One of the most interesting things to watch in the preseason is how NFL teams use that exhibition play to help sort out the wide receiver depth chart. On a few teams, we’re seeing a new No. 1 receiver emerge. For others, the second and third spots get more clearly defined. Those developments can have a big impact on a players’ ADP, something you’ll want to be aware of ahead of your own fantasy football draft.
Corey Davis, New York Jets
The Jets certainly didn’t sign Davis to a three-year, $37.5 million deal in the offseason to bury him in their offensive game plan, and last week’s outing showed just how large of a role he’s likely to play this season. Davis played nine out of 11 snaps in his preseason debut with the Jets. Better still, he was targeted every time he ran a pass route, catching two passes for 18 yards. It’s a good sign that Zach Wilson will be throwing to the veteran receiver plenty this season.
Davis is currently ranked 48th among receivers in PPR formats and 49th in standard formats. He’s out top-ranked receiver from the Jets, 12 spots ahead of Jamison Crowder in both formats.
Denzel Mims, New York Jets
Mims sits at 64th in PPR rankings and 68th for standard formats, but you might want to adjust those down when it comes to your own fantasy draft planning. He was the sixth receiver to enter the game for the Jets last week. He’s dropped far enough down the depth chart there to wonder if he’ll even be with the Jets when the season starts.
Terrance Marshall, Carolina Panthers
Carolina had their rookie receiver all over the field last week, playing him in multiple receiver spots for a total of 18 snaps. Targeted five times, he caught three passes for 88 yards. D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, the Panthers’ No. 1 and 2 receivers, didn’t play in this one, but Marshall’s workload made it clear that the team’s going to get him into action this year. And should either Moore or Anderson miss time, Marshall’s role will only increase
Marshall ranks 86th in standard leagues and 87th in PPR leagues.
Tyrell Williams, Detroit Lions
The Lions offense isn’t going to be much to look at this season, but the No. 1 receiver offers some value even in the worst offenses. He played 20 snaps last week, almost all with the starters, catching two passes on four targets for 30 yards. He’s ranked 58th in PPR leagues and 59th in standard formats, offering solid value as third receiver for fantasy lineups.
Marvin Jones, Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars
Jones played 13 snaps with the Jaguars last week, catching three passes on four targets for 52 yards. He was on the outside with the starters, and it looked like he’s the preferred option for rookie QB Trevor Lawrence. That could make things interesting when D.J. Chark returns from a broken finger.
Jones ranks 50th in PPR formats and 51st in standard. Chark sits more than 20 spots ahead of him in both. It feels like Jones’ stock is rising.
Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys
Gallup currently ranks third among Dallas’ top three receivers, 46th in PPR and 42nd in standard formats. Lamb ranks 14th in PPR and 13th in standard formats. Gallup played 10 snaps last week—compared to 11 for CeeDee Lamb—and caught two passes on three targets for 23 yards. Amari Cooper did not play.
What’s notable about their first preseason outing of 2021 is that Lamb played from the slot and Gallup lined up wide, a complete reversal of their roles from last season. If the two are interchangeable in that offense, it could mean a bump for Gallup’s stock.