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What I’m watching for in Week 2 of the NFL preseason

Here are a few fantasy storylines to keep in mind when watching this weekend’s football action.

NFL: Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Should I have written this article yesterday before the Dolphins played the Ravens, the Eagles played the Bills and the Buccaneers played the Jaguars? Probably.

Would I have used it as a time to relentless mock Blake Bortles and Ryan Mallett for being well below average quarterbacks and the Dolphins for having to turn to Jay Cutler to lead their football team? Of course.

Lucky for me, I can still do those things. But I’ll refrain. Though I will say that I’ve found my cause this NFL season which I will be fighting for on every possible social networking channel. And that is getting Allen Robinson a real quarterback. He—and the fantasy community—deserves one.

There is still plenty of preseason football being played this weekend and with it, plenty of reasons to be watching these games. Preseason games are a good place to start seeing how teams will be implementing players, particularly the new guys (be it free agent acquisition or rookies). For instance, last night we saw LeGarrette Blount being used in the worst way possible in the Eagles offense: as an outside zone back which goes against everything Blount is built for. If those are the kinds of runs head coach Doug Pederson will be having Blount run, I am not touching him in any fantasy draft.

I take a look at each game this weekend—for the record, I consider Friday night the start of the weekend—and mention a few players and/or storylines I’m interested in seeing, starting with Friday night football:

Seahawks vs Vikings

  • Seattle’s running backs. That’s the number one reason to tune into this game tonight. Thomas Rawls is out tonight so it’ll be Eddie Lacy’s show to start the night. Hopefully with no Rawls, we’ll see a little more of C.J. Prosise than the singular carry we saw last week.
  • Obviously I want to see more of Dalvin Cook. Cook didn’t show much in the running game last week—5 for 13 yards—but caught four balls for 30 yards in the passing game.
  • Also keeping eyes on the Vikings offensive line. Fingers crossed they’ll be able to improve this year.

Titans vs Panthers

  • GIVE ME MORE CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY! He looked real strong in his NFL debut, showing patients and quickness out of the backfield. Would like to see him in the passing game more and see other ways the Panthers might utilize him. That being said, I’m not too worried about him getting his touches in the regular season. I will be curious to see which running back is in the game around the goalline.
  • Is second-year receiver Damiere Byrd for real? He excelled in the Ted Ginn “I’m faster than all of you” role in Game 1, scoring two touchdowns. A performance like that will turn heads and I want to see what he does in round 2.
  • I don’t know if Corey Davis will be playing this weekend (I don’t think he will be) but if he’s out there, you know that’s who I’ve got my eyes on.

Bengals vs Chiefs

  • A LOOOOOT more from the Chiefs’ backfield which managed only 31 total yards all game. And 10 of those came from Alex Smith. If Spencer Ware is going anywhere near the fourth round, I need to see a lot more from him than four carries for six yards. Yikes.
  • The Bengals backfield on the other hand looked good, with Joe Mixon looking every bit the top running back the Bengals thought he could be. Naturally want to see what more Mixon can do and what his role means for Jeremy Hill (not that I’m drafting Hill but if he looks good, he could be someone on the move).
  • Real question: what would Pat Mahomes have to do this preseason to kick Alex Smith to the curb? Could we be seeing a Dak Prescott emergence for the second year in a row? The Jaguars could certainly use a quarterback...

Cowboys vs Colts

  • This is an easy one. All I care about in this game is what the Cowboys’ backfield looks like. Is it Darren McFadden running the show or is Alfred Morris going to be more involved then we all expect. What about Rod Smith? So many questions.

Lions vs Jets

  • Rookie receiver Kenny Golladay has been the talk of the fantasy world after his NFL debut resulted in three catches for 53 yards and two touchdowns. Many now are taking a step back on their Eric Ebron hype thinking that Golladay could see his fair share of red zone targets once the season rolls along. If he puts together another solid game, you can bet people will be chomping at the bit to get him on their team.
  • The Jets... um... er... I’d like to see a little something from Austin Seferian-Jenkins to backup my increasing optimism.

Washington vs Packers

  • Since it’s week two of the preseason, hopefully that means we’ll see a little more of the starters, which means more of my guy Terrelle Pryor.
  • Curious to see who will ultimately be the starting back in Washington as all the backs struggled last week on the ground. Now’s the time for Samaje Perine to show the NFL what’s good.
  • It seems Ty Montgomery is going to be out this week given his leg injury which means we’ll be seeing a bit more of Jamaal Williams (hopefully). Would like to see a little more power from him and I want to see if he can make a living inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

Texans vs Patriots

  • Forget Tom Savage, give me more Deshaun Watson. I want to see his connection with DeAndre Hopkins blossom in front of our eyes so clearly that Bill O’Brien can’t hide it anymore and he makes Watson the starter half way through the game. That’s what I want to see.
  • I’d like to see the starters out of New England but given that it’s Belichick at the helm, who knows if that’ll happen. If we do, I’m watching Brandin Cooks with every eye I have (which is exactly two).
  • Also if you do play the starters Bill, please don’t play Gronk

Raiders vs Rams

  • Are we going to see Beast Mode this weekend? I have no idea but I sure would like to. I want to see what the offense looks like with him taking carries and how he looks like receiving them.
  • For the Rams, it’s all about Jared Goff. If he starts looking good and comfortable in the pocket and making reads, then this offense has some actual legs. A good Goff means a good Sammy Watkins and a good Todd Gurley. Also, let’s hope we see some Watkins this week. That’d be fun.

49ers vs Broncos

  • Paxton Lynch, please show me something! I wrote somewhere at sometime that I thought Lynch could snag the starting gig in Denver and in turn be a very sneaky sleeper in fantasy this year. His first preseason game was not encouraging but maybe he’ll bounce back and show off what made him a first round pick. Or he’ll show off that John Elway can’t draft offensive players. We shall see.
  • In San Fran, I want to see more Carlos Hyde. I really like him this year in fantasy and would like my liking him to be founded in actual good tape.
  • Will Pierre Garcon drink from the Kyle Shanahan elixir? Fingers crossed.

Cardinals vs Bears

  • How will the Cardinals’ wide receivers respond to a week in which they were racked across the coals by their head coach. "I must've been seeing things back in the spring when I said we had had 12 guys who could play in the NFL," Arians said, via the team website. "We might have two." Yikes. Would like to see some action out of John Brown after having a very forgettable season last year.
  • IS MITCH “PLEASE CALL ME MITCHELL” TRUBISKY THE TRUTH!?!?!?!??!? That question and more will be answered Saturday, 10 pm EST.

Steelers vs Falcons

  • Really here I just want to continue to see what the Falcons’ offense looks like outside of the hands of Kyle Shanahan. Last week the starters looked good. Let’s hope for more of the same.

Chargers vs Saints

  • Travis Benjamin looked great last week catching two balls for 89 yards and a touchdown. With Mike Williams expected to be out for a good part of this coming season, I’ll be curious to see if that means a bigger role for Benjamin and if he’ll be able to turn that into fantasy production. He was a minor letdown last year in his first year with the Chargers, maybe he’ll be in for a better year two.
  • We know what the Saints passing attack will look like, but I have no idea about their ground game. While Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson didn’t play in the opener, Alvin Kamara looked good, rushing for 35 yards on four carries. If both or either Ingram and AP are featured in this game, I’ll be interested to see where, when and how.

Browns vs Giants

  • Finally, the game that the NFL put as Monday night football because only God knows why.
  • For the Giants: this might be our first look at the Odell/Marshall duo and I’ll be interested to see how that plays out. Also, if they aren’t sold on Paul Perkins (which I don’t think they should be) who’s taking over that backfield?
  • For the Browns: who’s the bigger truth, Mitchy Trubisk or Deshaun Kizer????
  • I also want to see Corey Coleman