We’ll finish up this series with the NL West, a division where four teams are nominally still alive, though only three teams behaved as if they are still contending. The Dodgers made the biggest splash of the trade season by acquiring Manny Machado, and then followed that up by getting Brian Dozier, who only homered in his first two games with the team. But the Diamondbacks didn’t fade away after the Dodgers caught (and for a while, passed) them, and they’ve also reloaded for the stretch run.
With four teams playing games and the remainder of the NFL in practice, this Saturday brought no shortage of news to round out preseason Week 1. We’ll cover the important takeaways from the games here, including Kirk Cousin’s first snaps as a Viking and the return of David Johnson, but first let’s go over some quick-hitting developments from around the league.
Hey While there were only two games on the preseason docket Friday night, there was no shortage of news after a much fuller exhibition slate Thursday. My colleague Corey Smith did an outstanding job of covering a lot of the major storylines coming out of those games here, but we’ll aim to provide some of the more notable day-after developments (including one particularly crushing season-ending injury) from the first big night of preseason action, as well as any news from any Friday camp practices.
I did the “Beat Jeff Erickson” draft last night, part of the RotoWire Online Championship hosted by the NFFC. For those of you unfamiliar with the format, it’s a 12-team league, but part of an overall contest, with the grand prize winner earning $100,000. Entry fee is $350, and winning your league earns you $1,500. The scoring format is PPR, six points for a passing touchdown, and we start 3 WRs and a flex.
We’ll continue our tour today with the NL Central, a division that has four teams still alive in the playoffs race, though only three teams behaved as contenders. It was weird to see the Cardinals trading off some veteran talent while the Pirates were making big go-for-it trades. Then again, this came on the heels of the Cardinals firing their manager, so maybe the only weird part was seeing the Pirates pay in the price of precious (albeit flawed) prospects.
Today brings us our first full slate of preseason action with 12 highly-anticipated matchups, including 10 cross-conference showdowns and two tilts between playoff teams from last season (Saints v. Jaguars and Eagles v. Steelers). We get our first glimpse at the No. 1 and No. 2 overall draft picks from the 2018 NFL Draft as the Browns visit the Meadowlands to take on the G-Men, and Andrew Luck sees his first live game action in 19 months. Perhaps most notably, we get to watch the notorious chain-snatcher himself, Aqib Talib face off with Michael Crabtree as the Rams and Ravens battle in Baltimore.
Earlier this week I took over one of the twelve teams that would be participating in Tuesday’s Ottoneu Expert’s League auction. This is a keeper league, and the squad I inherited was disappointingly thin on running backs and receivers, considering the only player on my roster that wasn’t a quarterback or tight end was the recovering Chris Thompson. Compare me to the guy who entered the night with David Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, Alvin Kamara, Tyreek Hill, Juju Smith-Schuster, Jimmy Graham, Alex Collins and Marlon Mack… I didn’t feel great going into to this. But the bright side to my situation was that I easily had the most cap space of all teams bidding, and there was still a decent pool of receivers up for grabs.