The NFL was wise to reduce the preseason games from four to three for player safety and it also helps us for fantasy football drafts - less messing around. Even then, teams will pick and choose when to run their starters out, if at all, so some games are going to be more meaningful than others in terms of our fantasy football rankings and fantasy football ADP. Lucky for you, we are willing to take the time to sort through some of the nonsense and give you some meaningful insights where we see them. Some of the NFL Preseason Week 2 games gave us glimpses at potential fantasy football sleepers for the upcoming season. If you secure your copy of the Fantasy Alarm NFL Draft Guide available now, you’ll always have our up-to-date fantasy football rankings based on NFL news and rumors. For now, let’s give you a couple of quick notes with fantasy football advice from each NFL Preseason Week 2 game.


2023 NFL Preseason Week 2 Roundup

Philadelphia Eagles vs Cleveland Browns

Eagles: Neither team played their starters and the depth chart for the Eagles is far more solidified than the Browns. It’s worth noting that pretty much all of the running backs played this week. After looking sharp last week, Kenneth Gainwell had a bit of a rough game. Trey Sermon impressed but he’s got a tough battle on that depth chart. Many backup tight ends got work, like Dan Arnold and Grant Calcaterra, but it was converted quarterback Tyree Jackson and blocking tight end Brady Russell who made the most of their time.

Browns: Speedster Anthony Schwartz who was picked in the third round in 2021 is clearly fighting for his job as he played virtually the whole game. He only hauled in four of his 10 targets and had one carry for a five-yard loss. Meanwhile rookie Cedric Tillman and journeyman Austin Watkins shined. Meanwhile, rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson continued to turn heads.

New York Giants vs Carolina Panthers

Giants: These teams did roll out the starters and it was worth nothing that Darius Slayton, Parris Campbell, and Isaiah Hodgins were the starting wide receivers. Wan’Dale Robinson is still working back from injury and rookie Jaylen Hyatt came off the bench to have an impressive game. But it was the connection between Daniel Jones and Darren Waller that stood out with three catches on four targets right from the rip. We are targeting Waller as early as TE3-4 off the board these days. 

Panthers: It’s rare to see a team bring all new starters in at the skill positions but that’s what the Panthers did. Starters Adam Thielen, Jonathan Mingo, DJ Chark, and Hayden Hurst are all new while Miles Sanders would have started as well if he were not dealing with a groin injury. Thielen has quietly been operating as the “big slot” in what we’ve seen so far with 12 slot snaps to only four out wide. 

Cincinnati Bengals vs Atlanta Falcons

Bengals: The Bengals did not play their starters so we didn’t get to see much here. Worth noting that former first-round pick Jonah Williams has been asked to play right tackle - he made his debut this week at the position and said he “got some jitters out”. Chris Evans started at RB but with Trayveon Williams dealing with an ankle injury, that didn’t provide much clarity. 

Falcons: Whew lad, Bijan Robinson is here. He broke some tackles on his first run then made a nice one-handed catch. I’ve seen enough - throw him in the bubble wrap. The Falcons came out with a 3 WR set of Drake London, Mack Hollins, and KhaDarel Hodge while Kyle Pitts played seven of his eight snaps as a true inline tight end. We don’t love that but it is the preseason. 

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Detroit Lions

Jaguars: No starters for the Jaguars - would love to see them at least one more time to see if Christian Kirk lines up outside at all or if he’s mostly just going to play slot. We did get to see rookie Tank Bigsby, who has gained some steam but clearly, he’s still behind Travis Etienne

Lions: Both teams agreed on no starters this week. It’s worth noting that essentially every tight end on the depth chart played except for rookie Sam LaPorta, who has reportedly already won the starting job. The other pass-catching tight end on the team, Shane Zylstra, suffered a season-ending injury that Dan Campbell has said “should not have happened in training camp” so the path for LaPorta looks pretty clear. Worth noting that rookie Jahmyr Gibbs was also given the day off so he’s more of a 1B to the 1A of David Montgomery it seems. 

Miami Dolphins vs Houston Texans

Dolphins: These teams agreed to play the starters which is fun. It also gave us a sneak peak at some important info - with Jaylen Waddle out, Robbie Chosen was the starter opposite Tyreek Hill. It’s also worth noting that Raheem Mostert got the start at running back and looked great. If that holds he could be a screaming value at ADP though he has been injury-prone in the past and a lot of folks want to see rookie De’Von Achane. 

Texans: We didn’t get as much clarity here with the Texans despite the starters playing. First off, the game started with an interception in the red zone so the Texans rolled out their jumbo package. Nico Collins started for the second game but, Tank Dell, who had a great game last week, sat this one out with tightness. Veteran Robert Woods made his preseason debut and started those jumbo snaps which saw John Metchie come off the bench for the second straight game. Also worth noting is that Dameon Pierce played virtually every snap with the starters - maybe Devin Singletary won’t have the impact we thought.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Buffalo Bills

Steelers: A big story this offseason has been Jaylen Warren who made his name heard loud and clear once again with a 62-yard TD run. Najee Harris could have to fight to keep his massive snap share (and maybe at this point they simply don’t want that). Kenny Pickett looked more aggressive than we’ve seen out there and found Pat Freiermuth on a nice TD pass down the seam. Calvin Austin continues to flash but the starters were clearly Diontae Johnson, Allen Robinson, and George Pickens

Bills: The Buffalo Bills on the other hand looked pretty rough, racking up a ton of penalties once again. It was nice to see James Cook and Dalton Kincaid roll out with the starters Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis - Cook and Kincaid are two of our favorite sleepers this year. Kincaid played half his snaps at WR and half as an inline tight end, which is what we hope to see in the regular season. 

Indianapolis Colts vs Chicago Bears

Colts: The beauty of a rookie QB is we see a lot of the starters in the preseason. And a pattern has seemingly emerged that can help us in fantasy. Last week Michael Pittman and Alec Pierce were the starting wide receivers on the outside with Josh Downs playing over Isaiah McKenzie in the slot. Pittman and Pierce got the night off this week while Downs played over McKenzie again. It’s looking like, after Pittman, Pierce is the guy we want. But the rookie Downs is also pushing to start at the slot right away. Last week Evan Hull started with Jonathan Taylor out but this week it was Deon Jackson so that battle might still be in the air. If JT does actually hold out, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them sign Leonard Fournette or Kareem Hunt.  

Bears: The Bears sat their starters for this game which did give us at least some info. DJ Moore and Darnell Mooney didn’t play - Chase Claypool is hurt so we’ll need to see where he stands. The big one is Khalil Herbert getting the night off while D’Onta Foreman and Roschon Johnson played. Good news for Herbert. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Jets

Buccaneers: The Bucs didn’t give us much as the starters were out so Kyle Trask played with guys like David Moore and Kaylon Geirger. Ke’Shawn Vaughn got the start but rookie Sean Tucker flashed a bit as well. Rachaad White is the starter so the question is whether one of these guys or someone like Chase Edmonds can carve out a meaningful role. Also worth noting that Cade Otton did not get the night off despite being at the top of the depth chart but none of the tight ends got the night off.

Jets: The starters got the night off here which makes it interesting that guys like Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman, and Tyler Conklin played. Garrett Wilson is an obvious starter then there are conflicting reports on whether Corey Davis will be the WR2 or whether he might be cut. There is room for a second fantasy-relevant pass catcher there so the battle could be interesting. The Jets flexed their depth at RB as Bam Knight and Izzy Abanikanda looked good with Breece Hall and Dalvin Cook out. 

Tennessee Titans vs Minnesota Vikings

Titans: No starters here so, with Will Levis out, Malik Willis played virtually the whole game. Veterans like DeAndre Hopkins and Derrick Henry got the night off but Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Kyle Philips, and Chigoziem Okonkwo were all out there. Rookie Tyjae Spears was the high point, making a couple of tough runs. He’s the likely handcuff to Derrick Henry.

Vikings: Absolutely a vanilla personnel group here for the Vikings. It said more about who played than who didn’t as even backup tight end Josh Oliver got the night off. Jalen Reagor, Ty Chandler, and DeWayne McBride played which suggests their spot on the depth chart isn’t necessarily settled yet. 

Kansas City Chiefs vs Arizona Cardinals

Chiefs: The Chiefs rolled the starters out and it was interesting to see rookie Rashee Rice play along with Skyy Moore, Travis Kelce, and the first team though Kadarius Toney is still recovering from knee surgery. Isaiah Pacheco was also banged up - Clyde Edwards-Helaire got the first rep but Jerick McKinnon resumed his pass-down role. Pacheco has a chance to suit up for the final game. 

Cardinals: The Cardinals also used their version of starters with Colt McCoy as the quarterback. The most interesting note here was that rookie Michael Wilson played opposite Marquise Brown in two WR sets with Marquise Brown coming in to play slot in three wide. Michael Wilson is one of our favorite deep sleepers this year so it’s nice to see him getting some work with the ones.

San Francisco 49ers vs Denver Broncos

49ers: No surprises from the 49ers outside of George Kittle and Christian McCaffrey having the night off. As usual, they used fullback Kyle Juszczyk often instead of a third receiver so don’t expect much from the rest of this depth chart unless Brandon Aiyuk or Deebo Samuel go down. Ty Davis-Price started at RB with no CMC or Elijah Mitchell. Also worth noting is that all three quarterbacks played and they all looked pretty solid - Brock Purdy got the start followed by Trey Lance and Sam Darnold.  

Broncos: Broncos starters played this one with Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy out there for a two-wide receiver set. Fullback Michael Burton played a good amount, then when they went to three WR sets, Marvin Mims came in to play on the outside with Jeudy moving into the slot. The scary situation is that Adam Trautman did start at tight end with Dulcich coming off the bench. Dulcich also played nine snaps at inline TE with three out wide, so not the usage we want. We are a little worried about Dulcich at this point. A bright spot however was Javonte Williams, who not only played but got FIVE targets. He might end up being a steal in drafts.

Las Vegas Raiders vs Los Angeles Rams

Raiders: No Hunter Renfrow yet so it was Jakobi Meyers opposite Davante Adams in the starting lineup. Also worth noting is that rookie tight end Michael Mayer started over Austin Hooper. With Josh Jacobs still floating around as a holdout potential, Zamir White got the start at running back. 

Rams: The Raiders opted for starters but the Rams did not. Stetson Bennett started at quarterback with Ben Skowronek, Tyler Johnson, Ronnie Rivers, and rookie tight end Davis Allen as the weapons. Interesting to see both Cam Akers and Kyren Williams held out of these games after Sean McVay said Williams impressed him in camp.

Seattle Seahawks vs Dallas Cowboys 

Seahawks: DK Metcalf got the night off and Tyler Lockett only played two snaps but rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba played and looked good. The battle is likely between JSN and Lockett for that full snap share opposite Metcalf. Kenneth Walker is still out but rookie Zach Charbonnet flashed some of the talent he was drafted for. Not much else to report on here. 

edit Jaxon-Smith Njigba reportedly broke his wrist in this game and will undergo surgery in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Stay tuned for updates on his timeline. 

Cowboys: No starters whatsoever for Dallas but we can glean some info. Ceedee Lamb, Michael Gallup, and Brandin Cooks are likely the starting wide receivers. Both Luke Schoonmaker and Peyton Hendershot played while Jake Fergeson got the night off which helped him. And Rico Dowdle continues to play over Malik Davis and Deuce Vaughn at running back. 

New Orleans Saints vs Los Angeles Chargers

Saints: The Saints didn’t start anyone of immediate relevance, though it has been fun to watch AT Perry get some work. Rookie Kendre Miller played with the veteran RBs both getting the night off. Juwan Johnson got the night off as well and we are still awaiting news on Jimmy Graham after a scary incident in Los Angeles.