But I thought I should empty some leftovers into a little notebook of things I observed with those first two teams going head to head prior to their preseason game on Friday. Here are a few thoughts:
Saquon Barkley didn't practice any of the three days, sidelined by a hamstring tweak. Kerryon Johnson didn't do much to catch my eye following a strong preseason game last week at Oakland.
But that shouldn't deter anyone from thinking that both have a chance to be special. Barkley's injury is considered minor, and even if he doesn't play in the preseason there's little reason to think he won't be ready for Week 1 against the Jaguars. Giants TE Evan Engram believes Barkley's presence will open this offense up in a way it could not be last season.
"He's ready to come in and make an impact," Giants tight end Evan Engram said. "He's picking up on everything really fast and [gives us] another dynamic playmaker that can break a play for 60 [yards]. He's a breakout, big-play player. He's going to help us a lot with his presence out there."
(Worth noting: Giants RB Wayne Gallman is a good little player. Really, he's an ideal complementary back. Should Barkley ever miss time, I think Gallman has a chance to step up and bridge that gap nicely. I am surprised he didn't get more run with the previous staff after seeing him move well in practice.)
As for Johnson, there's maybe a tad more hype in the fantasy community than in Detroit, but don't take that the wrong way. The feeling I got, when asking players about their teammates (especially a rookie such as Johnson), is that there's a Matt Patricia hush-hush media quotient one must take into account. He's put muzzles on the young guys, including WR Kenny Golladay, who has looked good but has been reticent to talk.
The Lions have four running backs who saw the field on the days I was there. Say what you will about Ameer Abdullah, but the guy has been working hard to make this team. I expect Johnson, LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick to all have notable roles, with Abdullah trying to crash the party again. One interesting takeaway: Johnson — not Blount, more of a finesse big man — seemed to take a lot of the short-yardage reps. Fantasy owners, take note.