Don’t Scoff at Goff and 3 More Preseason Observations

By Tod Burros
Tod Burros
What should be believe and what is just preseason noise? That’s the fine line we walk when analyzing preseason action. Here are some of my key takeaways from last week’s games.


Jarred Goff had an awful rookie season. This we can all agree on, and most experts coming into the preseason thought that the change in coaching and the additions the Rams made were unlikely to change Goff’s outcome in year two.

Watching their game with the Raiders, however, I feel scoffing at Goff might not be as reasonable as many had first suggested. While most agree that Goff’s rookie year to be historically bad, Eli Manning, Alex Smith and Matthew Stafford all had horrible rookie years as well and have turned out to be solid-to-good NFL QBs.

This week Goff got the ball out of his hands quickly, and while he didn’t face much pressure from a lackluster Raiders defense, when he did, he threw the ball away. He played with confidence, and rookies Cooper Kupp and Gerald Everett looked good as well. The play calling took advantage of the rookie’s plus quickness and short-space cutting ability, enabling Goff to make quick decisions and accurate throws.

While questions about their offensive line will continue, having Andrew Whitworth at left tackle made a huge difference, as he opened holes for Todd Gurley and protected Goff’s blind side. That being said, I didn’t see the type of explosion Gurley had as a rookie.

The last part of the equation is Sammy Watkins. If you are skeptical, I get it, but when you consider the ADP of Watkins is dropping him into the fourth round, this could be an intriguing situation to buy this year. Watkins drop into the fourth round is my favorite situation to attack in best ball drafts.


What was a three-headed monster with Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy and C.J. Prosise has now turned into a four-headed monster with the strong preseason of Chris Carson. I had been taking each of the Seattle RBs in smaller shares throughout the offseason, but isn’t there better shots in the dark than a-one-in-four chance of getting a performer out of this backfield? If no one separates themselves, this looks like a situation to avoid.

Doug Baldwin is considered safe in most circles with a late second-round pick. Baldwin has been one of my most-owned players each of the last two seasons, but I am not sure I agree with those who claim Baldwin will get the same number of targets as last year. Tyler Lockett is returning from injury; Paul Richardson was playing well before his injury and is a strong last round flyer in best ball leagues. The Seahawks have better options around Baldwin than in the past.

Russell Wilson also had career high in pass attempts in 2016 by almost 30 percent. This can be attributed both to a weak running game and Wilson’s own injury, which kept his running attempts down. Between better options at receiver and a healthy QB likely to run more, my favorite way to play the Seahawks is to draft Wilson at ADP.


Based off of Rex Burkhead‘s strong game, his ADP is up 15-20 picks, and Mike Gillislee’s ADP has gone down eight to 10 spots. I wouldn’t go crazy based on what we saw this weekend, as Burkhead did most of his damage in the passing game and didn’t appear to be a hammer between the tackles.

Burkhead does give the Patriots a dual threat, but the whole situation remains fantasy volatile, as Bill Belichick is known for using his RB differently week to week, making season-long exposure very difficult to count on.


The Giants offensive line is trash and going to limit the upside of the team’s offense. The vain hope the team had that they would see improvement out of Eric Flowers and Bobby Hart doesn’t look to be panning out, and we see that in both their play and reports out of camp.

It really dings Paul Perkins, as there really isn’t any reason to be excited that he will be able to improve on what the Giants running game was able to do last year.

Evan Engram was a bright spot. He was out on the field a lot with Eli Manning, and they used him in a variety of ways. He looked fast and explosive, and while he was bad as a blocker, this was known challenge coming out of college. All three of the Giants top WRs have been injured in preseason. If one of them goes down, Engram is the best fit to replace that volume on this team, making him an intriguing draft choice at his cheap ADP.


Kareem Hunt looked amazing, and it does ding Spencer Ware, but both of these RBs will see the field. I have been stackcuffing the two of them and believe they can be the Devonte Freeman and Tevin Coleman of this year. Andy Reid has a history of RB production and this is a cheap way to capture it.

Tyrod Taylor takes a huge hit without Sammy Watkins and losing Anquan Boldin. The question is whether he remains a safe No. 2 QB. I have moved most of my recent drafts to Carson Palmer, who is being drafted around Taylor and has far less uncertainty.

As much as we love to rip on Jay Cutler, he has landed in a perfect spot for himself on a team with both a strong run game and excellent WRs. He is another QB I am looking at later in drafts. His presence helps both DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills who profile well with Cutler’s ability to throw deep.

Stefon Diggs big week hasn’t really moved his ADP much at all, and he remains one of my favorite targets in drafts

Both Marcus Mariota and Jamies Winston played well this last week, and the shiny new weapons both received in the offseason make them both interesting targets to draft. As is Derrick Henry who showed what he can do this past week in both the run and pass games.

I am Tod Burros and you can find me on Twitter @TodfromPa. Let me know your thoughts or check out my Run to Daylight Podcast on