First of all let me answer any and every question you have right now about player performances, team strategies, and projected stats, IT”S THE PRE-SEASON!!!! Everyone, everywhere is taking it easy especially with starting guys. This is the most frustrating time of the year for fantasy football because experts like myself have a very, very tough job of judging talent, effort, and performance based on 5-10 real plays. But I will try to highlight some key concerns as far as things to still be worried about, key standout performances, and key poor performances. Let’s start with things you mostly knew before today’s games.
My key concerns this year start out with Maurice Jones-Drew. I would currently look at Jones-Drew as a weak RB2 more likely for me I would wait and try to get the guy at RB3 and hope some other poor soul is compelled to take him and his situation with them. If you already have Jones-Drew the one bright spot for you is Jones-Drew is participating in a Celebrity Fantasy Football League and he drafted himself with his first round pick so unless he has some depth at running back he probably needs to head back to the locker room soon. Other than that small piece of hope MJD could hold out as long as he needs to, to make his point clear to the Jags that he is the main focus of their offense and Oj simpson they could easily lose every game without him. My projection for MJD is he is back by week 2 of the regular season.
My next concern is Mike Wallace.This becomes less of a concern for me because he is not on any of my teams (although I am attempting a trade of Mike Wallace for Kenny Britt, who’s in a better situation haha). But with Mike Wallace, I have found little value in him simply because Antonio Brown is a great receiver that exploded on the scene last year and is still way undervalued this year, especially with the absence of Mike Wallace. Brown will finish in the top 15 WR’s maybe even top ten with Todd Haley’s offense this year for Big Ben. But let’s get back to Wallace, I predict him to be back in the mix week 5 or so. Something has gotta give in this one.
My final concern is another that I personally have no team interest in. Will Trent Richardson be ready for week 1? Do I really care? No. But let me break it down for ya like this: I never draft rookie running backs with a top 10 pick so I’m not in your situation. It’s a simple rule of thumb that has saved many a teams. The browns will also be behind a lot this year and will look to air out, hence Greg Little on a few of my teams. Will Richardson be ready for week one? I would say 100% no. They have invested too much money into the guy and are looking to build an organization around him similar to the organization the Ravens have built around Ray Rice, with deep threat receivers and a powerful running back. When will Trent be back you say? Well let me tell you if I were making that decision and my job was potentially on the line if I let him come back too early it would easily be week 3 or later, and the potential that he could have to have another of these surgeries is likely. Anyone thinking about trying to trade him now? Unless you are in a keeper league it might be best to hop ship while you still can. Alright enough of the stuff you don’t want to hear.
Let’s get to some key performances. My first key performance is from a guy I have pinned to try to grab with my first WR pick every draft and it hasn’t worked yet because he is just hard to get in the 4th or 5th round and that is Julio Jones. He had an amazing catch in the end zone and a few other plays that let fantasy owners know he is here to play this year and ready to be top 5 fantasy wide receiver material.
My next key performance is Matt Ryan. Noticing trend here? Matt Ryan is primed for a break out season and he has some big targets in Atlanta. Julio Jones is ready to have a great year after missing a ton of time last year and still having a huge impact look for Jones to have a top 5 WR year. Ryan looked as calm as ever in the pocket and really delivered some beautiful passes. In fact I am considering a trade where I would get Matt Ryan & LeSean McCoy for Matthew Stafford and Steven Jackson. Sounds like a good deal to me and while I will pile up on bye week 7’s on that team I will have a strong performance on all the other weeks. Now to the guys who were not very sharp.
I know it’s preseason and everything but let’s look at Peyton Manning, since everyone else in the world is. To me, Manning looked more nervous than he ever has. His passes were somewhat lack luster and his feet never touched the ground while he was in the pocket I think the dude was dancing in mid-air. He did not look comfortable and it showed up big time. He has a lot of catching up to do, if he wants to be the old Peyton again. Now if he wants to still prove he can be an effective QB then that’s a different story.