Preseason Week 3 Recap: Fantasy Winners & Losers, Plus Notes on Every Team

Preseason Week 3 Recap: Fantasy Winners & Losers, Plus Notes on Every Team

This article is part of our NFL Observations series.

We made it! No more preseason, only real football ahead.


QB Geno Smith

RB Dameon Pierce

 RB David Montgomery

RB Ronald Jones (relative to the previous two weeks!)

RB Jeff Wilson

RB Kyren Williams

RB Zack Moss

WR Chris Olave

WR Parris Campbell

WR Shi Smith

WR Mack Hollins

WR Dante Pettis

TE David Njoku

TE Mo Alie-Cox



RB Marlon Mack

QB Drew Lock

QB Sam Darnold (ankle)

RB Khalil Herbert

RB Ty Montgomery (ankle)

RB Jake Funk

TE Cole Kmet

TE Mike Gesicki


Team-by-Team Recaps/Notes

Arizona Cardinals (at TEN)

  • The Cardinals held out all their key guys for a third straight week.
  • Eno Benjamin started over Darrel Williams, who also saw playing time early in the game.
    • Benjamin had 28 yards on three touches over the first three snaps. Williams subbed in, then back out, then back in to score a one-yard TD at the end of the drive.
  • Rookie sixth-round pick Keaontay Ingram got most of the RB snaps after the first drive. He took 16 carries for 61 yards and caught one of four targets for eight yards. Looks like Ingram might just be RB4 (or a practice squad guy) to start the year. Or maybe they cut Williams? 
  • Andy Isabella had a 74-yard gain to finish with 5-115-0 on eight targets. Greg Dortch had 6-64-1 on 12 targets to close out his similarly busy preseason. Maybe there's room for both with DeAndre Hopkins suspended out of the gate?

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: James Conner

RB2: Eno Benjamin

RB3: Darrel Williams

WR1: Marquise Brown

WR2: A.J. Green

WR3: Rondale Moore

WR4: Antoine Wesley

TE1: Zach Ertz

TE2: Maxx Williams / Trey McBride         


Atlanta Falcons (vs. JAX)  

  • The Falcons rested starters and had rookie QB Desmond Ridder play until the final two drives. He threw a pick on the first drive, and another later on, but also moved the offense pretty well with 185 passing yards on 21 attempts.
    • He finishes the preseason 34-of-56 passing (60.7 percent) for 431 yards (7.7 YPA), three TDs and two INTs, with eight carries for 58 yards.
    • Ridder looked OK to me this preseason, and he should've been picked earlier than the third round in this weak draft class. But he wasn't great, and likely would be a big step back from Marcus Mariota at this point in their respective careers.
  • Tyler Allgeier got the start with Cordarrelle Patterson and Damien Williams among the many Falcons resting. Allgeier had a receiving TD on the team's second drive and a rushing TD in the fourth quarter. He saw most of his work early, but all three of Allgeier, Qadree Ollison and Caleb Huntley got some touches throughout.
    • Allgeier finished with 8-26-1 rushing and the two-yard TD on his lone target.
    • Huntley was 19-86-1 with no targets.
    • Ollison put up 9-30-1 with a 12-yard catch on two targets.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Cordarrelle Patterson

RB2: Damien Williams

RB3: Tyler Allgeier

WR1: Drake London (knee)

WR2: Bryan Edwards

WR3: Olamide Zaccheaus

WR4: KhaDarel Hodge

TE1: Kyle Pitts

TE2: Parker Hesse        


Baltimore Ravens (vs. WAS)

  •  The Ravens rested starters for a third straight week, plus most key backups.
  • Mike Davis started for a third straight week alongside Tyler Huntley and the second-string offense. He took two carries for no yards.
    • It's a good sign Davis was ahead of the other guys all preseason, but perhaps a bad sign he was still playing Saturday. Justice Hill might not be far behind.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: J.K. Dobbins

RB2: Mike Davis

RB3: Justice Hill

WR1: Rashod Bateman

WR2: Devin Duvernay

WR3: James Proche

WR4: Tylan Wallace

TE1: Mark Andrews

TE2: Nick Boyle / Isaiah Likely


Buffalo Bills (vs. DEN)

  • The Bills rested pretty much anyone we'd care about, apart from brief appearances by rookies James Cook and Khalil Shakir.
    • Note that Zack Moss and Jamison Crowder were among the players rested. They may not see a ton of snaps Week 1, but both solidified their value to the team this summer.
    • O.J. Howard played. He wasn't targeted.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Devin Singletary

RB2: Zack Moss

RB3: James Cook

WR1: Stefon Diggs

WR2: Gabriel Davis

WR3: Isaiah McKenzie

WR4: Jamison Crowder

TE1: Dawson Knox

TE2: Tommy Sweeney


Carolina Panthers (at NE)

  • The Panthers played starters, apart from Christian McCaffrey, though D.J. Moore took only two snaps and Robbie Anderson was out with a minor quad/ankle injury.
  • QB Baker Mayfiled completed nine of 15 passes for 89 yards and two TDs, playing into the second quarter and producing 14 points on four drives with the help of excellent field position.
    • Backup QB Sam Darnold left with an ankle injury that may be serious.
  • After Moore's cameo, the Panthers went with Shi Smith, Terrace Marshall and Rashard Higgins as the first-team WRs.
    • Smith had a third-down conversion and caught a TD from Mayfield, capping off what's reportedly been an excellent summer. He's mostly played the slot, and seems to have made a late push for the WR3 job — a role most assumed would go to Marshall or Higgins. TBD if that holds up Week 1... and it's also possible more than one of the three has a role.
  • Chuba Hubbard started for a second time in three preseason games, and for a third straight week split work with D'Onta Foreman.
    • The two combined for 10 yards on seven carries. Hubbard caught three passes for 25 yards, but with two drops (a problem for him last year) on six targets. And Foreman had a TD catch on fourth down, but only after he was stuffed at the goal line on consecutive carries. 
      • Neither emerged over the other this preseason. Foreman is bigger and doesn't have bricks where his hands should be. Hubbard is faster and more elusive. They'll likely split work if McCaffrey misses time.
  • TE Tommy Tremble got most of the first-team snaps, though it might not mean much with Ian Thomas (undisclosed) unavailable. Tremble caught three of four targets for 24 yards, including a reception on Carolina's first snap.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Christian McCaffrey

RB2: Chuba Hubbard

RB3: D'Onta Foreman

WR1: DJ Moore

WR2: Robbie Anderson (hip/quad)

WR3: Shi Smith

WR4: Terrace Marshall

TE1: Tommy Tremble

TE2: Ian Thomas (undisclosed)


Chicago Bears (at CLE)

  • Both teams played most healthy starters, including Justin Fields, who played five drives and completed 14 of 16 passes for 156 yards and three touchdowns.
  • Khalil Herbert came in for two plays after Montgomery had a long run called back on a penalty. Apart from that, Montgomery played every snap with the starters and took 10 touches for 33 yards.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: David Montgomery

RB2: Khalil Herbert

RB3: Trestan Ebner (ankle)

WR1: Darnell Mooney

WR2: Equanimeous St. Brown

WR3: Byron Pringle

WR4: Dante Pettis

TE1: Cole Kmet

TE2: Ryan Griffin


Cincinnati Bengals (vs. LAR)

  • This was a scrubfest. RB Samaje Perine was held out for a second straight week, while Chris Evans started.
    • Evans finishes the preseason with 18 carries for 10 yards, as every one of his good runs was called back on a penalty.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Joe Mixon

RB2: Samaje Perine

RB3: Chris Evans

WR1: Ja'Marr Chase

WR2: Tee Higgins

WR3: Tyler Boyd

WR4: Mike Thomas

TE1: Hayden Hurst

TE2: Drew Sample (knee)


Cleveland Browns (vs. CHI)

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Nick Chubb

RB2: Kareem Hunt

RB3: D'Ernest Johnson

WR1: Amari Cooper

WR2: Donovan Peoples-Jones

WR3: Demetric Felton

WR4: Anthony Schwartz

TE1: David Njoku

TE2: Harrison Bryant


Dallas Cowboys (vs. SEA)

  • The guys we care about rested besides Jalen Tolbert, who started and caught two of five targets for nine yards.
    • The third-round pick had a quiet preseason, but he could be the starting slot receiver for Dallas anyway. They aren't exactly rich with healthy WR talent right now.
    • Tolbert, Simi Fehoko and Dennis Houston have seen most of the snaps early in games this preseason.
    • WR Noah Brown didn't play. Hard to say if that's because he's locked in as a Week 1 starter or on account of a toe injury that cost him some practice time recently.
  • Rookie TE Jake Ferguson looked good again, and caught two passes. He finished the preseason with a 7-76-0 receiving line on seven targets.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Ezekiel Elliott

RB2: Tony Pollard

RB3: Rico Dowdle

WR1: CeeDee Lamb

WR2: Noah Brown (Michael Gallup likely out)

WR3: Jalen Tolbert

WR4: Simi Fehoko

TE1: Dalton Schultz

TE2: Jake Ferguson        


Denver Broncos (vs. MIN)

  • The Broncos rested starters, but we did get one highlight with WR KJ Hamler returning after a lengthy ACL rehab. He was targeted five times and caught three for 19 yards.
  • TE Albert Okwuegbunam didn't play. He played a lot in the first two preseason games, well into the second half.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Javonte Williams

RB2: Melvin Gordon

RB3: Mike Boone

WR1: Courtland Sutton

WR2: Jerry Jeudy

WR3: KJ Hamler

WR4: Kendall Hinton

TE1: Albert Okwuegbunam

TE2: Eric Tomlinson


Detroit Lions (at PIT)

  • The Lions rested QB Jared Goff and RBs D'Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams but otherwise played most starters, including near-every-down roles for TE T.J. Hockenson, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown and WR DJ Chark.
    • St. Brown caught three of five targets for 34 yards. Chark was catchless on two targets. Hockenson caught one of two targets for 15 yards.
    • QB Tim Boyle started and was brutal. David Blough came in and did a bit better but managed only 5.0 YPA over 32 attempts.
  • Jermar Jefferson got most of the RB snaps/touches in the first half, but Justin Jackson got some and did well with his chances.
    • Jackson finished a strong preseason with 10 touches for 83 yards in Sunday's game. He could land elsewhere if the Lions don't keep him.
    • Craig Reynolds played, but only in the second half. Odd, after he worked ahead of Jefferson and Jackson all summer. It might be nothing.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: D'Andre Swift

RB2: Jamaal Williams

RB3: Craig Reynolds

WR1: Amon-Ra St. Brown

WR2: DJ Chark

WR3: Josh Reynolds

WR4: Kalif Raymond

TE1: T.J. Hockenson

TE2: Brock Wright


Green Bay Packers (at KC)

  • The Packers rested starters again, and again used Romeo Doubs, Juwan Winfree and Amari Rodgers as their top three wide receivers early in the game, with Josiah Deguara and Tyler Davis splitting TE snaps.
    • The difference in this one was Tyler Goodson starting at RB and getting nearly all the work early — an honor that went to Patrick Taylor the week before.
      • Goodson took seven carries for 28 yards and a TD and caught all five of his targets for 26 yards, helping his bid for the No. 3 RB role. (Kylin Hill, who tore an ACL last year, hasn't returned to practice yet.)
  • Rodgers caught each of his four targets for 39 yards, and Doubs caught two of three for 13 yards.
  • Seventh-round rookie Samori Toure has mostly played with the third unit again, but he caught six of eight targets for 83 yards Thursday, making his case for a roster spot.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Aaron Jones

RB2: AJ Dillon

RB3: Patrick Taylor

WR1: Allen Lazard

WR2: Sammy Watkins

WR3: Randall Cobb

WR4: Romeo Doubs

TE1: Josiah Deguara

TE2: Marcedes Lewis


Houston Texans (vs. SF)

  • The Texans played most starters for a third week in a row, with Brandin Cooks once again among the select few who rested.
  • Rookie RB Dameon Pierce got the start, after being rested the week before. He took six carries for 37 yards and a TD, and looked darn good in the process.
    • Pierce played every first/second-down snap on Houston's 11-play opening drive, only subbing out for Rex Burkhead on third downs.
    • Marlon Mack didn't play until Pierce was done... and Pierce was pulled before other starters.
  • TE Brevin Jordan got most of the snaps while Mills was in the game, but I did notice Mason Schreck replacing the second-year pro in two-wide formations a few times.
    • Jordan was targeted twice... once on a screen pass for five yards, and one short drop that would've resulted in a hard hit and short gain if he'd caught it. Jordan got a lot of snaps with the starters this preseason but didn't make much of it. Collins was really the only guy to have success with Mills.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Dameon Pierce

RB2: Rex Burkhead

RB3: Marlon Mack

WR1: Brandin Cooks

WR2: Nico Collins

WR3: Chris Conley

WR4: Chris Moore

TE1: Brevin Jordan

TE2: Pharaoh Brown


Indianapolis Colts (vs. TB)

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Jonathan Taylor

RB2: Nyheim Hines

RB3: Deon Jackson

WR1: Michael Pittman

WR2: Parris Campbell

WR3: Alec Pierce

WR4: Ashton Dulin

TE1: Mo Alie-Cox

TE2: Kylen Granson


Jacksonville Jaguars (at ATL)

  • Neither team played starters. The Jags had QB EJ Perry, RB Snoop Conner and WRs Laquon Treadwell and Laviska Shenault out there early on.
  • Conner got a ton of work early and finished with 13 touches for 12 yards. He didn't have room to run but also didn't look good. He's in good position for a roster spot nonetheless, with Mekhi Sargent and Ryquell Armstead being the other options.
  • TE Dan Arnold might get cut. He barely played with the second-stringers. Shenault might get cut too, or else just buried on the depth chart.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Travis Etienne

RB2: James Robinson (Achilles)

RB3: Snoop Conner

WR1: Christian Kirk

WR2: Marvin Jones

WR3: Zay Jones

WR4: Laquon Treadwell

TE1: Evan Engram

TE2: Chris Manhertz


Kansas City Chiefs (vs. GB)

  • The Chiefs rested most starters and some veteran backups, but they did play Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Mecole Hardman, the latter coming back from a groin injury.
    • Edwards-Helaire got the start and played the first two snaps, including an eight-yard run that was wiped out by a penalty. He didn't play thereafter.
    • Ronald Jones entered the game next, carrying for nine yards on second down, before Jerick McKinnon came in on 3rd-and-9 and caught a pass for three yards.
      • Note that Isiah Pacheco played ahead of Jones in the first two preseason games. This could be taken as a sign both will make the initial 53-man roster, though it guarantees nothing.
  • Pacheco did play on the second drive, and both he and Jones were still getting touches into the third quarter. 
    • Pacheco finished with 10 carries for 52 yards, while Jones had eight carries for 43 yards and one catch for four yards.
    • McKinnon barely played, and had just one catch for three yards. The Chiefs want him around, but it's possible they cut him instead of Jones or Pacheco, knowing McKinnon is less likely to attract interest from other teams (allowing the Chiefs to re-sign him at some point within the first few weeks of the season, potentially).
  • Hardman was in for a couple drives and caught his lone target for five yards. He left before the other wide receivers who were getting playing time early — Justin Watson, Skyy Moore and Daurice Fountain.
    • Moore likely will start the year as KC's fourth or fifth receiver if Hardman avoids a setback with his groin and JuJu Smith-Schuster's minor knee injury is indeed minor. 
      • Moore wasn't targeted Thursday, and finishes a quiet preseason with three catches for 23 yards on four targets in three games.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Clyde Edwards-Helaire

RB2: Jerick McKinnon

RB3: Isiah Pacheco / Ronald Jones

WR1: JuJu Smith-Schuster

WR2: Marquez Valdes-Scantling

WR3: Mecole Hardman

WR4: Skyy Moore / Justin Watson

TE1: Travis Kelce

TE2: Noah Gray


Las Vegas Raiders (vs. NE)

  • The Raiders rested most their starters all preseason, and in this one they rested even more guys, including many key backups.
  • RB Zamir White got the start and scored a TD on the opening drive.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Josh Jacobs

RB2: Ameer Abdullah (passing-down back)

RB3: Zamir White (early down backup)

WR1: Davante Adams

WR2: Hunter Renfrow

WR3: Mack Hollins

WR4: Tyron Johnson

TE1: Darren Waller

TE2: Foster Moreau        


Los Angeles Chargers (at NO)

  • RB Larry Rountree started over Joshua Kelley, who started the previous two preseason games. Kelley rotated in early on, and finished with six carries for 40 yards. Rountree had six carries for 12 yards and a TD plus two catches for 12 yards.
    • Kelley is probably the second RB here, but with a committee all but assured in the event Austin Ekeler misses time.
    • Rookie Isaiah Spiller (ankle) wasn't able to play, as expected.
  • The Chargers played backups, including Jalen Guyton. Note that Joshua Palmer didn't play, despite coming out of concussion protocol earlier in the week.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Austin Ekeler

RB2: Joshua Kelley

RB3: Larry Rountree

WR1: Keenan Allen

WR2: Mike Williams

WR3: Joshua Palmer

WR4: Jalen Guyton

TE1: Gerald Everett

TE2: Donald Parham


Los Angeles Rams (at CIN)

  • The Rams rested everyone. Kyren Williams was reportedly going to have a big role in the game after missing the first two preseason contests, but he didn't end up playing (he's a rookie fifth-round pick who injured his foot this spring and missed the early part of camp).
    • I like both Williams and Darrell Henderson, at cost. Maybe Cam Akers is fine now that he's further removed from the Achilles tear, but man did he look awful in the playoffs. And all the reports out of camp have him and Henderson splitting first-team work.
      • Both Akers and Henderson have missed recent practices with minor injuries.


Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Cam Akers

RB2: Darrell Henderson

RB3: Kyren Williams

WR1: Cooper Kupp

WR2: Allen Robinson

WR3: Ben Skowronek (Van Jefferson uncertain after knee surgery)

WR4: Tutu Atwell

TE1: Tyler Higbee

TE2: Brycen Hopkins


Miami Dolphins (vs. PHI)

  • Tua Tagovailoa and most other starters played two drives. Tyreek Hill played one. Chase Edmonds didn't play but Raheem Mostert did (a reverse from the previous week). Jaylen Waddle (undisclosed) didn't; he's nicked up but should be fine for Week 1.
  • For their first snap, the Dolphins had Hill, WR Trent Sherfield, TE Mike Gesicki, TE Durham Smythe and RB Raheem Mostert on the field.
    • Hill outran double coverage for a 51-yard catch on the first snap, then caught a 13-yard pass on the next play. He took just one more snap after that.
    • Mostert took all four snaps on the first drive, then ran for 26 yards on the first play of the second drive. Myles Gaskin subbed in after the long gain (TBD if he makes the roster... playing ahead of Sony Michel suggests he might).
  • WR Cedrick Wilson didn't play on the first drive. The Dolphins used two WRs on each of the four plays, with Sherfield getting the nod over Wilson and River Cracraft subbing in for Hill on the last snap.
    • Wilson, Sherfield and Cracraft all played on the second drive. Maybe this is nothing, or maybe Wilson isn't a lock for the No. 3 WR spot? I'm guessing it's nothing... they just wanted Wilson in his normal role with Sherfield playing the normal part of Waddle.
  • Gesicki watch: he started but subbed out a few times, and Cethan Carter got some snaps ahead of him (alongside Smythe) in two-TE formations. Gesicki won't have value if he's losing some two-TE snaps to Carter and some one-TE snaps to Smythe. 

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Chase Edmonds

RB2: Raheem Mostert

RB3: Myles Gaskin

WR1: Tyreek Hill

WR2: Jaylen Waddle

WR3: Cedrick Wilson

WR4: Trent Sherfield

TE1: Durham Smythe

TE2: Mike Gesicki


Minnesota Vikings (at DEN)

  • The Vikings rested more than half the guys who will make the initial 53-man roster, going with a mixed crew of second- and third-stringers early in the game.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Dalvin Cook

RB2: Alexander Mattison

RB3: Kene Nwangwu

WR1: Justin Jefferson

WR2: Adam Thielen

WR3: K.J. Osborn

WR4: Ihmir Smith-Marsette

TE1: Irv Smith (thumb)

TE2: Johnny Mundt


New England Patriots (at LV)

  • The Patriots played their starters for most of the first half, with Mac Jones producing just three points (and one INT) on four drives against the Raiders' backups.
  • DeVante Parker was on the field for nearly every snap with Jones and was targeted on four of his 13 pass attempts.
    • Parker caught only two passes for nine yards, but the two incompletions were deep looks and he also had a short TD called back for offensive pass interference.
  • INJURY: Jakobi Meyers left after a couple drives and rode a stationary bike on the sideline. Probably nothing serious, and he did play nearly every snap early on.
    • Nelson Agholor got most of the playing time alongside Parker and Meyers early on, but Kendrick Bourne got more run once Meyers left and caught a couple passes for 16 yards.
  • INJURY: Ty Montgomery left early with an ankle injury. It appeared more serious than Meyers' injury.
  • Stevenson started and took most of the first-team snaps. Damien Harris dressed but didn't play, after exiting a practice earlier in the week. Dressing is a good sign that his injury is minor.
  • Hunter Henry caught two passes for 23 yards, but he also came off the field a lot in favor of Jonnu Smith, who caught one pass for five yards.
    • Per PFF, Henry and Smith ran nine routes apiece on 16 Jones dropbacks. Parker was 16-for-16, and Agholor 15-for-16.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Damien Harris

RB2: Rhamondre Stevenson

RB3: J.J. Taylor (Ty Montgomery injured)

WR1: DeVante Parker

WR2: Jakobi Meyers

WR3: Nelson Agholor

WR4: Kendrick Bourne

TE1: Hunter Henry

TE2: Jonnu Smith


New Orleans Saints (vs. LAC)

  • The Saints played starters on their opening drive, including Jameis Winston, Alvin Kamara and Jarvis Landry.
    • Landry and Callaway were the starting WRs, but Chris Olave also got a bunch of snaps with the starters and caught a pass from Winston. Note that Olave didn't play after the first drive, while Callaway did.
    • Michael Thomas (hamstring) didn't play. Neither did TEs Adam Trautman and Taysom Hill, leaving first-team snaps for Nick Vannett and Juwan Johnson.
    • Landry caught two passes for 35 yards on the opening drive. Kamara took three touches for 24 yards. Ingram punched in a one-yard TD. Clinical.
  • Ingram, Callaway and Deonte Harty took most of the snaps on the second drive, once Andy Dalton had replaced Winston. Ingram got most of the touches and scored a second goal-line TD in as many drives. After that, Tony Jones took over at RB.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Alvin Kamara

RB2: Mark Ingram

RB3: Tony Jones

WR1: Michael Thomas (hamstring)

WR2: Jarvis Landry

WR3: Chris Olave

WR4: Marquez Callaway

TE1: Adam Trautman

TE2: Taysom Hill


New York Giants (at NYJ)

  • The Giants played a lot of starters, but not QB Daniel Jones or RB Saquon Barkley.
  • They did play Kenny Golladay and Wan'Dale Robinson, with David Sills the other receiver early on (Kadarius Toney has been dealing with a minor injury...again).
  • Rookie TE Daniel Bellinger started for a third straight week. He stayed in when QB Tyrod Taylor and other starters left after two drives. Bellinger caught a couple passes after a mostly quiet preseason. He's apparently their starting tight end, but it seems to be by default, not because he was incredible this summer.
  • Matt Breida got the start, again working ahead of Gary Brightwell. The Giants should look at adding another back after cuts... some of the guys let go are better than the ones they're keeping, apart from Saquon of course.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Saquon Barkley

RB2: Matt Breida

RB3: Gary Brightwell

WR1: Kadarius Toney

WR2: Kenny Golladay

WR3: Wan'Dale Robinson

WR4: Richie James

TE1: Daniel Bellinger

TE2: Chris Myarick


New York Jets (vs. NYG)

  • The Jets played starters, including QB Joe Flacco, who likely will start Week 1 against his former team (Baltimore) with Zach Wilson recovering from meniscus surgery.
    • Flacco mostly played okay but then ended his day with a brutal pick-six. 
  • Michael Carter started over Breece Hall but essentially split work 50/50. And both came out of the game after Flacco and other starters left, handing things over to Tevin Coleman, Zonovan Knight, etc.
    • Hall took five carries for 13 yards. He had one nice run but mostly couldn't get out of the backfield thanks to shoddy blocking.
    • Carter took four carries for 10 yards and one catch for 10 yards. He also got cut off in the backfield multiple times.
  • WR Elijah Moore, WR Corey Davis and TE Tyler Conklin all played at least 80 percent of the snaps with Flacco, while slot man Braxton Berrios and TE C.J. Uzomah essentially rotated.
    • Garrett Wilson was merely the No. 4 receiver, subbing in for a couple snaps behind Davis and seeing one incomplete target from Flacco. The rookie first-round pick then caught a 12-yard pass on Mike White's first drive, and appeared done for the day after that.
    • Conklin could have another decent fantasy year. Reports out of camp put him ahead of Uzomah, and the preseason usage suggests it could stay that way. Most, including me, had them pegged for a rotation after signing similar contracts this offseason. It now appears Conklin may have a three-down role and Uzomah may just be the No. 2 TE.
      • I also think Conklin looks a bit slimmer and quicker this year. He played well Sunday with two catches for 23 yards, both coming from Flacco.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Breece Hall

RB2: Michael Carter

RB3: Ty Johnson

WR1: Elijah Moore

WR2: Corey Davis

WR3: Braxton Berrios

WR4: Garrett Wilson

TE1: Tyler Conklin

TE2: C.J. Uzomah


Philadelphia Eagles (at MIA)

  • The Eagles rested starters and key backups, including Boston Scott.
    • Kenneth Gainwell started but only played the first drive. Hard to say if he or Scott should be viewed as the No. 2.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Miles Sanders (hamstring)

RB2: Boston Scott

RB3: Kenneth Gainwell

WR1: A.J. Brown

WR2: DeVonta Smith

WR3: Quez Watkins

WR4: Zach Pascal

TE1: Dallas Goedert

TE2: Jack Stoll


Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. DET)

  • INJURY: WR Diontae Johnson hurt his shoulder in the first quarter and didn't return. It doesn't sound serious.
  • Chase Claypool didn't play. He's been practicing recently, after missing time earlier this summer with two minor shoulder injuries. It's possible one is still bothering him... we'll see if he's on the Week 1 injury report. He did say he was healthy two weeks ago.
  • Pickens drew five targets on Mitchell Trubisky's 19 pass attempts, catching three for 35 yards.
    • TE Pat Freiermuth also played a vast majority of the snaps with Trubisky and saw the second most targets (four) from Pittsburgh's presumed Week 1 starting QB, catching three for 45 yards.
  • Trubisky's final stat line looks good (15 of 19 for 160 yards and a TD), but the Pittsburgh first-string offense didn't really do much until a six-play, 92-yard drive at the very end of the first half. Prior to that, there was one real FG drive and two drives where they kicked field goals without a single first down thanks to short fields.
  • Kenny Pickett completed 10 of 14 passes for 90 yards, a solid finish to his strong preseason. He's at least given the Steelers something to think about in the not-that-unlikely event Trubisky struggles.
  • Jaylen Warren subbed in for Najee Harris on the few occasions Harris came off the field in the first half. The rookie may have beaten out Benny Snell for the No. 2 RB job... we'll see.
    • Either way, the Steelers still don't really have any one they trust behind Harris, who looked good Sunday but didn't have much room to run (a theme last year) and had his best run called back on a penalty.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Najee Harris

RB2: Jaylen Warren

RB3: Benny Snell

WR1: Diontae Johnson

WR2: Chase Claypool

WR3: George Pickens

WR4: Gunner Olszewski

TE1: Pat Freiermuth

TE2: Zach Gentry


San Francisco 49ers (at HOU)

  • The Niners played most starters, including Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle, each of whom played two drives and saw one target.
  • Jeff Wilson, who was rested last week, got the start in this one in place of Elijah Mitchell (hamstring).
    • Wilson looked good and took three carries for 16 yards while playing seemingly every snap through San Francisco's first two drives.
    • Trey Sermon was next through the RB rotation after starting the week before. He finished with eight carries for 20 yards and one catch for five yards. Rookie Tyrion Davis Price took four carries for a loss of three yards and one catch for a gain of 10.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Elijah Mitchell (hamstring)

RB2: Jeff Wilson

RB3: Trey Sermon

WR1: Deebo Samuel

WR2: Brandon Aiyuk

WR3: Jauan Jennings

WR4: Ray-Ray McCloud / Danny Gray

TE1: George Kittle

TE2: Charlie Woerner / Tyler Kroft


Seattle Seahawks (at DAL)

  • The Seahawks played a lot of starters, including Tyler Lockett, who caught both his targets for 35 yards on the opening drive.
  • Geno Smith was named the Week 1 starter after Friday's game. He started Friday and completed three of six passes for 43 yards. Smith wasn't good, but Drew Lock was hideous, throwing three interceptions.
  • TE Noah Fant rotated with Will Dissly for a second straight week. Fant already has tough target competition at WR, plus the curse of Smith/Lock playing QB... losing routes to Dissly would be a death blow for any fantasy potential.
  • WR Dee Eskridge returned from a hamstring injury and got a lot of playing time early. He caught one short pass and returned a few punts. He could push Freddie Swain for the No. 3 WR spot if he can stay healthy for more than a few weeks finally.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Rashaad Penny

RB2: Travis Homer (Kenneth Walker likely out)

RB3: DeeJay Dallas

WR1: DK Metcalf

WR2: Tyler Lockett

WR3: Freddie Swain

WR4: Dee Eskridge

TE1: Noah Fant / Will Dissly        


Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at IND)

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Leonard Fournette

RB2: Rachaad White

RB3: Ke'Shawn Vaughn

WR1: Mike Evans

WR2: Chris Godwin

WR3: Julio Jones

WR4: Russell Gage (hamstring)

TE1: Cameron Brate

TE2: Kyle Rudolph



Tennessee Titans (vs. ARI)

  • The Titans mostly played backups for a third straight week, but Robert Woods was also out there, essentially confirming he'll start Week 1. He played a handful of snaps and caught one pass for three yards in his first action since the ACL tear last year.
  • Treylon Burks started, caught two passes for 19 yards, left with a wrist injury, came back into the game, and then scored a 14-yard TD late in the second quarter. He finished 3-33-1 on three targets, ending an eventful preseason (in the eyes of fantasy analysts, at least) on a high note. Even if Burks doesn't get much playing time to start the year, he should eventually get his chances. The Titans just don't have much else, apparently counting on Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and fifth-round rookie Kyle Phillips to fill the Nos. 2 and 3 spots at WR.
    • Phillips played a little early in the game but wasn't targeted.
  • Dontrell Hilliard started and played a few snaps before giving way to rookies Hassan Haskins and Julius Chestnut.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Derrick Henry

RB2: Dontrell Hilliard

RB3: Hassan Haskins

WR1: Robert Woods

WR2: Nick Westbrook-Ikhine

WR3: Kyle Phillips

WR4: Treylon Burks

TE1: Austin Hooper

TE2: Geoff Swaim


Washington Commanders (at BAL)

  • Washington rested everyone, including Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson.
  • QB Sam Howell played the entire game, and looked pretty good again. Maybe he should've dropped to the second/third round, not all the way to the fifth.

Howell played the entire game and took five sacks, but mostly he played well, finishing the preseason 43-of-69 passing (62.3 percent) for 527 yards (7.8 YPA), one touchdown and one interception. The fifth-round pick figures to enter his rookie season as a third-stringer, but there's a path to playing time by the end of the year given that Washington's other QBs are Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke.

Projected Week 1 Roles

RB1: Antonio Gibson

RB2: J.D. McKissic (groin)

RB3: Jonathan Williams

WR1: Terry McLaurin

WR2: Jahan Dotson

WR3: Curtis Samuel

WR4: Cam Sims

TE1: Logan Thomas (Achilles)

TE2: John Bates (calf)



RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NFL Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NFL fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
Jerry Donabedian
Jerry was a 2018 finalist for the FSWA's Player Notes Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year awards. A Baltimore native, Jerry roots for the Ravens and watches "The Wire" in his spare time.
Weekly Rankings: Week 4 Value Meter
Weekly Rankings: Week 4 Value Meter
NFL Week 4 Picks, Predictions, Props and Best Bets for Every Game
NFL Week 4 Picks, Predictions, Props and Best Bets for Every Game
IDP Analysis: Week 3 Review
IDP Analysis: Week 3 Review
Target Breakdown: Pass Catcher Usage Report and Week 4 Waivers Preview
Target Breakdown: Pass Catcher Usage Report and Week 4 Waivers Preview
Week 4: Four Must Add Players RIGHT NOW! (Video)
Week 4: Four Must Add Players RIGHT NOW! (Video)
Backfield Breakdown: Running Back Usage Report and Week 4 Waivers Preview
Backfield Breakdown: Running Back Usage Report and Week 4 Waivers Preview