Fantasy Focus: Preseason Hot or Not
It's worth noting as we delve into who was "Hot and Not" during the preseason that most of the time stats in exhibition games do not mean much. However, in some cases they reflect the possibility of breakout or bust performances. All of these names have their stats affected by the inherently small sample size of preseason games. What we will be looking at, however, are some of the notable good and bad performances this preseason. Can some of the preseason studs keep it up? Will the guys who struggled bounce back when it counts? Let's take a look.
Hot Fantasy Updates
Amari Cooper, Oakland
- Cooper did not find the end zone this preseason, but did haul in eight catches for 124 yards in total, including two completions of twenty yards or more. The rookie also showed off his footwork in a game against the Cardinals when he notably left Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson stumbling on one reception. Derek Carr is also due to continue developing in his sophomore season, and Cooper should serve as the #1 target in Oakland.
Matt Jones, Washington
- A third-round pick in this year’s draft, Jones bulldozed through opposing defenses this season to put up 139 yards on 20 carries, good for just under seven yards per carry. Jones has big play potential thanks to his combo of size and agility, and may be able to sneak in to Washington’s offense already as an occasional pass catcher and a goal line back. In the longer term, look for Jones to possibly eat into starting running back Alfred Morris’ workload.
Sam Bradford, Philadelphia
- Bradford is banking on his preseason success translating to the regular season, as he has decided to halt extension talks with the Eagles for the time being. The new Eagles QB completed 13 of 15 attempts this preseason, passing for 156 yards and three touchdowns while not throwing a single interception. In the Eagles’ offense, look for the former #1 overall pick to thrive, with QB1 value possible if everything goes right.
Jarryd Hayne, San Francisco
- The former Aussie rugby player stunned observers by amassing a highlight reel of stunning moves during the preseason. The stats are equally impressive, as Hayne rushed for 175 yards on 25 carries, giving him an even 7.0 yards per carry. There are no plans to have Hayne feature regularly early on, but as the season goes on Hayne has the potential to be an occasional spark on offense and may also help in leagues that award points for return yards should he assume the primary kick and punt return roles.
Not Fantasy Updates
Melvin Gordon, San Diego
- Gordon rushed for only 45 yards on 20 carries and did not find the end zone this preseason. The worse fantasy news for Gordon fans and owners is that the Chargers will be using a running back by committee set-up. Gordon should get most early down snaps, but will likely be relegated to the bench on passing downs as Danny Woodhead scoops up some carries.
Torrey Smith, San Francisco
- Smith is likely on most fantasy rosters but did very little this preseason. Smith ended up catching only one pass for five yards and also was targeted on another occasion. The small sample size for the preseason knocks Smith down here, but considering that many fantasy football pundits have been predicting Smith’s value to come down from where it was in Baltimore, Smith did not do much to help his value this preseason.
Jordan Cameron, Miami
- Cameron had a quiet preseason, catching just two passes on three targets for six total yards. The issue with Cameron is that he is still working on developing chemistry with QB Ryan Tannehill, and this preseason Tannehill has shown that he is more comfortable throwing to receiver Jarvis Landry rather than to Cameron. As the year goes on, Tannehill and Cameron may develop a rapport, but this may indicate the possibility that Cameron starts the year a bit slowly.
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