Winners and Losers from Friday's Preseason Games
NFL preseason football continued on Friday with six matchups including the debuts of highly touted rookie running backs Doug Martin, David Wilson and LaMichael James.
Also, The New York Giants took the field for the first time since their Super Bowl win in February. Most important to fantasy enthusiasts though, were the individual performances that moved players up or down draft boards.
Here are the results from Friday’s action:
New York Giants: 31
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 20
Cleveland Browns: 19
Detroit Lions: 17
A number of individual performances from Friday stood out as possibly affecting a player’s fantasy stock. Here are the winners and losers of Friday’s preseason action.
Winner: Ryan Tannehill
A QB-battle has been raging in Miami as veterans Matt Moore and David Garrard battle with rookie and No. 8-overall pick Ryan Tannehill for snaps in Miami. But with David Garrard undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery and out for 2-4 weeks, Tannehill had a better opportunity to display his skills against the Buccaneers on Friday night. And he took advantage.
Tannehill finished 14-of-21 for 167 yards with an 11-yard TD pass to Charles Clay that capped a 75-yard drive in the 3rd quarter.
Loser: Matt Moore
Moore got the start for the Dolphins but failed to capitalize as he didn't put himself in the driver’s seat in the Miami QB-competition. Moore completed 7-of-12 passes for 79 yards with no TD and an interception. The interception came just outside the red zone as the Dolphins were threatening.
Winner: David Wilson
The Giants’ rookie RB had a good showing Friday night against Jacksonville, carrying the ball seven times for 43 yards (a 6.1 average) and catching two balls on two targets for 26 yards. Jacksonville had the No. 9 defense against the run a year ago.
Wilson came into the preseason as the expected primary backup for Ahmad Bradshaw, but if he continues to perform at a high level in the preseason, he could challenge for a larger share of carries come the regular season.
Loser: Brandon Weeden
After being named the team’s starting QB on Monday, Weeden failed to instill confidence with a subpar performance Friday night. Weeden was just 3-of-9 for 62 yards with an interception. He also lost a fumble on the Browns’ first possession of the game.
Colt McCoy, the Browns starter last season, was 6-of-8 for 88 yards with no TD or INT. He was sacked twice but added a 20-yard scramble.
Loser: Laurent Robinson
Robinson was a key acquisition for the Jaguars this offseason after an 11-TD 2011 with the Cowboys.
But things did not click for Robinson and second-year QB Blaine Gabbert in their first NFL action together. Robinson caught just one ball on four targets for a total of seven yards.
No one is expecting Robinson to duplicate last season’s fantasy success (No. 20 fantasy WR), but his fantasy stock could slip even further if he and Gabbert fail to develop chemistry in the preseason.
Losers: John Skelton and Kevin Kolb
Neither Skelton nor Kolb could get anything going for the Cardinals and Arizona didn’t score until both QBs were done for the night.
Skelton was 3-of-6 for 35 yards with an INT and was sacked once.
Kolb was 1-of-5 for 21 yards and was also sacked once.
Neither QB looks like a fantasy asset at this point, but Cardinal QB-play will be a factor for players like Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and Beanie Wells.
Winner: Peyton Hillis
Hillis had a strong debut for the Chiefs after a disappointing 2011 with the Browns. Hillis started the game’s scoring with an 11-yard TD reception from Matt Cassel in the first quarter. He was strong at running the ball as well, with four rushes for 41 yards, including a 28-yarder.
Hillis joined the Chiefs to be a complement to Jamaal Charles. Charles had a quiet game in his first action since returning from a torn ACL in Week 2 of last season. He rushed three times for 12 yards and caught one pass for 11 yards.
Winner: Matt Cassel
Cassel was 5-of-6 for 67 yards with a TD. It was Cassel’s first action since breaking his hand Week 10 of last season.
Cassel orchestrated a TD drive in both series he played against the Cardinals. The Chiefs were last in red zone scoring percentage last season.
Loser: Minnesota Vikings Defense
The Vikings defense was torched by the 49ers run game on Friday night. They allowed 260 yards rushing on 42 carries (6.2 average), highlighted by a a 78-yard TD run by 49ers’ backup QB Colin Kaepernick.
Veteran starter Frank Gore did not get any work for the 49ers against the Vikings on Friday but the three backs most likely to see regular carries for San Francisco (Kendall Hunter, Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James) all took turns toting the rock against Minnesota and had success.