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When's the last time the first week of preseason football determined who would be the best Fantasy running back from a given team?
How about never?!
Still, coaches are eventually forced to tip their hands as to which running backs on their teams are really first-string, second-string, and so on. That might be one of the rare perks of preseason football.
Then again, coaches are known to change their minds.
Through one week of sizzling, scintillating preseason action, we've got a beat on the following backfields.
We didn't see enough of Rawls to get a legitimate idea of how he looks -- he played six snaps and had two carries for five yards -- but it was when he was on the field that matters. Rawls played exclusively with Russell Wilson and the first-team offense.
Lacy worked exclusively with the second-team unit and played a bit more, working nine snaps and handling four carries for 10 yards. He definitely looked husky and didn't quite have the quickness Rawls had.
But both ran behind offensive lines that couldn't get much going, something we're used to in Seattle at this point. Lacy's longest jaunt was helped by the O-line finding some space for the big man to run through and nothing more. He picked up 5 yards.
It's worth noting C.J. Prosise worked the third downs with both rushers,
For now, Rawls looks like the Seahawks rusher to get, but it's based on him continuing to get those first-team reps and little else, as he rushed for just 3.2 yards per carry last season. Sadly, we could be looking at a full-blown committee between Rawls, Lacy and Prosise, which will further get blurred by a Seahawks offensive line that, at least for one game, didn't look much improved.
None of these guys are worth taking until at least Round 7.
For at least one night, Spencer Ware didn't look like "just a guy." On Kansas City's first drive, he was smooth on a wheel route where he forced a missed tackle on his way to a 9-yard gain, then scored easily from 2 yards out on the next play.
Ware played exclusively as the lead rusher for the Chiefs save for one play where rookie Kareem Hunt relieved him for a snap, presumably to give Ware a rest. Hunt logged just eight snaps on offense, finishing with a 9-yard catch and one carry that went nowhere. He actually played more snaps on special teams (11).
The overreaction would be to assume that Hunt's chances of passing Ware on the depth chart have gone up in Kansas City smoke. Despite this week's actions, Hunt still figures to be the better overall talent compared to Ware. We just might not see it as soon as we initially hoped -- and as long as Ware makes plays, we may not see it until well into the regular season. They're much closer in the rankings than before, and are well worth drafting together with picks in Rounds 7 and 8.
Combined, these guys had 22 total yards against the Eagles, so let's not create a fake forecast based on this game. Ty Montgomery barely played, and when he did he fumbled. He had three carries for no yards and an 8-yard reception. Rookie Jamaal Williams held on to the football over his four carries, but turned them into just 14 yards.
Overall, the first round of this battle ended in a draw. If there's a difference between the two, it simply looked like Williams had a little more juice on his touches than Montgomery. It's nowhere near enough to make a call on who the coaches might like better, but if Montgomery isn't pulling away two games from now, there's a chance Williams could get the nod much sooner than later.
If you draft Montgomery in Round 4, better look for Williams by Round 8. At least there isn't another Packers running back significantly in the mix ... for now.
Paul Perkins started for the Giants and played most of the reps early, splitting with Shane Vereen -- including in the red zone. Perkins played 10 snaps, Vereen took eight. That's a red flag right off the bat.
Perkins' first run was pretty nice but everything else he did was either in a short-yardage situation or a play blown up by bad blocking in front of him, meaning minimal yardage was gained. That's sort of a red flag.
Muddying the issue is the progress made by Orleans Darkwa, who looked pretty good in limited reps. Darkwa is finally healthy after dealing with complications from a broken leg.
A lot of people thought Perkins had a shot at 1,000 yards running with the Giants this year. That sentiment has seemed to fade as reflected in his ADP. Now the concern is that the Giants will lean even more heavily toward the pass this season -- taking the ball out of Perkins' hands and putting into Vereen's more often. And if Darkwa begins eating into first-team reps ... whoo boy, things could get messy.
Perkins is still the best Giants running back to draft, but expectations shouldn't be too high. While you can find Vereen and Darkwa's names after pretty much every draft, Perkins is still worth targeting in Round 7. Just keep expectations mild.
Perine looked slow, even though he eventually picked up a nice gain on an 11-yard run -- against second- and third-stringers. Before that, he fumbled the ball and dropped a pass on consecutive plays.
On a night when all of Washington's offense looked rotten, maybe it's best to forget what we saw. Rob Kelley has started to inch up the rankings since it's expected he begins the season as the starter, but the fear is that the Redskins mix-and-match Kelley and Perine to the point where it will be unpredictable choosing when to start one in Fantasy.
For that to happen, Perine's going to have to hold on to the football first. He'll get chances in the next few weeks.