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NFL Preseason Watch List: The Weekend of Week Two

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 the weekend schedule and who we’re looking forward to seeing the most:

New York Giants vs. New York Jets (Saturday)

David Wilson was pretty impressive in his first outing and will look to build upon it in an attempt to cut into Ahmad Bradshaw’s workload. Rueben Randle needs a solid outing to give his owners some hope of early season production as well.  We’d love to see Adrien Robinson do something productive.

For the Jets, the receiving corps still looks like a mess. Stephen Hill needs to catch on quickly, but that may simply be asking too much for the raw rookie. At running back, Shonn Greene continues to look like he’s running in molasses, so Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight will continue to push to be part of a committee or even take his place eventually. Wow, we made it through the whole game without mentioning Tim Tebow. Doh! Oops.

Washington vs. Chicago (Saturday)

We’ll get our second look at RGIII who looked fantastic last week. If Pierre Garcon has another good game, his value is going to go up quickly. At running back, it looks like Evan Royster is still the favorite to start with Roy Helu hurt again. Look out for Alfred Morris, though. Rumor has it he’s going to get some work with the starters, so you never know.

For the Bears, we’d like to see more of Alshon Jeffery. The offense was simply anemic last week without Jay Cutler and Matt Forte, so we expect better things this week.

Kansas City vs. St. Louis (Saturday)

Dwayne Bowe is finally back in the fold, but we won’t see him this weekend. The Chiefs offense actually looked pretty solid last week without him. Jamaal Charles’ owners have to be hoping to see what we did last week – a nice burst from Charles combined with no setbacks. Cyrus Gray was good last week and will look to lock up a roster spot with another solid performance.

For the Rams, all eyes are going to be on Isaiah Pead this week. He wasn’t great last week and needs to really show something here soon if he wants to have a significant role this year. If not, the Rams are going to ride Steven Jackson into the ground. They need someone in the receiving corps to step up as well – it’s not looking good right now.

San Francisco vs. Houston (Saturday)

For the 49ers, Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James will attempt to continue showing the coaching staff they no longer need to lean so much on Frank Gore. At receiver, Mario Manningham has stepped it up in camp and it looks like Randy Moss might just be used on a rotational basis this season. Let’s see what happens on Saturday as it could clue us in just a little.

For the Texans, the battle for receiver spots continues to rage on. Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter are pretty locked in, but Keshawn Martin and Lestar Jean will rekindle their personal battle for playing time.  Each of these two has shown flashes of brilliance, but it’s hard to see both carving out a solid role in the offense this season. One likely will, though.

Seattle vs. Denver (Saturday)

This is the most intriguing game of the week for sure. For Seattle, the quarterback competition is heating up between Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson. Flynn will start, but if he struggles and Wilson plays as well as he did last week, things are going to get interesting in a hurry. Meanwhile, some guy named Terrell Owens is supposed to play for the Seahawks this week.

For the Broncos, Peyton Manning will make his home debut and you can bet there won’t be too many Tim Tebow (doh, did it again) jerseys in the stadium. It would be great to see Manning have some chemistry with Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas. Meanwhile, Knowshon Moreno continues to make his case to make the time while Ronnie Hillman is missing some very valuable time. Let’s see if Moreno can do something positive to solidify a spot on the Broncos this season.

Dallas vs. San Diego (Saturday)

For the Cowboys, the third receiver spot still seems open, but Andre Holmes can become the favorite with another strong outing. The entire Cowboys offense looked out of sync last week, so don’t be surprised to see them play a quarter or so this week.

For the Chargers, it’s all about the running backs. The receiving corps still has work to do, but with Ryan Mathews getting hurt, all eyes are going to be on the backfield. Can someone step up and make the Chargers think twice about employing a three player committee if Mathews misses regular season time?

Indianapolis vs. Pittsburgh (Sunday)

Now here’s a fun game!

Andrew Luck looked phenomenal last week, but can he do that against a defense like Pittsburgh’s?  If he looks half as good this week, that’s going to be impressive. Meanwhile, Donald Brown could use a good series or two to solidify his spot as the lead back. Keep your eye on Lavon Brazill as well.

For the Steelers, it’s pretty much business as usual except for the running backs. With Isaac Redman already nursing an injury, they surprisingly activated Rashard Mendenhall. However, he won’t likely play until October. Chris Rainey was the star last week. Can he and Jonathan Dwyer be a temporary answer?

Philadelphia vs. New England (Monday)

Michael Vick had a bit of a scare last week, so don’t expect to see much of him this week. Mike Kafka is hurt, so we should see another extended look at Nick Foles, who is battling to be the next backup to Vick. The battle to backup LeSean McCoy rages on as Dion Lewis, Bryce Brown and Chris Polk all try to make some headway. It’s clearly Lewis’ job to lose at this point. The Eagles have talked about moving Polk to fullback which would effectively destroy the little dynasty value he has left.

For the Patriots, Stevan Ridley is nursing a minor injury and may not suit up as a precaution. He may want to since Shane Vereen is starting to gain ground in their battle to be the top dog in the Patriots rushing committee. It would be great to see some progress from Ryan Mallett this week after reports are surfacing that he’s really struggling.

Those are just a few of the storylines we’re following all weekend long. Enjoy the games!

Ken Kelly
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ZeroWF
9 years ago

I’m not really sure what you mean by Stephen Hill needing to “Catch on quickly”. He’s been super impressive in camp, especially with Holmes and Kerley sidelined, and in the last preseason game had 2 nice grabs and a drop. It’s not like he’s running incorrect routes or getting beat by defensive backs.

Cullen
9 years ago

Shane Vereen is gonna be a beast. I also think Pierre garcon and Antonio Brown should have breakout years. They are both going to be solid wrs for five more years.

Raymond
9 years ago

Whats the deal with this guy? I haven”t really heard much out of him all of camp and into the preseason. does he still hold any value?

Raymond
9 years ago

Edwin Baker

Brian
Reply to  Raymond
9 years ago

He isn’t any good that is his problem. I doubt he makes the team and I expect undrafted Michael Hayes to make the team over him. He lacks any kind of speed or elusiveness.

Andrew Christman
9 years ago

Charles and Ridley for Lynch and Ryan Williams…who’s getting the better end of the deal?

Coach
9 years ago

i hate the preseason. vincent brown broken ankle. thats just dandy. i was hoping he’d breakout in that terrible WR corps. As bad as Vincent Jackson was at times last year they are going to miss him horribly.

alden bietz
Reply to  Coach
9 years ago

He will be out half the season, I feel your pain I just drafted him yesterday, he was having the best preseason among the WRs in SD. Worth hanging onto thow.

Reply to  alden bietz
9 years ago

It is really tough for a WR, especially a young WR, to come back in the middle or tail end of a season and be effective. They just don’t have the chemistry with the QB at that point. If you’re keeping him, just realize you probably won’t see a return until next year.

alden bietz
Reply to  Jacob Feldman
9 years ago

Its a Dynasty/keeper league. We keep 13 out of a 20 player roster. 14 teams.

The long season will tell us more.

Plus with the state of the team as of now. The GM and coach probably will be elseware next year.

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