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Hartitz: 14 fantasy football pre-season ranking adjustments

Paradise, Nevada, USA; Chicago Bears running back Khalil Herbert (24) runs with the ball during a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

• Washington's backfield is a mess, and neither Brian Robinson nor Antonio Gibson should be drafted until the double-digit rounds.

• Bears RB Khalil Herbert offers a sneaky-solid ceiling/floor combo worth investing in at ADP. 

James Cook and Devin Singletary are borderline RB3 options who shouldn’t be prioritized until Rounds 9 and 10.

Preseason football is objectively better than no football. This is a fact, and the PFF fantasy crew has accordingly made it our priority to keep you covered with actionable takeaways every step of the way. The goal is to focus more on projected usage than individual performance; a player resting with the starters is obviously better than someone who makes a nice play with the backups.

What follows are 14 key preseason takeaways that actively caused me to change my fantasy football rankings. Check out PFF+ and start your FREE trial today for constantly updated rankings, analysis, and strategy from myself and the rest of the PFF fantasy crew.

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This Washington backfield is an absolute mess

Third-round rookie Brian Robinson drew the start over Antonio Gibson in Week 2, as Gibson was relegated to special teams and pass-down duties. Note that J.D. McKissic didn’t play. This has the looks of a full-blown committee, with each member being *two* injuries away from anything resembling a three-down role. It’s tough not to give Robinson the nod over Gibson straight up in the ole fantasy ranks at this point, but the answer very well could simply be to stay away from the situation entirely. I’m not comfortable drafting either back until the double-digit rounds.

A quality handcuff resides in Chicago

Khalil Herbert handled an every-down role when thrust into action last season, but we couldn’t assume this would still be the case under a new coaching staff. Luckily, the Bears have cleared this up by featuring Herbert on every single snap alongside Justin Fields over the past two weeks.

This has come with David Montgomery resting; the starting role isn’t exactly up for grabs here. And yet, Herbert posted superior efficiency numbers than Montgomery in every meaningful statistic as a rusher last season, flashing some solid open-field elusiveness along the way. There’s a chance Herbert can eat into the workload of his team’s starter, giving the rising second-year talent a sneaky-solid ceiling/floor combo worth investing in during the double-digit rounds in drafts of all shapes and sizes.

The answer to which Seattle tight end to draft is probably: No

Noah Fant (15 snaps, 10 routes), Colby Parkinson (10, 6) and Will Dissly (7, 5) maintained involvement with the Seahawks’ starters in Week 2. Obviously, this isn’t a passing game that fantasy managers were dying to get a piece of anyway; when you throw in the muddled volume, this is a complete stay-away in drafts of just about all shapes and sizes. Fant’s standing as the ADP TE15 is rather ludicrous; I’ll happily draft lower-ADP guys like David Njoku, Irv Smith and Gerald Everett among others ahead of the ex-Broncos talent.

Sneaky meh usage from a popular late-round tight end

On the one hand, Cole Kmet was targeted three times in just seven snaps during the Bears’ Week 2 matchup against the Seahawks. On the other, Kmet (7 snaps, 5 routes) wasn’t exactly featured ahead of James O’Shaughnessy (5, 4) and Chase Allen (2, 2). Hell, presumed backup Ryan Griffin hasn’t played in the preseason yet, meaning he could feasibly factor into the rotation come Week 1.


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