Monday, August 15, 2011

Preseason Does It Matter???

Preseason...does it matter?

When it comes to preseason NFL games the majority opinion out there is that the games do not matter. In general the scores of the games do not matter as they are decided most times by players that will end up playing special teams only or being placed on the practice squad. What is important is what goes on in these games with certain players especially in the first half. Number 2 and 3 WR roles are often determined by preseason and practice performance. It is very important to pick out those teams with camp battles going on for certain positions and keep tabs on what happens from game to game and also pay attention what team websites report about certain players. In this article we take a look at a few of the things I noticed this weekend and we will follow these and stories like these all preseason long. Remember we didn't get all that info coming out of mini camps this year because there were no mini camps so this preseason could be the most important preseason in fantasy football history when it comes to evaluating talent for your draft.

1. The Eagles and Pats are all in thinking title this year and even they have talent worth watching and position battles that can affect you on draft day.
a. Stevan Ridley RB Pats - hitting paydirt 3 x's cannot be ignored even in the preseason. Keep a watch on this guy and be careful about drafting S.Vareen before you give Ridley a chance. It would no take much to beat out a guy like Sammy Morris for carries. Ridley is solid.
b. Taylor Price WR Pats - good looking young talent has mad potential.
c. Riley Cooper WR Eagles - with Maclin sick, Steve Smith recovering from injury the big kid outta Florida could get some nice targets early this season. He is going undrafted in most leagues.

2. Know your backups.
a. Carolina has a mess right now at WR, but also has quite a few talented youngsters ready to step up if Steve Smith cannot stay healthy. Gettis is out of the year with an ACL so that leaves Lafell, Armanti Edwards and Legadu Nanee to battle for receptions. Greg Olsen is a deep sleeper on this team at the TE position. He was traded from the Bears in quiet move this off season.
b. The Rams are not only my favorite team, but they are also loaded with questions about who will start and get the bulk of the targets at WR. This preseason will go along way on determining the pecking order for the first few games. My money is for Amendola and rookie TE Lance Kendricks to lead the way on targets with D.Alexander and Donnie Avery also being in the mix. Austin Pettis and Greg Salas may have to wait a year or so to get theirs. I will be watching this battle closely as the preseason rolls on.
c. Beware of the Niners and Bengals skilled position players - After the first glance of these two in the preseason the outlook is bleak for the skilled position guys because of San Fran's inability to block anyone and Andy Dalton's propensity to hold the ball and freeze up during the blitz. Watch these guys in preseason and if this carnage continues another game or two it will be time to knock players like Gore, Benson, Crabtree, Edwards and others down your draft boards. One game does not a season make so don't place the tombstone on them yet, just keep your plot ready, just in case.
d. Packers poised to repeat. The Packers are going to be hard to beat this year and look absolutely loaded on offense. Finley is back, Driver is back, a few of the idps we missed late last year are back...the Champs are fantasy feast right now.
e. Grossman not so gross. You can get good fantasy stats out of these deadbeat QB's when the right opportunity presents itself. After one preseason game Rexy ain't sexy, but he did look effective vs the Steelers in the Skins first preseason game. I will believe it when I see it a few more times, but I will be watching.
f. Orton is going to win that job in Denver. Tim Tebow should probably be playing for the Broncos because they have no shot at winning this year and he needs the work. That said, Orton is the better player, clearly, and will be the one to start the year for the Broncos. Orton will also be the one to get the most out of WR B.Lloyd you can bank on that...I think Moreno would be fine with either starting. Keep watching this situation all preseason and early on this year.
g. Who will be Houston's primary backup RB (Tate or Ward) and what will become of 2009 super stud Steve Slaton. Alot of people need to know who Arian Nation's handcuff is and tonight vs the Jets we may see the beginning of that story being written.
h. Bucs WR backups? Remember this name Dezmon Briscoe. If A.Benn does not come back strong right away from his knee injury this one time practice squad player will be heard from as Mike Williams' secret is out and will receive constant double teams. Briscoe made plays late last year and looked good vs the Chiefs this past week. Keep an eye on this guy...deep sleeper alert here.
i. Who is Zona's no.2 WR? Andre Roberts is currently the no.2 guy in arizona though Early Doucet is being drafted before him in most leagues. The Cards will throw the ball and someone has to catch balls other than Fitzgerald. Breaston is gone and that void needs to be filled. Watch Roberts and other WR's on that roster to see who will step up this fall.

Well I cannot cover every sleeper out there, but I do have my eye on a few others that we will look at next week as well as updating how these player listed above are doing through week 2. Take notes and reak havoc in your draft rooms. Good luck.

Wes
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