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NFL Preseason Watch List: Thursday of Week Three

After another eventful few days, dynasty owners are ready for the most important week of the preseason, where starting jobs will be taken and players will either win jobs or find themselves on the streets. 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.

Let’s take a quick look at Thursday night’s limited action and who we’re looking forward to seeing the most:

Arizona vs. Tennessee

For the Titans, all eyes are going to be squarely on Jake Locker, who was recently named their starting quarterback. He hasn’t outplayed Matt Hasselbeck by any stretch of the imagination thus far in the preseason, but the Titans have obviously seen enough of him to feel he gives them the best chance to win. There are still some very real and valid questions about his accuracy that he’ll have to answer and he’ll start trying to do that tonight. At receiver, Kendall Wright has had a strong start to camp and he should see plenty of time in tonight’s game.  It would be great to see some more consistency from Chris Johnson as well. It sure seems like a long time ago when he was dominating the league, but he’s starting to show some flashes of that form and his owners would love to see him put together a solid half of football. In deep sleeper land, Darius Reynaud has done nothing but make plays. Can he make enough to actually carve out a roster spot?

F0r the Cardinals, the story is obviously the quarterback play as well. John Skelton is going to start and will get an extended chance to win the job. Larry Fitzgerald’s owners have to be hoping to see something from Skelton or it’s going to be another season of “what if” questions. Kevin Kolb’s dynasty value is on full fledged life support and tonight could be the last straw for his owners in dynasty leagues. At running back, we’ll finally see the debut of Beanie Wells and should also see more of Ryan Williams this week. It’s going to be interesting to see how the carries are divided up and we could start getting some clue starting tonight. At receiver, Michael Floyd has been very quiet and his owners would love to see him make some plays. As we talked about in the Podcast last night, Floyd has been disappointing so far.

Green Bay vs. Cincinnati

For the Packers, Aaron Rodgers hasn’t looked as sharp as he did last year in his limited action this preseason. However, I’d venture to say nobody has ever looked as sharp as Rodgers did last year. It would be great to see him get into a rhythm tonight and start slinging the ball around the yard like we all know he can. In the end, there really isn’t much to worry about either way. At running back, there are still serious questions about how this whole thing shakes out. We may be able to get a bit of a clue tonight, though James Starks is still out with his turf toe injury. Other than that, there’s not much to be concerned about as far as the Packers go. The one player I have my eye on is Randall Cobb. We know how talented he is, but can he show the consistency needed to be on the field, well, consistently?

As far as the Bengals go, the second receiver position could very well be decided tonight and whoever wins the job will have some value opposite AJ Green.  Armon Binns, Brandon Tate, Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones could all still be in the mix in some way, shape or form. Somebody needs to step up and if they don’t, defenses are going to focus even more attention on Green. We were hoping to see an extended look at the way the Bengals are going to handle their running back situation. Exactly how much BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Bernard Scott are deployed will be a major story line for dynasty owners looking at BGE at a possible RB3. Unfortunately, it looks like Scott is going to be held out, leaving the time share mystery something we won’t have revealed until week one of the regular season.

Jacksonville vs. Baltimore

The Jaguars were given at least a sliver of hope last week as Blaine Gabbert actually looked almost like a real NFL quarterback. Justin Blackmon helped him with a great debut and showed the ability to break tackles and make plays after the catch. Laurent Robinson needs to show up and give Gabbert some help as well – one catch for seven yards this preseason just hasn’t inspired a lot of confidence, though he obviously hasn’t played much. At running back, Rashad Jennings has been spectacular and he’s not giving the Jags any reason to beg Maurice Jones-Drew to come back. While Jennings is in no way the same type of dominant player that MJD is, he’s proving that he’s more than capable of being a primary option. Can this offense put together a half of football that isn’t borderline pathetic? That actually may be the question of the night.

For the Ravens, it’s all systems go. More than anything, owners of Ray Rice just want to see him leave the game unscathed. We know what we have in players like Rice, Joe Flacco and Anquan Boldin. It’s time for Torrey Smith to step up, but we pretty much know what we have there as well. Believe it or not, the most intriguing player to watch for the Ravnes could be Bobby Rainey, who is making a serious push to not only make the roster, but to push Bernard Pierce to be the backup to Rice.

Those are just a few of the players we’re looking forward to watching on Thursday as the action starts to get really serious. Who are you most interested in watching?

Ken Kelly
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Derek
10 years ago

NEED SOME HELP! In a 14 team IDP dynasty start up. 1-qb, 2-rb, 2-wr, 2-flex,1-te..then IDP. I’ve went young picking from the 6th position, others r trying to win now. So far. Stafford,R.Mathews,D.Dryant,D.Wilson,K.Britt,K.Hunter,R.Cobb in that order. What do you think about J.Rodgers-RB-Atl, L.Miller-RB-Mia, J.Baldwin-WR-KC, and is there any reason to stay away from Mendenhall? he’s only 25, and still there. one i think a lot of the owners are looking at CBS rankings which would have him on page 2 or 3 in the draft room. I want to dominate in 2 yrs! Thanks for any other thoughts.

Joe Roads
10 years ago

I’ll be watching for the Ravens new rookie wideout Tommy Streeter to step up his game and distance himself well ahead of Deonte Thompson for the 4th or 5th WR spot on the roster. My interest stems from drafting Streeter in my rookie draft this year in my dynasty league. I had researched Tommy Streeter for a few months and after reading about his undeniable measurables and speed, not to mention the fact that he has been considered a possible future WR1. (It could take a year or two.) I would feel a bit better if I saw Streeter make some plays enroute to securing his spot on the 53 man Ravens roster.

NFL247
10 years ago

How about IND RB Vick Ballard? We’ve all seen what Brown can’t do in the NFL, Carter is slow and looks to be the goaline guy.

Adam
Reply to  NFL247
10 years ago

Colts play on Saturday. Their entire offense should be players to watch.

Brian
Reply to  NFL247
10 years ago

Pagano seems to really like him and the current GM drafted him. He seems to run hard and can break some tackles. He is worth having on your roster over guys like Pierce and Gray because he has a more clear shot at real playing time.

sean mcguigan
Reply to  NFL247
10 years ago

Wow that’s a bit harse on Brown….dude is having a fantastic camp and two solid preseason games he is healthy and finally looks comfortable in that system…..just my opionion but he has a boat load more talent than Ballard….what was he a 7th round pick? agree Carter is a slug but Brown will get the majority of touches not ballard as long as he can stay healthy of course

Derek
Reply to  sean mcguigan
10 years ago

I like Ballard too, I can get him later. Does anybody think Jaquizz Rogers-RB-Atl is going to be the bellcow for atl by 2013? ??

James Young
Reply to  Derek
10 years ago

Complementary but prob never a bell-cow. Too frail.

sean mcguigan
Reply to  James Young
10 years ago

He is better built than Charles CJ….ballrd is a plodder brown maybe only explosive weapon in entire offense…..he is starter and will get majority of touches as long as productive and healthy….he is what they call a semi late bloomer….dude gets 0 respect it’s appalling

NT
10 years ago

I’d like to see Greg Jennings take some snaps.

Ryan Moen
10 years ago

27 man roster, looking for my WR8, who is my best bet (and why):
Brandon Tate v. Devin Hester v. Kevin Walter

Sensei John Kreese
Reply to  Ryan Moen
10 years ago

If it is a return league, your best bet is Tate, you should get 100 points just for return stats, and he may have an expanded role in the offense this year.

I would actually advise that you go out and pick up Lavon Brazill.

rfwjo
10 years ago

What can someone tell me about the RB Powell on the Cardinals? Seems like he’s quick to get around the corners.

GangstaMachine
Reply to  rfwjo
10 years ago

Listen to the podcast

Rfwjo
Reply to  GangstaMachine
10 years ago

I’ve been watching the other Powell, Bial on the Jets. Had him on my team last year because I don’t think that Shonne Green is the answer but I needed to make room for our draft. He is still on my watch list. So I will listen to the podcast.

GangstaMachine
Reply to  rfwjo
10 years ago

Nevermind…powell on the Cards.. Listen to the podcast anyways. Powell on the Cards did look like a monster tonight but he’s buried until/if Williams and Beanie get injured again.

GangstaMachine
Reply to  GangstaMachine
10 years ago

But I’m drafting him 🙂

James Young
Reply to  GangstaMachine
10 years ago

I believe hes the preseason rushing leader. Hes looked good. If injuries happen maybe he starts this year??

Rfwjo
10 years ago

Also saw Harper RB Tenn. for the first time. This man is huge. Any intel other than he’s buried on the depth chart behind CJ?k and Ringer? He appears to be the big red zone back but does he have any fantasy relevance??

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