• New York Jets rookie RB Breece Hall didn’t start but saw significant playing time with the first team.
• Jets rookie WR Garrett Wilson also saw some playing time with the starters, but it was much more limited.
• The Thursday, Friday and Saturday recaps have you covered for all of the fantasy football takeaways you might have missed.
PFF’s fantasy football recap focuses on player usage and stats, breaking down all the vital information you need to achieve fantasy success in 2022. This includes only the players who are relevant in fantasy football leagues.
NEW YORK GIANTS @ NEW YORK JETS
Move Michael Carter down your draft board: Carter started the game for the Jets and had more playing time than a rookie Breece Hallbut the gap between them tightened compared to their first preseason game.
- Carter played seven snaps with the starters in their first game compared to two by Hall.
- The two both saw playing time on the first two drives, then Hall received the third drive and Carter the fourth.
- Neither back played once the backups came in.
- There was a tendency for Carter to play on passing snaps and Hall to play on rushing snaps, but Hall played on more third downs while Carter played on more early downs.
- Hall can be expected to see a higher percentage of snaps as time goes on, and the fact that Hall played more on third downs means he could take both the early- and late-down work.
Move Garrett Wilson down your draft board: Wilson remains a backup for the Jets. He saw some playing time with the starters but continued to play more when the backups came in.
- The Jets don’t use their wide receivers interchangeably like some teams. Instead, each backup wide receiver is a backup to a particular starter.
- Wilson was specifically Corey Davis‘ backup in this game, only coming on the field with the starters when Davis came off.
- This is the same thing that happened in the first preseason game — Wilson’s only snap with the starters came when Davis missed a play.
- Similarly, Jeff Smith was the backup to Elijah Moore.
- Davis took nine snaps in 11 personnel compared to two by Wilson. And similarly, Davis took eight snaps in 12 personnel to two by Wilson.
- Braxton Berrios remains locked in to a slot role, playing 100% of snaps with the starters in 11 personnel and 0% in 12 personnel. This is basically how Jamison Crowder was used last year.
- Wilson will likely take more time from Davis as the season progresses, but he might never get the amount of playing time you would like to see from a fantasy starter in 2022.
Consider Tyler Conklin a deep sleeper: Conklin left the field only once with the Jets’ starters and was the most targeted player among the starters.
- The Jets’ offense would need to improve significantly this season for Conklin to be a fantasy starter, as he would need several touchdown opportunities.
- He appears to be seeing the amount of playing time needed to be a fantasy starter, at least.
- CJ Uzomah ran plenty of routes out of two-tight end sets but wasn’t seeing enough playing time to be worth drafting in the majority of leagues.
The Giants showed us more of the same: The Giants played a number of starters in all three preseason games while resting players who were either too important or injured. They basically used their players the same way in all three games.
- Matt Breida remains the clear backup running back for the Giants. He played the first six offensive snaps and called it a day.
- Wan’ Dale Robinson has remained the starting slot receiver. Sterling Shepard was recently activated, and the two will compete for slot snaps, but Shepard did not play against the Jets.
- Darius Slayton didn’t play on the first two drives but did later in the game. He could be among the Giants’ roster cuts.
- Daniel Bellinger remains the unquestioned starting tight end. He did play longer than other starters, which could be slightly concerning, but he’s also a mid-round rookie making the extended playing time more understandable.
DETROIT LIONS @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Monitor the Diontae Johnson shoulder injury: Johnson left in the first quarter after landing awkwardly on his shoulder and was ruled out of the game shortly after. The severity of the injury at this point is unclear, but it’s not surprising a starter with an injury did not return to the game, regardless of the severity.
- Chase Claypool also missed this game with a shoulder injury. Gunner Olszewski replaced Claypool in the starting lineup.
- Olszewski played ahead of George Pickens on the first two plays out of 12 personnel, but Pickens played ahead of Olszewski for more snaps later in the game, including when Claypool was out. It probably doesn’t mean much, but it is worth monitoring.
Draft Najee Harris: There had been talk this offseason of a reduced workload for Harris this season. He was used similarly to last season in the first half, seeing the vast majority of snaps. He should continue to see a workload few running backs will match.
- Jaylen Warren was the only other running back to see playing time in the first half, suggesting he is the new favorite to be the backup. He also started the second half with the backups.
- The Steelers would likely use multiple running backs in the case of an injury, with the back who looks best receiving more playing time. All of the backups should be avoided in fantasy drafts.
Monitor the running backs the Lions keep: Craig Reynolds rotated with Jermar Jefferson in the first two preseason games, with Reynolds playing first both times. Jefferson started today, with Reynolds not playing until the third quarter.
- Former Charger Justin Jackson also played in the first half, at times coming in for Jefferson.
- Reynolds did play early in this game as a kick returner. He’s never played kick returner in the regular season but did so in the 2019 and 2021 preseasons. It’s possible the Lions wanted him to focus on returning for this game rather than rushing.
- This could be a sign that Reynolds lost his job as the third back or a sign that they were more concerned about Jefferson and Jackson fighting for one spot.
- None of the three should be drafted, but if there is a clear third, they should be a waiver wire addition if D’Andre Swift or Jamaal Williams gets hurt at any point this season.
- Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.
- Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.
- Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.