It's been a wild ride with Trey Burton during the offseason. Loved the signing by the Bears when it happened. Burton made some crucial plays for the Eagles last year, so it's nice to have him on the Bears, a team thirsty for pass catchers and playmakers. A key new player for new coach Matt Nagy, who had great success with Travis Kelce during his time as offensive coordinator in Kansas City.
The only problem was, the word of mouth got way out of hand. Everybody was making the "Burton is the next Kelce" comparison. Like it was normal conversation. People would be like, "Hey, do you think Burton could be the next Kelce?" I was like, "I sure do. Oh, and no mayo on that burger, please."
It's like when Yelp reviews of your favorite sushi joint start to catch fire. Whereas you could typically walk into the place on a Tuesday night and get immediate seating, now, it's like if you don't get there right as the doors open at 5, you're going to be out of luck. And while you're happy for the owner and the staff, damn it, it was kind of nice when it was your own little secret. So then you were kind of like, well, I'll let others drive up the price and look for other values, like Jack Doyle.
And then last week happened. Burton was used all over the place like Nagy had promised. It was everything we wanted it to be. Here are two plays that stood out to me.
Burton at the top and he's in perfect rhythm with QB Mitch Trubisky.
Burton starts in motion and comes underneath. A perfect play call and execution. Wonderful stuff.
And I'm back on it again. His ADP is coming at the end of the seventh round, and I love that spot for him. It's worth it to me. I did a couple of mocks this past week where I was going Zach Ertz in the fourth (from the 12/13 button spot) and I didn't care for my squads. I'm happy to wait a few rounds later for a guy who could provide similar production.
Here are 10 more players to keep an eye on as the preseason enters its second half:
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Look, I don't want to get too worked up over one throw. But hot damn, what a throw it was. There were some concerns in that second preseason game. He was nearly picked off in the end zone early. He threw a Favre-esque bone-headed dart into double coverage later that was picked off. But he rallied from it. I really like the upside here. Alex Smith attempted 505 passes last year (13th-most in the league). The Chiefs ranked 23rd in rush attempts (405). So coach Andy Reid isn't shy about throwing the football. I'm ready to take a chance on him.
Peyton Barber, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I wanted Ronald Jones to be the guy in Tampa Bay, but that just hasn't been the case. Not only has Jones not performed when called upon, but Barber has looked pretty good this preseason. Barber is averaging 5.3 yards per carry. He scored a touchdown in the team's first preseason game of the season and he looks like he's going to hang on to the RB1 job heading into Week 1 of the actual season, barring any unforeseen circumstances. His ADP is growing steadily in standard leagues.
T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Obviously Leonard Fournette is the dude in Jacksonville. OBVIOUSLY. And I really like him, sneaking into the top 10 in fantasy drafts. But don't sleep on what Yeldon was able to do against the Vikings last weekend. He spent some time with the first-team offense and received 15 total touches in 24 plays. He led the Jags in rushing yards (39), but his biggest impact came in the passing game, where he had five receptions (on six targets) for 73 yards. He looked impressive. He's somebody to consider in deeper leagues.
Mike Boone, RB, Minnesota Vikings
A Vikings rookie running back has impressed for the second consecutive week. This time, it was Boone who had close to 100 rushing yards against the vaunted Jaguars defense. Click here to see every touch he had in that game. And look, I won't tell the Vikings how to do their business. But you don't want to deal him or Roc Thomas. I would, however, send Latavius Murray to the Redskins. But that's just me.
Chris Warren III, RB, Oakland Raiders
Speaking of the Redskins. Yeah, I know, I know. Adrian Peterson is in the mix. AD is like one of those 90s bands, no longer selling out arenas, now forced to work county fairs and the opening of grocery stores to make money. But with a stacked backfield, Warren could end up being cut by the Raiders, even though no one has rushed for more yards (196) in the preseason. I would have to believe Washington would have some interest if that was going to be the case.
Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks
I'm prone to throw out these guys who aren't really sleepers, but I wanted to make you were aware of the rising ADP of Carson. So if you haven't been paying attention, Carson has seen his ADP reach 7.01 in standard leagues, according to Fantasy Football Calculator. Rashaad Penny is still holding strong in the fifth round. These two ADPs should continue to grow closer as draft season rages on.
Marquise Goodwin, WR, San Francisco 49ers
We kind of thought Goodwin was the favorite to be Jimmy Garoppolo's top receiver headed into the season. It still looks like this is the case. Goodwin had three receptions for 61 yards in the second week of the preseason. The highlight was this 40-yard bomb from Jimmy G. That's not an easy catch by any means. Goodwin has seen his draft value rise by three rounds in PPR drafts over the last month. So if you're going to nab him, you're going to need to be early.
Taywan Taylor, WR, Tennessee Titans
You could take my word for it, or you could take the word of LeBron James. The speedy Taylor caught everyone's attention (including King James') on his electric 47-yard touchdown reception against the Bucs. Taylor is taking advantage of the absence of Rishard Matthews, who is on the PUP list with an undisclosed injury. With a standout camp and a new, innovative offense from coordinator Matt LaFleur, we could see Taylor "Bledsoe" Matthews' spot and become a breakout star with the Titans.
Shelton Gibson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Gibson has locked in seven receptions for 167 yards and a pair of touchdowns in two preseason games for the Eagles. You don't want to get too excited about preseason performances by guys who have started so far down the depth chart. It's like getting super pumped about a movie based on the trailer you saw. But I will say with Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) iffy to start the season and Mack Hollins reportedly disappointing in training camp (perhaps due to offseason sports hernia surgery), there could be an opportunity for Gibson.
Christian Kirk, WR, Arizona Cardinals
I like Kirk, and have since his days at Texas A&M. But please, Justin Pugh, stop with the comparisons to Odell Beckham Jr. I'm trying to make a point here about Kirk, who led the Cardinals with 49 receiving yards in Week 2 of the preseason, but these kind of comparisons lead people to roll their eyes, much in the same way people roll their eyes when I say "Cocktail" is Tom Cruise's best film. I don't care that Jon Gruden thinks he's overrated. But the pecking order for targets for the Birds goes Larry Fitzgerald, David Johnson and then Fitz again. But Kirk (who did all of his damage out of the slot last week) has impressed coaches. And apparently his teammates. OBJ, come on.