Monday, August 20, 2012

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.

QB
Andrew Luck - Indianapolis Colts
  • I don't think any of us can understand the pressure that Andrew Luck is under.  But clearly he knows how to handle it.  I guess when your first NFL pass goes for a TD, it makes things looks easy.  Over his first 2 preseason games, Luck is 26 for 41 with 2 TDs and 2 INTs while just being sacked once.  He also rushed for a score.  I haven't watch him play but to me that means he is making quick decisions and not holding onto the ball.  If Luck can continue to complete 63% of his passes he will be a reliable QB2 in fantasy.  Only negative thing going forward is that the Austin Collie has suffered a concussion and will miss time.  They had great chemistry in the early preseason.

Russell Wilson - Seattle Seahawks
  • Wilson has clearly been the best QB in Seattle this preseason, but Matt Flynn will see the first games.  While both QBs are completing over 65% of their passes, Wilson is averaging more than twice the yards per attempt while throwing 3 TDs to just 1 INT and rushing for another.  It is pretty obvious that Wilson WILL get opportunities to shine this season, but the rookie out of Wisconsin going to have to just wait patiently for that day.  Not draft worthy, but def worth keeping on eye on for BYE week filler and injury replacements as the weeks roll bye.

Blaine Gabbert - Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Gabbert has looked like a completely different QB this season.  He has completed just shy of 70% of his passes while throwing 3 TDs and 0 INTs and just a single sack.    Gabbert is worth the QB2 slot in deeper leagues and could be an absolute steal.  Remember, this guy was considered by some the #1 pick last year.

Kirk Cousins - Washington Redskins
  • Obviously RG3 is the guy in Washington, no matter how poorly he plays and Rex Grossman is the veteran backup incase of an injury.  However, Cousins has looked great compelting 60% of his passes, including 4 that have gone for 20+ yards!  On 45 passing attempts he has 3 TDs 1 INT and 0 sacks!  Cousins has zero fantasy value.

RB
Arizona Cardinals
  • Alfonso Smith had a great preseason last year as well but still sits 4th on the Cardinals depth chart behind Beanie Wells, Ryan Williams and La'Rod Stephens-Howling.  As a matter of fact, all of the Cardinals have rushed the ball well.  In 76 rushing attempts, they have gained 383 yards and scored 4 times.  Beanie Wells has not yet played in the preseason but is expected to be ready come Week 1.  Undrafted rookie, William Powell of Kansas State is having the best preseason with 160 yards on on a team high 26 carries. 

Detroit Lions
  • With Jhavid Best out at least 6 weeks, the Lions backfield is up for grabs.  It seems Kevin Smith will get the first shot, but Keiland Williams and Joique Bell are doing their best this preseason to get some looks too.  Bell has seen the most carries (21) and done a great job going for 124 yards but has yet to score.  Keiland Williams has 17 carries for 98 yards and a score.  Only Kevin Smith is worth a RB2/RB3 spot, but the other guys shouldn't be over looked come an injury or an opportunity.

Rashad Jennings - Jacksonville Jaguars
  • By now we all know that Jennings has the potential to be a fantasy player, but MJD just demands the football to much for Jennings to get a shot.  Jennings is averaging over 5 yards per carry on 23 attempts but has yet to score.  Should Maurice Jones Drew not be available Week 1, Jennings would be a nice fill in player, but do not draft him, unless you have MJD.

David Wilson - New York Giants
  • The Giants 1st round pick out of Virginia Tech is out performing DJ Ware, and seems to have locked up the #2 spot on the depth chart behind Ahmad Bradshaw.  Ware is averaging less than 3 yards per carry compared to Wilson's 4.5, plus Wilson has shown burst of elite speed.  DJ Ware does have the plus of being a good pass blocker.  I would not draft David Wilson but if Bradshaw proves he can't handle the workload, Wilson will be a nice mid season addition. 

WR
Julio Jones - Atlanta Falcons
  • No one is surprised here that Jones is killing it.  But a lot of "experts" have Jones listed higher on their WR rankings than Roddy White.  While I think that is crazy, Julio Jones is one of the safest WR you can draft and is absolutely worth a WR1 postion.
 
Cole Beasley - Dallas Cowboys
  • With Miles Austin's hamstrings acting up and Lauren Robinson wearing a Jaguars uni, the Cowboys need WR depth and Beasley is giving them just that.  If Austin misses regular season games, Beasley is a solid start so Austin owners should add him to their roster and deep leagues should scoop him up pronto!  Beasley leads the team in receptions with 7 and is the only receiver with 100 receiving yards.  ECU's Dwayne Harris has a ton of potential and is right there with Beasley in terms of that #3 receiver spot, but i am giving Beasley the nod.  Kevin Ogletree could also steal that slot receiver position but I still like Beasley for that job. 

Aldrick Robinson - Washington Redskins
  • While the Redskins do have some depth at the receiver position, none of them are pro bowl type players outside of Santana Moss.  Pierre Garcon and Leonard Hankerson seems to have locked down the other 2 receiver slots on the depth chart, but Robinson has the most catches this preseason.  I doubt he will get an opportunity early in the season, but come injuries and poor performances comes a shot for Robinson.

Alshon Jeffery - Chicago Bears
  • Jeffery is my favorite rookie WR this year as he has Jay Cutler throwing him the ball, a better receiver than Devin Hester and a huge red zone target.  Earl Bennett and Marshall have a history with Cutler so they will get to play, but Hester is purely a speed guy while Jeffery is a receiver.  Jeffery might not start off catching 5 balls a game, but come seasons end I promise you he will be!  Stash him away on your bench!

TE
Rob Housler - Arizona Cardinals
  • Another guy on our list from last season, Housler is going to be the man in Arizona sooner than later.  Todd Heap caught just 24 balls last year and Housler has Todd Heap in his prime ability.  When Housler gets his shot, he wil be a low end TE with high upside in a deep TE class.

Kevin Boss - Kansas City Chiefs
  • With Tony Moaki returning from an ACL injury last year, Boss is the #2 on the depth chart.  However, Boss has proven to be a realiable TE and if Moaki isn't up to speed Week 1, Boss could be a sneaky play the first couple of weeks.  Even better news, the Chiefs plan on using a two TE set quite often so even is Moaki is ready and healthy, Boss should still see plenty of snaps this season.  However, Boss is only a deep league BYE week filler type play.

Lance Kendricks - St. Louis Rams
  • One of the few starting TE most people have never heard of, Lance Kendricks finished his rookie campaign with just 28 caches.  But new OC Marty Schottenheimer, formerly with the Jets (Dustin Keller) loves to use his TEs.  Keller led the Jets in targets last season so Kendricks should provide fantasy owners with a top notch backup TE coming out of their drafts. 

Did you / would you, draft any of these guys this year?  Which of these guys do you see having the BEST fantasy season?  Leave your comments below!

Check out last years Boys Making Noise post

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