Fantasy football is becoming more popular among NFL fans. With the season drawing near and the action set to get underway, now is the time to start evaluating top players and sleepers.
We’re going to take a look at a few different fantasy angles but start with names you’ll want to be sure are on your roster in Week 1. Here are five players that improved their value after the start of the preseason last weekend.
Baker Mayfield (QB, Cleveland Browns)
Last season Baker Mayfield proved that he can be a reliable quarterback and last Thursday he showed that he picked things up right where he left off, completing five of his six passes for 77 yards and one touchdown in the first offensive series for the Browns. Mayfield is projected as the fifth quarterback to be drafted in many leagues and having Odell Beckham Jr. as his main target can help him produce many points.
Lamar Jackson (QB, Baltimore Ravens)
Lamar Jackson is another quarterback to consider for those who are after someone like Patrick Mahomes or Aaron Rodgers in their fantasy drafts. Jackson’s running skills are notorious and while many team managers might be worried about his throwing ability and how many points his arm can produce, last Thursday he completed four of his passes, including some in which he proved he can throw while running.
Many have Jackson as the 18th quarterback in their position grades but if his passing game improves he deserves a long hard look.
Kyler Murray (QB, Arizona Cardinals)
As the first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, there are high expectations on Kyler Murray. His talent has been praised but there are concerns about his height. It might be just one game but his performance last Thursday was pretty convincing, as he completed six of his seven passes in his team’s opening drive against the Chargers.
Many leagues have Murray as the No. 13 quarterback, which means that he could be taken with the No. 114 pick as a decent compliment with another passer.
David Montgomery (RB; Chicago Bears)
Bears rookie running back David Montgomery was expected to replace Jordan Howard but based on what he showed on his first game he can do more than that. Montgomery ran for 16 yards and one touchdown on three carries and he caught three passes for another 30 yards. The Bears will have an excellent 1-2 combo with Montgomery and the rookie could be taken in the seventh or eighth round on most fantasy drafts.
Austin Ekeler (RB, Los Angeles Chargers)
Last year Austin Ekeler was a popular pick for fantasy football managers and in his first preseason game he ran for 40 yards on five carries and caught three passes for another 29.
The most interesting aspect with Ekeler is that Chargers starting running back Melvin Gordon has been holding out from training camp and wants to be traded unless he is offered a long-term extension, which means that Ekeler could get more playing time at the start of the season.