The final week of the preseason reveals little since almost all starters don’t play. We do get a glimpse into potential impact players in the future. Here are some observations that stood out from the final tune-up before Week 1 of the NFL season.
Rookie RB Ronald Jones struggled yet again for the Buccaneers, gaining just four yards on 10 carries. He finishes the preseason with 28 rushes for 22 yards. The second-round pick won’t be fantasy relevant early in the season for the Buccaneers. Peyton Barber will be the starter. Jones has been getting hit in the backfield a lot during the preseason and coach Dirk Koetter said Jones knows the playbook.
It was surprising to see Cameron Meredith play in the final preseason game, but he missed time in training camp with an undisclosed injury and is coming off a torn ACL and LCL. He didn’t have a catch in his first two preseason games. Meredith showed the knee isn’t a concern by producing two catches for 72 yards, including a 56-yard reception.
Many assumed Jonathan Williams would play the Mark Ingram role early in the season while he’s suspended, but Williams played a lot on Thursday. He had 17 touches for 71 yards with a touchdown and rookie Boston Scott had 13 touches for 71 yards with a touchdown. It’s possible both get in the mix.
Jamaal Williams has a chance in the first two games to take the starting job as Packers’ lead running back. If he doesn’t do it, watch out for Aaron Jones, who is suspended for the first two games of the season. Jones missed time in the preseason with a hamstring injury but played well in his return to game-action. He recorded nine carries for 34 yards and a touchdown and added three catches for 21 yards in the final game. He’s talented and is a nice stash.
The Redskins backfield appears to have Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson as the top two in the pecking order. If Peterson goes down, Rob Kelley looks next in line for now. Kelley had 11 carries for 49 yards and Samaje Perine fumbled. Jay Gruden wasn’t pleased, saying Perine hasn’t had many carries in the preseason and fumbled twice, saying it’s an issue.
The Cowboys surprisingly played Michael Gallup and he had four catches for 29 yards. It could mean he’s lower on the depth chart than we thought, but Gallup has a good path to volume with the lack of options on Dallas. He’s worth drafting in the later rounds.
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Kalen Ballage missed the last two games with a concussion and had four carries for 25 yards with a touchdown and three catches for 37 yards on four targets for the Dolphins. He’s behind Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore. However, if an injury occurs to either player in front of the rookie on the depth chart, look out!
Lamar Jackson scored another rushing touchdown, his third in five preseason games, displaying his Fantasy friendly game if he gets a chance to start this season. He went 9-for-19 for 109 yards and rushed for 25 yards on three carries.
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