I started doing this article about ten years ago as kind of informal look at the “vibes” I was getting for all 32 teams after following them closely and watching all of their exhibition games. Over the years, though, it’s really grown in popularity because it’s been a strong indicator of things to come, and because it’s a great piece for readers to quickly access the “CliffsNotes” version of all of our preseason content. For instance, if you haven’t been following a thing in the NFL this summer, you can get caught up in just 10-15 minutes, at least in terms of the offensive side of things. 

Every year at this time I feel very good about the work we’ve put in and the analysis we’ve put out there, and this year is certainly no exception. I think most readers would agree that we’ve taken very logical and realistic positions on everything we care about in the fantasy world, and for the most part, things have held up pretty well as we steamroll toward Week 1.

We all know mass chaos is about to ensue, but even over the last two crazy seasons, I’ve looked back at this article and it really was a strong indicator of things to come the majority of the time.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but my preseason vibes are the next best things, so let’s get to it…

Arizona Cardinals

Original 8/22 write-up: I can’t say the vibes are great based on the preseason, but I’m not worried about the Cardinals, assuming Larry Fitzgerald’s knee is fine (which it appears to be). The one positive I do see is the emergence of TE Troy Niklas, who is a physical specimen. I don’t expect a breakout, but Niklas could give Carson Palmer a very intriguing option in the passing game, especially in the red zone. Palmer’s been a little shaky, which gives you pause knowing how last year ended, but I can’t worry too much about this loaded offense. I’ve seen a few good runs from David Johnson this summer, as well. I do think Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington will get meaningful touches as a duo, but it’s best the Cards use Johnson judiciously as a runner because he’s a major weapon in the passing game. Overall, despite a so-so preseason thus far, the vibes are fine in Arizona.

8/29 Update: I know the vibes aren’t that great, but let’s keep things in perspective. Both of Palmer’s INTs were tipped balls, and he was without Fitzgerald and John Brown, who they are being cautious with (concussion). David Johnson does look great, and his cutback on his TD run was superb. Niklas has faded away lately, but while the vibes could be a lot better, I can’t overreact based on the preseason. Palmer’s struggles do give you pause when you consider how last year ended, but this team is too talented and too evolved to fail.

Final 9/3 Late Vibe: We saw John Brown play in the finale, so that’s very good news. The vibes haven’t been great at all, but I cannot downgrade their key players after only a so-so preseason. Bruce Arians isn’t scheming for opponents, and Brown and Larry Fitzgerald have missed most of the preseason. I have a speck of worry about Carson Palmer in the back of my mind, but I’m not reacting to it because it’s not very rational.

 

Atlanta Falcons 

Original 8/22 write-up: I’m underwhelmed by their receiving corps, but the vibes are decent in Atlanta. Mohamed Sanu is a guy who might struggle if asked to line up outside and win against man coverage, but he’s a Swiss Army Knife- and we should have confidence in Kyle Shanahan’s ability to utilize him well, and he’s had a promising summer so far. In the second preseason game, he had a 32-yard reception on a shallow cross out of the slot, on which he ran away from defenders up the middle of the field. He is technically the “#2,” but still expect him to play out of the slot quite a bit when the Falcons go three-wide, and that’s where Sanu can do the most damage. This looks like an offense that will be run-heavy, which means Tevin Coleman should get meaningful carries, and their OL is solid. It does still look like Devonta Freeman will get most of the receiving and goal-line work, so I’m still fine with him as a 2nd-round pick. I’m not getting positive vibes worth mentioning with anyone else, including the TEs.

8/27 Update: The vibes continue to be good for Sanu, but otherwise it’s not great. Freeman has looked pretty good this summer, but he hasn’t been particularly productive. It’s also time to worry about Ryan, who once again looks bad. It’s as if he’s aged 6-7 years the last 1-2. Julio also got banged up in the third preseason game. He’s fine, but it’s a reminder of how bad this offense will be if he’s out. I’m not exactly expecting much from preseason star Aldrick Robinson, but he’s gotta make this team and could be a WW guy if Julio is out.

Final 9/3 Late Vibe: Nothing has changed here.

 

Baltimore Ravens 

Original 8/22 write-up: It’s hard to get a good handle on the vibes here, since we’ve yet to see Joe Flacco play and since Steve Smith is just coming back to practice this week. But at least Smith is back, and that’s key. Flacco’s also looked very good in camp, like the ACL injury never happened, so that’s also a positive. The Breshad Perriman situation also got positive in a hurry on 8/22 with Perriman taken off PUP. That was a surprise, but anything he can give them is a bonus now, and he might actually give them something. And Mike Wallace has had a good summer and is now ideally cast as a two, and Flacco’s big arm helps his chances. I’m not expecting Wallace to be consistent for fantasy, but it’s possible. They also still have Kamar Aiken and a slew of solid TEs, so the passing offense should be okay. It’s just that no one really stands out for fantasy other than Smith. The vibes are good with their running game, but not in a fantasy sense. Terrance West looks legit, and Justin Forsett looked fine in their second game, but this could be the worst RBBC in the history of fantasy football. There’s no sense in going after anyone in particular in this backfield, but overall, the vibes are more positive than negative.

8/28 Update: We did finally see Flacco, and his 2016 debut was solid enough. I did think he looked a little slow and sluggish in his drop-backs, but it was his first game back from his ACL, so he should round into form. He’ll need to quickly improve his chemistry with some of his receivers, but Wallace does continue to look pretty good (Flacco missed him on a deep pass early in the game). The Ravens lost a key player in Ben Watson, which isn’t good, but they do have depth, assuming Maxx Williams, a 2nd-round pick in 2015, is okay. He’s been out with an undisclosed injury, so he’s only a potential WW guy for now. We’re still looking at a horrible RBBC here, but it’s worth noting that Buck Allen looks to be down in the pecking order, as I’ve expected. As for rookie Kenneth Dixon, my only concern with him was his lack of size, and we did have questions about his ability to break tackles and move the pile in the NFL. Dixon did get stonewalled on a goal-line carry, but he also carried what looked like 6-7 defenders for about 10 yards on his 17-yard run, so I feel that’s less of a concern with Dixon compared to 4-5 weeks ago. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said Dixon's sprained knee isn't considered overly serious, but it could slow him down early in the season. If so, they still have Forsett, and West looks like he’ll be their short-yardage guy. Decent vibes here, but the Watson injury hurts, and it would be nice to see WRs Smith and Perriman for a series or two in the final preseason game.

Final 9/5 Late Vibe: The vibes got a bump up with Breshad Perriman playing in the preseason finale and seemingly ready for Week 1. I don’t love anyone here, but they have plenty of viable weapons, so their guys should be active WW guys, and it’s all good news for Joe Flacco. We didn’t rule out them cutting Justin Forsett, who’s been on our “avoid” list for weeks, and he's been released. Kenneth Dixon is dealing with a knee and should be slow off the mark, so Terrance West’s vibes got better (and he’s looked good all summer). West should be very much in the mix Week 1, but Forsett will be back and will also have a large role, so it’s still more of an ugly RBBC than anything else.

 

Buffalo Bills 

Original 8/22 write-up: I’m not as high on Tyrod Taylor as most, and I actually liked him quite a bit as a sleeper this time last year, as I wrote here. I’m basically worried about his running leading to more injuries and the state of their receiving corps, but I also think he still has limitations as a passer (throws a good deep ball, but lacks strong touch, timing, and anticipation). If Sammy Watkins misses time, it’s a terrible group. It wouldn’t be on my mind as much if Watkins wasn’t coming off foot surgery, and we haven’t yet seen him. As regular readers likely know, I’ve never been much into Charles Clay, but he should be active, at least. The vibes with their running game aren’t great, obviously, but LeSean McCoy looks good-to-go and will produce as long as he’s healthy. I was ripped on Twitter earlier this summer for proclaiming rookie Jonathan Williams as a better handcuff to McCoy than Karlos Williams, and now it’s a moot point. Williams will open the season down on the depth chart, but I’m actually expecting him to be very fantasy relevant later this year, if only for a few weeks. I wouldn’t draft Reggie Bush as anything more than a last-pick-of-the-draft option. The vibes are mixed, but I can’t call them bad right now.

8/27 Update: The offense was dominated by the Redskin defense in the third preseason game, and we didn’t see much from Taylor, plus Watkins had only one target. McCoy didn’t play. The rookie Williams hasn’t had a great summer, but he did put up 42/1 rushing in the third preseason game and to me remains the best long-term handcuff for McCoy. As for the short-term backup, that’s confusing because Reggie Bush has played a lot this summer and he’s actually looked pretty good, plus Mike Gillislee is still here. I can’t say the vibes are bad this summer, but it’s hard to say they’re good. Robert Woods almost scored, for what it’s worth.

Final 9/3 Late Vibe: Not much going on here.

 

Carolina Panthers 

Original 8/22 write-upCam Newton looked good in their second preseason game, and with Kelvin Benjamin back and Devin Funchess really coming on, the vibes are good. In fact, it may be time for us to bump Cam up to #1 at QB, which I know most have had from the beginning. We’re not seeing anything from Jordy Nelson this summer (yet), so moving Cam over Aaron Rodgers is the right things to do. I don’t love any of their receivers in particular, but this is the best receiving corps Cam’s ever had. Solid vibes here.

8/27 Update: Cam didn’t have a strong showing in the third game, but the vibes here are fine. They’re still positive with Funchess, and Kelvin Benjamin appears to be rounding into form. Jonathan Stewart popped off a really nice 23-yard run before calling it a day last night, and Cameron Artis-Payne also looked pretty solid. Also, as we saw against the Pats in the third preseason game, they’re defense is still pretty good.

Final 9/3 Late Vibe: The only addition here is that Cameron Artis-Payne in the final preseason game helped cement his role as the true handcuffto Jonathan Stewart with a solid showing.

 

Chicago Bears 

Original 8/22 write-up: The vibes are a little up and down here, given some serious concerns about their OL and a slew of key offensive players banged up this summer. But Alshon Jeffery has played and did well in the second preseason game. Kevin White might need some time to heat up, so he’s not a guy we can count on in September, and it’s not a good sign that TE Zach Miller has been on the shelf for basically all of training camp. Their RB situation is a little shaky, too, with potentially four players in the mix. But Jeremy Langford has inched forward here, while rookie Jordan Howard has been a little slow off the mark. They’ll likely keep four RBs, and they could all play, including veteran Jacquizz Rodgers. Langford’s not an easy call, but especially since he’s showed pretty well this summer, I’d have to lean to the positive due to his affordable price compared to what should be a solid role.

8/28 Update: The vibes aren’t very good here. The Bears had to play without RG Kyle Long, so their OL was a mess compared to last year’s unit, and Jay Cutler and the offense couldn’t get much going. I did see a nice 10-yard run for Langford early, but that was about it in terms of positives. The rookie Howard once again came in late in the game, so he’s still not really challenging for serious snaps once the season starts. It’ll be Ka’Deem Carey being worked in with Langford. At least the vibes with Langford are still pretty good, all things considered. They do have OL issues, but he can at least contribute in the passing game. Kevin White had 4 targets, but he continues to show next to nothing this summer. It’s a long season, but White can’t be relied on until he shows something. Jeffery had a big drop, but he’s at least been active this summer as clearly the go-to guy. The Chief D is outstanding, which must be considered. But overall, things are pretty shaky here.

Final 9/5 Late Vibe: The late vibe isn’t great on their OL, as I’ve been told they are very concerned about it. But we did at least get a positive showing out of Kevin White, which was needed. Also, Jordan Howard helped himself with a strong showing in the finale. However, for now, that means little as Carey will still be the #2 to open the season. Jacquizz Rodgers was cut, which helps, but Howard remains only a possible WW guy. The best news of all is the Bears sign quality G Josh Sitton, which does ease some of the concerns with their shaky OL. That’s good news forJeremy Langford.  

 

Cincinnati Bengals

Original 8/22 write-up: The vibes here are good. Jeremy Hill has looked very good this summer, and I like him and Gio Bernard to deliver solid results from their draft positions. Hill’s TD-dependent, which can be dangerous, but while it’s only a two-season sample, the dude’s never not been a good TD guy. I also really like what Tyler Boyd has shown, and we gave him quite a bit of pre-draft love, so we’re not surprised. The receiving corps is thin, so Andy Dalton’s upside isn’t through the roof, but A.J. Green looks like a slam-dunk top-7 pick this year. Speaking of TD dependent, Tyler Eifert was just that in 2015, and he’s obviously an injury risk. His lowered ADP does increase his chances of being a value.

8/29 Update: We’ll see about Green, who suffered a knee injury Sunday night, but assuming he’s fine the vibes here are pretty good. They are excellent for Hill, who we have pushed for months, and Gio is also looking good. It was a strong showing for Dalton, so while the vibes could be better (Eifert injury, plus maybe something worrisome with Green), they’re not bad in Cincy.

Final 9/3 Late Vibe: Not much going on here, but they did release veteran Brandon Tate. Looking at the roster, rookie Cody Core is probably the best sleeper on this team, but he’s not remotely draftable.

 

Cleveland Browns 

Original 8/22 write-up: The only player who is truly looking good to me right now is TE Gary Barnidge, who we have undersold this summer. I’ve moved him up already, but I do still worry about the QB situation. It’s nice that Robert Griffin III has had a solid preseason, but I’m still not biting. I don’t think he sees the field and processes information well, which leads to him getting hit, and he’s already taken a ton of shots in the preseason. They do have the very capable Josh McCown waiting in the wings, but also 3rd-round pick Cody Kessler, who they may want to play later in the season. There are way too many questions here in terms of the passing game, but at least we know Isaiah Crowell will get plenty of work, as well as Duke Johnson. I’m fine with Crowell as a cheap RB4 or even RB3, but I’m probably lower on Duke right now than most. I saw very little from Miami’s all-time leading rusher (shocking, isn’t it?) in the running game, and I’m not sure RG3 is the best QB to get him the ball in the passing game (although designed dump-offs and the like do help, and we’ve seen that this summer). The vibes aren’t bad, but I’m still not very into this team as a whole.

8/27 Update: RG3 had some moments in the third preseason game, and I do like how Hue Jackson is trying to manage him, but he once again he took a bunch of hits, and it’s clear to me that he’s not going to make it through more than a half a season or so. Crowell did look good on several carries and will clearly get the ball, so pretty good vibes there. Josh Gordon’s two big plays, including his TD, came against small corner Brent Grimes, whose coverage was bad on one play and good on Gordon’s TD (it was underthrown and Gordon made an adjustment). It appears as if they’ll ask RG3 to just throw the ball up down the field to guys like Gordon and Pryor and hope they can make a play.  but that was something for Gordon, at least. The vibes really aren’t there for Corey Coleman, which has to be considered a negative, as Terrelle Pryor continues to see snaps and targets with the ones. Overall, I’d be fine if you passed on all Browns, but Crowell is a solid value. Duke, however, is not.  

Final 9/3 Late Vibe: Still not feeling good, and the fact that the Vikings gave up a #1 pick for Sam Bradford tells me the Browns wanted a lot forJosh McCown. They probably did because they saw RG3 play in the preseason. RG3 will not make it to Halloween in the starting lineup.  

 

Dallas Cowboys 

Original 8/22 write-up: We need to see Ezekiel Elliott very soon, but the vibes are certainly pretty good here this summer with Dez Bryant dominating and rookie Dak Prescott impressing. I interviewed Prescott at the combine, and he’s a great kid, and he’s already shown good development in terms of a comfort level playing under center. His physical talent in terms of throwing it and running it (he compared himself to Donovan McNabb when I asked him for a comp) is definitely there, but he is still dealing with multiple layers of learning, so I wouldn’t anoint him as the heir-apparent to Tony Romo just yet. Still, his fast start is encouraging and does help ease some concerns about the offense should Romo go down. I’m fine with Terrance Williams very late, but Elliott and Bryant are really the only two Cowboys I’m excited about. Alfred Morris did look very good in the second preseason game, so he’s the guy to have as protection for Elliott.

8/27 Update: Dez missed the third preseason game with a concussion and Romo took a nasty hit to the back. I had previously written that he “looked for a second like he’d need a wheelchair for the rest of his life,” and then the news surfaced that he’d broken his back and could miss the first half of the season at least. Bad vibes. The good news Prescott has continued to impress. He wasn’t as great in the third preseason game, but the Cowboys clearly have something potentially-special in Prescott, who has shown good poise and who has a lot to work with physically. I may regret it, but I’m honestly inclined to downgrade their key players only slightly, despite the prospect of Prescott starting the majority of their games. He’ll add to his fantasy value with his legs, and he definitely has top-20 potential even as a rookie. Dallas will go ball-control as much as possible, and while their continues to be scary off-field vibes with Elliott, he looked fantastic in his pro debut against a stout Seahawk defensive front. I’ve already seen enough from Elliott; he’s a stud. The vibes would obviously be a lot better if Romo was out there and healthy, but I’m hanging in there with Zeke and Dez.

Final 9/5 Late Vibe: The only late vibe here, other than a strong interest in Dak Prescott that seems to grow each day in my mind, is the pending return of Darren McFadden. He’s on the NFI list, so he will miss the first six weeks at least. That’s good news for Zeke Elliott, since I can’t seeLance Dunbar being much of a threat coming back from his nasty knew injury. Zeke should be set as a true 3-down back. Dallas is expected to sign released veteran Mark Sanchez, but that shouldn’t scare us off trying Dak out late. However, Tony Romo is NOT going on IR, so let’s not go crazy with Dak and take him over a strong QB2 who will start all season no matter what.

 

Denver Broncos 

Original 8/22 write-up: We do have a QB battle here that could be somewhat messy with three guys in the mix, including rookie Paxton Lynch, but I’m still fairly optimistic about guys like Demaryius Thomas and C.J. Anderson, who has looked good and is clearly the top workhorse. Not so much with Emmanuel Sanders, even though I think he’s an excellent player. Regardless of who’s at QB, I’d think Thomas as the “X” receiving in Gary Kubiak will be leaned on heavily, especially if it’s Mark Sanchez at QB (Sanchez has already thrown a TD pass to Thomas). Thomas has slipped the last two seasons, but I think he’s a solid 3rd-round pick. The TE situation isn’t settled, so that’s something that needs to play out early in the season, but it looks like Virgil Green could have some sleeper value. It’s not looking good for Ronnie Hillman, which is good news for Anderson. I know rookie Devontae Booker is talented and a good fit for the scheme, but he also has some ball-security and pass-pro blemishes, so I think they will lean on Anderson heavily, especially early in the season. Booker’s a strong stash-and-hope option for sure, though.

8/28 Update: Things could be looking a lot worse. For one, Anderson looked fantastic again in their third preseason game and he just missed another TD. He’s showing a lot of lateral juice and his low-to-the-ground running looks good. The rookie Booker did play early, but other than a couple of nice touches, he was largely ineffective. Hillman did look good on his score, but it was in the second half. The vibes are also good because Trevor Siemian looked pretty solid and got the ball to their WRs. Thomas had a drop early on an easy pass, but he also made two spectacular catches (one was out of bounds), including a beautiful one-hander running down the field. I’d say the vibes with him are good, relatively speaking. Sanders also looked very good and has looked good all summer, so I’m going to move him up a little because we have him pretty low for a guy that talented. It doesn’t look like we’ll see much of Sanchez, which is probably good news for Sanders. I still think we’ll see Lynch play about half their games, but hopefully he does because he deserves to, not because the other WRs are brutal. Also, the vibes continue to be very good for the TE Green, who looks like he could be “Captain Check-down” this year for their shaky QBs. He looks like he could be a great bargain for those in deeper leagues.

Final 9/3 Late Vibe: No real change, but Ronnie Hillman did NOT make the team, so Devontae Booker is the short-term and long-term CJA handcuff no matter what. Paxton Lynch had a solid showing in the finale. I do think he’ll start more than half of their games, but it is possible that they are winning with Siemian. If they are, they won’t likely make a change. Mark Sanchez is gone.

 

Detroit Lions 

Original 8/22 write-up: The Eric Ebron injury early in camp was a pretty big buzz kill, but things have otherwise been very decent in Detroit. The OL may still need time to develop, but with another #1 pick up front added this year, there’s talent on the line. I’ve given Marvin Jones love all year, and now his stock is starting to rise while Golden Tate’s drops. If this trend continues, I’ll like Jones less and Tate more, but the bottom line is I like both. Jones is underrated and looked great in the second preseason game, and Tate has been pretty reliable in Detroit in his two seasons and just missed a TD in that second game. I’ve pulled back a little from Ebron, but he’s still a very legit breakout candidate if you’re betting on talent, which you usually should. They tried Theo Riddick as the lead runner in the second game, but he continues to show he lacks the strength to run inside. Ameer Abdullah has been on the shelf, which stinks, but he’s clearly their best runner. It looks like Zach Zenner will be the power guy, but I view him as more of a WW guy than being draftable.

8/28 Update: The vibes aren’t particularly bad, but they could be a lot better. The OL was a little better on Saturday night, but that could be a function of the poor Raven pass rush, and they didn’t have much success running it. Abdullah did have a nice 11-yard run and also a 10-15-yard TD run called back. He got the edge easily (likely due to the hold) and quickly darted into the end zone, so he at least showed some juice. Riddick continued to get some looks as a runner and he did have a nice 34-yard run in which he got to the second level. Zenner didn’t play much until mid-way through the third quarter. It wasn’t a good day for their passing game, as Stafford and company were a little off. Marvin had a pair of balls thrown to him in the end zone, but no-go. Tate had a few mistakes catching it, but looked good on some other catches. One thing that stood out to me in this game for the Lion offense is how important Ebron is. They need his speed and juice down the seam, and I feel the difference between them having a nice offensive season and another so-so or uneven one is Ebron, who unfortunately has not yet proven he can avoid injury. The Lions traded slot receiver Jeremy Kerley to the 49ers, but they have good depth at that position, anyway. Anquan Boldin is going to help them move the chains, but his catch total won’t be very high, as they spread the ball around.

Final 9/4 Late Vibe: The Lions cut some WRs, so they may keep only four of them in Boldin, Tate, Jones, and veteran Andre Roberts. Also, UDFADwayne Washington made the team, so he’s someone to watch. He’s more explosive and dynamic than Zach Zenner, so Washington could earn snaps at some point.

 

Green Bay Packers 

Original 8/22 write-up: The vibes here really can’t be considered good, but it could simply be a function of not having enough information. There was good news with Jordy Nelson suiting up for their second preseason game, but it’s questionable if we’ll see Jordy and Aaron Rodgers in the preseason, which is a little scary for me because I’ve had Rodgers as our #1 QB all year. I think it’s time to move him to #2, but we should be careful not to panic. We don’t know about Jordy for sure an we’re still unclear on their other WRs (although Davante Adams and Jared Abbrederis have been decent at worst), but if Nelson is okay, their receiving corps is still looking way better than last year, thanks to some experience gained and thanks to the addition of Jared Cook, who is drawing some buzz lately. The best news of all is that Eddie Lacy continues to look good while making cuts he simply couldn’t make last year because he was too fat. I wouldn’t say he’s an optimal weight, but at 85% Lacy can produce nicely in this offense. But without Lacy’s summer thus far, it would be hard to say the vibes are good in Green Bay.

8/27 Update: The vibes continue good here other than the fact that we haven’t seen Jordy NelsonEddie Lacy continues to look very good and is bursting with good vibes. Aaron Rodgers looked good in his debut, and the vibes are getting good with Jared Cook. One receiver I’ve brought up over the last few weeks is Jared Abbrederis, and there’s definitely a positive buzz around him, especially after Davante Adams dropped a TD and since Abbrederis caught a TD pass in their third preseason game from rookie Joe Callahan (who, interestingly enough, was my son’s Pop Warner QB when my kid was a TE and RB). The vibes are also good with Randall Cobb, who caught an easy TD pass from Rodgers Friday night. If we get good news here on Jordy in the next 7-10 days, then the vibes in GB are wonderful.

Final 9/4 Late Vibe: I’m getting a late vibe on Jordy Nelson, and it’s a good vibe. Jordy appears to be ready to go, and we shouldn’t worry too much about his lack of work in the preseason, since his timing with his QB is impeccable. We’re not sure what the WR rotation will be, so it’s only Jordy and Randall Cobb in terms of being draft-worthy. Finally, the vibe isn’t great on the OL, as their starting C Corey Lindsey is on PUP (they have a good backup at least in JC Tretter) and they shockingly cut a quality veteran G Josh Sitton. That’s not great.

 

Houston Texans 

Original 8/22 write-up: The vibes are pretty darn good this summer in Houston. They’re dealing with an undermanned OL right now, and J.J. Watt’s availability for Week 1 is in question, but otherwise, things are looking positive. The OL should be in good shape for the opener, and the defense has looked good, buoyed by a strong showing by Jadeveon Clowney, whose knee is finally healthy. I’m not a big Brock Osweiler guy, but he clearly has some nice weapons, including rookies Will Fuller and Braxton Miller, who have been had very good summers. It’s early, but Fuller has answered a lot of questions about his game this summer and has played a lot, whereas Miller looks like a very intriguing specialty player, and maybe even their slot receiver. Jaelen Strong is also having a good August, so they have outstanding depth at WR. Lamar Miller has been more than fine. The TEs have been quiet so far, but C.J. Fiedorowicz has made a lot of progress in the passing game this offseason, per the head coach. These are actually some of the best vibes in the league this month.

8/29 Update: While the OL is a concern, the vibes here are otherwise great, so it’s not an easy call. Osweiler has looked good the last two weeks, and rookie wideouts Fuller and Miller continue to flash, so they are loaded (Jaelen Strong also scored and looks like a contributor. They have good depth at TE with three guys with potential, but none of them are draftable. The vibes with Miller are hanging in there, despite the OL issues. One guy I’m really, really getting a good vibe with is rookie RB Tyler Ervin. He hasn’t done much in the preseason on the stat sheet, which is good, but I think he looks great. This guy had almost 350 touches last year as San Jose State, so I like him as a last-pick-of-the-draft guy and as the long-term handcuff to Miller.

8/27 Update: The vibes have been great otherwise, but their situation on the OL is starting to get a little scary, so we need to pull back a little from all the optimism about their skill players.

Final 9/3 Late Vibe: Still have a good vibe other than the OL issues, but they will not put star LT Dwayne Brown on PUP, which is good news. He’ll miss time early in the season, but he’ll at least be available in 2-3 weeks. That helps ease some of the concerns about the depleted OL.

 

Indianapolis Colts 

Original 8/22 write-up: The vibes got positive quickly this past weekend as Andrew Luck made his 2016 debut and looked very good while enjoying a clean pocket and solid protection. He got rid of the ball quickly, leading an efficient offense while wisely sliding on a couple of runs. Wideout Donte Moncrief looked fantastic, so his vibes are great and ADP may continue to rise. Moncrief is clearly standing out as this year’s Allen Robinson. I like the vibes with Phillip Dorsett, who had to start for TY Hilton as Hilton deals with a hamstring (it’s considered mild). We haven’t seen much from Frank Gore, but he can still pass protect with the best of them, as he showed in his brief appearance in the second game. There’s still not much behind him, especially with promising UDFA Josh Ferguson failing to stand out in their games so far, so as long as Luck and the passing game is looking good, Gore’s looking good. But they’ll likely sign a back soon.

8/28 Update: The Colts got some great news today, as it was revealed that starting LG Mewhort will miss only 2-4 weeks. He’s still injured, but that’s a big break that he’s not out for the season.

8/27 Update: As quickly as the vibes got good last week, they reverted to “bad” on Saturday night. The Eagles have a very good defensive front, but Luck was under duress his entire evening (sacked 3 times), and they could not run the ball well at all. That would be one thing, but they also likely lost LG Jack Mewhort, one of their best players up front, for the season. Moncrief at least continues to flash big time, and Dorsett had a nice catch and run plus TY played. Dwayne Allen hasn’t been a factor in the preseason, which doesn’t give me any confidence in his ability to play most of their games. It looks like Robert Turbin will open the season as the #2, so he should get meaningful touches as they look to keep Gore (who had a ball thrown to him in front of the end zone, incomplete) fresh. The rookie Ferguson showed some receiving skills, but he has done nothing as a runner. It’s looking like things will be a struggle again for the Colt offense, so we can’t expect great things and we’ll have to pull back a little from their projections when we update them on Monday 8/29. At this point, we’re just hoping their skilled players at the skill positions can hang in there and produce solidly (because we’re not going to see a major resurgence as we’d hoped for). Also, by the way, it looks like their depleted defense is going to be really bad with no pass rush and a weak secondary!

Final 9/3 Late Vibe: He was never much of a threat, but Stevan Ridley has been cut, so it’s all Bob Turbin right now as the backup to Frank Gore. Turbin is serviceable, but they’ll need Gore to handle as many snaps and touches as he can handle. Josh Ferguson did make the team, so he could easily be in the mix for a receiving role here at some point. He’s not much of a runner, but he’s a very good receiver.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars 

Original 8/22 write-up: Jacksonville’s first-team offense has now scored 3 TDs in 5 possessions this preseason, so needless to say the vibes are good. I can’t say they’re “great,” as some may expect, because they still have some pretty serious OL issues. Our guy Greg Cosell recently went back and looked at all of Blake Bortles’ 3rd-down throws from 2015, and his biggest takeaway was that the Jag OL was poor, and there’s concern again up front this year. That’s not good, but everything otherwise is very positive. Bortles has looked very good, and Allen Robinson looks like a beast. Most encouragingly, the RBs have done well, with Chris Ivory giving them a boost on the ground and TJ Yeldon scoring on a nice TD catch in the second preseason game. It’s been a quiet summer for Julius Thomas, and he’s still being slowed somewhat with some ailments (knee, the hand still), but it’s not like he’s in danger of missing any time. He’s still a solid and cheap TE1.

8/29 Update: It wasn’t a good day for the Jag offense, but that’s not a tragedy as they’ve shown a lot already this summer. The one player I’m getting a good vibe with is Yeldon, who to me is moving a lot better this summer and looks a little more dynamic. He’s going to be a factor in the passing game, and if Ivory has more injury problems, Yeldon is going to pay big dividends for a minimal draft-day investment.

Final 9/3 Late Vibe: Nothing’s changed here.

 

Kansas City Chiefs 

Original 8/22 write-up: The Chiefs are being very patient with Jamaal Charles, and at this point I don’t know for sure if he can be counted on as a fantasy starter in Week 1. But that’s not really a bad “vibe” because Charles is on track otherwise, it’s just a little slower than we’d hope for. But otherwise, KC looks good-to-go. Alex Smith has been on-point, Jeremy Maclin has scored, Travis Kelce has been healthy and fine, and second-year wideout Chris Conley looks ready to contribute this year. As for Charles, we’re at least seeing that Spencer Ware, with a TD in each of their games, is the guy to have over Charcandrick West. West will be very involved if Charles is out, but Ware looks like the clear goal-line back, and he’s worth a lot this year on his receiving (he caught all four of his targets this past weekend). It would be nice to see Charles on the field in the third preseason game, but that’s not going to happen. Still, these vibes are good.

8/28 Update: The vibes here are very good. Smith looks ready for the regular season at QB, and they have a pretty intriguing group of skill players, including rookie Tyreek Hill, who is running as a backup but who made a great adjustment on a deep pass for 58 yards. I asked Travis Kelce to give me a breakout offensive player 4-5 weeks ago just before camp started and he told me Hill. I doubt he’ll be relevant for fantasy unless you’re factoring in his return production, but he could be another weapon here as a rookie. Maclin and Kelce look good-to-go for the regular season. Ware also continues to score and catch passes, so the vibes are good with him. Conley was also active again and he’s clearly someone who will be a bigger factor as a starter in 2016.

Final 9/3 Late Vibe: The vibes aren’t great on Jamaal Charles, but that’s more about Weeks 1-2 more than anything. They do continue to get better and better with Spencer Ware, who could even be worth starting in a flex for many even with Charles healthy.

 

Los Angeles Rams 

Original 8/22 write-up: The vibes aren’t too bad here if we’re grading on a curve. Case Keenum has out-played Jared Goff so far, and he is looking like the Week 1 starter, which is fine for fantasy. It was nice to see Todd Gurley score, and while Malcolm Brown is a big power back with some intrigue, I like Benny Cunningham as the handcuff and maybe even a viable bench player in larger PPR leagues. I have a feeling that Tavon Austin will actually be used as more of a traditional receiver out of the slot, so I do think he’s an interesting value pick this summer. Rookie Tyler Higbee is really intriguing, but that’s more for dynasty than anything else. With talented wideout Brian Quick on the outs, Kenny Britt is a viable late pick for depth, and rookie Pharoh Cooper may actually have some value as potentially a starter with Britt on the outside.

8/28 Update: There’s not much we can take away from the Ram offense, which was without its best player in Gurley, against a top defense. Keenum wasn’t as bad as you’d think looking at the stats. He’s going fairly often to Britt, who looks solid. Austin wasn’t involved, but the vibes are good because the team just signed him to a nice contract extension – which is an indication they have big plans for him this year. I still think he’s a very sneaky value this year. The rookie Higbee did have a catch early, but Kendricks actually had a nice game, so Higbee is merely a dynasty stash now (but a great one). The vibes aren’t good for Goff, who nearly threw a pick-6, but his receivers also had a couple of drops. This is one of the weaker passing games in the league no matter how you slice it, but I think the Rams are in decent shape with Keenum, for now.

Final 9/3 Late VibeJared Goff is doing little to help the vibes, thanks to his shaky preseason. I felt they should have taken Carson Wentz, but it’s obviously early. I do have a decent vibe on Kenny Britt, who scored on a pass from Goff in the finale and who is clearly their “#1” wideout in the traditional sense (Tavon Austin could see more targets).

 

Miami Dolphins 

Original 8/22 write-up: We shouldn’t overreact to a shaky preseason when it comes to a team with a new HC and offense, but these are the Dolphins, after all, so we need good vibes – and we’re not getting much in terms of positives. They did show signs of life in the second preseason game, but their running game struggled again and they’re now looking at playing Week 1 without pro-bowl C Mike Pouncey (those Pouncey brothers are a real pain in the rear). DeVante Parker at least played after missing the opener (hamstring), and Kenny Stills did score 2 TDs. But the vibes continue to be poor with Jay Ajayi, and Arian Foster picked up -5 on 2 carries in his debut with 0 targets. Actually, if Foster looks bad running it again in the third preseason game, the vibes will be looking better for Ajayi, who did run hard in the second preseason game and clearly has a lot more juice than Foster. Let’s not panic with Adam Gase just getting started, but at least for the early portion of the season, things are looking shaky. And when things are shaky, Ryan Tannehill should lean heavily on his guy Jarvis Landry, so at least he’s looking fine.  

8/27 Update: You get the sense that the Dolphins are trending in the right direction, but I’m not loving the vibes here this summer. Overall, it seems like they’ll need some time. Foster did look better in their third game, but I also saw some shaky touches, so I’m not all of a sudden going to target him. I do think if they use him mainly as a receiver he’ll have a chance to be very impactful. But if they have designs on him being their lead runner, I don’t feel good about that. Granted, Ajayi hasn’t looked great, but he does clearly look a lot younger and fresher, and he's running hard. The vibes continue to be bad with Jordan Cameron, and they’re not getting much better with Parker, who failed to haul in a TD pass in that third game. On a positive note, the vibes are medium at least with Tannehill, and above-average with Landry, plus they are very good with Kenny Stills. They have weapons and I have faith in Gase, but I still look at this offense as a matchup offense only in 2016.

Final 9/4 Late Vibe: The vibes continue to be bad for Jay Ajayi, who has been borderline brutal this summer. So they may go with Arian Fosteras their lead runner by default. That’s dangerous, though. Foster will miss time, and Ajayi could be viable based on volume alone. Then again, they kept both Damien Williams and Isaiah Pead, which could be a sign that they’re concerned about Ajayi, who’s had bad vibes all year. Foster is not for me, but I must admit the vibes with him have been positive this summer. If I went WR-heavy in a draft, I might consider him if he slips a little because there’s no doubt he’s going to have strong value while he’s healthy. Otherwise, the vibes continue to be poor with DeVante Parker, who’s missed more time with a hamstring and who has drawn the ire of the head coach. Parker’s return is unknown. At this point, there’s very little chance he’ll have a full breakout, but he could certainly have some big games and get hot. But based on what I’ve seen from him the last two years, which includes meeting and interviewing him, I’m passing.  

 

Minnesota Vikings 

Original 8/22 write-up: I can’t say the vibes are good here. It’s nice that they have depth on the OL, but in the first game their pass protection was horrible, especially LT Matt Kalil, and they’re averaging 2.5 YPC on the ground (1.4 with first-stringers) in their two preseason games. I’m disappointed in the line so far, and it looks like they’ll need some time to get healthier and to come together. That’s not great news for Teddy Bridgewater, who is also dealing with a sore shoulder that prompted the Vikings to hold him out this past weekend. The vibes are also bad for #1 pick Laquon Treadwell, who’s off to a slow start and may have a minimal role very early in the season. There are more strong pieces in place for this offense compared to last year, and their so-so preseason could mean nothing, but for our purposes here, we can’t say the vibes are good.

8/28 Update: We can’t go gaga because the Charger defense isn’t very good, but the vibes improved for the Vikings with Bridgewater back and looking good behind an OL that protected well and also open some holes in the running game. Stefan Diggs is a guy I had on our target list in May and June, but we pulled him off for some odd reason. Well, he’ll be back on now because he looked spectacular. He looks like the go-to-wideout, with Treadwell still down on the depth chart. Not sure what’s up with him, but Charles Johnson played over him again and had a nice catch. Treadwell, though, did catch a 2-point conversion on a jump-ball early in the third quarter, so he’s not dead. Also looking very good was Kyle Rudolph, who was a big factor in the middle of the field for Teddy and who popped off two nice longer catches, one for the score. Jerick McKinnon looked fine, especially on a 35-yard run right up the gut on their first play of the game. Also, the Viking D looked great and had a nice fantasy day. They have been my favorite defensive team target this summer, and they’re looking good. Heck, you might not want to cut them after Week 1!

Final 9/3 Late Vibe: A lot has changed, of course. I didn’t waste any time breaking down Shaun Hill, at least, as it’ll be Sam Bradford. Bradford was acquired because this team is ready to challenge for a Super Bowl right now because Teddy Bridgewater’s status is likely in question for 2017. Bradford doesn’t throw it deep very well these days, but he should be solid for Norv Turner, who wasn’t featuring a lot of deep passing with Teddy, anyway. Bradford has a decent OL, the best back in football, and a good receiving corps, so this is arguably the best situation he’s ever been in. Still, he’s merely a passable QB2 for most, so he should only come into play early in the season in 2-QB and large (14 teams or more) leagues. Adrian Peterson is holding steady, Stefon Diggs gets a small bump from where he was when it was Hill as the presumed starter, and I’d also expect a little more from Kyle Rudolph. Sam seems to like bigger receivers in the middle of the field, so I can easily see this move working out very well for Rudolph.

 

New England Patriots 

Original 8/22 write-up: Vibes can mean nothing in New England, as I recall them being bad the year Tom Brady threw 50 TD passes (lol). But they’re not particularly good, overall, with Dion Lewis on the shelf indefinitely and with the OL still dealing with some issues (Sebastian Vollmer is reportedly headed to IR). On the positive side, James White’s looked good and his value now skyrockets in PPR, and Chris Hogan has been really good and looks like a key receiver here. They’ve got a slew of TEs on the roster, so while Tom Brady is out I’d expect a lot of check-down passes to White and the TEs. Jimmy Garoppolo was better in the second game, so that was a positive. But their running game is kind of a mess with the mediocre LeGarrette Blount remaining their best option and with a bunch of guys who are “just guys” otherwise. Veteran Donald Brown hasn’t done anything, so it’s not looking good for him.

8/27 Update: Definitely feeling the White vibe and we’ve been all over that one here on the site. I like White A LOT in the passing game here while Lewis is out. He’s a great target in the middle rounds. I also love what I’m seeing and hearing with Hogan. We’ve seen enough of Garoppolo in the preseason to know not to target him in drafts unless it’s a deep or 2-QB league, and the vibes otherwise in the passing game are just so-so. That could mean nothing, but Garoppolo has been uneven this summer.

Final 9/4 Late Vibe: The vibe on Jimmy Garoppolo wasn’t very good in the preseason, so to me it’s great with James White. If you want a bold prediction, here’s one: White will be on pace for 85-90 catches by the time Dion Lewis returns. Of course, these are the Patriots and you never know what they’re thinking. I’ve heard nothing but good things about White all off-season, but they kept UDFA RB DJ Foster, who had a big game Thursday night catching the ball. White will have to perform well to keep his job, but I can’t bail on White because they have some competition. The other good vibe is Chris Hogan, who would have been looking even better if Danny Amendola landed on PUP, but he did NOT.  

 

New Orleans Saints 

Original 8/22 write-up: Just a week ago the vibes were very good here, especially rookie WR Michel Thomas, but as the preseason sample size doubled in second week of the preseason, things got shakier. The OL got handled by the Texans, and the offense was stymied. Now, Drew Breesattempted only 8 passes and WRs Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead didn’t play, so let’s not panic because the vibes were quite good just a week ago. Believe it or not, the vibes are good right now for C.J. Spiller, who is showing his old burst and cutting ability. He’s worth a flyer very late, especially in 14-team leagues, because it’s entirely possible that he’ll surprise now that he’s healthy and in year two of the offense (he was not healthy most of last year and struggled to pick up the offense). Long story short on the vibes, we’re going to have to see how things go in the key third preseason game before we tab them as good, bad, or indifferent.

8/27 Update: The offense has been shaky the last two weeks, which is a concern because their OL is underachieving, so the vibes haven’t been wonderful. I’m not particularly concerned, though. Spiller continues to get meaningful snaps in the preseason, and he continues to show improved movement and confidence this summer. He’s worth a flyer very late, as we wrote earlier this week in our “Mr. Relevant” article. Snead is looking good, so his vibes are strong after his nice TD. As for Fleener, he did have a nice 30-yard catch running down the seam and took a big hit and held on – but it was called back. Still, it was an encouraging play from Brees.

Final 9/3 Late Vibe: I have some cautious optimism that C.J. Spiller may actually hold some value this year, but that’s about here in terms of very recent vibes.

 

New York Giants 

Original 8/22 write-up: We should know by now not to panic when it comes to Eli Manning and the Giant offense in the preseason, but it’s another slow start for these guys after the Manning-led Giants got shut out in the second preseason game. The Victor Cruz saga continues, but all optimism should be gone until we not only see him practice fully but also play in and excel in a real game. We’re hardly convinced we’re going to see that any time soon. This is good news for rookie Sterling Shepard, who stands out as nice pick as long as his ADP doesn’t rise considerably in the next two weeks. I like him in the 6th round, but even that’s a small leap of faith considering he could struggle when lined up outside. Rashad Jennings does look ready to help fantasy owners as long as he’s healthy enough and I do like Shane Vereen quite a bit as a value. Will Tye was a consistent target for Eli late last year, but I’m not particularly interested in him if Larry Donnell is going to get plenty of snaps and some targets, so we’ll see if Tye can separate in the third preseason game. Tye caught 2-of-3 passes for 14 yards this past weekend while Donnell didn’t see a target but was just below Tye in terms of snap count. It looks like Odell Beckham is going to have to carry the passing game again, so his upside is sickening if he can play all 16 games.

8/28 Update: The offense struggled yet again in the third preseason game, and the OL was particularly shaky. The Jet defense was balling, so it’s not time to panic. On Eli’s INT, Beckham had a choice to make; make the catch and get rocked or stop and risk a pick. He stopped, which I’m fine with in the preseason. We did see Cruz on the field, which is a good sign, but he hardly “excelled,” as he had only 1 catch for 4 yards. Jennings remained the main guy, with Vereen being worked in liberally alongside him. It also remains a TEBC, so I’d avoid both guys. It was a bad day for the Giants, but I’m not too worried. Also, for what it’s worth, if WR Tavares King makes the team, and it would be a shock if he didn’t, he’s someone to watch if there’s an injury. He’s a guy we liked as a vertical threat several years ago coming out, and he’s hung in there and has done well this summer.

Final 9/4 Late Vibe: Veteran Victor Cruz had made the team, so the vibes have improved. There are salary ramifications for the Giants keeping Cruz, so it’s a good sign they didn’t cut him. That’s good news for Eli Manning, and not-so-great news for rookie Sterling Shepard (although he will be in an easier situation for him to handle now). The deep sleeper at WR here continues to be Tavares King. The vibes improved a little for Rashad Jennings, as Andre Williams was cut. They have rookie Paul Perkins, who is very talented, but Orleans Darkwa looks like the short-term Jennings handcuff.

 

New York Jets 

Original 8/22 write-up: These guys are going to be okay with all their veteran leaders at the skill positions, but the vibes haven’t been great this summer. Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t miss any time in camp, but they’ve done nothing to improve this passing game, and the Jets won’t be sneaking up on anyone this year, and their OL is mediocre. Fitz wasn’t as good on film last year as the narrative was on him, so I can see the Jet passing game taking a step back this year. We shouldn’t panic about Matt Forte, but he’s been on the shelf for a couple of weeks with his hamstring, so you could argue the vibes are good with Bilal Powell, who’s actually the only Jet I’m actively targeting in drafts (of course, his cheap price has a lot to do with that).

8/28 Update: I can’t say that there have been a lot of great vibes here, but they haven’t been bad, either. My gut feeling on Fitzpatrick and the passing game is that they take a step back, but Eric Decker continues to make plays and offer a lot of hope. We did also see Forte, who didn’t do much on the stat sheet but who looked fine. If he misses time, Powell is going to be a PPR savior, as he’s a great safety valve in the passing game and a damn good football player. I’m not in avoid mode here, but the only players I really like based on ADP and potential are Decker and Powell. 

Final 9/5 Late VibeJace Amaro didn’t make it, so the Jets will proceed as if the TE position doesn’t exist again this year, which is probably good news for slot WR Quincy Enunwa. The Jets also released veteran Khiry Robinson. They could bring him back later, but this does help Matt Forteand Bilal Powell, as Robinson was a decent bet to vulture some short TDs from Forte/Powell.  

 

Oakland Raiders 

Original 8/22 write-up: This is more of a “gut feeling” than anything else, but I’m not really feeling it with the Raiders this summer. We did see Derek Carr level off late last year, and Carr has led seven drives in two preseason games and the Raiders have just six points. It’s a vanilla preseason on offense, so I can’t say the vibes are bad, and I do think this offense will be okay, but those expecting a continued ascension for this offense might be a tad disappointed this year. Of particular note is how their receivers seem to struggle against man coverage, and Latavius Murray hasn’t exactly looked great this summer. Honestly, I’m not targeting anyone here other than Amari Cooper and rookie DeAndre Washington late (Washington, though, didn’t get into the game until later in the 3rd quarter in the second preseason game). 

8/28 Update: The offense has been a little underwhelming, but there are some bright spots. Cooper looks very good and had a few nice moments, especially his fantastic TD reception with CB McCourty all over him. Michael Crabtree also looked solid, but he’s not a guy who’s going to get great separation from defenders, likely for the rest of his career. The Raiders wanted to take a look at some of their other RBs, so Latavius didn’t get a lot of work (he was so-so in the game). Meanwhile, Washington continues to show great promise. If he’s able to get considerable snaps and touches, which is possible, he’ll be a great sleeper this year. But the Raiders are using FB Jamize Olawale in the running game this summer, and they have a kid in Jalen Richard who they like and who will likely make the team as their third RB. He’s someone to watch for sure, but Washington is the intriguing guy here. Clive Walford hasn’t done much this summer, but he did have a pass thrown to him in the end zone that was almost a TD, and he’s playing over Mychal Rivera. The vibes overall are okay, but they could be a little better, and I think those expecting continued growth this year may be a tad disappointed.

Final 9/3 Late Vibe: It was another good showing for rookie DeAndre Washington, who get opportunities very early in the season. If Latavius Murray has issues, another player to watch is UDFA Jalen Richard, who made the team and who they are high on. He’s a very explosive back big enough to handle a heavy workload.

 

Philadelphia Eagles 

Original 8/22 write-up: The vibes in Philly are some of the worst in the league this summer, and they have concerns on the OL, at QB, RB, and WR (but otherwise they’re great!). Sam Bradford has been fine, but there’s no explosiveness with their receiving corps, and if they don’t have Jordan Matthews on the field and in a lead role, they’re going to struggle with consistency. Matthews is still expected to be ready for Week 1, if not sooner.Ryan Mathews is running hard, as usual, and he’ll be very useful – until he gets hurt. And when that happens, Philly will be in trouble at RB. We’ll see if RT Lane Johnson appeals his suspension (expected) and wins, but if he’s to miss 10 games, that’s a big problem for whomever is quarterbacking this team. They may need rookie Carson Wentz’ mobility, but, of course, he’s already hurt. We really don’t know much about Doug Pederson (Andy Reid is really his own OC), and we know this roster has some serious deficiencies.

8/29 Update: Matthews is back at practice this week and is set to play in Week 1. With Bradford looking decent this summer and with their other WRs very shaky, Matthews is a sneaky value right now.

8/28 Update: Let’s not go crazy here because they played against a bad Colt defense and Bradford lit it up in the preseason last year (which didn’t carry over into the regular season), but the vibes could be a lot worse here. They will still have an OL issue if Lane Johnson’s situation is resolved and he’s out 10 weeks, but Bradford and the offense looked solid Saturday night. Bradford had a lot of time to throw, which probably won’t be the case in the regular season, but he looked good (his INT was tipped). Dorial Green-Beckham scored, but it was a fade route in the end zone against corner giving up 5 inches to him, so it’s not like he’s arrived. Josh Huff had a nice game, but he scored on a run and most of his yards came after the catch on one play. Ertz did get 5 targets, which was nice to see. Agholor had 1 target and it was a catch he should have made but didn’t (little behind him), so he’s off the radar for fantasy fir now. As for Mathews, he continues to look really good. He’ll be a nice producer until he gets hurt. We did see the rookie RB Wendell Smallwood, but he didn’t stand out. Kenjon Barner continues to play behind Mathews and he continues to look serviceable, so he’s the handcuff for now. We’re not seeing much with Darren Sproles, but that could be meaningless.

Final 9/3 Late Vibe: The vibes have actually been pretty sold here, but the Sam Bradford trade does change things. I love rookie Carson Wentzas a prospect. He’s got upside, but he’s still hard to trust as anything more than an upside flyer late in his first season. We also have to lower expectations a little for Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz, which we have. Wentz could start Week 1 if ready.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers 

Original 8/22 write-up: The vibes, they are not very good. The Steelers should have a good OL, and it’s nice that Le’Veon Bell’s suspension has been reduced by one game - he'll return Week 4 Sunday night against the Chiefs. But this passing game has issues. We don’t know if Ladarius Green will be in the mix at all, and Sammie Coates’ preseason showing has been very inconsistent and sloppy. We also haven’t seen anything from Markus Wheaton, who’s missed their first two games. The only bright spot has been slot WR Eli Rogers, who could help ruin any value Wheaton and Coates have by getting on the field and pushing those two into a rotation outside. Oh, and backup QB Landry Jones threw 4 INTs in the second game. I think Jones might be a serviceable backup, but my confidence level isn’t high. Also, I like Jesse James as a prospect and have pumped him up as a dynasty stash, but he’s very unproven, and Ben Roethlisberger will likely miss his guy Heath Miller. At the very least, their RBs should be leaned on heavily, so that helps DeAngelo Williams and Bell.

8/27 Update: You have to be careful because it was the Saint defense, and they look horrible again this year, but the Steeler offense looked good Friday night. Brown was Brown, and even Wheaton flashed a little. I’d have to go Wheaton over Coates as the starter on the outside, provided they play Rogers in the slot. Bell also looked good in this game. Finally, a guy I’ve pumped up a little dating back to last year, James, had a really nice drive and scored, so the vibes are good there for those in deep leagues.

Final 9/3 Late Vibe: No real changes here.

 

San Diego Chargers 

Original 8/22 write-up: It’s a mixed bag for the Chargers, who have already lost two skill players for the season (Stevie Johnson and Jeff Cumberland, who could have been a useful TE backup). On the positive side, Melvin Gordon looks healthy and looks to be gaining some confidence. I am feeling better about Gordon, who’s situation in 2016 should be better for a variety of reasons (like having his old college FB blocking for him), but I’m still hesitant to push him hard. In the second preseason game, he did pop off a long run on his first carry, but he was able to bust it outside and otherwise struggled to run inside. Keenan Allen looks good-to-go, but Travis Benjamin has missed most of the preseason with a hamstring, so that’s a concern on his new team. On the bright side, he’s clearly going to be needed and he won’t just be a deep threat. The vibes are decent for rookie Hunter Henry, but he’s still not a guy to consider for fantasy. Overall, I’m not exactly giddy about the Chargers.

8/28 Update: The vibes aren’t great, thanks to some injuries, most notably backup RB Branden Oliver, who suffered an Achilles injury and is likely lost for the season. Luckily, it looks like they dodged a bullet with T Joe Barksdale rolling an ankle but reporting after the game that he’ll be fine. The vibes look better with Gordon, who popped off a long TD run. We’ve never doubted his excellent straight-line speed, but Gordon’s run was a function of Rivers audibling to a run with the defense bringing the heat. Gordon had a nice crease and he jetted past the blitzing defense on the way to the QB. It was a positive step, but he won’t likely have many great opportunities like that one. Otherwise, now that I’ve seen him play two games with Rivers, I’m actually really loving Benjamin as a nice mid-round pick. Allen didn’t have a big game but he looked strong on several catches, and Danny Woodhead looked like DW. The vibes are okay here, but the injuries are already piling up here, so they could be better.

Final 9/5 Late Vibe: No real changes, but still feeling Travis Benjamin as a great mid-round pick. They also picked up Andre Williams, who is a decent backup for them. But he’ll have no value unless Melvin Gordon gets hurt.

 

Seattle Seahawks 

Original 8/22 write-up: The two biggest issues here would be the state of their OL, and their running backs. The OL was solid in the opener, but poor in the second game against the Vikings, as Russell Wilson was sacked 4 fours, a very high total for a preseason game. I was with Seattle radio analyst Warren Moon the day after this game, and he said some of those sacks were on Wilson for holding onto the ball. We know Wilson is a special player and that this passing offense will be more than fine over the long haul; I’m just a little concerned they could be slow-off-the-mark again as the OL meshes and gels. At RB, it certainly looks like a reborn Christine Michael will be a factor, with perhaps 8-10 touches a game. That’s not a huge problem for Thomas Rawls, but Rawls’ margin for error may not be huge, since Michael is very talented. Rawls is a tough call, but I think it’s fair to say he’s a risky pick in the 3rd or even 4th round, and Michael is a worthy flyer late. We also need to figure out who their primary pass-catching back will be, with C.J. Prosise having a lost summer. It could still be Prosise, but it’s hard to expect anything from the rookie early. I’d have to think the veteran Michael will be in the mix for this role, even over Rawls.

8/27 Update: The OL was good Thursday night, but Dallas’ pass rush isn’t much to write home about. Still, this was a nice showing for Wilson, Baldwin, Lockett, and especially Michael, who looked phenomenal. So his good vibes continue, and the vibes overall are better. I also thought Prosise looked very good as a runner, so the vibes are trending upward here with Jimmy Graham reportedly nearing a return. As for Rawls, the strong showings by Michael and Prosise only make him riskier if he’s going in the 4th round. I’m still concerned about the OL, but we know they can work through any issues they do have.

Final 9/3 Late Vibe: The vibe got better on Thomas Rawls, since he actually played a little in the preseason finale. But still getting a strong late vibe on C.J. Prosise, who is an excellent late pick. A pretty significant role in the passing game is there for the taking for him, and I thought he looked very good as a runner in his brief preseason action.

 

San Francisco 49ers 

Original 8/22 write-up: The vibes aren’t that great, since QB Blaine Gabbert has underwhelmed and Carlos Hyde hasn’t exactly impressed. Hyde has looked okay running it, but they’ve tried to use him as a 3-down back, and he’s looked weak in the passing game. The biggest concern with him, though, is durability. We’ve yet to see him play NFL football and avoid injury, and that’s with minimal touches. The vibes are good at least for TEVance McDonald, who we have given love to for a few weeks. McDonald looks like Gabbert’s guy, but how long will Gabbert be the starter? Most likely, not all season. Of their WRs, I’d have to say Bruce Ellington is the most intriguing out of the slot, due in large part to the fact that he’s a free pick. He looks like a key wideout here for sure, which is notable in Chip Kelly’s slot-friendly offense. I’ve buried Torrey Smith for like four years in a row with no regrets, so I’m not about to push him this year.

8/28 Update: Really, the only good vibe here is with McDonald, who continues to look like he’s, dare I say, their #1 receiver. Hyde popped off a nice run in the game, but he also suffered a concussion, continuing have availability issues. Hyde’s a tough call because of the talent + opportunity equation, but I can’t endorse being proactive about acquiring him. His durability is a serious question, and this roster looked terrible. He has to fall a little for him to be a solid pick.

Final 9/4 Late Vibe: The main thing here is Bruce Ellington was put on IR, so the sleeper WR here, in my opinion, is Quintin Patten, who could be the main possession WR for them this year. But they also traded for veteran Rod Streater, who I’ve known from sources is great at picking up offenses quickly, so he could easily be a huge factor in this passing game as their possession guy. I also sill like Vance McDonald a lot late. They also cut some RBs, so Shaun Draughn stands out as a cheap PPR option very late.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Original 8/22 write-up: The Bucs haven’t had any serious injuries, so that’s good. But otherwise, they’re just kind of “there” this summer. That’s better than clear bad vibes, at least. I’m fine with Mike Evans in the 2nd round, and I like Charles Sims as value, plus I’m willing to take a late-flyer on Vincent Jackson. But overall, I’m not particularly excited about the Buc offense. There’s been a lot of talk about the TE battle, but with Austin Seferian-Jenkins still in the mix, it’s an avoid situation for me.

8/28 Update: They were playing the Browns, so we need to be careful, but the Buc offense looked great Friday night. Jameis Winston had a very strong showing overall, Martin looked good, Jackson was all over the place, and Evans’ hands were phenomenal. Sims was active in the passing game just missing a TD before scoring one from Winston. The OL also looked good overall, so the vibes are now trending to the positive side as we approach Week 1.

Final 9/3 Late Vibe: Not much going on here, but the late vibes were very good for the Bucs, other than Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who is not worth drafting.

 

Tennessee Titans 

Original 8/22 write-up: The Titan OL wasn’t nearly as good against the Panthers in the second preseason game, but the vibes overall are still pretty good. As for rookie wide receiver Tajae Sharpe, they’re great. He caught all six of his targets for 68 yards and clearly looks like a starter here and viable fantasy asset. He looks to be at worst the third option in the passing game behind Delanie Walker and Rishard Matthews. The vibes with Marcus Mariota have been good, for sure. RBs DeMarco Murray did little in the second game, but that’s a tough defensive front they went up against. Rookie Derrick Henry did have some really nice runs in the 3rd quarter, so his vibes continue to be good.

8/28 Update: The vibes here continue to be good. Murray looked very good yet again on Saturday night, so I feel good about him, even though Henry also looks good. I noticed Murray doing a great job in pass-protection, while Henry flubbed his first chance to protect his QB, so I think Murray is going to be the main receiving and hurry-up back. That’s important, but Dexter McCluster is still in the mix, too. Henry ran hard and was productive, but I didn’t come away overly impressed with him (still, he does look a little better than we projected him looking in the NFL). The vibes are so good that even Andre Johnson looked solid. Between him, Sharpe, and Matthews, Mariota has a nice group of solid and sizable wideouts, although they don’t have a burner set to play a lot of snaps. Mariota looks pretty darn good, though. He’s not getting a lot of love, so he’s a sneaky QB2, especially in a 2-QB league.

Final 9/3 Late Vibe: The vibes continue to be good here, especially for Derrick Henry. I still like DeMarco Murray quite a bit, though.

 

Washington Redskins 

Original 8/22 write-up: It’s a mixed bag in Washington, as the vibes with Kirk Cousins and the passing game have been fine, all things considered (the Josh Doctson injury situation is getting worrisome for early in the season). But the vibes with their rushing attack have been bad, and Matt Jones got hurt in the second game. They may sign someone, since they have little behind Jones and no one is really stepping up. I do like Chris Thompson a lot, and I’m still betting on Cousins and the passing game, but the vibes overall could be better.

8/27 Update: They have some serious concerns at RB with Jones and now the rookie Keith Marshall hurt. This cannot be a bad thing for Thompson, but let’s see if they make a trade, pick up a released veteran, or go with someone else on the roster. This is a fluid situation. It was an uneven game for Cousins, but he still threw 3 TD passes, so the vibes in that regard stayed positive. DeSean Jackson looked great, and I’ve been into him all summer and more than I can recall, actually. The Redskins in their third preseason game also exhibited their excellent depth at receiver, and that’s a positive for Cousins. At least for the passing game, the vibes are solid.

Final 9/5 Late Vibe: Getting a good late vibe on DeSean Jackson and Chris Thompson, who I’ve liked all summer, and with Matt Jones at least his ADP continues to rise, so he becomes more and more affordable. They cut Mack Brown, so it’s Rob Kelley as the Jones handcuff for now. They are only keeping 3 RBs, which can be construed as a good sign for Jones’ return to the field in time for Week 1. Also, LOVE Josh Doctson as a late pick, and he not only avoided PUP but he might even suit up Week 1.