They say the games don’t count, but don’t tell that to Kelvin Benjamin, whose performance on Wednesday night gave him quite the boost in The Wolf’s wide receiver rankings. We were told he was fat and out of shape, but instead he looked extremely fit and as powerful as ever. The preseason can definitely help clarify our perception on a player. Is ‘Player X’ living up to the preseason hype and in ‘”the best shape of his life?” Or will ‘Rookie X’ have zero fantasy impact? So sit back, enjoy the starters for a few series, and keep this article up to see who to keep an eye on throughout the Thursday night games, and check back on Friday for a weekend update.
* signifies a player who could sit out
Thursday, August 10th
Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins
- Will the DeVante Parker* hype train come to fruition?
- Is there a direct handcuff to Jay Ajayi? Which backup looks better?
- Will Julius Thomas* look like his old-self under Adam Gase?
- Is Tevin Coleman* more involved in the passing game?
- Will there be a glaring schematic change with Steve Sarkisian now calling the plays?
- It will be tough to gauge with Matt Ryan* [likely] on the sidelines, but who will win the No. 2 receiver battle between Mohamed Sanu* and Taylor Gabriel?
Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills
- The clear fantasy storyline of this game will be Dalvin Cook. How does he look with the first team? Is he involved in the passing game? Keep an eye on his ball security.
- With Laquon Treadwell hurt again, will Michael Floyd* make any impact?
- How will the starters look under new head coach Sean McDermott? Who stated that the starters would play one quarter.
- Does Sammy Watkins look healthy, strong and like his typical self?
- Will Zay Jones look the part across from Watkins? He’s one of my top players to watch this week.
- Is Jonathan Williams ready to make the leap as the clear LeSean McCoy handcuff/ RB2?
Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens
- Rob Kelley vs Samaje Perine
- How will Kelley look as the starter with the first team offense?
- What exactly is Perine’s NFL skill set? He’s going to get a ton of chances to prove himself.
- Has Terrelle Pryor developed into a legitimate WR1 in Washington? How is the chemistry between Pryor and Kirk Cousins*?
- Which Redskins receiver will get the largest chunk of the aerial pie?
- Will Jeremy Maclin step up as the team’s WR1?
- Will Danny Woodhead* be more than just a third down pass-catching back?
- With Crockett Gilmore also done for the season, will any tight end step up in this tight end-friendly offense?
Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots
- Can Blake Bortles mislead us into drafting him for a second straight season?
- How will Allen Robinson* far against Malcolm Butler* and/or Stephon Gilmore*?
- Will Chris Ivory really steal carries in the red zone from Leonard Fournette?
- Can Fournette catch the football out of the backfield and be a true three-down threat?
- Can Marquise Lee bite into Allen Hurn’s No. 2 targets?
- With the Patriots declaring the majority of the veterans out (including Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Brandin Cooks), the only real Patriots storyline will be the running backs. Will Rex Burkhead be able to separate himself from Mike Gillislee, with Gillislee nursing a hamstring injury?
Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers
- Would like to see a sophomore step-up from Carson Wentz by taking control of the offense and getting everyone on the same page
- Is Alshon Jeffrey* in-shape and playing inspired football?
- Who’s going to win the slot competition between Jordan Matthews and the rising Nelson Agholor?
- There’s a lot of collegiate talent that you would likely recognize in the Philly backfield, but will any of them find a way to steal some touches from old man Darren Sproles*?
- I’m going to take an educated guess and say that the Packers will take the preseason easy on the starters since they lost Jordy Nelson* in a glorified scrimmage just two seasons ago
- We’ve talked about the Packers’ backfield ad nauseam. Ty Montgomery will be the man to watch, but keep an eye on bulldozer Jamaal Williams and the playmakers Aaron Jones and Devante Mays.
New Orleans Saints vs Cleveland Browns
- Can we see just one Mike Thomas* slant pattern before he calls it a night?
- With Willie Snead out, Ted Ginn* will get his chance as the No. 2 wide receiver. Will his hype come to fruition?
- I doubt we will see much (if any) Mark Ingram* or Adrian Peterson*, so it’ll be Alvin Kamara’s chance to shine. Would like to see him heavily involved in the passing game.
- Will Colby Fleener do anything to change our thoughts on him?
- Brock Osweiller is getting the start… *crickets*
- I would like to see a few series with Isaiah Crowell behind the beastly Browns offensive line
- Corey Coleman is “starting to show up” in practice; will it translate?
Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears
- Hey John Elway, can you get us some clarity at the quarterback position, please?
- Is Demaryius Thomas* looking fresh and 100-percent after resting his hip?
- With Jamaal Charles being held out last minute, we can monitor CJ Anderson’s* physical shape after missing last season
- Is Cameron Meredith ready to take the reins as a No. 1 wide receiver?
- Will Jordan Howard* get the ‘Todd Gurley Treatment’ as the lone offensive focal point?
- We know what Mike Glennon is… But what is Mitch Trubisky?
- Do the Bears have anything there with Tarik Cohen?
Check back Friday for the remaining Preseason Week 1 Fantasy Football Storylines.