Week 2 of the 2022 NFL preseason provided some more intriguing talking points for fantasy football managers. While reading too much into the preseason is never a smart move, we can pick up signs and signals for what could happen when the regular season begins. Let’s take a look at the winners from preseason Week 2 and which players could see a rise in their ADP in the coming days.
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Preseason Week 2 winners
Khalil Herbert, RB | Bears
It was a mixed 48 hours for Khalil Herbert. However, it got off to a good start in the Bears’ second preseason game. With David Montgomery missing with an undisclosed injury, we got a glimpse of how the Bears appear to be setting up if Montgomery does miss time.
Herbert played all of the snaps with the starters for the second straight week. That included pass protection work, which is an area of his game that has drawn criticism. It was good to see the Bears trusting him in that role, as well as targeting him on a couple of passes.
The good weekend nearly turned into a horror show when Herbert was carted from the field during practice Saturday. However, he returned to the field on Sunday, indicating that it was somewhat of a false alarm.
Herbert now appears to be the Bears’ clear backup running back. He should be the primary handcuff to Montgomery for fantasy managers to consider. We saw last year how effective Herbert could be in a full-time role. Between Weeks 5 and 8, he had 344 rushing yards and 44 receiving yards, twice finishing with double-digit fantasy points in non-PPR.
Dameon Pierce, RB | Texans
Sometimes not playing can be as important as taking to the field. Dameon Pierce impressed in Week 1 of the preseason, and that performance appeared to earn him a week off against the Rams. Marlon Mack took the snaps in the first half, with Royce Freeman taking over. However, Pierce’s absence from Week 2 of the 2022 NFL preseason would indicate that he is penciled in as the starter for Week 1 of the regular season.
Pierce now becomes the Texans’ back to draft and has moved up considerably in PFN’s consensus 2022 PPR fantasy rankings. Mack appears to be the primary backup, while Freeman and Rex Burkhead are in the running for passing-down work.
Brian Robinson, RB | Commanders
Brian Robinson drew the start for the Commanders in Week 2 of the preseason. He had eight carries to Antonio Gibson’s two. Robinson had 11 snaps with the starters, compared to eight for Gibson. However, Gibson largely played on the passing downs. He ran a route on seven of his eight snaps with the starters, but the expectation is he only had that role because J.D. McKissic was absent.
Robinson’s ADP should be moving up after this performance and will likely overrespond to this situation. The news appears that Gibson is not in favor in Washington, which usually leads to the new back on the block being overdrafted. As we head into the third week of the preseason, Robinson has an ADP of 190, but that will likely increase heading into drafts this week.
Chase Edmonds, RB | Dolphins
It was a strong week for Chase Edmonds, who had two targets and three rushing attempts while playing with the starters this week. We can somewhat temper the excitement of his playing 10 of the 13 snaps alongside Tua Tagovailoa by the fact Raheem Mostert was not active. However, what was clear is that there is a big gap between Edmonds and the other non-Raheem Mostert running backs.
Boston Scott, RB | Eagles
With Miles Sanders not playing in Week 2 of the 2022 NFL preseason, Boston Scott drew the start. Scott played the entire first drive, including three snaps on third down and one on fourth down. He finished the drive with 33 yards on 10 rushing attempts and added 11 yards on his only target. He found his way into the end zone on his final snap of the game.
Kenneth Gainwell then came in and took the entire second drive. He also featured heavily, carrying the ball 11 times for 46 yards with a touchdown. Additionally, Gainwell lined up out wide on two plays, demonstrating his versatility.
The intriguing part of this is that the Eagles didn’t simply rotate their backs by the situation. Both Scott and Gainwell played on early and third downs. Scott getting the first go suggests he might be the starter if Sanders misses time. Right now, Scott remains nothing more than a potential handcuff to Sanders. However, with Gainwell active, Scott’s ceiling will be capped.
Christian Kirk, WR | Jaguars
Christian Kirk and the other starters played a surprising number of snaps for the Jaguars in Week 2 of the NFL preseason. He played 33 of the 40 snaps that Lawrence took and saw eight targets on those snaps. Those eight targets came on the first 24 passing plays, giving him a 33% target share. The Jaguars gave Kirk a massive contract, and there should be little doubt they expect to get their money’s worth.
Equanimeous St. Brown, WR | Bears
If you are looking for a player who could be on the field a lot early in the season, then Equanimeous St. Brown could be that guy. He played all nine snaps with Justin fields and ran eight routes. He did not see a target, but the fact he is clearly the starter in the offense right now is a good sign.
Byron Pringle has missed time with injury, and St. Brown appears to have the inside track on the WR2 role if Pringle is slow to return. St. Brown is nothing more than a late-round pick in a deep league. However, in those formats where you are just looking for opportunity, a starter in an offense that may have to throw a lot this season is not a terrible bet.
Isaiah Likely, TE | Ravens
What a couple of weeks Isaiah Likely has had with the Baltimore Ravens. The rookie tight end led the position in receiving yards with 44 last week and managed to top that in Week 2 of the preseason with eight receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown.
The Ravens have a tight-end-friendly offense, and Likely appears to have fit in seamlessly. Expectations should still be somewhat tempered given that Mark Andrews is the clear No. 1, and Rashod Bateman is still expected to be second on the team in targets. However, in tight-end premium formats, Likely is making a significant case for consideration as a later-round option this year.
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