Week 3 of the preseason is when coaches and Fantasy owners alike really get to learn something. The starters play the most they will all preseason and starting jobs are won and lost.
At least it used to be.
The big news at quarterback was the retirement of Andrew Luck. We've got that , so I'm mostly going to focus on Jacoby Brissett here. Brissett inherits a very good offensive system and a great set of weapons. In other words, he should at least be better than he was in 2017. That year he averaged just 6.6 yards per attempt, completed less than 60% of his passes, and only threw 13 touchdown passes on 469 attempts. I expect improvement in 2019.
While this is a downgrade for T.Y. Hilton, Marlon Mack, and company, there's a very good chance Brissett can be a starter in a two-quarterback league and a streamer against the best matchups. He showed well in Week 2 of the preseason and has everything around him he needs to be successful.
Cam Newton suffers ankle injury, team optimistic
Remember when we thought the injury to Cam Newton might be the big Week 3 news? Dave Richard , but the short version is Newton has a sprained foot and the team is cautiously optimistic he'll be ready for Week 1. I'm leaving Newton in my top-10 quarterbacks but he'll be someone I'm settling for in the coming weeks, not reaching for.
If Newton misses regular season games it's going to be hard to start anyone in this Panthers offense besides Christian McCaffrey. I'm not letting that affect my ranking of D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel yet, but it is something to keep in mind as a tiebreaker on Draft Day.
Jimmy Garoppolo bounces back
After a brutal performance in Week 2 of the preseason, Garoppolo lit the Chiefs defense up to the tune of 188 yards on 20 attempts. He wasn't perfect by any means, but he showed enough to think that upside we've all drooled over still exists. This could be very important to anyone who drafted Luck as their only quarterback. Garoppolo is owned in less than 50% of leagues and has a Week 1 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If you've resigned yourself to streaming at quarterback this season, Garoppolo looks like the top option in Week 1.
Daniel Jones continues to shine in preseason
Who is laughing now?
The Giants were mocked on draft night for selecting Jones sixth overall, but he continues to make them look like geniuses...at least in the preseason. On Thursday, Jones completed nine of 11 passes for 141 yards against the Bengals. Jones didn't enter the game until the third drive and didn't throw downfield until his third drive, but once he did he unleashed multiple accurate downfield throws including one with a defender in his lap.
I am certainly more open to Jones being an average NFL quarterback than I was a month ago, but I'm also not ready to say he's better than Eli Manning yet. He's seen very little in the way of complex reads or above average defensive talent. Until he does, this is still a bit of a guessing game, but Jones has passed every test that has been put in front of him so far. This is a plus for Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard, who could be catching passes from Jones once the Giants are eliminated.
In other quarterback news:
- Andy Dalton was sharp in limited action, completing seven of 10 passes for 104 yards and a score.
- Case Keenum started and looked sharp for Washington, leading to the announcement by Jay Gruden that he would be starting Week 1. Rookie Dwayne Haskins hasn't looked ready to push him early in the season.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick struggled against the Jaguars starters, but played all the snaps with the first team and played into the second half. There's been no statement from the Dolphins yet, but Fitzpatrick looks to be way ahead in this competition.
- Sam Darnold continued to look like an improved quarterback against the Saints, completing 8 of 13 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown. He's another quarterback Luck drafters could look to.
- Kyler Murray made some big-time throws against the Vikings that should make anyone doubting him very nervous. But his offensive line continued to get outplayed and Murray was unable to lead his first professional touchdown drive. There were definitely reasons for optimism in this game, but I still can't suggest drafting Murray as more than a high-upside No. 2 quarterback.
- Baker Mayfield and Jameis Winston were both pretty terrible in their game on Friday. Neither had their No. 1 receiver, and I'm not downgrading them, but it's at least worth mentioning that Mayfield threw 26 passes and only threw for 72 yards. He also threw a pick.
So which Fantasy Football breakouts should you target in your draft? And which rookie running back is a must-have RB2? Visit SportsLine now to get 2019 Fantasy Football cheat sheets from the model that called Tevin Coleman's breakout season, and find out.