• New England Patriots RB Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson and Ty Montgomery All received snaps with the first team, including the third-down snaps.
• New England Patriots WR De Vante Parker started in his first game with the Patriots in seven years as dolphin but haven’t seen all the first team snaps.
• Green Bay packers WR Romeo Doubs scores a touchdown in his second straight preseason game, making himself a good starter.
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CAROLINA PANTHERS @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
draft Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson: Jacob Weiss‘s retirement and Brandon Bolden‘s departure left a void for New England on the third downs. The Patriots used their backs in a similar way to the regular season in the preseason last year, with a situational rotation. White received every third down snap with the starters.
New England mixed things up tonight, pivoting by drive rather than situation. Harris took the first and fourth drives, Stevenson took the second and fifth, and Ty Montgomery the third and sixth. Chances are Montgomery will see more aftermath work and Harris and Stevenson will see more early work once the season starts. That the Patriots were willing to try all three backs on third downs bodes well for Harris and Stevenson’s fantasy value compared to last season. Harris snapped up in the blink of an eye, which he’s only done 18 times in his three-year career. Stevenson was given work on the first two-minute drill, which he never did last season.
It’s worth noting that the two rookie defensemen haven’t seen work with the first team or the first two drives with the second team and so may not have a chance to contribute on offense this season unless there’s an injury or a trade.
Avoid Most Patriots Wide Receivers: Four of the top five wide receivers on the Patriots depth chart were available tonight Kendrick Bourne as the only recipient sitting outside. De Vante Parker and Jacob Meier took every snapshot on the first two drives with it Nelson Agholor Merge into three-receiver sets. Tyquan Thornton started seeing game time on the third drive, taking snaps away from Parker on the third drive and Agholor on the fourth. After tonight, when Bourne returns, things will get even more complicated on the outside.
Meyers is the only safe bet as he was the only one who played every drive with the starters. He should consistently be the Patriots’ slot receiver. He is one of Top Sleeper Wide Receiver Options this season.
Don’t Draft the Panthers’ Backup RBs: The panthers rested Christian McCaffrey, five wide receivers and four tight ends, among others. The only exciting fight was the backup running back spot. Chuba Hubbard started the last preseason game and shared the time D’Onta Foreman for the entire first half of last week. Foreman got the start that season, but they stayed in one rotation. He saw more snapshots in rush situations and Hubbard more in passing situations.
Hubbard is probably the one with the more distinct value, but that will only matter in very deep leagues. If McCaffrey gets injured, we could see those backs split 50-50 again, making it unnecessary to handcuff either player.
Saints of New Orleans @ Green Bay Packers
Staying cautiously optimistic on the rookie wide receivers: TThe Saints and Packers rested several players, including the top three wide receivers on Green Bay’s depth chart and the top two on New Orleans’.
Both Chris Olav and Romeo Doubs played the majority of first-team snaps tonight, outside of Olave, who had a long drive in the second quarter before returning for the two-minute practice.
From a performance standpoint, there’s not much that can be taken away from backups playing, but both players led their teams to the finish while on the field and both scored a touchdown. Ideally we would have been able to see them with the real first team, but they rarely left the field early in the game – which is the best you can expect.
Avoid the Saints Tight Ends: The Saints used all of their tight ends despite resting the starters at most other positions. Four different tight ends were used on the first-team offense: Adam Trautman and Nick Vannett were both used more as run blockers and should be kept away from fantasy radars. Taysom Hill was used sparingly as a receiver, with Juwan Johnson running most of the stretches and leading the first-team team at lightning speed. Johnson has the greatest potential and could be drafted into bigger leagues as a deep sleeper, but the four-man rotation will make it difficult for anyone to have consistent fantasy value.
- Snaps include plays recalled due to penalties, including offensive holds or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have had those plays removed.
- Goals may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clearly discarded pass, where the NFL may pass the goal to the next receiver while those dates don’t.
- Carrys are only on draft plays. Quarterback scrambles do not count towards the total number of carries in the game.