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Preseason Players to Watch: August 18th

Throughout the preseason, we heavily emphasize identifying potential impact players throughout the season that others may not recognize as they aren't necessarily "stars". In our 'Preseason Players to Watch' series, we highlight potentially noteworthy players in each night's game(s) that may be impactful for fantasy football, both in the 2022 season and beyond.


Here are our top players to watch for in tonight's preseason action:



Jalin Hyatt (WR - New York Giants) - vs CAR, 7:00 PM on NFL Network


There were some pros to Hyatt's preseason debut last week, even despite the glaring negative of just 1 catch (1 target) for -4 yards on the stat sheet.


Hyatt, the Giants' third-round pick out of Tennessee, saw work with the starters (minus Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley) and was able to uncover himself from the defense several times where a more established QB would likely find him.


After an electric training camp, it'll be worth keeping an eye on Hyatt if that will translate to more involvement in the second preseason game. His blazing speed and potential starting role could leave him an enticing late-round option in fantasy given the relative lack of competition for targets in the Giants' receiving corps.

 

Bijan Robinson (RB - Atlanta Falcons) - vs CIN, 7:30 PM


The rookie 1st-round pick sat out the preseason opener last week, alongside fellow RBs Cordarrelle Patterson and Tyler Allegeier, ultimately not giving us a look into the backfield situation that raised some questions upon Robinson being listed as the third-string back to open up the preseason.


Robinson will reportedly see his debut tonight against Cincinnati, but won't see extensive work, per Head Coach Arthur Smith. It's less a situation that I care about how he performs and how much he plays than one of when he plays, especially relative to the other Falcons' RBs. Patterson will sit due to injury, which could cede early-season work to Robinson, but my focus will be on Tyler Allegeier tonight.


Who takes the opening snaps at RB? What does the split look like at RB? Is Bijan truly behind Allegeier as the depth chart indicates?


Those three questions should be answered, or at least have an indication of an answer, in tonight's game and will have a rather notable impact on how highly the rookie RB is drafted in fantasy.

 

Bryce Young (QB - Carolina Panthers) - vs NYG, 7:00 PM on NFL Network


Young saw his first action in an NFL uniform last week against the Jets and showed pretty much what we would come to expect out of the Panthers' offense in 2023.


In 3 series of action with the starts (minus Miles Sanders), Young went a solid 4/6, but for just 21 yards and just 1 first down. It was limited action but a lot of 'dink and dunk' passing while taking some big hits. We'd anticipate more extensive action this week from the 1st overall pick and with it, a bit more of an expanded playbook for the passing attack.


I'm watching to see how much the Panthers are looking to trust Young heading into this year. If it's more of the same 'game manager' work, there wouldn't appear to be much upside for the QB in 2023, but if he's being presented the opportunity to air it out, there could be some potential.

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