Wednesday, August 17, 2011

2011 NFL Preseason Recap: Week One (Part 2)

Miami Dolphins at Atlanta Falcons
  • Rookie WR Julio Jones looks like a veteran - and a pro bowler. He will definitely take away targets from WR Roddy White. Still, there will be plenty of targets for both this season.
  • With Jones and White on the outside, RB Michael Turner is going to see plenty of seven-man defensive fronts. Expect another big year for Turner.
  • Falcons K Matt Bryant will score a lot of points this year. Plus, 12 games inside a dome stadium makes him a solid pick.
  • Matt Ryan will be a 30 TD QB this season. He looks that good.
Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots
  • RB Rashad Jennings looks like a guy who may be more than just Maurice Jones-Drew’s handcuff this season.
  • None of the Jaguars WRs excite me. Considered Mike Thomas a sleeper pick and Jason Hill a deep sleeper. Both were non-factors, but should improve with QB David Garrard (rookie QB Blaine Gabbert was QB).
  • Rookie RB Stevan Ridley looked like a guy who can contribute for the Patriots this season. But trying to figure out Bill Belichick’s running back rotation will drive you crazy.
  • Aaron Hernandez plays like a hybrid TE/WR, which makes him a challenge to defend. Still, much like the Patriots RB situation, New England’s TE situation with Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski will be hard to figure out.
  • WR Taylor Price stood out for the Patriots, making a brilliant catch in the end zone. Don’t see him stealing playing time from WRs Chad Ochocinco, Wes Welker or Deion Branch.
San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints
New York Jets and Houston Texans
  • WR Santonio Holmes is a solid WR2, who will get the same amount of targets as a WR1. QB Mark Sanchez’s accuracy issue brings Holmes’ value down slightly.
  • Houston’s defense is no joke anymore. Maybe not a DST starter in most leagues, but it looks much improved over last year.
  • Not sure who RB Arian Foster’s handcuff will be. My best guess, in order: Chris Ogbonnya (sleeper), Derrick Ward, Steve Slaton, Ben Tate.
  • WR Derrick Mason was very involved in the Jets offense. He’s a sneaky pick in PPR leagues.
  • RB Shonn Greene looked leaner and faster, which should help him hit holes quicker. The Jets will run the ball a lot this year. As for who will back-up Greene, my best guess in order: LaDainian Tomlinson, rookie Bilal Powell (sleeper), Joe McKnight.
Arizona Cardinals at Oakland Raiders
  • Aside from WR Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals have no other offensive playmakers.
  • The Cardinals O-line is a mess. QB Kevin Kolb had very little time to throw (he looked shaky) and RB Beanie Wells (he looked slow) had very little room to run.
  • RB Michael Bush is a solid back-up fantasy RB option, a must draft for RB Darren McFadden owners.
  • Rookie WR Denarius Moore lived up to the training camp hype, looking very smooth in the Raiders offense. Moore is worth keeping an eye on, and might be a late round flier.
  • Remember the name WR Stephen Williams. He could be the big, fast WR who starts opposite Fitzgerald for the Cardinals.
Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys
  • Look for the Cowboys DST is more aggressive this season. That will translate to more sacks and turnovers.
  • RB Knowshon Moreno looks like a guy who’s ready to stay on the field all three downs. Health is always a concern with him, but he looks like a guy who could have a big fantasy impact.
  • QB Kyle Orton was great last year, but a new offensive system will hurt his value this year. He’s a QB2, at best, and knock WR Brandon Lloyd down a couple notches too because of the change in offensive strategy.
  • WR Dwayne Harris’ 5 catch, 127 yard, 2 TD performance should get your attention, after all he is battling for the WR3 job in Dallas. Consider him a sleeper right now, more likely a waiver wire guy during the season (just like WR Patrick Crayton, who Harris is replacing).

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