24 Hours 'Til Sunday — Andy Richardson
Why to watch the Hall of Fame game
Posted Aug. 04 at 06:38 AM
Yesterday Peter King tweeted admiration that a scrimmage at Lambeau Field could draw in the neighborhood of 70,000. It's the first football action of any kind in almost seven months; why NOT go if you can drive to it?
That's kind of how I feel about tomorrow night's Hall of Fame Game, making its triumphant return after a one-year, lockout-related absence. Why NOT watch it? I get that there are other things to do, though, so here are seven other reasons to watch the game.
Arizona's backup running backs. Beanie Wells is coming off a knee surgery of uncertain degree, while Ryan Williams is working his way back from a torn patellar tendon. Neither will play. That's not surprising, but it also won't be surprising if those backs being sidelined also occurs more than once during the regular season. So let's take a look at LaRod Stephens-Howling and Alfonso Smith and see if either player is a realistic candidate for fantasy value come regular season time. Probably not, but you never know. Wells being hurt and Williams being a question mark coming back from a severe injury -- those are things you can count on.
Chase Daniel. After a pretty much disastrous offseason for the Saints, how surprising would it really be if this is the year Drew Brees gets hurt? Not very. So let's see if his backup can run this high-powered offense with something close to capability. Who knows, maybe he's Kurt Warner in waiting.
Michael Floyd. By all accounts, Floyd is having an excellent training camp. He may be no more than No. 4 on the depth chart, but Andre Roberts isn't good enough to keep him down there for long. We're already comfortable moving Kendall Wright ahead of Justin Blackmon in dynasty circles; let's see if Floyd belongs there too.
Saints wideouts. Marques Colston and Lance Moore are set, but then? I can't buy Devery Henderson as a fantasy player to get excited about, so let's get a look at Joseph Morgan and Adrian Arrington. Sadly, Nick Toon (foot) won't play, so we'll have to choose between Morgan and Arrington, but it's better than nothing.
Joe Vitt. Yeah, I know, studying coaches. Thrilling. But Vitt will be calling the shots while Sean Payton is suspended -- you know, after Vitt himself serves a suspension to start the season -- so let's see how he runs the show. More running? Less running? Trick plays? It's something.
Saints running backs. New Orleans has an embarrassment of riches at running back; their fourth-string guy, Chris Ivory, could start for many teams. So maybe he will be, if the other guys ahead of him can stay healthy. I'm looking forward to seeing Mark Ingram, who apparently has had a good camp, and Ivory, who figures to get most of the carries.
Replacement refs. Fantasy coaches don't care much whether the NFL and its officials reach a new agreement. This game could give us a hint as to whether we should. There will be replacement officials working the games, and since we all love to complain about the refs anyway, let's see how things look with guys who are presumably a couple of steps below them.
So have your rowdy friends over to watch a football game. It may not tell you much about the upcoming season, but then again, it's football. Seeing it is a lot better than just reading about it.
Posted by DAVID DIGREGORIO | Aug. 04 at 08:23 AM
What are these guys going to get, 2 series at most?
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Aug. 04 at 08:35 AM
Guys like Drew Brees and Larry Fitzgerald, sure. But youngsters or reserves like Ivory, Floyd, Morgan; those guys might play a lot.
Posted by Scott Anderson | Aug. 04 at 09:16 AM
What about Kolb vs. Skelton? Are these guys playing at all, or is it simply too early in the preseason & we'll see the 3rd/4th stringer @ QB?
Posted by DAVID GARRICK | Aug. 04 at 11:26 AM
Chris Ivory could start for many teams? Say what? If that was true, some team would have traded for him. With all the holes New Orleans has on defense, I'm sure they would have taken an extra draft pick for Ivory if someone offered it.
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Aug. 04 at 11:36 AM
Scott, you are correct. I suspect both will get 2 series. David, I think Ivory is a very good back. Perhaps many is an exaggeration, but I think if we knew he was a starter, he would be a top-20 back, so.... Regarding him being traded, the Saints have had some tailback injuries. If the three guys ahead of him are healthy at the end of August, you could see Ivory traded. Teams dont like to deal for runners, but guys deep on one depth chart can become very good starters elsewhere. It happened with Ryan Grant.
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