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Preseason Winners and Losers

One of the biggest mistakes owners make on draft day is relying on outdated fantasy football magazines for vital information. These are magazines which have been written in the early parts of the summer before the preseason and many times even before training camp. Much of the information in these magazines is outdated, including, most importantly, their predictions for sleepers and busts for the upcoming season.

The purpose of this article is to update owners on the values of many players, who have been predicted to be sleepers and busts in June but whose prognosis has changed since then. I’ve made a list of “Preseason Winners and Losers.”If you read about these players in magazines and articles from June, their value has significantly changed and owners should adjust and draft accordingly.

Winners


Mike Wallace:

Numerous reports over the summer had Wallace having chemistry issues with Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill but you could’ve fooled me, looking at the preseason. He’s had six catches for 89 receiving yards and a touchdown in the preseason and I think he’s looked fine. I love him as a low-end WR2 or super high-end WR3. The fact that everyone’s proclaiming that he’s going to be a bust makes him less expensive and owners should feel free to target him with a value pick in the sixth/seventh rounds.

David Wilson:
He’s looked fantastic in the preseason, especially last weekend against the New York Jets, where he ran for 92 yards and a touchdown. The major concern with Wilson this offseason has been that he’s going to be in a running back by committee with Andre Brown and what impact that would have on Wilson’s value. Brown has had an unimpressive preseason, most evident in the critical preseason Week 3 game where he had a measly 17 rushing yards on seven carries and he failed to score a touchdown on two goal line carries. The New York Giants’ general manager has already proclaimed Wilson the starter, and Wilson’s third-round average draft position is just right for his value. I would definitely pick him before the likes of Frank Gore, whose somehow being picked before him.[Editor’s note: This article was submitted before last night’s game in which Andre Brown suffered a leg fracture.]

Jordan Cameron:
It’s been a “Tale of Two Jordans” the last couple weeks of the preseason. Two weeks ago Cameron had three catches for 42 receiving yards and two touchdowns and suddenly he was the second coming of Antonio Gates. He went from being a late-round flyer to being drafted in the seventh/eighth round as a TE1. Then reality set in during the critical dress rehearsal in the Week 3 preseason game and he only had two receptions for seven yards. Listen, I like Cameron a lot, especially in a Norv Turner offense which features tight ends, but he’s gone from underdrafted to possibly overdrafted a little too quick for my tastes. Since he still plays for the Cleveland Browns and still has Brandon Weeden as his quarterback, owners need to be careful in not going too crazy for him. He’s a low-end TE1 and I wouldn’t draft him until the ninth or 10th round, if I’m choosing to wait that long on a tight end. He’s a preseason winner but there’s an asterisk there, which owners need to be aware of.

Matt Forte:
Forte’s looked absolutely stellar in the preseason, averaging almost 10 yards a carry. He’s also been getting red zone carries, finally, which had been a legit knock on his fantasy value last season. Through three preseason games he has 15 carries for 149 rushing yards, three catches for 38 yards and two touchdowns. The new Marc Trestman offense seems to be making Forte a focal point of the Bears offense again, instead of Jay Cutler passing it to Brandon Marshall every down. I’ve done a lot of drafts where Forte goes in the second round and he’s a steal at that point. If you’re drafting in the second round and he’s inappropriately available, time to run to the draft board and get him.


Chris Johnson:


Sometimes a fantasy football player hurts your feelings so many times that it’s hard to forgive and forget. Only Darren McFadden has broken more owners’ hearts than Johnson. And yet, are we supposed to ignore how good he’s looked in the preseason and how improved the Tennessee Titans’ offensive line has been? His final preseason stats through three games are 20 carries for 155 rushing yards and a touchdown, highlighted by a 58-yard rushing touchdown against the Washington Redskins, which was vintage Johnson. He’s also had a great training camp and now can legitimately be drafted towards the end of the first round. I can’t believe I just said that, but I can’t deny the evidence in front of me. 

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