We are onto week 3 of preseason where we see the closest thing to regular season football as we can expect. So hopefully what we take from these games will be the most translatable into our fake football lives. I’ll run down some thoughts from the games and some other news from around the league and possibly eat an Oreo. But while I have you here I’m going to tell you that if you haven’t been checking out the site you are missing out on Pulitzer material! I’ve updated all of the projections (which now have stats again!) and just published the Non-PPR and PPR Cheat Sheets, which are what I’ve been using to draft lately. I’m most likely going to incorporate the tiers and auction values into those as soon as I can. I need more minions to do my bidding! Call 1-800-Razz-Minions to apply for a Razz Minternship.
And you’ll also be happy to know that we will be switching our server and (keep your fingers crossed) that should help speed up the site. Thanks for all your patience through the dreaded database error screen. I see it in my nightmares (along with Todd Haley and Jamie Dukes). On to the infomercial for the NFL.
Cam Newton: He’s been slowly creeping up my rankings and as long as he is the starter from day 1 I think he is rosterable as a backup QB. Now it’s risky business to do such things, but hear me out. If you watched him Thursday night you saw that he will have trouble winning games. He is not going to sit back in the pocket and pick apart defenses, but he is going to run the ball and run the ball well. He plowed over a dude on his TD run and as long as he’s healthy and having trouble finding his open receivers, he’s running. This is why Michael Vick is such a good fantasy QB. Vick is not a great passer. He has trouble seeing the whole field, but he lets his legs get him out of jams and help his team get first downs and touchdowns. Cam will do that too. To what extent he’ll be able to do that is yet to be seen, but he has the tools to scramble and let his deep receivers get open and a strong enough arm to get them the ball and will always be looking to take off and hurt a team with his running ability.
Tim Hightower: He once again had a good game, rushing 9 times for 56 yards and a touchdown this time around. The O-line is working its magic so far this season and as long as Hightower is the guy he’s going to have plenty of value. I don’t trust him or Shanny for 16 games though. Helu is the better down hill runner which fits the Shanny zone blocking scheme, but he’ll need to win the job while Hightower loses it. I think that will happen eventually, but Hightower is the guy to own now.
Montario Hardesty: He’s back! And didn’t show much. Right now he doesn’t look like much of a threat to Hillis. He’ll have to step his game up to get me worrying.
Ray Rice: He had 13 carries for 72 yards and a TD and 3 receptions for 13 yards. That works. He looked quicker than last season. Not sure why, but maybe he just had more room to roam and larger holes to run through, but he had the look of a man possessed. Someone asked in the comments about grabbing him at #2 in a .5 PPR league and I’m sure not going to fight him on it. I’m still pretty entrenched in the Arian Foster #1 overall camp, but after that I’m willing to listen to all offers.
Lee Evans: He caught a 35 yard TD from Flacco and a couple other receptions for 60 yards total. I still think the majority of the offense will go through Ray Rice and Evans’ value will be contingent on big plays, but Flacco has a cannon for an arm and if they can get on the same page they could make some sweet sweet music together.
Anquan Boldin: The presence of Evans should help Boldin out immensely this season. Having Old Man Mason on the other side last year suffocated Boldin and that whole offense. If they play their cards right we could see a nice year from Boldin who finished the third preseason game with 5 receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown Charlie Brown.
Lance Moore: This is painful to say, but Moore is out for a few days(ish) with a groin injury, well, more painful for him than me, but I am in mad fantasy love with Moore this season and I think we should all send him a get well yesterday card.
Johnny Knox: The wide receiver saga in Chicago continues with it looking more likely that Johnny Knox has moved back ahead of Roy Williams. The Bears are too dumb for words really. And then add that dumbness to Mike Martz’s insanity and well, you have a dumb insane disaster waiting to happen. Cutler has a strong like bull arm and will be able to get Knox the ball. I’m back on the Knox Wagon.
Ryan Grant: Word out of camp is that James Starks has looked better than Grant. I still see Grant as being the goal line back which helps him in the high powered Green Bay offense, but I don’t think they will be all that loyal to him if Starks just plainly out plays him.
Peyton Manning: If you watch ESPN (which will make you dumber) you may have heard something about Manning possibly just maybe not playing in week 1. The Colts went ahead and signed Kerry (Gary?) Collins for 4 million bucks which makes the odds go up that Peyton might not be the Colts QB for the first time since 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh took the field for them. I’ve drafted him twice (no, not Harbaugh) in the last couple days because he fell. Yes, I’m worried, but I think it’s a risk worth taking.
Reggie Bush: He’s been given the green light as the starting running back so now he just has to hold up. I don’t think he will. But Daniel Thomas has shown nothing this preseason to make anyone think he has the stuff to be the man. Lex Hilliard may end up being the goal line back! I’m staying away from this whole fishy situation and drafting Brandon Marshall.