• Santonio Holmes is the best receiver on the Jets. Granted, he played with the second team, but caught four passes for 55 yards and displayed the hands, the burst and the confidence that Braylon Edwards flashed in 2007 but has never recaptured. Holmes stood out, which is a good sign considering he'll be out for the first four games of the season due to suspension. Had he gone through the motions and failed to stand out, it would have been a red flag. Despite the Jets' conservative passing attack and a crowd of receivers, he makes for a nice late-round draft day roll of the dice.
• Brandon Jacobs will be solid. Neither Giants back looked strong with Big Blue's offensive line not at full strength, but Jacobs is still the best choice to be the Giants' feature back. He barreled in for a 1-yard TD for his lone highlight of a four-carry, two-yard night while Ahmad Bradshaw sparkled with his 51-yard catch but had -1 yards on three carries. Plus, he's never had more than 17 carries in a game, is 5-foot-9, 198 pounds and typifies the quintessential third-down back. As long as Jacobs continues to improve from his 2009 knee injury, he should make a solid fourth or fifth-round RB2 who is guaranteed a ton of goal-line action if not full-time starting tailback yardage to boot.
• Greene Machine. It's just one game, but Shonn Greene rushed for 26 yards on five carries with a long of eight yards and an average of 5.2 per carry. The projected second-round pick who's been an off-season mock draft rising star did nothing to dissuade his status. Backup and former fantasy great LaDainian Tomlinson looked better catching the ball (one for 14 yards) than running it (eight runs, 17 yards, 2.1 average) and will probably settle into a third-down role. But with Greene's lack of a track record, he'll still be a necessary late draft handcuff for fantasy owners.
• Hello, Victor Cruz. The second-year undrafted Giants receiver might have landed a spot on the roster, putting on a show: six catches, 145 yards and three scores, not to mention his amazing one-handed grab (offensive pass interference notwithstanding). It's a shame that the depth of the Giants' receiving core of Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks, Ramses Barden, Mario Manningham and Sinorice Moss will render him a fantasy non-entity.
• Monday, Bloody Monday. The bloody blow Eli Manning took to the head offered a momentary karmic retribution for the last few Chargers fans bearing grudges over his draft day tantrum of years gone by. On a brighter note, it also showed his toughness, walking off cool and composed looking more like an extra from Saw than a starting QB.
When Texans rookie running back Ben Tate broke his ankle recently, fantasy draft boards everywhere felt a bit of the pain. Tate was a sleeper on everyone's list and was going in mock drafts as high as the middle rounds, while being a top-5 lock in rookie drafts. But just as one fantasyland door closed, another opened.
Steve Slaton is the player who stands to gain the most from this. Sure, he's the same guy who shared the bullseye of many an owner's postseason dart board (along with Matt Forte) for being an enormous 2009 bust. But the shoulder and neck problems that troubled him last year are over, and the impact of his nearly 1,300-yard, nine-TD rookie year in 2008 can't be dismissed that easily. If he can stay healthy and hold onto the ball, Slaton's burst and home run speed is undeniable with five TDs of 30 yards or more the past two years.
Arian Foster, who had just two good weeks in the final two games of 2009 and is pretty much a flake (he denied interviews with UT beat writers on the grounds that he'd only do them if they spoke Pterodactyl according to Pro Football Weekly's draft guide), is a dark horse candidate and could be a threat for goal line duty. Against the Cardinals, Slaton had 10 carries for 22 yards and one catch for 21 but lost a fumble. Foster ran four times for 31 yards. If Slaton were to win his old job back, he'd be a sneaky draft day pick in the late or late mid-rounds not to mention an excellent PPR (points per reception) league depth-pick. The remaining three Texans games will make for an interesting position battle, one that will have prime fantasy football implications.
Two backup tailbacks landed in different spots in an annoying turn of events for those of us fantasy owners who consider running back by committee akin to the devil's handiwork.
Both Brian Westbrook and Ladell Betts pose threats to be fantasy leeches, but with each at the 30-year-old threshold, time may still be on our side. Thanks to the out of left field retirement of Glen Coffee, Westbrook signed with the 49ers to back up Frank Gore, whom I considered a top-5, first round lock. Thanks to this move, drop him behind Andre Johnson and Michael Turner (although I argued in last week's column the merits of passing up AJ anyway). Westbrook will most likely be used as a part-time slot receiver and change of pace back, but it rankles me to know he'll be lurking on the depth chart behind Gore, who I still believe is in line for possibly a massive year.
The other problem signing was Betts with the Saints. At 5-11, 224 pounds, he provides a nice goal-line option for Sean Payton and will no doubt cut into Pierre Thomas' scoring chances at the stripe, which is the most annoying part of it. I had considered Thomas a mortal lock for double-digit TDs but now it looks like he may not be. Keep an eye on Betts and how he's used the rest of preseason. There's a chance he's just a warm body who's lost a step, and is merely a viable emergency option. Or he could be the go-to guy at the stripe, confusing the fantasy stock of Thomas who just a day ago I was hailing as draft day's top value pick of the year. Thanks to developments like these, keeping track of the preseason just got more interesting.
Be sure to check out past editions of David Komer's Fantasy Clicks.