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Fantasy Football Today

Tony Romo, Kyle Rudolph look good, C.J. Spiller, Trent Richardson look bad Saturday

By Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer

Tony Romo was back and looked good against the Ravens on Saturday. (USATSI)
Tony Romo was back and looked good against the Ravens on Saturday. (USATSI)

Tony Romo was back, Trent Richardson was bad and Sammy Watkins and Ray Rice were banged up. It was an interesting Saturday of preseason action.

Let's get to the games ...

Packers-Rams

Aaron Rodgers was in midseason form, going 11-of-13 passing for 128 yards and one touchdown, which was a 3-yard pass to Randall Cobb. Rodgers is my No. 2 quarterback behind Peyton Manning, and he's in line for a huge year.

Cobb caught all three of his targets and finished with three catches for 34 yards. He's a low-end No. 1 receiver worth drafting in Round 3.

Eddie Lacy looked great with five carries for 25 yards and two catches for 22 yards. He's an easy choice at No. 5 overall in standard leagues, and don't discount him in PPR formats. He's still a first-round pick in that scoring as well.

For the Rams, Sam Bradford made his first appearance since tearing his ACL last year. He finished 9-of-12 passing for 101 yards and a touchdown, which was an 11-yard pass to Lance Kendricks. His best throw was a 41-yard pass to Brian Quick. Bradford should be considered a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback with upside, and he's worth a late-round pick.

The Rams had two injuries Saturday with Isaiah Pead suffering a potential torn ACL, and Kenny Britt injured his shoulder. Britt, who had one catch for 5 yards on two targets, is expected to be fine and remains worthy of a late-round flier.

Pead was No. 3 on the depth chart behind Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham, and if he's out for the season that will help Tre Mason. But Mason had 12 carries for 30 yards and no catches on one target and has a long way to go before Fantasy owners in re-draft leagues can trust him.

Giants-Colts

Let's start with the good. Andrew Luck looks ready to go after he was 12-of-18 passing for 89 yards and a touchdown, which was a 5-yard throw to Griff Whalen. You'd like to see more than a 4.9 passing average, but we like the touchdown. And keep in mind he was without Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton, who were sitting out.

Hakeem Nicks also did well against his former team with five catches for 53 yards on five targets. Nicks could end up as a good value pick in the later rounds if he stays healthy.

Now, the bad, first for the Colts. Richardson had nine carries for 21 yards and one catch for 4 yards. This isn't good if you're expecting a Richardson rebound, and he needs a strong outing in Week 3 against New Orleans if Fantasy owners want to trust him as a No. 2 option in Round 5. The saving grace for Richardson is the Colts really have no one else to trust with Ahmad Bradshaw the only option.

The Giants would have gladly taken Richardson's 25 total yards because Eli Manning was 1-of-7 passing for 6 yards and looked lost. Andre Williams had his first down game with eight carries for 19 yards, and Rashad Jennings was held to seven carries for 17 yards.

We still consider Jennings a flex option, and Williams is right behind him in standard leagues. But after two strong games for these running backs against the Bills and Steelers they got a reality check against the Colts.

Ravens-Cowboys

Romo made his return from back surgery, and he played well. He was 4-of-5 passing for 80 yards and a touchdown, which was 31 yards to Dez Bryant. He looked just fine throwing that pass down the field.

As long as Romo is healthy, he'll challenge for a Top 5 slot as a Fantasy quarterback this year. You'll love if your draft Romo late.

Bryant had three catches for 59 yards and the touchdown on three targets, and DeMarco Murray had eight carries for 34 yards and one catch for 21 yards. He also lost a fumble, but Murray is set up for a big season. I like all the Cowboys main options for Fantasy owners because their defense will be so bad, meaning a lot of shootouts.

Rice suffered a shoulder injury, but X-rays were negative. Any knock on Rice is going to lower his value because he's already out for the first two games with his suspension. He finished with two carries for 21 yards before the injury.

Bernard Pierce, however, ran well with seven carries for 55 yards, including a 30-yard run. I like passing on Rice in Round 5 and waiting for Pierce in Round 10. The value is better and the production could be similar.

Bengals-Jets

Andy Dalton showed why he was a Top 5 Fantasy quarterback last year with his performance against the Jets. Dalton was 8-of-8 passing for 144 yards and a touchdown, which was a beautiful throw to Mohamed sanu for 43 yards. Dalton is a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback this year, and take into account the Jets secondary will be terrible, but he can still be a starter in deeper leagues.

Sanu's value is on the rise with Marvin Jones (foot) out, and he finished with two catches for 56 yards on two targets. He's a good late-round target in all leagues. A.J. Green also had three catches for 69 yards.

The best news was Giovani Bernard scored on a 1-yard run, and we like that the Bengals left him in at the goal line. If that happens all year he'll be a potential Top 5 running back in all formats. He's an easy first-round choice if you're not opposed to drafting running backs early.

Jeremy Hill had three carries for 16 yards and two catches for 13 yards, but he suffered a shoulder injury. If he's healthy, he's definitely worth a late-round pick, but a significant injury will only make Bernard better and keep BenJarvus Green-Ellis relevant.

For the Jets, Chris Johnson ran well with 10 carries for 63 yards. He had two catches for 1 yard, and he lost a 2-yard touchdown to Bilal Powell. Chris Ivory (ribs) was out for the game, but this was a good sign for Johnson. He still has flex potential, especially given Ivory's injury history.

Eric Decker (quad) didn't play in this game, so it's hard to judge the Jets passing game. Geno Smith was 10-of-13 passing for 98 yards and an interception, but he had four carries for 20 yards and a touchdown. He's going to win the job even though Michael Vick was 5-of-9 passing for 70 yards and a touchdown and had two carries for 16 yards.

Dolphins-Buccaneers

We didn't learn much from the Dolphins with Lamar Miller playing little and Knowshon Moreno still coming back from his knee injury. Miller had just three carries for 3 yards, and he caught two passes for 20 yards on two targets. Miller is a great pick around Round 6, and we hope he can hold off Moreno for passing-down work.

Ryan Tannehill was again sharp, going 9-of-14 passing for 110 yards. He's a nice sleeper in deeper leagues.

This was Doug Martin's first game since Charles Sims had ankle surgery, and he had six carries for 24 yards and one catch for 4 yards. He's a solid choice toward the end of Round 2 in all leagues.

Mike Evans had a nice game with two catches for 52 yards, which was highlighted by a 41-yard grab. He's a good mid- to late-round selection. And Vincent Jackson had one catch for a 7-yard touchdown.

Falcons-Texans

The Texans were without Arian Foster and Andre Johnson, so it was hard to judge this offense. But if you're looking for the handcuff for Foster, both Jonathan Grimes and Alfred Blue made an impact.

Grimes was the better rusher with nine carries for 42 yards and three catches for 25 yards. He's the top choice to back up Foster. But Blue scored on a 1-yard dive, and he finished with six carries for 22 yards. We could see a scenario of Grimes and Blue sharing time if Foster were out.

The Falcons are waiting to find out the extent of left tackle Sam Baker's knee injury, but it doesn't sound good. On our Eye on Fantasy Football radio show Saturday night, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason LaCanfora said Baker might be out all season. That will hurt the entire Falcons offense.

Julio Jones saw his first action since last year's foot injury, and he had two catches for 20 yards on four targets. He's a Top 5 Fantasy receiver this year.

Devonta Freeman ran better with five carries for 29 yards, but keep in mind Steven Jackson (hamstring) was still out for this game. Freeman is worth a pick in Round 8 or 9.

Cardinals-Vikings

Hello, Kyle Rudolph. We already knew Rudolph was in line for a big season with the addition of offensive coordinator Norv Turner, but Rudolph looked great against the Cardinals. He had four catches for 89 yards and a touchdown on five targets, and he's a Top 10 option on Draft Day with huge potential. I love Rudolph with a mid- to late-round pick.

Matt Cassel essentially locked up the starting job with his performance tonight. He was 12-of-16 passing for 153 yards and a touchdown as the starter. Teddy Bridgewater will still get a chance to win the job, but he has a long way to go. Bridgewater will still start games this season whether or not Cassel wins the job now.

For the Cardinals, the story was about Andre Ellington's backup. Jonathan Dwyer got the nod over Stepfan Taylor, and that resulted in a goal-line score for Dwyer. He finished with five carries for 10 yards and the touchdown, and Taylor had eight carries for 17 yards.

Whoever wins this role is worth a late-round flier. Ellington, however, remains the running back to own in Arizona.

Steelers-Bills

My colleague, Dave Richard, was at this game, and he plans to blog on what he saw, so stay tuned.

My quick take: Ben Roethlisberger, good. Antonio Brown, good. C.J. Spiller, bad. Fred Jackson, still relevant. Watkins, OK after hurting his ribs.

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