After an eventful week one, dynasty owners are salivating as the positional battles are heating up and rosters are starting to come into form. We’re here to provide analysis all preseason long so you don’t miss a thing. With that said, we’re posting a regular watch list for the preseason games, full of players we’re watching for each and every game. For premium subscribers, we also have the ultimate preseason index of players to watch, a 6,000 word write-up with a player from every team who we have our eyes on.
We’ll be focusing most of our attention on the rookies and some of the deep sleepers we’ve been looking forward to seeing in action.
Let’s take a look at Friday’s schedule and who we’re looking forward to seeing the most:
Tennessee vs. Tampa Bay
For the Titans, Jake Locker attempts to take a stranglehold on the starting quarterback position over incumbent quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. At this point, it’s expected he holds off the veteran and starts the season under center for the Titans. Chris Johnson owners would like to see him get on track and look like the explosive back we know he is – we haven’t seen it in quite some time. Kendall Wright will look to build on a solid preseason opener.
The Bucs running back battle rages on as LeGarrette Blount and Doug Martin each look to show Tampa Bay they should be the bellcow for the offense, but this is starting to smell like a timeshare. Michael Smith is a deep sleeper, but he only gained ten yards on nine carries last week – we’ll need to see a nice outing to merit a roster spot for him in a super deep league.
Buffalo vs. Minnesota
Somebody in the receiving corps has to step up for the Bills opposite Stevie Johnson. TJ Graham may be the player to watch in this battle. While he may not earn the job, he’s looked like the second best receiving in camp according to several reports. Marcus Easley is battling for his roster life after losing the last two seasons to injuries and ailments. Vince Young isn’t making anyone think twice about Ryan Fitzpatrick starting – let’s see what he can do this week.
For the Vikings, Toby Gerhart looks to follow up an impressive week one and make the coaching staff think twice about rushing back Adrian Peterson. Stephen Burton caught a 52 yard pass in week one and looks to be pushing for a roster spot. Somebody in the receiving corps needs to step up or Percy Harvin’s touches this year are going to be borderline ridiculous. Joe Webb was a big disappointment last week and he’ll need to step up or be off the dynasty radar completely.
Miami vs. Carolina
With David Garrard on the shelf because of his injury, the door is open for Ryan Tannehill or Matt Moore to claim the starting job. Another solid outing from Tannehill is going to start making things difficult for the coaching staff and reports are surfacing this morning that he’s going to start. Miami may be the only team with no receiving spot claimed thus far. With such a wide open battle, it’s going to be an interesting couple of weeks. At least the Chad Johnson circus is over.
In Carolina, the backup quarterback competition between Derek Anderson and Jimmy Clausen is fairly close. If Anderson can actually hold him off, that’s one bad omen for Clausen. Keolaha Pilares and Tauren Poole are two very deep prospects to monitor. If Poole gets cut and moves to a different team, he could have some value. On the Panthers, he won’t have any. Pilares has been a guy who has been on and off the map for a couple of years.
Detroit vs. Baltimore
For the Lions, news has not been good on Jahvid Best and it’s a fair to wonder if he’s ever going to play again. With Kevin Smith seemingly entrenched as the starter, the player to watch is likely Joique Bell. Smith has never been the picture of health, so Bell could be an interesting add if he continues to play well. Kellen Moore looked awful last week and needs to make a late run if he wants to make the roster. With all the talk about Titus Young being unstoppable in practice, it would be nice to see him make a play early.
Jacksonville vs. New Orleans
After a lengthy holdout, we’ll finally get to see Justin Blackmon in action. You just have to cross your fingers that Blackmon’s presence makes Blaine Gabbert look a little bit better. Actually, how about a lot better. Montell Owens has likely sewn up a job behind Rashad Jennings and would have some value if MJD unexpectedly holds out into the regular season. It should be interesting to see if he can show well again. With Lee Evans and Taylor Price out of the way, the receiving corps is starting to take shape – let’s see who steps up.
For the Saints, Chris Ivory seems to be on roster life support and has been outplayed by Travaris Cadet. With Adrian Arrington out with a knee injury the door is open for a receiver to emerge here as well. Jimmy Graham is expected to return to action this week and seeing him would bring a sigh of relief from his owners.
Oakland vs. Arizona
We mentioned Rod Streater as a player to watch last week and he made us look good with a six catch, 66 yard performance. Let’s hope he can build on that. With Denarius Moore out ,Jacoby Ford has another chance to make an impression – he was awful last week. Speaking of awful, Terrelle Pryor looked totally lost in week one. If he wants to challenge Matt Leinart for the backup job, he needs to play much, much better.
In Arizona, it continues to be about the quarterbacks. Kevin Kolb simply looks scared to death and John Skelton hasn’t bee that much better. Ryan Lindley isn’t even close to being ready to take snaps in a real game, so this is getting to be a serious situation in the desert. If and when Tarvaris Jackson becomes available, the Cardinals could even be in the market. Ryan Williams should finally make his debut and it would be great to see him back on the field.
It should be a fun night!