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Preseason at a Glance

Heading into the final week of preseason we shouldn’t expect many starters to play. We also will see roster cuts made and have a better understanding of who will start come week one. In this edition of the

Brew Crew Corner we will look at the Top 10 players at key positions so far here in the preseason. Many feel that the preseason doesn’t matter. You may only watch the first quarter of action to see if the players you plan to draft are healthy. What you may be missing, though, is the hidden gem that can be a steal on draft day.

For those of you who have already drafted, some of these guys may still be available on the waiver wire prior to the start of the season and may help with your last-minute tweaks.

Now before I dive in and dissect these players, keep in mind I’m not labeling them the next Fantasy Superstars. I’m just pointing out a few guys that have raised some eyebrows and may sneak in to get some production during the year.

Quarterbacks

In 2007, the only QB’s who saw significant amount of time under center were Trent Edwards and Sage Rosenfels. QB’s are usually set in stone for the majority of the teams.

 

In 2008, there have been a few QB battles to look at in

Chicago,

Arizona,

Atlanta and

Baltimore.

Here are the

Top 10 QBs through three weeks of preseason.

 

Passing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rk

Player

Team

Pos

Comp

Att

Yds

Yds/G

TD

Int

1

Quinn Gray

IND

QB

37

69

525

131.2

2

6

2

Brett Ratliff

NYJ

QB

29

43

451

150.3

3

1

3

Charlie Frye

SEA

QB

41

67

450

150

2

3

4

Drew Brees

NO

QB

32

46

386

128.7

4

0

5

Dan Orlovsky

DET

QB

32

53

385

128.3

1

1

6

Matt Schaub

HOU

QB

33

48

382

127.3

3

0

7

Ken Dorsey

CLE

QB

30

59

376

125.3

1

2

8

Donovan McNabb

PHI

QB

34

54

375

125

2

0

9

Aaron Rodgers

GB

QB

36

53

368

122.7

2

1

10

Brady Quinn

CLE

QB

34

53

363

121

1

1

Looking at this list, you can see that some of the starters like Drew Brees, Matt Schaub and Donovan McNabb have looked well this preseason. Aaron Rodgers has had his ups and downs but might be an interesting fantasy QB2 that is going as the #18 QB off the boards. He has a good team around him and a good defense that can help in field position. He will come in handy to fill in for a bye week or in case of injury.

Derek Anderson has been sidelined with a concussion, and although Ken Dorsey has similar numbers to Brady Quinn, I think Quinn would be asked to step in if

Anderson were to miss any time or struggled. Right now Quinn is going undrafted in most leagues and can be had for the price of a back up KR.

Let’s keep with the Browns theme and talk about a former Browns starter Charlie Frye. Fry played extensively during the last game against the Chargers and is in the mix for the Seahawks. He needed a good game because up until then he has been horrible. Matt Hasselbeck has been nursing a back injury and Seneca Wallace has been battling a groin injury. Frye would only see the field if the other two could not play, so look for him on the WW only if you need to fill a spot in deep leagues.

Quinn Gray played poorly in his last preseason game and may find it hard to keep his spot. The Hefty Lefty seems to have a hold on the 3rd QB spot and Gray would be let go if the Colts don’t keep four QBs. I wouldn’t pick him up anytime this year even if he did make the team.

 

Running Backs

RB’s are the position we look at the most to find the next break out player as there are always players that emerge. In 2007, it was harder to pinpoint the players that would contribute and the players that would be left on the practice squad. Last year rookies Adrian Peterson, Ahmed Bradshaw, Selvin Young and Pierre Thomas were in the Top 10 in rushing at the end of preseason.

 

 Here are the

Top 10 RB’s through three weeks of preseason.

 

Rushing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rk

Player

Team

Pos

Att

Yds

Avg

Yds/G

TD

FUM

1

Marcus Mason

WAS

RB

49

253

5.2

63.2

0

0

2

Justin Forsett

SEA

RB

32

203

6.3

67.7

1

1

3

DeAngelo Williams

CAR

RB

26

188

7.2

62.7

3

1

4

Rock Cartwright

WAS

RB

20

158

7.9

52.7

0

0

4

Chris Johnson

TEN

RB

25

158

6.3

52.7

1

0

6

Michael Bennett

TB

RB

32

155

4.8

51.7

1

0

7

Michael Turner

ATL

RB

14

151

10.8

50.3

0

0

8

Quinton Ganther

TEN

RB

15

148

9.9

49.3

2

0

9

Rashard Mendenhall

PIT

RB

33

143

4.3

47.7

1

2

10

Steve Slaton

HOU

RB

34

138

4.1

46

1

0

As with last year, there will be players that may lead the league in rushing but will not play a significant role once the season starts. Players like Marcus Mason and Justin Forsett have played well in limited time this preseason but have too many players ahead of them to be on your fantasy radar right now. They are both outside the Top 75 RBs selected.

Currently in the Top 10 are starters like DeAngelo Williams and Michael Turner. Williams is proving that he should remain the starter, and John Fox has showed loyalty towards his veterans in the past. Turner, who is the new RB in

Atlanta, is looking good with 10.8 yards per attempt. Williams is the 33rd RB off the board while everyone is grabbing Jonathan Stewart as the 27th RB taken. Turner is going as the 18th RB taken.

Rookies on the watch list include Rashard Mendenhall, Chris Johnson and recently Steve Slaton. These RB’s have been hot topics this preseason, and they are in the Top 10 among RBs through three games. Mendenhall is the 35th RB off the board while Johnson is going two spots later at 37th. Slaton is still under most radars as the 50th RB taken.

Note that

Washington and

Tennessee have two RB’s in the top ten each and haven’t played their starters much in the preseason.

Only Johnson is being drafted while the other three are outside of the Top 75 RBs. It is interesting that players such as Travis Henry and Shaun Alexander are still being selected.

 

Wide Receivers

Receivers are plenty in drafts, and in 12-team leagues, you could see 60-80 WRs taken depending on scoring. After the Top 20 or so are taken, the next group are separated by just a few points. Last year in Shark Leagues the 21st WR was Shaun McDonald with 12.6 points per game. The 41st WR was Ronald Curry with 9.3 points per game.

 

Here are the

Top 10 WR’s through three weeks of preseason.

 

Receiving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rk

Player

Team

Pos

Rec

Yds

Avg

Yds/G

TD

1

David Clowney

NYJ

WR

8

222

27.8

111

2

2

Robert Meachem

NO

WR

9

211

23.4

70.3

1

3

Billy McMullen

WAS

WR

16

197

12.3

49.2

0

4

DeSean Jackson

PHI

WR

16

189

11.8

63

0

5

Josh Morgan

SF

WR

9

182

20.2

60.7

1

6

Calvin Johnson

DET

WR

9

170

18.9

56.7

1

7

Kevin Walter

HOU

WR

13

166

12.8

55.3

2

8

Dominique Zeigler

SF

WR

14

148

10.6

49.3

1

9

Jason Hill

SF

WR

7

147

21

49

1

10

David Anderson

HOU

WR

11

146

13.3

48.7

1

Of the Top 10 WRs on this list, Calvin Johnson is the only receiver selected in the Top 50 selections in drafts. Johnson looks to be healthy and should provide nicely as a WR2 or WR3 if you’re lucky to grab him as your third receiver.

David Clowney looked good early this preseason before hurting his shoulder. This could hurt his chances at seeing playing time but could be someone to target come playoff time to fill injuries in deeper leagues.

Robert Meachem’s stock has stopped rising after a fast start to the preseason. He is being taken as the 54th WR. DeSean Jackson might benefit from injuries to WR’s ahead of him on the depth chart. He is being selected as WR #51. Kevin Walter, who will start opposite Andre Johnson, is an overlooked man in drafts and could be a poor man’s Wes Welker. He is going as the 59th WR.

 

Many people are high on Josh Morgan and the 49ers have three receivers on this Top 10 list. Maybe the Mike Martz magic is coming back. They’ve made a switch to JT O’Sullivan, and he may serve well for this offense. Morgan is going as the 73rd WR. Jason Hill and Dominique Ziegler are not in the Top 80 WRs.

Take these players and tuck them away somewhere on your cheat sheets as late-round options or waiver wire fill-ins. If you take them as a flyer and they produce, you will do so at great value. If for some reason they flop, you haven’t given up much to get them and you can drop them and move on. Everyone is always looking for the next Derek Anderson or Ryan Grant. Preseason is a good place to start.

As always, good luck to those with drafts remaining and thanks again for reading.

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