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Sunday, Aug. 14 Preseason Notes

The lone preseason game Sunday featured the Texans and 49ers with limited repetitions for the starters. Lamar Miller tallied 30 yards on four carries, whereas Brock Osweiler and Blaine Gabbert underwhelmed with 4-for-7 and 4-for-10 outings, respectively. Gabbert did rush three times for 18 yards to reinforce his ground capabilities. Miller is poised to return top-end numbers among backs, while Osweiler and Gabbert are strictly SuperFlex and two-QB targets, or possible streaming options in A+ matchups.

  • Looking deeper down the fantasy ranks, Jalen Strong snatched four catches and is an against-the-grain lean to solidify himself as the No. 2 option in the Houston passing attack. Additionally, potential late-rounder Vance McDaonald hauled in a 43-yeard touchdown. Strong is a sneaky option in deeper PPR settings, and McDonald could emerge as a weekly flier in favorable matchups.
  • Colin Kaepernick was held out of the preseason opener Sunday because of his sore shoulder. It's a disappointing setback because Kaepernick is likely firmly behind incumbent Blake Gabbert, and Kaepernick hasn't seen game action since Week 9 last year. Continue to keep tabs on Kaepernick in SuperFlex and two-QB settings, but in the majority of setups, he's nothing more than waiver wire fodder.
  • After dealing with a foot injury earlier in camp, Tevin Coleman left practice Sunday because of heat-related reasons. In isolation, it's not a concern, however, minor ailments have been an on-going issue with Coleman. Still, he's going to be involved in the offense and have some standalone value in deep leagues as a bye week filler. Plus, in the event of a Devonta Freeman injury, Coleman would leapfrog into the RB1 conversation.
  • Sticking with minor injuries, Julius Thomas returned to practice Sunday after sitting out Saturday with a knee ailment. The 28-year-old tight end enters his second season in Jacksonville and is a modest-ceiling, low-floor option until proven otherwise. There will likely be a number of weeks where he provides startable numbers, which makes him a better option for daily contests and owners who stream the tight end position.
  • In the midst of a solid camp, Utah alum Devontae Booker is earning more backup reps than Ronnie Hillman. Similar to most first year backs, he still has some room to grow as a pass protector, but the team is giving their fourth-round pick every opportunity to succeed. For a Broncos team expected to run often in 2016, the RB2 position should provide steady volume with significant upside should C.J. Anderson sustain an injury.
  • Looking back to a strong showing from DeAndre Washington Friday, the rookie owns excellent upside and stands to secure a decent share of the backfield work in Oakland. He averaged over five yards per carry and grabbed a 32-yard catch, highlighting the promise currently accompanying his fantasy stock. While, Latavis Murray is currently entrenched as the starting running back, Washington is a viable wait-and-see grab in all leagues. He's also a strong option in dynasty formats.
  • Golden Tate is locked in for a significant role this season. The Lions offense is expected to be extremely pass heavy again in 2016, which should help mitigate any concerns of Marvin Jones and Anquan Boldin eating into Tate's target share. Based on his performance without Calvin Johnson – or when Johnson was limited with injuries –  over the past two seasons, Tate's proven capable of handling the No. 1 role, and he already has two years of experience with quarterback Matthew Stafford – something neither Jones or Boldin can claim. Tate is more valuable in PPR settings, but he's still an early middle round lock in all formats.
  • Updating the injury status of Tajae Sharpe, the rookie is expected to practice Monday, after he cleared the concussion protocol. He's having a monster preseason, but overanalyzing the coachspeak could prove ill-advised. In fact, perhaps pumping Sharpe's tires is intended to serve as motivation for other Tennessee receivers. Sharpe isn't on the fantasy radar in the majority of standard leagues. So, while he's currently listed as the starter opposite Rishard Matthews, a lot could change leading into the season.
  • Terrelle Pryor aggravated his hand injury Sunday but is not expected to miss any time. The athletic receiver had a preseason opener to remember, so it's a fantasy positive the injury is considered minor. Pryor reeled in a 49-yard reception Friday, which impressed head coach Hue Jackson. The once quarterback is carving out a decent role in the offense and is currently listed No. 2 on the depth chart, but his role could be short lived with Josh Gordon's return in Week 5. Pryor is a late-round dice roll in deep leagues, albeit with some upside.