Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Austin Hooper caught 5-of-5 targets for 50 yards in Thursday's preseason game, also losing a fumble.

Hooper caught a 23-yard pass down the seam, but let the ball get chopped out as he was coming to the ground. It was the sort of rookie mistake that drives coaches crazy. Hooper got a little run with the first-team tonight, but was clearly behind Jacob Tamme. He played until the final whistle blew. If Hooper is done for the preseason, he'll go into Week 1 with six catches for 57 yards.
Aug 25 - 11:09 PM

Leonte Carroo caught one pass for five yards in Thursday's preseason game.

It was his only target. Carroo was running a distant fourth on the depth chart, and perhaps even behind Griff Whalen. Carroo was a steady presence in offseason puff pieces, but isn't going to have a meaningful role on offense to begin the year. He has four catches for 23 yards through three preseason games.
Aug 25 - 11:08 PM

Jason Witten caught his lone target for a 17-yard touchdown in the Cowboys' third preseason game.

Witten played the first quarter before calling it a night. His touchdown grab was an impressive grab over the top of K.J. Wright in the end zone. Witten usually doesn't make plays on balls in the air at 34 years old, as he's more of a catches-it-when-he's-open-over-the-middle type. But when the ball hits his hands, he usually reels it in. Witten is probably more of a high-end TE2 at this stage.
Aug 25 - 10:51 PM

Ezekiel Elliott rushed seven times for 48 yards in his preseason debut Thursday night.

He also stood out with two key blitz pickups. Running against Seattle's first-team defense, Elliott showed decisiveness between the tackles and quick cutting ability when sprung onto the second level by Dallas' beastly offensive line. Zeke operated as the Cowboys' every-down back until taking a seat next to Romo and handing the reins to Alfred Morris for the rest of the night. Morris has played well enough in August to have earned an early-season role, but Elliott is Dallas' clear bellcow back. In fantasy drafts, Zeke is worth consideration beginning at the first-/second-round turn.
Aug 25 - 10:46 PM

Tony Romo exited the Cowboys' third preseason game after just three snaps due to a back injury.

The Cowboys got a major scare when Romo twisted his back at the end of a short scramble. He shook it off on the sideline and pleaded with coach Jason Garrett to reenter, but the Cowboys understandably didn't think it was worth it. Later, the Cowboys' broadcast said Romo's back was "tight" and he could have went back in, but was held out on a "coaches' decision." While Romo should be fine for Week 1, this was a reminder of his fragility at age 36.
Aug 25 - 10:30 PM

Justin Hardy exited the Falcons' third preseason game with an ankle injury.

The injury isn't known to be severe. On Thursday night, Hardy worked as the Falcons' first-team slot receiver between Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu in three-wide sets, catching just 1-of-4 targets for 11 yards. Barring an injury to Julio or Sanu, Hardy won't factor into the fantasy football equation this year.
Aug 25 - 10:23 PM

Mohamed Sanu caught 2-of-3 targets for 19 yards in the Falcons' third preseason game against the Dolphins.

Sanu has had a workmanlike, pedestrian preseason, catching 7-of-12 targets for 82 scoreless yards. He's averaged 11.8 YPR throughout his career to go along with 11 touchdowns in four seasons. Sanu is stepping into a larger role as the clear No. 2 receiver in Atlanta, but he left a lot to be desired in Cincinnati, struggling with drops and catching around 60 percent of his targets. In a larger role, we figure Sanu's floor is around 100 targets this season, and if Julio Jones ever misses time, Sanu should gobble up looks. He's worth a late-round flier.
Aug 25 - 10:19 PM

Tevin Coleman rushed three times for six yards in Thursday's preseason game.

He "added" a reception where he lost five yards. Coleman was on the field as often as Devonta Freeman, but got out-touched 7-4. He was also, obviously, handily out-gained. Interestingly, at one point the Falcons had their blazing sophomore back split out wide. Atlanta has made it clear over and over again they want Coleman to have a bigger role this season, but Freeman is locked in as the clear committee chairman. Coleman finishes the preseason with 10 carries for 31 yards (3.1 YPC).
Aug 25 - 10:16 PM

Tony Romo left the Cowboys' third preseason game with a back injury.

Romo's back was bent awkwardly at the end of a short scramble, and he appeared to be in a ton of pain on the ground. On the sideline, Romo stretched out his back and quickly looked to be asking to reenter, keeping his helmet on. We will update when more info becomes available, but Romo may have just gotten a scare. He has undergone two career back surgeries.
Aug 25 - 10:14 PM

Devonta Freeman rushed five times for eight yards in Thursday's preseason game, catching 2-of-3 targets for 10 yards.

Freeman out-touched Tevin Coleman 7-4, but the duo played the same number of first half snaps (15). Freeman is going to be the lead back, but both the Falcons' actions and words have made it clear they envision a big role for Coleman. Freeman is just a lower-end RB1 coming off last year's monster, but quite possibly fluke season. He finishes the preseason with 14 carries for 59 yards (4.21 YPC) and tonight's two grabs.
Aug 25 - 10:09 PM

Jacob Tamme secured 2-of-2 targets for 16 yards in the Falcons' third preseason game.

Tamme continued to run as Atlanta's first-team receiving tight end, ahead of rookie Austin Hooper. Hooper did get action with the ones, but lost a fumble following a reception up the seam and isn't posing a noticeable threat to Tamme yet. Tamme finished 2015 with a 59-657-1 receiving line across 15 games. His 2016 projection should be in the same range, or perhaps slightly lower.
Aug 25 - 10:07 PM

Matt Ryan completed 12-of-22 passes for 129 yards, zero touchdowns and an interception in Thursday's preseason game.

It wasn't what the Falcons wanted to see. Ryan struggled to make plays, while his interception was another inexcusable pass in the red zone. Coming off a year he had as many turnovers as touchdowns (seriously), Ryan closes up the preseason 18-of-37 (48.6 percent) for 207 yards (5.59 YPA), zero scores and one pick. He's a lower-end QB2 as his career continues to go in the wrong direction.
Aug 25 - 10:02 PM

Isaiah Pead exited Thursday night's third preseason game with a hamstring injury.

Pead entered the night as the Dolphins' clear No. 3 back, seeing some reps with the first-team offense before exiting on Miami's first possession of the second half. Before leaving, Pead rushed one time for one yard and caught all three of his pass-game targets for 14 yards. Injuries were part of Pead's early-career downfall. For his sake, hopefully this one doesn't linger.
Aug 25 - 9:58 PM

Kenny Stills caught 4-of-6 targets for 46 yards in the Dolphins' third preseason game.

Most importantly, Stills played ahead of DeVante Parker in two-receiver sets. The Dolphins are going to be a base-three-receiver team, but Stills' ascension is notable because he's generated minimal buzz in the fantasy community. NBC's Cris Collinsworth noted during Thursday night's game that the Dolphins "are stunned at what a great leader Kenny Stills has turned into." In Miami's last two preseason games, Stills has 117 yards and two touchdowns on seven catches. Particularly in best-ball leagues, Stills needs to be taken seriously as a late-round fantasy pick.
Aug 25 - 9:57 PM

DeVante Parker caught 2-of-4 targets for eight yards in the Dolphins' third preseason game.

The takeaway is that Parker was operating as the No. 3 receiver, getting shut out of two-receiver sets by Kenny Stills. The third preseason game isn't usually message sending time, so it's quite possible Stills will open the year as a starter with Parker limited to three-wide looks. It's not time to sell all your Parker stock, of course. He's a legitimate playmaker the Dolphins desperately need to make noise on the boundary, but perhaps WR4/5 numbers should be the expectation for September. We're still drafting Parker on a Fins team that will use three receivers as its base offense. Parker closes the preseason with four grabs for 24 scoreless yards.
Aug 25 - 9:57 PM



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