Tag Archives: Marcus Wheaton

2013 Preseason Week 2: Pittsburgh at Washington

Pittsburgh

You can’t be encouraged by virtually anything the Steelers showed on offense in this game.  Their OL looked terrible – guys like C Maurkice Pouncey, and G David DeCastro who are well thought of players – looked lost and gave up tons of pressure all of the 1st half.

RB Le’veon Bell ran the 1st 4 plays of this game.  He seemed to be a little slow, but he was finishing his short runs by at least moving the pile.  Then he developed a foot injury (to go with his recovery from a minor knee injury) and had to leave the game.  Bell has to be frustrating dynasty owners, who have now seen so little of him after probably drafting him high, and frustrating re-drafters who are trying gauge his value as a 5th-7th round back.   All I can say is cross your fingers and hope we get to see him in at least one more preseason game before you draft – b/c this guy is quickly becoming a “buyer beware” type of player.   He had average talent and was drafted into a fantastic situation, but if he’s not healthy enough to win the starting RB job in his rookie season his value takes a huge hit even for future seasons.

2 offensive  players who did look like they were ready for the season were WR Emmanuel Sanders & Marcus Wheaton. Sanders made some great catches in traffic and appears ready for his contract year break out season.   He has had health issues in the past, but barring injury he’s a great WR 3 or 4 for your fantasy team this season.  Rookie Marcus Wheaton hauled down a 57 yard TD, on a route that was basically just a speed on a fly patter – when he beat a 3rd string CB. Wheaton’s value is higher in a dynasty league right now – but he will get his chances this season as well working out of the Wr3 role.

I don’t often do this, and even players in IDP leagues won’t necessarily benefit from this guy this season…but S Shamarko Thomas is a man crush of mine.  He seems to be a combo of Ryan Clark (who’s already on the Steelers) and Bob Sanders (who was a game changer).   The Redskins who had a great need at safety this season ignored Thomas in the draft instead taking TE Jordan Reed (more on him below), and Shamarko repaid them in this one by making several bone crushing hits including causing a fumble.  If you play IDP in a dynasty format this guy should be a 1st round pick – he has to wait his turn behind the vets in Pittsburgh but he is going to be a major player in this league.

Washington

QB Kirk Cousins led the injured cast of Redskins from this one.   He left after being tackled awkwardly trying to get out of bonds and has a sprain of his right foot.  The MRI is to come with the dreaded “lisfranc” being a concern.   I’m not that concerned.  For 1 thing Lisfranc injuries are rare, but we focus on them like it’s the only type of mid foot pain one can have.  There are stats out there that suggest  x-rays can pick up 85% of lisc franc injuries, so on top of a rare injury there’s only a 15% chance that you’ll find one by the time you get to the MRI stage.

And for the 2nd thing:  Kirk Cousins is a backup QB people.  Sure there’s an outside chance he starts a game or 2 a season – even the 1st week (although RG3 was seen in good spirits joking with Shanahan and Dr James Andrews during the game), but for ffl in 2013 and probably beyond he has no real fantasy relevance.  Cousins may give the Redskins chances to win games in a pinch, but you’ll have better QB’s on your fantasy roster should any of your QB’s go down.

WR’s Aldrick Robinson and Leonard Hankerson also suffered minor leg injuries in this one.  Both of these guys are deeper WR 4 or 5’s for your 2013 season.

TE Jordan Reed made his debut in this one.  He’s a “move TE” that people like to compare to Aaron Hernandez (or at least they did before that murder thing) – he caught one short pass, dropped another, and ran such a terrible route on one that he caused a Rex Grossman interception b/c he was nowhere in the right area.  He’s a project player at best (and they could’ve had Shamarko!!)

RB’s Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison made their NFL debuts in this one.   Jamison ran well, but against the absolute last stringers in “give up” time.  Thompson an intriguing speedback,  ran the ball twice got blasted by Shamarko Thomas and fumbled the ball.  He also had a minor shoulder injury that he recovered enough from to check back into the game.  These 2 are competing for 1 spot behind RB Roy Helu – and Helu cemented his role on the team by ripping off a 30 yard TD on his only carry.

: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.