2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Position Battles

2012-06-15 09:47:21
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

Duron HarmonApr 15 10:57a

New England Patriots SS Duron Harmon is the leading candidate to take over as the Patriots' top strong safety now that Steve Gregory has been released.

Eli ManningApr 15 10:23a

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Chris JohnsonApr 15 09:33a

The New York Jets are visiting with free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans) Tuesday, April 15.

Will MontgomeryApr 14 11:52p

The Denver Broncos' offseason conditioning program begins Monday, April 21. It's not known whether C Will Montgomery or C Manuel Ramirez will start at center.

Sidney RiceApr 14 11:52p

The Carolina Panthers might show an interest in free-agent WR Sidney Rice (Seahawks), but only at the right price.

Manuel RamirezApr 14 11:52p

The Denver Broncos' offseason conditioning program begins Monday, April 21. It remains unclear whether OT Orlando Franklin, OG Ben Garland or C Manuel Ramirez will be the team's left guard.

Terrell ManningApr 14 05:32p

The San Diego Chargers have released LB Terrell Manning.

Nate IrvingApr 14 05:12p

Denver Broncos LB Nate Irving appears to be the leading candidate to start at middle linebacker at this time, but the team is expected to select a middle linebacker during the 2014 NFL Draft.

Leon HallApr 14 04:12p

Cincinnati Bengals CB Leon Hall (Achilles') has been cleared for all football drills as part of his rehab.

Jamarca SanfordApr 14 04:12p

Minnesota Vikings SS Kurt Coleman will likely be a contributor on special teams this year and enter the year competing with SSs Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo for a backup safety spot.

Dustin KellerApr 14 03:42p

The New England Patriots could show interest in free-agent TE Dustin Keller (Dolphins) at some point this offseason.

Jermichael FinleyApr 14 03:32p

Updating a previous report, the Miami Dolphins have told the agent of free-agent TE Jermichael Finley (neck) that they could be interested in signing Finley if he is cleared [ More ]

Von MillerApr 14 03:32p

Denver Broncos LB Von Miller (knee) said his surgically repaired knee is feeling good and hopes to play better than he did before he suffered his injury. 'I'm a [ More ]

Kurt ColemanApr 14 03:22p

The Minnesota Vikings have agreed to terms with free-agent SS Kurt Coleman (Eagles). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Sidney RiceApr 14 02:52p

Free-agent WR Sidney Rice (knee) has been cleared to participate in football activities by Dr. James Andrews, according to a source. The Seattle Seahawks, New York Giants, New Orleans [ More ]

Chris CulliverApr 14 02:22p

San Francisco 49ers CB Chris Culliver has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor hit-and-run charges and felony possession of brass knuckles. Culliver was arrested March 28 for allegedly hitting a [ More ]

C.J. SpillerApr 14 01:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles tried to land Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller before they traded for RB Darren Sproles this offseason, according to two league sources familiar with the situation. [ More ]

Rashean MathisApr 14 12:52p

The Detroit Lions will re-sign CB Rashean Mathis to an undisclosed one-year deal, according to a league source. Mathis started 13 games last year and recorded 47 tackles.

Chris PressleyApr 14 10:02a

The Cleveland Browns have signed free-agent FB Chris Pressley (Bengals) to an undisclosed deal.

Alex SmithApr 14 02:02a

Draft stock for Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater appears to be falling based on recent workouts, so the Kansas City Chiefs may take a flier on Bridgewater if he is [ More ]

Donald ThomasApr 14 01:52a

The Indianapolis Colts offensive line is still in flux, with several players battling for key spots. OG Donald Thomas (knee), returning from a torn ACL, is expected to man [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 13 11:42p

Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith was released from a Los Angeles jail Sunday, April 13, after posting $20,000 bail, shortly after being charged with [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 13 09:22p

Updating a previous report, San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith was arrested Sunday, April 13, at Los Angeles International Airport after he made a threat that he possessed a [ More ]

Damian WilliamsApr 13 08:48p

Miami Dolphins WR Damian Williams said the team talked to him about the possibility of being a return man for them. Williams likely would be behind RB Marcus Thigpen [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 13 06:52p

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith was reportedly detained by police at Los Angeles International Airport over the weekend. A man, believed to be Smith, was belligerent in the [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 13 06:32p

The New York Giants are concerned QB Eli Manning is entering the decline stage of his career. The team opted not to extend his deal, which runs through 2015, [ More ]

Jermichael FinleyApr 13 06:32p

The Miami Dolphins have talked to free-agent TE Jermichael Finley (Packers).

Charles GodfreyApr 12 11:32p

The Carolina Panthers want to see how FS Charles Godfrey (Achilles') does in his recovery from an Achilles' tendon injury before deciding on his future with the team. Godfrey [ More ]

Alex MackApr 12 08:22p

Cleveland Browns C Alex Mack said there is no bad blood between him and the team after the team placed the transition tag on him, and he signed an [ More ]

Chad JohnsonApr 12 08:12p

Montreal Alouettes general manager Jim Popp said the team has been talking with free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) about a contract and will work him out Tuesday, April 15.

Deonte ThompsonApr 12 11:52a

The drug charges against Baltimore Ravens WR Deonte Thompson have been dropped because of insufficient evidence. Thompson was arrested in February for suspicion of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Bobby MassieApr 12 12:02a

Arizona Cardinals OTs Bobby Massie, Nate Potter and Bradley Sowell are expected to compete for the starting right tackle job during training camp.

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