Every offseason, the fantasy football community spends countless hours poring over game tape, metrics, measurables, and a whole host of other things to formulate a plan of attack for the fantasy football draft season. But, as Mike Tyson so eloquently put it, “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Every preseason is a series of punches to the mouth that makes us stagger back and rethink our plans. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the risers and fallers this August for fantasy football.
Wide Receiver Risers:
Terrace Marshall, Carolina Panthers
The rookie Panthers pass catcher kicked the door down on the NFL in the preseason, averaging 3 catches for 60 yards per game, and finishing as Pro Football Focus’s #1 rookie wide receiver in the preseason:
If you don’t know Marshall, that’s okay. He’s a rookie wide receiver out of LSU, taken by the Panthers in the second round of the draft. He finished his last two years at LSU averaging more than a touchdown per game, and hailing in about 14.8 yards per reception. He’s a very good all-around wide receiver, who took a big step forward during the preseason.
Marquez Callaway, New Orleans Saints
Marquez Callaway certainly had an exciting preseason. The Saints’ second-year wide receiver didn’t do a whole lot last year, notching just 213 receiving yards on 27 targets. He notched nearly that many yards in two preseason games, averaging 82.5 yards per game in his two preseason contests. With Michael Thomas on the shelf into some nebulous point in the future, and until then, we don’t really know which wide receivers in New Orleans are good. Marquez Callaway may or may not be good, but he will get targeted, at least, until Michael Thomas comes back.
Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots
With Cam Newton hitting the bricks and Mac Jones at quarterback, we need to keep rolling assuming this offense will have some modicum of passing proficiency. That would lead us to believe that the offense will look a lot like it did in the preseason. In the preseason, Jakobi Meyers led the way, with 73 yards on 5 targets. Not only did he lead the way in preseason games, but according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe, he also led the way in training camp and practice, as well. The drumbeat is there for Jakobi.
Wide Receiver Fallers:
Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals
It’s been a hideous August for Ja’Marr Chase, who the Bengals took instead of Penei Sewell in the 2021 NFL Draft (who has also had a rough August). There are reports that he might lose snaps to Auden Tate, which doesn’t bode well. He also had three extremely highly publicized drops in preseason week two. Ultimately, he ended the preseason with one catch for sixteen yards. That’s an inauspicious start to a career for a guy who was slated as a top-24 fantasy football wide receiver before he even takes the field for the first time.
Breshad Perriman, Free Agent
Resident Football Absurdity Lions fan Walker Kelly kept telling us all offseason that it would be Breshad Perriman. After all, he’s flashed potential in Tampa Bay. Now he’s a free agent, and it’s Amon-Ra St. Brown’s time to shine after the Lions decided to eat $2 million to make sure Perriman doesn’t play a down.
T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
A neck injury ended the Indianapolis portion of Peyton Manning’s career, and a neck injury threatens the end of T.Y. Hilton’s overall career. He is one of the all-time great Colts, and at this point getting him was more about drafting the name than drafting any sort of fantasy football upside, so this likely spells the end of his fantasy football relevance. RIP to a deep threat fantasy football king.