Quick Thoughts for Week 3 Sunday Preseason Games
First, there are some solid plays mentioned already on this blog from Justin's great post here, so give that a once-over.
Let's dig in to the two games, and how I see them playing out:
Houston Texans at the New Orleans Saints (4PM Eastern, FOX)
The Texans are planning on rolling out all of their players in a similar fashion as the previous two weeks, which means the "dress rehearsal" for Week 1 plan is not in play for the Texans. As if you needed another reason not to play anyone from Houston, this should cement that thought. The only Texan I might use is Chris Polk, who has solid numbers from Week 1 (7-36 rushing, 5-34 receiving) and Week 2 (10-29, 3-36).
New Orleans is the team to target today, as they have the biggest point total from Las Vegas, and there will be emotion in New Orleans on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The Saints are going to load up and shoot for lots of points in the first half behind Drew Brees, who has several solid options to catch passes and score for the Saints early. I like Brandin Cooks to be the leading receiver, and Josh Hill is a good tight end option on a day where finding one is not easy.
My pick for the sleeper? None other than Brandon Coleman, wide receiver for the Saints. He dropped a touchdown last week and has yet to record a catch, but he has been the MVP of training camp according to Sean Payton, and that works for me. If you want a dark horse to win a tournament, I like Coleman.
Last but not least, with not much to write home about for the Texans and the big emotion in Louisiana today, I think the Saints are going to be the best choice for team defense and might get you a touchdown, especially if you factor in seventh round draft pick Marcus Murphy from Missouri.
Yes, we talk about seventh rounders on Footballguys. Why haven't you signed up to be an insider yet?
Arizona Cardinals at the Oakland Raiders (8PM Eastern, NBC)
Sunday Night Football wraps up the week with Carson Palmer looking to get the offense rolling against Oakland, a team that has been struggling all preseason. Michael Floyd will still be out for the Cardinals, but I like their passing game this week with Palmer, John Brown and Larry Fitzgerald likely to play at least two quarters and possibly a series after the half. The ground game will then take over for Arizona, featuring rookie running back David Johnson, who racked up 66 yards rushing last week on 13 carries.
As for Oakland, they are a tournament flier for me, as I do not see much coming from their ground game. If anything, I like their passing game - mostly the targets, not the quarterbacks - as I think Amani Cooper and Brice Butler have something to prove. Tight ends have been tough to find in the preseason, but a good option will be Mychal Rivera as Clive Wolford is still out.
Now, as many of us have already stated in the past - and will continue to do so - be careful on a short slate of games like this. With just two contests, there are only so many points to go around and you really have to nail the game scripts and the guys who will be crossing that goal line today. The good news is that in the preseason, the number of players in play is much higher than in a normal two-game slate for the NFL.
Good luck today.