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Fantasy What to Watch: Preseason Week 2

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It's Preseason Week 2 ... even though it's actually the third week of preseason games. Don't think about it too hard, you'll only hurt yourself. The important part is that we have another opportunity to watch across the NFL as players try to win jobs or solidify their respective depth chart positions. All of that will give savvy fantasy managers a better chance to determine which players are most deserving of a spot on their fantasy rosters.

And you said preseason is worthless. P'shaw!

Thursday


Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots


Eagles: With Carson Wentz still on the shelf, we'll get our first look in 2018 at Nick Foles, whose last game was a win over the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. Keep an eye on where some of the targets go with the knowledge that Alshon Jeffery could start the year on the PUP list. With a number of running backs vying for opportunities this season, Corey Clement will need to build on a strong training camp to move up the depth chart. Tight end Dallas Goedert will try to replicate his solid performance from last week's preseason effort.

Patriots: We should see a little bit of Tom Brady in this game but it's more important to watch his receivers. Chris Hogan, Eric Decker, and Phillip Dorsett have all performed well in practice and will be important without Julian Edelman for the first four weeks of the season. However, after injury scares to Edelman and Dorsett in practice, the Patriots might be cautious with them this week. Last week featured plenty of Jeremy Hill and Mike Gillislee. This week should offer another glimpse into how the Pats plan to use their backfield committee.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Green Bay Packers


Steelers: Don't expect to get a look at Ben Roethlisberger or Antonio Brown this week -- especially after the former left practice early with an apparent injury. We will get a long look at Big Ben's backups, especially rookie Mason Rudolph. Fitzgerald Toussaint saw a heavy workload in last week's contest and should be in line for plenty of touches again this week.

Packers: Head coach Mike McCarthy says he plans for Aaron Rodgers to play, though it would be a surprise if Rodgers is in the game for very long. The running back competition should get a showcase this week with Aaron Jones back at practice. The second-year rusher is suspended for the first two games but may get some opportunities to knock the rust off this weekend.

New York Jets at Washington Redskins


Jets: The Sam Darnold hype train rolls into Washington where the rookie is expected to get the start after his successful preseason debut. Don't forget Teddy Bridgewater, who also had a quality preseason performance and could be showcasing himself to land on someone else's roster. Receiver Chad Hansen hasn't met offseason expecations but this could be his chance to move up a muddled wide receiver depth chart.

Redskins: After losing Derrius Guice for the season with a knee injury, the running back competition is once again open in Washington with Samaje Perine and Robert Kelley in the spotlight. The top three spots on the wide receiver depth chart are pretty set with Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, and Paul Richardson, but rookie Trey Quinn should get plenty of snaps as the team tries to add depth at the position.

Friday


Kansas City Chiefs at Atlanta Falcons


Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes should have more of an opportunity to improve upon an unremarkable preseason opener. Wide receiver Demarcus Robinson has been having a standout camp and caught a touchdown in last week's preseason loss. He's making a bid to be Kansas City's third receiver alongside Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins.

Falcons: We know the Falcons can score points ... but it would be nice to see the Falcons score points. During the week, offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian talked about being more efficient -- a task that could mostly fall on the second and third-string offenses. Calvin Ridley has a spot on the roster locked in but it would be nice to see him flash a little bit in the preseason.

New York Giants at Detroit Lions


Giants: After a big preseason opener and a mild injury scare during the week, it would be a surprise to see Saquon Barkley at all. That should give us a chance to see what kind of running back depth Big Blue has behind its prized rookie. Similarly, the Giants are likely to feature heavy doses of Davis Webb and Kyle Lauletta in their search for Eli Manning's eventual successor.

Lions: Can we please get some more insight into Detroit's potential running back rotation? Ameer Abdullah saw a lot of work last week but that could just be the Lions showcasing him for a potential trade. Kerryon Johnson showed well last week and could look to take the lead in the competition. Matt Cassel and Jake Rudock will duke it out to be Matthew Stafford's understudy.

Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns


Bills: The quarterback battle continues. Nathan Peterman appears to have an edge over AJ McCarron and Josh Allen, but that lead isn't exactly substantial. Just as head-scratching is the Bills' receiver battle with Kelvin Benjamin banged up and Corey Coleman just getting into town. This group is fairly avoidable but any clarity in the pecking order would be welcomed by fantasy drafters. It's also worth keeping an eye on the running backs playing behind LeSean McCoy in the event that their availability becomes necessary.

Browns: TYROD (tuh-ROD) TAYLOR REVENGE GAME!!! Okay, maybe not. But it might be good to see Tyrod take a few more snaps after a pretty smooth preseason debut. The muddled running back room can hopefully start to take a little more shape this week. The same goes for any of the wide receivers not named Jarvis Landry. David Njoku -- Hard Knocks hype bunny or legit fantasy sleeper? We could find out more this weekend.

Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers


Dolphins: With Devante Parker injured and out for the foreseeable future, there is opportunity to be had in the Dolphins receiver room. Keep an eye on who steps up to take advantage. Mike Gesicki is still in a battle to be Miami's starting tight end -- a battle that could hinge more on his abilities as a blocker than as a pass-catcher.

Panthers: The D.J. Moore hype train has been picking up steam and could add a few more passengers with another strong performance this weekend. Most of the other battles will be for reserve spots; there's the quarterback challenge between Taylor Heinecke and Garrett Gilbert and the three-man battle between Elijah Hood, Kenjon Barner, and Cameron Artis-Payne for the final running back spot.

Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints


Cardinals: Another week, another chance for Josh Rosen to try and take the starting job away from Sam Bradford. We're also waiting to see who emerges as another wide receiver option to complement Larry Fitzgerald. Chase Edmonds is listed as Arizona's No. 2 running back but will have to hold off a charge from D.J. Foster and T.J. Logan to keep that perch.

Saints: With Mark Ingram looking at a four-game suspension to start the year, Jonathan Williams has taken the early lead as the back to replace him during the early-season absence, though veteran Shane Vereen lurks not too far behind.

Saturday


Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings


Jaguars: There's an interesting battle shaping up behind Leonard Fournette. T.J. Yeldon continues to be a steady presence in the offense while Corey Grant has shown the explosiveness that made him an intriguing prospect late in the year. The wide receiver group continues to be a mystery with five different players earning rave reviews in training camp. Good luck figuring out who will see most of Blake Bortles' targets. Hopefully this game will shed some light on that.

Vikings: The first-team spots in this offense are all spoken for but there are some interesting battles happening further down the depth chart. Laquon Treadwell is being given a legitimate chance to win the WR3 job but is facing competition from the trio of Kendall Wright, Stacy Coley, and Brandon Zylstra. All three Vikings quarterbacks looked solid in last week's win over Denver. We'll see if they have the same level of success against the Jaguars defense.

Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Rams


Raiders: Will Martavis "The White Tiger" Bryant make an appearance against the Rams? It's unknown how much we'll see Oakland's starters but with so many question marks about their offense, it would be great to watch as many snaps as possible from the first-teamers. Even though Doug Martin is listed as the backup to Marshawn Lynch, a good showing from the Muscle Hamster Douggernaut former Buccaneer would be encouraging for backfield depth.

Rams: Sean McVay played almost none of his starters last week. We'll see if that changes this week. Even so, the battle for the backup quarterback gig has heated up between Sean Mannion and Brandon Allen. Likewise, Malcolm Brown is getting a serious push from Justin Davis and John Kelly for the backup running back gig. Temarrick Hemingway should see the bulk of the tight end snaps with Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee expected to play little or not at all.

Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys


Bengals: John Ross had an up-and-down start to the preseason and his battle with Tyler Boyd to be Cincy's No. 2 receiver goes on. Right now, Boyd looks to have the edge but things could change. At quarterback, Jeff Driskel appears to have overtaken Matt Barkley as the Bengals' second signal-caller.

Cowboys: The news about Michael Gallup remains positive and the rookie will get another chance to shine this week. He finds himself behind Terrance Williams on the depth chart but that could be changing. In the search for a tight end to replace Jason Witten, the athletic Rico Gathers could earn a showcase.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tennessee Titans


Buccaneers: Ronald Jones has been slow to get going this preseason and finds himself third on the depth chart behind Peyton Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers. Chris Godwin is still making a bid to be on the field for Tampa's three-receiver sets and could potentially force DeSean Jackson into a slot role.

Titans: Taywan Taylor had some strong practices against the Bucs this week and would like to carry that momentum over to game action in a bid to strengthen his hold on the WR2 gig. There is a three-headed monster vying to be Tennessee's third running back behind Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis. Akrum Wadley will get plenty of shots to earn the job but David Fluellen and Dalyn Dawkins could get touches this weekend.

San Francisco 49ers at Houston Texans


49ers: After injuries to both Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida, the Niners are likely to give Joe Williams and Jeremy McNichols a lot of work. San Francisco also signed veteran Alfred Morris earlier in the week but it seems unlikely that he'll see any action this week. Dante Pettis' contributions could mostly come as a kick returner but the rookie will compete for wide receiver snaps as well.

Texans: Deshaun Watson didn't see a lot of snaps in his first game back from an ACL tear but could be on the field a little longer this week. D'Onta Foreman still looks like a strong possibility to start the year on the PUP list which should open up more opportunities for Alfred Blue to get second-team snaps as the potential season-opening backup in the backfield.

Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos


Bears: Through two preseason games, we still haven't seen much from Mitch Trubisky and the first team offense. The young quarterback and his tight ends seemed to have a connection during the joint workouts with the Broncos. Trey Burton remains the leader of that pass-catching group but Adam Shaheen could earn a few looks. Allen Robinson will make his return to the field for the first time since a season-ending knee injury in 2017.

Broncos: Royce Freeman appeared to take the lead in Denver's running back battle. This week could reinforce whether he keeps that advantage or if Devontae Booker can close the gap. Chad Kelly worked his way up the depth chart with a strong outing last week and will try to strengthen his case to be Denver's backup quarterback.

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Chargers


Seahawks: Seattle's running back room is still a mess, though with Rashaad Penny undergoing finger surgery, there's one less name to worry about for the time being. There is still uncertainty at wide receiver behind Doug Baldwin. Tyler Lockett is looking for the long-awaited breakout season while there are challengers further down the depth chart looking for targets during the season.

Chargers: Philip Rivers will make his first appearance of the preseason and we could also see Keenan Allen and Travis Benjamin getting early snaps. Kicking competitions usually don't draw a lot of buzz but considering the Chargers woes in that area in recent seasons, the battle between Caleb Sturgis and Roberto Aguayo could be one worth watching.

Monday


Baltimore Ravens at Indianapolis Colts


Ravens: The John Brown resurrection appears to be getting more real every day. If he can continue to regain his form, this offense becomes that much more potent. Hayden Hurst is showing that he might be one of the rare rookie tight ends who can make an impact right away. Breshad Perriman is trying to make the most of what is likely his last chance in Baltimore. Once again, all eyes will be on Lamar Jackson when he takes the field.

Colts: We get another look at Andrew Luck's recovery, which is having big implications for the rest of the skill players in the Colts offense. The battle to see who will backup Marlon Mack is a deep one with Robert Turbin, Nyheim Hines, Jordan Wilkins, and Christine Michael all in the mix ... with the latter expected to see an even larger role in the days to come. The Colts will also be auditioning players to take over the WR3 spot after a season-ending injury to rookie Deon Cain.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com and a man who thinks that two cups of coffee after 9 p.m. might not be the best idea. Send him your poor food decisions via Twitter @MarcasG. If you read all of that, congrats. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (marcasg9).

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