News, Notes and Fantasy Football Analysis
NFL Pre-Season Week 3 Risers
Week 3 of the preseason is the most important week as starters get to play significant snaps. ADP and player analysis abounds as we begin to get a feel for the real risers/fallers and Week 1 start/sit and plan our draft strategy accordingly.
We get our best look at how all players, rookies, 2nd years, and veterans are performing, and we get to a peek at the roles some new players are carving out for themselves in an offense. As a result there are plenty of players that finished the week rising up my draft board – some of these players may be “sleepers” for 2014 – if you can snag them at their current ADP, they’ll likely return a tidy profit.
Reggie Bush – RB, Detroit Lions (Current ADP: RB16, 33rd Overall)
As the saying goes, reports of Reggie Bush’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. With many experts calling for Reggie’s downfall this year and for Joique to be the #1, it did not look to be the case against the Jaguars.
Of course the 86 yard touchdown run was awesome, but Bush also looked really really fast. He only had one other carry and it went for a nice 9 yards.
The bottom line for 2014 is that Reggie Bush is far from done and if he slides past his current ADP he should be grabbed at the beginning of the 4th round without hesitation.
Shane Vereen – RB, New England Patriots (Current ADP: RB23, 61st Overall)
I wasn’t as high on Vereen as many others were going into this season. He had his monster 15 touch, 12 reception, 150 receiving yard game against the Browns and then failed to even total 15 touches in the final three games (though he did have two touchdowns). That kind of inconsistency worries me.
In week three of the preseason Vereen quelled some of those fears with six carries, five receptions and two touchdowns. My biggest concern was whether he could consistently get 5+ receptions and 10+ touches on a weekly basis and this game made me feel a lot better about that. Obviously, he’s going to be a great PPR back, but I’m slightly more optimistic about him now in standard leagues as well.
Emmanuel Sanders – WR, Denver Broncos (Current ADP: WR27, 72nd Overall)
First on Sanders, if he is rocketing up your board solely because he had a monster 128 yard, 2 TD performance, then I don’t agree with his ADP movement. A single nice performance, no matter how nice, can raise a player’s value a little bit, but don’t overreact. That said…there is more going on here that increases Sanders value.
I was already wary of Wes Welker and his concussion issues before his last game. Now with another concussion I am not touching him at all. After telling everyone else not to overreact, I am probably doing so myself here, but I do NOT want to deal with serious concussion issues.
That leads to frustration from a fantasy perspective. Welker is coming along nicely in recovery from his latest concussion and is looking likely to play in week 1 but who knows when the next concussion comes. I sincerely hope it doesn’t happen, but I’m willing to raise Sanders’ value on the chance it does. His excellent preseason game shows us he is capable of big games with Denver and should he become the WR2 in that offense he could be a major steal based on his current ADP.
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Russell Wilson – QB, Seattle Seahawks (Current ADP: QB13, 93rd Overall)
I’m not entirely sure what to make of it, but Russell Wilson has been ridiculously good this preseason. His numbers include 3 rushing touchdowns, 2 passing touchdowns, a 77% completion rate and 0 interceptions. Wow. That is a stat line that makes me repeatedly tell myself “It’s just the preseason” because its hard not to overreact to that. He is definitely rising on my rankings though.
I still say his upside is limited as his receivers are solid but not great and the Seahawks should continue to rank near the bottom of the NFL in pass attempts. Wilson makes up for a lot of that with his mobility.
He isn’t going to keep up with the insane number of rushing touchdowns but he finished as the QB8 last year with just one rush TD and I am confident that will increase. I’m starting to like him more and more in the “wait on QB” strategy.
Knowshon Moreno – RB, Miami Dolphins (Current ADP: RB36, 105th Overall)
I hate to admit it, but when I first made my 2014 rankings back in June or so, I had Moreno considerably higher than Lamar Miller and came down on him as everyone around me seemed to talk Miller up and give him the starter’s job without hesitation. I totally bought into it and now I regret it.
Moreno had surgery and missed a lot of time. Well he finally got into a game in week 3 of the preseason and looked really good. 10 carries for 64 yards. So I’m going to come out and say it with authority: Moreno is considerably better than Lamar Miller and should get a heavy portion of the carries when the regular season starts. Bam.
Moreno was a phenomenal receiver last year, but he also exhibited above average receiving ability in his first two years in the league. He’s fairly cheap right now and looking like a great pick or acquisition for your team.
Steve Smith – WR, Baltimore Ravens (Current ADP: WR51, 149th Overall)
Smith is small, old and coming off one of the worst years of his career. He is totally done right? And truthfully I hate the idea of endorsing such a guy, but I can’t ignore Smith’s excellent performance against the Redskins. He caught all six of his targets for 80 yards and a touchdown.
There is something appealing about the way Smith has played with a chip on his shoulder throughout his career. He was supposedly done after 2010 when he put up a horrible 554 yard, 2 TD season. He came back with two excellent years. Now he is in a similar position in 2014 but with a new team and offense.
One reason I am willing to buy into Smith not being done: for the first time in a very long time, he is no longer the #1 receiver. Torrey Smith will command defensive attention and that should open Steve Smith to perform really well if he still has it. Joe Flacco seems to really like him and I’ve taken notice. As an 11th round pick in 12 team drafts, you could do way worse.