The time is drawing near. Preseason game three is the dress rehearsal for every NFL franchise and the most important game for fantasy football. The players get placed in real game scenarios and get game planned against. The only constant about the NFL is that it is always evolving and this week’s games are no different. I watched at least three-quarters to get the best idea about how these players would be used. My focus is on the first three-year players and this year’s free agents. Here are my observations:
Chargers vs 49ers
For the Chargers, it looks like tight end Ladarius Green will play as much as Antonio Gates. Green went in motion quite a bit, got behind the defense a couple of times, but did not do anything of note. Finally a defensive linemen stepped up for San Diego, defensive end Corey Liuget applied pressure against the run and pass. He knocked a ball in the air and stripped the ball out of Kaepernick’s hands while sacking him. The Chargers need to find a pas rush to make up for their limited corner backs.
Signal caller, Colin Kaepernick, did not have a memorable first quarter. He lost two fumbles within six minutes of the game starting. It looks like he feels the pressure of the offense and holds onto the ball too long trying to free receivers downfield. While the young quarterback can throw darts past double coverage, it is in his best interest to find his dump off receivers first. Rookie back Carlos Hyde has trouble running the ball without a clear lane. He does get physical swatting defenders around, using a spin move, and showing good leg drive when he has room. I am still leading the charge on rookie receiver/returner Bruce Ellington. He looks good playing the slot, adjusting to the ball in the air, and making catches in stride. If the versatile playmaker needs to take a handoff or return kickoffs/punts, Ellington can do that too. IDPers don’t sleep on safety Eric Reid. He is a great open field tackler who likes to play the ball hawking role.