Tag Archives: David Wilson

Post Draft Rookie Positional Rankings: RB

 

toast-beer

When looking at the rookies from a fantasy perspective, there is no silver bullet.  With any scouting, whether it’s fantasy or real life, there is a lot of subjectivity.   You would think with the amount of advanced statistics available you could mitigate the risk by using metrics. Though useful, they are only part of the equation.  Maybe there is a magic algorithm somewhere in the ether that will eventually reduce this to a numbers game.  Until the string theory of scouting is discovered, I use this.

Tape- What does he look like on tape? TV, youtube etc… Did he dominate?  Was he running people over, making people miss and running by them?  Do these skills translate in to the NFL?

Situation- How many players at his position are in front of him?   What are their skill levels? Age? Years remaining on their contracts?  Salary cap concerns?

Talent- How did he measure up in the combine and pro day?  Did he dominate on the field? Does he have a unique characteristic that can make him successful? Is he too small to be anything more than a 3rd down back or are his hands so bad he is only a 2 down back?

Scheme- What scheme is he playing in?  This is not always an absolute, but you should have idea of what type of offense he is in.  Does he fit what the team wants in a RB?  How does this scheme impact the player?

Run/Pass Ratio- How much do they pass?  How much do they run?  Be careful with this one.  EX. Drafting a WR4 on Seattle is not going to help you much unless you feel he can become more than a WR4 down the road.

Preseason Games – This is where you can tell a lot about what the team thinks of the player, how they will use him and how he stacks up against NFL competition.  Be careful watching a player going against 2nd and 3rd string players…

These rankings are slanted towards Dynasty Leagues

 

1          Sankey, Bishop           Titans

He has it all.  College Production, combine metrics, good tape and he’s in a situation where his only competition (Shonn Greene) is coming off knee surgery.

2          Williams, Andre          Giants

The Giants running back situation is muddled. Hillis is an aging RB. Jennings parlayed a good 5 game stretch into a nice FA contract, but is only a part time back.. David Wilson is coming off an injury and he has ball security issues.  Dynasty wise, he is a good bet.  Great college production and tough running style.

3          Hill, Jeremy                 Bengals

With BJE, aging and slowing, which now makes him really, really slow, Hill is the heir apparent for the power back role here.  He has the pedigree but there are character concerns. Could be the thunder to Gio Bernard’s lightening.

4          Freeman, Devonta       Falcons

I like, but don’t love Freeman from a talent perspective.  I really like his situation.  Jackson is on his last legs, Rodgers is just an average back.  Antone Smith might have been their best back last year.  This situation is wide open and he should have a great shot of getting significant playing time.

5          West, Terrance            Browns

He is firmly behind Ben Tate who signed a FA deal this offseason.  I can firmly say that Tate gets hurt every year.  He should be the unquestioned #2 here next year.  He played at a small school, I hope he can handle the speed of the NFL game.  If he can, he could eventually overtake Tate

6          Hyde, Carlos               49ers

This situation is different.  He is currently buried on the 49ers depth chart.  However, each guy he is behind has their warts.  Gore is aging, Lattimore is still recovering from that terrible knee injury, Hunter seems to be regarded as a change of pace (even though I think he can be more) and James seems to not have a role.   Where does that leave Hyde?  Beats me, but he has great talent and a great scheme fit in SF.  I wouldn’t expect immediate returns, but he has the talent to be an impact NFL player when he gets his shot.

7          Johnson, Storm           Jaguars

Perfect scheme fit. One cut and go for the zone scheme.  He is only really behind Gerhart.  Jordan Todman and Dennard Robinson seems to have undefined roles.  This bodes well for Johnson.  He could end up the #2 behind a guy that never has had to carry the load.

8          Mason, Tre                  Rams

Mason has average measureables, great production, good scheme fit and he is buried behind two capable RB’s in Stacy and Cunningham.   Pead and Richardson are wildcards, but candidates to be cut after a disappointing 2013. Mason seems to be a long term investment at this point.

9          Gaffney, Tyler            Panthers

Don’t expect to get an immediate return unless the panthers release Stewart or Williams.  Both are aging, injury prone and have cripplingly high salary cap numbers.  It wouldn’t surprise me to see Gaffney getting significant carries later in 2014.  He could be the future if he can adjust to the NFL.

10        White, James               Patriots

I like White.  Why did the Patriots select another RB when they have 3 capable on the roster?  Ridley and Vareen’s contracts are up after this offseason.  I would imagine only one would be back.   Vareen gets hurt a lot and Ridley has butterfingers so take your pick.  Brandon Bolden could also not be back.  White could conceivably be the starter in 2015.

11        Carey, Ka’Deem          Bears

It’s open season for the Bears back up running back position.  Carey can get the carries if he proves himself.  His value could really get an uptick if he plays well in the offseason.

12        McKinnon, Jerick        Vikings

A.P. is the man. He is one of best running backs of his generation. He is also getting older. He is coming off groin surgery. He has no back up RB.  Matt Asiatta is not enough.  Take a flyer late on this guy.

13        Blue, Alfred                Texans

Can do everything.  Can’t stay healthy.  Intriguing RB behind Foster.  Fosters’ age and health are becoming a factors.

14        Taliaferro, Lorenzo     Ravens

Ray Rice is having…legal issues.  Pierce is having shoulder issues.  Taliaferro could get some carries early.  Uncertain situation for sure.

15        Andrews, Antonio        Titans    

You never know when that UDFA beats out the higher ranked player.   A weak depth chart in front of him makes him draftable in dynasty leagues providing you have the roster depth.

15        Mairon Grice                   Chargers

Buried in a deep Chargers backfield.

16        Jerome Smith                   Falcons

Could be the Yin to Freeman’s Yang moving forward.  A player to watch.

17        Williams, Damien        Dolphins 

Crowded backfield situation.  Seems suited to the spread offense. Wait and see here.

18        Archer, Dri                  Steelers

Gadget back for the Steelers at this point.  Could he develop into Darrren Sproles?  History says the odds are against that, but his speed is elite.

19        Seastrunk, Lache         Redskins

See Damien Williams above. Possible replacement for Roy Helu who is in his contract year.

 

-Ron

2014 Postcast: Free Agent Review QB’s and RB’s

Check out our latest installment of our totally radical podcasts.  The recording date was 3/27/14.  So we didn’t have the MJD and Blount signings.   Subscribe on iTunes!

Intro Music – Murder City Devils – No Grave but the Sea

Outro Music – Pinback – Sender

 

In honor of Mark Sanchez going to the Eagles… I know its played out, but it makes me laugh every time.

2014:Random thoughts: Fantasy uncertainty – FA Week 3

All these situations are very fluid as you all know.  Between, the remaining FA, trades and the Draft, things can change in an instant, weakness become strengths.   However, at this point, this is how we see it…

WR’s

Who is catching passes in Carolina?   Beats me.  Beats the Panthers.  As of press time today, the biggest FA that has been signed is Jericho Cotchery.  Let that sink in.   Brandon LaFell is in New England.  Steve Smith has been jettisoned and is now in Balitmore.  Ted Ginn, who had a resurgence last year with the team, was left to test the market and landed in Arizona.   Now I am sure there is some sort of contingency plan in Carolina, but legitimate options are getting slim.  How is Jason Avant not on speed dial?  I mean, fantasy implications aside, he is one of the best slot WR’s in the league and could be a great addition and safety blanket for Cam.  Sidney Rice?  Miles Austin?  Trade for DeSean Jackson?

With Miles Austin still on the FA market and set to not return, look for Terrance Williams to have an increased role.  The salary cap is tight in Dallas.  Only WR’s willing to accept the veteran minimum are options here.

The #2 receiver role in Cleveland, KC, NYJ, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville are still very much up in the air.  In Pittsburgh, Markus Wheaton could be the man to replace Emmanuel Sanders.  Mike Brown might be the guy in Jacksonville with Justin Blackmon suspended indefinitely.  Jeremey Kerley is looking like the #2 WR on the Jets with Stephan Hill in the doghouse.  Greg Little and Donnie Avery are not going to cut as #2’s  in Cleveland and KC respectively.  I could easily see all of these teams drafting at least one WR in a deep WR draft.

Where is DeSean Jackson going to end up?  According to ESPN’s Sal Palantonio, “Jackson’s act has worn thing with Chip Kelly”  A big cap number presents an interesting situation in the city of brotherly love.  If I am Carolina, the Jets, KC or Oakland, I am definitely asking about this guy.

Since the draft is so deep at WR this year,  I  could see some of the older veteran WR’s being signed after the draft.   It would be prudent for teams to try and address needs via the draft and fill in the holes afterwards.   This not only financially beneficial, but it keeps the team young and, in most cases, they retain the rookies rights longer.

RB’s

Chris Johnson- He is being paid way more than his production is worth and is on the trade block.  I don’t think anything happens until after the draft.  I know that fantasy players don’t want to hear this, but I think he will be most effective in a time share situation regardless of where he goes.

Latavious Murray – I really can’t believe that McFadden came back to the Raiders.  He took a very modest one year deal.   He has to prove he can stay healthy.   If Murray can impress in training camp, he could secure the #2 RB role in Oakland and be a very valuable handcuff moving forward.  That, however, is a long ways off.

Maurice Jones Drew- MJD wants more money than the market is willing to bare at this point.  I  have read that he wants 3.5 mill. a year.   I still think he can be an effective player.  Like most players at this point in their career, his situation will have a greater bearing on his value than his skill level.

Giants RB situation – Well, this is an interesting mishmash of players.  Rashad Jennings was signed in FA, played well for the Raiders down the stretch last year, but has been nondescript for much of his career. The Giants still have David Wilson  who is coming off of neck surgery his value and career is up in the air. They also resigned Peyton Hillis. Picking up another RB in the draft would not surprise me at all.   Training camp will be needed to sort this mess out.

Jags back up? – This situation really surprised me.  I did not see Toby Gerhart going there.  As of now Jordan Toddman and Denard Robinson are the top backups.   I cant see the Jags going to the season with such shallow depth.  keep and eye here for opportunity.

Muddled in Phily? – McCoy, the newly traded for Sproles, Chris Polk and Bryce Brown combine for a muddled situation in Phily.  McCoy is one of the best players in the league, but i can see Sproles cutting into some of McCoy’s touches. The back up situation is anyones guess at this point.  If McCoy was to go down, his back up, at this point, is non-defined.  McCoy is still the man, but with four quality backs, his touches could be curtailed.  Good news for McCoy’s career and bad news for fantasy owners.

Back ups in Chicago and in Minnesota – Both teams have top-level starters and both teams have let their back-ups go.  These are handcuff situations to monitor.  Dynasty leagues wise, I would pay attention to what both do in the draft here.

Stefan Taylor Vs Jonathan Dwyer – Who is the power back that replaces Rashard Mendenhall who retired this off season?  These are the two candidates.  Keep taps on this situation throughout the offseason as the winner could garner 10-15 touches once the season picks up.

QB’s

Cleveland – After missing out on Matt Schaub, the Browns seems destine to be drafting a QB early.  Brian Hoyer is the only legitimate QB on the roster.  He played well for the few games he was in last year, but is coming off of a torn ACL.   I could really see them brining in another vet at some point to help fortify a questionable position.

Jacksonville – Believe it or not, there are several scenarios where the Jaguars don’t draft a QB in the first round.  Chad Henne is not a world beater, we know this. The Jaguars brass knows this and will not reach for a QB when the team still has needs all over the place.  Henne is adequate enough for the WR’s of Jacksonville to be draftable at this point in the offseason.

-Ron

Truth or Fiction from NFL Week 1

Before we get into what one can potentially recognize from the 1st week of football.  I want to stress that- just like the real NFL – a week 1 win, or loss does not set up/or ruin your 2013 fantasy season.  Sure some of you may have more work to do than others, but if you follow along with what’s happening in the NFL there’s always waiver work to do, and potentially even trades to make.

The NFL has changed, preseason doesn’t help starters out the way it used to – and as a result some of your fantasy players may have let you down this week.  On the other hand some players may simply have been benefits of unique situations that temporarily inflated their value.

Sure, we’ll have weekly articles on who to grab from your waiver wire, or who to trade for/away – but really the most important part of being a fantasy owner is to evaluate your players and the NFL trends weekly – and then to put those in the proper context.

So for our 1st weekend of NFL football I’m gonna put out there some of the bigger potential fantasy stories and what I think is really going on with them.  Then using this analysis, I’ll attack my league’s waiver wire – or my week 2 starting lineup, or my trade offers (you shouldn’t do a lot of trading early in the year unless you feel like you’re getting overwhelming value).

TRUTH

1.) The Eagles Offense will be a hot spot for everyone as long as Michael Vick stays healthy.   I wrote about this a lot this preseason – and this is a very tough game to truly evaluate if the Eagles will have the league’s best offense or whether several early Washington mistakes inflated the stats.  What is undeniable though is that this offense fits their skill players perfectly.  WR Desean Jackson and TE Brent Celek can now safely be thought of as fantasy weekly starters, while QB Michael Vick and especially RB Lesean McCoy can now be thought of as fantasy MVP caliber players.

2.) QB Colin Kapernick is not a one year fantasy wonder, and the Niners will continue to open up their offense for him.  Sure, it was against the terrible Packers D – but the trend for Harbaugh to allow his QB to throw has to make fantasy owners happy.  And they should continue to do this even against better defenses.  Kap’s chemistry with WR Anquan Bolidn (208 yards!) may have been the story of the day, but I think the story of the 2013 season will be his emerging connection with TE Vernon Davis.  The Niners will not be a pass 1st team by season’s end, but it is safe to throw out the notion that their passing game will be conservative.

3.) Pittsburgh’s rushing attack, if not their whole offense looks headed for disaster.  Again, everything depends on your league size and team needs – but I would be getting out of the Steelers backfield as soon as possible.  The passing game may still provide moments and stars this season – but the running game is going to be dead in the water for most or all of 2013.  Losing their all-pro center Maurkice Pouncey for the season was the deathblow.  A final stroke that was set up for a team that lost RB Le’Veon Bell for 2 months earlier in the preseason, and a team that lost scat back RB LaRod Stephens-Howling in this one also for the season.  Starter Isaac Redmon – got all of about 9 yards before fumbling problems had him on the bench.  How bad is Pitt’s RB situation?  They brought back Jonathan Dwyer – a guy they cut only a few days before b/c he lacked dedication to the job.  Isn’t that inspiring?  If you own a Pittsburgh back in fantasy they are at their lowest value, so you either drop them for a promising player, or you wait til they have a good week and move them…if any one of them ever has that good week.

4.) New England’s offense is still very much in flux.  Paging super sleeper (for some) TE Zac Sudfeld?  Are you awake Zac? Are you alive?  Yeah, after 1 game the next move TE in the New England offense has as many receptions for as many yards as I do.  And now he seems to have hamstring problems.  RB Steven Ridley a very popular RB2 choice for fantasy – and likely a 2nd round pick in most formats – was clearly outplayed, and seemed to have quite literally fumbled away his job – with an early fumble.   Unfortunately for the Patriots when RB Shane Vereen came in and went for an all purpose day of over 150 yards – he broke his wrist and will miss the next 4 games.  Likewise WR Danny Amendola who caught 10 passes, also got hurt for the 1,000th time in his career and looks to be unavailable for week 2.   Nothing is settled for workload or targets right now, and the biggest winners this week are probably Steven Ridley owners who will get a 2nd chance on life.

FICTION

1.) RB David Wilson will lose his starting RB job any time soon.  I know I’m not his biggest fan – and fumbling, especially twice is a good way to get benched.  But when RB Andre Brown went down the reality is the Giants had a bare cupboard behind Wilson.  Now I know the big story is who the Giants will bring in this week (as we mentioned in our preseason articles) – and whomever they bring in is worth a look in fantasy on the waiver wire (depending on the talent of the guy they are bringing in)…but the reality is, whomever comes in will be competing only to take some of the workload away, not the job.  Not yet anyway.  The Giants have been very publicly supportive of Wilson after the game – b/c they know that they need Wilson’s speed in the offense.   For now and for the 1st half of the season he should be safe and is worth a buy low trade offer if you can grab him…..but, it does come with the risk that he continues to shot himself in the le…umm foot.  Sorry I confuse that saying when it comes to the G-men).

2.) The Seattle Offense will under perform vs expectations this year.  Right now, file this under fiction.  People will look at Kapernick, Luck, and Rg3’s (who got most of his in garbage time) stat sheets for week 1 and be ready to dump on Mr Wilson.  Personally, and this is no slight to Russell Wilson, but I think his fantasy ceiling is naturally the lowest of those 4 anyway – and this game did nothing to change that opinion.  And it shouldn’t change anyone’s opinion that Wilson can still very easily be a top 8-10 fantasy QB.  Likewise, owners have to be upset with RB Marshawn Lynch’s 40 something yard effort.  It’s gonna be ok – and believe me you will be able to start them in road games, even on the east coast.  The problem in this one, (aside from opening week rustiness) was the Carolina front 7.  Carolina’s front 7 are very talented and they play the run game especially well – in boxing “styles make fights”- and in this one the Panthers just matched up very well with the things Seattle likes to do.  There will be much bigger fantasy days ahead for the Seahawks.

3.) It’s panic time on RB CJ Spiller, WR Dez Bryant, and WR Calvin Johnson.   I lumped these guys together – 3,2, and 3 would be their week 1 point totals in most leagues, and I really added Johnson to highlight the absurdity of worrying about these 1st and 2nd round fantasy picks.  These guys had bad weeks due to schemes and due to circumstance – no one wants this to happen, but it does.  There are some guys like maybe WR Mike Wallace and WR Kenny Britt that you can start looking for the red flag, but even on them – after one week it’s not time to raise it.

And so these are just a few of the Week 1 fallouts – whether you won or lost in your week 1 matchups, just like the real guys it’s on to week 2 and planning for that.  We’ll have some waiver articles up soon for you to help with that plan.

:by Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2013 Preseason Week 3: NY Jets vs NY Giants

NEW YORK JETS

Just when you think the Buffalo Bills had a bad preseason week 3 at QB, just when you think QB Mark Sanchez was the king of insane turnovers, and just when you think Rex Ryan and company couldn’t get any bat shit crazier…I present this game…and 1st up…

QB Geno Smith didn’t look like he was bothered by his previous ankle injury, and he started out with some nice safe one read throws- some out of the bootleg.  Heck on his 2nd possession Smith (aided by 4 defensive penalties) led the team down the field for a TD.  So what came after was baffling.  His 1st INT was just a lazy throw that was behind his WR just enough for the DB to make the play.  Most times that sort of pass is knocked away or dropped – but no doubt the throw was soft.

Then on his next series he threw another interception when he was faced with some pressure up the middle and he sailed a pass high over the middle.  The game just seemed to start moving too fast for him at this point – he’s not evolved enough at this point to deal with adversity in the pocket or to read defenses.

The 3rd Int about a quarter later was because Geno couldn’t see DE Justin Tuck drop back into coverage.  He was just flat out fooled and had terrible zone recognition as he tried to dump it short.

What do you do to top off 3 int’s?  Simple.  You” Orlovsky” that shit.  Sure enough in the 4th quarter – Geno overreacted to some simple pressure, inexplicably sprinted backwards toward the end line, stepped over it, and launched a ball while falling away that landed just in bounds on the sideline (so that even had he not stepped over the line, he would’ve gotten a safety on intentional grounding).

The game just seems too big and too fast for Geno right now.  And that’s ok, he’s a rookie.  He would benefit from sitting behind someone for a season or 2 – and then maybe he can look back on this and laugh.

So of course, the Jets – insisting there’s a QB competition, even  after this debacle send Mark Sanchez out there against 4 stringers?  I mean the only thing that could keep Sanchez from starting opening day after that is injury…so…

Yeah, you see where this is headed…

Sanchez’s injury will be one of the most over analyzed controversies of the preaseason.  As such you can find numerous takes on it-including the continuing absurdity of Rex Ryan’s press conferences.  So I won’t add much on that front – on the fantasy front it is actually horrible news – b/c Sanchez was at least looking like someone who could play the position.  Geno looks like someone too raw to do much of anything.   The 2013 New York Jets offense could resemble a tire fire.

RB Bial Powell who looked like he might actually upset Chris Ivory for the starting RB job, took a step back in this one…he was terrible in the passing game dropping 2 easy ones, before getting 2 for 18 yards, and bad in the running game 11 carries for 16 yards (with a 6 yard TD).  The Jets lack of a run game this preseason is alarming..”ground & pound”  may just wind up being “pound” beginning of the season – where pound = defenses pounding into them.

NEW YORK GIANTS

The highlight for the Giants came on their very 1st offensive play when RB David Wilson took the ball 84 yards down the sideline for a touchdown.  The play was blocked superbly and all he had to do was run through the hole and use his speed.  It didn’t showcase any great moves or vision, just speed.  And Wilson continues to represent a dilemma for me in ffl – as he seems to be a big play back based on speed- but he worries me in the boom or bust department.  Aside from his 84 yard run – he had 4 other carries for just 8 yards.  He also caught 2 passes for a net total of zero yards.  So overall, outside of the 84 yard run – he had 6 touches for 8 yards.

Wilson’s ADP has been moving up steadily all preseason and is now about the late 3rd, high 4th in 12 team leagues.  It’s not bad value, but from what I’ve seen if he doesn’t hit a big play during his day, he won’t grind out yards – that to me means he’s a risk pick.  So if you’re taking him, make sure the next RB at the position is a little more traditional in their output/workload – lower ceiling, but higher floor type of guy.

Defenses are so unpredictable that I very rarely make comments about team defenses….but, this if any is the year to pass on taking the Giants D in fantasy as a #1 team defense.  They have not looked good in the preseason, they have lost starter S Stevie Brown for the year and they play in a division with 3 potentially very good offenses.   At one point early in this game the defense committed penalties on 4 straight plays – their stat sheet for the game looks good because of Geno’s meltdown, but they are not a defense to invest in.

:by Mike

2013 Preseason Week 2: Indy vs NY Giants

Indy

This just in: QB Andrew Luck is pretty good.  In leagues that penalize for turnovers Luck’s 2012 rookie season in fantasy was a little underwhelming compared to his hype.  If you assume with another year in the offseason, and Indy’s attempt to rebuild a below average OL that Luck’s turnovers will drop – then you have to be excited about his top 10 potential for 2013.   He absolutely looked the part in this game he was 9 of 13 (with a few bad drops in there by his targets) for 107 and 2 Td’s.   It should be noted that one of his TD passes was a ball that CB Aaron Ross batted up in the air and should’ve had an INT on- but that happened b/c the Giants pass rush clobbered Luck as he was throwing.

I don’t know what’s wrong with TE Coby Fleener, but I’m beginning to think he should give about half his paycheck to Luck every year for getting him drafted so high.   They either don’t game plan for him, or he’s below average at getting open – and I’m starting to think it’s a lot of the latter.  He dropped the only target I saw and was held off the stat sheet.

Don’t look now but WR Darius Heyward-Bay may be coming back to life.  Right now the Colts are using him a lot in that intermediate depth outside the lines type of passing game (WR screens, curl routes at the marker), and it’s clear his new home has done wonders for his confidence.  I don’t know if Bay becomes a guy you draft late, or whether you wait and watch waivers…but our own Tim Brown believes he’s worth taking a flyer on,  as potentially a WR 4.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw is becoming a popular “sleeper” pick with drafters, but he once again did not play in this one.  It was all about his homecoming to NY and he left it at that.  Bradshaw concerns me from a health standpoint,  Vick Ballard is not really a threat to him – but his own health is very much a problem.  In standard 12 team redraft leagues I want no part of him before the 7th round.

NY Giants

I’m coming around a little bit on RB David Wilson. I don’t think he has RB1 potential, and I do think that RB Andre Brown is a better football player…but it’s clear the Giants want to use this guy.    He had some excellent vision on some runs, but the other side of that is that he’s not going to move many piles.  Wilson has RB2 written all over him, and that’s perfectly fine for his current ADP of round 5 or 6.

Wilson’s whole situation with Andre Brown baffles me.  It’s like opposite day.  Wilson is the smaller, faster guy who catches passes – and yet he gets the early down work.  Andre Brown the larger, tougher runner (not without his own speed) is in on 3rd downs b/c apparently David Wilson can’t learn how to blitz pickup.   The only time it “felt right” to me in this game was when they asked Andre Brown to try a 4th and short pickup – and he failed at that.

Wilson finished with 8 carries for 34 yards, but 21 of them came on one carry.  Andre Brown finished with 8 carries for 36 yards – so?  50/50.

Wilson will lead this running back committee  b/c Andre Brown is a square peg running back in a round hole Giants pass 1st philosophy.    The days of Big Blue hammering it between the tackles is gone, and while Wilson is not a great all-around RB, he is clearly the guy that fits the philosophy.  The only x-factor for Brown’s value will be goaline carries – and I don’t think we can assume he will get all of them.

More opposite day in this one: WR Hakeem Nicks’ 2 grabs for 40 yards stat sheet looks impressive…and it is encouraging.  But there’s no doubt Nicks is not 100% healthy – you can see him dragging his feet a little and looking sluggish as he rehabs – to me that’s a bigger concern for a guy who’s hurt every season, than say WR Victor Cruz’s  ankle injury which got all the press.

Cruz will be fine and he’s the WR to own from the Giants – again not b/c his talent is overwhelming, but b/c of his rapport in the offense and his (relative) health.  Panic not G-men fans: Cruz will be ok.

:by Mike

Preseason Week 1: New York Giants at Pittsburgh

New York Giants

WR Victor Cruz had the highlight in this one with his 57 yard TD from Eli.  From a real life perspective I’ve always maintained a bunch of WR’s could do what Victor does in this offense.  I get a lot of flack for that…but I stand by it, he’s a good WR – but it’s more about him being in the right place with the right QB and gameplan to get him open.  In fantasy however, he is the player to own from this team – ranking higher for fantasy purposes at his position than even QB Eli Manning.  Re-drafters shouldn’t pay a 2nd round pick for him, but anything below that might give you fantastic return on value.

WR Rebuen Randle and RB David Wilson who are both thought to be the “next man up” at their positions and possible fantasy sleepers did nothing in this one to impress.  While you may get value on Randle in a league or two – the David Wilson hype train is in full swing right now.  But I’m not hopping on the “fantasy sleeper” bus for this guy.  1st because his ADP is around the 5th or 6th rd in redraft leagues and that would seem to be about right for his situation (not a sleeper if the adp value isn’t there). And 2ndly I’m not sure Wilson gets many redzone looks (he got 1 redzone carry from the 5 in this one and got stoned for no gain).

RB Andre Brown is actually the guy I like here, especially as a value play.  If he can take the redzone looks from Wilson in any kind of split backfield he will be well worth spending a fantasy roster spot on. The two things we have to learn about him though are 1.) how much will the Giants commit to the running game this year?  It’s not the old Big Blue – they are a passing team these days.  I think Brown’s bigger body style and potentially punishing style is a strange fit for them.   2.) He did fumble in this game, and that normally gets you sent down the depth chart with Head Coach Tom Coughlin.  Fortunately for Brown he has the rest of the preseason to make up for it, and his competition Mr Wilson has been known to cough up more than a few fumbles himself.

Pittsburgh

Here’s how you know it’s preseason: RB  LaRod Stephens Howling worked with the 1st team and led the team in rushing with 7 carries for 40 yards.  He’s not seriously in the Steelers plans at a full time RB, but with rookie RB Le’von Bell shelved due to a minor injury, LaRod made the best of it.

RB Jonathan Dwyer and RB Issac Redman did not make the best of it – they looked old and slow – which is surprising given they’re both under 30.  Only one of these guys will be worth owning in ffl for 2013 and that will be as a handcuff or deep bench player.

Rookie WR Marcus Wheaton saw limited work  (1 rush for 10 yards, 1 catch for 8 yards), but he already looks like the next Steelers WR to come out of nowhere.  For re-drafters he’s not worth much-maybe a very late round flier, but keep your eyes on him during the season for waivers.  For dynasty players if you haven’t drafted yet grab him….if you have drafted see if you can pry him away from an owner on the cheap.