Remember the name William Powell.
The former undrafted free agent from Kansas State had 92 yards and a TD on nine carries in the Cardinals' game against the Chiefs Friday night. That's a stellar 10.2 yards per carry. In comparison, the great Jim Brown averaged 5.2 YPC in his career. Pretty impressive stuff, huh?
Now, forget about the name William Powell.
Because none of it matters.
It's the first week of preseason football, and it's about as meaningful as Lady Gaga's Twitter feed.
If you need proof of that, check out the Patriots-Saints game Thursday night. Two championship caliber teams. Two juggernaut offenses. Two Hall-of-Fame QBs. And the score was 7-6.
Still, there was one thing that we learned from the first week of preseason and a few more things that were hinted at. Nothing to get too excited about yet, just some players to keep an eye on in the next few games.
WHAT WE KNOW:
Ryan Matthews is a fragile, fragile man. The Chargers RB was a good bet to have a breakout year in 2012. He finally had the Sand Diego backfield job all to himself. He was going places. The only knock on him was he tends to get dinged up a bit.
No one thought that "dinging up" would happen on his first carry. Just like that, Matthews will miss four-to-six weeks with a broken collarbone. He still has a shot at a great season. He'll be back in Week 2. But if he goes down after one carry, what will happen after 200? Draft him, but get another quality RB first. If someone takes him as their No. 1, let them.
WHAT WE NEED TO KEEP AN EYE ON:
Peyton Hillis looks like he's going to have a big role in the Chiefs' running game. Jamaal Charles is the feature back in K.C., but Hillis got lots of work when the starters were in and caught a TD pass. It was always going to be a running back committee here, but the split may run closer to 50/50. Since Hillis was going to get the goal-line work anyway, he could end up being the Chiefs RB you want.
RB Chris Rainey may have a nice role in the Steelers offense. Rainey's a small, fast back in the mold of the Chiefs' Dexter McCluster and Saints' Darren Sproles. He'll never be the main ball carrier, but he could be used as change of pace guy and as a receiver. He got some quality field time in game one and scored on a 65-yard reception. See how he's used as the preseason moves along.
Julio Jones may be the next stud WR. It's no surprise the Falcons' Jones is a talent and is already being drafted among the top WRs. But when you haul in six catches for 106 yards and a TD in the first team's limited time on the field, that means Atlanta is trying to make a statement. And that would be, "Hey NFL. Look what we got."
WR Keshawn Martin may have a fantasy impact in Houston. Andre Johnson keeps getting hurt for the Texans. That isn't a big secret. Johnson didn't play in week one, but Martin did. And it was Martin who was the main target when Matt Schaub and the first team were in. Now, don't expect Martin to be a fantasy star. But come midseason, Martin's gotten some work in the offense, Johnson gets hurt … Hmmmm. You never know.
The Colts WRs may be more valuable than you thought. This is Andrew Luck's team now and the Colts' staff is very impressed with the young QB. Of course, ALL teams say they're impressed with their rookie QBs, but Luck went out and had a nice NFL debut. Chances are his rookie year yields mixed fantasy results for him, but he could raise the value of Reggie Wayne and Austin Collie. On Sunday, Collie caught three passes for 45 yards and a TD. That's a good sign.
Rich Sheposh is a page designer, editor and ne'er-do-well who writes stuff about fantasy sports. If you feel so inclined, you can reach him at [email protected]