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Fantasy What to Watch: Preseason Week 1

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Friday


Atlanta Falcons at New York Jets


Falcons: Head coach Dan Quinn says he wants to get a long look at the rookies, which means we could get a chance to see Calvin Ridley in extended action. Likewise, running back Ito Smith should get a heavy workload in an attempt to solidify himself as Atlanta's third running back. Matt Schaub is currently listed as the backup to Matt Ryan but Kurt Benkert is likely to play quite a bit.

Jets: The excitement around Sam Darnold has been palpable ever since the rookie first arrived in camp. We'll see how much Todd Bowles decides to play the former USC star. It does mean we could see a lot of Teddy Bridgewater, especially if the Jets want to showcase him as a possible trade target. With Elijah McGuire sidelined by a fractured foot, Thomas Rawls and rookie Trenton Cannon should handle a lot of work.

Detroit Lions at Oakland Raiders


Lions: Everyone wants to see how the Lions running back situation is going to shake out. We won't get a definitive answer but the guys who play the most seem the likeliest to be on the bubble -- we're looking at you, Ameer Abdullah. With Eric Ebron in Indianapolis, there are plenty of tight end snaps available. Luke Willson seems to have the inside track but third-year player Michael Roberts will battle with veteran Levine Toilolo for extra snaps.

Raiders: Martavis Bryant has absorbed a fair amount of criticism from head coach Jon Gruden in training camp. This could be his time to prove that he has a better grasp of the playbook that originally believed. Much further down the receiver depth chart is Marcell Ateman, who has impressed in camp and can make a bid to move up the ladder. The Raiders running back room is crowded but Chris Warren and Jalen Richard are competing for the third running back job.

Saturday


Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos


Vikings: This is an important season for Laquon Treadwell's Vikings (and potentially NFL) future as he tries to live up to his status as a former first-round pick. Dalvin Cook won't be on the field much but it will be key to watch him in what few opportunities he may have as he continues his return from a season-ending knee injury. If you believe in revenge preseason games (and really ... who doesn't?) then Trevor Siemian could have a little extra motivation. Either way, he'll need a strong showing to keep the gig as Kirk Cousins' backup.

Broncos: The early running back depth chart has Devontae Booker ahead of Royce Freeman but both players should see first-team reps as the Broncos try to establish a Week 1 starter. Case Keenum should see limited action but it will be important to see how he's meshing with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders so far this preseason. Rookie receivers Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton should also get a fairly long look as the Broncos try to add pass-catching depth.

Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona Cardinals


Chargers: The Mike Williams hype train is boarding with an expectation that it could leave the station this weekend. Los Angeles chose not to ask veteran Antonio Gates to return after losing Hunter Henry to an ACL injury, which means veteran Virgil Green has a chance to fill an offensive void. Geno Smith and Cardale Jones will duel to be Philip Rivers' understudy.

Cardinals: Sam Bradford will likely start but Josh Rosen will be the main attraction. The Cardinals rookie quarterback will be given a chance to try and win the starting job in the preseason. Arizona's offensive line had issues coming into camp and losing A.Q. Shipley for the season won't help. Watch how well this group is able to win up front since it could negatively impact the Arizona offense.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com and a man who has too much TV to watch and not enough time before the season starts. Send him more things to add to his queue via Twitter @MarcasG. If you read all of that, congrats. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (marcasg9).

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