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The Rookie Report: Preseason Week 2

I’m back again! Ready for my second installment of The Rookie Report where I try to highlight as many rookie performances as I can to give some shine to rookies of any pedigree who perform well in preseason. Take a read through for some guys you may not have heard of and potential deep stashes for your dynasty rosters. If you haven’t already check out my article from last week released in two parts feel free to do so for a recap of week 1. There are some new faces and some recurring guys from the previous week. Coming into week 3 of preseason it’s important to take note of these guys in case you see them flash in Week 3 it could be a sign of things to come for the season as well. If guys weren’t discussed its likely because they had bad games or were injured. So take the dive and as always let me know what you think!

Washington Redskins & New York Jets

Sam Darnold got the start for the New York Jets and showed well. This time around you saw a little more of a challenge working with the 1st team offense. He looked great in the pocket and made a number of plays evading the rush and delivering the ball where it needed to be. Worked through progressions, and made a couple of really nice throws to convert third downs. I’m still projecting him as the opening day starter and has looked like he deserves it thus far.

8/11, 62 yards, INT.


Cam Sims is a wide receiver fighting for a roster spot battling with the likes of Trey Quinn and Simmie Cobbs Jr. This game he looked really good working with the 2nd and 3rd team to really showing the team what he can do. He made a great contested catch at the end of the half for a touchdown that was unfortunately called back on an illegal formation penalty. Then got a fade that he couldn’t reel in thereafter. He redeemed himself at the end of the game with a clutch catch, on a back shoulder throw, to put them in field goal range in the 4th quarter to win the game. He showed he can go up and get it, and really works to make plays. He’s someone to look out for but is a longshot with some talent ahead of him. He would have to look really good to move past them on the depth chart and I feel he has done that in some respects.

3 rec, 57 yards on 6 targets.


Trey Quinn as well was working with the 2nd and 3rd team offense and made a couple of nice catches. He really showed off his polished routes and was routinely open. Looking for him to be a potential slot option for the redskins. If anything happened to Crowder, Quinn could fill in quite nicely. Like Sims, he’s a deep stash and we may not even know if he makes the roster until after week 4 but I would say he’s got the inside track as it stands right now.

3 rec, 36 yards on 4 targets



Pittsburgh Steelers vs Green Bay Packers


Mason Rudolph got the start this week and needless to say got off to a rough beginning throwing a pick-six on his very first snap of the game. It wasn’t a good performance for Rudolph but it was encouraging to see him getting a shot with the first team offense. He led a couple of good drives, playing throughout the first half. He connected with JuJu Smith-Schuster for a nice short touchdown in a tight window. He had issues working through progressions at times and had moments of tunnel vision. He tried to fit the ball into some tight windows and stared down receivers a little too much. I wouldn’t suspect he will be upgraded to 2nd string over Joshua Dobbs because Dobbs did look good in the 2nd half but we will have to monitor the situation.

5/12, 47 yards, TD, INT. 1 car, 3 yards


Marquez Valdez-Scantling (MVS), J’Mon Moore and Equanimeous St. Brown(ESB) all had uninspiring games. MVS caught his lone target on a nice route for 15 yards. ESB had trouble separating and couldn’t haul in a couple of contested targets. Moore continues to struggle in game action and hasn’t quite caught his stride in games. This seems like Jake Kumerows job to lose although he did injure his shoulder in this game so the competition may still be wide open. To this point, MVS has been the most impressive in my opinion but this was a very underwhelming game for all three of them who saw a lot more action last week. Week 3 will really tell us who is relevant and who isn’t because we will see more action from the starters. All 3 ran with the 2nd and 3rd teams and I would expect more of the same in the coming weeks.

Combined for 2 rec, 27 yards on 8 targets. 1/1 MVS 15 yards, 1/5 ESB 12 yards, 0/2 Moore.


Jalen Samuels didn’t see much action until the 2nd half when he was the primary ball carrier. He did see limited snaps in the first half when he caught a nice screen and ran for a first down. He looked alright running inside but should be a real weapon in the screen and short passing game. He was able to find pay dirt on a nice tough touchdown run but seems to be buried when it comes to getting carries because James Connor had a really good game to help cement his place as Le’veon Bell’s primary backup.

9 car, 38 yards, TD. 3 rec, 13 yards on 4 targets.


James Washington worked exclusively with the 3rd team and had a really good game. He didn’t fare well with Mason Rudolph surprisingly but when he got into the action with Josh Dobbs he really put on a show. Unleashing probably the most impressive performance from preseason week 2 of any rookie. He caught two very difficult balls for touchdowns and made plays all over the field going over 100 yards for the first time in his young career. This performance should get him some time with the 1st team in 3 and 4 receiver sets next week now that he has been promoted to the 2nd team. I hope to see what he can do working with Big Ben if he’s available for week 3 after suffering a head injury earlier in the week.

5 rec, 114 yards, 2 TDs on 7 targets


Philadelphia Eagles vs New England Patriots


Dallas Goedert is going to be a real problem for fantasy owners this season. He put together another encouraging performance running routes all over the field, working both in-line and split out again in week 2. He may end up earning a decent role even when Zach Ertz is the primary tight end for the Eagles. This could be bad news if it ends up being the case. I love Ertz, he is going to be a top-tier tight end but it doesn’t benefit Ertz to see his backup playing so well in the preseason. Week 3 will be very telling to see what his snap shares look like and if they are both used together or if it’s the Zach Ertz show with Goedert coming in once Ertz comes out.

3 rec, 57 yards on 6 targets.


New York Giants vs. Detroit Lions


Kerryon Johnson had another solid game against the Giants for his second game of preseason action. The Lions had a strange game plan where the top 3 backs worked with the first and second team offense throughout most of the game. This allowed them all to get looks in different situations, and management to evaluate them fairly. Kerryon didn’t have as good of a game as last week but still looks like the most complete back by far on the team. If he can manage to grab hold of primary rushing duties he could really surprise people. I would expect him to be involved in the passing game because he has looked very polished running routes and catching the ball out of the backfield. Week 3 will hopefully tell us more but this will likely be a headache of a backfield all season.

4 car, 9 yards.1 rec, 10 yards on 1 target.


Robert Martin has made this list for the 2nd time, something I didn’t necessarily expect to continue but he looked good again. He played with the 3rd team offense and everything I mentioned last week about his vision inside was evident this week as well. He had a great touchdown run where he started left and cut back across the line beating contain to get the edge and run it in from 20 yards out. He’s still a deep stash at best because of what is ahead of him, but these flyer guys move teams and you never know where a new opportunity may come up.

7 car, 47 yards, TD.


Brandon Powell is another UDFA that I have noticed for two weeks in a row now. You need to look at him as a talented slot receiver and return man. He isn’t getting a lot of opportunities beyond the 3rd team but has been heavily targeted with the most of anyone on the team in both preseason games. If anything were to happen to Golden Tate, should Powell make the roster, he would probably be the next man to fill that slot role. Still a deep stash but look out for him in week 4 of the preseason when I could see him getting a lot of looks while he tries to make the team as a depth receiver and return man.

4 rec, 20 yards on 6 targets


Atlanta Falcons vs Kansas City Chiefs


Calvin Ridley finally showed us a little bit of what he can do this week. He assumed the Julio Jones role and did not disappoint. He was able to get open with ease, showed us a bit of his deep speed and even found a soft spot in a zone to sneak his way into the end zone. To top it off he led off the game with a solid kickoff return. He played almost exclusively with the 1st team and a bit with the 2nd team and took a seat. Ridley is going to have a sizeable in the falcon’s offense and all indications are pointing in the right direction for him this preseason. If Julio does play, we will see how Ridley looks with a complete offense in place rather than a mix of 1st and 2nd team guys as we saw this week. Love Ridley, can’t wait to see how he improves.

3 rec, 49 yards, TD on 6 targets.


Ito Smith seems to have cemented himself as the 3rd string running back for the Atlanta Falcons. For the second week in a row, we have seen Ito follow Tevin Coleman when it comes to rushing work. He did receive a target as well but he couldn’t quite real it in and stay in bounds. He looked great running inside and was able to find holes with little space but did get stuffed at times closer to the goal line. He may not be very fantasy relevant this season without an injury but get used to his name because once Tevin Coleman leaves in the offseason you will see a lot of Ito taking his role in the offense.

13 car, 34 yards. 1 target


Los Angeles Rams vs Oakland Raiders


John Kelly got a lot of action with the starters not playing in this game. Malcolm Brown started the game with the 2nd team and shortly after Kelly came in and played the remainder of the game as the primary ball carrier assuming the Todd Gurley role in the offense. He looked every bit the part and god forbid if Gurley did ever get hurt Kelly would absolutely feast. He looked great running the ball both inside and when he got to the edge. His balance and agility in the hole are one of his best traits and I wouldn’t be shocked if he saw the field a little bit this year, but with Gurley ahead of him he just doesn’t have much value, despite looking really good so far in preseason.

18 car, 56 yards, TD. 2 rec, 4 yards, on 2 targets


Chris Warren had another great day on the ground for the Raiders. He had multiple chunk plays on the ground and I love seeing how he works north and south but is still able to bounce it outside if space is there. He had a big day rushing for over 100 yards and a touchdown. It’s really hard to say if he even has a shot to earn carries for the raiders with a lot of guys ahead of him on the depth chart. He didn’t see the field until the 2nd half with the 3rd team but had a lot of chunk plays and it worth monitoring going forward to see if he stays with the raiders or moves on to somewhere else.

18 car, 110 yards, TD. 1 rec, 7 yards on 1 target.


49ers vs Texans


Dante Pettis has had a rough preseason, despite getting open frequently there have been quite a few throws that simply haven’t been in the right spot. He played with the 1st and 2nd team in week 2. Pettis was able to make a nice sliding catch on a comeback and won on a slant route where he torched the DB with his quick release. On the negative end, he burnt a DB but was overthrown by C.J. Beathard, despite having 2 steps on the DB which would have gone for a touchdown. He looked good returning punts as well and I am excited to see more of that throughout the year. With more Jimmy coming this week, see if he and Pettis can get on the same page as there have been some troubles with the backup QBs missing him when he is wide open.

2 rec, 32 yards on 4 targets.


Dolphins vs Panthers


DJ Moore was a relative non-factor in this game. He played the entire first half and only got 2 targets, one of which was on near Hail Mary right before the half that wasn’t very well thrown so it was a little disappointing. Overall it is just good to see he is starting and playing with the 1st team. We should see DJ a lot next week and hopefully see him make some plays as well.

2 targets


There was an Ian Thomas sighting this week with the tight end for the Panthers coming across the face of his QB on a drag and took it 20 yards to the house. The assumed replacement for Greg Olsen has time to learn the offense while Greg is still there but he definitely looked the part on his touchdown play. He also had another nice play in the middle for a near first down but apart from that wasn’t involved much. He played with the 1st team offense sparingly but saw a little more action in the second half with limited results.

2 rec, 35 yards, TD on 2 targets.



Cincinnati Bengals vs Dallas Cowboys


Michael Gallup the future leading receiver for the Cowboys in 2018 had a decent game against the woeful Bengals. One play that really caught my eye was the very first third down of the game for the Cowboys. Dak took the snap, turned right, and fired a dart to Gallup on a slant for a first down. Getting those early looks are great for his chances to be a go-to guy when the season comes. There is still Cole Beasley who will get lots of crucial down work but I would expect Michael Gallup to have a shot at making some big plays this year and if he can deliver may even work his way to become that go-to guy for Dak Prescott. He was certainly looking the part of the X receiver against the Bengals despite his limited touches. He played the whole first half and should see even more work next week in Week 3.

2 rec, 16 yards on 5 targets.


Minnesota Vikings vs Jacksonville Jaguars


Mike Boone & Roc Thomas are the two running backs for the Vikings competing for a roster spot. Boone was the 2nd running back to check into the game ahead of Roc Thomas who had a great week against the Broncos in week 1. This week Boone put together a much better performance than he did prior and the two of them spit carries after the dumpster fire that was the first team offense got off the field. He looked like a better runner then Roc Thomas for this game at least Boone had a lot of chunk plays on the ground and broke a lot of arm tackles on the way to big gains and overall looked very good. Thomas meanwhile was solid in the screen game again and looked good between the tackles as well. In a perfect world, both backs will make the roster and the Vikings just cut Latavius Murray who fumbled twice on back to back drives in this game. I would expect a healthy dose of the backs in preseason week 4 but it’s unlikely the two see much work next week because Dalvin cook will likely play to get some game action prior to the season.

Boone: 13 car, 91 yards, TD. 1 rec, 1 yard on 1 target

Thomas: 5 car, 25 yards. 2 rec, 12 yards on 4 targets


DJ Chark didn’t do much of anything in this game. The first team offense played a lot of the first half and Chark didn’t see many snaps with them. Even once the 2nd team came in he didn’t get going much and it doesn’t seem likely that he will get much run until week 4 of the preseason. He seems to be firmly behind Westbrook, Moncrief, Lee, and Cole even though they don’t look that great either. Both offenses had a rough week against clearly superior defenses creating a very ugly game for both teams. Hopefully, we will see more from Chark next week but it just doesn’t seem likely the way things have been going thus far.

2 rec, 10 yards on 4 targets


Cleveland Browns vs Buffalo Bills


Baker Mayfield had a decent performance in his 2nd preseason game. He was able to find guys when he had a clean pocket but faced a lot of pressure, and was running for his life out there quite a bit. He took the Giants to school and while he didn’t really make any major mistakes his receivers didn’t do him any favors either. He made some good plays, had some nice throws. Will look to see more of him next week see if he can be effective in some limited action for week 3.

7/13, 75 yards. 4 car, 9 yards


Josh Allen was able to get reps with the first team skills position players this week and with the potential injury to AJ McCarron he seems to be slotted in as the opening day starter (whether he is ready or not) for the Bills this season. He looked really good against the Browns and made an effort to keep it simple rather than heaving it downfield. A lot of his throws were of the short and intermediate range, finishing with a solid stat line and another great performance for a rookie quarterback. He was able to convert a touchdown showing off some nice pocket mobility. Look for Allen to play a lot in week 3 to earn the starting nod for week 1 of the regular season if McCarron can’t go.

9/13, 60 yards, TD. 3 car, 18 yards.


Nick Chubb had a MUCH better performance than his game in week 1. The offensive line looked much improved and was actually able to open holes for all of the running backs for the Browns. The biggest issue with Chubb is just his game speed. This was a bit of a concern coming in but he ran well at the combine. He still looks a little slow but can push that pile so it’s not overly concerning for the long term. He had some chunk plays and was really showing off his vision in this game compared to last. He was able to punch in a TD after just falling short on a long run. Chubb in all likelihood isn’t going to play much this year as Carlos Hyde looked really good in this game as well but next week if he does get some carries it could be a sign of things to come in the regular season.

11 car, 53 yards, TD. 2 rec, 0 yards on 2 targets


Marcus Murphy again came in and showed out, running the ball very effectively against the Browns in week 2. He played with the second team and was splitting work with Chris Ivory and looked much better. Even though it is unlikely there is always a small chance he could take over as the LeSean McCoy backup because they have similar skillsets. Ivory is the power back who can bring the hurt in the red zone that shady has not been given in recent years. There is always a chance of a McCoy injury and this year is no exception, with the added speculation about the incident with his girlfriend that occurred this offseason, he could also be facing a suspension. There is a lot of reasons to look at Marcus Murphy as a deep stash but most importantly he has impressed and based off when he saw touches he is the clear-cut 2nd/3rd option among the Bills running backs.

4 car, 39 yards. 1 target


Arizona Cardinals vs New Orleans Saints


Josh Rosen showed some improvement in week 2 working with both the 1st and 2nd team offense against the Saints. He did not play with David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald but he showed off his arm throwing passes all over the field to fellow rookie Christian Kirk. The two of them connected for a great touchdown on a rocket throw from Rosen. I still like Josh a lot and think he can be a great fantasy quarterback. It doesn’t seem likely he will be that this year though. Rosen has looked good but is a little indecisive in the pocket. His ball placement and touch really get him out of trouble when throwing in a tight window. He should see some more action in week 3 and likely some with the true 1st team so I am very excited to see how Rosen can look with all of his weapons.

10/16, 107 yards, TD


Christian Kirk got a lot more involved in this game, connecting with Rosen and Bradford throughout the first half. Kirk is the future of the slot position in Arizona and was looking good making a couple of tough first down catches in the middle of the field. As stated he also connected with Rosen for his first career touchdown and I expect that connection to continue to blossom and be fruitful for fantasy owners for years to come. They look good now and it’s going to be even better once they develop a feel for each other’s games.

4 rec, 49 yards, TD on 6 targets


Tre’Quan Smith fighting for that WR2 slot on the New Orleans Saints offense continues to make plays in the preseason. While it is still a longshot for him to be given that role out of the gate because Meredith is still looming, there are reasons to be optimistic. He was able to work with the 2nd and 3rd team offense and makes plays to move the chains, contested catches and looks good in open space. He’s still a little raw but has a lot of upside for the Saints. If Smith isn’t on your radar yet, he should be because while he may not get significant playing time Sean Payton has no loyalty to anyone not named Michael Thomas. If he thinks Smith will produce Payton will find a way to work him in. Look for him to make some plays in week 3 because he’s putting up consistent and good numbers, more than a lot of other rookie receivers can say.

3 rec, 60 yards on 4 targets


Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Tennessee Titans


Justin Watson was a 5th round draft pick by the Buccaneers who had great production in college but coming from an ivy league school and his lack of competition he went mostly under the radar. His pro day and skillset impressed the Bucs enough to draft him and in his second game action, he showed what got him drafted. He played with Jameis Winston and the 2nd team for most of the game and was able to work the middle of the field and the outside connecting with Jameis for a touchdown late in the first half. He doesn’t have a lot of flash to his game but is a reliable target who could see some looks this year despite the crowd of guys ahead of him. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him make a few plays this year if injuries occur but he is on my radar and has been for quite some time as a deep, deep sleeper because he is big, strong and has great hands. We probably won’t see much more of him until week 4 of preseason but he seems like a lock to make the team as a depth receiver.

4 rec, 54 yards, TD on 5 targets


Seahawks vs Chargers


Detrez Newsome was filling in for Austin Ekeler this week and may be a long shot to make the roster for the Chargers. He worked with the 1st team limitedly spelling Melvin Gordon and also took all of the work in the 2nd half for the Chargers. He had an impressive performance even though he was playing against the 3rd team both running the ball and in the passing game. He did have some issues getting stuffed a couple of times but also had some big plays to close out the game late in the 4th. I would monitor what happens with Newsome because he could be an intriguing option if anything were to linger with Ekeler into the season. Justin Jackson was also drafted by the Chargers but has yet to see any game action due to injury.

19 car, 78 yards. 3 rec, 22 yards on 3 targets.


Chicago Bears vs Denver Broncos


Royce Freeman split reps again with Booker but got some additional looks with the 2nd team offense in the first half after Case Keenum went to the bench. He is without a doubt the best runner on the team and I would expect him to have the role in full near the beginning of the year, if not to start the year. He had a really nice short touchdown run where he showed his patience and hit the hole with authority to pound it in. He also caught a pass on the flats for decent gain as well. He needs one more good showing in week 3 and if he can pull away from Booker in that game he should earnt he role of the starter to open the year. Look very closely at this battle this week.

6 car, 20 yards, TD. 1 rec, 6 yards on 1 target


Courtland Sutton had a much better showing this playing with a competent quarterback and got reps with both Keenum and Kelly. The highlight of his night was a nice catch on a seam route out of the slot, where he got a nice release and was able to bring it in for a touchdown. There was also another deep pattern where I felt he could have out-muscled the DB and came down with the ball but he couldn’t make the play. He did still draw a pass interference penalty that set up Royce Freeman’s touchdown. Either Sutton or Hamilton could see reps as the WR3 this year, my bet is still on Hamilton as he filled in for Demaryius Thomas this week and saw more targets but next week may give us a better idea of their fits in the offense if Thomas is back in the starting lineup.

1 rec, 16 yards, TD on 1 target.


DaeSean Hamilton had a much larger role in preseason week 2 and was open a lot throughout the first half action he got. He should have had a much bigger game after Keenum missed him a couple of times, most notably on a deep pass that would have been for a touchdown but was overthrown. He had a good game in spite of his statistical line and filled in for Demaryius Thomas in his absence. Hamilton looks poised to have a sizeable role in the offense. Based off this game he seems to be ahead of Courtland Sutton on the pecking order but that can change very quickly as many have reported that both have been impressive in camp thus far. This week will give us the best chance to see understand how the two will be used this season. Despite that, it will still be a very fluid situation and you cannot projection too far ahead because things could change at any moment, as both are very talented players.

1 rec, 18 yards on 2 targets


Anthony Miller saw a little more action in his second preseason game playing the first half with the top two quarterbacks for the bears. He was dynamic in college and I’m still waiting for that big WOW play but he was impressive. He had a really nice high point catch on the sideline for 15 yards and showed his open-field ability on a drag, stiff-armed a defender and coasted to a first down during a 2-minute drill before the half. Miller could wind up being an absolute steal both in dynasty and redraft because he’s got so much talent, it’s just very unclear how many looks he will get behind Allen Robinson, Tarik Cohan, and Trey Burton. The new look bears are an exciting team this year and I was happy to see Miller get involved in week 2, and hope to see some more next week.

3 rec, 33 yards on 4 targets.


Phillip Lindsey continues to run wild as the 3rd string running back on the Broncos. He logged action with the 1st and 2nd team coming in for a handful of plays while Keenum was in the game and played more with Kelly as the primary back once Royce and Booker took a break. Lindsey is going to make this roster without a doubt and don’t be surprised at all if he plays a role in the passing game. He was lined up in the slot at times and ran routes out of the backfield as well. A great change of pace back for the bigger Freeman and I really like them as a 1,2 punch. He also looked alright in the return game, bringing back both punts and kicks for the Broncos and they should be able to find some way to use the dynamic Lindsey in 2018.

6 car, 32 yards.


Baltimore Ravens vs Indianapolis Colts


Lamar Jackson continues to show that Joe Flacco is in no danger of losing his starting job any time soon. While Jackson is a playmaker with his legs he just doesn’t have the accuracy yet to be a viable starter in the NFL. Dynasty owners should have been expecting this as it was brought up often in his scouting report. Similar to Josh Allen who is a little wild but has looked good, Jackson has been a lot wild and hasn’t looked that good. Nobody can expect him to complete 65% of his passes but he is missing by a lot and while I am not writing him off by any means he may not be ready as soon as some fantasy owners hoped he could be. He made a really nice throw for a touchdown pass but outside of that, it was tough sledding for Jackson in week 2 of the preseason.

7/15, 49 yards, TD. 4 car, 26 yards.

Hayden Hurst again played with the 1st team offense but wasn’t targeted by Joe Flacco, it wasn’t until he played with Lamar Jackson that he saw his 2 targets. He can block, run decent routes and should see the field early for the Ravens. For those of you who bought him cheap this offseason, it is looking like a good buy heading into preseason week 3. Flacco loves his tight ends and it is great for any rookie TE, even an older one, to see the field a lot in their first year. Keep an eye on Hurst as I might be looking to buy if he struggles in the first few games of the season as his price is still quite low.

1 rec, 15 yards on 2 targets


Jordan Wilkins was the 3rd running back to enter the game for the Colts and didn’t get any work with Andrew Luck. He has firmly worked past Nyheim Hines who has looked atrocious this preseason. Wilkins hasn’t served much better in all honesty. He ran the ball with some effectiveness but fumbled on the goal line. While that did not hurt the Colts, who recovered it in the end zone, it’s still not a good sign. For those who thought that Marlon Mack was in any danger of losing carries to Wilkins, I think it’s safe to say for the time being Mack should still be the starter once he is healthy. Unless Wilkins has a monster breakout game in week 3, when I don’t expect him to get much action, he seems firmly behind Christine Michael and likely Robert Turbin for rushing duties this year. I may look at picking up Turbin as a deep stash because if Mack stinks like everyone seems to thinks (except for me) and nobody else can get going, Turbin may get a shot after his suspension. Just something to think about.

7 car, 26 yards. 2 rec, 17 yards on 2 targets


That’s all from for the Rookie Report for preseason Week 2. Stay tuned for next week and look out for some of these guys in week 3 games, in case they continue to turn heads. It may be a little shorter next week with a lot of veterans coming back into the fold preparing for the start of the season but the ones who show out next week are the most important when predicting in-season value. Hit me up on twitter if you have any questions or to talk the guys you are interested in.


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