There are just two games scheduled for Thursday night as we begin week two of the NFL preseason. That doesn’t mean dynasty league owners won’t be watching, though.
The Bills host the Colts in one matchup, while the Patriots visit the Falcons in the other.
These two contests feature quite a few unsettled position battles and numerous young players attempting to make positive impressions.
Let’s take a look at ten different questions we’re looking to answer on Thursday night.
1. Can Brian Brohm regain his old collegiate magic?
Confidence can be a tricky thing, eh?
Brohm was unquestionably one of the top quarterback prospects just a few years ago.
After dropping like a brick in the NFL Draft, Brohm lost a backup quarterback competition with Matt Flynn and was stashed on the Green Bay practice squad before finally being signed by the Bills last year.
In his limited game action, he’s looked completely overwhelmed.
There’s little question he has the ability to play the game. It’s now or never for him to believe that himself and start showing it on the field.
If he can, the Bills job is ripe for the picking.
2. Will Wes Welker play?
Welker has made the trip to Atlanta to be with the team. It’s unknown whether he’ll suit up for the game, however.
If and when he gets on the field, the collective sigh of relief from dynasty owners will be enormous.
3. How will C.J. Spiller fare as the starter in Buffalo?
Maybe the Bills weren’t crazy to pass on their offensive line woes in the draft.
The injuries to Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch have left a gaping hole at the running back position in Buffalo, at least temporarily.
The electric young running back will have his first opportunity to really show what he can do as he’s expected to get significant work on Thursday night.
Dynasty league owners are anxious to see if he can seize this golden opportunity.
4. What will Harry Douglas’ season debut bring for Atlanta?
With Michael Jenkins sidelined with a shoulder injury, Douglas finds himself in a similar position to Spiller.
He could make a great case for increased playing time if he shows the talent the Falcons have seen on the practice field translate into game action.
5. Can Julian Edelman keep up the pace?
He was a pleasant surprise last season after Welker went down, but many dynasty owners thought that was a fluke.
He had six receptions for 90 yards and added two punt returns for another 42 yards in the Patriots week one preseason victory over the Saints.
More solid performances like that and the Patriots are going to be hard pressed to keep him off the field.
6. Can Buffalo find another wide receiver?
There’s no shortage of candidates for the job opposite Lee Evans, but nobody is stepping up thus far for the Bills.
They have to be getting a little nervous.
7. Will Curtis Painter ever show anything promising?
There’s little question the Colts have the most desperate backup quarterback situation in the league.
If Painter doesn’t show something soon, Tom Brandstater will step up into the role of being the primary backup to Manning.
While the No. 2 position may seem inconsequential since Manning is so durable, remember they tend to play during the fantasy playoffs.
8. Who will start for the Patriots at running back?
While the third preseason game will be the best indicator of the future, it will raise some eyebrows in fantasy circles if BenJarvus Green-Ellis starts again.
9. Will Austin Collie or Anthony Gonzalez step forward?
The battle for the all important slot receiver position in Indianapolis rages on.
It’s tough to get a read on exactly who has the lead right now, but it’s surely going to be settled on the field in the next few weeks.
10. Can the super sleepers of Atlanta continue to produce?
Dynasty league owners are always looking for the next hidden gem. Could one of those be Kerry Meier or Dmitri Nance?
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK