Tuesday, August 12

Week 1 - Preseason Recap

This may be the least important thing in all of football. Actually, I think it is the most irrelevant part of the game to the fans. But for those of us who play fantasy football, it has some meaning. Position battles and injuries help prepare you for a draft, or if you decided to draft early (a fantasy no-no by the way) it could stall your team before it ever gets off the ground. These games are from August the the third to the eigth. Hall of Fame Game: Colts vs Redskins: 30-16 Redskins The Colts don't have too many starting position battles on offense, because well, they're the Colts. However, there is a battle for the #3 RB job, mainly between rookie Mike Hart and Kenton Keith, and also for the #4 WR job between a slew of guys including: Roy Hall, Devin Aromashodu, and Courtney Roby. If Marvin Harrison can't shake the injury bug, whoever emerges as the #4 in this battle could have value in deeper leagues. Mike Hart ran well, tallying 4 carries for 53 yards. He also tacked on 3 receptions. Keith was less impressive, only 3 carries for 10 yards. Keep an eye on this battle. Hall had 4 receptions for 31 yards, the most impressive of the bunch (Aromashodu: 2-28, Roby 1-47) Joseph Addai injured his head on the first play, but it wasn't serious. He should be fine. After the draft, some thought that there could be a chance Devin Thomas or Malcolm Kelly could push for the #2 job. But both were hindered by injuries; any competition will have to wait. Colt Brennan had a good game, tossing two touchdown passes. While it seems unlikely at this point that he could overtake Todd Collins as the #2, Brennan is certainly doing all he can to make a case for it. Giants vs Lions: 13-10 Lions Brandon Jacobs appears to be the starter, but who will be the #2? No one really made a case for themselves though (Ward: 4-12, Bradshaw 3-4, Droughns 4-6) Sinorice Moss is trying to push for the #3 job, recording 2 receptions for 55 yards. Still, it seems unlikely that he'll unseat Steve Smith. David Carr and Anthony Wright are in a tight battle for the backup QB job; both played well. Kevin Smith started the game at RB for the Lions, and though he performed better than Tatum Bell (7-8), Smith wasn't exactly spectacular (8-22). Brian Calhoun wasn't much of a factor either (2-3). Like the Giants, there's also a battle for the backup QB gig between Drew Stanton and Dan Orlovsky. Orlovsky performed better, but Stanton has more upside. Stay tuned. Ravens vs Patriots: 16-15 Ravens No QB for the Ravens was impressive; the eventual starter is still unclear. Kyle Boller threw an INT while Troy Smith only completed 5 of his 12 passes. Rookie Joe Flacco lost a fumble. Rookie WR Marcus Smith is making some noise, looking good in camp and recording 2 catches for 21 yards. Mark Clayton did not play. Though it was not suffered during the game, but Willis McGahee and Ed Reed are battling injuries. McGahee, who had his knee scoped, is expected to be ready for Week 1 of the regular season, but this is a situation to monitor. Reed's status for Week 1 is unsure, Reed stating "We'll see." No one has emerged as the replacement for Donte Stallworth; as of now, it looks like it'll be Jabar Gaffney because of experience. LaMont Jordan had a good first game (19-76-1) as a Patriot and could challenge Sammy Morris as the backup. Tom Brady's backup is murky with Kevin O'Connell, Matt Cassel, and Matt Gutierrez all throwing an INT. Jets vs Browns: 24-20 Jets Could David Clowney be the next Greg Jennings? Possibly, as he had a 71 yard touchdown reception. And while the pass wasn't from Favre, it showed his (Clowney's) speed. Jerome Harrison has the edge on Jason Wright after the first game, Harrison's 8 carries for 31 yards as opposed to Wright's 7 for 17. This just in: Ken Dorsey is terrible. He threw 2 INT's. With the #3 WR job wide open, Travis Wilson and Paul Hubbard impressed, 3 for 58 and 2 for 49 respectively. Saints vs Cardinals: 24-10 Saints Robert Meachem showed why the Saints drafted him last season, hauling in 4 catches for 129 yards and a touchdown, including an amazing diving catch. Though current #2 WR David Patten had a touchdown too, his job is far from safe. Now for a pretty important battle you may actually care about. Matt Leinart had a strong showing, going 7 of 8 for 91 yards. Warner did not play. As it stands, Leinart is the clear cut starter. Though, keep in mind, in football, nothing is certain. Well, except for the fact the Raiders will never have a winning season again. Tim Hightower appears to be a good candidate to be the backup for Edge and potential goalline back as he had a TD run from inside the 5. Chiefs vs Bears: 24-20 Chiefs Brodie Croyle was decent (6-10-82) but still isn't much of an option for fantasy play. Larry Johnson, missing the final 8 games of last year, had a short touchdown run. Dwayne Bowe has locked up the #1 job, but the #2 is up for grabs. With Devard Darling putting up a goose egg, Will Franklin and Jeff Webb tried to make their presence known. Franklin had 2 grabs for 31 yards while Webb had 2 for 29. The starting QB job for the Bears is still close, though Grossman threw a TD pass. Expect this one not to be decided for another two weeks. Garret Wolfe showed some explosiveness, but Matt Forte (7-25) still remains the starter. Eagles vs Steelers: 16-10 Steelers Honestly, there aren't any notebale battles for the Steelers that would be important for fantasy. Big Ben was strong, leading the Steelers down the field for a touchdown in his only series. Willie Parker ran well, a great sign for a player coming off of a fractured fibula. Backup QB Charlie Batch broke his collarbone during the 2nd quarter. He is expected to be out 4-6 weeks. The Steelers signed Byron Leftwich, who will likely slide in as the #2 for the time being. There is still no clear backup for Brian Westbrook, who was not playing because of his contract. (luckilly, it was because he had just gotten his deal done. A happy Westbrook leads to a happy fantasy owner) DeSean Jackson played well (5-51) and could unseat Jason Avant. Seahawks vs Vikings: 34-17 Seahawks Maurice Morris started the game at RB for Seattle, rushing for 62 yards on 6 carries. Julius Jones was much less impressive, 4 carries for 15 yards. Bobby Engram is expected to be out 4-6 weeks with a broken wrist. That could be a failry big blow to Matt Hasselback; Engram was his security blanket. Nate Burleson's value goes up even higher, while guys like Courtney Taylor and Jordan Kent could seize the opportunity. Tavaris Jackson played well (for the record, that was the first time that has ever been said). Other than that, not much else to report. 49ers vs Raiders: 18-6 Raiders J.T. O'Sullivan is the starting QB....for now. This may be just because he knows the offense better than Alex Smith. If you remember, O'Sullivan was with Martz in Detriot. Shaun Hill appears out of the running to start. Keep an eye on Josh Morgan. He was impressive in training camp and stepped up in the absence of Bryant Johnson, Isaac Bruce, and Ashley Lelie, recording 4 catches for 68 yards. Morgan has wheels, something that is important in the Mike Martz offense. Whoever finished ahead of one another, Jason Hill or Morgan, is a sleeper in my book. Darren McFadden made his Raiders debut, rushing for 48 yards on 12 carries. He'll split time with Justin Fargas.

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