Boxscore Bottom Dwellers to Watch

In a different era of football not so long ago, Chris Owusu would have been a third or fourth-round pick. Find out why he’s a Box Score Bottom Dweller to watch. Photo by Michael Li.

The most prevalent question with the most divergent opinions during preseason football is, of course, How much should pay attention to the games? If you play fantasy football in a dynasty league the answer is quite a bit. The production that these end of the roster players earn shouldn’t be weighted heavily, but watching how they get their yardage and touchdowns is worth a look. Here’s a list of players I’m watching this year. They’re battling for roster spots, much less any significant playing time. However, this is where players like Victor Cruz and LaRod Stephens Howling got their start.

RB Adonis Thomas, Browns

The former star at Toledo reminds me of LaMichael James in terms of his style. The difference is that he’s not as fast as James, but the 49ers rookie isn’t as powerful and tough between the tackles as Thomas. The Browns saw enough from Thomas in a tryout that they signed him and Pat Shurmur commented that Thomas could not only make the roster but earn playing time. Thomas scored against the Lions and added a 25-yard reception as well. Chris Ogbonnaya and Brandon Jackson have the prototypical size, but they are mediocre talents. Thomas has more upside. Keep an eye on him.

TE Garrett Graham, Texans

No.88 might have as big a role in the Texas offense as James Casey, which would mean Casey will not live up to my hype. Always keep an eye on the contingencies. Photo by The Brit_2.

It’s probably not fair to list Graham in this category, but when buried behind Joel Dreesen for two years he qualifies. Graham was one of my favorite prospects at the tight end position in a class that included Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Graham has reliable hands, underrated athleticism in open space, and good skill as a blocker when used strictly to double-team edge rushers or as a wing back or H-back. With Dreesen in Denver, the Texans are giving Graham a chance and he’s thriving. He’s a player I believe we’ll be hearing more about this year when the regular season begins.

WR Chris Owusu, 49ers

The biggest reason he wasn’t a third or fourth-round pick (at worst) was multiple concussions as a senior. In any other era, Owusu would have been a valued much higher. He has excellent deep speed and toughness after the catch. He’s a solid return specialist with the potential to develop into a more sure-handed Darius Heyward-Bey if he can stay healthy. The long-term future of the 49ers receiving corps is murkier than it might appear. Keep an eye on Jim Harbaugh’s former recruit.

RB Cedric Peerman, Bengals

No, he doesn’t pay me. Nor do we go to the same church. And no, there isn’t a bandwagon for the former Virginia runner with 4.3 speed. But I am driving a beaten up taxi for the guy. Peerman is a highly valued special teams player for the Bengals and more often than not, he’s show something when he has earned a chance to touch the ball in the offense. I think he’s the most overlooked talent in football. Neither Bernard Scott nor Brian Leonard can stay healthy and BenJarvus Green-Ellis will need some relief. If Peerman gets his shot, I think he’ll make something of it.

TE Cornelius Ingram, Broncos

Ingram’s career as been a blur of injuries. If healthy, he has potential to monitor – especially in Denver. Photo by B.J. Smith

I gave Ingram a poor draft grade when he was at Florida. Not because of his athleticism and talent, but his effort and consistency. After two ACL tears, Ingram has bounced from Philadelphia to Detroit to Denver. He emerged with 45 yards on 2 catches, including a 25-yard touchdown last weekend. If he can stay healthy, there’s not a more tight end friendly team west of the Mississippi than Denver. Julius Thomas isn’t fulfilling his potential and there’s a logjam of talent. If Ingram makes the roster, he’s worth watching.

14 responses to “Boxscore Bottom Dwellers to Watch”

  1. Hey Matt good read as always, the only player I know anything about is cornelius ingram so I cant comment too much on the players. I was just wondering if you have any more analysts bringing out their RSP teams for the project?

  2. Hey Matt sounds good I look forward to it. If your interested I [posted my team below, if your interested take a look and let me know what you think.

    QB: Aaron Rodgers Stephen McGee Nate Davis
    RB: Trent Richardson, Danny Woodhead, Mewelde Moore
    WR: Calvin Johnson, Antonio Brown, Austin Pettis, Matt Slater, Ruvell Martin
    TE: Tom Crabtree, Andrew Quarless, Aaron Hernandez, Jimmy Graham
    T: J’Marcus Webb Todd Herremans
    G: David DeCastro Harvey Dahl Kevin Boothe John Greco
    C: Will Montgomery Doug Legersky

    3-4 defense
    DE: Corey Liguet, Adam Carriker, Terrance Knighton, Corey Peters
    DT: Paul Siolai, Steve McClendon, Earl Mitchell
    OLB: Junior Galette LaMarr Woodley Von Miller Bryan Thomas
    ILB: Brian Cushing, Dane Fletcher, Brendon Ayanbadejao, D.J Smith
    CB: Darrell Revis, Patrick Peterson, Kyle Wilson, D.J Moore, Cortez Allen, Keenan Lewis, Brandon Harris
    S: Glover Quin, Danieal Manning, Sterling Moore, James Ihedigbo, Craig Steltz
    DT: Paul Siolai, Steve McClendon, Earl Mitchell, Corey Peters
    OLB: Junior Galette LaMarr Woodley Von Miller Bryan Thomas
    ILB: Brian Cushing, Dane Fletcher, Brendon Ayanbadejao, D.J Smith
    CB: Darrell Revis, Patrick Peterson, Kyle Wilson, D.J Moore, Cortez Allen, Keenan Lewis, Brandon Harris
    S: Glover Quin, Danieal Manning, Sterling Moore, James Ihedigbo, Craig Steltz

  3. Samuel,

    Thanks for posting this team again. I know I said I’d look at it and then just lost track of time and stuff. Love the starting quarterback of course. How can you go wrong with a rocket-arm, hyper-accurate, tough and mobile player. If Nate Davis had even Stephen McGee’s mentality, he’d probably be a starter worth half the price of Rodgers, but 10-20 times what he’s worth right now at $.5.

    I’m surprised about your RBs because you have one plow horse, and two that are completely opposite. Moore was terrific in his prime and I think he had a chance to do more than what teams gave him. He was a poor man’s Forte…the Forte precursor at Tulane. I imagine you’re banking on use some of these guys in the same backfield or formations at times…

    Johnson and Brown are a great combination due to what Brown has done with Wallace and I just think Johnson is so much better than Wallace that it only enhances Brown’s value and versatility. I’m not a huge fan of Pettis but with this receiving corps, he won’t see a lot of press and he’ll find the openings in zone. He could be dangerous.

    Jimmy Graham and Aaron Hernandez is just ridiculous. Now I understand why you have the lack of depth at RB and WR that you do. These guys can be mixed and matched everywhere. Hernandez even works out in the backfield. Multiple City.

    Seems like you have a sound line to execute and probably have the philosophy here that the QB with these WRs and TEs and this RB in Richardson will make the line good. Will you be pulling with DeCastro or will you predominantly do zone schemes?

    Interesting that you have Luiget and Peters here. Two young, talented, underrated guys on the cheap. Solai tells me you’re going 3-4 even if you didn’t mention it. The LBs are a nice mix of vets with skill and Von Monster with Brian “Peter” Cushing.

    Revis, Peterson, and Wilson are ridiculous. I’m trying to do similar for my second team. Who cares about safety play if you have those guys. You can move those suckers around anywhere and feel good about those CBs holding up. And it’s not like you didn’t pick starters at safety that can hold it down with the likes of these corners.

    Write up what you’ll be doing with this team if you want and I’ll gladly post it.

    Great job! Not sure I want to be in the division with these defense. I’d just hope I could run on you and keep your offense off the field.

  4. yea i can do the write up, is it that list of questions under the RSP project tab? Give me a few days and I can give it you, you just want me to post under the reply section or should I send it to you and you’ll post it as a separate thing?

    • Do everything. The spreadsheet, the comments in the spreadsheet, and the questions on the word doc. Submit it all and if you play by the rules outlined as I suspect you have, I’ll post.

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