Fantasy News & Analysis

Preseason Week 1 Fantasy Football Game Recap: Detroit Lions vs. New York Giants

2R72GFM Detroit Lions tight end Sam LaPorta runs after a catch during an NFL football practice in Allen Park, Mich., Monday, June 12, 2023. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Sam LaPorta has already won the starting job: The second-round rookie already sits atop the Lions’ depth chart and deserves to be considered a fantasy sleeper.

Jameson Williams’ curious game: Williams’ stat line looks bad for a preseason game, but it was the fourth quarterback on the depth chart throwing him passes.

• The Giants’ wide receiver battle becomes a little more clear: We have a better view of the team’s wide receiver depth chart based on who didn’t play, who started the game with Tyrod Taylor and who didn’t see playing time until after Taylor was out.

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Sam LaPorta is already the Lions’ starting tight end: LaPorta played the clear majority of snaps with the starters over the team’s other top players.

  • While starters at several positions got the night off, there were no notable tight ends who didn’t play.
  • LaPorta played during the first three drives, taking 100% of snaps in 11 personnel and 100% of snaps in 12 personnel with Brock Wright.
  • Wright took 100% of snaps in 21 personnel.
  • Both tight ends were replaced after the third drive by James Mitchell and Daniel Helm.
  • This is the best-case scenario for LaPorta. He’s already ahead of everyone else, and the time the Lions plan to take him off the field is during likely run situations.
  • Typically, we shouldn’t read too much into rookies playing further down the depth chart, but when a rookie is starting in the first week of the preseason ahead of all veterans, they are very likely to have that role during the regular season.

Jameson Williams plays longer than expected: Williams played much later into the game than other notable Lions.

  • Rookies Jahmyr Gibbs and Sam LaPorta played only the first three drives, as did veterans such as Brock Wright.
  • Williams continued to play into the third quarter of the game.
  • This might look like bad news for Williams, but it might have just been a case of the Lions lacking healthy receivers. While they could have wanted to simply see him play, they also probably needed him.
  • He officially caught two passes on seven targets for 18 yards, but most of those incomplete passes weren’t catchable.
  • He did drop a pass, but that doesn’t indicate he will drop a lot of passes in the future.
  • Williams brought in a nice two-point conversion in the third quarter.
  • It will at least be worth monitoring Williams more closely going forward, but this game for him may not have been as bad as it looked.

The Giants’ seemingly crowded receiver room wasn’t crowded: The Giants had three clear wide receivers, but the room will be more complicated soon.

  • Darius Slayton and Parris Campbell appeared to be among the starters who were given the night off, which should be good news for their fantasy value.
  • It was at least somewhat surprising that Isaiah Hodgins also didn’t receive the night off based on how well he played last season. It could have potentially been because of how few healthy receivers New York had.
  • Wan’Dale Robinson is still on the PUP list after tearing his ACL last season. Sterling Shepard returned from the PUP list two weeks ago, but given his injury history, it isn’t surprising he also had the night off.
  • This meant Hodgins and third-round rookie Jalin Hyatt were the starters, while Cole Beasley was in the slot.
  • Beasley stood out the most with four catches for 33 yards. Hyatt caught only one pass for -4 yards by halftime.
  • Former NFL starter Jamison Crowder played with the second-team offense and appears to be among the odd men out once everyone is healthy.
  • Collin Johnson also played with the second-team offense but suffered a knee injury and was quickly ruled out.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Lions first-round rookie Jahmyr Gibbs played every snap in the first quarter before taking the rest of the game off. It was good to see him on the field in every situation, but we can’t learn much without David Montgomery also playing.
  • Giants fifth-round rookie Eric Gray played on third downs with the second team. It’s possible Gray earns time in that situation in the regular season.
  • Giants backup running back Matt Breida and tight end Daniel Bellinger were among the players who played for only two drives before sitting out. Starters Saquon Barkley and Darren Waller were among the several Giants given the night off.

Table Notes
  • Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.
  • Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.
  • Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.

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