2011 Fantasy Football Risers: Preseason Week 1
Week One of the preseason is no time to make snap judgments, but it can be informative. From what I’ve seen and heard from the first week of NFL preseason action here is a list of players who stock is rising. As I work my way through the rest of the film I’ll add to this list and feel free to comment with who you think should be on the list.
Matt Stafford: Not going overboard here as I’m concerned about his durability and his line’s ability to protect him. Obvious potential if he were to play all 16 games. Rapport with Calvin is good, Burleson should have a better season, Young will eventually be an upgrade and they have two solid TEs with Pettigrew & Schefler. Could be a nice two QB combination play, but I won’t be banking on him.
Colt McCoy: Has a coach and an offense that fits his game. Limited arm strength but an accurate passer with savvy. WRs need to step up for him to have an above average season. Last night was a good start even though all of Green Bay’s top corners were out. Just happy to see him silence the doubters for a little while.
Rex Grossman: Rex had a quality start the other night against the Steelers after being one of the last Redskins to sign. The Shanahan’s main man should throw the ball a ton and accumulate a lot of passing yards if he’s the starter. More on him HERE. Doesn’t have the best options, but they are viable. Beck did not play and apparently the competition is not over, but I’ve never been a fan of his, but we’ll have to see what they have up their sleeves since they think they can win the East.
Also Looking Good: Josh Freeman, Ryan Mallet
Tim Hightower: Finally got his opportunity and looked every bit the part against a tough Steelers front, although it was just a preseason game. A solid receiver and tough runner who is ahead of rookies Helu and Royster as well as the ever-injured Torain. He is a good fit for the zone scheme. Stock wasn’t on the radar a couple of weeks ago and because of the Helu hype might be very affordable draft choice.
Mike Tolbert: The Firetruck is not going anywhere. He is built solid and powerful in between the tackles. A competent receiver who you know what to expect from. I’m expecting that he will be part of a committee with Ryan Matthews, where he gets the goal-line carries.
Ryan Williams: The talent is there and it is only a matter of time until he becomes the featured back for the Cardinals. Beanie faltered on the goal-line while Williams had 40+ yards on five touches. If healthy, easily their best back.
Stevan Ridley: Maybe the story of the preseason. The banger showed elusiveness and hands on his way to a 3 TD performance. Looks to have the lead as the goal-line back. One could reasonably expect 7-11 touches and TD opportunities on a weekly basis with Woodhead, Faulk/Vereen, and BJE still in the fold. Pats/Jags Quick Slants.
Also Looking Good: Felix Jones, Willis, Benson, Brown (Det), Turner
AJ Green: The future stud could be one of the only bright spots for the Bengals in 2011. During their game they had in line up on both the left and right sides in a concerted effort to get him the ball. If Gradkowski gets to start it will help his stock, but as with a lot of great talents in this league, he’ll get his either way.
Dwayne Harris: He has emerged as a real sleeper in 2011. After falling in the draft, he has the inside position on the WR3 job in Dallas. He has good acceleration, nice feel for the game, and solid hands (101 catches as a senior). Talked about his potential in rookie WR analysis, but didn’t think he would get 5-127-2 TDs in the first preseason game…
Harry Douglas: All the talk about Julio, and rightfully so, but Douglas has come back strong from injury looking solid in the slot. Falcons could speed up their game this year and look to throw more putting Douglas back on the Fantasy Football radar.
Antonio Brown: Brown ain’t messing around.
Also Looking Good: Denarius Moore, Jason Hill, Dez Briscoe, Taylor Price
Lance Kendricks: The 2011 sleeper has been a standout in camp and caught the first TD of the game the other night. He is a matchup problem for defenses and should be a top target in the redzone especially. I could foresee him leading the Rams in receiving TDs and coming close to 50 receptions. TE is deep this year, but Kendricks will have a good year and is a great long-term prospect.
Greg Olsen: The new offense in Carolina is TE heavy and Olsen got off to a great start last night. He is a gifted athlete who has is best years ahead of him, you should discount his time in Chicago. With two inexperienced QBs that are prone to going to the TE and little else available on the team, he should have a big season. Love the fit.
Brent Celek: Caught a TD on Thursday night and Vick said he looked back at this old films to see the connection he had with Crumpler since didn’t hit Celek much last season. Interesting play with DeSean Jackson and Maclin missing time.
Also Looking Good: Ben Watson, Aaron Hernandez, and Dennis Pitta