Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  By JAY CLEMONS  |  Last updated 8/9/13
Here are six fantasy revelations gleaned from Thursday night's preseason action: 1. It's OK to be spoiled by Chris Johnson's preseason dominance From a ratings standpoint, the Titans Television Network must have been thrilled with Johnson's 58-yard scoring dash against the Redskins, capped by an ultra-athletic move to burn a would-be tackler. But for everybody else, let's have some perspective here: Last August, Johnson blew up the Buccaneers for two rushing scores; and in 2008, as a rookie against the Rams, Johnson sprinted to a 73-yard TD on one of his first professional runs. Of the elite fantasy backs from year to year, Johnson may have the best preseason track record of the bunch. But at present time, that success neither guarantees a regular season of 1,800 rushing yards nor double-digit touchdowns. Check this out: For his career, Johnson has had incurred a 200-yard disparity in rushing numbers positive and negative from season to season. There's no rhyme or reason to his production. 2. Sam Bradford may finally have a receiver to light up standard-scoring and PPR leagues Against the Browns on Thursday, Chris Givens converted on all three receiving targets for 82 yards and one touchdown. It was a rock-solid August debut ... and a sublime carryover from last year's flash of fantasy goodness. For Weeks 8 and 12, Givens combined for eight catches, 178 yards and two touchdowns essentially coming out of nowhere. For Weeks 13 and 14, he then tallied 24 targets, confirming that he had quickly secured the trust of Bradford and the Rams coaches. 3. The NFL's best RB2 battle can be found in Seattle Perhaps the Seahawks should adopt the old 'Wishbone' offense for this season ... at least until receiver Percy Harvin recovers from hip surgery. It's the only realistic way their trio of dynamic rushers Marshawn Lynch (3,102 total yards, 25 TDs for 2011-12) and future stars Robert Turbin and Christine Michael can amass 250 yards and multiple touchdowns every Sunday. On Thursday, Michael rumbled for 89 yards on 16 carries against the Chargers, minus any competition from Lynch or Turbin (both inactive). It was a productive start for a power back who resembles a young Cedric Benson. Speaking of stellar understudies ... 4. Bernard Pierce doesn't need many preseason reps to represent the underground fantasy community Pierce's inside-outside, 20-yard touchdown against the Bucs was a thing of beauty. For the lucky drafters of Ray Rice (Round 1), Pierce is a must-handcuff in all scoring leagues. For a three-week stretch last season (Weeks 16-17, wild-card round), Pierce rushed for 315 yards on 49 touches averaging 6.4 yards per carry. On any other team (the Cardinals, for example), Pierce would be the lead rusher, with a capacity for 1,300 total yards and eight touchdowns. 5. There's nothing to glean from the Chargers' vertical attack, and that's OK In a perfect world, Malcom Floyd (one catch vs. Seattle), Antonio Gates (one catch) and touted rookie receiver Keenan Allen (two catches, 13 yards) would have profoundly impacted Thursday's preseason opener. Instead, some random cat from West Chester College (Dan De Palma) emerged as the Bolts' leader in catches (five), receiving yards (43) and targets (eight). Normally, I'd demand more from QB Philip Rivers (45 yards passing) and friends ... but given the season-ending injury to Danario Alexander, the revised goal for this group involves Floyd, Allen, Gates and receiver Vincent Brown (broken leg last year) surviving the preseason in one piece. After all, Rivers accounted for 290 total yards andor multiple touchdowns 11 times last season; and of San Diego's six intra-division games, he threw for multiple touchdowns five times. 6. I don't anticipate drafting a single 49ers wide receiver in any of my 12 leagues I have the utmost respect for Anquan Boldin's career to date, but there's a zero-percent chance of me investing a Round 6 or 7 pick on a 32-year-old wideout who averaged only 109 targets and 4.33 touchdowns the previous three seasons (with Baltimore). After Boldin (two catches, 14 yards on Thursday) ... the 49ers have a conglomeration of eminently replaceable assets at receiver. Jay Clemons can be reached, day or night, via Twitter at @FOX_JayClemons.
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