Preseason battles: Week 2 (Page 2)
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Football > Preseason > Preseason battles: Week 2

Preseason battles: Week 2

Fantasy ranks and opinions cannot be fully formed until we learn who wins these QB, RB and WR gigs
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Steelers Starting RB: Le'Veon Bell, Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer

Redman got the start, but he split carries early in the game with LaRod Stephens-Howling, who actually was the most impressive player of the bunch. He gained 40 yards on seven carries. Redman and Dwyer touched the ball 10 times combined and gained 21 total yards. Bell didn't play due to a minor knee injury, but the good news is he was back at practice a few days ago and should play Monday night versus the Redskins. His absence had no effect on his standing in this competition.

Week 1 Leader: Bell, definitely

Week 2 Leader: Bell, definitely

Colts Second WR: T.Y. Hilton and Darrius Heyward-Bey

Heyward-Bey got the start alongside Reggie Wayne, and Hilton was on the field only when the Colts used three wideouts. But that should change soon if Hilton continues to outperform Heyward-Bey like he did against the Bills. He had three receptions, including a beautiful, diving grab for a long touchdown. DHB was held without a catch and has been doing a lot of not-catching in practice.

Week 1 Leader: Hilton

Week 2 Leader: Hilton

49ers Second WR: A.J. Jenkins, Kyle Williams, Quinton Patton and Austin Collie

Collie had the best statistical game of anyone here as he caught two passes for 20 yards. Most everyone else was either held out due to injury – Williams and Patton – or didn't record anything on the stat sheet. This position remains extremely muddled, but perhaps Collie will rise to the top of a lackluster group.

Week 1 Leader: Nobody yet

Week 2 Leader: Nobody yet

Eagles Second WR: Riley Cooper, Russell Shepard and Damaris Johnson

Unlike DeSean Jackson, none of these guys were able to do anything to stand out last Friday night. Cooper, Shepard and Johnson all caught one pass. Cooper was in the starting lineup while Johnson did most of his damage as a returner, as expected. It seems like the uproar surrounding Cooper's use of a racial slur has really died down, and he has a pretty clear path to a starting job.

Week 1 Leader: Cooper

Week 2 Leader: Cooper

Ravens Second WR: Jacoby Jones and Deonte Thompson

Neither player did much in the first preseason game, but that's not the story. Thompson suffered a sprained foot in the game and will be out for an unspecified period of time. The Ravens added Brandon Stokley during the week, but it looks like this is Jones' job as long as he stays healthy.

Week 1 Leader: Jones

Week 2 Leader: Jones, definitely

Patriots Second WR: Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins, Julian Edelman and Josh Boyce

Thompkins' campaign for a starting job seems to be gaining steam. He's working often with the first-team offense, he started in last week's game, and he had a better performance than Dobson. Thompkins caught four passes for 23 yards. Dobson gained more yardage, but he hauled in just two of his eight targets and had a pretty bad drop. Boyce worked with the backups and was targeted only once. Edelman caught three passes, but also fumbled twice.

Week 1 Leader: Dobson, barely

Week 2 Leader: Thompkins, barely

Eagles Second RB: Bryce Brown and Chris Polk

Polk played ahead of Brown, but that was basically the high point of his evening against the Patriots. He gained just seven yards on four carries, while Brown racked up 41 yards on seven touches and scored a touchdown. Brown simply outclassed Polk, and his grip on this job should be tightening.

Week 1 Leader: Brown

Week 2 Leader: Brown

Cowboys Second RB: Lance Dunbar, Joseph Randle and Phillip Tanner

Again, the incumbent in a backup-RB battle gets the best of his competition. Dunbar averaged seven yards per carry with his three carries and tacked on three receptions. Tanner got more work out of the backfield, but didn't post as lofty of an average. Randle scored a touchdown, but he got most of his playing time on offense in the third and fourth quarters and really struggled to get anything going as a runner. Dunbar has a significant lead here.

Week 1 Leader: Dunbar

Week 2 Leader: Dunbar

Raiders Second RB: Rashad Jennings and Latavius Murray

Murray looked good after missing a lot of learning time this summer due to an injury, and he posted a nice stat line – eight carries, 29 yards. However, Jennings wasn't bad either – nine carries, 39 yards. Murray will have to be really special in the next three games to pass Jennings on the depth chart.

Week 1 Leader: Jennings

Week 2 Leader: Jennings

 
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Brian Murphy
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Los Angeles, CA
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2002
Follow me on Twitter: @Spokes_Murphy.

I have played fantasy sports since 2001, specializing in fantasy football and baseball. I wrote for FFToolbox from 2002-2005 and re-joined in 2009.

I am a journalism/mass communication grad student at Cal State University, Northridge. I am aiming to be a sports reporter for a website, newspaper, magazine, anything. I am a graduate from the University of Central Florida. I make my home in Long Beach, Calif.

While I grew up in California, my favorite football team has always been the New York Giants.
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