Aaron DobsonWR NE (9) 2 hours ago
Dobson caught two of his three targets for 49 yards in Friday's preseason win over the Panthers.
With Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell viewed as roster locks, Dobson is looking to stick with the Patriots as a depth wideout. Competing with the 6-foot-3, 205-pounder for slotting on that front are Keshawn Martin, Chris Harper, DeAndre Carter and Devin Lucien, following the release of Nate Washington. While limited to eight games in 2015, Dobson recorded 13 catches for 141 yards.
PJonathan WilliamsRB BUF (10) 2 hours ago
Williams, who finished off Friday's preseason game with 11 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown but left with a rib injury, tested out fine after the game, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports.
The rookie should end up making the team, but right now he seems to be behind Mike Gillislee and Reggie Bush in terms of likely role size behind LeSean McCoy. Things can change quickly, though, and Williams' prospects did take a jump in the last week when the team rid itself of Karlos Williams.
Jacoby BrissettQB NE (9) 2 hours ago
Brissett completed 9 of 9 pass attempts for 85 yards and a TD in Friday's preseason win over the Panthers.
Jimmy Garoppolo started the game and wasn't especially sharp against Carolina's first-team defense. In contrast, Brissett -- who ran three times for six yards -- put up a tidy stat line, albeit against reserves. With Tom Brady on track to sit out the Patriots' first four games of the regular season, Brissett is slated to serve as Garoppolo's backup out of the gate in 2016.
Ezekiel ElliottRB DAL (7) 2 hours ago1 Comment
The NFL will apparently not further investigate Elliott's visit to a marijuana dispensary prior to Thursday's preseason game in Seattle, ESPN's Ed Werder reports.
Marijuana is legal in Washington state, so the rookie apparently stopped into a dispensary to look around Wednesday night without making any purchases. Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones said the visit "wasn't good", but Elliott apparently won't receive anything other than a tongue-lashing from his boss over the incident. Given the league's (arguably archaic) stance on pot use and the fact that three of Elliott's teammates are currently suspended for violations of the NFL's drag policy though, he's now likely on their radar for further scrutiny at the very least.
Jimmy GaroppoloQB NE (9) 2 hours ago
Garoppolo completed 9 of 15 passes for 57 yards in Friday's preseason win over the Panthers.
Friday's effort was an uneven one for Garoppolo, who started the contest, and it's unclear what the Patriots' plans are for him in the team's preseason finale. In any case, with Tom Brady set to serve a four-game suspension to start the coming season, Garoppolo is on track to start for the Patriots out of the gate in 2016, with his first regular season assignment a Week 1 road tilt against the Cardinals. In subsequent weeks, he'll face the Dolphins, Texans and Bills at home, before Brady is eligible to return to action in Week 5. From a fantasy perspective, Garoppolo could be a hit-or-miss option, but supporting his cause is that is that he'll have a couple of quality options heading his pass-catching corps, namely TE Rob Gronkowski and WR Julian Edelman.
QJohn CrockettRB GB (4) 9 hours ago
Crockett left Friday's preseason game against the 49ers with a shoulder injury.
Prior to his early exit, Crockett operated as the clear No. 3 running back, taking 13 carries for 46 yards while playing ahead of Brandon Burks and Brandon Ross. The 2015 UDFA should still have a spot on the team, but if he isn't ready for Week 1, the Packers will likely retain Burks or Ross on the final roster.
LeGarrette BlountRB NE (9) 9 hours ago
Blount gained 26 yards on five carries and 16 yards on three receptions (three targets) in Friday's preseason game against the Panthers.
Even with Tyler Gaffney impressively gaining 35 yards on nine carries, Blount seemingly moved one step closer to locking down the top power back role, with his night highlighted by a hurdle at the end of a 17-yard run. While otherwise quiet on the ground, Blount did come up with a rare contribution through the air, just one week after gashing the Bears for 69 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. If Blount is confirmed to have won the role, Gaffney and D.J. Foster will compete for one roster spot, offering very different skill sets at the running back position.
Tyler GaffneyRB NE (9) 10 hours ago
Gaffney gained 35 yards on nine carries in Friday's preseason game against the Panthers.
Perhaps more important than the stat line, Gaffney split first-team work with LeGarrette Blount, who gained 26 yards on five carries and 16 yards on three receptions. Both running back looked pretty good, with Blount ripping off one of his trademark hurdles on a 17-yard run. Despite his strong push, Gaffney probably hasn't done enough to supplant the more-experienced Blount as New England's top power back, with the latter also enjoying a strong preseason. Gaffney does seemingly still have a good shot to earn a roster spot, though it's possible the Patriots could go with pass-catching specialist D.J. Foster instead.
DeAngelo WilliamsRB PIT (8) 10 hours ago
Making his first appearance of the 2016 preseason, Williams gained 12 yards on four carries and nine yards on three receptions (four targets) in Friday's exhibition against the Saints.
Williams split first-team work with Le'Veon Bell (susspension, who had three carries for 21 yards and five catches for 37 yards (five targets). It's telling that the two combined for nine targets, as the Steelers no longer have Martavis Bryant (suspension) and may not have Ladarius Green (ankle) early in the season. With Bell suspended for the first three games, Williams should be one of the busiest running backs in the league, handling a hefty workload both on the ground and through the air. Fitzgerald Toussaint and Daryl Richardson are vying for backup work.
Vance McDonaldTE SF (8) 10 hours ago
McDonald caught one pass for two yards on four targets in Friday's preseason game against the Packers.
With the 49ers lacking in talent at wide receiver, McDonald and Garrett Celek have both received extensive playing time with a first-team offense that often deploys two-TE formations. Although Celek accounted for both of Blaine Gabbert's completions Friday, it still appears McDonald is ahead in the race for the No. 1 tight end role. It could be a fluid situation throughout the season, with both players occupying key roles in many games.