Friday, September 2, 2011

Boys Making Noise in the Preseason

Every year, players dominate the preseason, but rarely do they make an impact in fantasy land. However, with so many teams running with a committee in the backfield and holding on to those extra receivers to spread the field, some of these guys might actually be able to help during the regular season. Do not draft any of these guys, but keep an eye on them.

RB
Roy Helu - WAS - You can draft him
  • The Redskins have shown that they will run the football this season, and gain yards doing so.  The rookie from Nebraska leads the team in carries(35) and 2nd in the league in yards(173, Hightower has 170) and even though Washington did trade for Tim Hightower, Helu will see plenty of snaps.  Last night against the Ravens both RBs and the offensive line looked great.  Helu is worthy of a roster spot on your team, but I wouldn't be to upset if someone grabbed him before you could.
Stevan Ridley - NE -
  • Game 2 - Another big game for Ridley, he saw 16 carries go for 84 yards caught 3 more passes. No scores this time, but Ridley is proving himself worthy of making the roster. Two negatives from this game; he lost a fumble, and BJGE scored twice from 1 yard out.
    • Game 1 - With 3 TDs last night against the Jags, Ridley has put a ton of pressure on fellow rookie Shane Vereen(DNP Hamstring). 16 carries for 64 yards to go with 7 catches should have Coach Belichick very excited, knowing he has yet another weapon on offense. Ridley is a big boy at 225 pounds, and if BJGE can not pick up the short yardage/goal line carries, Ridley should be given a chance.

Jordan Todman - SD -
  • Game 2 - Todman picked up another 27 yards on just 5 carries.  Early in the season Tolbert will see carries before Todman, but if he can not produce like he did last season, Todman will see carries.
    • Game 1 - The UConn product is currently 3rd on the depth chart behind Matthews and Tolbert, but as we saw last year with the Chargers, health is an issue. Todman is a great pass catcher and could see some snaps in passing situations this season. Todman is in the exact position Tolbert was in last year, and look at the impact he had in fantasy world last year.

Aaron Brown - DET -
  • Game 3 - The Lions were the first team to handle the Pats and Brown was a big part of that.  He picked up 78 total yards on 9 rushes and 4 receptions while scoring a TD.  He is still buried on the depth chart, but Best is sure to miss some playing time this season and Brown is proving he is worthy of some NFL snaps.
    • Game 2 - Not a great performance from Brown, as he gained more yards on one catch(12) then he did on 6 carries (11). He was given the same amount of carries as the rest of the bunch, so next weeks game will be a deciding factor on whether Brown makes the roster or not.
      • Game 1 - When Mikel Leshoure tore his Achilles earlier this month, a huge opportunity opened up for all RBs on the Lions roster. The Lions did go out and sign Jerome Harrison(6 carries 8 yards) but Brown carried the ball 4 times for an average of 5.3 yards and also caught 5 passes out of the backfield. If he can keep getting touches in the preseason, he could beat out Maurice Morris for the #3 RB spot on the depth chart.

Alfonso Smith - ARI -
  • With Ryan Williams likely out for the season with a ruptured patella tendon, Alfonso Smith took advantage of every touch picking up 44 yards on 11 carries. LaRod Stephens-Howling is also in the mix, but I am not sure what the plan is for him, outside of the return game. All this really did was increase Beanie Wells stock, but look for Alfonso Smith to get in the mix.
Kendall Hunter - SF -
  • Hunter now leads the league in rushing yards with 174 on just 24 carries, but Frank Gore is an every down back, and Anthony Dixon will get snaps before Hunter.  However, if Gore goes down, you can expect a near split of carries between Dixon and Hunter. 
Da'Rel Scott - NYG -
  • Much like when Ahmad Bradshaw was drafted in the 7th round, Da'Rel Scott(6th round) is stuck behind two good RBs on the Giants roster.  But Bradshaw was able to make noise that season and help the Giants win the Super Bowl.  Scott had the fastest 40 time of all RBs in the draft class and has shown the ability to bust out 97 yard TDs.  Last night, he took a fake punt 65 yards and ran it for a TD.  If the Giants can turn him into a Darren Sproles type player, Scott could have real value this season. 
WR
Dwayne Harris - DAL -
  • Game 3 - 1 carry for 10 yards?  What is going on here?  Don't the Cowboys need another WR?  Where are the Cowboys fans??
    • Game 2 - Was only targeted once and finished the game with 0 receptions.  Anyone who watched this game, can you explain to me why this happened?
      • Game 1 - With Roy Williams and Sam Hurd gone, the slot receiver position on the Cowboys is wide open. Harris caught all 5 passes thrown his way totaling 127 yards and 2 of them went for scores. He is almost a lock for returning kicks this year as well.

Dezmon Briscoe - TB - Briscoe is only getting reps because Arrelious Benn is still recovering from ACL surgery, but Briscoe has earned the #2 WR spot for the Bucs. With 4 catches and a TD in the first preseason game, Briscoe at 6'3 could be a nice red zone look for QB Josh Freeman. Not the kind of player that you draft, but keep a red flag on him throughout the first couple weeks of the season.


DeMarco Sampson - ARI - Who know what is going to happen out in Arizona, but DeMarco Sampson is making a case for the #3 WR.  The 7th round pick out of San Diego State has caught 5 passes for a 115 yards in the first two weeks of preseason.  That leads all Cardinals receivers including Larry Fitzgerald.  Keep an eye on Sampson is deep leagues.

TE
Lance Kendricks - STL - You Can Draft Him - Kendricks was already likely to see plenty of playing time this season, with only Billy Bajema and Michael Hoomanawanui standing in his way. As much as I like to hear announcers try to pronounce Hoomanawanui, Kendricks is the best catching TE on the Rams depth chart. Kendricks caught 5 of the 7 passes thrown his way against the Colts and 1 of them went for a score. Kendricks could be a nice pick up midway through the season.

Rob Housler - ARI - Todd Heap is a veteran TE who has been plagued by the injury bug in recent seasons.  Housler has impressed in preseason, leading the team in receptions with 7, going for 86 yards and a score.  Heap is almost bound to miss some time and if Housler can prove he is a reliable pass catcher, the rookie could be valuable during the bye weeks as a fill in player.
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