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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.