It’s hard to imagine there being an NFL football game harder to watch than that thing that just took place between the Cowboys and Cardinals on Sunday night. Without David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Ezekiel Elliott and most other fantasy-worthy players in action, pretty much all we learned from Dallas’ eight-turnover meltdown is that this team is in trouble if anything happens to Dak Prescott. Thankfully, the Bills-Bengals game earlier in the day was at least palatable, if not for anything than seeing the Bengals passing game purr. Andy Dalton was on point, A.J. Green was doing A.J. Green things, and John Ross showed what he can do when given opportunities downfield. This trio could make for a very interesting stack in DFS in Week 1 against the Colts’ subpar secondary. On the flip side, Joe Mixon hasn’t given anyone any reason to get excited about him this preseason, and the disappointment around him only grew Sunday. But then again, Cincy’s offensive line looks great, and if the passing game continues to follow suit, Mixon can rack up the fantasy points even if he doesn’t do it in the most efficient way possible, á la Melvin Gordon. In other news:
- Cleveland: It’s disappointing that we probably won’t see Josh Gordon this preseason, but at least the strained hamstring he sustained Saturday doesn’t seem severe considering Hue Jackson said Sunday that the receiver is “very close” to returning to practice. I can 100 percent for sure say that I’ve never, ever had any shred of excitement whatsoever over anything Browns related, ever, and yet I now find myself like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting to see what this passing game looks like with Gordon, Jarvis Landry, David Njoku and Antonio Callaway catching balls from Tyrod Taylor and Baker Mayfield.
- New York: A couple encouraging health updates came out of East Rutherford, as Saquon Barkley returned to team drills and Evan Engram was seen getting some sprints in. Barkley’s situation was never a huge concern for me anyway, but I’m pumped to hear that Engram is doing well as all head injuries are a big deal. With OBJ drawing safety help and Barkley commanding extra attention in the box this season, this guy shouldn’t have a problem building upon his fantastic rookie season from a year ago.
- New England: Malcolm Mitchell is gone, Kenny Britt followed him out the door, and now Eric Decker hangs up the cleats. It seems the fantasy gods are pulling out all the stops to get Cordarrelle Patterson back into the limelight. That, or the Pats like what they see out of Julian Edelman coming off that torn ACL. Or both.
- Philadelphia: Two guys I’m looking to roster in most of my leagues regardless of format is the Jay Ajayi/Corey Clement combo out of Philly. Someone is going to produce behind the league’s best offensive line — particularly with LeGarrette Blount and his 173 carries out of the picture — and if Ajayi can’t stay healthy enough to do so, Clement will massively outperform his triple-digit ADP. As it stands, Ajayi remains sidelined as of Sunday, but Clement is back in action. It doesn’t seem as if there’s a definitive timeline on Ajayi’s return.
- Tampa Bay: Mike Evans was in street clothes at practice after absorbing a hard hit during Friday’s preseason game against the Lions. There isn’t anything to say that Evans is dealing with a long-term injury, but if he misses any time, there’s no excuse for Chris Godwin to be unrostered in any format. Even with Evans in the picture, there might not be a better fantasy handcuff at receiver outside of Kenny Golladay.
- Tennessee: Rishard Matthews passed his physical and was activated from the PUP list. Some people view this as a negative, but I only see this as a plus for Corey Davis’ impending breakout since Matthews is the kind of guy that helps sustain drives. However, I’m not sure how many Davis shares I will end up having anyway given the wideout’s rising ADP coupled with the Titans’ run-first offense.