Fantasy Football

NFL 2018 Preseason Week 4 Fantasy Football Notebook

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Hello Fantasy friends and foes. Welcome back to the Fantasy Six Pack Preseason Fantasy Football Notebook.

Congratulations, we made it through the preseason. The real games start Thursday and football fans everywhere cannot wait.

Normally, Week 4 of the NFL Preseason is boring and without any headlines. Not this time!  Take a look at the happenings and the roster cuts affecting fantasy owners in the NFL 2018 Preseason Week 4 Fantasy Football Notebook.


NFL 2018 Preseason Week 4 Fantasy Football Notebook

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FOUR DOWNS – THE TOP FOUR FANTASY NEWS STORIES FROM PRESEASON WEEK FOUR

Normally, NFL Preseason Week 4 is the least impactful of the NFL Preseason. Teams rarely allow the starters to play at all in the most meaningless game in the preseason. The storylines in Week 4 normally surround the fringe players, not the players that fantasy owners are concerned with. However, there are a few headlines that did occur in Week 4:

Ronnie Jones continues to struggle in Tampa Bay

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The rookie had a horrible preseason. He rushed for only 22 yards on 28 attempts, a 0.8-yard average with one touchdown. He has looked hesitant and his lack of production has raised some red flags.

Peyton Barber has secured the featured back role with the Buccaneers, so Jones’ role is up in the air. It will be difficult to pick Jones anytime before the double-digit rounds.

The Jets trade QB Teddy Bridgewater to the Saints

The Jets decided the QB competition when they traded Bridgewater to the Saints. It looks like Sam Darnold will start Week 1. The Jets did a fabulous job in giving Bridgewater an opportunity for basically nothing and translated that into a third-round pick.

Bridgewater seems to be the heir apparent to Drew Brees in New Orleans. Dynasty owners should secure Bridgewater immediately.

A Stunner! Jerrick McKinnon is out for the season with a torn ACL

WOW! Obviously, huge news as we enter Week 1. McKinnon tore his ACL while making a cut on the last play of practice Saturday with nobody around him. This injury will also severely impact a high number of fantasy owners. He is being drafted in the top four rounds of most fantasy drafts.

Early reports suggest Morris will start in Week 1 against Minnesota, which isn’t a surprise considering Breida missed almost all of the preseason due to a shoulder injury. I believe that we are looking like a Breida-Morris committee, with Breida having more value in PPR leagues. Morris has experience playing in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s scheme back in Washington and looks like he will also have fantasy value especially in standard leagues.

Nick Foles named the Eagles starter for Week 1

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Super Bowl hero Nick Foles has been announced as the Eagles starter in Week 1. Carson Wentz, who suffered a torn ACL against Los Angeles on Dec. 9, made significant progress in his offseason rehab, but they determined that he is not ready to play for Philadelphia’s season opener.

Not surprising news, but Foles did not have a good preseason.

Who were the stars of the 2018 Preseason?

Here is a starting lineup consisting of the best players at each position this preseason:

Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns

The top overall pick — and Cleveland’s quarterback of the future — was drafted to be the franchise quarterback. He looks the part so far. He has exhibited great poise in the pocket, while also highlighting his ability to extend plays.

Mayfield finished the preseason 35 of 61, for a 57.4 completion percentage.  He only took four sacks and threw one interception.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

The second-year playmaker dominated the running back snaps when starters were in the game this preseason. McCaffrey has been impressive this preseason, including showcasing his big-play ability on his 71-yard touchdown.

In the Panthers new offensive system under OC Norv Turner, it seems that McCaffrey will get as many touches as he can handle.

Chris Warren, RB, Oakland Raiders

Chris Warren III led the NFL in rushing yards with 292 and also led the league in carries. He has impressed with his ability to power through the line and get to the second level.

Unfortunately, Warren was placed on injured reserve due to a knee injury that required season-ending surgery.

Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

No one on the Chiefs roster had a more solid preseason than Tyreek Hill. He was a perfect 8-for-8 on eight targets for a total of 88 yards in Week 3. He was also the clear preferred target for new Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes’ passer-rating was highest when targeting Hill compared to any other receiver. There is potential that Hill will improve upon last year’s numbers with Mahomes-Hill duo is ready for the season to start.

Tre’Quan Smith, WR, New Orleans Saints

The rookie has been the most productive receiver of the preseason. He finished this preseason with 15 receptions, 189 yards and one touchdown on a team-leading 17 targets.

Smith has increased his fantasy value along with gaining more playing time in the Saints offense. He will have opportunities to contribute in this offense with the weapons in this Saints offense.

Marquise Goodwin, WR, San Francisco 49ers

Marquise Goodwin seems locked in as Jimmy Garappolo’s favorite weapon as their connection last season has carried over to this year’s preseason.

The two have displayed their strong chemistry in the preseason, with Goodwin grabbing seven catches for 119 yards. In Coach Kyle Shanahan’s system, the top receiver gets peppered with targets. Goodwin should be in for a busy season.

Dallas Goedert, TE, Philadelphia Eagles

Goedert is the Eagles top draft pick in 2018 and he showed why this preseason. He recorded nine catches for 149 yards, which is the most for any TE this preseason.

He should figure heavily in red zone packages, especially given how often the team utilizes two tight-end sets.

John Kelly, FLEX, Los Angeles Rams

John Kelly looks to have leap-frogged into the backup role behind Todd Gurley. The former Volunteer rushed for 197 yards and three touchdowns on 46 carries this preseason.

Attention Todd Gurley owners! Make sure you select John Kelly as the handcuff to Gurley. You will happy that you did.

What happened after the final Preseason Week 4 Games?

After the preseason games end on Thursday, we saw even more substantial football news hit us, let’s run them down:

The Raiders dealt their best defender Khalil Mack to the Bears, then trade for QB A.J. McCarron

Entering the final year of his rookie deal, Khalil Mack opted to hold out this offseason in an effort to pressure the Oakland Raiders into an extension. Instead, it pressured a deal to the Chicago Bears. It was reported that Mack signed an extension for six years and $141 million, making him the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL.

Mack joins a Bears defense that finished seventh in sacks last season, while Mack registered 10.5 sacks for the Raiders last season. This is obviously a significant upgrade to the Bears defense. A move that vaults them into the top ten in Fantasy defenses.

The Raiders continue to make puzzling moves this offseason. They decided to trade for QB A.J. McCarron from the Buffalo Bills for a 2019 fifth-round draft pick. While the compensation was not substantial, either is A.J. McCarron’s fantasy impact now that he is with the Raiders while he backs up starting quarterback Derek Carr.

Le’Veon Bell still has yet to report to Steelers Camp

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Everyone from the Steelers coaches and management to fantasy owners are disappointed that we have yet to see Le’Veon Bell in Steelers camp.

So what should Le’Veon Bell owners do? Well, the first thing is to stop reading this and secure James Connor on your roster if you have yet to do so. I will wait. If someone else shrewdly drafted Connor, good for them, but really bad for you. You should have been proactive.

Well, don’t get upset. It’s highly doubtful that we don’t see Bell suit up this Sunday. We have seen this game before, just last season. Bell showed up right before Week 1 and played. He is not going to hold out and miss a huge payday this summer.

The Chargers signed TE Antonio Gates

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It was inevitable that Antonio Gates was going to return to the Chargers this season, once we heard the devastating news that tight end Hunter Henry tore his ACL and was lost for the season. Well, it happened as we thought. Gates would not play at all in the preseason and sign just in time to play Week 1.

Gates will now team up with Virgil Green to give the Chargers two tight ends to utilize in the red zone. While Green was not going to be much of a fantasy factor this season, Gates’ return may affect the emergence of second-year wideout Mike Williams and situational back Austin Ekeler. Gates is no more than a TE2 and not worthy of a selection in your draft or pick up off the waiver wire. Regardless, welcome back Antonio Gates.

The Roster Cut Deadline

It was an eventful roster cut deadline. Here are the fantasy-notable cuts and happenings:

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  • New England Patriots cut Mike Gillislee, meaning that Jeremy Hill won the short-yardage, goal-line work for the Patriots. In a corresponding move, the New Orleans Saints signed Mike Gillislee as they wait for Mark Ingram to return from his four-game suspension to start the season.
  • The Dallas Cowboys cut veteran kicker Dan Bailey. With leagues that still use kickers, this is fairly significant. He’s the second most accurate kicker (88.2%) in NFL history. Dan Bailey will be kicking for an NFL team this season.
  • The Arizona Cardinals cut wide receivers Brice Butler and Greg Little. Butler was fighting for the starting wideout job opposite Larry Fitzgerald, but had a poor preseason and was given his walking papers. See how this affect the Cardinals WR depth chart, here Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Depth Chart.
  • The Denver Broncos waived quarterback Peyton Lynch and running back DeAngelo Henderson, and wide receiver Carlos Henderson. Chad Kelly played exceptionally well this preseason, making Lynch useless. Phillip Lindsey beat out DeAngelo Henderson for the third running back role.
  • Minnesota Vikings cut Kendall Wright, who was vying for the third receiver role but lost out to preseason star and former first-rounder Laquon Treadwell.
  • The Buffalo Bills cut wide receiver Corey Coleman, who the Bills received in a trade from the Cleveland Browns a few weeks ago. Another Cleveland Browns draft blunder.
  • In a surprising move, the New Orleans Saints cut running back Jonathan Williams. Williams was having a nice preseason but was beaten up by sixth-round rookie running back Boston Scott. Now Scott will share the backup duties to Alvin Kamara to newly signed Mike Gillislee.
  • The Oakland Raider cut wide receiver, Martavis Bryant. Per numerous reports, the former Steeler is facing another league suspension.

Don’t Leave Yet

If you still have a draft to do before Thursday’s kickoff, take a look at the biggest movers in ADP as you head into your drafts with the 2018 Fantasy Football ADP Movers. Listen to the Fantasy Six Pack’s Joe Bond and AJ Applegarth discuss it with Kevin Huo here in the 2018 Fantasy Football ADP Primer.

About Dennis Sosic

Dennis Sosic is from Cleveland, Ohio and a HUGE sports fan including NFL (GO BROWNS!) and college football (GO BUCKEYES!) MLB (GO TRIBE), NBA (GO CAVS!) and MMA. He has been called a Sports Geek by friends and foes alike and that fits him perfectly. He has been competing in fantasy sports, mainly fantasy football and baseball for over 20 years. Please do all of us a favor and follow Dennis @ CALL_ME_SOS.

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