Matt Forte, Rex Ryan, and Three More Preseason Thoughts


Five more quick preseason insights.

Via Bears Spill Secrets

First, Trestman said a lot of his offense would run through tailback Matt Forte. In the first half, Forte accounted for six carries and two “targets” receiving, both completions, for 76 yards rushing and 33 receiving… Second was Cutler remarking this week that he is becoming “more and more comfortable with” Alshon Jeffery. The Raiders should have listened; Jeffery was targeted on eight of Cutler’s 21 first-half throws, caught seven, and played like the kind of receiver you trade up in a second round to get (which the Bears did).

I’ve written a lot about Matt Forte this offseason, and think he’s got a great chance for a top ten, maybe top five, finish in PPR formats. I think Marc Trestman’s offense will be great, not just for Forte, but for players like Alshon Jeffery too. Currently the victim of some rookie derangement syndrome, Jeffery should be closer to the head of the class. Both are worthy targets for your fake team at their current ADPs.

Via It’s Called Chemistry

The fact that rookie wide receiver Marlon Brown caught four passes against the Carolina Panthers Thursday night has Ravenstown buzzing…

But while Brown’s receptions were great, what was really interesting and potentially crucial about his performance was that Flacco targeted him four times in the first place in a span of about 20 minutes.

That’s a veritable avalanche compared to the opportunities Flacco has given some of the team’s other young receivers trying to earn their pass-catching stripes.

Since then, erstwhile sleeper Tommy Streeter has been released, removing one of Brown’s competitors. Assuming Brown earns a roster spot and a regular role in the offense, I’m not sure he’ll have any fantasy significance in his own right. He was undrafted coming off an injury and his college production was good but not great. Here are his college numbers.


I’m more interested in whether or not Brown can help the Ravens solve their 3rd down target problem. That would help them keep drives alive, and thus help Ray Rice and Joe Flacco.

Via Rex Ryan Loses His Cool

This is what happens when you half-commit to rebuilding, bringing back Sanchez, Santonio Holmes and a coach neutered by a new general manager: You get an August news conference that’s destined for a Coors Light commercial.

For now, Mark Sanchez is day-to-day. Longer term, the Jets remain a glorious dumpster fire of NFL style reality TV. With reports that the Jets just want Geno to have the job, the door seems wide open for Geno Smith to be the starting QB. We’ve written before about Smith’s long term (really high) upside. And we even wrote that he’d make a good draft pick, if his team didn’t have too many needs. While he doesn’t look like he’s ready to be a starter now, he probably will be. Remember that there’s value in getting a team’s top receiver for nothing, and we’ve got a whole bunch of Geno-centric content for you. Also, I wrote this post while standing sideways.

Via Mendenhall has Knee MRI

After missing a portion of training camp because of patellar tendinitis, Mendenhall felt looseness in the same right knee, forcing him from Saturday’s game. Mendenhall suffered an ACL tear to that knee in the 2011 season finale.

Reportedly just a mild sprain, the Cardinals expect Mendy back for the season opener. Further evidence the injury is minor: Arizona is reportedly shopping Ryan Williams. Although Mendenhall is a bit of a stealth star, it’s hard to get excited about his projection. Rather than get stuck taking Mendenhall mid draft, why not go RB/RB/RB instead? Or even RB/RB/RB/RB/RB?

Via Cooper Breaks His Leg

“I hope that’s just a bad guesstimate,” wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said when told of the news inside the Cardinals’ locker room following their 24-7 loss. “That’s not what I want to hear right now.”

Fitzgerald probably really is bummed out about losing rookie OL Jonathan Cooper. It’s a blow to an already week line. Will the Cardinals be able to give Carson Palmer enough time in the pocket to find Fitzgerald? For that matter, will they be able to block effectively for the aforementioned Mendenhall? We’ve debated the buy or sell Fitzgerald dilemma before, with Davis Mattek coming down firmly on the “sell” side. Our WR ADP Arbitrage App suggests targeting Dwayne Bowe, Danny Amendola, or Hakeem Nicks instead. We took a rigorous look at the Chiefs offense here and here. Amendola gets some ink here, and all get a quick look in Shawn Siegele’s WR Rankings.

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By James Todd | @spidr2ybanana | Archive

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