Aug 15, 2018
NFL 2018 PRESEASON WEEK ONE
NFL is back. OK it’s only preseason, but this is where your key fantasy scouting takes place. These games are where you take notes on the Chargers’ third-string running back for the week when Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler are both out. While the first team only sees a drive or two in the opening game, there are still a lot of valuable takeaways from this opening weekend.
One storyline which will be fun to follow this season is how the four quarterbacks that went top 10 in the draft (Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen) pan out in their rookie season. The star of that quartet this past weekend was number one overall pick, Baker Mayfield. He announced his arrival with 212 yards and two touchdowns in the Browns’ 20-10 victory against the Giants for 17.8 fantasy points. Mayfield will initially be backup behind Tyrod Taylor, but his solid opening performance is a welcome sight for a Cleveland fan base that has had little to cheer about recently. Sam Darnold also had a strong game, completing 13-18 for 96 yards and a touchdown. Darnold will be battling Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown to start for the Jets.
The other notable rookie to keep eyes on this year is Saquon Barkley, star running back from Penn State and taken second by the Giants in this year’s draft. The Giants caught a lot of heat for passing up on quarterbacks with that second pick, so Barkley is already starting off with lofty expectations. Barkley broke off a 39-yard scramble on his first touch, showing off his big-play capabilities. He will get a lot of touches right away with the Giants, and with wide-receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and tight end Evan Engram opening up the passing game, he should have some room to run. If Saquon and his supporting cast can stay healthy this year, then expect big things.
The San Francisco 49ers really turned it around last season winning six of their last seven after starting 0-9, including their last five with Jimmy Garoppolo under center. Unfortunately for the Niners, their first game was interrupted due to on-field trips by their medical staff. Tight end George Kittle and running back Matt Breida both exited this weekend’s game with injuries and did not return. Jimmy Garoppolo was just 3-6 for 34 yards as the Niners played it safe with their “savior” and took him out after one series.
The dog days of summer are coming to a close and with it fantasy football heats starts to ramp up. Draftboard.com has contests throughout the preseason and seeing as playing time is so unpredictable, every player is priced cheap enough to be able to draft anyone. So don’t worry about the price and draft whoever you want. Remember to keep doing your extended research as we get to see all the backups and the backups’ backups over the next few weeks.