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Fantasy: Takeaways from Sunday's preseason games

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Jake Roth / USA TODAY Sports

Get ready for your season with theScore’s 2017 Fantasy Football Draft Kit.

Every game night during the preseason, theScore gets you caught up on the most important fantasy performances from around the league.

Start-less in Seattle

It was only the first preseason game, but Eddie Lacy didn’t get the start for his new team. That might not be a big deal, but it came after beat reporters suggested Thomas Rawls was consistently running ahead of Lacy in practice this week and appeared to be the Seahawks’ top back.

Rawls is an energized runner with good agility and a willingness to invite contact. The third-year back was bouncing down the field during his time with the starters. Meanwhile, Lacy looked slow and deliberate in his cuts, which may have contributed to him being stuffed on a 3rd-and-goal from the 2-yard line. At least the Seahawks were finally trying to run at the goal line.

Neither back did much damage on the stat sheet, but Lacy didn’t even see the field until Russell Wilson was out of the game. We’ll continue to watch how their snaps are divided up over the next two preseason outings, but at the moment Lacy is an extremely risky pick in the middle rounds, while Rawls looks like an outstanding value late in drafts. C.J. Prosise remains a PPR stash.

Fully charged

The Chargers’ first unit only played one series, but it looked sharp as Philip Rivers dissected the Seahawks on a 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive over the opening seven minutes.

Rivers completed 5-of-6 attempts for 56 yards and the score, spreading the ball around to Hunter Henry, Antonio Gates, and Travis Benjamin. When faced with a 3rd-and-goal at the 5-yard line, he found his favorite 37-year-old tight end, Gates, who fought off defenders to come down with the ball in the end zone. It’s another reminder that Gates isn’t going away this season and could put a damper on Henry’s breakout potential.

Benjamin was another interesting player to see step up Sunday. With rookie Mike Williams‘ availability this season in question due to a back injury, Benjamin is the player who could benefit most. He was limited by injuries last season, but could get his career back on track and has an outside chance at being fantasy relevant in 2017.

Golladay’s arrival

Hello, Kenny Golladay! The rookie receiver rode his offseason hype train right into live game action and managed to pick up speed by scoring a pair of touchdowns, embarrassing the Colts’ secondary in the process.

Golladay looked like he belonged, making excellent adjustments on all three of his catches and outmaneuvering defenders while racking up 53 total yards to go with his two scores.

The Lions, who selected Golladay in the third round of this year’s draft, appear to have found a player capable of making an instant contribution. The rookie should start the season as the team’s third receiver, playing on the outside with Marvin Jones while Golden Tate moves into the slot.

It’s easy to get excited by a performance like this, but at the moment Golladay is still way down the pecking order in the Lions’ passing attack and is only worth a flier in deeper re-draft leagues.

Instant Impressions

  • Ameer Abdullah didn’t see much work on Saturday, but still flashed his playmaking skills right away, catching a pass on the outside and causing an attacker to miss en route to a 14-yard gain. Abdullah’s talent has never been the issue; instead, it’s his ability to stay healthy and the volume he’ll receive with Theo Riddick cutting into his passing work, while Zach Zenner and Dwayne Washington battle it out to be the short-yardage hammer. There’s reason to doubt Abdullah will ever emerge as the fantasy star many hope he can be.
  • It’s tough to get a good read on the battle for the Colts’ No. 3 receiver spot while Andrew Luck remains sidelined. Chester Rogers appears to have the inside track at starting in three-receiver sets, while Kamar Aiken and Phillip Dorsett serve as backups to Donte Moncrief and T.Y. Hilton, respectively. Once Luck returns, every Colts receiver in the starting lineup will have fantasy value.
  • Chargers backup Branden Oliver mixed in with the starters and turned a screen pass from Rivers upfield for 14 yards before being tackled inside the 10-yard line. Oliver is the clear handcuff to Melvin Gordon and might be used as a receiving option, which would make him an even more desirable bench stash.
  • Paul Richardson caught Russell Wilson‘s first pass of the game and followed that up with a beautiful diving catch down the left side of the field. Unfortunately, that was his final play of the night, as he headed to the sidelines with an apparent shoulder injury. If Richardson avoids a serious injury, he should open the year as a starter in Seattle.

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