3 NFL Preseason Stars That Could Have a 2019 Regular Season Impact
The NFL preseason is halfway done, and a number of young players have already made their mark with strong performances popping up in the box scores.
While some of these players are destined to be third-stringers, other preseason standouts could be in line for significant roles once the regular season rolls around.
Whether as a potential starter, backup, or fill-in for a heavily publicized contract holdout, here are three preseason stars to watch in Week 1 and beyond this NFL season.
1. Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys
With the regular season just weeks away, Ezekiel Elliott is still holding out as he demands a new contract. While the Dallas Cowboys signed former backup Alfred Morris as a precautionary move in late July, the name most being talked about as Zeke's fill-in is fourth-round rookie Tony Pollard. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones publicly said that Pollard is capable of "carrying the load," and the Memphis product has looked impressive through two preseason games, rushing for 58 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. If Zeke's holdout carries over into the regular season, Pollard will carry immense upside in fantasy football, as he will likely be given a golden opportunity to be Dallas' workhorse running back. If Zeke ends his holdout, however, Pollard could still provide value as a potential handcuff.
2. Justice Hill, RB, Baltimore Ravens
After a mediocre preseason debut, in which he rushed 10 times for 33 yards, Baltimore Ravens' rookie RB Justice Hill looked a lot better against the Green Bay Packers in Week 2, totaling 49 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. The fourth rounder out of Oklahoma State forced nine miss tackles and clearly looked the part even though he played behind both Mark Ingram and Kenneth Dixon. While the Ravens backfield is unsettled beyond Ingram as the starter, Hill seems to have the upper hand over Dixon and Gus Edwards for backup duties. He may have potential for an even bigger role if Ingram, who turns 30 in December, were to get injured. Hill has immense upside playing in what will surely be one of the NFL's run-heaviest teams in 2019.
3. Jakobi Meyers, WR, New England Patriots
After a breakout preseason debut, in which he caught six balls for 69 yards and two touchdowns, there was some cold water thrown on Jakobi Meyer's 2019 prospects due to the reinstatement of Josh Gordon. However, following his second preseason game, in which Meyers caught all six of his targets for 82 yards, the excitement over the rookie's 2019 role has been reignited. Meyers has reportedly had a more impressive camp and preseason than first-round draft pick N'Keal Harry. Even with Gordon and Harry in the fold, Meyers can work his way into a role on the team if he continues his impressive play.
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