Week 2 of the 2013 preseason is in the books and the fantasy landscape continues to shift on what seems like an hourly basis. As the injuries continue to mount for NFL teams I’m feeling like the old curmudgeon sitting on his porch lamenting about the good old days. Many of my fantasy football conversations/tweets have started with “I don’t remember there being this many preseason injuries …”
Well, I’ll be honest with you, I have no hard data to support that working theory, and I’m also prone to reminisce fondly about the year that Dan Marino and Barry Sanders led my team to victory. Sometimes it’s best to just indulge us old folks in our bouts of complaints about things (dang weather!) and wait for us to return to lucidity.
With that in mind, here are some names that jumped off the screen for yours truly during Week 2 of the preseason. Some of these players deserve a bump up in rankings while others may be nearing the end of their fantasy relevance.
Either way, these are the players that caught my eye as I sit on the porch remembering that time Aaron Brooks led my team to a playoff victor…oops, sorry.
OK, I’m back and focused on the task at hand.
Here we go …
Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego:
No pass protection and no proven receiving options outside of the aging Antonio Gates have Rivers in a fantasy rankings free fall. He was sacked three times against Chicago with an interception and fumble lost, as he resembled a human pinata. It’s going to be a long year for Rivers if the offensive line doesn’t gel in pass protection.
On the plus side, the Chargers are running the ball well and Ryan Mathews may have a surprisingly nice year. The catch there is that they may trail by a wide margin in quite a few games and force Rivers to throw often, which will lead to more sacks and inevitably more turnovers. Rivers holds no more than low-end QB2 fantasy value in 2013.
Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit:
After watching Bush amass merely 15 yards on eight carries in the second preseason game, it’s obvious that once again Detroit is going to struggle to run the football (in other news … water is wet). However, he was targeted seven times and finished the game with five receptions for 44 yards.
Bush may break the occasional 20- 30-yard run from time to time but won’t make his mark toting the rock for the Lions. Where he is going to excel is in the passing game. That said, I’m predicting 70-75 receptions this season as Detroit is forced to throw the ball frequently…again. Bush has low-end RB1 fantasy value in points per reception formats and solid RB2 value in standard scoring leagues.
Jordan Cameron, TE, Cleveland:
Yep, he’s good. Two impressive touchdown grabs against Detroit in which he looked like a man among boys will have your less informed leaguemates rushing to their computers to Google the kid from USC. I had him ranked in the late teens when training camp began. He’s now knocking on the top 10.
He’s a solid selection in front of such notables as Martellus Bennett, Brandon Pettigrew and Antonio Gates that offers TE1 value in the mid to late rounds. Stockpile plenty of running backs and wide receivers then snap Cameron up to solidify your fantasy squad.
Mikel Leshoure, RB, Detroit:
One carry for zero yards and only seven snaps played in the game against Cleveland. Mr. Writing, meet Mr. Wall. Leshoure has never recovered from the Achilles injury he suffered two years ago and is plummeting down the Lions depth chart. Don’t waste a draft pick on him. If you have him already, try and deal him fast before your leaguemates catch wind of his demise.
Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay:
It appears that there may finally be some clarity at the running back position for the Packers after Lacy made his preseason debut against St. Louis. Lacy looked strong and fit as he racked up 40 yards on eight carries and hauled in a reception for 11 more yards.
After missing some practice time due to a hamstring issue, Lacy showed a quickness and burst to and through the hole that should help cement his role as the lead back in Green Bay. DuJuan Harris has bounced from team to team for a reason and Johnathan Franklin has failed to impress in training camp and preseason.
Lacy can safely be drafted in the late fifth or early sixth round as the primary ball carrier in Green Bay and offer RB3 value. There is nice upside for the kid from Alabama if he proves he can contribute consistently on passing downs as well.