Matthew Freedman’s Preseason Week 2 (2022 Fantasy Football) – FantasyPros

Matthew Freedman Week 2 Preseason Takeaways, Dameon Pierce

When it comes to fantasy football, the NFL preseason matters. Sure, production is overrated, and now more than ever, starters aren’t playing much (if at all). But watching what happens, who plays when, and who rests at the same time as other established starters can help you project roles and, ultimately, value in fantasy football.

Matthew Freedman is here to share his best takeaways from the second weekend of NFL preseason games.

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Matthew Freedman’s NFL Preseason Week 2 Takeaways

Bears at Seahawks

  • WR Equanimeous St. Brown played on 100% of QB Justin Fields‘ clicks and ran a route on 100% of their dropbacks. The Bears offense likely won’t be a strong source of pass production, but St. Brown – and not a veteran Byron Pringle or a novice Velasquez Jones — could be the No. 2 wide receiver in Chicago.
  • THE Noah Fant played on only 15 from QB Gene Smith‘s 29 snaps and ran a route on just 10 of his 20 return routes. Fant is not a full-time player.

Panthers at Patriots

  • Backup RBs Chuba Hubbard (11 first-team snaps) and D’Onta Foreman (8) still fighting for 2nd place.
  • The building block for RB Ty Montgomery because a third-down replacement for the retired James White is real. Damian Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson played ahead of him, but of the three backs Montgomery played the most first-team snaps (10), ran the most first-team routes (6), saw the most first-team targets (1) and scored the most first-team snaps. carries (4), one of which was a goal-line touch that he converted into a two-yard rushing touchdown.

Saints at Packers

  • For the second week in a row, the Saints used a committee at tight end, so none of these guys are likely to be big fantasy contributors — but it’s notable that for the second week in a row Juan Johnson led the position in first-team snaps (10, 14) and first-team routes (7, 8) and actually saw more usage this week than he did last week. He could be a late-round best-ball flyer.
  • With veterans Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Sammy Watkins resting, rookie WR Romeo Doubts played 100% of QB Jordan Love‘s clicks and ran a route on 100% of their dropbacks. Doubs looks like the No. 4 wide receiver on the team.

Texans at Rams

  • RB Dameon Pierce balked in Week 1 (5-49-0 rushing) – and then he didn’t play anyone in Week 2, while veterans Marlon Mack and Rex Burkhead did Inference: The Texans no longer need to evaluate Pierce in the preseason because they already know they like him, and they don’t want to risk him getting hurt in the preseason because they know he’ll be a big part of their offense in Week 1.
  • Undrafted rookie wide receiver Lance McCutcheon dominated for the second game in a row (5-87-2 receiving on 6 goals last week, 5-96-0 on 6 goals this week). McCutcheon seems unlikely to beat backup WRs Ben Lark, Tutu Atwell and Jacob Harris for a roster spot, but his odds of making the team are probably higher now than they were in July.

Broncos at Bills

  • On the plus side TE Albert Okwuegbunam ran a route on 80% of the first team dropbacks. On the downside, Okwuegbunam was the team’s only apparent first-team skill-position starter to play in Week 2. Translation: He doesn’t look like a “real” starter.
  • WR gabriel davis played on 100% of QB Josh Allen‘s clicks and ran a route on 100% of their dropbacks. And a slot receiver Isaiah McKenzie (7 first-team snaps, 4 first-team routes) played well before free-agent acquisition Jamison Crowder (2, 1). Davis and McKenzie are strong favorites to play alongside #1 WR Stephen Diggs in three-wide sets.

Lions at Colts

  • The Lions rested their skill position starters in Week 2. Nothing to report other than that WR Caliph Raymond (14) and RB Craig Reynolds (11) led their respective positions in first-team snaps. If someone ahead of them on the depth chart suffers an injury, they will likely be elevated to the starting lineup.
  • With RBs Jordan Taylor and Nyheim Hines resting, veteran Phillip Lindsay easily led the backfield with 10 first-team snaps, which he leveraged into four carries and five routes. If either Taylor or Hines suffers an injury, Lindsay could enjoy better than expected usage.

Commanders in Chiefs

  • WRs JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) and Mecole Hardman (groin) both sat out Week 2, and in their absence a veteran backup Justin Watson led the position with 22 plays from QB Patrick Mahomes‘ 25 snaps and running a route on 17 of his 19 dropbacks. With that playing time, he put up a strong 2-53-0 receiving line on three targets. An athletic freak (4.44-second 40-yard dash at 6-2, 215 pounds), Watson finished his college career (at University of Pennsylvania in the Ivy League) with three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Watson will probably never get a chance to be an NFL starter, but if he does, he could be the Jeff Janis who actually lives up to his potential.
  • First round rookie WR John Dotson connected veteran Terry McLaurin with a position-high 18 first-team snaps and 10 first-team routes. He is the lock-in No. 2 receiver.

Pirates at Titans

Raiders at Dolphins

  • Rookie RB Zamir White (11 first-team snaps) is still ahead of a veteran Kenya Drake (7), which now looks unrecruitable.
  • “Starting” ie Mike Gesicki (9 first team snaps) played in commission with Durham Smythe (10). Gesicki could struggle with his inline-heavy role in new HC Mike McDaniel’s offense.

49ers at Vikings

  • For the second week in a row, a second-year RB Trey Sermon (9 first team snaps) played before a rookie Tyrion Davis-Price (1). If a veteran Jeff Wilson loses his role as the No. 2 back, Sermon could find himself as the thunder complement to a starter Elijah Mitchellthe flash of.
  • Reserve RB Alexander Mattison (8 first team snaps) played well in front of third string Kene Nwangwu (1). If starter Dalvin Cook misses time this year – and Cook has never played a full season – Mattison will likely reprise his league-winning power-handling role.

Steelers at Jaguars

  • Although TE Evan Engram share first team snaps with an inline blocker Chris Manhertz (26 vs. 20), Engram ran a route on 20 from QB Trevor Lawrence‘s 24 dropbacks. He only had one target – but that kind of route usage is enough to make Engram a viable fantasy option.
  • Rookie WR George Pickens (21 first-team snaps, 17 first-team routes) played against a third-year starter Hunt Claypool (16, 10) … but both saw only one goal. Volume magnet Diontae Johnson (25 first team snaps, 18 first team routes, 5 first team goals) continues to be the true alpha receiver.

Cowboys at Chargers

  • For the second week in a row, rookie TE Jake Ferguson led the position in first-team snaps (20 of 21 last week, 16 of 18 this week). Starter Dalton Schultz plays on the franchise tag, and a veteran backup Jeremy Sprinkle (Achilles) is dealing with an injury and signed a cheap one-year contract. If Sprinkle is cut, Ferguson could be the No. 2 tight end this year. And if Schultz leaves in free agency, Ferguson could be the No. 1 tight end next year.
  • Again, veteran RBs Larry Rountree (13 first-team snaps) and Joshua Kelley (11) played well in front of a rookie Isaiah Spiller (2). I still believe Spiller is the most talented and complete of the three backs, but he will likely make an impact early in the regular season.

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