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The NFL preseason kicked off on Sunday night with the first glimpses of what to expect from the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills. The Giants gave us three offensive drives to examine and the Bills gave us two.
Here are the observations from the game and fantasy impact.
* Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills: The highly-regarded rookie had a rough start, contributing absolutely nothing during the Bills' two series. He was targeted three times by E.J. Manuel. One of his targets was batted-down by a defensive lineman before it could get to Watkins, so that's a Mulligan. However, his other two targets were simply a case of good defensive coverage. That is what was most concerning for the speedy wideout.
During the first series, Watkins faced press coverage and was unable to get separation from the defender. It wasn't until the second series when he was given a three yard cushion that Watkins was able to get into his routes without issue. It's only two series, but this will be something to keep an eye on during the Bills' next four preseason games. He's going to be a great long-term prospect for keeper leagues, but his #3 WR status in fantasy land might be a bit high.
* Mike Williams, WR, Bills: Williams was quietly released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for his off-the-field antics last year and he wound up in Buffalo, where he was reunited with coach Doug Marrone. Williams clearly understands the system and looked every part the number one receiver for this team. He plays bigger than his 6-2 frame and provides just enough speed to be a threat. He came within inches of hauling in a touchdown pass from Manuel, but was tangled with the defender and couldn't get both hands on the ball.
Regardless of press, man or zone, Williams showed he could be a consistent #3/4 WR you're looking for in drafts without having to pay for it. Given he's ranked over 60th among wideouts, you can wait and draft him in the middle-rounds and get some great value. Of course it's only one game, but his familiarity with Marrone, experience in the league and play make him and not Watkins the guy who will be Manuel's top target.
*E.J. Manuel, QB, Bills: Manuel certainly had some rust to knock off after having his season cut short last year. He was 2 of 7 passing for just 19 yards. Each were quick-hitters for short gains. His broken pass to Williams was on-target and he looked comfortable overall. He had a few passes knocked down at the line in just two drives. Part of that is the rust and part was being the first live action game.
*C.J. Spiller & Fred Jackson, RB, Bills: Nothing to see here that you don't already know. Spiller has the higher fantasy upside and Jackson is among the few players who are a must-handcuff.
*Eli Manning, QB, NYG: Well, the Giants think they can get him to complete 70 percent of his passes. He connected on 6 of 7 passing for 43 yards. Great right? No. Running back Rashad Jennings caught three of the six, Jerrel Jernigan two and tight end Daniel Fells one. Manning's biggest throw went for ten yards, and that was because his receivers did most of the work after the catch. Completing 70 percent sound great, but let's hope playing small ball isn't how the Giants plan on getting him there.
*Rahsad Jenning, RB, NYG: He looks to be the lead back, but this will be a clear RBBC situation if Boston College rookie Andre Williams continues to play well. That said, Jennings was better when matching up against the Bills' first team defense, gaining a bulk of his 36 yards the hard way. Williams gained all of his 48 yards against the second team defense. As stated above, the bigger news is Jennings' potential to pad the stats receiving.
He had three catches for 20 yards to go along with his 23 on the ground. Stretch that over the course of four-quarters and the numbers are far from shabby. Three series of work isn't going to tell us much, but as Manning goes, so will Jennings' value. Given there is no true #2 receiving threat, the Giants will likely stretch the field with Victor Cruz and rely on Jennings on the ground and short-passing game.
--Follow Adrian on Twitter @FFFDaily.
|08/09||Titans||Green Bay Packers||LP Field-7pm (Preseason)||W: 20-16|
|08/15||Saints||Titans||Mercedes-Benz Superdome- 70m (Preseason)||L: 31-24|
|08/23||Falcons||Titans||Georgia Dome- 6pm (Preseason)||W: 24-17|
|08/28||Titans||Vikings||LP Field- 7pm (Preseason)||L: 19-3|
|09/07||K.C. Chiefs||Titans||Arrowhead- 12pm (Regular Season Starts)||W: 26-10|
|09/14||Titans||Dallas Cowboys||LP Field- 12pm (Home Opener on FOX 17)||Loss: 26-10|
|09/21||Cincinnati Bengals||Titans||Paul Brown Stadium- 12pm||Loss: 33-7|
|09/28||Indianapolis Colts||Titans||Lucas Oil Stadium- 12pm||Loss: 41-17|
|10/05||Titans||Cleveland Browns||LP Field- 12pm||Loss: 29-28|
|10/12||Titans||Jacksonville Jaguars||LP Field- 12pm||Win: 16-14|
|10/19||Washington Redskins||Titans||FedEx Field- 12pm||TBD|
|10/26||Titans||Houston Texans||LP Field- 12pm||TBD|
|11/09||Baltimore Ravens||Titans||M&T Bank Stadium- 12pm||TBD|
|11/17||Titans||Pittsburgh Steelers||LP- 7:30pm (Monday Night Football)||TBD|
|11/23||Philadelphia Eagles||Titans||Lincoln Financial Field- 12pm||TBD|
|11/30||Houston Texans||Titans||NRG Stadium- 12pm||TBD|
|12/07||Titans||N.Y. Giants||LP Field- 12pm (On FOX 17)||TBD|
|12/14||Titans||N.Y. Jets||LP Field- 3:05pm||TBD|
|12/18||Jacksonville Jaguars||Titans||EverBank Field- 7:35pm (Thursday Night Football)||TBD|
|12/28||Titans||Indianapolis Colts||LP Field- 12pm||TBD|
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