We all know that the NFL preseason doesn’t really matter. At least the final score at the end of the game doesn’t but for fantasy football owners there are plenty of things that can be taken away from these otherwise meaningless contents.
Now it is important to remember not to take too much away from these games but if you know the right things to look for, the preseason can be a very useful time of year for intelligent fantasy owners.
Last night, the NFL schedule was a little bit light but here are five things to take away from the Browns-Packers game last night that wound up being a 35-10 victory for the Browns. Too bad for them, these games don’t count.
1. Brandon Weeden Looks Sharp
It had to be encouraging for the Browns to see their first-round draft pick play well last night at Lambeau field, as the 28-year old rookie completed 12-of-20 passes for 118 yards but no touchdowns. The biggest thing that I took away from his play is that the Browns have upgraded at quarterback, which will mean better fantasy numbers for Browns wideouts like Greg Little.
2. Greg Little Impresses
Little, one of our favorite fantasy PPR sleepers for 2012, also had a very good first-half against the Packers and showed a strong chemistry with Weeden, which will be important going forward. Little was targeted five times in the game, catching four of them for a total of 45 yards. His biggest play of the day was a 24-yard reception at the end of the first quarter that later resulted in a Browns touchdown.
3. Jordy Nelson is still a beast
It was kind of a bad night all around for the Packers against the Browns but one of the few highlights came very early in the game when Jordy Nelson showed why he is an elite wide receiver, as he out-jumped and out-muscled Browns top cover man Joe Haden for a 20-yard touchdown pass to give Green Bay an early 7-0 lead. Even though Nelson caught just one of four targeted passes, the way he physically overcame one of the league’s best cornerbacks was impressive.
4. Aaron Rodgers looking like a mere mortal
It is only the preseason and the Packers were without some of their top weapons like Jermichael Finley, Greg Jennings, James Starks and newly acquired Cedric Benson but the reining MVP just has not found his groove yet this preseason. However, he had a solid performance against the Browns, completing 6-0f-11 passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. He also ran twice for 24 yards. Look for more from Arod in the third preseason game. Right now the Packers biggest concern with Rodgers is just getting him through the preseason healthy, the rest doesn’t really matter.
5. A Josh Gordon sighting
The Browns are going really young on offense this season and one of the rookies who can potentially make an impact this season is wide receiver Josh Gordon, who was selected by the team in the second round of the 2012 NFL Supplemental Draft. Few thought he would be able to come in and contribute right away as a rookie but Gordon flashed some skills last night against the Packers, notching two catches for 38 yards. It is early but Gordon may be a fantasy contributor at some point this season and may be worth a flier in the last round or two of the draft.