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

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