2022 Dynasty/Fantasy Preseason Week 2 Game Report: Cowboys 32, Chargers 18 (by Ross Jacobs)
– by Ross Jacobs
We got a whole lot of backups playing here but several interesting players among that group for what should be two of the best offenses in the league this year...and all anyone can talk about is a couple of special teams touchdowns for the new league MVP (according to the media). Both defenses mostly crushed the offenses. Most of the scoring here came off of the two return TD's and some short fields for Dallas after the Chargers turned the ball over.
Let's just get this over with now so I can talk about more interesting players...no, KaVontae Turpin is not going to matter for fantasy now or in the future. I'm sorry if you don't like that answer but it's true. He's 160 lbs soaking wet. He's fairly fast, probably a 4.4 runner but that's not special these days. He is an excellent kick/punt returner and that is almost exclusively where Dallas is going to use him. His kick return in this game was pretty generic and more the result of bad coverage by the Chargers. He literally only made one cut and nobody even came close to touching him. The punt return was much more impressive. Outside of those two plays he touched the ball exactly once on a reverse for like 7 yards. He'll probably take the occasional gadget play, a screen or reverse or something, but he's not a part of this offense. It's ok, just let the dream die.
Jalen Tolbert looked quite a bit better this week. He didn't look as lost or timid. Sometimes it just takes guys a bit to settle in. He still doesn't stand out in any way, doesn't look particularly fast, but his release off the line is pretty nice. Honestly he looks like a discount CeeDee Lamb which is interesting because he's lining up almost exclusively in the slot which is Lamb's spot. Noah Brown was held out again so he's starting at one spot on the outside week 1. If Gallup isn't ready to go I'm thinking Dallas won't be running a lot of 3 WR sets based on how Tolbert is being used right now. That could mean extended time for Tony Pollard on the field at the same time as Elliott.
Simi Fehoko finally got involved a little but I didn't see any of his tested athleticism. He looks like just another guy out there. Rookie tight end Jake Ferguson played a really nice game. He showed good hands and some toughness breaking tackles after the catch. He's going to play in some 2TE sets alongside Schultz. Brandon Smith continues to look ok. He's not getting any separation though, just another big target down the field.
On the other side of the ball Josh Palmer is clearly LAC's 3rd best wideout. We'll have to wait and see if they know that yet or if they keep trying to force Jalen Guyton. I think it might start out a split early on and progress to more and more Palmer as we get deeper into the season. He showed a little spark of speed that I've never seen from him before.
After Palmer LAC has a few other nice deep options as well. Michael Bandy is your classic short, quick white slot receiver. He's a bit thicker and stronger than some of the others though. Think Dollar Store Welker. DeAndre Carter has finally caught on after getting lost in Washington for years. He's going to make this team and should be the 4th receiver ahead of Guyton. He's getting open really well on the short and intermediate stuff. Jason Moore is the next best they've got and he had a pretty good game here. Chase Daniel was even trying to work him over Bandy. Moore is a likely practice squad candidate.
There's been a lot of ink spilled on who the handcuff is for Ekeler and the answer is...there's not one, not really. It's going to be a split/rotation whether Ekeler is playing or not. Josh Kelley is the current lead and looks pretty much the same as he always has physically. He's a straight ahead runner that's fine going north and south but gets killed if he tries to bounce it. He is running with more purpose though which works fine with his skills. After him it's Larry Rountree and honestly it's hard to tell them apart. They are both going to see carries and will split if Ekeler goes down. Isaiah Spiller is a distant fourth and got nicked up here so we didn't get to see much from him. What little I saw he looked tentative and unathletic but he also had nowhere to run as the Cowboys 2nd team defense was murdering LA's 3rd team offensive line.
Easton Stick definitely looks better this year. He's calmer in the pocket, scanning the field, and throwing a really nice ball. He's still a bit scattershot and will spray a few high/low but he could probably hold down the fort well enough if Herbert was out. He's got a little Taysom Hill in him.
Will Grier came in ahead of Ben DiNucci for the Cowboys and was obviously the better player. He's still worse than Cooper Rush somehow.
My only defensive note was on Sam Williams. He's buried on the 3rd string right now and definitely needs to work on his technique before he gets real playing time but he showed some flashes of his potential. One play in particular, he bull rushed the left tackle, locked onto him with those long arms and just ran him right back into the QB. I'm not sure how the tackle even kept his feet. If they can keep his head on straight and teach him a few moves he's going to be a very good player in a few years.
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