Published On: Sun, Aug 21st, 2016

Fantasy: Takeaways from Saturday's preseason games

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Get ready for your season with theScore’s 2016 Fantasy Football Draft Kit.

Every game night during the preseason, theScore’s Justin Boone will provide his fantasy observations from around the league.

The Cat’s Meow

The hype around the Jaguars offense isn’t remotely close to where it should be heading into 2016. Through two preseason games, here are the stat lines for the Jags’ starters.

Blake Bortles
14-of-18, 190 yards, 2 TDs

Chris Ivory
12 carries, 51 yards, TD; 1 reception, 4 yards

T.J. Yeldon
6 carries, 41 yards; 2 receptions, 22 yards, TD

Allen Robinson
7 receptions, 114 yards

Allen Hurns
3 receptions, 42 yards, TD

It’s natural to look for reasons why last year’s breakout offense might falter a year later, but with the addition of Ivory and some tweaks to their offensive line, Jacksonville will be even more dangerous this season.

Return to Form

It didn’t take Andrew Luck long to remind us what a force he can be for fantasy. In his first preseason action this year, Luck steered the Colts offense down the field with ease against the Ravens, completing all eight of his passes for 71 yards. Luck also ran twice for 12 yards, which was surely a hold-your-breath moment for Indy fans.

After a season lost to injury, Luck’s return galvanized the Colts, as their running game and offensive lines matched his level of play.

T.Y. Hilton sat out Saturday’s game, but Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Phillip Dorsett, and Dwayne Allen are all in for big receiving seasons if Luck stays healthy. Luck has a chance for a special season and should be one of the first three quarterbacks off the board in drafts.

Instant Impressions

  • Saturday was a dark day for the Bills franchise, as Marcell Dareus entered rehab and Karlos Williams was released. However, when the team took the field later in the day, Tyrod Taylor helped restore hope with a strong preseason performance. The recently extended passer went 7-of-10 for 132 yards and a touchdown, and would have had another score if Jerome Felton hadn’t fumbled at the goal line. Taylor’s draft value is almost comical. Despite his 11th round ADP, he has an excellent chance to be a QB1 in fantasy.
  • The Broncos running game looked up to the challenge of carrying the offense on Saturday night. C.J. Anderson rattled off 30 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown and his new backup Devontae Booker amassed 36 yards on nine carries. The rookie has usurped Ronnie Hillman as Anderson’s handcuff in fantasy.
  • The hype around fifth-round rookie Tajae Sharpe is officially real. After hauling in six passes for 68 yards against the Panthers, Sharpe drew major praise from his head coach. Mike Mularkey said Sharpe has gained the trust of Marcus Mariota and the coaching staff. Sharpe has secured a starting role alongside Rishard Matthews and has an outside shot to compete with Matthews and Delanie Walker to be the team’s leading receiver. The rookie will be rising in my rankings update Monday.

Notable Performances

Jeremy Maclin, WR, Chiefs
3 receptions, 48 yards, TD
Maclin had a solid game, but also gets a shoutout for getting ejected from a preseason contest. Hopefully he brings that fire to the regular season.

DeMarco Murray, RB, Titans
5 carries, 20 yards
Murray got most of the work with the starters, which could be good news for his fantasy value as rookie Derrick Henry breathes down his neck. Henry outperformed his veteran teammate, tallying 31 yards on five carries, but those yards came mostly with the second-string offense.

Justin Forsett, RB, Ravens
5 carries, 11 yards
Perhaps it was just a preseason approach, but it’s notable that Forsett and Javorius Allen both got work with the first string offense. Allen is a quality pass catcher and showed well filling in for an injured Forsett down the stretch last season. Unfortunately, neither back did anything with their touches against the Colts, as Allen gained 14 yards on four carries. ‚Äč

Torrey Smith, WR, 49ers
0 receptions, 0 yards
This is the second straight catch-less preseason outing for Smith. After being the subject of a lot of offseason hype thanks to Chip Kelly’s arrival in San Francisco, doubts are beginning to surface over Blaine Gabbert’s ability to get the ball downfield where Smith thrives. Bruce Ellington didn’t play Saturday, but he might be a better target for fantasy owners given his lower price tag in drafts.

Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers
3-of-10, 28 yards, TD, INT; 2 carries, 15 yards
Winston had a miserable start to the night, opening the game 0-for-6 with an interception. The sophomore signal caller didn’t complete a pass until the second quarter. He did eventually find Mike Evans for a four-yard score, but the Bucs would certainly like to see more from their franchise quarterback before the season arrives.

Will Fuller, WR, Texans
4 receptions, 73 yards, TD
Brock Osweiler found Fuller for a 19-yard TD strike in the first quarter, which is a very positive sign for the Texans offense. The team needs their first-rounder to step in and be a field stretcher, taking some of the attention away from DeAndre Hopkins. Fuller appears to have the No. 2 receiver job locked up in Houston.

Tedd Ginn, WR, Panthers
1 reception, 61 yards
Ginn caught a mid-range pass then looped around, speeding past the defender for a 61-yard score on the opening drive. He’s an underrated asset in fantasy this year, overshadowed by more high profile teammates Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess. However, Ginn was a big part of the Panthers’ attack in 2015 and will still have big weeks, thanks to his deep speed. Benjamin made two catches for 29 yards and looked comfortable back in the offense.

Virgil Green, TE, Broncos
4 receptions, 57 yards
Green is without question the Broncos top tight end and is now starting to enter the conversation as a potential fantasy sleeper. Gary Kubiak likes to get the ball to his tight ends and Green is more than capable of succeeding as a receiver and a blocker.

Robert Turbin, RB, Colts
7 carries, 18 yards; 1 reception, 7 yards
Turbin isn’t getting mentioned because of his play on Saturday, since 2.6 yards per carry is far from impressive. What is worth noting is that he came into the game as the clear No. 2 back behind Frank Gore and ahead of Josh Ferguson. However, a Gore injury would likely render the Colts backfield unusable in fantasy.

Injury Ward

Dwayne Harris, WR, Giants
X-rays on Harris’ knee came back negative, but he’s expected to undergo an MRI on Sunday. He’s a minor name in the fantasy community.

Let’s just take a moment and be appreciative that through two weeks of preseason games, there hasn’t been any major in-game injuries. Now everyone knock on wood.

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