This week brings us the most pivotal set of preseason games for the 2010 season. Franchises will be evaluating all their players for one of the final times and playing their first units for the better part of the first half in most games.
With cut day looming in just a couple of weeks, it’s now or never for some NFL players to lock down a roster spot or win a positional competition.
Every team has a fantasy football relevant question to answer this week, so we’ll go right down the line.
1. Can Sam Bradford show enough improvement and make the St. Louis Rams believe he should start the season opener over A.J. Feeley? The injury to Felley opens the door just a bit.
2. Who will start at running back for the New England Patriots? Will it be Fred Taylor, Laurence Maroney, or even BenJarvus Green-Ellis? We should have an idea this week.
3. Which receiver has the inside track on the No. 3 wide receiver spot in Indianapolis? Will it be Austin Collie or Anthony Gonzalez?
4. Can the Green Bay Packers offense even be slowed down? This team has looked like an absolute scoring machine led by MVP Candidate Aaron Rodgers.
5. Can Harry Douglas make enough of an impression to hold off Michael Jenkins when he’s healthy enough to return to the Atlanta lineup?
6. Patrick Turner has a golden opportunity to make the Dolphins team after they traded Greg Camarillo to Minnesota. Can he finally take advantage of some good fortune?
7. Willie Parker looks to start this week for the Redskins. Rumor has it he AND Larry Johnson could be released if they don’t show a spark. If that’s the case, can Ryan Torain or Keiland Williams be valuable pickups?
8. The Darrelle Revis contract situation with the New York Jets has IDP owners nervous. This needs to get resolved soon or every unit on the Jets will suffer the consequences. Can they get it done?
9. San Diego needs some receivers to step up big time since it looks like they’ll be without Vincent Jackson for a long, long time. Will somebody outside of Floyd and Naanee surprise us and become a playmaker?
10. New Orleans has a major sleeper in Adrian Arrington. Can he show up one more time and solidify a roster spot?
11. The Eagles running game has been sputtering. Can LeSean McCoy show the Eagles brass he has the ability many fantasy owners are banking on?
12. The Chiefs need some offensive cohesiveness to show up this week. Can Dexter McCluster continue to provide a spark?
13. Some pundits believe Colt McCoy of the Browns may need a solid preseason outing to avoid being released. While I don’t believe that’s the case, he’s really falling off the map right now. Can he show up big time this week?
14. Can Jahvid Best continue to show he can be a true featured back for the Lions? If so, Thanksgiving would be much more entertaining.
15. I’m worried about the Bengals and it has nothing to do with their receivers. Carson Palmer doesn’t look like himself right now. Can he show enough to quiet the critics?
16. The Bills found themselves a playmaker in CJ Spiller. Now, they have him working in the wildcat. Great. Now they have four people who can’t play the position. Will someone PLEASE step up this week? Trent Edwards looked decent last week, but we’ve come to expect little in encore performances.
17. Mike Sims-Walker looks fairly healthy again. Can he put up a strong half to make the Jags feel good again about having him be their No.1?
18. In Tampa Bay, Kareem Huggins is making a push to get Derrick Ward knocked right off the roster. Can one of these two make this an easy decision for the coaching staff with a great performance?
19. The Giants running game has been pretty good so far behind the dominance of Ahmad Bradshaw. If he starts this week, we should have an effective passing of the torch from Brandon Jacobs. Will it finally happen?
20. Baltimore still needs to get their passing game in gear. Can Joe Flacco and Anquan Boldin get on the same page this week?
21. In Dallas, we should finally know who their starting running back is based on who starts the game. Will it be Marion Barber? I think it will, but I wonder how long that will last.
22. The Houston running back spot is all settled now. Can Jacoby Jones make a case to knock Kevin Walter down a peg?
23. Mike Williams is going to make the Seahawks. Unbelievably, he has a legitimate chance to start. What kind of time will he get with the first team this week?
24. The Vikings are suddenly thin at wide receiver. What will the offense look like this week without Sidney Rice?
25. Most positions are set on the Titans. The big question here is easy. Can LeGarrette Blount can rise above the controversy swirling around him and make this team?
26. Matt Moore has effectively held off Hunter Cantwell and Jimmy Clausen so far in Carolina. Can he put up a good enough performance for any whispers to stop?
27. In Arizona, Tim Hightower seems to still have a legitimate role in the backfield. Will he start over Chris Wells yet again this week? If so, we can expect the same in week one.
28. In Chicago, it’s time for the Bears to settle their wide receiver rotation. Who will finally emerge in the battle between Johnny Knox, Devin Aromashodu, and Devin Hester to be the starting wideouts on opening day?
29. Can Anthony Dixon hold off Brian Westbrook for the backup job to Frank Gore in San Franciso?
30. Can Darrius Heyward-Bey of the Raiders show us something, anything, to make us believe he won’t have a repeat of his nightmare rookie season?
31. Will Dennis Dixon continue to stake his claim as the rightful owner to the quarterback throne in Pittsburgh, or will Lord Byron hold him off for one more week?
32. Can Jabar Gaffney and Eddie Royal solidify themselves as quality threats to make Kyle Orton’s job much easier? If so, they’re major sleepers.
No matter what happens, this should be a great week!
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK