By: Steve DeAngelo
Training Camp is almost over and the Preseason is wrapped up. There is one more game but as we know none of the starters participate much at all in the final preseason game. You can’t weigh too much on the preseason (Ex: Chris Johnson avg under 3.0 Ypc) but there are certainly some things you can take out of it. Also injuries play a big role obviously during the preseason and in training camp. Coaches can also indicate certain things but what they say can’t always be trusted. Here are some guys who I feel are truly rising and falling after what has happened so far this preseason and in training camps.
Now that his Doctors have apparently found the cause of his migraines Harvin’s value increases big time. He took a big hit in the Vikings last preseason game and was unaffected which is a great sign.With Sidney Rice out at least 7-10 weeks and Benard Berrian supposedly looking uninterested Harvin will be the #1 target for Brett Favre. As we all know Percy is talented. He runs good routes has solid hands and can shed tackles. Percy is a solid mid round selection and is a good buy at around $15-$20 in auctions. I would definitively target him because he could be in for a very productive season.
Spiller had an impressive preseason. The opportunity opened for him to showcase his talents after Lynch and Jackson went down with injury and he made the most of it. In the Bills last preseason game Spiller started out slow with 5 carries for -8 yards but quickly turned that around finishing with 12 carries for 52 yards and two TDS. He also finished with a couple of catches for 20+ yards. If you read my Running Back Outlook you saw that I love C.J. Spiller. Chan Gailey said Fred Jackson is questionable for week 1 and will be limited early in the year because as Jackson confirmed he is having trouble with his broken hand. Marshawn Lynch most likely will be around week 1 as he will be playing in the next preseason game. However Gailey’s draft day beliefs were confirmed this preseason as Spiller stepped up and show how talented he is. Gailey and the Bills know that Spiller is explosive and needs to be on the field. I think Spiller gets plenty of touches in the offense this year and produces as a solid #2 RB. In any league this guys is a must have but in Keeper leagues especially as I feel he will be one of the best backs in the league very shortly. I wouldn’t hesitate to Draft Spiller in the 4th Round and pay about $20-$30 dollars for him in Auctions.
Also another guy I love, Jahvid Best is another rookie back who had a nice preseason. Unlike Spiller he really has no competition, Kevin Smith is there but is coming of a ACL Tear and is merely a handcuff at this point. Best is the more talented back and is also explosive. His is also playing in an upcoming offense with Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford. Having Johnson there will help take some focus of Best and prevent 8 man fronts. Best’s only question is durability but he certainly has improved his stock this preseason. Another guy I would go after in the 4th round and buy for about $20-$25.
Foster is starting to go in the 2nd rounds in some drafts which shows you how much his stock has gone up. His stock flew after his performance against the Cowboys last Saturday. Foster hit the hole well and ran with power. He kind of fits the Cedric Benson mold. It looks like Steve Slaton is kind of in Kubiak’s doghouse plus he’s banged up and is questionable for week 1 so Foster really has no one behind him. I still like Slaton over the course of the year but if Foster stays healthy it’s gonna be hard for Slaton to be a big factor. Playing with Andre Johnson, Matt Schaub only makes Foster more intriguing. I’m personally not going to go after Foster but he looks like a pretty safe bet.
I think people are forgetting how talented T.O. is. Yes he is older but this guy keeps himself in better shape than most. Now he is playing with a solid quarterback in Palmer and playing along side an extremely talented wideout in OchoCinco. T.O. has looked extremely good this preseason, showing speed and quickness. T.O is going cheap in auctions and later in drafts. He could be a real steal this year and I’m personally targeting him. I already own him in one of my leagues and plan on getting him in others.
I initially assumed L.T. wouldn’t have a significant role in the jets offense but after watching him this preseason I have changed my mind. L.T. has looked quick and is hitting the holes well. He is playing behind a dead solid offensive line and L.T. is taking advantage of it. Also you have to love L.T.’s attitude as a Jet. He just wants to win and is happy in any role. That embrace of his role is really helping him I believe. Shonn Greene should still get the majority of the carries but the Jets are going to run a ton this year and L.T. will be a factor. There still has to be some concerns with injury but he should be able to hold up. In PPR leagues L.T definitely gets a boost as well as he should be on most passing downs. L.T. is a late round pick and a cheap investment that should pay good dividends this season. I am going to target him because I believe L.T. will have a fairly nice season this year.
As you have heard Leinart is possibly being demoted, traded or released and Derek Anderson will likely be the starter. It seems like the reasoning is because Leinart doesn’t have leadership qualities. However, Derek Anderson does? Whisenhunt should know what he’s got with Derek Anderson a journeyman quarterback who has a good arm but isn’t accurate at all and is not that good. Let’s face it the Cardinals will do nothing with Derek Anderson. Whisenhunt should know this and give Leinart his shot. Leinart has never really had a fair chance to succeed. He has been waiting the past couple years now behind Hall of famer Kurt Warner and he should start. Matt Leinart brings upside Derek Anderson does not. Leinart played fine in the preseason. Nothing eye popping but he was efficient and didn’t throw any interceptions. I think Whisenhunt if he decides to go with Anderson as the starter will regret it and will end up going back to Leinart. Regardless of what happens Matt Leinart’s stock is taking a major blow right now because who knows what will happen to him. Not that Leinart’s stock was ever high but he did represent a decent late round pick or buy with some upside because of his potential and the talent surrounding him.
Cutler really hasn’t looked good in the preseason and last game he went 10-20 with two picks. He still looks to be throwing off his back foot and just trying to wing passes around. He also been sacked and pressured a ton which is a bad sign because that is what seems to be happening in Mike Martz offenses of late. I think the Mike Martz effect is overrated as I think his offense is played out. He seems arrogant to me as well and I think he’s somewhat stubborn. He just not as good as he thinks he is. So now we have Cutler throwing picks once again and now getting sacked often. Two bad signs, I would steer away from Cutler and just use a different option at QB. While Cutler may finish overall as a top 15 QB he will give you too many inconsistent weeks to be relied upon this season. Plus the Bears schedule is brutal come playoff time as they face the Vikings and Jets in weeks 15 and 16. Many people have a love-fest with Cutler dating back to when he was drafted. Don’t listen to them stay away.
Kolb really hasn’t looked good this preseason and looked pretty bad on Saturday night. Let’s face it people are basing a lot on his two game success when he filled in for Mcnabb a couple of years ago. Two games! That really can’t be trusted. I am staying away from Kolb because I really don’t know what to expect. I think this also hurts Desean Jacksons value as well. That said he still does have good upside but I am letting someone else bet on that. I would rather have production I know I can count on from a QB who has done it before and who has more experience as a starter. His wary preseason makes me wanna stay away even more.
Watching Mcfadden in college I was never really impressed. Obviously he has great speed but he isn’t very agile and runs kind of upright which leaves him susceptible to injury as we have already seen. I think people just need to stop talking abut Mcfadden and is supposed “Upside”. Steer clear from him and let someone else suffer. He will be inconsistent and will be injury prone. Trust FantasySavvy on this one.