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We dropped our first set of projections a day after the NFL draft concluded, and have updated them countless times since. But as we enter the heart of the preseason, rankings and projections start to move more decisively with greater velocity and so this year I'll be providing a weekly look into how my projections are changing. A few things to keep in mind:
- This is a recap of a week's worth of changes, but we update projections in real time and you can always find live, up-to-date numbers here
- After 20+ years of providing rankings and projections, I've found that incremental movements are generally better than wholesale, reactionary moves
- We've had another week with, thankfully, very few substantive injuries
- Many of the tweaks below pertain to players who aren't likely to be drafted in 10- or 12-team redraft leagues, but I felt it was important to show you the depth we provide in our analysis
|Drew Lock||DEN||175||300||58.3%||7.7||2,300||15||13||24||30||120||4.0||2.0||4||182.0||Up 50%, he's winning the QB battle|
|Tyrod Taylor||HOU||200||330||60.6%||7.0||2,300||13||6||24||40||190||4.8||2.0||3||189.0||Up substantially given Watson uncertainty|
|Trey Lance||SF||286||450||63.6%||7.6||3,440||20||13||32||90||525||5.8||5.0||4||317.5||Increased from 9 to 14 games started|
These situations aren't pertinent in shallower leagues, outside of Trey Lance who could be a top-12 fantasy quarterback once he's under center. Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater have each had ups and downs this summer, but Lock appears to have the edge. For now. Tyrod Taylor has been the projected starter since the start of training camp, but I bumped him up a few more games to reflect the declining odds either DeShaun Watson plays in Houston or Davis Mills gets the nod as the heir apparent. Neither seems likely right.
|Teddy Bridgewater||DEN||182||275||66.2%||6.9||1,885||9||5||16||15||50||3||1||2||134.3||Down 33%, he's losing the QB battle|
|Deshaun Watson||HOU||68||100||68.0%||7.8||780||6||2||6||20||105||5||1||2||75.5||Down to 4 games played (FBI/Criminal probes)|
|Daniel Jones||NYG||345||545||63.3%||6.6||3,615||18||13||48||62||365||6||2||9||279.3||Trimmed a game, Giants preseason a whiff so far|
|Jimmy Garoppolo||SF||75||102||73.5%||7.8||800||5||5||10||10||25||2.5||-||2||55.5||Decreased from 8 to 3 games started|
A few meaningful adjustments for those in Superflex leagues. Watson's situation remains a guessing game, but with the criminal aspect of his situation ramping, it's harder to buy into a scenario where he plays more than a few games for either the Texans or another team in a mid-season trade after the legal issues clear up. The 49ers maintain Garoppolo is in line to start, but he's been substantively worse than Lance in practices. Bridgewater and Lock is still a coin toss and could ping pong back Bridgewater's way in the coming weeks. But if you're drafting right now, the tea leaves point to Lock as the starter. Finally, Daniel Jones and the Giants just give off an aura of negativity. It seems far more likely Jones loses claim to the title of "NFL starter" this season than earns his way into a long-term contract as the Giants cornerstone.
Running Back Ascenders
|Damien Williams||CHI||60||240||4.0||2||0||24||18||75.0%||135||7.5||1||73.5||Doubled, pushing for No.2 job|
|Phillip Lindsay||HOU||125||550||4.4||3||1||27||17||63.0%||130||7.6||1||108.0||Up 20%, looking like the starter in a committee|
|Jerick McKinnon||KC||40||190||4.8||2||0||14||10||71.4%||80||8.0||-||49.0||Added projections as offset to CEH reduction|
|Malcolm Brown||MIA||100||390||3.9||4||0||24||16||66.7%||100||6.3||-||89.0||Up 60%, running with the 1s|
|Ty Johnson||NYJ||100||410||4.1||4||0||24||18||75.0%||120||6.7||1||101.0||Up 20%, running as the No.1|
|Miles Sanders||PHI||215||990||4.6||7||1||62||42||67.7%||335||8.0||2||227.5||Up a few%, Sirianni said he has nothing to prove|
|Alex Collins||SEA||20||100||5.0||1||0||7||4||57.1%||25||6.3||-||22.5||Earning 53-man roster spot|
|Giovani Bernard||TB||50||205||4.1||1||0||64||46||71.9%||365||7.9||2||121.0||Up 50%, grabbing 3rd down role|
|Jaret Patterson||WAS||25||95||3.8||-||5||3||60.0%||20||6.7||-||-||14.5||Doubled, got 1st team reps over Barber|
Miles Sanders is the big name here. Nick Sirianni's declaration that Sanders wouldn't play much at all in the preseason because he has nothing to prove calms fears of a committee approach. Lindsay is in the hunt for the starting role, although the situation and depth at the position still make him a mid-round option. Ty Johnson is atop the Jets depth chart, which may not mean much a few weeks into the season but needs to be acknowledged. Giovani Bernard isn't just a No. 3 in Tampa Bay, he appears to have earned the third-down receiving role, at a minimum.
Running Back Decliners
|Tarik Cohen||CHI||30||125||4.2||1||0||40||31||77.5%||230||7.4||1||78.5||Cut in half, banged up and Williams pushing|
|DAndre Swift||DET||213||960||4.5||7||3||80||64||80.0%||480||7.5||1||253.0||-2 TDs as offense may struggle to sustain drives|
|David Johnson||HOU||90||390||4.3||3||1||38||27||71.1%||225||8.3||1||111.5||Down 25%, relegated to backup role it seems|
|Mark Ingram II||HOU||90||360||4.0||3||1||18||12||66.7%||100||8.3||0||75.0||Down 15%, Lindsay edging Ingram out|
|Clyde Edwards-Helaire||KC||200||900||4.5||7||0||63||44||69.8%||370||8.4||2||225.0||Cut 1 game played pending results of ankle injury|
|Myles Gaskin||MIA||170||675||4.0||5||1||52||42||80.8%||355||8.5||2||186.0||Down 15%, M. Brown got 1st team work|
|Saquon Barkley||NYG||240||1,065||4.4||10||1||85||60||70.6%||495||8.3||2||287.0||-1 rushing TD, worry about overall offense|
|LaMical Perine||NYJ||30||115||3.8||-||0||5||3||60.0%||25||8.3||-||17.0||Down 33%, No.4 in a 3-RB committee|
|Christopher Carson||SEA||255||1,175||4.6||7||1||53||42||79.2%||330||7.9||3||251.5||Down 5 receptions, was a little overzealous|
|Leonard Fournette||TB||160||690||4.3||7||1||34||26||76.5%||185||7.1||-||154.5||Down on Bernard grabbing 3rd down role|
|Ronald Jones II||TB||165||775||4.7||5||2||20||15||75.0%||105||7.0||-||131.0||Down on Bernard grabbing 3rd down role|
|Peyton Barber||WAS||20||75||3.8||-||0||3||2||66.7%||15||7.5||0||11.0||Cut in half, Patterson got 1st team reps over him|
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