To be perfectly honest, the past week of NFL pre-season action has been nothing to write home about, and this weekend, wasn't any different. Sure, there was the occasional flashy play, but from a fantasy perspective, there really was not much to gain.
From a football perspective in general, all that I left with was that the NFL could put anything in high definition and a majority of the American public will watch, and that the New York Jets will probably have a tough time winning seven games. The former is something I am definitely willing to live with and the latter should probably have no part in your fantasy football plans.
Saturday featured a slew of high profile games, highlighted by the matchup in the Big Apple between the aforementioned Jets and the defending champs, the New York Giants. The Giants looked good in their destruction of their fellow New Yorkers. Wide receiver Victor Cruz was especially sharp. In the absence of Hakeem Nicks, Cruz was heavily relied upon by quarterback Eli Manning and did everything to justify his current average draft position in fantasy leagues. It is easy to say that Cruz will not replicate his 2011 season, but he is good, damn good. Although he moves a round a bit more, he is in the role that seems to flourish in the Eli Manning offense, one that Steve Smith occupied a few years back.
Speaking of Steve Smith, the St. Louis Rams had a bit of pep in their step during their match up versus the Kansas City Chiefs. A lot of hype had been building around Smith as the potential break out pass catcher in St. Louis, but picking a break out from the Rams' wide receiver core is as easy as Spicoli deciding on a flavor at Ben and Jerry's. However, 2010 darling Danny Amendola, coupling his usual great hands and stellar route running with some red zone play making ability, took a giant step forward as the guy to have in St. Louis.
The weekend games were capped off with a Sunday night bout between the Indianapolis Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers rode running back Jonathan Dwyer in the ground game, while Isaac Redman nurses an injured groin and recently activated Rashard Mendenhall gets himself into game shape. The brightest spot of the Steelers offense, as it has been all summer, was wide receiver Antonio Brown. Brown makes a case of being selected as a top 20 wide receiver, maybe even top 15, with his great hands, great route running and his superb vision in the open field. Especially with the absence of Mike Wallace.
The Colts, although a bit shaky at first, proved that they are an undervalued offensive asset from a fantasy perspective. Reggie Wayne, Donald Brown, Andrew Luck, Coby Fleener and Austin Collie are all proving to be late round baragains. The latter, Collie, left the game after taking a monster hit coming across the middle.
One injury to note was that of Vincent Brown. Brown, although he was not at the top of the depth chart, was a Chargers receivers who showed tremendous upside. As new comers, like Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal, who were there to take the reigns aspotential starters for Philip Rivers, continued to unimpress, Brown made strides. Brown, who suffered a broken ankle, adds more doubt to the San Diego pass attack. Besides a decent value on tight end Antonio Gates, I am staying away from this part of the Bolts offense.
This weeks of pre-season NFL action comes to an end tomorrow night with a Super Bowl XXXIX rematch between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots. The match up will premier, off the top of my head, about a dozen of fantasy football's high impact players. So make sure to watch this, because you get the best idea of how good the player is and how well his situation is by actually watching the games.
Written by Matt Martins exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com. You can follow Matt on Twitter @Matt_Martins.
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