2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Position Battles

2012-06-15 09:46:56
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
RealTime Fantasy Sports

Locker looks to start for Titans

Just like every season, we have our fair share of position battles this season. There are numerous spots up for grabs, which could impact the coming fantasy season. You'll want to keep up to date on the position battles to have a leg up on the competition in your league. Below are many of the key position battles you'll want to watch. As always, we'll keep you updated in our player notes and stories before the start of the season.

Cardinals Quarterback. Kevin Kolb was supposed to be the answer at quarterback for the Cardinals last season but didn't exactly light it up. And when out hurt, backup John Skelton might have played better than Kolb, which is why the two are competing for the right to start this season. Kolb probably is the more talented of the two and has the big contract so he'll be given first crack at the job but the Cardinals aren't going to just hand it to him. He'll have to play better than Skelton.

Bears Receiver. The Bears finally have a No. 1 receiver in Brandon Marshall but the second starting spot is up for grabs. Rookie Alshon Jeffrey is the future at the position but the Bears will make sure he is ready to start before throwing him the in lineup. Earl Bennett and Devin Hester will give Jeffrey the competition at the position. Jeffrey is the favorite to start, though, unless he really struggles to pick up the playbook.

Bengals Receiver. A.J. Green is the legit No. 1 for the Bengals at receiver but after him, it is far from set for the Bengals. Right now, it looks like rookie Mohamed Sanu might be the favorite to start opposite of Green. But Jordan Shipley, Brandon Tate and Armon Binns should be in the mix to start as well. Shipley is the best fit for the slot but if the others don't show much in camp and preseason, don't discount Shipley to start.

Browns Quarterback. The Browns took Brandon Weeden in the first round, hoping to have found their starting quarterback for the next several seasons. Weeden isn't your typical rookie, coming into the league at age 28. He has a little more experience than a normal rookie. Colt McCoy has started the last few years but did little to distinguish himself in that role. He will battle Weeden to start but all signs point towards the rookie winning the job.

Broncos Receiver. Last season, the Broncos receiving spot brought little to fantasy teams. But this year looks to be a different story with Peyton Manning at the helm. They will be a pass-first team that should produce for fantasy teams. There are plenty of openings at receiver with Eric Decker, Andre Caldwell, Jason Hill, Brandon Stokley and Matt Willis battling for playing time. The only sure thing is Demaryius Thomas, who will be the No. 1. But after him, you'll want to see how things shake out at receiver because one or two of the aforementioned players could be a help to fantasy teams.

Lions Receiver. The Lions have two talented, young receiver pushing veteran Nate Burleson for playing time. Titus Young started making more things happen at the end of last season and rookie Ryan Broyles is an exciting talent that seems a good fit for a starting spot in the NFL. Burleson could be the odd man out but he played well in a starting role last season, so don't count him out just yet.

Colts Running Back. The Colts continue to look for that No. 1 back. Donald Brown played well down the stretch last year and seems the favorite to start but his career to date has been far from exciting. A new coaching regime could have other ideas in place for the coming season. Second-year back Delone Carter will be the top competition for Brown. Carter has the skill set to start in this league but needs to make a lot of strides at the position if he hopes to unseat Brown. Carter had his struggles during his rookie season.

Jaguars Quarterback. Jacksonville invested a lot in Blaine Gabbert but after his dismal rookie season, nothing is 100 percent certain with his future. He most likely will open the season as the starter but will be on a short leash. And if he really stumbles in camp and preseason action, we wouldn't totally discount Chad Henne opening the season as the No. 1 quarterback. This could be a make or break year for Gabbert, trying to prove to a new coaching staff he can start in this league.

Dolphins Quarterback. Ryan Tannehill is the future at the position for the Dolphins. He will be given a chance to compete with Matt Moore for the starting job but isn't likely to win the job. Tannehill is pretty raw at the position and probably would do well with sitting and watching for a year or two. Moore should be the starter from day one this season but Tannehill could get in the mix if Moore has any struggles. Veteran David Garrard also is on the roster but seems a long to play well enough to get any playing time this year, especially after missing all of last year.

Patriots Running Back. You never know how the running back situation in New England will shake out but expect Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley to be the top candidates to start this season. Vereen might be the favorite to start as he is the more versatile option but nothing is certain right now. Veteran Joseph Addai also has a chance to be in the mix but his best days are behind him, so the chances of him playing a big role are slim.

Patriots Receiver. Just like at running back, the Patriots have several players battling for playing time at receiver. Wes Welker is about the only sure thing at the position. After Welker, you have Brandon Lloyd, Deion Branch, Donte Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney vying for time. Lloyd seems the best bet for the most playing time out of this group but all have talent and could play decent sized roles in the offense if they fit in well.

Jets Quarterback. The Jets claim Mark Sanchez is their starter but you would have to think if Tim Tebow starts making waves in camp and the preseason, he could start for the Jets. Either way, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out in New York. If Tebow really starts stealing time from Sanchez, the value of Sanchez takes a big hit for the coming season.

Raiders Tight End. Not that the starting tight end spot in Oakland scores much, but the starter might be worth a spot start or two in a pinch. And the position is wide open right now. Brandon Myers and David Ausberry are the frontrunners to start for the Raiders. Auberry is the more intriguing fantasy option of the two as he was a receiver in college.

Seahawks Quarterback. The Seahawks nabbed Flynn during the offseason, getting another option at quarterback for the coming season. Seattle also used a draft pick on Russell Wilson, who might be the long-term option for the team at the position. Tarvaris Jackson was the starter last season and didn't do too badly in a starting role. Flynn has the most upside of the group, but will need to prove he is ready to take over a starting role. But at this point, you would have to think Flynn is the favorite to start.

49ers Receiver. The 49ers revamped their receiving corps, which means there will be plenty of competition for playing time. Michael Crabtree probably is the most likely to start for the 49ers abut after him, you have Randy Moss, Mario Manningham and rookie A.J. Jenkins vying for the other starting spot. You never know what you will get with Moss at this point of his career but early reports are favorable for him. Manningham was great as a No. 3 the last few seasons with the Giants but might be an even better fit for a starting job. And Jenkins is the future at the position but could be given a little time to learn the position.

Rams Receiver. St. Louis is another team that revamped the receiver position but much is still to be decided when it comes to starters. Danny Amendola will man the slot but the two starting spots are wide open. Rookies Brian Quick and Chris Givens might be the best bets to start but will need to prove they are ready. Others that have a legit shot to start are Greg Salas, Steve Smith and Danario Alexander.

Bucs Running back. Rookie Doug Martin is likely to start for the Bucs unless he somehow falls on his face. He is the complete package at running back, doing well as a runner and receiver. LeGarrette Blount was the starter much of the last two seasons, though, and isn't going to just hand Martin the job. He has something to prove in this might be his last chance to keep a starting job.

Titans Quarterback. The Titans have an open competition at quarterback. Veteran Matt Hasselbeck was the starter last season but Jake Locker made some plays when given a chance to play. Locker has more upside and is the future at the position, so you would think he has a very good chance to start from day one this season. Locker just brings more to the table. But don't discount Hasselbeck, who was able to hold off Locker last season.

Redskins Running Back. Roy Helu really took over down the stretch and performed at a high level for the Redskins in a starting role his rookie season. But the Redskins aren't just handing him the starter's job for 2012. The brought back Tim Hightower as competition for the starting job. Hightower played well before tearing his ACL last season and seemed a pretty good fit for the offense. Helu has a ton more upside, though, so it makes much more sense for him to start.

If you have any questions or comments, please email Jeff Paur at jeff@rtsports.com

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Alshon JefferySep 22 07:21p

Chicago Bears WRs Brandon Marshall (ankle) and Alshon Jeffery (ankle) are both active for the Week 3 game against the New York Jets. Both were questionable for the game.

Brandon MarshallSep 22 07:13p

Chicago Bears WRs Brandon Marshall (ankle) and Alshon Jeffery (ankle) are both active for the Week 3 game against the New York Jets. Both were questionable for the game.

Eric DeckerSep 22 07:13p

New York Jets WR Eric Decker (hamstring) is active for the team's Week 3 game against the Chicago Bears Monday, Sept. 22.

A.J. EddsSep 22 07:13p

The New York Jets have declared LB A.J. Edds, OG Ben Ijalana, OL Dakota Dozier, CB Dee Milliner, DE IK Enemkpali, DL T.J. Barnes, WR Walter Powell inactive for Week 3.

Eric DeckerSep 22 06:23p

New York Jets WR Eric Decker (hamstring) said he felt good while working out before the game and expects to play in Week 3.

Jamaal CharlesSep 22 06:13p

Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (ankle) will 'most likely' return to practice this week after sitting out in Week 3, according to head coach Andy Reid. Kansas City [ More ]

Nate FreeseSep 22 04:17p

The Lions released Freese on Monday.

Mike TolbertSep 22 03:03p

Carolina Panthers FB Mike Tolbert (leg) has a hairline fracture in his leg. The timetable for his return is unknown.

Donald BrownSep 22 02:43p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown rushed for seven yards on 15 carries in the second half against the Buffalo Bills in Week 3. Seven of Brown's carries went [ More ]

Jonathan StewartSep 22 02:43p

Carolina Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (knee) could very well miss Week 4 with a severely sprained right knee. Stewart will not practice until Friday, Sept. 26 this week, [ More ]

Kyle RudolphSep 22 02:13p

Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (groin) will need surgery and is expected to miss about six weeks.

Marqise LeeSep 22 02:13p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Marqise Lee (hamstring) will be evaluated during the week but is not expected to play in Week 4.

Vincent JacksonSep 22 02:13p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson (wrist) fractured his wrist against the Atlanta Falcons last Thursday night. The fracture is small and Jackson is expected to play this week.

Josh McCownSep 22 02:03p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Josh McCown (thumb) is not expected to play in Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers because of his thumb injury and could miss more time [ More ]

Jason KelceSep 22 02:03p

Philadelphia Eagles C Jason Kelce (hernia) will likely need six weeks of recovery time following surgery to fix his sports hernia, according to a source with knowledge of the [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinSep 22 01:53p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (ankle) is dealing with a high ankle sprain, according to a source. An MRI exam confirmed the injury, and he's likely to miss some time.

Frank GoreSep 22 01:53p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore wasn't pleased with the offensive game plan in which they unleashed five-receiver sets against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3 because of a [ More ]

Ryan TannehillSep 22 01:32p

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill is not guaranteed to be the starting quarterback in Week 4 against the Oakland Raiders after head coach Joe Philbin declined to name a starter for the game.

Stephen TullochSep 22 01:22p

Detroit Lions LB Stephen Tulloch (knee) will have surgery on his knee at an undetermined date. LB DeAndre Levy will likely slide to middle linebacker to replace Tulloch.

Demaryius ThomasSep 22 01:12p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas finished with four catches for just 31 yards in the team's Week 3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, but QB Peyton Manning targeted him [ More ]

Jason KelceSep 22 01:12p

Philadelphia Eagles C Jason Kelce (hernia) will undergo surgery to repair a sports hernia he suffered in Week 3. Head coach Chip Kelly said he does not know how [ More ]

Chris ProsinskiSep 22 01:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars FS Chris Prosinski (elbow) will miss two to four weeks because of an elbow injury.

Eric DeckerSep 22 12:52p

New York Jets WR Eric Decker (hamstring) will be a true game-time decision in Week 3 against the Chicago Bears Monday, Sept. 22.

Alex HenerySep 22 12:43p

Detroit Lions PK Nate Freese was waived Monday, Sept. 22, and the team signed free-agent PK Alex Henery (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal to take his place. Freese made [ More ]

Stephen TullochSep 22 12:43p

Detroit Lions LB Stephen Tulloch (knee) tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee and is out for the season, according to head coach Jim Caldwell. Tulloch injured himself while celebrating in Week 3.

Owen DanielsSep 22 12:43p

Houston Texans TE Owen Daniels will be relied on in the tight end position with TE Dennis Pitta (hip) out indefinitely. Daniels has experience in offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak's [ More ]

Frank GoreSep 22 11:32a

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore had just 10 yards on six carries Sunday, Sept. 21. He received 16 carries in Week 1 and 13 carries in Week 2.

T Y HiltonSep 22 11:32a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (ankle) is not expected to have a severe ankle injury, according to head coach Chuck Pagano.

Darrelle RevisSep 22 11:02a

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr was 5-for-6 on passes against New England Patriots CB Darrelle Revis Sunday, Sept. 21. That is tied for the second-most receptions Revis has allowed [ More ]

Jarvis JonesSep 22 10:13a

Updating a previous report, Pittsburgh Steelers LB Jarvis Jones (wrist) will require surgery on his wrist injury suffered Sunday, Sept 21.

LeSean McCoySep 22 10:03a

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy was held in check by the Washington Redskins' big nickel package and base defensive front Sunday, Sept. 21. He was rarely able to bounce [ More ]

Ike TaylorSep 22 09:32a

Pittsburgh Steelers CB Ike Taylor (forearm) suffered a broken forearm Sunday, Sept. 21, and is out indefinitely.

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