Preseason Fantasy Break Down Week 1
Here after each week after preseason play you will find a few names to keep an eye on for your fantasy football draft. I’ve decided to separate the players into two different categories; “Already There,” and “Movin’ On Up.”
Players in the “Already There” section are names that I would feel comfortable drafting at the time, so obviously we will see new name on this list each week. That can include guys who didn’t get the recognition the week before or guys who finally made it off our other list, “Movin’ On Up.”
“Movin’ On Up” is for the guys who have shown us a lot of good in their preseason opportunities but they are just waiting to get onto the “Already There” list for a multitude of reasons from too buried on the depth chart of their team to not enough around him to make him worth drafting to more talent ahead of him to use a fantasy draft pick on him. Names on this list don’t mean you shouldn’t draft them at all if you have a deep bench. It also doesn’t mean forget about them because if they are mentioned I believe they are good enough to be useable even if just for a few weeks at some point give the right circumstances. So burn these names into your head and play the waiver wire more confidently this season.
- Teddy Bridgewater QB MIN
- HOF vs PIT: 5/6 for 44 yards, 0TD, 0INT
- Week 1 vs TB: 7/8 for 86 yards, 0TD, 0INT
- Teddy seemed to absorb more and more of the offense last season and the year went on and already has looked pinpoint accurate in his first 2 games (including the Hall of Fame game against the Steelers). While he hasn’t thrown a TD yet he isn’t turning the ball over and has completed 12/14 thus far in the preseason. Don’t forget he doesn’t have Adrain Peterson behind him til the season actually kicks off and that will only make him better.
- Carson Palmer QB ARZ
- Week 1 vs KC: 4/4 for 77 yards, 0TD, 0INT
- Palmer hit all 4 of his pass attempts and without a doubt makes this Cardinals team that much better. Last year Palmer had 2 or more touchdown passes in 5 of 6 games while only throwing a pick in 3 contests and never multiple picks in a game. He was over 200 yards all 6 games last year including going for 250+ in 4 of those 6. 2nd year WR John Brown looks to take a step up and the backfield should be more solid now with Andre Ellington healthy plus the recent signing of veteran Chris Johnson and drafting rookie David Johnson. Palmer could be a late round gem in drafts this season.
- Lamar Miller RB MIA
- Week 1 vs CHI: 3 carries for 32 yards, 0TD
- We at ffchamps.com already like Lamar heading into this year but seeing him just eat up the Bears defense, be it in minimal work, made my eyes get wide. The Dolphins want and need Miller to get more touches this year. Rookie RB Jay Ajayi can’t get healthy so no one is really going to push to take reps from Lamar with the first team. With all the new weapons for Tannehill on the outside and Jordan Cameron to take away linebacker pressure, Miller could be in for a big 2015.
- Ameer Abdullah RB DET
- Week 1 vs NYJ: 7 carries for 67 yards, 0TD
- The more time Joique Bell misses the better for Abdullah. Ameer has already gotten high praises from his own coaching staff. Now Todd Bowles, new Jets head coach said Abdullah “is as quick as Barry Sanders.” We all know no one can be Barry but is Abdullah is close he will be a fantasy stud for years to come. He’s getting more 1st team reps than most rookie RBs at this point and is probably on the best offense of rookie backs who have a shot to be starting with their respective teams come September 13th. Grab him now cause his value will on go up.
- Nelson Agholor WR PHI
- Week 1 vs IND: 5 targets, 3 catches for 57 yards, 1TD
- Agholor showed why he can excel in the offense early into his Eagles career. No Sam Bradford meant Mark Sanchez playing with the first team and Agholor went up to snag an overthrown ball, hauled it in then burned the rest of the Colts secondary for a 34 yard score. Agholor has expectations from Philadelphia of being a Maclin-esque wide out and after just 1 week of preseason Agholor looks likes the type of guy who will contribute to your fantasy team right away.
- Brandin Cooks WR NO
- Week 1 vs BAL: 3 targets, 1 catch for 28 yards, 1TD
- Like Lamar Miller a guy we haven’t seen a lot of in his NFL career but a guy who is being looked at be his team to take that next step towards being a featured piece for years to come. Cooks had 1 grab last week, a screen that he took 28 yards to the house while showcasing his speed and elusiveness. Cooks also had 6+ targets in 8 of 10 games he played last year before injuring his hand. With no more Jimmy Graham, Kenny Still, and Pierre Thomas on the roster Cooks is the first in line to gobble up targets.
“Movin’ On Up”
- Ryan Mallett QB HOU
- Week 1 vs SF: 10/11 for 90 yards, 0TD, 0INT
- Mallett played second fiddle to Brian Hoyer against the 49ers. Hoyer went 3/5 for 69 yards including a 58-yard score to Cecil Shorts, however Coach Bill O’Brien has already said Mallett will get the start and work with first team week 2 vs the Broncos. Mallett already played in O’Brien’s system last year when he started 2 games averaging 200 yards per game with 1TD & 1INT.
- Brock Osweiler QB DEN
- Week 1 vs SEA: 15/20 for 151 yards, 1TD, 0INT
- Obviously Brock won’t be drafted unless you have an extremely deep bench but I like what I saw from him week 1. He seems to have command of the offense and if he stays in this system when Peyton does retire, Osweiler could step right in and be extremely affective given the weapons around him. Monitor him throughout the preseason especially if you play in a dynasty league. If Brock is on waivers you may want to snag him before the year starts.
- Matt Jones RB WSH
- Week 1 vs CLE: 5 carries for 38 yards, 0TD/1 target, 1 catch for 11 yards, 0TD
- With Alfred Morris being so consistent I am not sure how much opportunity Jones will have this year, but I love everything this kid has done. Work hard at practice? Check. Say all the right things and say them so I believe him? Check. Come into real NFL competition and look like he belonged? Check. Jones is an excellent addition in dynasty leagues but if you draft Morris in a redraft league don’t sleep on grabbing Jones as a handcuff. While that’s all his value is at the moment is Morris goes down we could see Jones light it up as a back up RB like we saw a few guys do last year like Jeremy Hill, CJ Anderson, even Knile Davis on a smaller scale.
- Lorenzo Taliaferro RB BAL
- Week 1 vs NO: 12 carries for 36 yards, 1TD/2 targets, 2 catches for 18 yards, 0TD
- Baltimore can’t get their receivers together. Steve Smith is another year older and retiring come years end. Rookie Breshad Perriman who was supposed to come in and dazzle us has missed almost 2 full weeks of practice. Their tight ends are the ever fragile Dennis Pitta and another rookie in Maxx Williams. The Ravens will need to rely on their running game and new OC Marc Trestman will do just that. Taliaferro was a guy I’ve been watching since last preseason and when he does get his chance to get significant touches he will make them count. Handcuff to Justin Forsett for now but if Forsett goes down and Taliaferro is on waivers scoop him up immediately!
- Khiry Robinson RB NO
- Week 1 vs BAL: 2 carries for 35 yards, 0TD/3 targets, 3 catches for 37 yards, 1TD
- With Spiller on the shelf after arthroscopic knee surgery but expected back for the regular season opener, Robinson will be the beneficiary of extra playing time and touches. Averaging just under 15 yards per touch shows why if given the chance he can make big plays. Even when Spiller comes back he hasn’t played a full season since 2012 and made it through an entire 16 game slate just twice in 5 years.
- Greg Salas WR DET
- Week 1 vs NYJ: 8 targets, 5 catches, 92 yards, 1TD
- Salas is now the favorite to win the 3rd wide receiver role in Detroit. Even if he becomes the teams WR3 odds are he won’t be more than the 5th or 6th look when the games count. If, however, he continues to impress like this the nest few weeks expect his draft stock to rise and with defenses worrying about Megatron and Golden Tate, Salas could see some wide open looks this year.
- Clive Walford TE OAK
- Week 1 vs STL: 2 targets, 2 catches for 28 yards, 0TD
- Walford is still behind Mychal Rivera on the Raiders depth chart but I wouldn’t be shocked if Walford leapfrogs Rivera before week 1. Both Oakland tight ends saw the field for 22 snaps last week. Rivera wasn’t targeted once while Walford hauled in both passes thrown his way. It’s still too early to risk a pick on Walford at this point but if he continues to get more love in the preseason than Rivera, Clive could be a sneaky bench player to stash until he really breaks out.
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