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James Conner
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Week In Review

Preseason Week 2 Notes and Usage

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

The 10 Biggest Notes

1. SF - Tevin Coleman (6) and Matt Breida (5) basically split snaps evenly.
2. PIT - James Conner played on all 14 first-team snaps, then Jaylen Samuels entered.
3. NO - Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray, to an extent, rotated drives.
4. LAC - Austin Ekeler saw the first two drives. Then Justin Jackson got two.
5. DAL - Tony Pollard played on all 13 first-team snaps with Ezekiel Elliott sitting.
6. PHI - Jordan Howard has outsnapped Miles Sanders in both preseason games.
7. DEN - Phillip Lindsay (8), Royce Freeman (7), and Devontae Booker (4) played.
8. SEA - Chris Carson (12) played a lot more first-team snaps than Rashaad Penny (5).
9. DET - Kerryon Johnson was not used as a full-time player.
10. SF - Dante Pettis and Marquise Goodwin played all first-team snaps.

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Arizona Cardinals

Did Not Play (DNP): NA

Kyler Murray played 17 snaps, and it wasn’t exactly pretty. The Cardinals shot themselves in the foot multiple times with penalties and weren’t playing in the offense that we’ll be seeing in Week 1. There shouldn’t be an overreaction to how bad the offense looked … David Johnson played on 16-of-17 first-team snaps and ran routes multiple times. His bellcow status is confirmed, with Chase Edmonds operating as a pure handcuff … The Cardinals have rotated their “starting” receivers around in both preseason games. Christian Kirk only played half of the snaps this week, while Larry Fitzgerald played 10-of-17. If both players don’t play closer to 80% of first-team snaps in the third preseason game, then it’s time to get a tad worried. But we’ll see what happens next week … KeeSean Johnson was the only rookie receiver to play in the first half -- yes, he played a few snaps with Kyler -- but it was Andy Isabella who stole the show late in the game when he scored a 59-yard touchdown on a deep ball. Now that Isabella is healthy, I anticipate him playing some snaps with the ones next week. Hakeem Butler had another forgettable night against backups. He will likely end up being the fifth, sixth, or seventh receiver on the team when the season starts … Maxx Williams continued to play a lot with the first-team, but I’m not convinced that will carry over into the regular season. Even if it did, he’d only be limiting Ricky Seals-Jones, not showing up in the box score as a pass-catcher. 

 

Atlanta Falcons

DNP: Julio Jones

Matt Ryan ended up playing extended snaps (29), but Devonta Freeman (6), Calvin Ridley (6), and Mohamed Sanu (7) just got their feet wet in the second preseason game … Ito Smith was the first non-Freeman back to enter the game. Smith ended up having a decent game, catching all three of his targets for 45 yards and punching in a rushing touchdown from four yards out. Brian Hill had a forgettable game, while rookie Qadree Ollison picked up 44 yards on nine carries against third-stringers in the second half. Smith looks to have the slight advantage for the No. 2 job … Austin Hooper played on most of Ryan’s snaps and caught all three of his targets. He remains a borderline TE1.


 

Baltimore Ravens

DNP: Marquise Brown

Lamar Jackson played 21 snaps and had a crazy touchdown run (it was called back, but still). Jackson remains a bargain at ADP, even if he doesn’t fully come together as a passer … Mark Ingram suited up, but only played seven snaps. We’ll have to wait until next week before learning how many snaps he’ll play in the regular season. Justice Hill received the most snaps among running backs (21), and he looked explosive. Hill scored near the goal line and had a 14-yard run. The fourth-rounder should see regular-season snaps as the 1B to Ingram’s 1A … Marquise Brown was doing sprints on the sideline before the game, but the Ravens are taking things slow with their first-rounder. Brown isn’t expected to be fully healthy as a rookie, though I do anticipate him seeing playing a good amount in 2019. The Ravens’ other rookie WR Miles Boykin was a starter in the second preseason game after going bonkers in the first game. Boykin and slot receiver Willie Snead could end up being the most-targeted players early in the season … Once again, it was the Nick Boyle show at tight end. Boyle played 18 snaps while Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst played after other starters came off the field. Establish The Run’s Adam Levitan notes that Andrews has played on 12-of-37 Lamar Jackson snaps through the first two games. It’s going to be tough for Andrews to pay off his ADP if he’s off the field more than he’s on the field, though Andrews was really good as a rookie last year. 

 

Buffalo Bills

DNP: John Brown, Frank Gore, all of the tight ends

Josh Allen played 18 snaps and had a few nice completed passes. It’s clear that there’s some chemistry brewing between him and slot receiver Cole Beasley, who all five of his targets while playing on just 13 snaps. Zay Jones started outside, but he’ll likely play behind John Brown in two-receiver sets … LeSean McCoy played 15-of-18 first-team snaps, only coming out for a quick breather after being utilized heavily to start the game. The Bills lined up McCoy as a receiver on 33% of his snaps this weekend, which was a lot higher than last year’s 9% rate. Rookie Devin Singletary was the RB2 with Frank Gore sitting. It was arguably a forgettable game for the third-round rookie, outside of the over-the-shoulder catch for a first down. 

 

Carolina Panthers

DNP: Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, Greg Olsen

Kyle Allen drew the start at quarterback and played 19 snaps. DJ Moore was in on 18-of-19 while Curtis Samuel played on all of them. We knew this, but they are full-time players. Samuel, in particular, is a bargain at ADP, especially in drafts with your high school or college buddies … Will Grier was someone who I was higher on than consensus going into the 2019 NFL Draft, but even I can’t defend how he’s played in the preseason thus far. His mechanics and decision-making need a ton of improvement. The third-rounder should be the QB2 behind Newton, but he’s not playing like it. 

 

Chicago Bears

DNP: Mitchell Trubisky, Tarik Cohen, David Montgomery, Mike Davis, Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller, Trey Burton

None of the starters played, but rookie WR Riley Ridley (3-of-5 targets for 19 yards) and rookie RB Kerrith Whyte (six yards and one touchdown on 10 carries) played. They didn’t separate from the backup veterans and remained buried on the depth chart.  

 

Cincinnati Bengals

DNP: A.J. Green, John Ross, Tyler Eifert

Andy Dalton played 16 snaps, but Joe Mixon and Giovani Bernard only got their feet wet before exiting. The Bengals are making sure their backs are healthy going into the season … Tyler Boyd played on 15-of-16 Dalton snaps and will be the top target until Green returns a few weeks into the season … Fourth-round rookie QB Ryan Finley looked decent, hitting the right targets with accuracy. Finley was the sixth-best pick in the entire 2019 NFL Draft according to my Analytics Top 300 prospect model because of his very underrated college efficiency. There’s a non-zero chance he starts a game or two late in the season if (read: when) the Bengals are eliminated from the playoffs. 

 

Cleveland Browns

DNP: Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway, David Njoku

Not a ton to learn with the starting lineup sidelined, but Kareem Hunt saw action after missing last week. Hopefully we see this offense next week.

 

Dallas Cowboys

DNP: Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper

Dak Prescott played 13 snaps, and rookie RB Tony Pollard was in on all of them. Pollard is, at minimum, a worthwhile handcuff and could even be a decent complementary back when Zeke is active. Jerry Jones was impressed by Pollard’s 51 total yards and one touchdown … Michael Gallup played on 11-of-13 first-team snaps and looked good doing so. I like stacking Gallup and Prescott in Best Ball leagues, especially with Cooper battling plantar fascia. 

 

Denver Broncos

DNP: NA

Joe Flacco played 19 snaps, and Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles) was out there for 14 of them. Sanders ran pretty well, which is incredible. I’m still a little pessimistic on his fantasy outlook, but he’s reasonably priced right now … Running back touches were split up once again. Phillip Lindsay played eight snaps. Royce Freeman played seven. And Devontae Booker played four. Roles do seem defined, however. Lindsay can do a bit of everything, but he will lose short-yardage carries to Freeman and could lose valuable pass-catching work to Booker or Theo Riddick during the season … Noah Fant left the game with a “minor” ankle injury. It doesn’t sound like it will sideline him for a very long time, if at all. I continue to pick him up at the end of Best Ball leagues. 

 

Detroit Lions

DNP: Matthew Stafford, Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones

Kerryon Johnson started, but he wasn’t a full-time player. Johnson was subbed out on third downs and surrendered an entire drive to C.J. Anderson, who is big thicc right now. With Johnson’s ADP up this month, he needs to be on the field more to pay off his draft capital … Rookie TE T.J. Hockenson has one catch on two targets through two games. He’s arguably being overdrafted in re-draft leagues given this Lions Offense

 

Green Bay Packers

DNP: Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones

Aaron Rodgers (back tightness) is day to day, so the Packers were left with DeShone Kizer last week. He played 15 snaps. Both Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling were on 13-of-15 snaps. Through two preseason games, Allison has played in the slot on exactly 50% of his snaps. As PFF’s Scott Barrett noted, Aaron Rodgers has targeted the slot on 25% of his passes over the last 10 years … Late-round rookie RB Dexter Williams played but struggled. Last week, Williams looked like a capable back, so I’ll be paying attention to how he and Jamaal Williams are used down the stretch.

 

Houston Texans

DNP: Will Fuller, Keke Coutee, Lamar Miller, Duke Johnson

Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins played 12 snaps, but there wasn’t anything to learn given the rest of the depth chart. 

 

Indianapolis Colts

DNP: Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, Parris Campbell

Andrew Luck (ankle) is having issues with side-to-side movements, so the Colts gave Jacoby Brissett extra looks in the event he must start Week 1 (and possibly beyond). Brissett played 19 snaps, completing 8-of-10 passes for 100 yards and one score, before Rotoworld-favorite Chad Kelly came in and threw for 115 yards and a touchdown … Marlon Mack played on 16-of-19 first-team snaps, but his issue has been playing when the Colts are trailing. Unfortunately preseason usage doesn’t paint the entire picture. Mack needs a healthy Luck to give him favorable game script … Devin Funchess played every first-team snap, while slot receiver Chester Rodgers played 11. It was against backups, but Deon Cain shined (7-of-9 targets for 80 yards). There are worse receivers to targets in deep dynasty leagues … Eric Ebron only played on 9-of-19 first-team snaps, but he did catch a touchdown. What’s new? Jack Doyle actually played more snaps (13) than Ebron and saw the same amount of targets (2). There’s a slight chance Doyle finishes ahead of Ebron in fantasy even though he’s being drafted much later. 

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

DNP: Nick Foles, Leonard Fournette, Marqise Lee, Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley

The Jaguars didn’t play their starters, just as they did in Preseason Week 1, so it was jean shorts and mustache time with rookie QB Gardner Minshew, who continues to make most of the right calls as a heady backup-level quarterback … Backup RB Alfred Blue left the game with an ankle injury.

 

Kansas City Chiefs

DNP: NA

Patrick Mahomes played two drives, totaling nine snaps. Damien Williams started and played on all five first-drive snaps. The Chiefs lined up Williams as a receiver at times and targeted him on a wheel route. Williams didn’t play at all in the second drive, allowing Carlos Hyde to see the field. Hyde coughed up a fumble on his first drive and stayed in for two more Chad Henne drives. Hyde playing that deep into the game isn’t a great sign for his outlook. Darwin Thompson did Darwin Thompson things, showing burst as a runner and comfortability as a receiver. The Chiefs would be smart to cut Hyde and let Thompson run as Williams’ change-of-pace back … Rookie WR Mecole Hardman had his second preseason touchdown and looks like he’ll have a regular-season role as a distant third receiver behind Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins