Trey Palmer, TBB
One rookie who has made the most of his opportunity and got some luck has been Palmer. He was a three-year player with LSU, then transferred to Nebraska for his senior season. He blew up with 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns. The Bucs took him in the sixth round and had a stellar preseason.
In three games with the “first-team offense,” he made seven catches on eight targets for 91 yards and scored two touchdowns. Whether it was Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask, they looked for him, especially downfield, for scoring drives. The injury to Russell Gage pushes Trey Palmer into the starting lineup with Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. While the Bucs offense may not be great, the opportunity to start is huge for Trey Palmer. There is a good chance for Palmer to make some noise in 2023.
Xavier Gipson and Jason Brownlee, NYJ
My next winners from the preseason cut were two UDFAs, Gipson and Brownlee. I don’t think many thought either would make the 53-man roster based on the team the Jets were putting together. It helped both of them that Corey Davis retired right before cut day. Gipson is a small but explosive receiver from Stephen F. Austin. He dominated his final two seasons with 2,500 yards and 21 touchdowns. In Gipson’s last preseason game, he had seven grabs for 79 yards to help secure his roster spot. He is likely to be used on special teams due to his speed, but he returned four punts in college.
Brownlee is the opposite of Gipson, who is 6’2″ and 198 lbs. compared to Gipson’s 5’9″ size. Brownlee was a good route runner and did well tracking the ball downfield. His massive wingspan helped him do well at Southern Miss. Brownlee was another UDFA who shined at Jets camp to make the roster. Brownlee finished the preseason with 10 of 18 for 102 yards in four games.
They both could have the opportunity in the 2023 season if things turn out bad for the receiver corp. Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman, and Randall Cobb all have a slight case of the injury bug in their career, so either UDFA could see starting snaps if that happens. They should be picked up and put on a taxi squad to see if they can make some noise.
Jake Bobo, SEA
Bobo was another UDFA winner and secured a roster spot in Seattle. While I wasn’t a big fan of his overall talent, he looked like a player who could stick at the NFL level. Bobo is a 6’4″ receiver from UCLA who had a solid year of 817 yards and seven touchdowns. Bobo lacked speed and big play ability, making him an undrafted player. He earned his spot on the Seahawks roster after an excellent preseason of seven catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
While he likely won’t see too much action due to a crowded starting lineup the Seahawks have at the moment. Jaxon Smith-Njigba returning from injury could limit him early, allowing Bobo to see early season snaps. He is a good stash guy on a taxi squad to see if he can develop into something for fantasy one day.
DeMario Douglas and Kayshon Boutte, NEP
Two Patriots receivers were big winners from preseason cuts: Douglas and Boutte. Douglas was winning early on in training camp after impressing the coaching staff with his speed and route running. Douglas’s biggest disadvantage has been his size of 5’8″ and 179 lbs. It didn’t seem to matter because he used his speed as a weapon to beat the Patriots’ starting defensive backs consistently. Douglas saw little production during preseason games with just two catches, but he could have a role on the offense if not special teams.
Boutte was an even bigger winner since Douglas was outplaying him early in camp. Boutte was a young player who dominated for a stretch at LSU, but injuries derailed his career, leading to a late-round pick. Boutte has the talent of being a YAC and big play ability receiver, but it’s been some time since he has shown that fully. He caught all four of his catches during Preason with 56 yards and a touchdown. Based on the talent at receiver the Patriots have, Douglas and Boutte could have the opportunity to crack the starting lineup. Both would be good buy lows at the right price, but both are seeing their value spike a little with making the roster.
Josh Palmer, LAC
Palmer was one of a few non-rookies who was a big camp winner as the preseason cuts came. I don’t think he would ever get cut, but we have been waiting a few years for the young Palmer to emerge. The concern with first-round pick Quentin Johnston coming to the team was that he could quickly take over the third spot in the offense. Palmer has a firm hold on the third spot on the depth chart over Johnston.
The third-year receiver rested most of the preseason with the starters, likely securing his place in the starting lineup in this new heavy passing offense. Palmer is being overlooked in the dynasty. He should be a buy-low option.
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