In the only week that matters in the preseason, most starters play about a half. The viewers get a dress rehearsal of the regular season. After watching these games, I’ve found 10 players you need to know heading into the regular season in two weeks! Let’s dive in!
1) Jeremy Maclin, WR, Kansas City – Kansas City paid him big money to give some spark to the pass offense this past offseason. He showed why coach Andy Reid wanted his former player in Kansas City. He will bring a new element to the offense and give Alex Smith a target he has never had. Given, this was against arguably the worst defense in football heading into the 2015 season in Tennessee, but Maclin showed he is a force to be reckoned with this season.
2) Alex Smith, QB, Kansas City – I saw a game manager use his weapons and put touchdowns on the board. He threw two touchdowns and only had two incompletions. He was efficient and coach Andy Reid called a great offensive game for Smith to be successful. He is one, if you are going with a quarterback by committee approach at the end of your draft, that should pay dividends. At this point, I would be pleased to stack my fantasy team with wide receivers, running backs, an elite tight end at the top of the draft and grab Alex Smith, Matthew Stafford and Carson Palmer late. And I’d feel really good about my season.
3) Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville – Speaking of quarterback by committee approach, Bortles may have put himself into that discussion. He was on point with his throws and made plays against a good defense in Detroit. He showed why he was the third overall selection with his poise in the pocket when driving Jacksonville down the field. He put up good numbers for the amount of time he played and could be a dark horse as a late-round quarterback to step up. (HINT: He will play Tennessee twice this year.)
4) Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina – There is a repeat on this list for a second week in a row. I’ll keep it simple. Cam Newton, who is an average quarterback in my opinion, is without Kelvin Benjamin for 2015. If you have watched him these last two games, you know he will be looking at Olsen a lot going into this season. He may well be the second-best tight end in fantasy behind Rob Gronkowski with Benjamin out this season.
5) Mike Wallace, WR, Minnesota – They say a fresh start can do a player good; it may be true for Wallace in Minnesota. With a solid young quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater and an elite running game with Adrian Peterson, Wallace should be in for a solid season. He will be the deep threat on the team as well as the top-targeted receiver. Bridgewater is accurate, and play-action will be great this season with Peterson drawing the respect of defenses.