2019 Dynasty-Fantasy Preseason Analysis Wk3 – Bills 24, Lions 20
Both teams went for a while with their 1st-teams matching up…neither team looked all that great doing so. The Lions suffering a few injuries to players that may cost them their Week 1 availability. Not a ton of fresh revelations here…more so veterans getting in some work for the regular season, but we got a few things to hit on for fantasy.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- The Bills RB report…
LeSean McCoy (6-37-0) started and was the main guy for most of the 1st-team work. He looked like normal, 30+ year old McCoy…not as good as he used to be, but still solid. We await to see if the Bills will cut him or trade him before the September 53-man roster. I’d say it’s 20% possible at this point…lower probability or we would have heard some rumors by now.
Frank Gore (8-57-0) worked as the second man in…foreshadowing an early McCoy-Gore backfield. I don’t know. It might start out that way, but McCoy has a small chance he’s not there Week 1. Gore could be released, but I think he stays as the veteran leader to keep McCoy straight and to groom their rookie RB.
If McCoy and Gore are there Week 1, they will be the 1-2 punch…McCoy 70-80%, Gore 10-20% workload share for Week 1. By Weeks 2-3, who knows what will happen.
Devin Singletary (1-9-1) is the wild card here. I still believe McDermott wants him to be the future, and he’d be OK if the future is now…but he doesn’t have to push it. Out of respect, he’d start McCoy-Gore and sprinkle in the rookie…but that type of stuff/sentiment quickly changes when it’s evident where the production (or lack thereof) is coming from. As long as McCoy is there, Singletary is a bit player in-waiting. The moment something happens to McCoy (injury, trade, release), the Singletary show begins. McDermott has been bold with his moves on ‘names’ in the past, so don’t be shocked…it will happen like a lightning strike.
The Cowboys are about to start a campaign with Tony Pollard as their starter. Devin Singletary thrust into the limelight quick would not be an unheard-of act.
-- The Lions’ RB report…
As you would expect…Kerryon Johnson (2-4-0, 1-7-0/2) for the 1st-series, but then C.J. Anderson (8-24-0, 2-17-0/2) for the next series. Then back to Kerryon, and so on and so forth.
Anderson is getting good respect touches/work rotation this preseason. He will be some kind of pull on Kerryon’s touches, which sets up a situation that if CJA starts producing and Kerryon struggles…the touch distribution could go from 75/25 to 50/50 quickly. LeSean McCoy, for example, will never be in a split…he’d be traded first. Kerryon could be a maddening FF-split all season if CJA is working well.
Rookie Ty Johnson (4-9-0, 1-11-1/1), their most talented back, worked with the 2nd-team and will be a bit player on passing downs to draw a few more touches away from Kerryon/CJA.
-- The Bills’ QB report…
Well, there goes the ‘Josh Allen (3-6 for 49 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) looks great this preseason’ narrative. Surprise! When 1st-team defenses are playing and brining pressure…Allen wilts. He was back to throwing predetermined passes without reading the defense in this game. He threw one of the worst interceptions/the worst decision I’ve seen any preseason QB make this year, in this game, but he got hit after the toss and drew a late hit call to make it all go away.
Matt Barkley (12-14 for 142 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) is getting a lot of work and praise this summer. I think Barkley is being prepared heavily for the Allen emergency plan…in case Allen faceplants, and he will.
I was hoping Tyree Jackson (2-4 for 27 yards, 0 TD/0 INT) might show off this preseason and also put pressure on Allen, but that’s not the case. Tyree has had terrible preseason numbers, but the tape has been good. There’s some talent there to work with…but that NEVER happens in the NFL short of Sean McVay being your coach. I just need to let the Tyree development/raw clay to mold dream die. He’ll go to the practice squad and be forgotten over time.
-- Zay Jones (3-46-0/4) is still where I see Josh Allen look a lot as his first WR thought in these preseason games. Zay ended up playing with Allen, as a starter, and then Zay was in until the like the 2nd-half working with Barkley…which I thought was a bit odd.
Did Zay want extra work? Does Zay not have respect? Does McDermott want Zay and Barkley to be ready just in case it matters down the road? I’m probably just thinking about it too much…
I believe Zay is the Bills’ WR to own…but I also don’t want any Bills’ WR for fantasy, not on purpose.
-- I enjoyed T.J. Hockenson (3-52-0/4) entering the game as a backup to Jesse James and coming in on the 3rd play with James in a two-TE set…and promptly missing a block by a mile. If you have game access, go see the third play of the Lions first series at 12:03 of the 1st-quarter. How anyone believes this (TJH) was as generational blocker is beyond me, but I tried to warn NFL teams/analysts/scouts but they didn’t listen…they made up their minds without really looking at things for themselves.
TJH gets some good blocks in the run game on guys pursuing the ball and not looking at the blockers. He makes cool pancake blocks on the unaware. As a pass blocker, especially, he’s the worst. Slow off the snap blocking and real athletes just blow past him (See: his last college game vs. an SEC team/bowl game).
As a receiver, TJH isn’t bad. Quick enough once he gets going and reliable. He’s a split role, backup tight end on a weak passing team in 2019. How does any of that work for fantasy?
-- If Jarrad Davis missed a few weeks, I wonder if Jalen Reeves-Maybin (2 tackles, 1 TFL) gets a start over rookie Jahlani Tavai? JRM is playing nice ball this summer, a carryover from last preseason. Tavai is solid but not ‘wow’ at this stage…but he is this regime’s drafted guy, so he might get preferential treatment.
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