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Quarterbacks:  

Peyton Manning – Seems as though not a week goes by that I don’t write something about Peyton. In his second start of the preseason, Manning’s performance was much of the same; at times he was putting the ball exactly where it needed to be, but also ended up with a pair of INT. Manning now has 3 INTs so far in 2 preseason games. Overall I thought Manning looked rather comfortable and will only get better with each minute on the field; as his confidence in himself and receivers grows. He was 16/23 on the game.

Matthew Stafford – Stafford looked amazing in Friday night’s 27-12 win over Baltimore. Stafford went 12-17 in limited action, finishing with 184 yards and 2 TDs. Stafford looks poised for another stellar season; great second round selection.

Philip Rivers – Rivers through a pair of INT in his second preseason outing, bringing his total to 3, same as Manning. Similar to Manning, Rivers was rather effective most of the game going 13/15 for 109 yards, but came up short on a long pass to Meachem that was picked off, if he had of had enough behind it Meachem would have been gone. The loss of the talented young Vincent Brown for eight weeks also doesn’t help.  Rivers and Romo are both taking hits with their personal but still have tons of upside & consistency.

Sam Bradford – After struggling through a week one preseason loss to the Colts, QB Sam Bradford of the St Louis Rams looked much better in week to against the Chiefs. Bradford didn’t play long or have to do a whole lot, but he did complete 6 of his 9 passes for 102 yards a 2 TDs.  Danny Amendola was on the field and looked great grabbing on the TDs as did young TE Lance Kendricks, whom many were high on last year but didn’t pan out due to the Rams struggles. This season, Kendricks could perform like we had expected him to last year.

Blaine Gabbert – Gabbert looked surprisingly effective in his second preseason start against the Saints. Blaine went an impressive 13/16 for 112 yards and pair of TD passes, one to rookie WR Justin Blackmon. Obviously this is just one performance and we will need to see MUCH more from Gabbert going forward, but any improvement in play in promising for fantasy prospects Blackmon and Laurent Robinson. Could also help MJD if defenses have to account for the Jaguars passing game a little bit more.

 

Running Backs:

Chris Johnson – Johnson impressed potential ad current fantasy owners over the weekend with a 10-carry 46-yard effort that included him crossing the end zone twice.

San Fran 49ers RBs (Kendall Hunter, Frank Gore) – Over the weekend Brandon Jacobs was carted off the field, while rookie RB LaMichael James was forced to limp off the field and did not return. Frank Gore is the RB1 for the 49’ers, but has questions of age and durability despite a very productive 2011 season. The news of this injury should be a boost to Gore’s value as there will be less competition for carries for the next few weeks until we know what is happening with Jacobs and James, but should be even better news for Kendall Hunter. Hunter is a second year RB who had a 400+ yard 2 TD rookie season. As the lone RB playing behind Gore for the time being, Hunter has the chance to show off his skills and should be looked at in the late rounds of drafts.

Doug Martin – The stat line for Martin isn’t too eye-popping with 7 carries for 23 yards and 3.3 yards per carry average. But if you watched the game, similar to his performance in Miami, he was very crafty and hard to tackle; I can’t wait to see him with a full workload.

Beanie Wells / Ryan Williams – Bad reports continue to come out about Beanie, with one of the latest ones stating that Wells currently can’t make cuts.

Michael Bush – Bushed looked as effective as ever as a goal line back, rushing the ball 5 times for 21 yards with a pair of short yardage scores. This should show doubter that Bush still has value in Chicago, but shouldn’t scare Forte owners as he is a yardage monster and doesn’t need a lot of TDs to be an elite RB.

 

Wide Receivers:

Calvin Johnson – Johnson made a pair of very impressive catches in his 5-catch 111-yard effort. One of the catches was a beautiful over the head grab along the sideline that resulted in his TD. The best WR in the league, hands down.

Miles Austin – Austin will reportedly be unavailable for the entire preseason, and is currently questionable for week one. I have Dez Bryant and Miles Austin ranked very close to each other, but until we hear some good news about Austin, he needs to take a slide down the draft board. Dez gets a slight bump I guess but I still want to see him show some consistency before I target him.

Antonio Brown – Antonio Brown had an extremely impressive 64-yard TD that only happened because he weaved his way through the open field for about 50 yards, avoiding tackles and using his blockers. Brown continues to impress and might have the talent to be an all-star talent in this league.

Terrell Owens – Targeted five times, didn’t record a catch.

Vincent Brown – Brown broke his ankle making his second TD catch of the preseason and will be out about 8 weeks. I liked Brown as a sleeper who wasn’t being drafted in many leagues. He is extremely talented and I see it as only a matter of time before this guy is making a weekly impact in fantasy, but that timeline has been pushed back about half a season; undraftable.

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Keep in touch with me on Twitter: @Blackie_Mike – I love taking football and answering questions.

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