Every fantasy owner heads into an NFL season with well thought out expectations and predictions, but it really is all speculation until the players take the field and show what they are made of. Now that the NFL preseason is under way, we have had the chance to take a realistic look at what to expect from guys this year. Here are a few of the most interesting developments so far:
Jamaal Charles appeared to have most of his explosiveness back, but with Peyton Hillis around, the Chiefs have some healthy competition in their backfield. This is good news for a squad whose offensive line is looking very solid so far, helping the backs get in rhythm as they look to improve on a 2011 season in which they ranked 27th overall in offense.
Ryan Tannehill made a big first impression in an attempt to quiet the many doubters who thought he was taken far too high in the draft. The Miami offense looks a lot like the one he ran fairly successfully at Texas A&M, and he looked comfortable behind center.
While Doug Martin has been emerging out of camp as the starting RB in Tampa Bay (and he looks solid in game action), LeGarrette Blount has also put his A game on the field, showing that he has something to contribute and deserves to get carries.
Julio Jones flexed his muscles as he tries to assert himself as a top-tier WR. Even in a Falcons’ preseason loss to the Ravens, he got plenty of looks and made some highlight reel catches. His sophomore season could be a big breakout.
With all eyes scrutinizing his throws, Peyton Manning displayed that he may still need more time in his recovery from multiple neck surgeries in the past year. He has a few more weeks to get fully tuned up, and if he can come even close to being the Peyton of old, the Broncos offense should be just fine.
The dynamic combination of Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson looks like it will deliver big fantasy numbers again this year, but Kevin Smith has been the story in Detroit so far this preseason, showing flashes of brilliance while Jahvid Best and Mikel LeShoure remain questions.
The 49ers showed the run first against Minnesota. Then they showed it some more. Despite having plenty of weapons in the air, Frank Gore, Brandon Jacobs, and Kendall Hunter are looking like a formidable ground game.
Check out scoutPRO Fantasy Football Expert Nelson Sousa’s full thoughts on the preseason so far for each team on www.scoutPRO.com.