Remember a year ago when there was a panic coming out of Kansas City that Patrick Mahomes was throwing too many interceptions during training camp? As we wrote last year — take Mahomes. The knee-jerk reactions to stats in preseason games can be alarming (see Drew Lock), but there are definitely things to pay attention to that can help you win your fantasy league.
Here are 10 things to monitor during the 2019 preseason:
Running back battles
Chicago: With Jordan Howard in Philadelphia the Bears will have plenty of carries for a new lead back. Rookie David Montgomery has all the tools to be a successful back, but Mike Davis could take away his goal-line opportunities and playmaker Tarik Cohen will still be involved as a change-of-pace option. It will be interesting to see if Montgomery is involved in the passing game and if he can emerge as a three-down player.
Denver: Offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello has compared Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman to the backs he previously worked with in Atlanta: Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. This puts a damper on projections of Lindsay being a top-10 back in fantasy. This could be a true split.
Detroit: The table is set for Kerryon Johnson to have a monster year. The only thing standing in his way is former Bronco C.J. Anderson figures to be in the running for goal-line carries. If Johnson receives the bulk of the red zone opportunities he should end up being a top fantasy running back.
Seattle: Chris Carson is the clear starter but Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has said he wants a one-two punch at running back. First-round pick from 2018 Rashaad Penny has reportedly lost 15 pounds during the offseason and his 6.35 yards per carry in the last six games he played last year is hard to ignore. This could turn into a time share.
Washington: Derrius Guice was set to be the featured back last season before an ACL tear made Washington sign Adrian Peterson, who ran for 1,000-plus yards and eight touchdowns. Peterson will likely start the year as the top runner, but he's 34 and Guice is 22. One would think that Guice's carries and production would increase as the season goes on.
Wide receiver rotations
Carolina: The table is set for D.J. Moore to emerge as the Panthers' top receiver, but the table was set for Devin Funchess (now in Indianapolis) last season. It will be interesting to see who emerges in Carolina.
Denver: Joe Flacco's strong arm make Courtland Sutton a tempting pick, but Emmanuel Sanders is the clear No. 1 if he's healthy. Flacco has traditionally loved passing to tight ends so Sutton could be a boom or bust pick reliant on the deep pass.
Seattle: Tyler Lockett is under 6 feet tall and is listed at 182 pounds. Rookie D.K. Metcalf is 6-3 and comes in at 223. Who do you think is going to be targeted on goal-line fades?
Tennessee: Corey Davis wasn't a top 25 fantasy receiver last year despite having 112 targets. He finished with 65 receptions. Is he ready to take that next step or did the Titans draft A.J. Brown in the second round to eventually be the No. 1 receiver? A lot of questions in Tennessee.
Buffalo: Zay Jones, John Brown, Cole Beasley and Robert Foster are at the top of the Bills' depth chart. Finding the Buffalo receiver who can net 85 catches and seven touchdowns in the last round of your draft could win you a fantasy title.