The second week of the preseason had several interesting developments and some eye-opening performances that will affect fantasy player values. If you missed any of the games over the weekend (then you need NFL Preseason Live), here's a breakdown of the important news and notes you'll need to help prepare for your upcoming drafts.
I continue to be impressed with Kevin Kolb, who went 11-for-17 for 126 yards. I think he'll be a low-end fantasy starter this season. ... DeSean Jackson had four catches for 74 yards and has an obvious rapport with Kolb. ... Jeremy Maclin suffered a shoulder contusion, but he Tweeted that he "can't wait for K.C. Friday". He should be fine to draft. ... LeSean McCoy didn't have huge numbers, but I still think he's being undervalued in PPR drafts. He could catch 50 passes in the Eagles offense. ... Carson Palmer's arm strength doesn't seem to be an issue, but his accuracy still needs to be questioned. He was 15-for-23 with two interceptions. Despite the talent around him, he's still no more than a No. 2 fantasy quarterback. ... Terrell Owens, who posted three catches for 67 yards, is being targeted more often than Chad Ochocinco this preseason. I'm not touching Ochocinco unless he's my No. 3 fantasy wideout. Anything more and he'll be a potentially huge disappointment. Ochocinco had just two catches for 29 yards.
Joe Flacco had a ho-hum stat line (9-for-16, 72 yards), but I still think he's a nice fantasy sleeper. ... When the Ravens defense forced a turnover and ran the ball down to the Redskins' 1-yard line, Willis McGahee, not Ray Rice, was used in the goal-line package. Looks like McGahee will continue his role as a touchdown vulture. ... Rice saw limited work (three carries, 17 yards), but all reports on him during training camp have been glowing. He's worth a top-five pick in all drafts. ... Donovan McNabb threw for 206 yards, but completed just 42 percent of his passes and was pressured often. He's a borderline No. 1 fantasy quarterback, but the offensive line needs to do a better job in pass protection if he's going to make it through the season. ... Larry Johnson started ahead of Clinton Portis, but rushed for just four yards on eight carries. Portis is the back to draft in fantasy leagues, but I don't like him as more than a flex starter. ... Devin Thomas caught just one pass for 14 yards and had two balls go off his hands. I still think he'll start ahead of Joey Galloway, but Thomas isn't worth more than a late-round flier.
Ben Roethlisberger completed six passes for 76 yards and threw an interception, but still looked good overall. He's going to miss at least four games to start the season, but he should still be a No. 1 fantasy quarterback upon his return. Target him in the middle rounds. ... Isaac Redman continued to look good, rushing for 34 yards and a touchdown on six carries. With Jonathan Dwyer injured, Redman looks like the best bet to start the season as Rashard Mendenhall's fantasy handcuff. ... NFL.com sleeper Mike Wallace was impressive, catching two passes for 80 yards and scoring on a 68-yard strike from Byron Leftwich. Wallace is well worth a middle-round look. ... Ahmad Bradshaw (six carries, 28 yards, TD) is clearly the best fantasy option in the Giants backfield. He should be drafted ahead of Brandon Jacobs, who missed the game with a stiff neck. ... We didn't get to see much of Hakeem Nicks, who was ejected from the game early after throwing punches with Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor. ... So much for Victor Cruz as a sleeper -- he had two catches for 30 yards.
Matt Cassel looked solid, completing 14-of-19 passes for 125 yards and one touchdown. The fact that Charlie Weis will be calling the plays makes Cassel a more attractive sleeper. ... Thomas Jones started and rushed for 29 yards on eight carries with a lost fumble. I expect Jamaal Charles, who is averaging seven yards a carry in the preseason, to overtake him on the depth chart sooner than later. Jones is still worth a second-round pick. ... Josh Freeman suffered a broken thumb and will miss the remainder of the preseason. The injury means little in fantasy leagues, though, as Freeman was barely even draftable in most formats. ... Kareem Huggins (eight carries, 44 yards) continues to outplay Derrick Ward and is pushing for a move up the depth chart. He's someone to watch in the final weeks of preseason. ... Mike Williams had three catches for 44 yards and has emerged as the lone Bucs wideout worth a look in seasonal fantasy leagues. Fellow rookie Arrelious Benn was playing special teams until the final quarter and hasn't been good enough to consider outside of dynasty and deeper leagues.
Chad Henne was the story of the game, completing 11-of-14 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Two of his three incomplete passes were drops, so he was clearly on target. He's a nice low-end sleeper and worth a late-round look on draft day. .... Both of Henne's touchdown passes went to Anthony Fasano, but I still don't see him as a fantasy factor. ... Brandon Marshall had four catches for 65 yards in limited work. ... Luke McCown (152 yards, TD) had another nice game, but he's not going to pass David Garrard on the depth chart. Garrard completed 6-of-8 passes for 79 yards and threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Mike Thomas. ... Mike Sims-Walker led the Jaguars with three catches for 64 yards, so the shoulder ailment he suffered last week doesn't seem to be a problem. He's a viable No. 2 fantasy wideout.
Sam Bradford looked unimpressive, completing 6-of-14 passes for 24 yards. Even if he opens the regular season as the starter, he'll have no more than minimal value in seasonal leagues. ... Steven Jackson made his preseason debut, rushing for 20 yards on four carries. He's still a risk coming off back surgery, but right now Jackson appears to be 100 percent. ... Despite poor weather conditions, Jake Delhomme still posted a nice stat line (127 yards, TD). Keep in mind, though, that he was facing the Rams. Delhomme still isn't worth drafting. ... Jerome Harrison got the start but was unimpressive, rushing for 13 yards on five carries. Montario Hardesty is expected to be back from a knee injury for the start of the regular season. In the meantime, Harrison will continue to start. ... Joshua Cribbs led the Browns in receptions and scored a touchdown, but he still shouldn't be drafted outside of the late rounds in standard leagues.
Matt Schaub completed 8-of-13 passes for 117 yards and is now 13-of-16 for 195 yards with one touchdown in two preseason games. He still looks like the same quarterback who broke out for fantasy owners in 2009. ... Sleeper Arian Foster had 28 rushing yards and a touchdown and is clearly entrenched as the Texans' No. 1 back. He's now worth a low middle-round pick in drafts. ... Steve Slaton had five rushes for 19 yards and was used on two kickoff returns, which is further proof that Foster is the main man. ... Reggie Bush started and looked fantastic, rushing seven times for 49 yards with a touchdown. If he can avoid injuries, Bush should see a greater role in the offense this season. He has middle-round value. ... Pierre Thomas was also solid out of the backfield, posting 62 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown catch. He'll be worth as much as a third-round pick and could be a bargain if he falls past Round 4.
Mark Sanchez continued to look brutal during the preseason, completing just 5-of-10 passes for 12 yards with an ugly 56.2 passer rating. He's certainly not helping his fantasy appeal, nor the value of the receivers in the Jets offense. ... LaDainian Tomlinson had three carries for 26 yards and showed some good burst, but he's still no threat to put a serious dent into Shonn Greene's carries or fantasy value. ... Matt Moore looked shaky, completing just 6-of-17 passes for 57 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. Of course, this was against a stout Jets defense. Moore still doesn't have his best option, Steve Smith, at his disposal. ... Jonathan Stewart, who is coming back from an injured heel, didn't play but isn't in danger of missing the start of the regular season. He's still a viable No. 2 fantasy back, but DeAngelo Williams remains the more attractive option. Williams had 26 yards on six carries.
Jason Campbell looked good, throwing for 170 yards and rushing for a touchdown. He has a very favorable schedule this season and should be a useful No. 2 fantasy quarterback. ... Michael Bush had eight carries 26 yards but hasn't solidified his role as the team's starter just yet. ... Darren McFadden missed the contest with a hamstring injury and is losing fantasy value fast. ... Zach Miller caught three passes for 32 yards and continues to be the most impressive receiver in Silver & Black. He has a ton of sleeper appeal. ... Jay Cutler completed 7-of-15 passes for 99 yards and threw a touchdown pass to fantasy sleeper Johnny Knox. Cutler should be an attractive No. 1 fantasy quarterback, as long as his offensive line holds up. ... Matt Fore made the play of the game, breaking an 89-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. While the presence of Chester Taylor could limit his numbers, Forte has a chance to rebound from a disappointing 2009 season. He'll be worth as much as a fourth-round pick in most leagues.
The Cowboys' first-team offense didn't look good in this one, but there's no need for fantasy owners to panic. On a positive note, Tony Romo did hit Miles Austin for a 9-yard touchdown. Austin isn't a one-season wonder and warrants a second- or third-round pick. He'll have another solid season. ... Marion Barber continued to start for the Cowboys, but he'll share carries with Felix Jones all season. They both had three rushing attempts against the Chargers. ... Ryan Mathews continued to impress me. He finished with 53 yards on 12 carries and also caught one pass for 13 yards and barely missed scoring a touchdown near the goal line. Despite the fact that he's a rookie, I'd still take him in the late first round. ... With Vincent Jackson still holding out, Malcom Floyd remains the default No. 1 wideout for Philip Rivers. Floyd looked good in limited time, catching three passes for 47 yards. He'll be a nice sleeper until (or if) Jackson returns to the team.
Matthew Stafford looked extremely impressive, completing 13-of-18 passes for 130 yards and one touchdown. He has fantasy sleeper written all over him. ... Jahvid Best is clearly the main back in the offense, and he showed why he's earned that role with two catches and 59 yards from scrimmage in limited time. There's no reason he should still be on the board past the third round of a seasonal league. ... Calvin Johnson, a major fantasy disappointment last year, hauled in a 20-yard touchdown pass from Stafford and has scored in each of the first two preseason games. Look for Johnson to transform back into a fantasy star in 2010. ... Kyle Orton's fantasy value is down these days, but his play on the field has been solid. He completed 16-of-22 passes for 177 yards and threw two touchdowns, giving him four scoring passes during the preseason. ... If you're looking for a deep sleeper in the late rounds, take a chance on Jabar Gaffney. He hauled in six passes for 98 yards and is clearly Orton's go-to wideout. I've moved him ahead of Demaryius Thomas and Eddie Royal on NFL.com's rankings.
Aaron Rodgers continues to look ridiculously good, throwing for 116 yards and two touchdowns. He has three total scores and a passer rating of more than 143.0 in his two preseason games. He's going to be the fantasy MVP this season. ... Ryan Grant, who got his bell rung last week, returned to action. ... Breakout candidate Jermichael Finley posted four catches for 48 yards and scored a touchdown. He could become an elite fantasy tight end this season and is worth a middle-round look. ... Matt Hasselbeck looked good, completing 11-of-15 passes for 127 yards and one touchdown, but it's still difficult to trust him in fantasy leagues. ... Justin Forsett got the start and was unimpressive with just 13 yards on five carries, but Leon Washington made an impact with 19 yards and a score. I still like Forsett the most out of these options, but a backfield-by-committee is imminent. ... Mike Williams had another nice game and appears to have moved ahead of rookie Golden Tate on the depth chart. Neither player is worth more than a late-round look in larger fantasy leagues.
So much for the preseason debut of Brett Favre -- he saw four snaps before being pulled. He has middle-round value in drafts. ... Sidney Rice (hip) was out once again and could be in danger of missing Week 1. His value is falling. ... Adrian Peterson had six carries for 17 yards. More importantly, he led the Vikings in receptions with three. He's going to see more targets with Taylor out of the mix, making him even more attractive in PPR leagues. Peterson is a top-two pick in all drafts. ... Rookie Toby Gerhart is averaging just 2.8 yards per carry during the preseason. ... The 49ers top fantasy players -- Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis -- were all held out. ... Alex Smith looked good, completing 9-of-13 passes for 88 yards in limited work. He's still no more than a No. 2 fantasy quarterback, though. ... The Niners did add Brian Westbrook last week, but rookie Anthony Dixon looked good with 20 carries, 51 yards and a touchdown. It doesn't seem like a true fantasy handcuff for Gore has been established at this point, so owners who have the talented runner need to monitor the depth chart.