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Preseason Wrapup

Yeah, I know. There is still one week of the preseason left. But the starters rarely play any significant amount of time in the 4th preseason game. So now seems like as good a time as any to look back at the preseason and see what we learned.

So, with that in mind: I know it’s only preseason, but…

1. The Packers offense looks very good. I have said a few times already that I expect QB Aaron Rodgers to end the season as the top scoring player in fantasy (and to back this up, I picked him in two of my three leagues so far this year). Rodgers has looked very sharp in the preseason, completing 27 of 38 passes for 458 yards, with 6 TDs and no interceptions — and he did this in approximately 4 quarters of play. Which is, like, pretty good. Beyond Rodgers, though, there is RB Ryan Grant, who should get 300 carries and rebound from his poor 2008, WR Greg Jennings, who is a top-10 (and maybe even top-5) WR, WR Donald Driver, who is an undervalued WR3, and sleepers such as WR James Jones and TE Jermichael Finley, who could put up good numbers in an offense that should be in the top 5 in the league.

2. We have no idea what TO will do in Buffalo. TO looked like he could still play early during BUF’s 1st preseason game. But that is all we saw of him. He has missed the rest of the preseason with a mysterious toe injury. I have my own issues with TO — mostly related to the QB and OL in BUF — but there is no denying the guy’s talent. If you like to gamble, you can probably get a pretty good deal on him.

3. Chris Henry could be very good. I have had this kid on many of my fantasy teams in the past, only to end up disappointed by his inconsistency and apparent stupidity. But now it seems like he has things figured out. He caught a TD in each of the preseason games, and is a prime candidate to replace the production that went with WR TJ Houshmandzadeh to SEA. He is a great sleeper pick.

4. Brett Favre still has it. At least for a few more weeks. No one really doubted that Favre could still play. I think the real question is whether he can still play for 16 (or 19 or 20) weeks. I suspect he will look pretty sharp during the early portion of the season, but judgment day(s) will come later in the year when he is getting tired and beat up. Will he still have the desire? Will his body hold up? Who knows. But he does give the other offensive players in MIN a boost — at least in the short-term.

5. We have no idea what any of the rookie RBs will do. There is some great talent at RB in this year’s rookie class. Unfortunatley, we still do not know whether any of them will be productive. We finally got to see RB Beanie Wells last week against GB, and he looked good, but questions linger about his injury issues. Everyone was excited when RB Knowshon Moreno ended his holdout, but he only lasted half a game and then was injured. And we still have no idea how DEN plans to use him. RB Donald Brown was a popular sleeper pick, but IND does not seem like it has any plans to give up on RB Joseph Addai any time soon. RB LeSean McCoy finds himself in a similar position — if (when?) RB Brian Westbrook goes down, McCoy should blow up. But what if that does not happen? Enough people are predicting Westbrook’s demise that I am convinced it is not going to happen. RB Shonn Greene is also waiting behind an aging veteran. But we have no idea when or if he will see the field. In fact, out of all the rookie RBs, RB James Davis might have the best chance of seeing the field sooner rather than later. He is stuck behind an ineffective and aging RB Jamal Lewis, and there have been rumors that Lewis might not make the final roster. (But you know how rumors go…) Overall, I think Wells has the best chance to have a big fantasy season, but Brown and McCoy could blow up if injuries open the door. And keep an eye on Davis — he is a sleeper if I ever saw one.

6. The Seahawks could surprise some people. SEA was terrible last year. But that was mostly due to a rash of injuries. Although they still have some issues along the OL, and RB Julius Jones does not scare [m]any teams, their offense could be pretty good. QB Matt Hasselbeck is a sleeper at QB, WR TJ Houshmandzadeh is a very good value at WR, TE John Carlson is a great value at TE, and WR Deon Butler is a deep sleeper. Shoot, even Jones is the main ballcarrier, so he should put up solid yardage totals and can likely be picked very late in your draft.

7. Eli Manning is still a mouthbreather. Nothing has changed. Except now he has lost his favorite target at WR. Which means he will probably do a lot more mouthbreating and blaming his teammates when things do not go right.

8. The Raiders are one messed up franchise. There are guys in OAK with potential — RB Darren McFadden, RB Michael Bush, WR Chaz Schilens, TE Zach Miller — but can we really trust anyone in OAK to produce on a weekly basis? The team is so dysfunctional that it seems foolish to draft any of them. Which really makes me wonder why I took both Bush and Schilens in one of my recent drafts…

9. Brady and Moss could return to their 2007 form. The circus that is the Brady-to-Moss connection could be back. They make it look too easy. Way too easy. Which is why I made sure to grab Moss in a couple of my leagues. I expect him and Brady to put up huge numbers. And since Moss is going as the 3rd or 4th WR, he is a great value, because he could very well end up as the number 1 WR at the end of the year — especially since the other top WRs — WR Larry Fitzgerald, WR Andre Johnson, and WR Calvin Johnson — all have QB health/quality issues.

10. Fantasy football is fun. I am so glad the season is (almost) here. I have been thinking about this sh!t way too long. So I am happy that the season is right around the corner…

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