Fantasy Football: 35 Observations from NFL Preseason Week One

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Fantasy Football: 35 Observations from NFL Preseason Week One
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Week one of the NFL preseason is in the books, and it was full of debuts, injuries, and surprise performances.

The preseason in dynasty leagues isn’t all about the stars of the NFL. In fact, it’s just as much about evaluating the various position battles and lesser known players in the league.

This column takes a look at the entire dynasty landscape from stars to sleepers.

Let’s take a walk through no fewer than 35 fantasy football-related notes from week one as we begin to prepare ourselves for week two.

1. Victor Cruz of the Giants went crazy against the Jets on Monday Night Football with six catches for 145 yards and three touchdowns. Don’t go crazy about him since his damage was done late in the game, but he’s now a blip on the dynasty radar.

2. BenJarvus Green-Ellis started for New England, not Laurence Maroney. It will be interesting to see what happens in week two.

3. A hot sleeper last year, former Wolverine Adrian Arrington made his return with 87 yards on four catches for the Saints.

4. Jimmy Clausen made his debut for the Panthers with 80 yards, one interception, and one dropped touchdown pass by Brandon LaFell.

5. Tyrell Sutton of the Panthers continues to impress every time he plays. He had 54 yards on seven touches against Baltimore.

6. Darrius Heyward-Bey’s new work ethic didn’t translate to the field, as he was shut out for Oakland.

7. Donovan McNabb made his debut for Washington and was solid with 58 yards and a touchdown.

8. Two Redskin backs had nice games against the Bills. Keiland Williams had 51 yards and two touchdowns, while former Bronco Ryan Torain added another 62 yards rushing and 22 yards receiving.

9. Marshawn Lynch (ankle) and Fred Jackson (hand) were both injured against Washington. Their loss opens the door for C.J. Spiller to get an extended look this preseason. Look for him to take advantage.

10. Michael Vick found his speed again. I find myself not caring.

11. If your annual preseason numbers got you in the Hall of Fame, Luke McCown would be in Canton, Ohio. He had 244 yards and three touchdowns for Jacksonville.

12. Troy Williamson averaged 50.5 yards on two catches. How does that never translate to the regular season?

13. Dexter McCluster was solid for the Chiefs with 25 yards rushing and 23 yards receiving. He passes the eye test.

14. Mike Williams of Tampa Bay recorded his first NFL catch with a beautiful 30-yard reception. He’s flying up draft boards at this point.

15. Sammie Stroughter is an underrated player. The former Oregon State Beaver had 33 yards and a touchdown for Tampa Bay against the Dolphins' first team defense.

16. Super sleeper Kareem Huggins ran for 55 yards on just eight carries. He may push Derrick Ward off the Bucs' roster.

17. Jahvid Best started and carried the ball the first three plays for Detroit. It’s obvious they expect him to handle the load early.

18. Dennis Dixon isn’t going to give Byron Leftwich the Steelers' early season quarterback job without a fight. He opened with 128 yards passing and one touchdown against Detroit.

19. Aaron Rodgers should just go home for the next three weeks. He threw for 159 yards and a score with just one incompletion. He’s ready for the season opener.

20. Another super sleeper, Quinn Porter, had 38 yards on nine carries for Green Bay. With the health of James Starks in question, Porter merits watching in dynasty leagues.

21. Arian Foster swiped the starting running back job for Houston in one night after Ben Tate’s injury and Steve Slaton’s less than impressive performance.

22. Stephen Williams had 29 receiving yards for Arizona. He should be squarely on dynasty radars as well.

23. Matt Leinart still looks like Matt Leinart.

24. Steven Jackson better never get hurt because Chris Ogbonnaya and Keith Toston have a ways to go.

25. Sam Bradford made his St. Louis debut, and the stage wasn’t too big for him. His stats weren’t impressive (6-of-13 for 57 yards), but he showed some poise.

26. Ryan Mathews is ready for prime time. He had 50 yards on just nine carries against Chicago. His work ethic has been great as well. In fact, he’s been repeatedly spotted staying long after practice in order to catch passes.

27. Johnny Knox is the receiver to have in Chicago right now. He posted 47 yards on two catches. Mike Martz is said to be falling for his ability quickly.

28. Stafon Johnson’s NFL story may be over after he suffered an unfortunate ankle injury against the Seahawks. Regardless of your feelings about USC, you have to feel for the kid.

29. Former first round bust Mike Williams turned a short catch into a 51-yard touchdown for Seattle. Could he really be turning the corner?

30. If Peyton Manning ever gets hurt, the Colts are done. Curtis Painter looks nothing like an NFL quarterback and was even booed by his home crowd.

31. Anthony Dixon looked great in his 49ers debut with 100 yards on 21 carries. It’s been a roller coaster of a week on the depth chart for Dixon. Glen Coffee retired to move him up, and then Brian Westbrook was signed, moving him back down.

32. Tim Tebow made his long anticipated debut for Denver. Two things are apparent with Tebow. First, he can improvise and make plays. Second, his elongated delivery is back.

33. Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley look like great rookies for Cincinnati. They combined for eight catches and 87 yards against Denver.

34. Bernard Scott can play. He posted 113 yards on just 10 touches against Denver as well.

35. Ahmad Bradshaw clearly looks like the best running back for the Giants. It’s really not even close.

Is it Thursday yet?

 

For the complete set of strategic 2010 dynasty rankings, click below:

Strategic Quarterback Rankings
Strategic Running Back Rankings
Strategic Wide Receiver Rankings
Strategic Tight End Rankings
Strategic IDP Rankings

Article written by Ken Kelly

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