Preseason games can give us a glimpse into what the upcoming season will hold, but it's not a good idea to put too much stock into these games. It never has been and likely never will. Where it's helpful is in determining position battles and potential sleepers.
What is useful though is to watch the progression of players throughout the past month and their associated rankings. That's what our Movers and Shakers is designed to keep an eye on. As the season approaches, most rankings tend to solidify, but that doesn't mean that we can't see huge upswings or downswings. A key injury will do that. Just ask Travis Etienne/James Robinson owners...
Here are the players that have moved the most in our rankings this preseason.
Zach Wilson (QB - NYJ)
The No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft has been a nice surprise this preseason. He has shown potential in camp and should have some viable weapons this season. The Jets picked up Corey Davis and second-round rookie Elijah Moore. In 1-QB leagues, Wilson isn't viable from a fantasy perspective...yet, but he's been the biggest QB climber over the past 21 days.
Carson Wentz (QB - IND)
It would appear that Carson Wentz is trending in the right direction for Week 1. He's either not being drafted at all or is being taken with a very late round pick. That he's fallen so far in the rankings could be a blessing in disguise. If you can land Wentz as your backup QB, you may find yourself with solid value.
Teddy Bridgewater (QB - DEN)
Being named the starter for the Broncos helped push Bridgewater's rankings up. If you're streaming QBs, Bridgewater could be a decent pick with an upgraded supporting class surrounding him. Unless you're drafting in a Superflex league, you're likely to find Bridgewater available on the wire.
James Robinson (RB - JAC)
The loss of Travis Etienne for the season brings James Robinson back to fantasy relevance. He has seen the biggest jump in our rankings over the past 21 days. With an ADP in the fourth round, he may no longer be the value that he was just two weeks ago, but he's a solid RB2 with RB1 upside.
Phillip Lindsay (RB - HOU)
The second most movement by a RB in our rankings belongs to Houston's new back Phillip Lindsay. Prior to camp, it was believed that David Johnson would have the bulk of the work here, but it doesn't look like that's going to be the case. Lindsay has impressed and has seen the most touches with the first team. None of the Houston backfield is exciting or really worth drafting at this time, but we'll keep an eye on Lindsay's situation.
Marquez Callaway (WR - NO)
5 receptions for 104 yards and 2 scores is bound to get our attention. No player has moved up the rankings as far and fast as Marquez Callaway who looked impressive in the Saints' preseason Week 2 game. With Jameis Winston being named the starter for New Orleans, that's good news for Callaway who could quickly become his #1 target...at least until Michael Thomas returns.
Terrace Marshall (WR - CAR)
The rookie has certainly lived up to the preseason hype pulling in 6 of his 8 targets for 138 yards. With Curtis Samuel out of the picture, his nearly 100 targets are up for grabs. Even with DJ Moore and Robby Anderson in the mix, Marshall could prove to have some fantasy value - especially with one of your last picks.
Deshaun Watson (QB - HOU)
It's not like Watson is ever going to play for the Texans again. With Tyrod Taylor the expected starter, Watson is essentially on no-man's island. With legal issues surrounding him, he shouldn't be anywhere near your roster.
Cam Newton (QB - NE)
This is all about the inevitable "when". When does Cam lose the starting job? The moment he starts to struggle, the cries will start from New England fans to get Mac Jones into the game. If you draft Cam, just realize that he has a shelf life in New England.
Taysom Hill (QB - NO)
The moment that the QB situation in New Orleans was settled, Hill's ADP started to drop. We fully expect Hill to continue playing the role we saw even when Drew Brees was still under center which means that he'll eat into the fantasy value of Winston, but it's not like there was much value there to begin with.
D'Andre Swift (RB - DET)
Swift is still going to be the lead back in Detroit, but a months-long groin injury put his Week 1 status in jeopardy. He has gotten in some practice this week but Lions coach Dan Campbell wouldn't commit to Swift's Week 1 status. That introduces some doubt for fantasy owners and his drop in the rankings shows that. He's coming off the boards in the 3rd round.
Darrell Henderson (RB - LAR)
Henderson's rankings have been a roller coaster. After Cam Akers went down for the season, his rankings went up. When the Rams signed Sony Michel, the backfield got more crowded and his rankings have gone down. At this point, Henderson is likely a low-end RB2. Hopefully his ADP will show that soon.
Keke Coutee (WR - HOU)
When Anthony Miller was carted off the field, Coutee's rankings went up because of the uncertainty. With news that Miller could be back for the start of the season, Coutee's rankings have come back down. He should start the season as Houston's slot receiver, but there's very little to be excited about on this Texans' offense.
Adam Trautman (TE - NO)
Many fantasy analysts have been hyping up Adam Trautman all preseason. He was the TE sleeper for many, but after suffering a foot injury, he's effectively off the radar for most. Trautman will miss 1-3 weeks with the injury and is shaky for Week 1.
Dallas Goedert (TE - PHI)
If given the choice between Goedert or Zach Ertz, we'll take Goedert in our drafts, but Ertz certainly limits his upside. In fact, plenty of analysts expected Ertz to be off the team by now, but that prediction has not materialized. Ertz himself has indicated that he wants to be traded or released, yet he's been one of the most standout players this preseason. The best fantasy scenario is for Ertz to get traded to the Saints and Goedert to remain with the Eagles. Until Ertz leaves, Goedert's fantasy value is not going to be as optimal as it could be.
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