NFL Preseason Week One Fantasy Review

NFL Preseason Week One Fantasy Review by Utter-Fantasy writer & illustrator &  Doug “happy it’s finally started” Bowles

Well my fellow FFers…I have some good news, and I have some good news. The good news is, Preseason Week One finally got here, and has been fun to watch. Now for the good news….there were only a few significant injuries so far- WASH TE Niles Paul- ankle fracture- Out for season- K S Suisham out for season and JACK TE Julius Thomas has stable fracture on back of hand. ( TE Thomas out for rest of the preseason)

PITT vs MINN- HOF Game ( 3-14)

• PITT No Starters ( because they play again Aug 15th)
• PITT Shakim Phillips- signed as an 2015 undrafted free agent- nice one-handed catch
• PITT K S Suisham injured on kick-off coverage- Out for season
• PITT RB L Bell did not play
• PITT RB D Archer and RB C Stingily handled running duties- RB Archer is fast and elusive, but only 5’8″ 173 lbs

• MINN- QB T Bridgewater started ( 5/44 no TDs )- missed a wide open target on a bootleg pass- Bridgewater still needs work
• MINN- WR C Patterson returned kickoff and looked so slow- WR S Diggs is more exciting
• MINN- TE M Pruitt looks impressive if TE Rudolph is ever hurt ( 4/51 and TD )

Week One Preseason

DAL vs SD  ( 7-17 )

• DAL QB Romo didn’t play- QB Weeden started
• DAL RB Gus Johnson had solid outing- ( 13/35 and TD run) -injured shoulder but not serious
• DAL WR Devin Street has been filling in as a starter during OTAs. Looks promising

• SD RB M Gordon started- nothing special yet ( 6/11)
• SD RB D Woodhead scored a TD run ( 8 yds)
• SD RB B Oliver nice zig-zag 10 yd TD run- ( 10/53 yds)

MIA vs CHI (10-27 )

• MIA RB L Miller- Picked up where he left off last season as league average rushing leader ( 3/32)
• MIA RB D Willlams followed RB Miller, then RB L James
• MIA QB Tannehill’s promise of deep passes never happened. ( 6/7 for 56 yds) – QB M Moore 2nd QB
• MIA WR J Landry- 2 yard TD pass

• CHI QB Jay Cutler started, but was without his 2 top weapons WR Alshon Jeffery and WR K White. Cutler targeted WR Eddie Royal and has chemistry Royal from Denver days
• CHI RB J Rodgers started for Forte- he was not impressive
• CHI WR Alshon Jeffery is expected to miss another week w/ mild calf strain
• CHI QB J Clausen followed QB Cutler into the game and played until the closing minutes and was 17 of 27 for 151 yards
• CHI once-famous defense was not impressive nor has it been for the past couple years- #24 ranked in 2014

GB vs NE ( 22-11 )

• GB QB A Rodgers started and ended with 11 of 19 for 117 yards- no TDs- his back ups were QBs Tolzien and Hundley
• GB WRs J Nelson and R Cobb started with QB Rodgers, as did RB Eddie Lacy
• GB RB Eddie Lacy had 5 carries for 36
• GB RB back up A harris ripped off a 25 yard TD run in the 3rd qtr

• NE QB T Brady played in the 1st 2 series- going 1/4-10 yards and no TDs
• NE QB J Garoppolo played the remainder of the game- HC Belichick obviously wants him to get plenty of reps in light of Brady’s looming suspension- Garoppolo ended the day 20/30- 159 yards and no TD passes- he was sacked 7 times
• NE RB Le Blount did not play
• NE RB J Gray (7/74) started and ripped off a 55 yard TD run early in the 2nd qtr- RB J White was also mixed in and only managed 12 yards on 8 carries- he did however have 4 receptions for 52 yards
• NE K S Gostowski had one FG- 56 yards

DET vs NYJ ( 23-3 )

• DET QB M Stafford and WR G Tate jelling early ( Tate 2/57 and 35 yd TD pass )
• DET WR Calvin Johnson did not play- DET RB J Bell (knee) did not play
• DET RB Ameer Addullah- quick and agile- ( 7/67 ) – RB Theo Riddick mixed in often
• DET Announcers glowing about TE Ebron- Don’t believe it …QB Stafford doesn’t like throwing to TEs

• NYJ RB C Ivory 6 carries for 25 yards early- HC T Bowles seems committed to the run and Ivory
• NYJ Jets didn’t convert a 3rd down until end of 2nd qtr- offense looks weak

TENN vs ATL ( 24-31 )

• TENN QB Rookie M Mariota was rough as expected. He threw an INT on his 3rd pass- then lost a fumble which was returned for a DEF TD by ATL-
• TENN RB Sankey was “stankey” as expected- ( 8/15 )- RB D Cobb and RB A Andrews came in after Sankey
• TENN RB D McCluster bolted on an end around quick 6 yd TD run
• TENN Z Mettenberger came in after Mariota and had some good plays ( 8/11 for 129 yes- 1 TD – 1INT)

• ATL QB M Ryan wasted no time getting the ball to WR Julio Jones- 4 quick passes for 61 yards and 13 TD pass ( most YAC)
• ATL QB T Yates came in after QB Ryan
• ATL WR L Hankerson seems to be the new #3 WR
• ATL RB Ant Smith ran a lot- scored a TD run, but aggravated his hamstring

WASH vs CLEV ( 20- 17 )

• WASH QB RG3 started and looked bad- quick to get rid of ball rather than examine the field
• WASH QB K Cousins came in after RG3 and was the best QB on the field, for both teams ( 12/14 for 154 )
• WASH WR Ryan Grant started opposite WR P Garcon
• WASH WR P Garcon dropped a easy would-be 68 TD pass on the 1st series

• CLEV QB J McCown started ( 5/5 and 1 TD pass) – Seemes to have chemistry with WR T Benjamin ( 2/10 and 1 TD rec)
• CLEV QB J Manziel- came in after McCown- ONLY short high percentage passes- he’s terrible ( 7/11 for 42 yards)
• CLEV RB I Crowell started, but HC Pettine is known for changing starters week-to-week- no consistency
• CLEV WR D Bowe did not play

DEN vs SEA ( 22 -20 )

• DEN QB B Osweiler started ( QB manning did not play) – Denver really wants Manning rested as much all season
• DEN C J Anderson started- looked quick- RBs M Ball and R Hillman both got 8 carries a piece after RB Anderson
• DEN WR Dem Thomas did not play
• DEN WR Cody Latimer ( 4/49 ) was targeted often by QB Osweiler

• SEA QB R Wilson started- his only pass- 12 yards to TE Jimmy Graham
• SEA TE Jimmy Graham caught 12 pass from QB Wilson to the 10 yard line- then taken out- NOT used in goal line package- ??
• SEA WR T Lockett very impressive w/ returns ( 103 TD return in 2nd qtr)
• SEA RB R Turbin played all 1st qtr- RB C Michael didn’t enter game until 7:20 left in 2nd qtr ( 7/15 yards )

ST L vs OAK ( 3-18 )

• ST L QB N Foles started and looked comfortable- ( 3/5 for 69 yards )- played 2 series-  Sleeper QB w/ speedy receivers
• ST L RB Tre Mason stared- RB T Gurley did not play
• ST L RB B Cunningham followed RB Mason ( 3/12 )
• ST L WR WR Britt and WR T Austin started for ST L
• ST L QB C Keenum followed Foles and seems to have chemistry w/ WR Bailey

• OAK QB D Carr played a couple series- went to rookie WR A Cooper often
• OAK QB D Carr signaled to WR Cooper at the goal line ( telegraphing the play) and was easily picked off in the end zone
• OAK WR M Crabtree started opposite A Cooper
• OAK RB L Murray started and ran well- He looked explosive on a 17-yard run in the first series and another long run on a quick cut back

NYG  vs CINN ( 10- 23 )

• NYG QB Eli Manning started and stayed in for 4 series, because the Giants couldn’t generate any offense
• NYG RB R Jennings started and but alternated series with RB A Williams
• NYG WR O Beckham started but had zero receptions
• NYG RB Sh Vereen came on 3rd downs ( 2/4 -no receptions)
• NYG S Mykkele Thompson carted off the field

• CINN QB A Dalton started one series, led team to first TD
• CINN WR M Sanu started opposite WR A J Green- Sanu ( 1/3 – a TD reception)
• CINN WR M Jones one catch- by back up QB
• CINN RB Gio Bernard ineffective as RB after RB J Hill ( who only played one series)- CINN seems are trying other ways to get Gio the ball- lined up as WR- returning punts- RB J Hill could see 20+ carries a game this season

CAR vs BUFF ( 25-24 )

1st Qtr w/ starters- BUFF- Punt…CAR- Punt…BUFF- Missed FG…CAR- PUNT

• CAR QB Cam Newton started w/ WR K Benjamin and RB Jon Stewart ( although RB Stewart didnt record a carry)
• CAR QB Newton targeted WR K Benjamin ( 3/36 ) a lot- final pass- 2 yd TD
• CAR WR Corey Brown started opposite WR K Benjamin ( Brown did not record a reception)
• CAR RB F Whitaker came in after RB J Stewart and was very in-effective
• CAR WR D Funchess came in game at end of 2nd qtr. He’s going to be exciting in 2015

• BUFF QB M Cassel started and proved to be competent. He will be a good game manager- QB T Taylor finished 2nd qtr- E J Manuel didn’t come in until 2nd half
• BUFF LeSean McCoy started, had a couple nice runs, and ended w/ 6 receptions
• BUFF WRs- #1 S Watkins….#2 R Woods…#3 C Hogan to start game
• BUFF TE Charles Clay had a nice 17 yard 3rd down conversion- great throw by QB Cassel

PITT vs JACK ( 21-23 )

• PITT QB B Roethlisberger started, along W/ RB LeVeon Bell and WR A Brown- one series
• PITT offense w/ starters marched down the field lik an oiled machine and scored w/ 44 yd TD pass to WR M Bryant
• PITT RB LeVeon Bell had 3 touches in a row- A reception, followed by 2 carries
• PITT RB DeAngelo Williams replaced RB Bell and was mediocre- ( 6/28 )
• PITT QB L Jones came in after Roethlisberger and finished the game ( 24/46 )

• JACK QB B Bortles started and was impressive spreading the ball around ( he connected with WRs Allen Robinson-Allen Hurns- T Washington- A Benn- TE Lewis- TE C Harbor- RB Gerhart- RB B Pierce) Bortles played almost 1st half and score on a TD run
• JACK RB Denard Robinson started the game returning 1st kickoff, then started at tailback- Do not fall asleep on versatile RB Robinson this year- RB SLEEPERS
• JACK RB Gerhart still running occasionally- looked good in this game
• JACK RB Rookie T.J. Yeldon (finger) did not play in the Jaguars’ preseason opener Friday night.

KC vs ARI ( 34-19 )

• KC QB Alex Smith played into the 2nd qtr. His first pass was a token deep pass try to WR J Maclin. Incomplete and Smith doesn’t have a cannon for an arm- The rest of his attempts where “Dink & Dunk” as usual ( 6/10- 42 yards)- On a 3rd down & a long 12, Smith threw an INT- “flag on the play” but picked up- How? Pete “the Cheat” Morelli is still officiating and was in this game!
• KC RB Knile Davis started- RB Charles did not play. Davis had one nice 20 yard run
• KC WRs Albert Wilson and F Hammond started with Maclin. WR J Maclin had one catch for 12 yards
• KC TE T Kelce had two swing out receptions- both short -KC’s conservative offense hasn’t changed and Kelce won’t be high on our rankings until it does
• KC QB Chase Daniels was very effective in after QB Smith- 17/21- 189 yards and 3 TDs- ( a QB controversy??)

• ARI QB C Palmer looked great- connecting with WR John Brown and RB A Ellignton twice ( one of which weas a quick slant that went for 57 yards setting up a TD run also by Ellington. Only one seeries by Palmer- replaced by QB Drew Stanton
• ARI WR M Floyd did not play- Floyd (dislocated fingers) is “hopeful” he’ll be ready for Week 1. I did not see WR Fitz in the game
• ARI RB Ellington only played one series, and was followed by RB Kerwynn Williams, who only went 7/ 20 yards
• ARI only scored a safety and a late TD pass after the 10 points in 1st qtr.

TB vs MINN ( 16-26 )

• TB QB J Winston started and played the entire 1st half- He did not look ready for the NFL ( whatever happened to holding a clipboard for a year?)
• TB WRs Mike Evans, V Jackson and L Murphy started. WR Evans was targeted only once, but Winston missed badly on the throw. V Jackson hauled in a 43 yard pass on broken coverage by MINN.
• TB RB Doug Martin started, followed by RB Ch Sims and Rainey. MINN stacked the box constantly so none of them had room to run
• TB offense will take a lot of time to produce with Winston, so fantasy owners beware- even a star like WR M Evans won’t have a good season. I’m steering clear of all TB players
• TB QB M Glennon came in 2nd half- rough start- ended with 9/17- 98 yds- no TDs

• MINN QB T Bridgewater started and played two series, scoring on both- a FG and 1 yd TD run by MINN fullback Z Line
• MINN WRs starting were Ch Johnson, M Wallace and J Wright. QB T Bridgewater seems to have nice chemistry with WR Wright- at least in this game
• MINN RB J McKinnon started, followed by RB M Asiata. AP did not play
• MINN QB Shaun Hill came in after Bridgewater and was very efficient going 8/9 for 104 yards and 2 TDs
• MINN There should be concern for the Vikings O-Line as RT Phil Loadholt suffered torn Achilles. Loadholt, 29, hadn’t missed a start in more than 5 years before a torn pectoral muscle sidelined him for the last five games in 2014. T.J. Clemmings, a rookie fourth-round pick out of Pittsburgh, took over at right tackle after Loadholt’s injury

SF vs HOU ( 10-23 )

• SF QB C Kaepernick started and played one series with other starters RB C Hyde, WR A Boldin and Torrey Smith Kaepernick failed to move the offense on his only drive, going 1/ 3 for 14 yards before the 49ers punted
• SF QB C Kaepernick missed on a 65 yard bomb to WR Torrey Smith, which was over-thrown…but should be a hint of nice things to come
• SF RB C Hyde only had 2 carries for 6 yards. He was followed by former-Australian Rugby player RB J Hayne, who reeled off a strong 53 yd run
• SF QB B Gabbert followed Kaepernick and went 8/11 for 86 yards and 1 TD to TE G Celek
• SF QB B Gabbert seemed to have chemistry w/ WR J Simpson, targeting him often

• HOU QB B Hoyer played one strong series which resulted in a nifty 58 yard TD pass to WR Cecil Shorts. WR Shorts started opposite WR D Hopkins.
• WR De Hopkins did not record a reception, but caught a 2pt conversion from QB Hoyer
• HOU QB R Mallett came in after QB Hoyer’s only series. Mallett was proficient going 10/11 for 90 yards- no TDs. QB T Savage finished the game
• HOU RB Alfred Blue was the starting running back and 9/59 yards. He looked good- Blue was eventually replaced with rookie RB Hilliard then RB Grimes
• HOU WR rookie Jaelen Strong ( 3rd round) reeled in a 10 yard TD pass from QB T Savage in the 3rd qtr

IND vs PHIL ( 10-36 )

• IND QB A Luck played approx. two series ( 5/6 for 43 yards ) and was followed by back up QB M Hasselbeck
• IND RB F Gore did not play, nor did WR T Y Hilton or CB Vontae Davis
• IND RB Z Tipton started at running back- an unimpressive 16/34
• IND only scored a FG in the 1st qtr, then a 9 yd TD run by sixth-round RB J Robinson. The rookie easily outplayed Tipton and should have no problem beating him out on the depth chart
• IND WR Andre Johnson had one catch for 9 yards- WR P Dorsett had four catches for 51 yards, but lost a fumble.

• PHIL QB M Sanchez started this contest and ended his outing with 2/7 and 1 TD pass. It was a rough start for him, but his stats were saved by a great catch and run by rookie WR N Agholor for a 34 yard TD
• PHIL RB Ryan Mathews started for Philly (2/18) RB D Murray did not play
• PHIL WR Jordan Matthews started with WR Agholor
• PHIL WR M Austin had 2 catches for 41 yards playing witht the 2nd string
• PHIL K Cody Parker missed an extra point and a FG in this game

NO vs BALT ( 27- 30 )

• NO QB D Brees did not play- NO QB L McCown started- the Saint’s offense was held to back-to-back three-and-outs. and only netted 11 yards on their first two drives
• NO RB Mark Ingram started but only carried 4times for 15 yards. RB K Robinson had 2 carris-35 yards and 3 receptions for 37 yards ( one TD pass from back up QB R Griffin)
• NO RB Tim Hightower, recently signed, has been out of the league since 2011 after tearing him ACL, and had the bulk of the carries in this game (12 for 31 yards) Saints obviously trying to keep their RB depth chart fresh
• NO RB C J Spiller did not play and is a fantasy player to avoid- C.J. Spiller underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Friday and will likely miss all of the preseason
• NO WR B Cooks looks ready and ended with 1 catch- a 28yard TD pass from QB McCown
• NO TE J Hill had 3 receptions for 40 yards ( most on the team for this game)

• BALT QB J Flacco started and went 5/6 for 33 yards and a 17-yard carry. His series end with a RB L Taliaferro 1 yard TD run-
• BALT RB L Taliaferro came in after RB J Forsett, who only had 2 carries for 3 yards
• BALT QB M Schaub played the majority of this game as Flacco’s back up, going 11/18 for 134 and one TD pass- ( a 45 yard TD pass to WR M Campanaro- a candidate to play a bigger role in Marc Trestman’s offense than most expect)
• BALT rookie TE Maxx Williams had 2 catches for 36 yards. Maxx was the first TE selected in this NFL Draft

All game and boxscores can be seen with this link- PRESEASON WEEK ONE