Fantasy instant debate: Preseason fantasy risers

Which player has impressed you the most so far this preseason?

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  • Alex Gelhar NFL Media Writer/Editor
  • Miller's moving up

There has been a lot to like from several preseason performers, such as Doug Martin and Ameer Abdullah, but the player who has impressed me the most has been Lamar Miller. Coming off of a career year, Miller looks faster and stronger as he guns for a new contract. He's played well both on the ground and as a receiver, which has me liking his fantasy prospects in 2015 even more. I've moved him up to my RB12 after his strong preseason performance.

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  • Marcas Grant NFL Media Fantasy Editor
  • Bolting up

I could probably say someone like Zach Zenner or Rashad Ross, but we all know that those players aren't very likely to make a fantasy impact during the regular season. I could also go with someone like Brandin Cooks, but we already expect big things from him so that would just be a matter of confirmation bias.

Instead, I'm looking at Stevie Johnson. He's been a favorite of our own Alex Gelhar this offseason and seeing him play well against the Seahawks in Week 3 has started to make me a believer. Johnson seemed to have a good rapport with quarterback Philip Rivers as the pair connected on a number of different throws early in the ballgame. It's certainly encouraging that Johnson is playing with the best signal-caller he's ever had in his career and is in an offense that doesn't have a set pecking order among its wide receivers. There's a very good chance he could challenge to post some of the best totals of his career in 2015.

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  • Matt Franciscovich NFL Media Associate Fantasy Editor
  • Flexing some Muscle

Nobody expected Doug Martin to have a preseason like this. The 26-year-old Tampa Bay running back is averaging 5.9 yards per carry through three exhibition contests on a total of 20 attempts. His 118 rushing yards is the sixth-most among running backs this preseason and he topped it all off with an explosive 19-yard touchdown run against the Browns over the weekend -- the lone score for the Bucs. Martin also ripped off a powerful 30-yarder two weeks ago against the Bengals. Tampa Bay's Dirk Koetter has been lauding Martin since taking over as offensive coordinator this offseason and now we know why. According to his coaches, Martin has been practicing just as hard as he's been running during games and is primed for a bounce-back year following two down seasons riddled with injuries. If Tampa Bay can balance its offense and get the passing game firing with rookie quarterback Jameis Winston under center, Martin's production in a contract year will far exceed his current asking price with an average draft position as fantasy's RB32.

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  • Matt Harmon NFL Media Associate Fantasy Editor
  • Got an RB Jones

For me, Washington's rookie running back Matt Jones has stood out throughout the exhibition season. Playing on a spiraling Florida Gators team in college, there was little evidence Jones had a future as a strong NFL running back. He never posted a 1,000-yard season or topped six rushing touchdowns. However, he looks rejuvenated as a pro player. The big back is currently bruising through defenses at a 7 yards-per-carry clip. Jones looks powerful, of course, but his agility is the most eye-popping part of his game so far in the NFL. He's a 6-2, 220-plus-pound bruiser, but has the quickness of a much smaller back. Those comparisons to Marshawn Lynch assigned to Jones this summer are still a stretch, but they feel much less crazy after watching him tear through the preseason. If Washington did indeed draft Jones to replace Alfred Morris if and when the team lets him walk at the end of the season, I can understand it. I have a great appreciation for Morris' game, but Jones certainly looks the part of a future starting running back. For now, his play is enough to put him on the radar for a final few round flier who could surprise in PPR leagues.

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