Training Camp Notebook: Preseason Week 1 recaps

If you've spent any time on Twitter during this young NFL preseason, you've likely encountered Adam Rank's brilliant #FantasyOverreaction hashtag. And I'm not just saying that because he bought me lunch today.

It's been a pretty amusing way to poke fun at all of those people (myself included) who read a little too much into the very small sample size that we see from a team's front-line starters during the first round of late summer football games.

So for those of you who don't care for preseason analysis, we give you ... preseason analysis. Actually, it's not all bad. While there are certainly plenty of things that we can't put a lot of stock in (see: Pat White's return to an NFL field), there are a few things that should have a fantasy impact.

So without further ado...

Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars

» After another rough start, it was nice to see Ryan Tannehill put together at least one good drive. So far, there's been little to back up some of the talk coming from South Florida that Tannehill was ready to take a step forward. He's still not likely to go shooting up anyone's draft boards, but hopefully he can prevent any further slides. Next step: getting Mike Wallace involved.

» There wasn't much to glean from Lamar Miller's two-carry, six-yard performance, but we might have gotten a glimpse into the competition for Miami's No. 2 running back job. Between Daniel Thomas and Mike Gillislee, Thomas had the better day. Add to it, the praise that the third-year rusher has been getting from the Dolphins coaching staff and it stands to reason that Thomas is the leading handcuff option.

» Speaking of handcuffs, maybe it's time we start to take a good look at Jordan Todman. Entering his third season in the league, Todman took advantage of his opportunity on Friday, rushing for 45 yards on six carries -- including a nice 26-yard burst. The Jaguars have talked about trying to get Denard Robinson on the field, but Todman might give "Shoelace" a run for his money.

New York Jets at Detroit Lions

» File under "Things I Never Thought I'd Write": The Jets TE battle could shape up to be an interesting one. Both Kellen Winslow and Jeff Cumberland made nice plays in the first half. With the position getting thinner seemingly by the day, it could be worthwhile to consider some potential waiver wire options for later in the season.

» We've written repeatedly that the winner of New York's QB race would have slightly more value than his vanquished competitor. As of now, it appears the status quo holds. After an ugly pick six early in the game, Mark Sanchez rebounded to have a pretty good day. Meanwhile, Geno Smith gets an incomplete for the day after leaving with an injury.

» I think we've all seen enough to know that Calvin Johnson ready for the regular season ... and that he's still good.

» One thing that remains to be seen is exactly how the Lions will work their running backs into the passing game. Mikel Leshoure caught three balls, but in general, the backs weren't targeted much out of the backfield. It would be a major shock if that's how things go during the regular season.

New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles

» The Patriots ran the ball a lot and they ran it effectively. Some of that might have had something to do with Philly's run defense, but it could be a harbinger of what's to come for New England's offense. Don't read too much into the split between Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount -- it's likely that the latter won't be a huge fantasy factor in 2013. Yet it could be more proof that Bill Belchick wants to take some pressure off of Tom Brady.

» It's not a surprise, but Chip Kelly didn't really show his hand offensively in the first preseason game. What was surprising was seeing Chris Polk get the start in place of an injured LeSean McCoy. Does that suggest Polk is ahead of Bryce Brown in the race to be the No. 2 option? That remains to be seen. Regardless, Brown looked good in limited action -- even if it was against New England's No. 2s.

Arizona Cardinals at Green Bay Packers

» We generally don't spend a lot of time writing about individual defensive players, especially in the preseason. That should tell you something about the hype surrounding Tyrann Mathieu. Yes, it's early, but a Mathieu-Patrick Peterson secondary could potentially be a formidable one and a big boost to that defense's fantasy fortunes.

» Carson Palmer is already paying dividends. We already knew his arrival in the desert would revitalize Larry Fitzgerald, but it could be a boon for Andre Roberts and Michael Floyd as well. Overall, the Cardinal's aerial attack could finally get back up off the ground.

» It feels like we write this every week, but the Packers are still trying to find someone to bolster their running game. Mike McCarthy made some eyebrow-raising comments about DuJuan Harris being the man in Green Bay, but we'd like to see actual proof of that before we buy in. Certainly after this weekend, there seems to be little worry of James Starks or Alex Green snagging that job.

Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers

» There wasn't much to learn about the Bears key fantasy players from their first preseason game. Although it didn't go unnoticed that Jay Cutler threw an interception -- on his first attempt. Marc Trestman might be a mad scientist, but he's not a miracle worker.

» Then again, a similar statement could be made about Cam Newton. The Panthers QB said he wants to cut down on his turnovers this season, but throwing pick sixes won't help his cause.

» With news that Jonathan Stewart is on track to be ready for Week 1, it would have been nice to see more from DeAngelo Williams. Expect more of the same frustration from the Panthers running back duo in 2013.

Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints

» Jamaal Charles leading the Chiefs in carries isn't a great surprise. Jamaal Charles leading the Chiefs in receptions is definitely something to smile about. We knew Andy Reid would try to find ways to get his main playmaker the football. Seeing it actually happen is quite encouraging.

» With no Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram had a chance to strengthen his spot on the depth chart. He did a fair job of it with his three-carry, 12-yard outing.

» It's hard enough to handicap Saints receivers during the regular season. Trying to figure out the depth chart this early in the preseason? Godspeed to you.

Houston Texans at Minnesota Vikings

» In our Fantasy Draft Kit, I listed DeAndre Hopkins as one of my deep sleepers, so allow me a moment to pat myself on the back after his performance this weekend. If you're looking for a guy to take a late-round flier on -- especially in keeper leagues -- you could do worse than Hopkins.

» There has been talk that Christian Ponder could be on a short leash this year, but just three plays in the first preseason game? Didn't see that coming. If he's only going to throw two passes, you'd hope that one of them wouldn't be an interception. Unfortunately, Matt Cassel doesn't move the fantasy meter a whole lot himself.

Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders

» I'm saying it now: as long as Dez Bryant stays healthy, he'll be the top receiver in all of fantasy football this year. He and Tony Romo looked like they were in lockstep over the weekend. Bryant is picking up where he left off last season and should be a fantasy beast this season.

» It remains to be seen whether Terrelle Pryor will log any serious time on the field this season, but Friday's game proved that he will be another of the dual-threat QBs around the league. He's worth keeping an eye on for waiver wire purposes, but don't expect much more than than right now.

New York Giants at Pittsburgh Steelers

» David Wilson had a pretty non-descript day, but his understudy -- Andre Brown -- put together a nice evening with 23 yards on just four carries. All signs point to Wilson being the starter this season, but Brown could certainly make things interesting.

» The chance for LaRod Stephens-Howling to unseat Le'Veon Bell seems quite a bit smaller, but "The Hyphen" did have a nice game in his Steelers debut. Pittsburgh's running game has been messy for the past couple of seasons, so for the sake of fantasy owners, it would be nice to see some clarity in that backfield.

Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis Colts

» EJ Manuel didn't give anyone a lot of reasons to get excited, although he wasn't terrible in his preseason debut. C.J. Spiller on the other hand? Get excited, folks. This could be the start of a really big season for the young fella.

» T.Y. Hilton reasserted himself as a fantasy sleeper for 2013, but Coby Fleener might have inserted his name to that list as well. Plenty of people have remarked on Andrew Luck being reunited with his old offensive coordinator, Pep Hamilton. But let's not forget, he was Fleener's OC at Stanford as well. That could bode well for the young tight end.

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