The preseason is full of limited appearances for regulars and a bunch of backups battling for roster spots. But it’s football nonetheless, and there are fantasy nuggets to be gleaned from these exhibition tilts. Here’s a few such nuggets from Week 1 of the preseason.
Carlos Hyde, 5-39 rushing – Hyde looked more than competent with Frank Gore taking the evening off, and the stats don’t tell the entire story as he held up well in pass protection as well—a key for rookie backs looking to carve out playing time. With Kendall Hunter out and Marcus Lattimore still working his way back from that devastating knee injury, Hyde has positioned himself as the heir to Gore’s carries—something fantasy owners expect to happen sooner rather than later.
Devonta Freeman, 10-50 rushing, 1-57 receiving—With Steven Jackson nursing a hamstring injury, Freeman showed extremely well as a guy capable of picking up a larger share of the Falcons’ backfield workload. Before going all in on Freeman as the Falcons’ feature back, however, it’s worth noting that Jaquizz Rodgers (7-20-1) started and scored and Antone Smith had a pair of long plays wiped out by penalties but according to Atlanta coaches has earned more playing time.
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