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Weekly Rankings: Week 1 Value Meter

Jeff Erickson

Jeff Erickson

Jeff Erickson is a co-founder of RotoWire.com and the only two-time winner of Baseball Writer of the Year from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He roots for the Reds, Bengals, Red Wings, Pacers and Northwestern University (the real NU).

Here are our rankings for the coming week at each position to help you decide your starting lineup. Our rankings are based on the following scoring system: three points for a passing touchdown; six points for a rushing/receiving touchdown; one point for every 20 passing yards; and one point for every 10 rushing/receiving yards. Flex Rankings are for PPR leagues.

Typically, this article will be posted on Tuesday evenings, roughly around 6:00 pm PT. However, for this week they are up earlier with the preseason games ending earlier.

I will update these during the week, usually twice per week to account for injury or other news during practice.

The first week is always the trickiest. I try not to rely too much on matchups early on - personnel changes, both on the field and in the coaching staffs, dictate so much change, as does a critical injury. By all means, if you want to discuss a rank, or want me to add a player, chime in on the comments. I try to be receptive to your feedback and try to respond to most comments, though on occasion the volume can be quite thick. Please refer to the rankings first when asking "should I start Player A vs. Player B?".

Updated 9/8

Quarterback

1.Drew Brees NO vs. Atl
2.*Peyton Manning DEN vs. Bal
Note: It's hard for a regular season game to redeem a playoff failure, so ignore that angle Thursday night. But this should be a favorable scenario for Manning - warmer weather, home crowd, perhaps a weaker secondary for the Ravens.
3.Tony Romo DAL vs. NYG
Note: The Giants' loss of Stevie Brown could be big for Romo.
4.Matt Ryan ATL at NO
5.Tom Brady NE at Buf
6.Andrew Luck IND vs. Oak
7.Aaron Rodgers GB at SF
8.*Eli Manning NYG at Dal
Note: Small bump up.
9.Cam Newton CAR vs. Sea
10.Colin Kaepernick SF vs. GB
Note: Another playoff rematch, but this time Kaepernick doesn't have Michael Crabtree.
11.Matthew Stafford DET vs. Min
12.Michael Vick PHI at Was
13.Ben Roethlisberger PIT vs. Ten
14.Russell Wilson SEA at Car
15.*Robert Griffin WAS vs. Phi
Note: (Knee) Cleared for full activity and is expected to start in Week 1, despite not playing at all in the preseason. Complicating matters is that the Redskins play Monday night.
16.Alex Smith KC at Jax
17.Joe Flacco BAL at Den
18.Matt Schaub HOU at SD
19.Jay Cutler CHI vs. Cin
20.Sam Bradford STL vs. Ari
21.Carson Palmer ARZ at StL
22.Josh Freeman TB at NYJ
23.Philip Rivers SD vs. Hou
24.Ryan Tannehill MIA at Cle
25.Christian Ponder MIN at Det
26.Andy Dalton CIN at Chi
27.*EJ Manuel BUF vs. NE
Note: (Knee) Returned to practice on Sunday - right now Jeff Tuel is lined up to start, but a couple of good practices could change that decision. Named the starter for Week 1.
28.Jake Locker TEN at Pit
29.Brandon Weeden CLE vs. Mia
30.*Terrelle Pryor OAK at Ind
Note: It's possible that he could win the starting job ahead of Flynn. Officially the starter for Week 1.
31.*Geno Smith NYJ vs. TB
Note: Named the starter this week.
32.*Blaine Gabbert JAC vs. KC
Note: Named the starter ahead of Chad Henne. Sustained a thumb injury in practice, was limited in practice Thursday and is listed as questionable. *** SUNDAY UPDATE: Will start.***
33.*Matt Flynn OAK at Ind
Note: (Elbow) Flynn will return to practice this week, but he's not guaranteed to start ahead of Terrelle Pryor. Pryor named the starter this week.
34.*Mark Sanchez NYJ vs. TB
Note: Sanchez still had pain in his throwing shoulder Saturday, making it at least a solid chance that Geno Smith will start this week. Smith named the starter this week.
35.*Kirk Cousins WAS vs. Phi
Note: Listed just in case RG3 has any setbacks in practice this week. Cousins is coming off an injury of his own, so even Rex Grossman could receive consideration in a pinch.
36.*Jeff Tuel BUF vs. NE
Note: Tentatively in line to start Week 1, but Manuel is starting to practice. Manuel officially the starter.

Running Backs

1.Adrian Peterson MIN at Det
2.Doug Martin TB at NYJ
3.Jamaal Charles KC at Jax
4.C.J. Spiller BUF vs. NE
5.LeSean McCoy PHI at Was
6.Ray Rice BAL at Den
7.Trent Richardson CLE vs. Mia
8.Chris Johnson TEN at Pit
9.Alfred Morris WAS vs. Phi
10.*Stevan Ridley NE at Buf
Note: A rare matchup play - Buffalo was awful against the run.
11.*David Wilson NYG at Dal
Note: Big leap in value while Andre Brown is out - he's now the undisputed goal line back. *** Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride raved about Wilson's improvement in pass blocking.***
12.Steven Jackson ATL at NO
13.DeMarco Murray DAL vs. NYG
14.Maurice Jones-Drew JAC vs. KC
15.Marshawn Lynch SEA at Car
16.Matt Forte CHI vs. Cin
17.Reggie Bush DET vs. Min
18.Lamar Miller MIA at Cle
19.*Darren McFadden OAK at Ind
Note: Missed the final two preseason games with a shoulder injury, but is expected to be ready for Week 1.
20.Frank Gore SF vs. GB
21.Ryan Mathews SD vs. Hou
22.*Arian Foster HOU at SD
Note: (Back/Groin) Will not get a full workload in Week 1 because he didn't play at all in the preseason and missed most of training camp. Will
23.*Isaac Redman PIT vs. Ten
Note: Your likely Week 1 starter for the Steelers, with Le'Veon Bell out and Jonathan Dwyer cut. Felix Jones and LaRod Stephens-Howling loom as alternatives.
24.*Ahmad Bradshaw IND vs. Oak
Note: (Foot) Juicy matchup, but the foot injury that lasted throughout the preseason lingers as a concern. Full participant in Thursday's practice. *** Officially listed as probable. ***
25.*Ben Tate HOU at SD
Note: Tate will probably get more carries than usual against the Chargers, given that Foster is coming off of back and groin injuries.
26.Daryl Richardson STL vs. Ari
27.Mark Ingram NO vs. Atl
28.*Eddie Lacy GB at SF
Note: Downgraded some because of the matchup.
29.Shane Vereen NE at Buf
30.*DeAngelo Williams CAR vs. Sea
Note: On one hand, Jonathan Stewart is out, and both Kenjon Barner and Mike Tolbert are banged up, so the opportunity for Williams is outstanding. On the other hand, the matchup, at least based from last year, is terrible. Tolbert has been a full participant in practice, but Barner is still limited.
31.Giovani Bernard CIN at Chi
32.*Bilal Powell NYJ vs. TB
Note: Officially the Jets' starting RB this week.
33.*Vick Ballard IND vs. Oak
Note: Along with Ben Tate, Ballard might be the best backup play this week, at least among those considered traditional backups rather than timeshare backs. This is murkier than I first thought. Not only could Bradshaw split carries, but it's not just with Ballard. Donald Brown also is in the picture.
34.Darren Sproles NO vs. Atl
35.*Rashard Mendenhall ARZ at StL
Note: Mendenhall has been dealing with a sore knee, but he's expected to be ready for Week 1. Didn't practice Monday, but limited both Wednesday and Thursday. ***Officially listed as probable.***
36.Bryce Brown PHI at Was
37.*Montee Ball DEN vs. Bal
Note: Listed second on the Broncos' depth chart, but the team has acknowledged that they'll have a full-fledged committee. If the team becomes more confident in his pass-blocking, he could end up getting the majority of the snaps.
38.BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN at Chi
39.*Ronnie Hillman DEN vs. Bal
Note: First on the Broncos' depth chart at least for now, but not first in our hearts.
40.Pierre Thomas NO vs. Atl
41.Bernard Pierce BAL at Den
42.Joique Bell DET vs. Min
Note: Surpassed Mikel Leshoure as Reggie Bush's backup and thus might get some goal line carries. Leshoure is a healthy scratch.
43.*Knowshon Moreno DEN vs. Bal
Note: Third on the Broncos' depth chart officially, but stands to get a lot of playing time, particularly on third down.
44.Chris Ivory NYJ vs. TB
45.Michael Bush CHI vs. Cin
46.Zac Stacy STL vs. Ari
47.Jacquizz Rodgers ATL at NO
48.Robert Turbin SEA at Car
49.Fred Jackson BUF vs. NE
50.Roy Helu WAS vs. Phi
51.Knile Davis KC at Jax
52.*Phillip Tanner DAL vs. NYG
Note: Might be ahead of Joseph Randle at this point.
53.*Kendall Hunter SF vs. GB
Note: Hunter's backup job has been solidified thanks to LaMichael James' knee injury.
54.*Donald Brown IND vs. Oak
Note: Added to the ranks, might even start, but it will be as part of a three-headed monster.
55.Shonn Greene TEN at Pit
56.Danny Woodhead SD vs. Hou
Note: Used quite sparingly during the preseason, but he's expected to be the change-of-pace back behind Ryan Mathews, even if Ronnie Brown is ahead of him on the depth chart. We'll see.
57.Christine Michael SEA at Car
58.Joseph Randle DAL vs. NYG
59.Daniel Thomas MIA at Cle
60.Rashad Jennings OAK at Ind
61.*LaRod Stephens-Howling PIT vs. Ten
Note: Either he or Felix Jones will be the backup behind Isaac Redman while Le'Veon Bell is out.
62.Stepfan Taylor ARZ at StL
63.Ryan Williams ARZ at StL
64.James Starks GB at SF
Note: Beat out Alex Green as the backup behind Eddie Lacy.
65.Da'Rel Scott NYG at Dal
66.Felix Jones PIT vs. Ten
67.*Johnathan Franklin GB at SF
Note: Had a horrible camp and preseason.
68.*Alfonso Smith ARZ at StL
Note: It looks like all four running backs could get work for Arizona.
69.*Isaiah Pead STL vs. Ari
Note: Serving a one-game suspension this week.
70.*Le'Veon Bell PIT vs. Ten
Note: Mid-foot sprain, likely to miss at least 2-to-3 weeks.
71.*Andre Brown NYG at Dal
Note: Out four-to-six weeks with a fractured leg.

Wide Receivers

1.*Calvin Johnson DET vs. Min
Note: Missed most of the preseason with a sore knee, but the Lions were handling him with kid gloves - they haven't indicated that there's anything serious here. Not on the team's initial injury report.
2.Dez Bryant DAL vs. NYG
3.Demaryius Thomas DEN vs. Bal
4.Julio Jones ATL at NO
5.A.J. Green CIN at Chi
6.*Brandon Marshall CHI vs. Cin
Note: Not quite fully recovered from an offseason hip surgery, though it's nothing that's supposed to put his Week 1 availability at risk. Not even on the Week 1 injury report.
7.Andre Johnson HOU at SD
8.Dwayne Bowe KC at Jax
9.Larry Fitzgerald ARZ at StL
10.Torrey Smith BAL at Den
11.DeSean Jackson PHI at Was
12.*Danny Amendola NE at Buf
Note: Dealt with an undisclosed issue in the preseason. Limited Wednesday with a groin injury, not affected in Thursday's practice.
13.Reggie Wayne IND vs. Oak
Note: Big matchup play this week.
14.*Victor Cruz NYG at Dal
Note: Dealing with a heel injury that could have him limited in practice this week. As expected, limited in practice this week.
15.Antonio Brown PIT vs. Ten
16.*Marques Colston NO vs. Atl
Note: A lingering foot injury that carried over from last season has me a little concerned. I've downgraded him a couple of slots in my drafts. But he's helped that a lot of WRs in his range have also been hurt. Full practice Wednesday.
17.*Pierre Garcon WAS vs. Phi
Note: Toe injury completely healed, according to Garcon.
18.*Roddy White ATL at NO
Note: Dealing with an ankle injury. Limited practice activity this week, but still expects to play. *** Some early Sunday morning panic, but he's active and will start. ***
19.Vincent Jackson TB at NYJ
20.*Randall Cobb GB at SF
Note: (Biceps) Not on the initial injury report.
21.Anquan Boldin SF vs. GB
22.Miles Austin DAL vs. NYG
23.Cecil Shorts JAC vs. KC
24.Mike Williams TB at NYJ
25.Lance Moore NO vs. Atl
Note: Could get more targets if Colstn isn't 100 percent.
26.Eric Decker DEN vs. Bal
27.Mike Wallace MIA at Cle
28.*Hakeem Nicks NYG at Dal
Note: (Groin) Not on the Week 1 injury report.
29.*Jordy Nelson GB at SF
Note: (Knee) Not on the initial injury report.
30.Steve Johnson BUF vs. NE
31.T.Y. Hilton IND vs. Oak
32.Golden Tate SEA at Car
33.James Jones GB at SF
34.Kenbrell Thompkins NE at Buf
35.Steve Smith CAR vs. Sea
36.Rueben Randle NYG at Dal
37.*Kenny Britt TEN at Pit
Note: Sat out the preseason finale with a sore knee. That said, the Titans have said that Britt will need a day off from practice nearly every week.
38.*Wes Welker DEN vs. Bal
Note: Playing through his ankle injury.
39.Tavon Austin STL vs. Ari
40.Denarius Moore OAK at Ind
41.Greg Jennings MIN at Det
42.Mohamed Sanu CIN at Chi
Note: Strong preseason shows that he's fully recovered from the foot injury that ended his season, and Andrew Hawkins' injury puts him in the starting lineup.
43.Michael Floyd ARZ at StL
44.Vincent Brown SD vs. Hou
45.*Sidney Rice SEA at Car
Note: (Knee) Expected to be ready for Week 1. Full participant in Thursday's practice.
46.Darrius Heyward-Bey IND vs. Oak
47.Kenny Stills NO vs. Atl
48.Chris Givens STL vs. Ari
49.Alshon Jeffery CHI vs. Cin
50.Greg Little CLE vs. Mia
Note: The Browns' top wideout for the first two weeks, at least in terms of pecking order.
51.Brian Hartline MIA at Cle
52.*Santonio Holmes NYJ vs. TB
Note: (Foot) Might not be ready for Week 1. *** Active and will start. ***
53.*Rod Streater OAK at Ind
Note: Has been dealing with a head injury.
54.Emmanuel Sanders PIT vs. Ten
55.*Malcom Floyd SD vs. Hou
Note: (Knee) Listed as probable for Monday night.
56.*Nick Toon NO vs. Atl
Note: Dealing with what appears to be a minor chest injury. Chest injury, but full practice Wednesday.
57.Stephen Hill NYJ vs. TB
58.Riley Cooper PHI at Was
59.Markus Wheaton PIT vs. Ten
60.Donnie Avery KC at Jax
61.*Kendall Wright TEN at Pit
Note: (Sprained knee) Expects to be ready for Week 1.
62.Jacoby Ford OAK at Ind
63.Brandon LaFell CAR vs. Sea
64.*Cordarrelle Patterson MIN at Det
Note: (Back) Limited in Thursday's practice. ***Full participant Friday, listed as probable.***
65.Keenan Allen SD vs. Hou
66.*Jacoby Jones BAL at Den
Note: *** Suffered a sprained MCL on Thursday night. ***
67.Nate Burleson DET vs. Min
68.*Andre Roberts ARZ at StL
Note: (Quad) Limited on Thursday.
69.Jeremy Kerley NYJ vs. TB
70.*DeAndre Hopkins HOU at SD
Note: Hoping to pass the fifth stage of the NFL's concussion protocol this week. Full participant in Thursday's practice.
71.Quinton Patton SF vs. GB
72.*Dexter McCluster KC at Jax
Note: Some accusations of embellishing an illness last week to avoid a preseason game and subsequent practice.
73.Jon Baldwin SF vs. GB
74.*Aaron Dobson NE at Buf
Note: (Hamstring) Limited in Thursday's practice. *** Ruled out for Week 1 with his hamstring injury. ***
75.*Ryan Broyles DET vs. Min
Note: Coming back from a knee injury, will begin the year third on the depth chart. *** Healthy scratch this week.***
76.*Josh Gordon CLE vs. Mia
Note: Suspended for the first two games of the season.
77.*Justin Blackmon JAC vs. KC
Note: Suspended for the first four games of the season.

Tight Ends

1.Jimmy Graham NO vs. Atl
2.Vernon Davis SF vs. GB
3.Tony Gonzalez ATL at NO
4.Jason Witten DAL vs. NYG
5.Antonio Gates SD vs. Hou
6.Kyle Rudolph MIN at Det
7.Owen Daniels HOU at SD
8.Greg Olsen CAR vs. Sea
9.Jared Cook STL vs. Ari
Note: Trendy sleeper because he reunited with Jeff Fisher. The trend might be right.
10.Jermichael Finley GB at SF
11.Brandon Myers NYG at Dal
12.*Coby Fleener IND vs. Oak
Note: (Knee) Expected to play in the preseason opener. Full participant in Thursday's practice. I moved him down some, nonetheless - I love his matchup, but I'm waiting to see him do something before putting him at this level.
13.*Zach Sudfeld NE at Buf
Note: Short-term job security following the waiver of Jake Ballard and Daniel Fells.
14.*Jordan Cameron CLE vs. Mia
Note: (Groin) Missed the final preseason game, but had a huge impact early on. Full practice this week.
15.Martellus Bennett CHI vs. Cin
16.Fred Davis WAS vs. Phi
17.*Julius Thomas DEN vs. Bal
Note: Ahead of Joel Dreesen and Jacob Tamme on the Broncos' depth chart.
18.Brandon Pettigrew DET vs. Min
19.Jermaine Gresham CIN at Chi
20.Brent Celek PHI at Was
21.*Zach Miller SEA at Car
Note: (Foot) Returned from the PUP list for the final preseason game.
22.*Ed Dickson BAL at Den
Note: (Hamstring) On track to play in Thursday night's season opener.
23.Jeff Cumberland NYJ vs. TB
24.*Delanie Walker TEN at Pit
Note: (Knee) Replaces Jared Cook as the Titans' starting tight end.
25.Charles Clay MIA at Cle
Note: The Dolphins' starter in the wake of Dustin Keller's gruesome preseason injury.
26.Tony Scheffler DET vs. Min
27.Anthony Fasano KC at Jax
28.*Tyler Eifert CIN at Chi
Note: (Wrist) Missed the final two preseason games, but turned heads early on in training camp.
29.*Dwayne Allen IND vs. Oak
Note: Dealt with a foot injury for most of training camp. Full participant in Thursday's practice.
30.Ben Watson NO vs. Atl
31.Zach Ertz PHI at Was
32.Joel Dreessen DEN vs. Bal
33.Scott Chandler BUF vs. NE
34.*Rob Gronkowski NE at Buf
Note: Gronk avoided the PUP list, but he still isn't expected to be ready for Week 1. I'll defer to the medical specialists before venturing to guess which week he'll debut, but at least the recent news is positive. A lot more practice activity this week than expected, maybe even an outside chance he plays this week. *** Officially inactive.***
35.*Rob Housler ARZ at StL
Note: Dealing with a high ankle sprain. Did not practice Thursday, not expected to play in Week 1.*** Officially inactive.***
36.*Marcedes Lewis JAC vs. KC
Note: Sore calf, expected to play in Week 1. Did not practice Thursday - availability now seems in doubt.
37.*David Ausberry OAK at Ind
Note: (Shoulder) Did not practice Thursday.*** Officially inactive.***
38.*Heath Miller PIT vs. Ten
Note: (Knee) Shaky for the season opener, but the Steelers activated him from the PUP list to begin the season. Limited practice participant Thursday.*** Officially inactive.***

Flex (RB/WR/TE)

1.Adrian Peterson MIN at Det
2.Doug Martin TB at NYJ
3.Jamaal Charles KC at Jax
4.C.J. Spiller BUF vs. NE
5.LeSean McCoy PHI at Was
6.Ray Rice BAL at Den
7.*Calvin Johnson DET vs. Min
Note: Missed most of the preseason with a sore knee, but the Lions were handling him with kid gloves - they haven't indicated that there's anything serious here. Not on the team's initial injury report.
8.Dez Bryant DAL vs. NYG
9.Trent Richardson CLE vs. Mia
10.Chris Johnson TEN at Pit
11.Matt Forte CHI vs. Cin
12.Maurice Jones-Drew JAC vs. KC
13.Jimmy Graham NO vs. Atl
14.Demaryius Thomas DEN vs. Bal
15.Julio Jones ATL at NO
16.A.J. Green CIN at Chi
17.*Brandon Marshall CHI vs. Cin
Note: Not quite fully recovered from an offseason hip surgery, though it's nothing that's supposed to put his Week 1 availability at risk. Not even on the Week 1 injury report.
18.Steven Jackson ATL at NO
19.Reggie Bush DET vs. Min
20.Darren Sproles NO vs. Atl
21.*Stevan Ridley NE at Buf
Note: A rare matchup play - Buffalo was awful against the run.
22.*David Wilson NYG at Dal
Note: Big leap in value while Andre Brown is out - he's now the undisputed goal line back. *** Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride raved about Wilson's improvement in pass blocking.***
23.Marshawn Lynch SEA at Car
24.Andre Johnson HOU at SD
25.Dwayne Bowe KC at Jax
26.Larry Fitzgerald ARZ at StL
27.*Danny Amendola NE at Buf
Note: Dealt with an undisclosed issue in the preseason. Limited Wednesday with a groin injury, not affected in Thursday's practice.
28.Torrey Smith BAL at Den
29.Alfred Morris WAS vs. Phi
30.Lamar Miller MIA at Cle
31.DeMarco Murray DAL vs. NYG
32.*Darren McFadden OAK at Ind
Note: Missed the final two preseason games with a shoulder injury, but is expected to be ready for Week 1.
33.*Eddie Lacy GB at SF
Note: Downgraded some because of the matchup.
34.Frank Gore SF vs. GB
35.Ryan Mathews SD vs. Hou
36.*Roddy White ATL at NO
Note: Dealing with an ankle injury. Limited practice activity this week, but still expects to play. *** Some early Sunday morning panic, but he's active and will start. ***
37.Vincent Jackson TB at NYJ
38.DeSean Jackson PHI at Was
39.Reggie Wayne IND vs. Oak
Note: Big matchup play this week.
40.*Victor Cruz NYG at Dal
Note: Dealing with a heel injury that could have him limited in practice this week. As expected, limited in practice this week.
41.Antonio Brown PIT vs. Ten
42.*Randall Cobb GB at SF
Note: (Biceps) Not on the initial injury report.
43.Cecil Shorts JAC vs. KC
44.Jason Witten DAL vs. NYG
45.Vernon Davis SF vs. GB
46.*Arian Foster HOU at SD
Note: (Back/Groin) Will not get a full workload in Week 1 because he didn't play at all in the preseason and missed most of training camp. Will
47.Giovani Bernard CIN at Chi
48.Shane Vereen NE at Buf
49.*Ahmad Bradshaw IND vs. Oak
Note: (Foot) Juicy matchup, but the foot injury that lasted throughout the preseason lingers as a concern. Full participant in Thursday's practice. *** Officially listed as probable. ***
50.*Ben Tate HOU at SD
Note: Tate will probably get more carries than usual against the Chargers, given that Foster is coming off of back and groin injuries.
51.Tony Gonzalez ATL at NO
52.Mike Williams TB at NYJ
53.Lance Moore NO vs. Atl
Note: Could get more targets if Colstn isn't 100 percent.
54.Eric Decker DEN vs. Bal
55.Mike Wallace MIA at Cle
56.*Pierre Garcon WAS vs. Phi
Note: Toe injury completely healed, according to Garcon.
57.*Marques Colston NO vs. Atl
Note: A lingering foot injury that carried over from last season has me a little concerned. I've downgraded him a couple of slots in my drafts. But he's helped that a lot of WRs in his range have also been hurt. Full practice Wednesday.
58.*Hakeem Nicks NYG at Dal
Note: (Groin) Not on the Week 1 injury report.
59.*Jordy Nelson GB at SF
Note: (Knee) Not on the initial injury report.
60.T.Y. Hilton IND vs. Oak
61.Anquan Boldin SF vs. GB
62.Golden Tate SEA at Car
63.Daryl Richardson STL vs. Ari
64.Bryce Brown PHI at Was
65.*Isaac Redman PIT vs. Ten
Note: Your likely Week 1 starter for the Steelers, with Le'Veon Bell out and Jonathan Dwyer cut. Felix Jones and LaRod Stephens-Howling loom as alternatives.
66.Mark Ingram NO vs. Atl
67.*DeAngelo Williams CAR vs. Sea
Note: On one hand, Jonathan Stewart is out, and both Kenjon Barner and Mike Tolbert are banged up, so the opportunity for Williams is outstanding. On the other hand, the matchup, at least based from last year, is terrible. Tolbert has been a full participant in practice, but Barner is still limited.
68.Antonio Gates SD vs. Hou
69.Kyle Rudolph MIN at Det
70.James Jones GB at SF
71.Miles Austin DAL vs. NYG
72.Steve Johnson BUF vs. NE
73.Kenbrell Thompkins NE at Buf
74.Steve Smith CAR vs. Sea
75.Owen Daniels HOU at SD
76.*Coby Fleener IND vs. Oak
Note: (Knee) Expected to play in the preseason opener. Full participant in Thursday's practice. I moved him down some, nonetheless - I love his matchup, but I'm waiting to see him do something before putting him at this level.
77.Jermichael Finley GB at SF
78.Greg Olsen CAR vs. Sea
79.Jared Cook STL vs. Ari
Note: Trendy sleeper because he reunited with Jeff Fisher. The trend might be right.
80.*Vick Ballard IND vs. Oak
Note: Along with Ben Tate, Ballard might be the best backup play this week, at least among those considered traditional backups rather than timeshare backs. This is murkier than I first thought. Not only could Bradshaw split carries, but it's not just with Ballard. Donald Brown also is in the picture.
81.*Rashard Mendenhall ARZ at StL
Note: Mendenhall has been dealing with a sore knee, but he's expected to be ready for Week 1. Didn't practice Monday, but limited both Wednesday and Thursday. ***Officially listed as probable.***
82.*Knowshon Moreno DEN vs. Bal
Note: Third on the Broncos' depth chart officially, but stands to get a lot of playing time, particularly on third down.
83.Pierre Thomas NO vs. Atl
84.*Montee Ball DEN vs. Bal
Note: Listed second on the Broncos' depth chart, but the team has acknowledged that they'll have a full-fledged committee. If the team becomes more confident in his pass-blocking, he could end up getting the majority of the snaps.
85.BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN at Chi
86.Chris Ivory NYJ vs. TB
87.*Ronnie Hillman DEN vs. Bal
Note: First on the Broncos' depth chart at least for now, but not first in our hearts.
88.Rueben Randle NYG at Dal
89.*Kenny Britt TEN at Pit
Note: Sat out the preseason finale with a sore knee. That said, the Titans have said that Britt will need a day off from practice nearly every week.
90.*Wes Welker DEN vs. Bal
Note: Playing through his ankle injury.
91.Tavon Austin STL vs. Ari
92.Denarius Moore OAK at Ind
93.Greg Jennings MIN at Det
94.Mohamed Sanu CIN at Chi
Note: Strong preseason shows that he's fully recovered from the foot injury that ended his season, and Andrew Hawkins' injury puts him in the starting lineup.
95.Michael Floyd ARZ at StL
96.Vincent Brown SD vs. Hou
97.*Sidney Rice SEA at Car
Note: (Knee) Expected to be ready for Week 1. Full participant in Thursday's practice.
98.Darrius Heyward-Bey IND vs. Oak
99.Kenny Stills NO vs. Atl
100.Chris Givens STL vs. Ari
101.Alshon Jeffery CHI vs. Cin
102.Greg Little CLE vs. Mia
Note: The Browns' top wideout for the first two weeks, at least in terms of pecking order.
103.Brian Hartline MIA at Cle
104.Brandon Myers NYG at Dal
105.*Zach Sudfeld NE at Buf
Note: Short-term job security following the waiver of Jake Ballard and Daniel Fells.
106.*Jordan Cameron CLE vs. Mia
Note: (Groin) Missed the final preseason game, but had a huge impact early on. Full practice this week.
107.Fred Davis WAS vs. Phi
108.Martellus Bennett CHI vs. Cin
109.Bernard Pierce BAL at Den
110.*Bilal Powell NYJ vs. TB
Note: Officially the Jets' starting RB this week.
111.Joique Bell DET vs. Min
Note: Surpassed Mikel Leshoure as Reggie Bush's backup and thus might get some goal line carries. Leshoure is a healthy scratch.
112.Michael Bush CHI vs. Cin
113.Zac Stacy STL vs. Ari
114.Jacquizz Rodgers ATL at NO
115.Robert Turbin SEA at Car
116.Fred Jackson BUF vs. NE
117.Stepfan Taylor ARZ at StL
118.Roy Helu WAS vs. Phi

Kickers

1.Justin Tucker BAL at Den
2.Stephen Gostkowski NE at Buf
3.*Matt Bryant ATL at NO
Note: Sat out the preseason finale with a sore back, but expected to be ready for Week 1. Full practice Wednesday.
4.Randy Bullock HOU at SD
5.Matt Prater DEN vs. Bal
6.Phil Dawson SF vs. GB
7.Blair Walsh MIN at Det
8.Greg Zuerlein STL vs. Ari
9.Alex Henery PHI at Was
10.Steven Hauschka SEA at Car
11.Josh Brown NYG at Dal
12.Adam Vinatieri IND vs. Oak
13.*Sebastian Janikowski OAK at Ind
Note: Dealing with a calf injury, but practiced Thursday.
14.Robbie Gould CHI vs. Cin
15.Kai Forbath WAS vs. Phi
16.Mike Nugent CIN at Chi
17.Garrett Hartley NO vs. Atl
18.*Mason Crosby GB at SF
Note: Won the job, restructured his contract.
19.Dan Bailey DAL vs. NYG
20.David Akers DET vs. Min
21.*Billy Cundiff CLE vs. Mia
Note: Signed by the Browns.
22.Shaun Suisham PIT vs. Ten
23.Ryan Succop KC at Jax
24.Rob Bironas TEN at Pit
25.Nick Novak SD vs. Hou
26.Josh Scobee JAC vs. KC
27.Jay Feely ARZ at StL
Note: One of three kickers to beat out Dan Carpenter this year. Yay.
28.*Dan Carpenter BUF vs. NE
Note: Already on his fourth team since the start of training camp.
29.Graham Gano CAR vs. Sea
30.*Rian Lindell TB at NYJ
Note: Won the Bucs' starting kicker job over Derek Dimke, after the Bucs lost both Connor Barth and Lawrence Tynes.
31.*Nick Folk NYJ vs. TB
Note: Beat out Dan Carpenter for the job.
32.Caleb Sturgis MIA at Cle
33.*Dustin Hopkins BUF vs. NE
Note: Out with a groin injury - Dan Carpenter, you can't kill him off, will take his place.

Defenses

1.Chicago Bears vs. Cin
2.Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Ten
3.Seattle Seahawks at Car
4.St. Louis Rams vs. Ari
Note: Home game vs. Carson Palmer? WANT.
5.New England Patriots at Buf
Note: Could possibly face an undrafted rookie QB.
6.San Francisco 49ers vs. GB
7.Cleveland Browns vs. Mia
Note: Sneaky good defense, sneaky good matchup.
8.*Houston Texans at SD
Note: Ed Reed (hip) was activated from the PUP list but his status for Week 1 is uncertain.
9.*Cincinnati Bengals at Chi
Note: Start your pass-catching backs and tight ends against the Bengals - Rey Maualuga's replacement in nickel situations, Emmanuel Lamur, is out for the season.
10.New York Jets vs. TB
11.Kansas City Chiefs at Jax
12.Tampa Bay Buccaneers at NYJ
Note: Matchup is good, but I think it won't be as great on the road.
13.Indianapolis Colts vs. Oak
14.San Diego Chargers vs. Hou
15.Detroit Lions vs. Min
16.*Denver Broncos vs. Bal
Note: Reminder that the Broncos will be without Von Miller for six weeks.
17.Tennessee Titans at Pit
18.Dallas Cowboys vs. NYG
19.Arizona Cardinals at StL
20.Carolina Panthers vs. Sea
21.Baltimore Ravens at Den
22.Green Bay Packers at SF
23.Washington Redskins vs. Phi
24.Miami Dolphins at Cle
25.Jacksonville Jaguars vs. KC
26.Philadelphia Eagles at Was
27.*New York Giants at Dal
Note: Stevie Brown is out for the year, and the Giants were already thin in the secondary.
28.Minnesota Vikings at Det
29.Atlanta Falcons at NO
30.*Buffalo Bills vs. NE
Note: Jairus Byrd has been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and is seeking a second opinion for the injury.
31.Oakland Raiders at Ind
32.*New Orleans Saints vs. Atl
Note: Jonathan Vilma (knee) is doubtful for Week 1.