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Hall of Fame Game Fantasy Football Rookie Performance Review

FOOTBALL IS BACK!! From now through February, there is football being played in the USA!

With the return of football comes the return of fantasy football and SNS is here to give you the EDGE to dominate your fantasy league with the inside scoop on this year’s rookie class!

In the coming weeks, SNS will have comprehensive rookie rankings for snake drafts and auction drafts, as well as standard, keeper, and dynasty leagues. Projected 2023 scoring totals and rankings will be regularly updated throughout the preseason as players gets released, injured, and move up (and down) the depth chart.

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To be clear, there is limited value in attempting to assess fantasy worth in preseason games. Deshaun Watson, Nick Chubb, Amari Cooper, David Njoku, Aaron Rodgers, Breece Hall, Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, and several other projected starters were on the sidelines in street clothes last night in Canton, Ohio. But talent tends to shine through, regardless of circumstance. So, who made a positive impression last night and who didn’t help themselves as the NFL preseason kicked off?

NY Jets

Israel Abanikanda / RB

The fifth-round pick joins a crowded backfield in NY with Breece Hall (PUP), Michael Carter, and Bam Knight established as NFL-caliber RBs. Abanikanda got the start with the three veterans getting the night off. Abanikanda acquitted himself well and looks the part of an NFL RB with an NFL body, quality running instincts, and strong hands. Earning a roster spot may be difficult at the beginning of the season, but with Hall still in recovery and the nature of the RB position, the opportunity to contribute this season is likely.

Travis Dye / RB

Dye went undrafted last April due to recovery from season ending surgery last fall at USC. He is extremely experienced with hundreds of touches at USC and Oregon. But that’s the rub. The wear and tear has started to show. Factor in the RB depth with the Jets and it seems he is most likely headed for the practice squad, if not in New York then somewhere else, this fall.

Cleveland Browns

Cedric Tillman / WR

With Cooper in street clothes, Tillman got the opportunity to be the featured WR with the inconsistent Kellen Mond at QB in the first half limiting his impact. However, Tillman looks like a contributor in Cleveland this year due to his size, hands, route running ability, and versatility.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson / QB

The former Bruin QB played the entire second half Thursday night and clearly outperformed Mond. DTR quickly processed coverages, displayed good arm mechanics, and demonstrated dynamic athletic ability when running the ball. DTR is not projected to be a fantasy contributor this season with Watson entrenched as the starter but he looks to be a potential starter in the NFL before too long.

Hassan Hall / RB

Hall, out of Georgia Tech (via Louisville), went undrafted last April but has a great opportunity to carve out a role on the Browns. Chubb is one of the premiere RBs in football and is in no danger of losing his job. But Kareem Hunt is no longer on the team and the backup job is up for grabs with Jerome Ford, John Kelly, Demetric Felton, and Hall competing for reps. Hall displayed natural running instincts and burst against the Jets’ backups. There’s a long way to go until final cuts later this month so monitor this position battle closely.

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