfortable. However, it’s not time to panic yet … Garoppolo played 11 snaps, and guess who was on all of them? Mr. Dante Pettis. The second-rounder has caught heat from his coaches this offseason, but he’s being treated as the WR1 still. Rookies Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd didn’t play with Garoppolo, but there’s still time for Samuel to climb into two-receiver sets. Last night that role belonged to Pettis and Marquise Goodwin … Running back snaps and touches were split between Tevin Coleman, who started, and Matt Breida. Here’s how snaps were divided up by drive in the order of how they rotated in:

Drive #1: Coleman (3), Breida (1)

Drive #2: Breida (2), Coleman (1)

Drive #3: Coleman (1), Breida (2), Coleman (1)

Total Preseason Week 2 snaps: Coleman (6), Breida (5)

If you’re not drafting Breida in the double-digit rounds, then you’re crazy.


Seattle Seahawks

DNP: DK Metcalf

Russell Wilson played 17 snaps, and Tyler Lockett was in the slot for 11 of them while lining up out wide for the other six. Last year, Lockett played 51% of his snaps in the slot and averaged 15.7 yards per slot target. It’s go time, folks … Chris Carson started and played on 12-of-17 first-team snaps, while Rashaad Penny kept his backup role, only subbing in for five snaps. The Seahawks did get them a little more involved as pass catchers, too. I put almost nothing into preseason production stats, but Carson did pick up 25 yards on five carries when Penny “picked up” -2 yards on six carries. Carson remains a buy.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Jameis Winston played 10 snaps, and Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones split them evenly. Barber, however, was the one who started and played the first five, only coming out after back-to-back carries. I’m not sure why Jones is being drafted ahead of Barber … Mike Evans (9 snaps) and Chris Godwin (10 snaps) were full-time players and remain high-volume targets early in fantasy drafts, while Breshad Perriman operates as the WR3 … O.J. Howard played 8-of-10 snaps after playing on all six first-team snaps last week. Cameron Brate played on four snaps. 


Tennessee Titans

DNP: Derrick Henry, Adam Humphries

Marcus Mariota played decently on his 18 snaps with Corey Davis and A.J. Brown active. Davis played 17-of-18 snaps, while Brown mixed in after Tajae Sharpe received the start. Brown (hamstring) is still getting up to full speed and should be an every-week starter once he earns the Titans’ trust … Dion Lewis started with Henry (ankle) injured and played on 10-of-18 first-team snaps, while Jeremy McNichols mixed in … Delanie Walker had his first catch since last year’s ankle injury. 


Washington Redskins

DNP: Derrius Guice, Jordan Reed, Paul Richardson, Trey Quinn, Terry McLaurin

Case Keenum drew the start, but Dwayne Haskins played the most. Haskins threw a nice deep ball for a touchdown, and he should be narrowing the distance. Next week’s game should decide who starts Week 1 … Adrian Peterson started, and he had a vintage cutback run. If Guice’s concerning knee injury lingers, Peterson will be a low-ceiling, high-volume running back.