2022 Dynasty/Fantasy Preseason Week 1 Game Report: Rams 29, Chargers 22
Two head coaches who are friends, one of a mentor to the other, share a philosophy of not putting starters into meaningless preseason games, instead using these games as a showcase for the younger players (the way that it should be) -- and they faced each other in preseason Week 1, so we got to thee the young guys get a chance, and the starters nowhere to be found. Nice!
You can’t win without getting in good preseason work! What’s that you say? The Rams won the Super Bowl last year with a brand new QB and no 1st-team working in preseason games? Hmmm. I’ll bet Vince Lombardi is rolling over in his grave.
On to the player notes…
Dynasty/Fantasy Player Notes…
-- We got to see the debut of the Chargers rookie RB Isaiah Spiller (10-34-0), and he was solid enough…I got no feelings one way or the other about him. But there was one thing that was clear -- Joshua Kelley (3-16-0, 3-28-0/3) does look vastly improved and is the CLEAR #2 RB for LAC at this point, for what it is worth.
-- Jake Funk (6-16-0, 1-10-0/2) had a window to impress with the Rams ‘soft tissue’ backfield they have going on at the moment, but he didn’t have any ‘wow’ moments or change the game/narrative with his play. He looked like a ‘who cares’ preseason guy. I was hoping he might have a moment…he didn’t. Let’s see what next week brings.
-- Rams UDFA WR Lance McCutcheon (5-87-2/6) had a day…two TDs and both highlight reel events, especially the first one…a twinge of luck, but still: https://youtu.be/WHlyUs5Zw4s
Good size, decent athleticism…and he showed the moment was too big for him in his debut. Arrow pointing up here.
-- Couple nice performances from young WRs acquired the last few years, for LAC…
Michael Bandy (7-73-1/11) is moving his way up the depth chart…now a 2nd-team WR. He’s a nice, gritty possession WR who could have a role somewhere, someday for LAC. He was very good here.
Joe Reed (4-61-/6) flashed some of his speed that I wondered if it had disappeared the last year or so. It looks like he cut 5 or so pounds and got leaner/less bulky and is now faster than I’ve ever seen him (In my recollection). He might stick to the roster…might not. My FF interest in him drops a little -- I liked the possibility of him as a ‘next Deebo’ profile, but that looks ‘gone’. Now, he’s just a different version of Jalen Guyton.
-- Not a nice performance from LAC WR Josh Palmer (0-0-0/4). I don’t know if he was having a bad day or if he was offended that he had to play in this game, but he was going through the motions and was never on the same page with the QBs. He didn’t help himself here. Bandy was playing like his life depended upon it (and it does). Palmer played like it was a 7-on-7 noncontact walkthrough.
-- Two young 3rd-string QBs got a good run in this game, and both played well…one got my attention.
I’ve liked Bryce Perkins (10-17 for 133 yards, 2 TDs/0 INT, 8-13-1) since scouting him in college…I thought he could hang in the NFL. He’s starting to show that he can. A ‘discount brand’ Tyler Huntley.
But man…Easton Stick (16-23 for 119 yards, 0 TD/1 INT, 2-6-1) looks totally different.
SOMEONE has been going to the gym with Justin Herbert…Stick is no longer the too-skinny FCS QB who could run a little. He’s bulked up into a real NFL-sized frame.
SOMEONE has been working with a throwing specialist -- because Stick has a real NFL QB arm now. Best I’ve seen him throw ever.
There’s a real chance Stick is a future #2 QB for Herbert, maybe in 2023-2024 or so. I want to see how he looks this entire preseason, and he should get a lot of work to showcase.
-- The Chargers have all this inbound defensive talent they brought in this year, and then ‘oh by the way’…2021 rookie DE Chris Rumph (4 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFLs) is continuing to blossom as a legit NFL pass rusher -- he’ll just be rotational depth in 2022!!! Man does LAC have an all-star DST.
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