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Fantasy football reactions for NFC depth charts

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Depth charts can be tricky this early before the season gets rolling. They can be a a trope of misinofrmation and lead fantasy owners to chase a concept down a wormhole to nothingness. Chip Kelly once said, in regards to an early depth chart, "I don't care." He went on to say, that it was his understanding that the Eagles PR department put those together. It's true, often these early releases can be just that. With that in mind, let's go over all the NFC team's depth charts to examine what useful information we can glean, and what we can, within reason, ignore.

Dallas Cowboys depth chart

 

Joseph Randle does indeed come in as the Cowboys starting running back. He appears to have the support of the team, and his standing on the depth chart reflects that. Randle, and most of the other running backs, spent time on the injury report in camp.

When Darren McFadden was on the PUP, Lance Dunbar ran as the backup running back. He has an interesting skill set to complement the starters, with 18 catches in limited 2014 playing time.

Devin Street and Cole Beasley are the backup receivers to Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams, respectively. If the Cowboys must go more pass heavy with questions abounding in the backfield, these will be names to monitor.

New York Giants depth chart

 

The Giants list three wide receivers as starters on the depth chart. With the arrival of Odell Beckham Jr.'s historic ability, New York began to lean more on their passing game. It appears that will continue in 2015, provided their receivers get and stay healthy.

Rashad Jennings is still the top running back on the depth chart. Clearly the best all-around back on the roster, Jennings should see the most carries in this offense. Shane Vereen is the third running back, but his role was always going to be specialized. If Jennings is going to lead this committee, he could steal receptions from Vereen.

Daniel Fells is the top tight end. Larry Donnell shined early last season, but faded as the year went on. Donnell is still the player to target, if you are desperate. Expectations should be tempered, either way.

Philadelphia Eagles depth chart

 

Nelson Agholor is listed behind second-year receiver, Josh Huff. There was plenty of buzz surrounding Agholor after the NFL Draft, and it's back after a preseason touchdown. The smart assumption is that Agholor will finish the year with more targets, and fantasy points, than Huff. However, the former Oregon Duck could prove to be a small obstacle to the rookie reaching his ceiling in Year 1.

Washington Redskins depth chart

 

Jordan Reed displaces Niles Paul as the top tight end on the depth chart, after the latter suffered a disappointing season-ending injury. Currently undrafted in 12 team leagues, Reed presents some upside for such a low cost, but we know he has a lengthy injury history.

As was long rumored, rookie Matt Jones checks in as the No. 2 running back behind Alfred Morris. If Jones can prove to be any sort of threat in the passing game, he will see the field plenty.

Chicago Bears depth chart

 

Eddie Royal is the No. 2 receiver. The veteran wide out will play as the flanker in two receiver sets and slide into the slot, where he fits best, when the team goes three wide. Royal has not seen more than 110 targets since his rookie year in 2008. This could be the year he approaches that number again.

As of today, Jacquizz Rodgers is the backup running back to Matt Forte, despite some observers intrigued with Jeremy Langford or Ka'Deem Carey. Rodgers is the most accomplished pass catcher and blocker, which is why he'll hold this role. Don't blow a pick at the end of your draft to "handcuff" Forte.

Detroit Lions depth chart

 

Veteran Theo Riddick is listed as the starting running back over the exciting rookie, Ameer Abdullah, and the injured Joique Bell. Riddick is a strong pass-catching option, and could even see some time in the slot during the regular season. He'll have a role in this offense. However, any thought the he ends up leading this backfield in touches is crazy. Abdullah, the current No. 2, is the player to target from this backfield, and should start before long.

Brandon Pettigrew and Eric Ebron are both listed as starting tight ends. There's some belief that Ebron could be a sleeper this season. However, Pettigrew's always sound blocking will limit the young player's chances at getting on the field.

Every game, all season

Green Bay Packers depth chart

 

One of the best offenses in the NFL, the Packers depth chart is just about set already. The only position of note is tight end, where Richard Rodgers is the top player. There are not many targets to go around here, so don't go crazy with this one. However, Rodgers could begin to relegate Andrew Quarless to spot-duty only, if he impresses.

Minnesota Vikings depth chart

 

Nothing much to see with the Vikings depth chart. Charles Johnson and Mike Wallace are the starters, with Jarius Wright and Cordarrelle Patterson flanking them. Matt Asiata is still around, but Jerick McKinnon is the primary backup. He'll be one of the hottest running back names in the league, should Adrian Peterson ever miss time.

Atlanta Falcons depth chart

 

Devonta Freeman is currently starting over Tevin Coleman. Both players missed extended camp time, and the first preseason game, with hamstring injuries. This situation is not settled yet. Freeman does appear to have the early favor, but that could change as Coleman gets a chance to shine in preseason.

The offense Kyle Shanahan employs makes heavy use of the tight end position, provided there is a viable starter. Jacob Tamme is the current starter, and while he does not come with the best pedigree of late, he's had two 50-plus catch seasons in his career. There should be opportunity to reach those numbers this season.

Carolina Panthers depth chart

 

While Devin Funchess is a sleeper name in some circles, it is Corey Brown that's listed as the starter opposite Kelvin Benjamin. Brown brings speed that this offense sorely lacks. He will not find consistent fantasy success in a low volume passing attack, but he might have some big weeks.

Despite much of the intrigue around Cameron Artis-Payne, the rookie out of Auburn, veterans Fozzy Whittaker and Jordan Todman come first on the depth chart. Jonathan Stewart's injury history makes this a need to know situation. However, there is no actionable clarity right now. Another handcuff situation to not bother with, until a true answer emerges.

New Orleans Saints depth chart

 

C.J. Spiller is currently dealing with an injury, and underwent a knee scope. He's also listed behind Khiry Robinson on the team's depth chart. Spiller should still own the passing game role, but the shine wore off a bit with the injury news. On the other hand, this and his preseason performance should serve to remind us that Khiry Robinson is one of the league's best backup running backs. Constantly praised by his coaches, Robinson always performs when called upon. The opportunity is still going to be limited in New Orleans, however. Dallas should call about him.

Benjamin Watson is the starting tight end over offseason sleeper Josh Hill. The veteran Watson will primarily serves as a blocker and desperation outlet receiver. However, his snap count may cut into Hill's chances. Given his pass catching acumen, Hill maintains a high-weekly ceiling. His season-long outlook should be tempered.

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Tampa Bay Buccanneers depth chart

 

The only minor note here is that Doug Martin, as the team had strongly hinted, is the Bucs starting running back. If the offensive line holds up, Martin has a chance for a big career rebound year. He looked noticeably quicker in the team's preseason game, and in clips released from training camp.

Arizona Cardinals depth chart

 

Michael Floyd is still nursing a hand injury, and he could cede his starting job to John Brown by the time the games get going. The only other spot up for grabs is the tight end job. New addition Jermaine Gresham is still behind Ifeanyi Momah for the starting job.

San Francisco 49ers depth chart

 

The 49ers have not released an up-to-date depth chart. If you go the linked page above, it just shows holes for all the players that left. We would not recommend you do so.

Seattle Seahawks depth chart

 

For the time being, the Seahawks starters at wide receiver are the familiar names of Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin. Tyler Lockett and Chris Matthews have a chance to crack into the rotation, but the upside for wide receivers in this passing attack is limited.

The most concerning spot on the Seahawks is this offensive line. Russell Okung is the only known commodity listed as a starter. Marshawn Lynch has long been the type of player to succeed around poor blocking, but the pass protection will be a worry. Russell Wilson could barely get a pass off in the preseason opener.

St. Louis Rams depth chart

 

The Rams did not send out an updated depth chart to reflect the additions of a healthy Brian Quick or Todd Gurley. Tavon Austin is unlikely to remain a starting asset, and could be replaced by Stedman Bailey or Quick soon. Benny Cunningham is the backup to Tre Mason with Gurley out. He has a chance to stick, due to his competent all-around play.


Matt Harmon is an associate fantasy writer/editor for NFL.com, and the creator of #ReceptionPerception, who you can follow on Twitter @MattHarmon_BYB.

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