We are now less than 3 weeks away from the beginning of our beloved football season. The excitement is palpable from the message boards of mock drafts to the plethora of retweets regarding any fantasy relevant news. The preseason is now well underway and we find ourselves chomping at the bit for news, injury updates, and scouting sleepers. I take preseason seriously now, especially after watching my keeper Jordy Nelson go down the day after I set my keepers. *Sigh*. But I digress. While at the Rams vs. Chiefs game this past Saturday, not only did i get to watch Todd Gurley score a touchdown, but I got to see a lot of great and terrible plays. Why am I bothering with going to another preseason game? 1. I have season tickets & 2. I love football.
No Surprise Here
Despite completing a full practice this Thursday, Jamaal Charles did not make an appearance in Saturday’s game. This is not shocking as he was only removed from the PUP list last week. The Chiefs will ease him back slowly and have no need to rush him back. He’ll reportedly be ready for a week 1 start. He’s coming off his second ACL tear and it would be great to see him get a few preseason reps in.
In Charles’ absence Spencer Ware opened the game up with the first touchdown of the night. Ware looked good with 10 carries for 37 yards and caught all 4 of his targets for 24 yards. This is only worth noting for handcuff purposes if something happens to Charles. Ware will be splitting carries with Charcandrick West similar to last season. West had close to 200 more yards than Ware last season, but Ware had more touchdowns. If you’re a Charles owner I don’t think it’s crazy to pick them both up.
Todd Gurley made his debut this weekend and he did not disappoint. Gurley had his first of what will hopefully be many touchdowns in the Coliseum. He had 4 carries for 20 yards, and that’s about all you could ask of him. Bottom line, he looks great and it was awesome to see his power in person.
Poor Jared Goff. I really want to see him put together a decent looking drive before the season starts. One where he manages to throw a pass with mediocre accuracy and vague confidence. I’d settle for a play where he doesn’t trip over his own teammates to fumble the ball and turn it over. This feels harsh, but this is the NFL. There’s no more prep time or waiting around. He needs to shake this painfully obvious nervousness and pull on the big boy pants. If you check the stats on the game you will see that he had a touchdown pass to Malcolm Brown. However, the only reason that was a touchdown was because Brown saved a terrible throw with a brilliant one handed catch.
Also disappointing, I didn’t see my guy Tyler Higbee. His absence has me thinking I should really just get HBO Go so I can catch up on Hard Knocks and see why he didn’t make an appearance. He’s a great athlete and if given the opportunity I can see him being a playmaker this season. Hopefully this had nothing to do with his pending court date.
Jeremy Maclin looked great with his 20 yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith, and 3 receptions of 4 targets for 48 yards. Unfortunately Maclin was ejected for fighting with Rams DB Lamarcus Joyner, who was also ejected. This call seemed a bit harsh for what didn’t appear to be that intense of a fight but still disappointing. Don’t these guys know we need to see them play? More exciting to watch was Chris Conley with 3 receptions for 66 yards. It’s reported that Conley has been practicing as the No. 2 wideout, and with his young raw talent I’d jot him down as a sleeper with potential to be a red zone threat.
One of the sleepers on my radar looked good Saturday as well. Pharoh Cooper had a touchdown, though it looked questionable under the review, it counted. It was again his only catch but it’s something right? This doesn’t seem to be his fault though as the Rams tried to spread the ball around a lot in this game. Kenny Britt was 2 for 2 with 27 yards, Brian Quick was 2 for 5 with 27 yards, and Temarrick Hemingway was 1 for 1 with 17 yards. I’d like to bring up Malcolm Brown, who had the final touchdown of the game that brought the Rams their second win. Brown was 2 for 2 in receptions for 17 yards and had 12 carries for 68 yards.
Now I know this is Gurley’s backfield and it’s probably ridiculous to think of owning another Rams RB besides him, but Brown looked good. Brown’s strength helped him power through tackles to get them in position for the touchdown he then caught. He’s by no means a must own, and too early to call a handcuff. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear his name more in season as a TD vulture to Gurley.
Have You Been Taking Notes
The Rams held onto a 21-20 victory thanks to some last minute defensive stops. Overall there is much work to be done as far as Goff is concerned and getting Case Keenum used to the idea that he may be starting week 1. I’m greatly enjoying being at these games and can’t wait for the week 1 home opener against the Seahawks. Pete Carroll will be back in the Coliseum and I’m sure that will make for a great game or more likely a complete ass kicking. Either way it’ll be fun.
This coming Saturday I’ll be taking part in the draft for my auction, dynasty, IDP league, and even better, we’ll be poolside in a private cabana in beautiful San Diego. Besides the shameless brag, the point in saying this is that we’re deep into draft season. Whether you’ve already had yours or have yet to partake in the goodness that is Draft Day, get ready. Grab your notes and lists of sleepers, flag your articles, adjust your spreadsheets, football season is coming.