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The Lucky 13 in Thursday’s Preseason Games

The Hall of Fame Game is in the books, and week one of the NFL preseason starts Thursday night.

With three games on the schedule, it’s time for dynasty league owners to take the in-depth research and roster evaluation necessary to become a league champion to the next level.

With that in mind, here are the lucky thirteen players I’m keeping a watchful eye on during week one’s opening night:

New Orleans vs. New England

Brandon Tate, WR, NE
It seems the Patriots are doing everything possible to get him into the No. 3 wide receiver role. It’s time we see if his practice dominance translates to reality.

Wes Welker, WR, NE
They really wouldn’t even risk it, would they? If Welker gets on the field, the worries about him missing the season opener are gone.

PJ Hill, RB, NO
With the season ending injury to Lynell Hamilton, the door is open for Hill to make his case to be the short yardage compliment to Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush. Will he take advantage?

Oakland vs. Dallas

Jason Campbell, QB, OAK
Al Davis is saying he’s next Jim Plunkett. Raider fans would take the next non-JaMarcus Russell.

Campbell has been great so far in practice. It would be nice to see him take the team to a score on the opening drive.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, OAK
Many dynasty league owners have already cut bait on Heyward-Bey after last year’s disaster. Let’s see just how much progress he’s really made in the offseason.

Jacoby Ford, WR, OAK
Ford is one of DLF’s favorite sleepers.
He was the fastest player at the combine with a 4.28 forty, and is said to have run as fast as 4.126 in the past.

At the very least, he should look super fast in HD.

Kevin Ogletree, WR, DAL
Ogletree had a solid performance in the Hall of Fame Game with two catches for 25 yards in limited action. He needs to build on that if he wants to make his mark before Dez Bryant returns.

Carolina vs. Baltimore

Hunter Cantwell and Jimmy Clausen, QBs, CAR
Matt Moore has the starting gig all sewn up barring an epic preseason meltdown, so the battle begins on Thursday for the backup job.

Most have Clausen winning this hands down, but we’re not jumping on that bandwagon quite yet.

Tyrell Sutton, RB, CAR
Sutton was one of the stars of the 2009 preseason.

Another year of promise shown and the Panthers future depth chart at backup running back could become more clear.

His opportunity starts Thursday night.

Brandon LaFell, WR, CAR
LaFell has been spending a lot of time with the first team in practice as of late. If he starts the game, it’s bad news for Dwayne Jarrett’s future and great news for LaFell owners.

Armanti Edwards, WR, CAR
Dynamic. Electrifying. Jaw-dropping.

There haven’t been a shortage of adjectives being thrown around when describing Edwards’ transition from small school quarterback to NFL receiver.

It’s time we had ourselves a look.

Anquan Boldin, WR, BAL
It’s going to be odd to see him in black instead of red.

It would be great to see some type of chemistry with Boldin and Joe Flacco during their one and only series they play together.

There’s a lot to look forward to in terms of player evaluation this preseason. It all starts Thursday night and dynasty league owners across the planet are ready for some football.

Ken Kelly
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