Fantasy 5: What we learned for fantasy in preseason Week 4
(The Fantasy 5 is a quick-hit wrap-up of some of the biggest news topics of the day for fantasy football players, giving you advice you need to improve your team.)
This week’s Fantasy 5 begins with some news and notes around the league pertaining to Week 4 of the preseason. We had 30 of 32 teams playing Thursday night, but we’ll stick to the most pertinent fantasy information for you to digest quickly here. Let’s dive into what we learned from the games.
1. Young quarterbacks wheeling and dealing
Jacoby Brissett was on fire Thursday night, completing 28 of 39 pass attempts for 342 yards and 4 touchdowns. Brissett’s roster spot was reportedly in question, but he gave plenty of reasons for the Patriots to consider keeping him around. Brissett moved the offense well, hitting his receivers at varying depths and routes, and wasn’t afraid to take off when things broke down around him. He even found his way into the end zone with a rushing touchdown on after making a nice juke on a 4-yard scramble.
He wasn’t the only quarterback who excelled under the spotlight with most of the NFL’s stars taking the night off. First-rounder Patrick Mahomes put on quite the show for Kansas City fans. Mahomes made some incredible throws for the Chiefs, including this spectacular one on the run:
— NFL (@NFL) September 1, 2017
Mahomes finished the preseason completing 34 of 54 for 390 yards, 4 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. He posted 7.2 yards per attempt. Alex Smith has eclipsed that yards-per-attempts mark just twice in his 11-year career. Mahomes offers immense upside in this offense with his playmaking ability.
2. Dede Westbrook is the real deal
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the former Biletnikoff Award winner is thriving against backups and practice squad caliber players. Westbrook finished his rookie preseason putting up a sterling 288 receiving yards on 13 receptions. He also scored two touchdowns in the process and looks poised to prove doubters wrong at the next level. Unfortunately for Westbrook, he’ll be fighting a crowded Jaguars receiving corps in an offense that will be placing an emphasis on the rushing attack. When the team is forced to pass, the results could vary wildly with Blake Bortles under center. For now, Westbrook is likely just a stash in dynasty leagues until we see significant changes at the quarterback position.
3. Josh Doctson Inactive in preseason finale
Unlike Westbrook, Doctson has had a troubling preseason for the Washington Redskins. Doctson was held out of Thursday’s game after missing Sunday’s game as well. Doctson has just one 12-yard catch this preseason, as the team often used Ryan Grant in three-receiver sets over him. Injuries and ineffectiveness have Doctson behind the 8-ball for him seeing significant snaps to start the season. That said, the Redskins used the No. 22 overall pick on Doctson only a year ago, and he still possess extreme athleticism at 6-foot-2, 202 pounds. Doctson possesses the talent to secure the starting job, he just needs to find a way to stay on the field to do so.
4. WR DeAndre Hopkins and TE C.J. Fiedorowicz sign extensions with Texans
Switching gears here, the Texans front office made several moves Thursday to ensure eventual starter Deshaun Watson has all the tools at his disposal to succeed. Hopkins and Fiedorowicz both signed contract extensions and should remain in Texas for quite a long time. Hopkins signed a five-year, $81M extension through 2022 and Fiedorowicz signed a three-year, $21.5M extension through 2020. Hopkins struggled last year with inconsistent quarterback play, but the 25-year old has incredible talent as the team’s No. 1 WR. Fiedorowicz emerged last year as a reliable outlet accruing seven or more targets in nine of his last 12 games. He led all tight ends in targets per route run as he rarely was asked to stay in line and block. Both receiving options make the future for Watson a little brighter.
5. Injury roundup
- Colts’ owner Jim Irsay didn’t reveal much at a team function earlier this Wednesday on the health of Andrew Luck. He tip-toed around the status of Luck, and at this time, it looks like he’s a long-shot for playing in Week 1. It makes it very difficult to trust any of Luck’s receivers, as we have seen them all struggle immensely when Luck has missed time in the past. The good news is that the team isn’t set on leaving him on the PUP list heading into the year. If Luck were to remain on the PUP list, he’d be out for the first six games of the season. Taking him off that list will be a big sign that Luck’s timetable for a return isn’t that long.
- John Ross went down with a knee injury during the Bengals’ final preseason game on Thursday. The severity of the injury is still unknown at this time, but it doesn’t look to be anything major. Ross brings some incredible speed to a potent Bengals passing attack, but needs to find a way to stay on the field. His status for Week 1 is questionable at this point.
- Denver’s Paxton Lynch is expected to miss the first 2-4 games to begin the season with a shoulder injury. This quarterback competition was never close, with Lynch often struggling with decision-making and settling for his checkdowns way too often. Lynch needs to improve drastically on his accuracy and find a way to take a step forward after a rough summer. Trevor Siemian has a firm grasp on the starter’s role and that won’t change when Lynch returns to the field. The first-rounder remains a work in progress, but the arrow is certainly pointing down at this point.
- Titans head coach Mike Mularkey confirmed earlier this week that Corey Davis looks to be ready to go for the Week 1 opener. Mularkey said Davis looked great in practice this week and his hamstring issue looks to be behind him. Davis was the first receiver taken in this year’s draft and could have his number called early in Week 1 in what projects to be a shootout with the Raiders.