The preseason is incredibly critical in dynasty leagues. After all, this is the first glimpse most of us have in regards to seeing our prized current or future rookie draft picks. It’s also the first chance we have to view many veteran players battle it out for certain positions or even a valuable roster spot in fantasy or reality.
The third week is always the most important in the preseason. After all, this is where we get to see the “dress rehearsal” from just about every team. In addition, all the speculation about some of the rookies and younger players actually getting meaningful playing time in the regular season comes to light a little more as we see if they’re mixed in with the starters this week. We broke this out into several parts this week so you could stay up-to-date with all the latest happenings. We started with all the early action in Dynasty Fantasy Football Preseason Notebook: Week Three, Part One and Dynasty Fantasy Football Preseason Notebook: Week Three, Part Two. We covered all of Saturday’s action last night in the Dynasty Fantasy Football Preseason Notebook: Week Three, Part Three.
Bears 19, Titans 7
Another day, another huge injury. Cameron Meredith took a nasty hit to his left knee and tore his ACL, putting his season to rest before it even started. Meredith was a huge bright spot for the Bears last year as he came out of nowhere to catch 66 passes for 888 yards and four touchdowns. His ADP was one of the biggest risers from this point last year as his breakout season put it right around the beginning of the sixth round. Unfortunately, that’s as high as it’s going to get for a while.
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The loss of Meredith is catastrophic for a Bears team that already lost their top receiver in Alshon Jeffery in the off-season. His loss will mean more opportunities for Kevin White, Kendall Wright, Markus Wheaton and Victor Cruz. You could make a case Jordan Howard will get even more touches as well. At first glance, Wright would seem to benefit the most from the unfortunate injury but time will tell on that one as he’s disappointed most of us before. In short, one of the league’s worst receiving corps just got thinner. In other Bears news, Mike Glennon completed 11-of-18 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown. This was by far the best Glennon has looked and he may have needed it as Mitchell Trubisky completed 10-of-15 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown of his own. Trubisky was pretty impressive this off-season and Glennon won’t go into the season feeling very secure about his job.
The Titans have been really up and down this preseason and today wasn’t one of their better days. Marcus Mariota completed 12-of-21 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown and also added 12 yards on the ground. Still, he looked a little out of sync today and things just didn’t click well, even with the Titans playing a bunch of their starters more than most people expected. Derrick Henry and Taywan Taylor both had good games. Henry rushed for 24 yards on nine carries and also added three catches for 29 yards and a touchdown. Taylor had a 48-yard catch and 12 rushing yards but also bruised his calf. Taylor has really looked good this preseason and even though he may be a year or two away, he makes for a great dynasty league stash. As for Henry, it was just more of the same. Unfortunately, he’s simply a secondary option as long as DeMarco Murray is healthy.
Redskins 23, Bengals 17
Washington finally did a little on offense. Rob Kelley had 57 yards rushing and a touchdown on just ten carries. Kirk Cousins also completed 10-of-19 passes for 109 yards and an interception. The Redskins just haven’t been able to generate any consistency but at least they ran the ball pretty well today. Samaje Perine had five carries for just five yards, playing exclusively with the second unit. Much was made of the battle that would ensue this preseason between these two but Perine just couldn’t get enough going consistently this preseason to put any heat on Kelley. Meanwhile, Terrelle Pryor had just one catch for 17 yards and also had a brutal drop. The regular season could (and should) look different but Pryor hasn’t done much in Washington thus far. No Redskins receiver had more than 27 yards receiving so there weren’t too many developments to report outside of the immortal Brian Quick dropping a sure touchdown pass.
The Bengals look to be starting the season with a bit of a mess at running back. Jeremy Hill continues to start, though he had to leave the game with an ankle injury. If he misses time, Joe Mixon could stake his claim to the starting job. Mixon hasn’t been unbelievable this season as he’s posted just 78 yards on 20 carries, though. He also lost a fumble tonight even though it looks to be credited to Andy Dalton officially. Still, he’s looked the part most times he takes the field even though the numbers may not show it. The forgotten Gio Bernard returned to the lineup and posted 25 yards on four carries. With Hill, Mixon and Bernard all being involved, dynasty owners who own Mixon are likely going to need to be patient. John Ross made his preseason debut as well and couldn’t haul in either of his two targets, though he did carry the ball once for eight yards. This was a lost preseason for Ross and it’s going to take him some time to make any type of noise in fantasy or reality. The big news for the Bengals was announced tonight as it looks like Vontaze Burfict is going to be suspended for five games. It’s a blow to the Bengals and something to note for IDP leagues as well.
Vikings 32, 49ers 31
Minnesota’s first unit was really outplayed by San Francisco in this one. Dalvin Cook was only able to post 17 rushing yards on five carries and caught one pass for -5 yards. Latavius Murray rushed two times for six yards as well, though this battle for snaps has been over for weeks as Cook has staked his claim to the job. Laquon Treadwell played for the first time and caught three passes for 36 yards – that should give his owners a little bit of hope. Sam Bradford did what he does and completed a high percentage of passes (17-of-21), albeit for only 134 total yards.
The 49ers played really well as Brian Hoyer completed 12-of-17 passes for 176 yards and two scores. Pierre Garcon had six catches for 64 yards. Garcon is being really undervalued in dynasty leagues at the moment and could post a huge year. Meanwhile, it appears undrafted free agent Matt Breida has passed Joe Williams on the depth chart for good. Breida had 29 yards on seven carries and one catch for five yards but looked like the clear backup to Carlos Hyde, who was truly never challenged this off-season. Williams’ rookie ADP has fluctuated more than anyone’s this off-season (save perhaps Kenny Golladay) as he went from an early third round pick all the way to a high second round selection and now will likely start falling back again. They early hype on Williams just hasn’t materialized and he could even be on the roster bubble if the 49ers decide to keep Raheem Mostert who had two touchdowns, including an 87-yard reception on a screen pass.
We’ll be back late Thursday night or Friday morning with a complete look at week four, then get you ready for cutdown weekend.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK