2022 Dynasty/Fantasy Preseason Week 3 Game Report: Texans 17, 49ers 0 (RC in-season premium)
We got the Texans (mostly) 1st-team with Davis Mills for a half vs. SF’s 2nd-team defense. We got the 49ers 1st-team offense with Trey Lance for a quarter vs. the Texans mix of 1st/2nd-team defense. We got a lot more material to work with here than the other THU night preseason Week 3 game (KC-GB).
The Texans played pretty well on both sides of the ball. They shut the 49ers out, but more to the point -- they shut the 49ers 1st-team offense out. The 49ers were not running the best plays and going with Trey Sermon in spots doesn’t help the offense either, but SF was giving an offensive effort…but the Texans were energized and aggressive and just outplayed SF here.
The Texans seem on their way to a sporadic 2022…flashes of something, but then sloppiness and getting overwhelmed the moment you think they might be getting it together. They’ll win some games they’re decent underdogs in…then they lose to teams they need to beat/are favored against. The Texans are not the worst team in the NFL…I don’t think they’re in the running for it either. I think they’re one-step above that ‘worst’ group now.
SF was going through the motions here. They looked OK…they played vanilla. It wasn’t horrible, just a bit flat and outmanned with too many 2nd-teamers and some bad luck. They’ll be fine…but are starting to worry me on the O-Line.
Dynasty/Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Both starting QBs worked in this one, we’ll start there…
Trey Lance (7-11 for 49 yards, 0 TD/0 INT, 1-1-0) played an innocent enough quarter of football. Three series…and no points is ‘not good’. But I could make excuses -- the first drive ended when Lance took a deep shot at Deebo on 3rd-down, and Samuel was being held by his left arm and tried to make a catch with his free (right) arm, but he couldn’t -- no penalty called. I mean, it wasn’t questionable it was shocking that it wasn’t called…but it was missed by the ref. Had that P.I. been called their drive would have rolled on and been in Texans territory and might have scored, who knows?
The 2nd-drive ended on a 3rd & 3 dump pass to the RB, who made it 2 yards and that led to a punt. Final drive, SF drove from their own 12 into Houston territory…but on 4th & 2, Trey Sermon was tackled in the backfield to end the drive.
Lance didn’t do anything amazing or damaging this game. They ran the ball a good amount. He was under pressure a lot, so that’s not good -- but he made a few plays scrambling out.
All in all, for Lance’s preseason 2022, I walk away still a bit ‘unsure’. I saw signs that he’s developing and that he’s just a raw playmaker…but sometimes he looks like he’s still too raw and can still be inaccurate. I think it’s a bit like Cam Newton -- I didn’t like his style of play, I like Tom Brady-like QBs…but Cam, in his heyday, made plays…sometimes magical plays and was good for FF, but a lot of time sucked for the NFL. Lance is better than Cam. Is Lance going to be a QB1/top 12 QB this season for FF? I dunno, maybe? I assume, but I won’t swear to it.
My internal monologue on Lance is this:
1) He should be a QB1, especially in 4pts per pass TD.
2) He could just erratically be between QB9-14 all season.
3) If one QB flies up from outside the given (current) top 10 QB FF-names and finishes with a shock #1-2-3 (in 4pts pass TD) scoring rate…it’s gonna be Trey Lance.
I think Lance looks good, better overall as he goes…still raw and erratic some, but not as raw and erratic as last season…and sometimes that rawness and erraticness works in his favor and he just makes plays.
I don’t want him as my QB1, but I can live with it/the risk in 4pts per pass TD…I do want him as my QB2 to see if he does pop to that high-end 4pts pass TD production, for the cost.
Davis Mills (6-10 for 58 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) had a decent half of play for Houston. Had a TD pass in Chris Moore’s hands in the end zone, but then Moore bobbled it, and it went up for grabs, and an incoming corner came in and it landed in his lap for an easy pick…that was a TD turned pick. Changed Mills’ potential stat line 2/0 to 1/1. It doesn’t matter. Mills was fine and had some really nice throws in this game.
One of the revelations of the preseason, among the rookie QBs has been 49ers 7th-rounder Brock Purdy (13-20 for 182 yards, 0 TD/1 INT, 3-10-0)…he also suffered a dropped TD pass in the game…not that it matters. Purdy looks confident and plays confident…he has great mechanics and a nice arm, despite his diminutive size. Ross Jacobs and I always have ‘liked’ Purdy, watching his college work, but we always discounted him away for his size -- but not anymore. Purdy is legit for the NFL…not a star but capable. He’s only going to get better. A great backup grab by Kyle Shanahan.
After what I’ve seen of the 2022 preseason, here’s my (semi-shocking) take on the QBs/how I’d rank them in my gut/head for the NFL, not FF (right now). All subject to change as they develop/get acclimated, but based on my college scouting + their glimpses in the preseason:
1) Kenny Pickett
2) Malik Willis
3) Bailey Zappe
4) Sam Howell
5) Brock Purdy
6) Skylar Thompson
7) Desmond Ridder
8) Anthony Brown
9) Matt Corral
Re-doing the 2021 draft class…
1) Trey Lance
2) Davis Mills
(a big drop off)
3) Zach Wilson…could be #1…could be #6. I think he’s more heading/acting his way towards #6.
4) Mac Jones
5) Trevor Lawrence
6) Justin Fields
-- The one true Week 1 lead back from this rookie class, why it turned out to be Dameon Pierce (6-37-1) after all. He’s defeated Rex-Mack. A good sign that the new Houston regime ‘gets it’ and is not stuck in antiquated ways.
Pierce started and ran with the 1st-team, he was later aided by Rex Burkhead (10-28-0, 1-3-0/1) as a 3rd-down back…later Marlon Mack (10-55-0) played some as a distant #3 back.
For his part, Pierce looks really good -- he’s shifty and runs with aggression/reckless abandon. It’s not a great O-Line, but he helps up with his running style.
Pierce will start running up into the top 60-80 overall in redrafts this weekend and will only climb from there.
-- There’s some movement on the 49ers RB depth chart…
Jeff Wilson (3-16-0) started with the 1st-team, because he’s the #2 back and Elijah Mitchell (DNP) is SO the #1 back he gets to be kept safe.
Trey Sermon (8-20-0) came in on the 3rd-series, with the 1st-team…I think it was a kinda last chance for Sermon/show off for trade. I think Sermon will be traded for some late round pick and my pure guess is he lands with NYG or Seattle, if the Seahawks have fear that Kenneth Walker will be out some weeks.
Jordan Mason (4-7-0, 1-0-1/2) came in after Sermon, and was instantly/obviously better than Sermon…the UDFA is forcing his way onto the 53-man, potentially. Mason looks really good and was displaying some nice pass game awareness in this game. Really liking his game.
Disappointing Tyrion Davis-Price (4-0-0, 1-10-0/1) came in AFTER Mason, and in the 4th-quarter. TDP might make the team out of management trying to cover another embarrassing Kyle Shanahan top 100 RB draft pick…but he’s gonna be the last RB on the depth chart at this rate. SF over-drafted him and now won’t wanna cut him because of it. Had he been taken 5th-6th-round, he would be cut and put on the practice squad.
-- Just an aside…
University of Houston UDFA TE (former wildcat QB and WR, turned TE in 2021) Seth Green (1-24-0/2) always looks like he has some nice get-up-and-go watching him in these preseason games. I don’t know if he’s gonna make the team, probably not…but he should go onto the Houston practice squad for more development.
-- Houston rookie SAF Jalen Pitre (5 tackles, 1 TFL) looks so darn good. Every week he plays, he just stands out on tape every week. He’s always near the ball. What a great draft pick by Houston. He’s going to impact in IDP right away.
-- The 49ers might be on the verge of really transforming their secondary. Signing Charvarius Ward was a huge free agent get. But two rookies are rising fast at corner…
Rookie CB Samuel Womack (1 INT/1 PD) has probably been the 49ers best rookie preseason performer of 2022. He’s gonna play/contribute right away -- three picks this preseason.
Everyone reporting on the 49ers has noticed Womack, but I saw some flashes of something in rookie CB Tariq Castro-Fields (3 tackles, 1 PD)…6’1”/197, and a 4.38 runner…moves well and has length. The 49ers great weakness was secondary last year…now, they are adding depth and talent to it.
I’m getting more and more onboard with the 49ers DST, the more I watch them. They face CHI-SEA Weeks 1-2…that’s about as good a schedule start as you’d want off the bat. After Week 2, the schedule is going to crush them…but it starts out sweet.