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Fantasy football risers and fallers after week 3 of the preseason

The last week of preseason football has concluded. Which players are ascending and descending as the new season begins?

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at New Orleans Saints
Jameis Winston is running up the fantasy rankings after a solid performance in the Saints last preseason game
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Many fantasy football leagues wait until the pre-season concludes before drafting. This is good for every league, if possible, because it lets injuries and starting roles be more definite for the regular season.

This also means that each and every week some players rise up the draft boards while others fall. These are some of those players making moves as the 2022 NFL preseason concludes.

Making moves up fantasy football draft boards

Jameis Winston, Quarterback, New Orleans Saints

In his first action of the preseason, Jameis Winston looked sharp and ready for the regular season.

Winston completed all four of his pass attempts for 59 yards. Better yet, the passes were complete to multiple pass-catchers. Jarvis Landry hauled in a pair of targets while Chris Olave and Alvin Kamara connected on Winston’s other two attempts. The drive was capped off by a short Mark Ingram rushing touchdown.

This was enough for the Saints’ sideline: Winston and the rest of the starters began checking out of the game after this one drive. Winston has all the ability but now it appears as if the Saints have weapons, even without Michael Thomas.


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AJ Dillon, Running Back, Green Bay Packers

Matt LaFleur’s recent comments about the Packers backfield has helped Dillon’s fantasy stock. According to Matt Schneidman, “Matt LaFleur calls Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon running backs “1A and 1A.” Before these comments, Aaron Jones was being drafted as the 10th running back on the board and Dillon was way down between the 35th and 40th ranked back.

Dillon has shot up by around 15 spots since this comment by LaFleur. It is looking more and more like Jones and Dillon will be a true split backfield when the season begins.

Treylon Burks, Wide Receiver, Tennessee Titans

How the turntables. From being on last week’s fade list to rising up the boards this week.

Treylon Burkes finally saw the field in the public eye and he delivered. The 6-foot-2 rookie turned three targets into three receptions for 33 yards and a touchdown. This is the kind of production fantasy players were waiting on.

Burks will likely have some growing pains this season, but it does look like he’ll be called upon in a thin Titans pass-catching unit.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Chargers
Dak Prescott likely will not see this much space the entire regular season with the Cowboys losses on the offensive line
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Falling down fantasy boards

Dak Prescott, Quarterback, Dallas Cowboys

This offseason, the Dallas Cowboys have lost Cedrick Wilson, La’el Collins, Connor Williams, and Amari Cooper on the offensive side of the ball. Michael Gallup is also trying to return from a knee injury suffered late last season.

Now, another injury could potentially hamper the Cowboys offense. Starting left tackle Tyron Smith suffered a torn hamstring in practice last week. When playing, Smith is one of the best tackles in the game, so his presence will be missed immediately.

On the fantasy side, Smith’s loss has caused Prescott’s value to fall even more, putting him as a quarterback one or two to begin the year. This will undoubtably be the most difficult year of Prescott’s career, so fantasy owners are staying away.

Kenneth Walker, Running Back, Seattle Seahawks

Rookie Kenneth Walker was challenging for the starting spot with the Seahawks this preseason.

Unfortunately for everyone, Walker had a procedure done for some type of hernia several days ago. Walker’s timetable for return has yet to be established. The Seahawks’ backfield was going to be difficult to figure out, but this might clear the field for Rashaad Penny to begin the season. Penny might separate himself and win the job if given the opportunity.

Walker is still a good seasonal prospect, especially for any keeper format. Do not rely on him for early in the season though.

Michael Thomas, Wide Receiver, New Orleans Saints

Another injury has put Michael Thomas on the questionable list. This is a different injury from what has plagued the Saints wideout over the last several months. Thomas has not played meaningful football since December 2020. This is a long time to not see the field.

Though this new injury to his hamstring is considered minor for now, it’s just another thing to add to the uncertainty surrounding Thomas. With the Saints adding Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave this off-season, the team can likely play it safe with Thomas’ return.

New Orleans Saints v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images