Fantasy Football draft prep: What preseason film has taught us about rookies, breakouts, quarterback battles

Trevor Lawrence might need been the plain selection for the Jaguars at No. 1 again in April’s draft, however after one week of preseason ball, Justin Fields appeared like the most effective of the bunch.

In his debut with Chicago, Fields threw a landing and ran for one more whereas finishing 14 of 20 throws for 142 yards. The numbers had been good, nevertheless it was his immediate capability to govern Miami’s protection together with his legs that acquired a few of his receivers open. One such play was when Fields left the pocket, a defender mainly give up his protection of receiver Rodney Adams to go after Fields, and the rookie merely threw it to Adams. 

The considered this taking place with Allen Robinson and particularly Darnell Mooney ought to get Fantasy managers very excited.

He made a few gutsy throws, too. One was a tight-window miss that acquired tipped by a defender and practically picked by one other, however one other was a ridiculous timing sample with defenders in his face to Rodney Adams, who made a hell of a catch himself 25 yards downfield.

Fields can also be quick as you bear in mind from faculty, piling up 33 yards on simply 5 carries, however he is acquired to carry on to the soccer after fumbling it away as soon as.

I spent numerous time this offseason speaking about drafting Trey Lance as a stash-worthy Fantasy quarterback with large upside, but when we see one other week or two of this from Fields, he’ll be forward of Lance by way of a late-rounder. Heck, if Fields does this once more, the Bears might haven’t any selection however to show heel on Andy Dalton and begin Fields in Week 1 on the Rams, and at that time, Fantasy managers would begin clawing for him by Spherical 10 or 12. He is completely value a late-round flier at this level. 

The remainder of the rookies

Lawrence: He performed 15 snaps and confirmed some wonderful timing with Marvin Jones together with a downfield masterpiece on a third-and-10 play. However he additionally held the ball too lengthy a few instances and took a few sacks for it. There is no doubt he’ll be a very good supply of Fantasy factors ahead of later, however his placement forward of Lance and Fields in seasonal redraft rankings is beginning to quiver.

Lance: The 80-yard bomb to Trent Sherfield was nice not due to the arm power, however as a result of he was sensible sufficient to bypass a large open Brandon Aiyuk for a primary down and throw to a spot the place Sherfield might get it. Lance had quite a few good reads and may finally grasp his anticipatory throws, however he additionally made some dangerous reads and held on to the ball too lengthy. He additionally did not run in any respect, one thing that can most definitely change when the video games rely. His messy day included three drops from his receivers, however he was sacked 4 instances and may have had two passes picked off. With out that play to Sherfield, Lance was 4 of 13 for 48 yards.

Mac Jones: His first a number of throws had been correct short-range tosses, the type we have come to count on from him from his final 12 months at Alabama. When he did throw downfield, it was both stunning (a deep bomb to Kristian Wilkerson, who dropped it), or simply off (a deep toss to Gunner Olszewski was just a little too huge and lengthy). At first look, Jones has seemingly mastered his brief timing routes, a step in the proper route for finally changing Cam Newton.

Zach Wilson: He performed 21 snaps and appeared like a pure match within the Mike LaFleur’s West Coast system, however there have been at the very least three throws he made the place there was a greater possibility was obtainable. As soon as he cleans that up we’ll see him make large performs on the common. His greatest throw towards the Giants was a tight-window job on a Third-and-9 dig path to Keelan Cole for a 16-yard gainer. He is solely draftable in codecs that begin two quarterbacks for now. 

Checking on the breakout candidates

Tua Tagovailoa: He appeared good early with a terrific contact throw to Mike Gesicki and one other cash throw on a third-down out-route to Mack Hollins, however a penalty introduced it again. Tagovalioa was good avoiding stress within the pocket and had a near-perfect day save for lacking a wide-open Jaylen Waddle 13 yards downfield when he as an alternative checked right down to Malcolm Brown and ignoring an over-the-top security after he noticed Adam Shaheen race previous a Bears linebacker towards the top zone (the security made an interception). Tagovailoa will not get picked late in each league however needs to be on the radar simply after the high-upside rookies.

Jalen Hurts: I liked his lengthy throw to Dallas Goedert on an out route with a linebacker on his hip. That was excellent placement from Hurts, who was on the cash with each throw on his first drive together with one which Zach Ertz dropped. He was additionally sensible sufficient to throw away a cross when the Steelers acquired some stress on him on the second drive as an alternative of forcing one thing downfield. He is nonetheless very a lot within the top-12 vary amongst Fantasy passers and will see his inventory rise if he continues to apply properly and carry out properly in preseason video games. I am trying ahead to seeing how DeVonta Smith helps him.

Quarterback competitions

If I needed to make a name on who would win the next coaching camp battles primarily based on one preseason game, it could be …

Drew Lock over Teddy Bridgewater: Lengthy’s deep lob to KJ Hamler was clearly superior, however he additionally displayed some good decision-making in addition to some persistence that helped him make some easy throws. If he can rein in his dangerous choices like he seemingly did towards the Vikings, he’ll be higher for Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant.

Jameis Winston over Taysom Hill: Hill began his sport towards the Ravens very sturdy however was off-target on a dump display screen, then acquired picked off, then ought to have been picked off once more on a horrible throw, then acquired sacked when he had Ty Montgomery (sure he is nonetheless within the league) huge open. If the Saints are going to have an uneven quarterback, may as properly be the one with extra expertise and a stronger arm in Winston. Marquez Callaway is changing into a big-time sleeper receiver both manner.

Cam Newton over Mac Jones: Jones was good however not sensational. Newton offers the Panthers an attention-grabbing speeding dynamic they will win with. Till Newton falls aside as a passer, it is smart for them to stay with him, limiting the upside for Damien Harris and Jakobi Meyers.

Tyrod Taylor over Davis Mills: That is nearly going with expertise over a rookie. Mills will finally play, nevertheless it’s not like there are lots of Fantasy starters on the Texans to start with.

Jacob Eason over Sam Ehlinger: Eason made some great throws, together with a deep in-the-basket job to Parris Campbell. He needs to be serviceable for the Colts‘ pass-catchers to start the 12 months.

So which sleepers, breakouts and busts do you have to goal and fade? And which QB shocks the NFL with a top-five efficiency? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy cheat sheets for every single position, all from the model that called Josh Allen’s huge season, and discover out. | Fantasy Soccer draft prep: What preseason movie has taught us about rookies, breakouts, quarterback battles


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