The first week of the NFL preseason officially came to a close after the Texans beat the Jets by a score of 20-16 on Monday Night Football. There were many ups and downs during Week One. Many players helped their fantasy status, while others may have hurt their stock to the point where they are going to be removed from draft boards completely. It's still too early to get a feel of how some players are going to perform in the regular season, but here is a glimpse of a couple guys who stuck out to me:
Lets start off with THE GOOD:
Redskins QB Rex Grossman
207 passing yards and a touchdown (vs. Steelers)
With John Beck out with a groin injury, Grossman looked sharp after leading the offense on several big drives and coming away with no interceptions. Still, does anyone still feel comfortable having either Beck or Grossman on their fantasy rosters? Not me. Keep both of them on the waiver wire.
Patriots (rookie) RB Stevan Ridley
64 rushing yards, seven catches for 47 yards and two rushing touchdowns (vs. Jaguars)
With the Patriots sitting their starters and fellow rookie Shane Vereen dealing with a hamstring injury, Ridley got his time to shine against an iffy Jaguars defense. At 5'11' / 225, Ridley is built like a power back, but has nimble feet. He has a ways to go before having a big role in the offense with so many hands in the cookie jar, but last week was a good start for Ridley. He's someone we'd stash away in Dynasty leagues.
Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald
Two catches for 60 yards (vs. Raiders)
Kevin Kolb didn't throw a touchdown in two drives, but he found his favorite target in Fitz twice against the Raiders. This is a sign of things to come as I fully expect Fitzgerald to eclipse 100 catches in 2011. After a debacle last year, that's music to owners' ears.
Panthers TE Greg Olsen
Three catches for 58 yards and a touchdown (vs. Giants)
Olsen and TE Gary Barnidge lead the Panthers in targets with four a piece, but Olsen was able to turn his into solid yardage and a score. This could be me subliminally trying to bring justice to my Olsen pick in our first expert league, but I just can't see Olsen failing with former tight end, former tight ends coach and current OC Rob Chudzinski calling the plays. Ray Tannock listed Olsen as one of his bounce-back players. Olsen is off to a good start in making that happen.
Now lets see THE BAD:
Seahawks QB Tarvaris Jackson
13 passing yards (vs. Chargers)
Jackson looked like he regressed since his playing days with the Vikings. While highly athletic, Jackson has no business being a quarterback. He doesn't make the throws he needs to and is still inconsistent. Even though Charlie Whitehurst (115 yards) clearly outplayed Jackson, head coach Pete Carroll is not making the starting job a competition. Even so, we don't expect Jackson to start all sixteen games. He just isn't that good. And that spells trouble for the entire offense fantasy-wise.
Lions RB Jerome Harrison
8 rushing yards, one catch for -2 receiving (vs. Bengals)
Harrison was nothing but a backup to Jahvid Best to start the season. But as a handcuff, this is a pretty poor showing. And after the entire rushing offense averaged a paltry 2.1 yards per carry average, the offense may have to rely on their passing game in order to create points. It's still a bit early, but the problems on the offensive line are already starting to rear their ugly heads.
Ravens (rookie) WR Torrey Smith
Nothing, zilch, nada
After making a name for himself in training camp, Smith couldn't solidify his position as a possible starter across from Anquan Boldin. Against the Eagles on Thursday night, Smith didn't look comfortable running routes, especially going in and out of breaks or cuts. After Smith's debut debacle, the Ravens had no choice but to acquire Lee Evans from the Bills. With Evans the clear-cut starter, I don't even know if Smith is worth owning in dynasty leagues. He has a long way to go in order to land a bigger role. Unless your playing in sixteen team dynasty leagues, I would pass on Smith altogether. His upside is shot for the time being. He could simply be a camp darling.