2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Preseason Random Thoughts

2012-08-27 11:23:45
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
RealTime Fantasy Sports

Matt Ryan ready to shine

With the preseason winding down, I figured it would be a good time to give you some of my random thoughts on what we have seen to date. This has been an interesting preseason to say the least.

The Cardinals have a mess at quarterback. I have no idea who will win the starting job. Both Kevin Kolb and John Skelton have been terrible at times. The bigger concern is the entire offense, especially Larry Fitzgerald. He has produced in the past with poor quarterback play but you have to wonder if this is the year it finally catches up with him. One of these guys needs to get better in a hurry or it could be a really long year in Arizona.

I'm excited about the prospects of Jake Locker in a starting role. He is an exciting talent that I think can be a solid No. 2 for fantasy teams. He'll be erratic but is a big-game threat in an emerging offense. He has a lot of young talent to work with in the passing game. The Titans offense could really be explosive at times.

You never want to get too caught up in preseason action but Michael Turner sure seems to have hit the wall. Turner doesn't seem a good fit for the Falcons new up-tempo offense and has gained little with his carries this preseason. He probably still gets the goal-line work, which is a plus, but expect his carries to be way down. Look for Jacquizz Rodgers to get a lot of work for the Falcons at running back.

Cedric Benson is moving up our draft board. The Packers are going to be pass first but Benson could provide some value as a No. 3 back for fantasy teams. He is grabbing the starter's job and seems to have something to prove, looking good in early preseason action. He could surprise after not being on anyone's radar just a few weeks back.

Matt Ryan is rocketing up our draft rankings. He looks great this preseason and looks to be playing in a pass-first, up-tempo offense. He has a chance for huge numbers, challenging the likes of the elite fantasy quarterbacks. I'm expecting big things.

Not sure why some are down on Jordy Nelson but I still think he is an elite fantasy receiver. I'm not sure he matches last year's touchdown totals but I like his chances for another big season. He could get more targets this season with Aaron Rodgers getting more comfortable with him. I think he brings great value right now as teams are getting him as a No. 2 receiver during most drafts.

The health of Darren McFadden is always a concern but his talent should never be in question. I think he is talented enough to lead all backs in fantasy scoring if he can stay healthy. He is a dual threat with big-play potential. I think he is worth the risk in the mid to late first round of drafts. His upside is as high as any player these days.

Sam Bradford still looks to be shell shocked. He isn't throwing with confidence and has happy feet in the pocket. It doesn't help that the team still lacks receivers that can separate in the passing game. It could be another long season for Bradford. You just hope he doesn't take too big of a beating once again and regress even more. His career could be going down the wrong path, which is a shame because he has plenty of talent.

Kind of like the Rams, the Patriots are another team having offensive line issues. Tom Brady has been hit pretty good in the preseason. You know the Patriots are going to throw a ton, so they better get these line issues figured out. If not, Brady might not last all year, going down to injury. This is a concern going forward.

Speaking of teams that are a mess, the Jets' offense is a disaster right now. You can never get too upset over the preseason but the lack of progress in this unit is a huge concern. Both Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow are showing little at quarterback. Sanchez remains the starter, though, especially with Tebow struggling. The Jets receivers aren't doing either guy any favors, which is a big reason the entire offense is a mess right now. This is an offense to avoid for fantasy teams.

I'm expecting big things from Torrey Smith this season and his play in the preseason is doing nothing to dispute this. The Ravens are giving him plenty of targets and his route running looks to be much improved. He is setup for a breakout season. I really think he could be a solid No. 2 for fantasy teams.

All the hype about Randy Moss might have been overblown. Shocking, right? He is having a very quiet preseason. It wouldn't be a surprise to see the 49ers even cut Moss before the start of the season. Don't count on him rebounding in 2012. The 49ers top receivers are Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham.

With all this said, I'm not sure about you but I'm ready for the season to start. The preseason gets old in a hurry. Let the real fun begin.

If you have any questions or comments, please email Jeff Paur at jeff@rtsports.com

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Roy MillerDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Tommy StreeterDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Kendall WrightDec 18 07:12p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand) is active for Week 16 after being limited in practice all week.

Blake BortlesDec 18 04:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has earned positive reviews from the team in his rookie season after being thrust into the spotlight early this year. 'That is not the [ More ]

Jay CutlerDec 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler was benched just for this week against the Detroit Lions, according to head coach Marc Trestman. Cutler will be active and serve as the [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsDec 18 04:02p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (hand) will be fitted cast that he can play with on his injured hand. Williams still has not caught a pass with the injured [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 04:02p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) has not been able to do any running this week, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

Ryan MathewsDec 18 03:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and appears to be on track to start in Week 16, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

DeMarco MurrayDec 18 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand), who was expected to take some team snaps in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, is in no more risk if he plays in Week [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:12p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) said he is not dealing with any pain in his back but is taking things one day at a time. Newton said he [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 02:02p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) left practice early Thursday, Dec. 18, because he is receiving a scheduled day of rest. Manning was not limping when he was walking to the locker room.

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Chris PolkDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 01:22p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) had an increased set of repetitions in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and it looks like he's on track to play in Week 16 [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 12:52p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Andre JohnsonDec 18 12:52p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson (concussion) has cleared the leagues concussion protocol and will play in the team's Week 16 game.

Julio JonesDec 18 12:12p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Case KeenumDec 18 10:03a

Houston Texans QB Case Keenum is expected to start in Week 16.

Philip RiversDec 18 09:22a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is battling a back injury that is more severe than the team has acknowledged, according to a league source. Rivers' back injury [ More ]

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:03a

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy opened practice on the sidelines Wednesday, Dec. 17, while RB Chris Polk opened with first-team reps. After practice McCoy did not seem too concerned. [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanDec 18 01:03a

The Denver Broncos are hopeful RB Ronnie Hillman (foot) will be able to return for the Week 16 game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Dec. 22, or for the [ More ]

Drew StantonDec 17 07:33p

Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton (knee) said this injury is different from any other he's ever had, and he said it's too soon to know if he could return [ More ]

Carlos HydeDec 17 07:03p

San Francisco 49ers RBs Frank Gore (concussion) and Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not take part in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Jay CutlerDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

Jimmy ClausenDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

Philip RiversDec 17 06:13p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (chest, back) took part in a walkthrough Wednesday, Dec. 17, but didn't take part in practice, but he fully expects to play in [ More ]

Carlos HydeDec 17 05:43p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (knee, back) received good news from his MRI results, but he said it would take a miracle for him to play in Week [ More ]

Robbie GouldDec 17 04:53p

Chicago Bears PK Robbie Gould (quadriceps) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Cam NewtonDec 17 04:13p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) was listed as a limited participant in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Frank GoreDec 17 03:13p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) visited with a doctor at the team's facility Tuesday, Dec. 16, as part of the NFL's concussion protocol. Gore did not participate [ More ]

Ryan MathewsDec 17 02:33p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is not participating in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

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