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Kristian Wilkerson steps up production in Week 1 NFL preseason

New England Patriots receiver Kristian Wilkerson had a productive showing in Week 1 of the NFL preseason. We recap his performance.

NFL: Washington Football Team at New England Patriots Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

After spending his rookie season with New England Patriots mostly on the practice squad, wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson is trying to springboard his way onto the main roster this training camp. He got the opportunity to audition for a spot in the team’s preseason opener against the Washington Football Team on Thursday.

Stats

Wilkerson got plenty of work in the preseason opener, clocking 32 snaps throughout the evening. He was targeted nine times and finished the game with a team-high six receptions for 39 yards.

Analysis

On paper, Wilkerson had a productive night but the one glaring sore spot was him dropping what would’ve been a dime touchdown pass from rookie quarterback Mac Jones in the end-zone. Nevertheless, he was still a consistent presence in the short passing game.

Fantasy implications

It’s still will too early to tell whether or not the second-year product from Southeast Missouri State will make the final 53-man roster, making his work in the Patriots’ next two preseason game critical. His status also depends on the performance of N’Keal Harry, who was listed ahead of him on New England’s first unofficial depth chart this week.

Harry logged 36 snaps against the Washington Football Team on Thursday but only produced one reception for four yards so we’ll see if Wilkerson can push past him for his spot in the offense.