Fantasy News & Analysis

Fantasy football takeaways from the Thursday slate of preseason Week 3

Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (19) runs with the ball against the Baltimore Ravens during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Six games kicked off the Week 3 preseason slate on Thursday night. While the third dress rehearsal typically means we see a lot of the starters, that wasn’t the case for some teams this year. That said, there were a number of interesting takeaways for fantasy football purposes.

Derrius Guice looks good in his return

As promised, the Redskins got Guice back on the field, and the back didn’t disappoint. Guice shook off the rust and saw 19 of the Redskins’ first 27 running back snaps. While his 11 carries for 44 yards doesn’t jump off the page, he did show some burst and had a touchdown called back.

While the Washington offense could be one of the least exciting in the league, this is a team that fed the ball to Adrian Peterson 250 times last season. If Guice sees that sort of workload, it’s going to be almost impossible for him to not outplay his current ADP of 7.10. He’s an absolute steal in that range of drafts and should be someone to target heavily if you’re drafting this weekend.

Cam Newton injury scare

The shoulder injury appears to be in the rearview mirror for Newton, but the Panthers signal-caller was running for his life against the Patriots Thursday night with two sacks in just three series. On the second sack, Newton appeared to have suffered an ankle/foot injury that resulted in Newton leaving the locker room in a walking boot.

This certainly isn’t what you want to hear about any player when we’re heading into a major fantasy football draft weekend. That said, there doesn’t seem to be major concern for the severity of this injury from the football injury expert community, so we’re likely in the clear for drafting Newton. Of course, it’s wise to keep an eye on the news before and during your draft. We’ve seen examples in the past where what looked to be a mild injury ended up being much more severe.

JJ Arcega-Whiteside goes off

There wasn’t much to get excited about on the offensive side of the ball for the Eagles in their third preseason contest, but the rookie wide receiver was a big-time bright spot. Arcega-Whiteside went nuts against the Ravens, catching eight balls on nine targets for 104 yards and a score. Those are some big-time numbers, but the Stanford product wasn’t on the field with the first-team offense. Philadelphia used the trio of Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Nelson Agholor for the first two series.

Arcega-Whiteside has the talent to be a starting wide receiver in the NFL, but he’s unfortunately buried on the Eagles depth chart. That situation isn’t going to change unless one of the three starters gets hurt. Keep that in mind in redraft leagues, as it’s tough to roster a No. 4 wideout from any team.

Preseason quick slants

There’s been a lot of talk out of Jacksonville that Leonard Fournette could be a three-down back for the Jags, and that’s exactly what we saw Thursday night. Fournette was on the field for 18 of the Jags’ first 19 snaps. While Fournette is extremely volatile, a true three-down role will almost certainly make him a slight value at his current ADP. … Speaking of every-down running backs, Kalen Ballage didn’t leave the field for the Dolphins in the first half on Thursday night. The much-hyped back struggled with just 17 yards on 12 carries. Given this performance and Ballage’s eighth-round ADP, he’s a player to pass on in your drafts. … Jakobi Meyers’ hot preseason continued to roll on Thursday night. The UDFA saw snaps with the first- and second-team offenses, and racked up 74 yards on seven catches. Meyers is still a longshot for redraft fantasy value this year, but his dynasty stock continues to trend up. … Justice Hill saw a lot of action on Thursday night with 37 snaps. While that may sound good for the rookie, keep in mind that Baltimore didn’t dress Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, or Kenneth Dixon. That means Hill is likely still fourth on the depth chart. … Rodney Anderson got some work with the first-team offense. He played three snaps with Andy Dalton and then continued to work with the twos when Ryan Finley came on the field. But it was an inefficient night for the Oklahoma product, as Anderson went for just seven yards on eight carries.

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