2011 Fantasy Football: Preseason Fantasy Stock - Week 2
With preseason underway, there will be updates daily to this 2011 Fantasy Football Preseason Stock page. Games will be added as I watch them. Adjustments will be made on my 2011 Fantasy Football Rankings accordingly. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
Roy Williams, WR, Bears
Roy Williams played like crap in the exhibition loss to the Giants. He was thrown to three times, but couldn't come up with a single reception. He dropped a routine first-down conversion on the opening drive. It appears as though he wasn't kidding when he told everyone that he's out of shape.
Earl Bennett, WR, Bears
Earl Bennett tied for most targets from Jay Cutler in the preseason loss to the Giants. He caught three of those passes for 58 yards. Mike Martz promised that Bennett will see an expanded role this year, so it appears as though he's living up to his word.
Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants
Brandon Jacobs rushed for 48 yards and a touchdown on six carries in the exhibition victory over Chicago. Jacobs looked as healthy as I can remember; he ran with good speed for his size while still maintaining his trademark power. He won't be the starter, but he'll have close to a 40-60 split with Ahmad Bradshaw. He'll also get all of the goal-line work.
Mario Manningham, WR, Giants
Mario Manningham led the Giants with seven targets in the preseason win against the Bears. He caught four balls for 39 yards, and would have expanded on those stats if he could have hauled in a catchable 15-yard pass in the first quarter. There's no doubt about it - with Steve Smith gone, Manningham is a legitimate fantasy WR2 with upside.
Jared Cook, TE, Titans
One player who really impressed in Tennessee's preseason loss at St. Louis was Jared Cook, who caught three balls for 54 yards, including a 29-yard diving grab near the right sideline. Cook is a solid TE2 with a competent quarterback under center.
Steven Jackson, RB, Rams
Steven Jackson rushed for only 10 yards on six carries in the preseason victory over the Titans. Despite those ugly numbers, it's impossible to say whether Jackson has lost it or not. He had absolutely no running room; Tennessee's defensive front pushed back St. Louis' offensive line on almost every play.
Mike Sims-Walker, WR, Rams
Mike Sims-Walker had a miserable performance in the preseason win over Tennessee. He was responsible for Sam Bradford's sole interception, as he tipped a perfectly thrown ball into the air, which landed into the arms of Titans corner Alterraun Verner. Later, Sims-Walker fell down on a break. He finished with just one reception for 26 yards. I was going to give him a stock down, but the analysts on the Rams Broadcasting Network brought up a great point - Sims-Walker was still playing with a groin injury that hampered him in the exhibition opener. That could have been the reason he struggled coming out breaks (this happened on the pick as well). I'd still take a shot on him as Bradford's top wideout. All in all, Sims-Walker gets a stock up because he'll play better when he's healthy. The important thing is that Bradford threw to him more than any wideout excluding Danny Amendola.
Danario Alexander, WR, Rams
You can drop Danario Alexander if you have him. I don't know why he's not seeing the field at all. It's really disappointing.
Vincent Jackson, WR, Chargers
I said it last week, and I'll say it again: Vincent Jackson, who caught three balls for 49 yards in the preseason win in Dallas, will be a beast this year. This will be Jackson's first NFL season without LaDainian Tomlinson, so he should be able to post a career-high touchdown total. He's also in great shape, unlike last season. Rivers has targeted him seven times in four drives this preseason, so I love Jackson as a late second-, early third-round selection in fantasy drafts.
Felix Jones, RB, Cowboys
Last year at this time, I fell in love with Arian Foster and told you to pick him no matter what in your fantasy draft. I feel almost as strongly about Felix Jones. Jones looks awesome. He has a great combination of power, speed, elusiveness and quickness. He catches passes, breaks tackles and makes nice cuts. He's also good in pass protection and big enough for goal-line carries, so he'll always be on the field. Make sure you get Jones in your league. I took him late in the third round of my 2011 Fantasy Football Experts Draft (PPR), and that was before his seven-carry, 56-yard performance against the Chargers. I like him even more now.
Denarius Moore, WR, Raiders
Fifth-round rookie wideout Denarius Moore flashed for the second straight week, catching two of his three targets for 28 yards in the preseason loss at San Francisco. If you have room on your bench, stash Moore because he could really produce in the second half of the year. If not, remember him as a waiver-wire addition.
Kendall Hunter, RB, 49ers
The star of San Francisco's offense in the victory over Oakland was rookie running back Kendall Hunter. Totaling 105 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, Hunter impressively dragged defenders on several runs in the first half. He then showed off his blazing speed with a 53-yard scoring burst in the third quarter. Hunter's worth a late-round selection because Frank Gore is really injury-prone. If Gore goes down, Hunter could post big numbers.
A.J. Green, WR, Bengals
A.J. Green was really disappointing in the preseason loss against the Jets. Though he was targeted a team-high five times by Andy Dalton, he caught only one ball for eight yards because he was guilty of three drops, one of which resulted in an interception. Green is a freak athlete and should post monstrous numbers with a good quarterback, but this lack of concentration has to be disheartening if you're a Bengals fan. Stay away from him this year.
Jordan Shipley, WR, Bengals
Jordan Shipley saw four targets (one in the end zone) from Andy Dalton in the exhibition loss to the Jets. Dalton loves his slant passes, so Shipley could be a nice PPR flex option this year.
Plaxico Burress, WR, Jets
Plaxico Burress was targeted a team-high six times (twice in the end zone) in the preseason win over the Bengals, catching three balls for 66 yards and a touchdown. The Jets made an effort to get the ball to Burress early and often, so I wouldn't read too much into this. The takeaway, as many predicted, is that Burress will be a primary end-zone target for Mark Sanchez.
Dustin Keller, TE, Jets
Dustin Keller led the Jets with four receptions for 73 yards in the exhibition victory against Cincinnati. He had a nice game, but I still wouldn't draft him. He's just too damn inconsistent.
Delone Carter, RB, Colts
Delone Carter looked really good in the second half of the preseason loss to Washington. He ran with power and had a nice stiff-arm on one carry. Carter gained 25 yards on four attempts and also caught two balls for seven receiving yards. Given Joseph Addai's injury history and Donald Brown's ineptness, Carter makes for a great late-round flier. He could be the starter in the second half of the year.
Tim Hightower, RB, Redskins
Get Tim Hightower onto your team. The former Cardinal generated 70 yards and a touchdown on just six carries in the preseason win at Indianapolis. Hightower isn't very talented, but he is a perfect fit for Mike Shanahan's scheme. He had a 58-yard run on the opening drive, which was mostly the result of excellent blocking. Hightower also received two goal-line carries later on the possession, converting his second try for a touchdown. Most telling is that Shanahan took Hightower out of the game after seven touches, perhaps preserving him for the regular season.
C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills
Well, what do you know? C.J. Spiller could be the starting running back for the Bills. Spiller received the first three carries of Saturday's loss at Denver: a 5-yarder on the first play; a stuff on a 3rd-and-1 attempt; and a nice 14-yard burst after a nice cut. Spiller finished with 10 yards on six attempts, but that's a bit misleading because he had an 8-yard loss on a botched hand-off. Spiller also caught two balls for 11 receiving yards. With so many people down on Spiller after his abysmal rookie campaign, he makes for a nice, late-round sleeper this year.
Fred Jackson, RB, Bills
Fred Jackson rushed for 34 yards on four carries in the loss to the Broncos, but the major news is that C.J. Spiller started and received the first three attempts. The Bills had Jackson playing well into the second quarter, perhaps an indication that Spiller will be the starter this season.
Kyle Orton, QB, Broncos
Kyle Orton posted some pretty stats in slightly less than a half of action against the Bills, going 10-of-13 for 135 yards and a touchdown. It's hard to believe, but Orton actually performed better than those numbers indicate. He had a 22-yard reception to Eddie Royal wiped out because of a tripping penalty. Royal also dropped a pass. Despite the departure of Josh McDaniels, Orton still looks like a legitimate fantasy QB2.
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos
Knowshon Moreno started for Denver in its exhibition win against the Bills, rushing for 28 yards on six carries. Moreno will be a big part of the passing attack and should get a 2:1 attempt ratio over Willis McGahee in his favor, but he won't receive any goal-line attempts.
Willis McGahee, RB, Broncos
During Denver's preseason triumph over the Bills, Willis McGahee managed only six yards on five carries. However, his low YPC average can be attributed to the multiple short-yardage attempts he received. McGahee is Denver's goal-line back, and he'll get about a third of the rushes and some receptions. He's definitely worth owning in all leagues, as Moreno isn't the most durable running back in the NFL.
Brandon Lloyd, WR, Broncos
Brandon Lloyd paced the Broncos with five targets in the preseason victory over Buffalo, finishing with four receptions for 55 yards. His sole incompletion was a great diving attempt deep along the left sideline in the second quarter. With Kyle Orton playing well, there's a chance Lloyd could match his 2010 numbers.
Jahvid Best, RB, Lions
Jahvid Best had just three touches in the preseason victory at Cleveland. He left the game after fumbling (great run-stuff by Phil Taylor) and suffering a head injury, and was treated for a concussion. Best didn't incur a concussion, but it's difficult not to think about how brittle Best is. He'll post great numbers when healthy, but he's a poor bet to play 16 games.
Nate Burleson, WR, Lions
With Calvin Johnson out, Nate Burleson became Matthew Stafford's top target in the exhibition win against the Browns. Burleson was targeted three times in one quarter of action, grabbing two of those passes for 34 yards and a touchdown. I really like Burleson as a late-round flier; Stafford has thrown to Burleson more than anyone this preseason.
Greg Little, WR, Browns
Greg Little caught two of his three targets from Colt McCoy in the preseason loss to Detroit for 25 yards and a touchdown. Little is a beast; it's just a matter of him getting into playing shape after being out of football the past two years. With McCoy showing tremendous improvement, Little is worth a late-round flier as Cleveland's No. 1 receiver.
Evan Moore, TE, Browns
Evan Moore hauled in all three of his targets from Colt McCoy in the exhibition defeat to the Lions for 40 yards and two scores. I really like Moore, but it's hard to get too excited about this because Ben Watson didn't play. Watson is McCoy's primary tight end, as Moore is a poor blocker.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings
The one fantasy takeaway regarding Minnesota in its preseason victory at Seattle was that Adrian Peterson remained in the game on third down. He actually had the most targets from Donovan McNabb (3), catching two passes for 11 yards. If he stays on the field for all three downs, there's a good chance he could finish as the top fantasy running back this year.
Sidney Rice, WR, Seahawks
Sidney Rice saw five targets (two in the end zone) in the preseason loss to Minnesota, but thanks to Tarvaris Jackson's ineptness, he was able to haul in two passes for just 11 yards in one half of action. Rice is getting exactly what he asked for. I hope he's happy with his money because he's going to post miserable stats in Seattle.
Arian Foster, RB, Texans
So, Arian Foster is OK. With all the talk of Foster possibly slowing down because of a hamstring injury, the previous year's leading rusher totaled 47 yards and two touchdowns on just five carries in the preseason victory over New Orleans. He was breaking tackles and making defenders miss, showing no signs of being hurt. He's the No. 1 fantasy pick in all leagues.
Ben Tate, RB, Texans
If you own Arian Foster, make sure you pick up Ben Tate late in your draft. He's a stud. Thanks to his good vision, and ability to make sharp cuts and break tackles, Tate tallied 95 rushing yards and a score on just nine carries. It makes you wonder what would have happened if he didn't get hurt last year. Perhaps he would have led the NFL in rushing.
Mark Ingram, RB, Saints
Pierre Thomas started for the Saints in their preseason loss at Houston and took his initial carry for 13 yards. However, Mark Ingram entered the game on the third set of downs on the opening drive. He received an attempt on a 3rd-and-1 inside the red zone and was in the backfield on first-and-goal at the 4-yard line. Though he didn't get a carry at that moment, he later converted a goal-line try in the second quarter. It looks like Thomas and Ingram are going to split carries somewhat evenly this year, but Ingram (7-25-TD) will be the one scoring the touchdowns.
Lance Moore, WR, Saints
With Marques Colston still sidelined by his troublesome knee, Lance Moore tied for the first-string team lead in targets with three (including one in the end zone) in the preseason loss at Houston. Colston probably won't be 100 percent all year, so Moore should catch a ton of passes. He's a nice PPR flex option.
Robert Meachem, WR, Saints
Robert Meachem saw just one target in a quarter and a half of action from Drew Brees in the exhibition defeat to the Texans. It's disappointing that he hasn't done anything in two preseason games with Marques Colston sidelined.
Chris Wells, RB, Cardinals
Chris Wells deserves a stock-up arrow. Ryan Williams is out for the year with a torn patellar tendon, meaning Wells' job is completely secure. He'll also presumably see slightly more work in the passing attack. Wells ran with power in the exhibition loss at Green Bay, rushing for 44 yards on 11 carries. He also showed impressive speed on a 20-yard screen pass in the second quarter.
Ryan Williams, RB, Cardinals
Ryan Williams is out for the year with a torn patellar tendon. What a shame.
Andre Roberts, WR, Cardinals
Andre Roberts figures to be Kevin Kolb's third target behind Larry Fitzgerald and Todd Heap, who didn't play in the preseason loss at Green Bay. Roberts caught both of his targets in a quarter and a half for 31 yards, impressively breaking a Sam Shields tackle on one of his receptions. Roberts is a decent late-round flier.
Greg Jennings, WR, Packers
Despite the return of Jermichael Finley to the lineup, Greg Jennings led the Packers with five targets in the preseason win against Arizona. Jennings caught two balls for 24 yards and an impressive 20-yard touchdown in which he beat Patrick Peterson. Don't expect Jennings' production to drop with Finley back; James Jones and Jordy Nelson will be the ones who suffer.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers
For the second week in a row, Jordy Nelson failed to receive a single target from Aaron Rodgers. Nelson was on the field, but Rodgers opted to throw to Donald Driver, Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley instead. He's undraftable at the moment.
James Jones, WR, Packers
James Jones has seen only one target from Aaron Rodgers in two preseason tilts. Jones is a victim of an overcrowded receiving corps; with Jermichael Finley back in the lineup and Donald Driver healthy, Jones won't be much of a fantasy factor this year unless there are injuries.
Reggie Bush, RB, Dolphins
Reggie Bush has quickly become a fan favorite. He was incredible in the exhibition win against the Panthers, rushing for 48 yards on eight carries and catching two balls for 33 receiving yards. Bush broke tackles on his first carry, made multiple defenders miss on his initial reception, and showed off his trademark quickness throughout the first half. Bush is going late in drafts - even in PPR formats - so he makes for a great value pick.
Daniel Thomas, RB, Dolphins
Fantasy players love Daniel Thomas, but he's undraftable in the first nine rounds of any non-touchdown-only format. Reggie Bush is getting the majority of the workload, with Thomas serving only as a change-of-pace and goal-line runner. The thing is, there won't be many end-zone opportunities for the Dolphins this year, so Thomas' impact will be limited. Not that he's even any good in that aspect anyway; Thomas had four attempts on the goal line in the preseason victory over the Panthers, and managed to convert only one. Even worse, he lost a fumble on his first attempt, but was bailed out by a Carolina penalty.
Brandon Marshall, WR, Dolphins
Brandon Marshall caught five of his six targets for 46 yards in the preseason victory over Carolina. Marshall looked good and figures to be a borderline WR1 option in PPR leagues again. Unfortunately, his potential is capped because of Henne's inconsistency and red-zone ineptness.
Matt Cassel, QB, Chiefs
As if it weren't completely obvious, Matt Cassel is going to be a very different quarterback without Charlie Weis. Cassel wasn't terrible in the preseason loss to Baltimore, but he struggled quite a bit, going 6-of-14 for 73 yards. He should have been picked in the first quarter; a slant pass of his intended for Jerheme Urban sailed right into the hands of Ravens defensive back Cary Williams, who couldn't come up with the interception. Cassel is being way overdrafted in most fantasy leagues because on what he did last year. Don't bother with him; with Weis gone, Cassel is a very, very low-end QB2 at best.
Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens
Joe Flacco really misses Derrick Mason and Todd Heap. He just looked really uncomfortable in the preseason victory over the Chiefs, going 12-of-24 for just 124 yards in slightly more than a half of action. Flacco was completely out of sync, overthrowing Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith twice each. He also threw behind Ed Dickson on one attempt. With his two favorite targets gone, it's reasonable to expect a decline from Flacco.
Ray Rice, RB, Ravens
Ray Rice rushed for 44 yards on seven carries in the preseason victory over the Chiefs. The important thing to note is that he received the opportunity to convert a 3rd-and-1 in the second quarter. Rice made the most of it and moved the chains. Perhaps this will help convince John Harbaugh that Rice should be the man on the goal line.
Lee Evans, WR, Ravens
While Joe Flacco overthrew Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith on multiple occasions in the exhibition victory over Kansas City, the guy he looked comfortable with was Lee Evans; the former Bill caught all three of his targets for 68 yards, including a beautiful touch pass thrown along the left sideline. I'm curious to see if Flacco and Evans continue to show good rapport next week. If so, the latter will definitely be worth drafting as a possible WR3.
Julio Jones, WR, Falcons
The Julio Jones hype train won't be at full speed this week. Jones saw one target and caught no passes from Matt Ryan in the preseason loss at Jacksonville. I was glad to see this to temper my expectations after last week's impressive debut. Don't get me wrong, I still like Jones, but he shouldn't be ranked so high in my 2011 Fantasy Football Rankings.
Harry Douglas, WR, Falcons
If there was any doubt last week, Harry Douglas is completely healthy. Seeing a team-high four targets (for first-stringers), Douglas caught two balls for 87 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown. With Tony Gonzalez breaking down, Douglas should be a viable backup in PPR leagues.
Tony Gonzalez, TE, Falcons
Tony Gonzalez is finished. He saw one target and caught it for five yards. As he was running, it looked like he needed a cane. Avoid this guy in all leagues, save for perhaps touchdown-only formats.
Mike Thomas, WR, Jaguars
I thought Mike Thomas looked pretty solid in Jacksonville's preseason victory against the Falcons. Thomas saw four targets, including one in the end zone. He ended up with two receptions for 31 yards. He's a very good PPR flex option, but his potential will be limited by Jacksonville's quarterback situation. David Garrard isn't very good and could be replaced any week.
LeGarrette Blount, RB, Buccaneers
Earnest Graham paced the Buccaneers in targets with three in their preseason loss to the Patriots. This is significant because he was on the field on third downs, limiting LeGarrette Blount's maximum potential. Blount played exclusively on first and second downs, but couldn't do anything against a fierce New England front. He had just one yard on four carries.
Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
Tampa's secondary had no answer for Tom Brady in New England's preseason victory. Brady went 11-of-19 for 118 yards and two touchdowns in one half of action. He led the Patriots to three touchdown drives in the first quarter. Brady could have posted better numbers, but Bill Belichick decided to run the ball most of the time in the second quarter. Brady is going way too low in most fantasy drafts. He's my No. 2 fantasy quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers.
Danny Woodhead, RB, Patriots
Danny Woodhead saw New England's first carry and ultimately rushed for 63 yards on only five attempts in the win over Tampa. He was also targeted twice. Despite the selections of Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley, Woodhead remains a solid flex option in PPR leagues.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Patriots
BenJarvus Green-Ellis totaled 51 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries in the victory of the Buccaneers. He also caught a pass for six yards. Green-Ellis apparently will continue to serve as the team's starting running back and goal-line option. Rookie Stevan Ridley looks great, but he fumbled in the third quarter. Belichick may not be willing to trust an inexperienced player like Ridley this season when he has such reliable options like Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead in the backfield.
Stevan Ridley, Patriots
Stevan Ridley is easily the most talented, healthy runner on the Patriots. He was very impressive in the preseason win over the Bucs, rushing for 84 yards on 14 attempts. However, he did all of this in the second half, and he also fumbled on a 4th-and-1 attempt in the third quarter that he failed to convert. With BenJarvus Green-Ellis slated as the starting running back for now, Ridley is just a late-round flier. Stash him on your bench if you have the room. If not, definitely pick him up if either Green-Ellis or Danny Woodhead gets hurt.
Chad Ochocinco, WR, Patriots
Chad Ochocinco saw five targets from Tom Brady in New England's exhibition victory over the Buccaneers. He caught two balls for 14 yards and a touchdown. Ochocinco nearly hauled in another reception of 15 yards, but the ball jarred loose when rookie linebacker Mason Foster nailed him in the helmet, drawing a personal foul penalty. Ochocinco looks like he's going to be a big part of this offense.
Deion Branch, WR, Patriots
Deion Branch failed to haul in a reception in the Patriots' win over the Buccaneers. He was only targeted once, and while it's only a small sample size, it seems like he's being phased out of New England's offense. Someone's production had to decrease in the wake of the Chad Ochocinco trade, and it looks like Branch is the unfortunate victim.
Aaron Hernandez, TE, Patriots
Aaron Hernandez caught all three targets thrown to him in New England's preseason victory over Tampa Bay, collecting 42 yards and a touchdown in the process. While Deion Branch has become a forgotten man in New England's offense, both Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski should continue to produce.
QB Eagles No. 7, QB, Eagles
I wonder if Matthew Berry still thinks Philadelphia's quarterback should be the No. 1 overall pick in fantasy drafts. Playing against a blitz-happy, talented Pittsburgh defense, Philadelphia's quarterback predictably melted down, going 5-of-12 for 47 yards and three interceptions in one full half of action. He wasn't even as good as those miserable numbers indicate; he showed no awareness in the pocket, and all of the picks were legitimate. There could have been two more interceptions, as Troy Polamalu came within inches if hauling in his other throws. Opposing defenses figured out how to confuse QB Eagles No. 7 at the end of the 2010 season, and it appears as though that'll continue into 2011.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles
For the one person out there who thinks the Eagles are going to run a two-running back system with LeSean McCoy and Ronnie Brown, the latter didn't receive a single touch in the first half in the preseason loss at Pittsburgh. McCoy had four carries 25 yards and a 12-yard reception.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
Though he was constantly pressured throughout the first half, Ben Roethlisberger torched Philadelphia's vaunted secondary, going 8-of-12 for 125 yards and two touchdowns in one-and-a-half quarters of action. As always, Big Ben evaded pressure and brushed off pass-rushers to find his receivers downfield. After the top six quarterbacks, Roethlisberger is arguably the No. 7 fantasy signal-caller.