Evan Silva

Football Daily Dose

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Running with the ones

Monday, August 31, 2009




Titans No. 1 Wide Receiver
Justin Gage vs. Nate Washington vs. Kenny Britt


By all appearances, Washington's hamstring was strained severely last Monday and could cost him multiple early-season games. That cleared a path for Britt to start Week 1 and possibly beyond. Washington had carved out a big role in camp and preseason games, with coordinator Mike Heimerdinger using him in motion and out wide to exploit mismatches. Those duties now fall to Britt, although he didn't look comfortable with so much responsibility on Saturday. Kerry Collins throw his way just once, while Gage racked up six catches for 57 yards and a six-yard score on eight targets. Even rookie TE Jared Cook got more attention than Britt. Britt appeared NFL ready in his 89-yard, one-touchdown second preseason game, but Gage enters the year as Tennessee's uncontested top receiver.

Jaguars No. 1 Wide Receiver
Torry Holt vs. Mike Sims-Walker vs. Troy Williamson


Williamson was quiet (one catch, 11 yards) in Jacksonville's third exhibition, but still leads all NFL receivers in preseason yardage (232). While Sims-Walker may return from his lingering ankle injury this week, he's likely lost any chance to start Week 1. Holt is showing weak separation skills, with just four preseason catches for 47 yards. The wideout formerly known as Big Game's declining big-play ability creates a need for speed on the other side. Williamson isn't more than a late-round flier in fantasy leagues, but he's definitely on the radar. The Jags are desperate for someone to stretch the field so Maurice Jones-Drew doesn't see eight in the box on every down.

Jets No. 2 Wide Receiver
Chansi Stuckey vs. David Clowney vs. Brad Smith


Clowney ran with the Jets' starters late last week, but Stuckey entered first in Saturday's preseason game and capitalized with 69 yards and a touchdown on four catches. Smith has been plagued by drops and went reception-less against the Giants. Clowney also didn't record a catch Saturday. He's locked up a roster spot and will have a Week 1 role, but probably as a situational deep threat ala Devery Henderson or Joey Galloway. Problem is, the Jets will employ a run-first offense, limiting the ceilings of all their receivers. As a substitute with shaky hands, Clowney's upside is around 30 catches for 500 yards. Stuckey is worth grabbing late in PPR drafts. He'll likely be an every-down starter, moving to the slot when New York uses three wideouts.

Packers No. 3 Wide Receiver
James Jones vs. Jordy Nelson vs. Ruvell Martin


We've liked Jones in this competition all along, but Nelson made his case in Friday's exhibition game, racking up 88 yards and a score on three grabs. Jones still has solid preseason production overall (7 catches, 100 yards to Nelson's 5-111-1), so this may come down to Green Bay's preseason finale. Donald Driver and Greg Jennings won't play much, if at all, Thursday night at Tennessee. Look for Nelson to start at split end with Jones at flanker. If both continue to play well, coach Mike McCarthy may enter the season using a third-receiver rotation, with the more sure-handed Nelson playing in the slot on short-yardage downs and Jones entering in big-play packages.

Buccaneers No. 1 Quarterback
Byron Leftwich vs. Luke McCown vs. Josh Freeman


Coach Raheem Morris ended this battle by naming Leftwich his starter on Saturday. The Bucs have put McCown and No. 4 quarterback Josh Johnson on the trading block. Leftwich did nothing to "earn" the job, completing a measly 49 percent of his preseason throws with a minuscule 5.2 YPA and just one touchdown on 43 pass attempts. His arm strength does suit coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski's vertical mindset in the passing game, but there's no reason to think Leftwich will prove even adequate as a starter or be on a long leash. Don't touch this situation in fantasy.


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Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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