Sammie Coates (PIT) 19, Shakim Phillips (PIT) 17, Jarrett Boykin (CAR) 15, Dri Archer (PIT) 13, Brandon Gibson (NE) 13, James Jones (NYG) 13, Gavin Escobar (DAL) 12, Justin Hardy (ATL) 12, Matt Hazel (MIA) 12, Rashad Ross (WAS) 12
Jerick McKinnon (MIN) 25, Raheem Mostert (PHI) 25, Josh Robinson (IND) 25, Chris Polk (HOU) 25, Jawon Chisholm (PIT) 23, Charcandrick West (KC) 23, Zach Zenner (DET) 23, James White (NE) 22, Zurlon Tipton (IND) 21, David Cobb (TEN) 20, Kenny Hilliard (HOU) 20
Kenjon Barner (PHI) 3, Brandon Wegher (CAR) 3, Chase Coffman (TEN) 2, Brandin Cooks (NO) 2, Michael Ford (ATL) 2, Branden Oliver (SD) 2, James Wilder Jr. (CIN) 2, Damien Williams (MIA) 2, Jameis Winston (TB) 2
Chase Daniel (KC) 4, Shaun Hill (MIN) 3, Landry Jones (PIT) 3, Dan Orlovsky (DET) 3, 11 tied with 2
88 – Rushing yards for the Bills’ Tyrod Taylor, which is pacing Buffalo, ranks eighth in the league overall and easily leads all quarterbacks this preseason. Taylor, who attempted only 35 passes in four seasons backing up Joe Flacco with the Ravens, got the start in the Bills’ second preseason game and completed 7-of-10 throws for 65 yards. Overall, Taylor is 12-of-18 for 114 yards this preseason, but interestingly, he owns the lowest passer rating (84.0) among the three candidates to start with EJ Manuel at 117.2 and Matt Cassel at 90.1. Still, Taylor clearly is the best combo play-maker of the bunch, and it’s getting easier to envision coach Rex Ryan giving him the starting nod in the season opener. If so, that likely presents the best fantasy scenario for new RB LeSean McCoy with opposing defenses also having a mobile QB to worry about.
27.2 – Position-player-leading fantasy points so far for Saints’ WR Brandin Cooks, whose four catches for 117 yards and a score in Week 2 upped his preseason totals to 5-145-2. Those numbers are in sharp contrast to those of the Big Easy’s other preseason wideout to watch, Brandon Coleman, who only has been targeted three times and is still looking for his first reception. It’s somewhat jarring to realize that Cooks was on pace for a 121-reception season as a rookie last year when hand/wrist surgery cut short his campaign after 53 catches for 550 yards and three TDs in seven games. His fantasy prospects are even more intriguing when considering Drew Brees has an extra 208 targets to go around now that TE Jimmy Graham and WR Kenny Stills have headed elsewhere.
25 – Touches for Indy sixth-round rookie RB Josh Robinson, which currently is tied for the league lead this preseason. The 5-foot-9, 215-pound Robinson has rushed for 105 yards – third in the league – and a touchdown on 23 carries and nearly has matched the production (38-119-0) of the other six backs (excluding quarterbacks) who have carried the ball for Indy this preseason. In short, the rookie from Mississippi State is looking like the Colts’ backup you’re going to want to own if 32-year-old starter Frank Gore breaks down.
9 – Yards per carry so far for 49ers’ RB Jarryd Hayne, the former Australian rugby star whose 117 rushing yards in two games is pacing San Fran and ranks second in the league behind the Broncos’ Ronnie Hillman (120). Hayne’s exploits, which also include a 21.6-yard average on five punt returns and a 33-yard gain on his lone kickoff return, are generating international acclaim, including a Melbourne newspaper which featured a recent “Hayne sends NFL world into frenzy” headline. But can the 6-2, 220-pound back be a fantasy factor? It’s unlikely, given the names (Reggie Bush, Kendall Hunter and fourth-round rookie Mike Davis) Hayne will have to hurdle just to have a shot at the No. 2 gig behind starter Carlos Hyde. Consider also that the Niners as a whole have featured one of the league’s top preseason ground games so far at 128.5 yards per contest and both Hyde (5 yards per carry) and Davis (4.7) also are acquitting themselves quite nicely. Hayne’s best shot to contribute as a rookie likely will be as return specialist.
5 – Targets for Packers’ TE Richard Rodgers, who has caught four for 48 yards and a TD this month. Rodgers, a 2014 third-round pick from Cal, did most of his damage in Sunday’s tilt in Pittsburgh where he caught three passes for 30 yards, including a 21-yard score. He’s picked up where he left off last season, when he posted a 15-137-3 stat line from Week 12 through the NFC Championship Game and clearly appears to have overtaken veteran Andrew Quarless for the starting tight-end job on the tundra. The second-year player clearly should be noted for more than sharing the surname and alma mater of the team’s starting QB, and just might be getting overlooked a bit as fantasy GMs scramble to figure out who will step up in the absence of stud wideout Jordy Nelson.
2 – Combined TDs so far this preseason for Patriots’ RBs James White and Dion Lewis, who are battling for the lead pass-catching running-back role on the team. LeGarrette Blount and Jonas Gray appear set as the Pats’ top two “running” backs, but any fantasy owner who’s seen more than a couple New England games during the last decade knows Bill Belichick makes frequent use of a defined pass-catching back – i.e. Shane Vereen/Kevin Faulk. Ex-Saint Travaris Cadet was the early favorite to land the role, but an ailing hamstring has kept him out of both of the Pats’ preseason contests so far, and now is in serious danger of not even making the final roster. In his stead, White and Lewis have stepped up. White, a fourth-round pick a season ago, leads the team with 22 touches and has turned them into 35 rushing yards and 72 yards through the air. Lewis, meanwhile, hasn’t played in a regular-season game since 2012 due to a preseason broken leg in 2013 and failing to make the Browns’ and Colts’ rosters last September and rushed for 12 yards and a score on three carries and caught five passes for 36 yards this past weekend in his New England preseason debut.
1 – Offensive touchdown allowed so far by the Broncos’ defense this preseason, with their opponents’ other two TDs coming via a kickoff and interception return, respectively. Meanwhile, the Broncos are pacing the league with 12 sacks, with 11 different players having had a hand in those dozen QB takedowns – and that’s with DeMarcus Ware, who ranks second on the league’s active sacks list, not really getting involved yet. With Wade Phillips’ new attacking defense and sacks always being a key component in fantasy D/ST success, the Denver D is definitely a unit to watch this season if you’re not planning on streaming defenses.