2023 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Biggest Losers from Preseason Week 1
As the NFL preseason is well underway, fantasy football enthusiasts are eagerly observing player performances, injuries, and developments that could impact their draft strategy. The first week of the preseason has provided valuable insights, both confirming expectations and, in some cases, leading to surprises. When it comes to fantasy football, identifying potential losers early on can be just as crucial as identifying potential winners. In this article, we will discuss some of the biggest losers from preseason Week 1, starting with the unexpected backup role for Tank Bigsby.
Tank Bigsby: A Surprising Backup
Tank Bigsby, the talented running back for the Auburn Tigers, was highly anticipated to have a breakout season in 2023. With his exceptional speed, agility, and ability to find the end zone, many fantasy owners were considering targeting him in their drafts. However, preseason Week 1 revealed an unexpected twist for Bigsby, as he found himself playing backup to a newly acquired veteran.
The Implications for Fantasy Football
For fantasy football managers who had high hopes for Tank Bigsby, this new development poses a significant setback. As a backup, Bigsby’s potential carries and touchdown opportunities would be limited, affecting his overall fantasy production. This sudden turn of events forces drafters to reevaluate their expectations and consider alternative options in the early rounds.
The Struggling Offensive Line of the New England Patriots
The New England Patriots have long been heralded for their strong offensive line, providing consistent protection for their quarterbacks and openings for the running game. However, the first preseason game showed signs of concern as the Patriots’ offensive line struggled to contain the opposing pass rush, resulting in multiple sacks and disrupted passing plays.
The Impact on Fantasy Prospects
The struggles of the Patriots’ offensive line have immediate implications on the fantasy value of their skill positions. Quarterbacks may face increased pressure, leading to rushed throws and potential interceptions, while running backs may find it difficult to find running lanes. Fantasy managers who have previously relied on Patriots players as consistent starters may need to reassess their expectations and potentially consider alternative options.
Injury Woes for Key Wide Receivers
Preseason football always carries the risk of injuries, and unfortunately, Week 1 witnessed some notable wide receivers sustain significant ailments. Players such as Chris Godwin, Kenny Golladay, and Courtland Sutton all left the field with injuries that initially appear to be more than minor setbacks.
Fantasy Fallout of the Injuries
For fantasy managers who were hoping to rely on the consistent production of these wide receivers, these injuries bring uncertainty and potential disruptions. The availability and recovery timelines of these players will heavily impact their draft position, as managers now need to weigh the risks against the potential rewards. This situation illustrates the importance of monitoring preseason performances and injury reports to make informed decisions in fantasy drafts.
A Bold Move: Jacksonville Jaguars Quarterback Situation
The quarterback situation for the Jacksonville Jaguars has been a topic of speculation and debate throughout the offseason. Many fantasy managers were eager to invest in Trevor Lawrence, the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, hoping for an immediate impact. However, the preseason opener showcased a bold move by the Jaguars’ coaching staff, electing to start Gardner Minshew over Lawrence.
The Implications for Fantasy Managers
This decision has sent shockwaves throughout the fantasy football community, as many had pinned their hopes on Lawrence’s potential ceiling. The uncertainty surrounding the Jaguars’ quarterback situation adds a layer of complexity in drafting strategies for fantasy managers. While Lawrence may still ultimately secure the starting role, this unexpected turn of events forces drafters to be cautious and consider alternatives in case the rookie quarterback sees limited playing time.
An Underwhelming Performance by Rookie Wide Receivers
Every year, fantasy managers eagerly await the debut of rookie wide receivers, hoping to unearth a hidden gem that can provide immediate fantasy impact. However, the first preseason game revealed an underwhelming performance from several highly touted rookies, such as Jaylen Waddle, Devonta Smith, and Ja’Marr Chase.
Reassessing Rookie Expectations
While it is important not to overreact to a single preseason game, fantasy managers should take note of the struggles faced by these rookie wide receivers. Instead of relying heavily on their immediate production, drafters may need to adjust their expectations and consider these rookies as complementary pieces rather than primary starters. Patience and careful evaluation will be key when it comes to drafting these talented yet unproven players.
Lingering Injury Concerns for Saquon Barkley
Saquon Barkley, one of the most electric running backs in the NFL, suffered a devastating ACL injury in the 2020 season. As the 2021 season approaches, concerns regarding his recovery progress and potential limitations in his workload still loom large.
The Fantasy Ramifications
For fantasy managers, the uncertainty surrounding Barkley’s health is a valid cause for concern. While he possesses immense talent, injuries can significantly impact a player’s performance and availability. Fantasy drafters must carefully weigh the risks associated with selecting Barkley and potentially consider alternative options with a lower injury risk.
Preseason Week 1 has provided valuable insight into the fantasy football landscape, shedding light on both positive and negative developments. The unexpected backup role for Tank Bigsby, struggling offensive lines, injuries to key wide receivers, uncertain quarterback situations, underwhelming rookie performances, and lingering injury concerns all present challenges for fantasy managers in the 2023 draft season. Staying informed and adaptable will be crucial for success as the preseason unfolds and the regular season approaches. By monitoring developments and adjusting draft strategies accordingly, fantasy managers can position themselves to navigate potential obstacles and build winning rosters.