2022 Dynasty/Fantasy Preseason Week 1 Game Report: Broncos 17, Cowboys 7 (by Ross Jacobs)
–by Ross Jacobs
Not a lot to take away from this one. Both teams started the game with the backups in and it wasn't pretty. The teams looked about even overall except for one spot...Josh Johnson is clearly the superior backup QB over Cooper Rush. How in the world the Cowboys have stuck with Rush is beyond me. If Dak gets hurt they are going nowhere fast.
Kendall Hinton was the best receiver on the field for either team...the problem is he was on the field, not getting the starter treatment. That leads me to believe that he's on the depth chart behind KJ Hamler. He was also notably playing on the outside, not in the slot where I'd be most interested in him. This story isn't dead yet, but it's probably not taking off without an injury to someone ahead of him.
Cowboys rookie Jalen Tolbert was manning the slot however, a somewhat surprising move. I thought he would mostly be manning the outside. That makes me wonder if they are planning on Michael Gallup being ready to go on the outside along with Noah Brown and have Tolbert as the backup for Lamb in the slot. Didn't see much of him but what I did see wasn't great. He looked tentative and very thin, still trying to adjust. He'll be a player eventually but I'm not sure we can count on him producing big early on.
Speaking of Brown, he was held out of this game, a sure sign that he'll be starting in 3WR sets early on whether that's with a healthy Gallup or with Tolbert as the third guy. Brown has some upside as potentially the #2 guy if Gallup isn't ready and is being completely overlooked in all formats.
Another young Cowboy receiver, and favorite of RC's, Brandon Smith had a nice grab where he just took the ball away from a defender. He's as advertised, a big powerful body but doesn't get much separation. He's a fringe roster candidate at this point but might make the cut with the injuries to Washington and Gallup.
Denver rookie receiver Brandon Johnson had a few nice splash plays. He's not much of an athlete but his hands are excellent and he's obviously competitive. Probably won't make the team with so many guys ahead of him but I bet he gets stashed on the practice squad.
Of all the interesting Broncos receivers, I was disappointed the most by Sutton's former college teammate Trey Quinn. His calling card in college was his precise routes and sure hands but he looked very shaky here.
Want to know how big the talent gap is between the USFL and the NFL? KaVontae Turpin was the USFL MVP this past year, an explosive and dynamic playmaker who seemingly couldn't be stopped. On the Dallas Cowboys he is their worst receiver by far, very small and skinny, looked like he was afraid to catch the ball because he knew his head was going to get taken off.
And we'll wrap it up with a personal favorite of mine, rookie RB Max Borghi who was cut by the Colts over the summer and picked up by the Broncos. He came in after Mike Boone so he might have a small chance to make the final cuts if Denver opts to keep four backs. He didn't do anything to stand out but he definitely belongs. I think he'll eventually be a nice down back in a few years, probably for the Patriots or Chargers as a Danny Woodhead/Rex Burkhead clone.
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