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

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Geno SmithAug 21 02:23a

New York Jets QB Geno Smith will start Week 1 versus the Oakland Raiders, barring an injury. The coaching staff has yet to officially name Smith the starter.

Geno AtkinsAug 21 12:53a

Cincinnati Bengals DE Geno Atkins (knee) will be ready for the regular season opener against the Baltimore Ravens Sept. 7, head coach Marvin Lewis said Wednesday, Aug. 20. In [ More ]

Walt AikensAug 21 12:53a

Miami Dolphins CB Walt Aikens (hand) is sidelined indefinitely due to a left hand injury suffered a practice earlier this week. No timetable has been established for his return.

Tyler WilsonAug 21 12:53a

Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (hip), DT David King (undisclosed), CB Lavelle Westbrooks (undisclosed) and QB Tyler Wilson (head) were unable to practice Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Andre SmithAug 21 12:53a

Cincinnati Bengals OT Andre Smith (concussion) said Wednesday, Aug. 20, that he expects to get cleared to play in the preseason game Sunday, Aug. 24, against the Arizona Cardinals. [ More ]

Jalil BrownAug 21 12:53a

Miami Dolphins CB Jalil Brown, CB Don Jones, FS Jordan Kovacs and FS Michael Thomas appear to be fighting for two roster spots. Thomas has reportedly had a good [ More ]

Knowshon MorenoAug 21 12:53a

Miami Dolphins RB Knowshon Moreno (knee) said Wednesday, Aug. 20, that he feels good. The team wants to see him practice Thursday, Aug. 21, before deciding if he will [ More ]

Andre JohnsonAug 20 10:43p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson has showed no signs of rust from his time away from the team this offseason. Johnson had an impressive practice during joint workouts with [ More ]

Trent RichardsonAug 20 10:33p

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson is off to a slow start in training camp and the preseason, posting just 34 yards in 14 attempts. At 2.4 yards per carry, [ More ]

Emmanuel SandersAug 20 10:33p

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Montee BallAug 20 10:33p

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LeGarrette BlountAug 20 07:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB LeGarrette Blount and RB Le'Veon Bell were charged by Ross Township Police Wednesday, Aug. 20, with marijuana possession.

Le'Veon BellAug 20 07:43p

Pittsburgh Pirates RB Le'Veon Bell and RB LeGarrette Blount were charged by Ross Township Police Wednesday, Aug. 20, with marijuana possession. Bell was also charged with driving under the [ More ]

Ryan McBeanAug 20 05:53p

The Arizona Cardinals signed DT Ryan McBean (Ravens) Wednesday, Aug. 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Colt LyerlaAug 20 05:43p

The Green Bay Packers placed TE Colt Lyerla (knee) on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Pat DevlinAug 20 05:33p

Free-agent WR Kevin Elliott (Bills), LS Chad Rempel (Bears), QB Pat Devlin (Dolphins) and DT Jibreel Black (Buccaneers) all cleared waivers Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Vontaze BurfictAug 20 05:33p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict agreed to a multi-year contract extension Wednesday, Aug. 20. Terms of the new deal were not disclosed.

Isaac SopoagaAug 20 05:13p

The Arizona Cardinals signed DT Isaac Sopoaga (Patriots) Wednesday, Aug. 20, per a league source. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Jordan NorwoodAug 20 04:53p

Denver Broncos WR Jordan Norwood (knee) suffered a torn acute cruciate ligament in practice Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Isaiah PeadAug 20 04:33p

The St. Louis Rams waived RB Isaiah Pead (knee) with a waived/injured designation Wednesday, Aug. 20. Pead will revert back to the roster if he clears waivers.

Phillip TannerAug 20 03:43p

The Indianapolis Colts waived RB Phillip Tanner Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Dexter McDougleAug 20 03:43p

The New York Jets placed CB Dexter McDougle (knee) on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Aug. 20.

David FluellenAug 20 03:23p

The Indianapolis Colts acquired RB David Fluellen (Eagles) in exchange for PK Cody Parkey Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Desmond BryantAug 20 02:53p

Cleveland Browns DE Desmond Bryant (wrist) recently underwent wrist surgery. Head coach Mike Pettine said he is not sure if Bryant will be available to play Week 1.

S. SylvesterAug 20 02:43p

The Buffalo Bills have placed LB Stevenson Sylvester (undisclosed) on the Reserve/Injured list.

Michael CrabtreeAug 20 02:33p

San Francisco 49ers WR Michael Crabtree said he did not feel like himself when he returned from offseason Achilles' tendon surgery last season. 'I was fast enough to be [ More ]

Fendi OnobunAug 20 02:23p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have waived/injured TE Fendi Onobun (knee).

Eric KettaniAug 20 02:23p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed free-agent FB Eric Kettani (Chiefs). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Sebastian VollmerAug 20 01:13p

New England Patriots OT Sebastian Vollmer (undisclosed) was not on the field during practice Wednesday, Aug. 20. Vollmer has missed the last three practices because of an undisclosed reason.

Peyton HillisAug 20 01:03p

New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara (groin), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring), RB Peyton Hillis (ankle, foot), OT Charles Brown (shoulder) and OT James Brewer (back) are not participating in practice Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Cody WallaceAug 20 12:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers CB Shaquille Richardson (knee), LB Jordan Zumwalt (hamstring), TE Eric Waters (concussion), C Cody Wallace (finger) and LS Greg Warren (knee) will not play in the third preseason game.

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