The most important NFL dress rehearsal is now in the books. Preseason Week 3 featured the longest amount of action from the starters and showed which teams are really ready to go in regular season Week 1. This was also a big week for rookies. Those players who are on fantasy radars saw their toughest competition to date. So how did they fare? We take a look at how rookie quarterbacks on the fantasy radar held up in preseason Week 3 and what that means for owners.
Patrick Mahomes , Kansas City Chiefs
Mahomes was humbled in the third preseason game against Seattle. The 10th-overall pick struggled, completing just eight passes for 70 yards against the Seahawks backup defense. He did not have any interceptions, but he did take a sack and lost seven yards on a fumble.
This was the first time Mahomes looked out of sync in the preseason. He struggled with holding onto the ball too long, a problem he had in college. His performance did not change anything in the Chiefs QB pecking order. However, Alex Smith may have some breathing room in Kansas City with Mahomes struggling in a pressure situation. Fantasy wise, Mahomes will not be a factor as long as Smith plays well.
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
Watson did not make any strides toward becoming a starter in preseason Week 3. The first round pick completed 11 of 21 passes for 116 yards and an interception. He would have had two interceptions on the night, but the defender dropped the pass. He also rushed for 10 yards in the outing.
Watson is one of the most highly regarded rookies in the league, but it looks like he needs more time to develop before he can run an NFL offense. For now, Watson is not close to challenging Tom Savage. However, it is so rare to see one QB start all season in Houston. Watson still has a good chance of starting at some point in the regular season, but fantasy owners should not bank on him early.
Browns head coach Hue Jackson has named Kizer as the regular-season starter. However, Kizer learned that it is hard to be a starter in the NFL against Tampa Bay. The second-round pick tossed six passes for 93 yards and an interception in the third preseason exhibition. Kizer’s inexperience was evident as he had some late throws and threw into traffic many times. His receiving core also struggled to bring in several catchable balls.
Kizer is undoubtedly going to have some growing pains as a starter. Many of his flaws and a lack of mature weapons will take a toll on his performance. Regardless, the Browns are giving Kizer full rein to run the offense, and his owners stand to benefit greatly if he can find his rhythm.
Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears
Trubisky held up well in the toughest preseason test. Completing 10 of 15 passes, the second-overall pick in the draft threw for 128 yards and a touchdown, including an immaculate 45-yard touchdown pass to Tanner Gentry. He also has one rush for nine yards against Tennessee.
The Bears are still committed to Mike Glennon for the starting role, but Trubisky is constantly making a push for the job. Expect to see Trubisky sooner than later if Glennon continues to struggle once the regular season gets underway. Owners could be sitting on a big sleeper once Trubisky takes over.