By Jamie Calandro
Jamie Calandro

Ah, the preseason. Where all of fantasy twitter comes together to overreact to every dropped pass, missed blocking assignment, and fumble. It’s important to actually identify which players are actually the ones improving (or hurting) their own stock as the preseason rages on, and with only three weeks this year we have even less time to do it in. Let’s take a look at some of the top camp risers and fallers so far during the first two preseason weeks.


Zack Wilson, NYJ QB

Wilson looked to thoroughly justify his second overall draft spot this past weekend as he was near perfect against the Packers. Wilson completed nine of 11 passes for 128 yards and two TDs while also leading the Jets on a third scoring drive before taking a seat in the second half. Head Coach Robert Saleh said about Wilson, "His process is light years ahead of what a normal rookie's process would be", which is a glowing recommendation for a rookie at this stage. Wilson showed poise in the pocket and an immediate chemistry with Corey Davis (more on him below), and a rookie-WR1 early connection is something to keep an eye on as the preseason progresses. Wilson is currently the consensus QB26 on FantasyPros, but expect that to rise, especially with the strong third preseason week.

Corey Davis, NYJ WR

I promise this isn’t an all-Jet article, but Wilson’s stock is directly connected to Davis’, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that Davis is not being drafted at the floor/ceiling potential he has. In 2020, Corey Davis was the WR32 in PPR points per game playing as Tennessee’s WR2 on a team that ran the fourth fewest passing plays per game. In the offseason the Jets paid him to come in and be the team’s WR1, yet his current ADP is WR50. Davis was sixth among all WRs in yards per route run and eighth in yards per target last season with the Titans while also ranking in the top 20 in air yards %. He’s a gift where he’s being drafted right now.

Terrace Marshall Jr., CAR WR

Marshall has been a standout for both games in the preseason after going 3-88-1 on five targets against the Colts this past weekend. Marshall has now shown big-play ability in both preseason contests and has all but solidified himself as the starting WR3 against the Jets once week one hits. Marshall has sure hands (averaged over a 70% catch rate in his final two years of college with 23 TDs) and is adept at running routes out of the slot. QB Sam Darnold has always been known to favor slot WRs, so it’s possible Marshall makes an immediate impact. Marshall is currently the WR77 according to FantayPros’ ECR which basically makes him free in drafts, and he’s also minimum priced on DraftKings to start the season.


David Johnson, HOU RB

When the offseason first began, Johnson looked like a solid mid-round RB you could grab as a floor guy to put in your FLEX and as a bye-week filler. After all, we’re talking about a guy who LED THE LEAGUE among all qualified RBs in snap share last season at 77.4%. However, his role with Houston looks to be deteriorating at a rapid rate. The Texans brought in both Phillip Lindsay and Mark Ingram in the offseason, and their usages in the preseason has completely given off a full running-back-by-committee vibe. Lindsay’s usage looks to be the most damaging to Johnson, as Houston is almost certainly going to be tanking this season and could be looking to see what they have in the younger Lindsay. He averaged 4.8 YPC with the Broncos last year in a limited role behind Melvin Gordon, and was often the better runner there. I’ve begun avoiding Johnson completely.

Ja'Marr Chase, CIN WR

This is a tough one. He was horrible in Cincinnati’s most recent preseason contest, incorrectly running routes and dropping three passes. It’s got people panicking a bit on Chase, but is it actually warranted? Here’s the one positive I’ll take from it - drops means targets, and it looks as though Cincinnati is at the very least committed to getting him as many looks as possible in the preseason as possible. Diontae Johnson led the NFL with 11 drops last season and no one’s off him from it (since he was also sixth in the NFL in targets with 144). That said, we’re still talking about two different beasts here, and there’s reason to temper expectations on Chase given his current ADP. Remember that Chase opted out last season, so it’s been well over a year since he’s played full-speed football. Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati OL are also concerns for the offensive outlook of Chase, and he has established WRs in Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins to compete with. You’re still drafting him as his upside is unlimited, but if you’re chasing this year’s Justin Jefferson, I think you’ll be left wanting.

Dallas Goedert, PHI TE

Goedert was earmarked by a lot of us as the breakout TE to own this year (me included - I aggressively drafted him in the Scott Fish Bowl back in early July), but it’s becoming increasingly evident that Zach Ertz is NOT going to be traded as was the general consensus earlier in the summer. While Ertz and Goedert have proven themselves able to coexist, it does remove every shred of Goedert’s upside potential at his current ranking (FantasyPros ECR TE7). Before Ertz went down last year, Goedert’s TE ranking was 16th in receptions, 15th in air yards, 34th in RZ targets, and 16th in receiving yards. If Ertz were to go down or get traded after all, Goedert would see a Herculean rise up the rankings, but right now you’re getting a mid-TE2 at a mid-TE1 price.