It had been a long, cold and scary six months since football. I found myself waking up in cold sweats screaming Shanahan and arguing with unknowing, innocent civilians in public that in fact Greg Salas, not Danny Amendola is the better wide receiver for the St. Louis Rams.
Times are tough without Sundays with pigskin.
However, the wait is finally over. This weekend capped off the first slate of preseason games, while also featuring the first overall selections in the past two NFL drafts, Cam Newton and Andrew Luck. The former led his Carolina Panthers into Houston to play the Texans.
The game was nothing to write home about as both first team offenses were out on the field for a little more than a blink of an eye. Both Newton and his quarterbacking counterpart Matt Schaub looked a bit rusty for the few plays that they participate in. The Houston Texans ailing superstar Andre Johnson did not play in the game. Arguably the most exciting news was that Carolina management awarded running back Jonathan Stewart with a five year extension, further solidifying his role as the premier running back in the Carolina back field, but Stewart was not rewarded a carry.
On the other hand, the other number one overall pick had both Indianapolis Colts fans and fantasy owners all fired up for what is to come after his first performance on the professional stage. Quarterback Andrew Luck was absolutely on point in his debut and immediately shook up his, and his teammates, average draft position in fantasy drafts in only one half of preseason football.
Luck's first pass found running back Donald Brown on a screen only a few yards down field, but Brown proceeded to take the ball the next 60 or so yards showcasing some breakaway speed and vision on the way to six points. Although it was only a screen pass, Luck showed great poise identifying the St. Louis Rams pressure and finding Brown. Luck was brilliant for the rest of the time he spent on the field and had to make fantasy owners wonder if himself and teammates like the aforementioned Brown and wide receiver Austin Collie may be a bit under valued.
They are going to have to throw and he's going to be the one doing it ad they will be the one's catching it.
The third game pitted the Seattle Seahawks versus the Tennessee Titans featuring the return of Matt Hasslebeck to the Pacific Northwest. Things did not fair too well for Hasslebeck, however. The veteran quarterback played poorly and may have allowed Jake Locker to tighten his hold on the starting position. First round pick Kendall Wright definitely impressed for the Titans and the Seahawks may have proved doubters they were not crazy drafting Russell Wilson in the third round as the rookie looked very capable throwing, and running the ball. His play definitely will force presumed starter Matt Flynn to keep one eye in the rear view mirror.
Major take away:
Do not sleep on the Colts offense from a fantasy football perspective. All members are being taken after the fifth round and are presenting significant value, especially Austin Collie and Donald Brown in PPR leagues and Luck himself if you are considering a quarterback by committee.
The Miami Dolphins have terminated the contract of wide receiver Chad Johnson after the player spent the night in jail for assault on his wife. The Dolphins lose nothing as Johnson's contract had no guaranteed money. All this means is that one owner in your league no longer will waste a pick for nostalgia.
Cedric Benson signed with the Green Bay Packers. Unlike the Chad Johnson news, this does have fantasy signficance. James Starks has not wowed anyone in training camp and is battling injuries, which seems to be the case for the entire Green Bay backfield. Although Benson is approaching 30, and his coming off a lot of touches over the past four years, any part of the Packers offense should always have your attention.
Written by Matt Martins exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com. You can follow Matt on Twitter @Matt_Martins.
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