NFL preseason games are getting into full swing and there are players on each team fighting for a spot on the team. Preliminary depth charts are out and subject to change on an almost daily basis. Most of the high level players are locks for the regular season, but there are a handful of position battles that you should be paying attention to because they could definitely impact some decisions on draft day. With a full slate of NFL preseason games tonight, let’s dive into the top position battles you’ll want to be all over as you prepare for the 2015 fantasy football season:
Denver Broncos TE
In 2014 the Broncos tight end position was good for 94 targets, 63 receptions, and 15 TD’s. The bulk of that production was from Julius Thomas, who is now in Jacksonville. For 2015 the Broncos picked up Owen Daniels and they also have high expectations for Virgil Green to be more of a contributor in the passing game. A starting level fantasy TE should be the result depending on which one of these guys ends up with the Julius Thomas workload. (Also see Broncos slot receiver battle, who will replace Welker’s production?)
New Orleans Saints TE
Ben Watson and Josh Hill are the primary competitors for the TE position left open when Jimmy Graham left. Ben Watson is the current number one TE for the Saints but he is getting some age on him. Josh Hill has been injured which has limited his reps during camp. Rest assured that the Saints TE will continue to get a lot of targets. Brees isn’t going to stop passing to the TE because Jimmy Graham is gone.
Houston Texans HB
The Texans have position battles all over the field with QB, WR and TE. The one I want to look at is the running back position. Arian Foster is out for up to 10 games (groin) so that leaves a golden opportunity for Alfred Blue or Jonathan Grimes to show out. They also have Chris Polk who is not out of the running to claim some of Foster’s carries. Whoever emerges as the starter will have a great opportunity to be a RB1. The Texans will run, run, and run some more, so whoever gets the bulk of the carries could hold a solid amount of fantasy value.
Dallas Cowboys RB
DeMarco Murray carried the ball and the Cowboys for much of last season. No one is really sure as to why the Cowboys let him go to Philadelphia. It is up to Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden or Lance Dunbar to pick up where Murray left off. Even with Dez Bryant and Tony Romo the Cowboys are still going to try to run the ball. The starting RB in Dallas will have no shortage of chances to make good. I look for Randle to come out on top but the race may not be settled till week 1, but Run DMC is still in the running when he’s at full strength (currently not).
Miami Dolphins WR
I looked at some stats and saw Mike Wallace had 67 receptions in 2014 as a Dolphin. That is pretty pedestrian for a top tier WR. Then I saw he had 115 targets. That means Wallace only capitalized on 58% of his chances. That is terrible. Old man Greg Jennings and rookie DeVante Parker will be looking to replace Wallace, while Kenny Stills comes over from the Saints. Jennings will likely get the early snaps because of Parker’s foot injury but that wont stop Parker from getting his share when Week 1 gets here. 115 targets is a lot of opportunities. Which of these guys will be on the top of the list to claim them?