Up to this point, the only source of information has been the speculation of the local beat writers. But when the players took to the field this past weekend, we were given a view of each team. After watching all the games, here are a few players whose rankings should be on the move.
Daryl Richardson, RB, St. Louis
As a Richardson owner last year I’m already keen to his superior abilities over Isaiah Pead. Preseason Week 1 only further substantiated my opinion as Richardson ran with the same power and vision he displayed last year (some might even say he looks a bit like
Steven Jackson). Despite offseason speculation, Pead has not changed his running style, continuing to dance behind the offensive line while failing to grind out tough yards on runs between the tackles. After watching this game, my concern over newcomer Zac Stacy was also laid to rest. A bit of a
Shonn Greene clone, Stacy was tentative to the hole, displaying no real burst. A player I was drafting in the 11th round just two weeks ago, Richardson is still worth his current average draft position at pick 6.08.
Kenbrell Thompkins, WR, New England
I’ll be honest, before this game I had no clue exactly what Thompkins brought to the table. And judging by his 17th round average draft position, I wasn’t alone. That is all about to change as Thompkins excellent training camp translated into Week 1. It was obvious the Patriots plan to line him up all over the formation. It’s worth noting that Aaron Dobson appeared to be the Patriots’ every down wide receiver, having solid draft value with an average draft position at 10.10. As for Thompkins, he is now draftable in a standard 15-round league with WR3 upside.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston
The next rookie wide receiver that impressed in Week 1 was Houston’s
DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins put on display his superior combination of size and skill including a 34-yard touchdown catch that made ESPN’s top plays. Hopkins’ upside could reach 100 targets by seasons end. Going in the middle of the ninth round, Hopkins is worth taking a stab as a player who could become a high-end WR3.
Smith and Jackson are really one in the same. Each has a stranglehold on the No. 1 position for their respective team (by a long shot). Both play much bigger than their size would indicate. And both have shown the ability to become a fantasy WR1, as evident by their performances this past weekend. With an average draft position at the end of the sixth round, the sheer number of targets alone should warrant serious consideration as a mid WR2.
Chris Givens, WR, St. Louis
Tavon Austin getting the bulk of the media attention, the Rams’ 2013 receiving leader has slipped into the shadows. Sam Bradford proved on Saturday that
Chris Givens is still the preferred target as the two hooked up for three receptions, 59 yards and a touchdown. While I’m passing on Austin in the early sixth round, I believe Givens is an absolute steal with and average draft position of 10.09.