Fantasy Sleepers

Preseason Opener Fantasy Recap

EJ Manuel

EJ ManuelDo I need to say it? Ok, I will… This fantasy recap of the first preseason game of 2014 should be taken with the a grain salt. Clearly there is rust. Teams are trying to get back into game form and last nights matchup between the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants wasn’t exactly a display of where either team wants to be in months time. Nevertheless, there were a few fantasy takeaways so let’s talk shop:

  • EJ Manuel performed exactly how I thought he would. Buffalo’s EJ Manuel was 2 of 7 for 19 yards. He over threw Sammy Watkins on one play and looked out of sorts on the rest. Personally, I have had a few conversations on twitter about my lack of confidence in the Bills passing game. I think there’s too much youth to get overly excited about everybody’s favorite rookie Sammy Watkins. Case in point, the kid didn’t even have a catch last night despite being targeted three times. Doug Marrone enters his second season as Buffalo’s head coach and his ninth year coaching the NFL ranks, yet my fear is he’s in over his head. The passing game lacks a mentor for Manuel to rely on. Manuel, a quarterback that when drafted last year was dubbed as a high potential “project” who is “raw” and will need time to develop is being rushed. He has decent targets and the Bills do have the building blocks to be great, but I think it’s going to take at least half a season to gel. I think fantasy owners could get burned on Watkins if they reach on him.
  • Byrce Brown looked solid. I liked Brown when he was in Philly. Yes, he did have a history of putting the ball on the ground but does have an excellent burst and solid smooth moves that make defenders miss. The 3-headed Buffalo backfield has it’s fair share of risk, yet snagging Brown super late may be the diamond in the rough that pays off.
  • Jennings looked good, Andre Williams looked better. Rookie Andre Williams scored on a 3-yard run and had 48 yards on 7 carries. He may have done enough to open the eyes of fantasy owners who were heavily targeting Jennings. It was only one game, but Williams could be a player to keep an eye on. I’m not saying abandon ship on Jennings, I’m just saying you need to watch how this progresses.
  • He’s got hands. Rashad Jennings had 3 catches in the short time he was in the game. PPR league owners should consider keeping an eye on how this progresses throughout the preseason, if Jennings becomes a favorite check-down target for Eli, the newest Giant could be a PPR Giant.
  • Robert Woods might be fools gold. If you look at the stat line it’s easy to think Woods could be a popular fantasy option for the Bills in 2014. But at a closer look you’ll see Wood’s production came when Jeff Tuel was in the game. This is getting back to my opening statement about the Bills passing game, as long as it’s Manuel’s show I don’t have a ton of faith in anyone to have consistent numbers worthy of a fantasy start.
  • Donald Trump should buy the Buffalo Bills, here’s why.
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