Preseason is over and the first real game will be played in just a few days on Thursday, as the defending champ Seahawks square off against the Packers. With all the preseason games out of the way, it’s time to re-evaluate things. We’ll go through every team, starting with the NFC, and figure out what they have to offer to the fantasy world.
Washington Redskins: Stick to Garcon; Be wary of everyone else
For a pretty dismal team in real life, the Skins have a lot of players being drafted early in fantasy. Pierre Garcon had a monster season last year and is a PPR machine. His value shouldn’t take a huge hit from DeSean Jackson’s arrival. But Alfred Morris’ value should take a hit from Jay Gruden’s arrival. Gruden will have RG3 throw the ball a lot more, and that hurts Morris. Morris might not get 20+ carries per game. It also might hurt RG3, who looked atrocious in preseason. RG3 isn’t nearly the fantasy commodity many are expecting him to be. He takes too many hits, won’t run as much as he did in his rookie year, and is an overrated passer. He has more options than ever before, but he’s still a mostly average QB at this stage in his career. I’d be reluctant to draft DeSean or Jordan Reed too. DeSean might be the fastest player in the league and is coming off a career year, but isn’t in Chip Kelly’s hurry-up offense anymore, and Jordan Reed struggled with concussions last year.
New York Giants: Jennings is underrated and Cruz could be a sleeper
For the most part, this is a team to avoid. Rashad Jennings was a borderline top-10 RB in the second half of last season once he became the starter. If he can stay healthy, he’ll get a ton of carries in New York. The argument against Jennings succeeding, basically, is that he hasn’t done it before. He’s never been the starter for an entire NFL season. But let’s remember the flip side: because he’s never started for an extended period of time, he doesn’t have the workload of most 29 year olds. Other than Jennings, the Giants don’t have great options at fantasy. But not long ago, Victor Cruz was a top 20 pick. I don’t trust Eli at all, and if the Giants struggle and have to throw a lot, notwithstanding Eli’s interception woes, Cruz will be the main beneficiary.
Dallas Cowboys: Loaded with fantasy assets, who will thrive because of a porous defense
Dez Bryant is one of the few WRs who has a legitimate chance to be the top WR in fantasy this year. He’s already one of the most physically gifted WRs in the league, and with a horrendous defense, the Cowboys are sure to chuck the ball downfield a lot. The other top option on the Cowboys, DeMarco Murray, is risky, not because of lack of talent, but because of injury concern. Tony Romo is going way later than he should, often in the 100’s and Terrance Williams could be a sleeper, with Jason Witten a year older and Miles Austin officially gone.
Philadelphia Eagles: McCoy is the best, but other options are overvalued
There’s a definite case for taking McCoy first overall. He’s a beast, regardless of format, who is the perfect lead guy for Chip Kelly’s offense. Nick Foles is being taken 50 picks before Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, and Philip Rivers. I’d let someone else take him. Riley Cooper goes over 30 picks later than Jeremy Maclin, despite very comparable production. I’d settle with Cooper for sure over the oft-injured Maclin. In a PPR league, new Eagle Darren Sproles isn’t a bad pick, but I wouldn’t expect him to catch as many passes as he caught with Drew Brees.