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For sure, I am going through every Week 4 game in detail and doing my typical complaining/analysis. All those recaps will sprinkle in over the next week…starting with Cardinals vs. Kyle Sloter hitting today (didn’t you stay up until 3am ET re-watching all Sloter’s throws and making notes? Me too!!).
However, I will spend this day skimming over all 15 games with concentration on pressing issue dyansty/fantasy players — so that I can update the draft guide and dynasty rookie draft rankings ASAP.
As I do that, I want to share my findings now…I don’t want you to wait for days until that particular game is recapped by me. So, I am going through all 15 games/30 teams and focusing on one player’s night first…a player of my choosing/what I think is most pressing, and then I’ll give you a line or two (or ten) on what I saw. A lightning round, quick hit so we all have the latest info.
I’m not going to wait until I do all 30 players. I am going do one, report on it, then do the next, then update this post. The number in the upper right of the title is how many player notes have been added so you can see at a glance where we are at.
We start with…
— RB Samaje Perine, Washington (5-3-0, 1-3-0/1) — He started in this game and that’s not a good sign for now. It’s not terrible, but it’s ‘message sent’ — you’re not a part of the Week 1 plan. It’s OK, Jordan Howard was dissed and Jeremy Langford‘protected’ last preseason. Things change fast when the talent gap is obvious.
Perine started with O-Linemen I’ve never heard of/don’t remember (but one)…and that’s saying something. There was no running room at all, the line of scrimmage was corrupted often. He had no breakout moment so his ADP sinks further…which is a good thing. It also means those of you in dynasty that don’t have him currently and have the roster room to wait – the price is dirt cheap today. The lowest it’s been all year possibly. He’s like a 5-6 out of 10 value in the trade market…a 2018 2nd-round rookie draft pick would do the trick, I suspect…if you want in.
One note – Perine caught a miss thrown screen pass adeptly in this game. It was a reminder that Perine has way better hands in the passing game than anyone gave him credit. He is the full complement, three down back when it is his time. His time might not be until Weeks 3-4-5.
— RB Jeremy McNichols, Tampa Bay (10-36-0, 0-0-0/1) – Wow, talk about buried. McNichols didn’t even get the luxury of a start in this game. Peyton Barber did. When did McNichols get his first touch? 1:30 left before half.
And ‘wow’, if you want a definition of listless, tentative performance it was this one turned in by McNichols. I thought McNichols was a hidden gem type RB from this 2017 NFL Draft class but he’s been a disaster. He looks like he’s dropped 10 pounds and runs like my grandma. I don’t think McNichols will make the team – his preseason has been that bad, capped by this do-or-die dud performance.
The thing is – he’s a great receiver and has barely seen a pass this preseason – a sure sign of death for him with Tampa. The drop in our dynasty rookie draft rankings continues for JMN.
— QB Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago (2-5 for 10 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) – Because when you trade your future away to grab a guy like Trubisky…you want him to play meaningless snaps with no blocking against 1st/2nd team Browns defenders. Trubisky handed the ball off like nine times in a row over three series until late in the 1st throwing his first pass. Two of incompletions were drops. The game was a mess because it was Trub & Scrubs playing. All this tells you is John Fox has NO intention of pushing Trubisky.
Come see me around Week 5, John.
— WR Victor Bolden, San Francisco (1 carry, -4 yards, 1-6-0/2, 94-yard PR TD) – I think Bolden made the team in this one…even John Lynch isn’t dumb enough to cut Bolden after this quality of a preseason. Bolden had a 94-yard punt return TD here, and 100+ yard kick return last week. He’s actually an underrated WR, and we finally saw the 49ers give him more of a push in this game on offense – an early carry and a few targets…making a sweet shoestring catch on his lone grab.
As much as I cannot see the 49ers cutting him, the Falcons dropped J.D. McKissic last preseason in much the same manner/results in the preseason…and J.D. was a terrific receiver in the preseason, plus an ace return man. Seattle says, “Thank you.” Let’s see what Lynch does…I hope he drops him and tries to get cute, but keeps Joe Williams.
— TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NY Jets (2-32-1/2) – Two catches, a drag across the middle dumped off to him and then he ran past some people nicely. An encouraging TD catch…blew past the LB in coverage and high pointed a grab leaping up – that’s the way to use him. He looks good, but I have not seen ‘wow’ from him this preseason – just looks good, back to caring. I’ve been hoping for something to really get pumped about but he just looks good/fine.
— WR John Ross, Cincinnati (1-25-0, 1-6-0/1) – John Ross caught a simple pass early, and a few plays later Ross took an end around for 25-yards. Watching the 25-yarder, I didn’t see any ‘wow’ factor. I’m sitting there waiting to see ‘wow’ from a 4.2+ runner. I see a Will Fuller/Philip Dorsett developing. I need to see more because he’s barely played this preseason, but that’s where I’m at now.
Of course, Ross hurt his ankle on his running play…I didn’t see any hard hitting action. Ross is always banged up it seems…
— LB Anthony Walker, Indianapolis (7 tackles) – Played a lot in this game, which makes me think he isn’t a ‘starter’ Week 1. Looked fine, but starting Week 1 doesn’t look in the cards, I suspect.
— RB C.J. Prosise, Seattle (3-5-0, 1-3-0/1) – I guess he looked fine. Chris Carson started over him in this game, took work and then CJP came in and did little…but no blocking. I guess he’s good in a totally congested backfield.
— LB LaTroy Lewis, Oakland (9 tackles, 1 sack) – I saw he led the Raiders in tackles and it struck me odd. He’s a UDFA rookie DE prospect but was playing like OLB – he’s very stiff chasing plays. He was around the action but I don’t think he became a sleeper here. Just a solid stat line.
— WR Marcus Johnson, Philly (1-41-1/4) – Looked solid all preseason, but did nothing of huge note here. Had a 41-yard TD but it was a broken play and he caught a short pass and ran it in with no defenders near.
— QB Brandon Allen, Jacksonville (22-31 for 265 yards, 1 TD/3 INT) – Full start, big moment…terrible stat line. Allen was probably told to chuck it to Dede Westbrook as much as possible (9 targets between them)…sometimes they connected, and one red zone alley oop and Westbrook was bumped away and the DB made a one-hand pick. 2nd INT was a bad throw and a bad route by the receiver. Last INT was a tipped pass by D-Line and up into the air for another end zone pick. Allen was OK but didn’t make a case to shock the world.
— TE Robert Tonyan, Detroit (2-12-0/3) – 6’4.5″ WR/TE prospect. Was a slow WR, and a semi-interesting TE convert. He looks athletic but not ‘wow’ athletic. A deep sleeper, someday…maybe. Likely, to be cut and put on P-Squad.
— RB Jonathan Williams, Buffalo (10-53-1) – Had a nice 21-yard TD run. He looks like every mediocre, bigger RB that has ever played in the NFL. He’s OK not a potential star.
— RB Terrell Watson, Pittsburgh (19-89-0, 2-5-0/2) – Congratulations to Terrell. The Steelers appear to be keeping him. Most will point to James Conner as the Le’Veon ‘handcuff’….umm, nope.
— WR Curtis Samuel, Carolina (2-5-0/2) – It’s great to see Samuel get two specific designed bubble screens, but not much space to work in. However, you hate to see him working a lot 4th preseason game and then he gets hurt…again. I can’t get excited yet because he hasn’t been on the field enough. 2017 is slipping away from him.
— WR Austin Carr, New England (3-48-1/3) – Started, didn’t get targeted for a bit and just looked great taking over a series punctuated by a score. Great WR. I assume he’s making the team…it would be a shock, and great free player available.
— WR Travis Rudolph, NY Giants (3-46-0/4) – The rookie has looked terrific this preseason. One of the most surprising to me guys. His story is more 2018 but he’s going to be a starter in the NFL soon.
— QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City (9-16 for 183 yards, 1 TD/0 INT) – Everything you wanted to know about Patrick Mahomes working in the NFL happened in this game if you watched every throw. Too much to type here, but I can say this – there’s a bizarre problem with Mahomes, and it’s fascinating to me. Some guys get the media behind them and some don’t – Mahomes has the media behind him and it’s only a matter of time before they force a QB controversy here.
— WR Taywan Taylor, Tennessee (0-0-0/1) – Starting in Week 4 after a ton of playing time the first three games…I think it means Taywan is not a starter. He’s not being protected or give ‘status’. The Titans probably open up with Decker-Rishard 1-2…sprinkle Taywan and Harry Douglas (or whomever) and slowly bring in Corey Davis…and then Davis will start as well. Taywan is the 4th wheel WR here with Corey Davis back.
— GB Rookie RBs…
Jamaal Williams started this Week 4 game and still looks the most polished, and is displaying nice receiving skills.
Davante Mays entered in after Williams, and looks a hair better than Williams, as an athlete, to me.
Aaron Jones entered third is a guy likely headed to a practice squad, potentially.
— WR Brandon Shippen, LA Rams (7-58-0/9) – was by far the leading receiver in this game. Not a bad little receiver (5’11″/195), 2nd-year out of Temple. No way he makes this team but might be put on the practice squad.
— WR Jakeem Grant, Miami (4-141-1/6) – Has been a star of the preseason and capped things off in style in this one. SO many things to say, let me hit them in bullets…
*First pass of the game went to Grant.
*2nd catch was a highlight reel with a defender draped.
*Two passes he drew PI on, one a potential TD
*His long TD…he beat a DB by 5+ yards off the snap.
Grant has made a huge/massive leap from year one to two.
— IDP LB Ben Gedeon, Minnesota (1 tackle) – I like Gedeon…but starting already? Over Eric Wilson? Gedeon is the heavy-footed guy Zimmer likes to take Chad Greenway’s too slow (late in his career) ways at ILB. Gedeon plays the run nice up the middle but you could see he’s about a step behind in pursuits. I’m rooting for him but this doesn’t look great.