2023 Preseason Fantasy Game Reviews: Week 2


We hope you enjoy this FREE article preview! In order to access our other articles and content, including livestreams, projections and rankings, stat analysis and more, be sure to sign up today. We are here to help you #ScoreMore Fantasy Points!

2023 Preseason Fantasy Game Reviews: Week 2

We are so back!

Preseason football is here, and the fantasy season is right around the corner.

I’m a big believer that coaches definitely do not always tell us the truth, but they do let us know how they feel about certain players based on their usage. It’s up to us to make sense of that information. This includes the preseason! It’s a new year, and every little edge matters when we’re rounding out projections for late-August and early-September drafts.

Preseason games are the one time of year when we can pause sifting through beat writer feeds and have games and data to analyze. It may be a small sample, but hey, if you want larger sample sizes – go watch baseball. At the end of the day, small samples are mostly all we have in the NFL.

This article is intended to review preseason action, usage, and how players performed.

Preseason Review Week 2


  • Bijan Robinson out-snapped Allgeier by a 13 to 5 margin (72% snap share for Robinson)

  • Dameon Pierce is the clear starter over Devin Singletary

  • John Metchie’s stock is down to start the season

  • James Cook gets bell-cow usage with Josh Allen

  • Najee Harris (9) and Jaylen Warren (8) have split snaps this preseason, Warren rips 62 yard TD

  • Khalil Herbert rests while vet RB D’Onta Foreman played with the backups

  • Michael Wilson is a full-time starter

  • Expect a lot of 2-TE personnel from Denver. Adam Trautman continued to play ahead of Greg Dulcich

Thursday, 8/17 Games

Cleveland Browns vs. Philadelphia Eagles


All Browns veterans did not play

After playing Deshaun Watson and a handful of starters last week, HC Kevin Stefanski rested all of his key contributors on Thursday night.


All Eagles veterans did not play

Just like OC Nick Sirianni said last week, both Ken Gainwell (8) and Boston Scott (3) got a handful of snaps and then rested. Rashaad Penny also played 6 snaps while D’Andre Swift did not suit up. At this point, Swift appears in the driver's seat to “start” Week 1 with Gainwell and Penny mixing in behind him.

Gainwell’s first carry was stuffed for a safety while Boston Scott’s one carry lost one yard. Penny got two carries (for 18 yards) and then was put on ice. I believe Sirianni when he said he just wanted to rotate these guys in a bit.

Friday, 8/18 Games

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Atlanta Falcons


All Bengals starters did not play

The Bengals RB2 job is all that I’m interested in for this offense and, once again, we learned nothing on that front this week. RB Trayveon Williams (ankle) is still out, so Chase Brown and Chris Evans split work again.

Brown scored a TD this week, but neither of these RBs are exactly running hot. Through two games, Brown has 17 carries for 30 yards while Chris Evans has taken his 14 carries for 64 yards, which mainly came on one 33-yard gain.

The Athletic reported after the game that Evans “might have done enough” to win the third-down job, but that’s likely more because Chase Brown hasn’t done much so far while Trayveon Williams is hurt. I believe the Bengals will be in the mix for a free agent RB after roster cut downs from 90- to 53-man.


Desmond Ridder and the Falcons first team offense moved the ball well on their one drive, but were set back by four (!!) penalties. Tyler Allgeier got the “start” but Bijan Robinson out-snapped Allgeier by a 13 to 5 margin (72% snap share for Robinson).

Robinson had a nice explosive run, kniving through the defense and had a key blitz pickup one-on-one to keep Ridder clean on a 2nd & 7.

Mack Hollins (15-of-18 snaps) and Drake London (13) were the top-two wideouts followed by Kyle Pitts (10). Pitts might have been a bit more limited as he works back from off-season knee surgery, so it was great to see him out there at the very least.

Ridder moved the ball well enough but was unfortunately picked off on a tipped pass in the red-zone to end the drive. He may have been a tad late on the throw, but it was an unlucky bounce.

Carolina Panthers vs. New York Giants


Veterans that DNPMiles Sanders (groin) / Terrace Marshall (back)

The Panthers have called a vanilla offense through two games with Bryce Young taking very conservative throws.

We do have a good sample size of usage, though, as Carolina’s starters have played a total of 32 snaps. Adam Thielen (29 snaps) and Jonathan Mingo (28) have led the way in snaps followed by DJ Chark (26).

Chark (4) leads the group in targets followed by Thielen (3), and Mingo (2).

TE Hayden Hurst has played on 29-of-32 snaps with Bryce Young, confirming he will be a full-time starter.

RB Chuba Hubbard sustained an ankle injury during the game, which might force the Panthers to take a look at the free agent RB pool with Sanders dealing with a minor groin injury. Hubbard has a history of ankle injuries – this is the fourth of his career.


Veterans that DNP – Saquon Barkley

Daniel Jones and the Giants starters got out of the gates quickly with four targets to Darren Waller on the opening drive, the third of which was broken up right as the ball arrived. Waller has reportedly been unguardable in Giants camp and he looks 100% healthy now. He had 3 receptions for 30 yards on the drive.

Jones was very sharp on the drive, which was capped off by a well-designed play-action flick to TE Daniel Bellinger.

Waller and WR Darius Slayton (8) led the Giants WR group in snaps followed by Isaiah Hodgins (7), Parris Campbell (6), and Jalin Hyatt (3).

Saturday, 8/19 Games

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Detroit Lions


All starters rested

The Jaguars rested all of their key starters, but Tank Bigsby got significant snaps and played well (13 carries, 70 yards). Bigsby isn’t as explosive as Etienne, but he has good vision and consistently gets what's blocked.


All starters rested

After getting rookies Jahmyr Gibbs and Sam LaPorta about a quarter and a half of game action last week, all Detroit starters and veterans did not play this week. Jameson Williams (hamstring) also did not play.

Miami Dolphins vs. Houston Texans


Veterans that DNP – Jaylen Waddle / Jeff Wilson

Well, Tua Tagovailoa’s season got off to a horrible start as the first play of the game was intercepted. It was a bad decision and a bad throw.

The Dolphins second drive was much more successful as they drove the length of the field for a TD. Tua went 5-of-6 for 61 yards and Raheem Mostert cashed in a short TD.

With Jeff Wilson (hand) out, Raheem Mostert got the start while Salvon Ahmed rotated in as the RB2. Mostert played 12 snaps while Ahmed played 4.

Then, rookie Devon Achane was the third RB in rotation with the second-team offense and had a nice 20-yard run on his first play. Achane left in the third quarter with what appeared to be a shoulder injury.


DNPTank Dell (minor injury before game)

The Texans played CJ Stroud and their starters for three drives on Saturday, the first of which was a gift after Tua’s pick. They didn’t cash in a TD, though, and Stroud missed an open Dalton Schultz in the flat on 4th down to give the ball back to Miami.

Stroud’s second drive was the best he’s put together this preseason, showing touch on two throws to the sidelines for first downs and hitting the open man consistently. Stroud’s accuracy was his best trait in college.

These were the Texans snap counts on their 17 plays:

  • Robert Woods (17)

  • Nico Collins (15)

  • Dameon Pierce (14)

  • Dalton Schultz (13)

  • Noah Brown (10)

  • John Metchie (3)

  • Devin Singletary (3)

Two big takeaways here:

Dameon Pierce has gotten clear starter treatment to begin this year. He rested Week 1, played on 14-straight snaps to start the game, and then did not play on the final drive (two-minute). Devin Singletary is the clear backup.

Noah Brown played over John Metchie in three-WR sets. Metchie is behind Brown (for now) and with Tank Dell (minor injury) out on Saturday, it looks like Metchie is the Texans WR5 on the depth chart behind Woods / Collins / Dell / Brown.

Chicago Bears vs. Indianapolis Colts


All starters rested

It is very notable that Khalil Herbert rested while vet RB D’Onta Foreman (3 carries, 12 yards) played with the backups. Just like we learned last week, Herbert is clearly the RB1. He has vaulted up my ranks.

Rookie RB Roschon Johnson came on in the second quarter and took his eight touches for 43 yards. Johnson will be blocked behind Herbert this season, but the rookie is an impressive zone runner with efficient feet and great burst in the second-level. Johnson’s cutback game is NFL-ready. Herbert is the much better RB right now, but my bet is Johnson takes over as the RB2 soon.


All starters rested

No Anthony Richardson, no fun.

Buffalo Bills vs. Pittsburgh Steelers


Veterans that DNP – Damien Harris (knee) / Dawson Knox (finger)

Buffalo’s first-team offense played three drives, all of which ended in punts. These were the snap counts on the 16 plays that Josh Allen was on the field:

  • Gabe Davis (16)

  • James Cook (15)

  • Stefon Diggs (13)

  • Dalton Kincaid (12)

  • Deonte Harty (8)

  • Trent Sherfield (6)

  • Khalil Shakir (2)

  • Latavius Murray (2)

James Cook will continue to scream up fantasy draft boards with this type of usage. Cook played on 10-straight snaps before being subbed out by Murray. Again, Damien Harris (knee) isn’t healthy yet.

On his 10 passes, Allen targets were: Diggs (5), Davis (3), Kincaid (1), Murray (1).


RB Najee Harris got the start, but it was Jaylen Warren who stole the show again with this 62-yard TD. Harris is still a good runner and now fully healthy, but Warren erases defenders' angles in a way that Harris can’t. There is no way that Pittsburgh can keep Warren off of the field this season. Harris and Warren split snaps 65/35 to end last season.

A long Calvin Austin punt return set up this nice 25-yard TD to Pat Freiermuth from Kenny Pickett on the Steelers’ starters second and final drive. Pickett’s ball-placement has been stellar this preseason.

The Steelers offense was done after just seven plays.

Through two preseason games, Kenny Pickett has been on the field for 17 snaps. Najee Harris (9) and Warren (8) have split snaps right down the middle.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. NY Jets


All Bucs’ starters rested

The Bucs’ played Kyle Trask for nearly the entire game as Tampa got a long look at their WR depth. Tampa might be in the market for a vet receiver after losing WR Russell Gage (knee) for the season. Rookie WR Trey Palmer is the current front-runner for the WR3 job and had a sick 33-yard tip-catch TD from Trask.


Veterans that DNP – Aaron Rodgers / Garrett Wilson / Corey Davis / Breece Hall

Aaron Rodgers will make his preseason debut next week.

It’s notable that Corey Davis (veteran rest) did not play while both Mecole Hardman (16 snaps) and Allen Lazard (15 snaps) were starters with Zach Wilson.

We’ve been all over Davis as a top last round pick in best ball all summer.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Arizona Cardinals


Veterans that DNPIsiah Pacheco (shoulder)

After playing just one drive last week, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs first-team offense got 20 snaps on Saturday evening. Mahomes went 10-of-15 for 105 yards and a TD to Justin Watson.

These were the Chiefs snap counts (out of 20):

  • Travis Kelce (20)

  • Clyde Edwards-Helaire (15)

  • Marquez Valdes-Scantling (15)

  • Skyy Moore (13)

  • Rashee Rice (8)

  • Justin Watson (8)

  • Richie James (6)

  • Jerick McKinnon (5)

  • Justyn Ross (2)

So, through two preseason games, MVS (20-of-26 snaps), Moore (17-of-26), Rice (11-of-26), and Watson (11-of-26) have been the top-4 wideouts.

With Justyn Ross continuing to emerge and Kadarius Toney due back at some point, the only wide receivers we can count on having Week 1 roles here are MVS and Moore.


Veterans that DNP – Zach Ertz (knee)

Arizona played Colt McCoy for three drives (15 plays). These were the Cardinals snap counts:

  • Michael Wilson (15)

  • Trey McBride (13)

  • James Conner (11)

  • Marquise Brown (10)

  • Rondale Moore (9) – all in the slot

  • Keaontay Ingram (4)

Fantasy Points subscribers have been drafting Michael Wilson as a clear starter for Week 1. He will not come off of the field in 2-WR sets. Wilson has reportedly had a great camp and this strong usage makes him a legitimately exciting last round dart in seasonal leagues.

After missing practice early in training camp with an abdomen injury, Keaontay Ingram mixed in behind James Conner as the Cardinals RB2. Ingram did have a good showing, taking his nine touches for 48 yards and 1 TD.

So, Ingram is the backup… for now. Arizona could be in the market for free agent RB help after vet Marlon Mack tore his Achilles. Their other veteran RB, Corey Clement, worked as the RB4 in rotation behind Conner, Ingram, and Emari Demercado.

New England Patriots vs. Green Bay Packers


Veterans that DNPTyquan Thornton / Ezekiel Elliott / Mike Gesick (shoulder)

Mac Jones and the Patriots first team starters got their first action of 2023 and played three drives (18 snaps).

Their first drive was a gift – a bad snap to Packers QB Jordan Love gave the Pats’ the ball near the red-zone.

Jones came out and completed two quick ones to WR Kendrick Bourne, who has regained his job in 3-WR sets. Rhamondre Stevenson cashed in a short score a few plays later.

DeVante Parker (17), JuJu Smith-Schuster (16), Hunter Henry (16), and Kendrick Bourne (15) were the starters. Rhamondre Stevenson played on the first 11 snaps, then did not come back out for the third drive along with starting OL Trent Brown and David Andrews.


Just like last week, RB Aaron Jones got the first touch of the game and then was put on ice. Jordan Love and the starters played 17 snaps (three drives) this week and 12 snaps last week.

So, through two games, here are the Packers first-team snap counts (out of 29 plays):

  • Romeo Doubs (29)

  • Luke Musgrave (29)

  • Christian Watson (28)

  • Jayden Reed (16) – slot only

Their 3-WR formations (11-personnel) are set. I expect TE Josiah Deguara to mix in in 2-TE formations (12-personnel).

Love’s target distribution so far (on five drives): Musgrave (5), Doubs (4), Reed (3), Watson (3).

Tennessee Titans vs. Minnesota Vikings

It’d be easier to just list who didn’t play because both teams rested all of their key guys.

Titans RB Tyjae Spears has been stellar this preseason, ripping defenses for 93 yards on just 14 touches. Spears has been the best player on the field on more than a few snaps, including this 28-yard burst for a TD. Spears has likely played himself into a small role every week as the change-of-pace to Derrick Henry, and if Henry were to miss time, Spears has the talent to play all three-downs.

Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers


Javonte Williams made his return to the field after a complicated knee injury last October and immediately made up for his drop on a screen with a nice catch on the sidelines on the second play. The Broncos have said all during training camp that Williams is nearing 100%, and while he was sporting a brace, his return to game action will make his ADP sky-rocket in the next few days.

HC Sean Payton said he wants Russell Wilson to use his legs more and we saw that on display a bit vs. the 49ers. Wilson had two nice scrambles and Payton even called a designed zone-read that popped for an explosive play, but it was called back due to holding. Wilson isn’t in his prime anymore, but he still has fantasy upside. Especially with a smart coach, improved offensive line, and diverse weapons around him.

After he did not play last week, Marvin Mims made his preseason debut and caught a quick pass over the middle. The Broncos are going to be a heavy 2-TE (12-personnel) offense this season with Adam Trautman and Greg Dulcich, so Mims is going to have to make his impact in 3-WR (11-personnel). Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton aren’t going to come off of the field in 2-TE formations.

Greg Dulcich has played on 16-of-28 snaps over two preseason games while Adam Trautman has played on 24-of-28. Again, this is going to be a 2-TE offense so targets will find their way to Dulcich, but Trautman is going to be heavily involved.


Veterans that did not playChristian McCaffrey (veteran rest) / Elijah Mitchell (adductor) / George Kittle (abdomen)

49ers starter Brock Purdy made his 2023 debut off of elbow surgery, playing nine snaps on the opening drive. His first play was a schemed, wide open throw to Deebo Samuel where Deebo rocketed up the field for an explosive gain. Deebo got the third play of the game, too, on a bubble screen that he took for 14 yards. Purdy hit Brandon Aiyuk on a quick slant to set them up goal-to- go, but the drive stalled on a sack. Purdy finished 4-of-5 for 65 yards.

Sam Darnold came in after Purdy and played well into the third quarter, then Trey Lance finished the game. 49ers beats have widely speculated all off-season that Darnold, not Lance, is the QB2.

Las Vegas Raiders vs. Los Angeles Rams


Veterans that did not playHunter Renfrow

Jimmy Garoppolo and the Raiders starters played on the opening drive (nine plays), however, Davante Adams played one snap and then took the night off. Jakobi Meyers (9 snaps) and Phillip Dorsett (8) were the top-two wideouts with DeAndre Carter (4) working as the WR4. TEs Michael Mayer (5) and Austin Hooper (3) split snaps.

Zamir White (5) and Brandon Bolden (3) split snaps at RB with Bolden cashing in the short TD.


All Rams starters rested

Kyren Williams dressed to take one special teams snap. He did not play on offense.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks


All Cowboys starters rested, including TE Jake Ferguson

Malik Davis started last week, but it was Rico Dowdle’s turn this week. Both rotated drives/snaps again this week as they continue to battle it out for the RB2 job behind Tony Pollard.

Davis and Dowdle split snaps (19) and then Deuce Vaughn got onto the field in the second-half.

Through two games, Davis has 12 carries for 35 yards while Dowdle has 14/57 rushing.


Veterans that DNP – DK Metcalf / Ken Walker

Geno Smith and a few starters played two drives for Seattle on Saturday night, however, Tyler Lockett got two snaps (one 6-yard catch) and then rested. Rookie RB Zach Charbonnet got the start and had a nice 29-yard run on a perfectly blocked play that could have gone for more yards. His night was over after that play.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba got open underneath at will during the game and nearly had a TD on a great ball from Drew Lock. He finished with 3/58 receiving (video of all targets).

New Orleans Saints vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Both teams rested a ton of starters, so we really didn’t learn much in this game.

Saints rookie RB Kendre Miller is back after an injury scare last week. He found tough sledding on the ground, but punched in a TD (10/23/1 rushing) and he reeled in a tough catch on a wheel route.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Washington Commanders


All key starters rested

The Ravens rested their entire starting offense, including RBs JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards. Justice Hill ran ahead of Melvin Gordon again this week, so it appears Hill has secured a roster spot. Hill got the first two carries of the game and then rested. Gordon played into the third quarter.


HC Ron Rivera and OC Eric Bieniemy aren’t about that “resting starters” business.

Through two preseason games, QB Sam Howell and the Commanders starters have collectively played 63 snaps – which is a regular season game’s worth of plays.

Howell played against Baltimore’s backup defense, but diced them up for three scoring drives. In his two games, Howell has combined for 28-of-37 passing for 265 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, and 3 sacks. Howell isn’t the fastest player on the field, but he has good pocket instincts and has shown his mobility a bit (4/25 rushing).

It’s a clear 1A / 1B committee in the backfield, with Antonio Gibson (37 snaps) holding the slight lead over Brian Robinson (30). Robinson has the slight lead in carries (8 to 6).

Gibson (27 routes) has been the passing down back over Robinson (19), however, Gibson has 6 targets while Robinson has 5.

Gibson had a nice TD on an angle route from Howell.

Robinson being an actual part of the pass game would be huge for his floor in fantasy after he got just 12 targets and had nine receptions in 12 games as a rookie.

Jahan Dotson has been stellar this preseason, turning his nine targets into 7/106/1. Longtime readers know how high I am on Dotson’s talent. There is a real chance he will turn this into a co-WR1 situation with Terry McLaurin.

Graham Barfield blends data and film together to create some of the most unique content in the fantasy football industry. Barfield is FantasyPoints’ Director of Analytics and formerly worked for the NFL Network, Fantasy Guru, and Rotoworld.