10-Spot: NFL Fantasy Impressions From Pre-season week 1
Hot – Austin Collie WR – Andrew Luck will be good. Every QB has his own go-to-guy regardless of who the previous go-to-guy might have been. Collie caught three balls on five targets for 45 yards in game one. Reggie Wayne had no catches on only one target. Wayne is also 33 and doesn’t have the same speed he used to. Collie could cut into Wayne’s fantasy numbers.
Not – Evan Royster RB – Not concerned about the YPC average(3.0) because that was mostly due to the Buffalo D-line dominating early. But Royster ran soft and didn’t make anyone miss – he was only picking up the yards the play was designed and blocked for, and nothing more. In short, he looked like an average player, and we know how Mike Shanahan loves to yank around average RB’s.
Hot – Chandler Jones DE – The first round draft pick showed flashes of giving the Patriots a legitimate pass rusher for the first time in years. (I watched Andre Carter – he was fine, but he doesn’t really count). On consecutive plays he was able to draw holding calls on Saints tackle Jermon Bushrod and his tremendous height and power showed up all night. The Patriots with a pass rush could be a scary team.
Not – Pats o-line – Pats fans know that this is the most important unit on the team. If you don’t get pressure on Tom Brady you give up 30 points, simple as that. But when you can get in Brady’s face the Pats can seem very average. On Thursday, both offensive tackles had several blown blocks, including left tackle of the present and future, Nate Solder. The Pats are without several starters on the line at this point but this is a situation that needs to be monitored all pre-season.
Hot -Tyrod Taylor QB – The Baltimore signal caller showed pin-point accuracy and trust in his arm strength when throwing downfield. He also showed a willingness to stand and deliver from the pocket without relying exclusively on his foot speed. Essentially it was the exact opposite of everything we saw from the Raiders’ Terrelle Pryor. It might not mean much because he is stuck behind Joe Flacco, but keep an eye on this guy.
Not – Chris Johnson RB – I’m going to say that it’s not a good thing when your coach has to make excuses for you after week one of the preseason. Remove his one huge year from his stat line and tell me if you still think he should be a top-5 pick. Remember how DeAngelo Williams was overdrafted for years after his monster fantasy season (2008 – 18 TDs)? How did that work out for his owners?
Hot – Vick Ballard RB – Had impressive power and a willingness to create his own holes instead of dancing behind the line when he had to, finishing with 6 carries for 28 yards. But the biggest thing is that his main competition for the #2 RB job, Delone Carter, went down with injury. This may be the edge Ballard needs to grab the back-up role and give himself a shot at taking over during the season. Follow this player.
Not – Coby Fleener TE – He started and caught one ball for five yards. One game, no big deal. But I always have a problem with college players from the same team that are drafted highly together. Usually one player was dominant and the other benefited greatly from that player. So far Andrew Luck looks dominant…
Hot – Luke Kuechly LB – Tackling Machine. Four tackles, one forced fumble, made himself known on every play like you would expect of a dominant MLB. IDP leagues have to make this guy a priority.
Not – Kevin Kolb QB – Just watch his first throw from the New Orleans game. He appears to misinterpret the coverage, but his receiver still gets open. If he delivers the ball on time it is still a completion. Instead he holds the ball and waits for his receiver to complete his route before pulling the trigger. Easy interception. And an inexcusable play from a 6th-year player.