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Depth Chart Watch: Training Camp Job Battles

Andrew Fiorentino

Managing hockey editor, talent wrangler, football columnist, FSWA's 2015 fantasy hockey writer of the year. Twitter: @akfiorentino

Arizona RB - David Johnson got some extended run last week, turning 13 carries into 66 yards, and he also caught both passes thrown to him, which has to put some fear into Andre Ellington's owners. It doesn't help that Ellington wasn't able to catch any of his three targets, but he did at least have an 11-yard rush.

Arizona WR - Michael Floyd sounds more optimistic for Week 1, but he's still not back at practice. With Floyd still out and Larry Fitzgerald's preseason reps limited, John Brown got some quality time in with Carson Palmer in last week's preseason game against the Chargers, including a 17-yard touchdown catch. Brown is turning into a major player of interest -- even if Floyd is available to start the year, there are going to be plenty of targets to be had in this offense.

Atlanta RB - Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman didn't play in last week's preseason game due to their hamstring injuries, but while Freeman's looks questionable for this week's game, Coleman appears ready to return, so he'll have the first crack at getting a leg up in the competition. Meanwhile, Antone Smith remains out with a hamstring injury.

Baltimore RB - Lorenzo Taliaferro has a knee injury that seems likely to linger into the regular season, creating an opportunity for Javorius Allen, aka Buck Allen, to solidify his place as Justin Forsett's backup. Forsett's at no immediate risk of being leapfrogged, but if last year turns out to be a one-time occurrence, the battle for backup duties will loom large.

Buffalo QB - EJ Manuel gets the start Saturday, making him the third Bills preseason starter after Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor. We'll probably see one or both of in relief as Rex Ryan tries to figure out his quarterback competition.

Buffalo RB - LeSean McCoy (hamstring) is still optimistic for Week 1, but he's also still not back at practice. Of course, one imagines McCoy doesn't need a ton of practice time to get in there and juke some defenders. Still, it appears likely Fred Jackson will play a more significant role than expected the first couple weeks.

Cleveland QB - Johnny Manziel has elbow soreness, which will secure Josh McCown's position atop the depth chart to start the season. But once Manziel gets healthy, Browns fans very well may be crying for him sooner rather than later if Josh McCown is as bad this year as he was last year.

Dallas RB - Darren McFadden got nothing going in last week's preseason action, while Joseph Randle was solid, yet unspectacular -- but that's all he needs to be to hold his job.

Green Bay WR - Jordy Nelson's season-ending ACL tear is a brutal break for the Packers, but they're fortunate to have a competent second-year receiver in Davante Adams who can step in and serve as Aaron Rodgers' No. 2 target. Given his situation, the door of opportunity has been flung open for Adams, and rookie Ty Montgomery, who's slid up to No. 3, has to be a player of interest as well. Top dog Randall Cobb will, of course, see a boost as well, and he could be in for his finest season yet.

Houston QB - Brian Hoyer was officially named the starter, though as usual, neither he nor Ryan Mallett was terribly effective in last week's preseason game. Both were outplayed by third-stringer Tom Savage, albeit with the usual caveats about quality of competition.

Indianapolis WR - The latest word is that rookie Phillip Dorsett has the inside track on taking over the No. 3 receiver role from Donte Moncrief, though neither receiver really separated himself last week. With Andrew Luck doing the passing, the winner of this role becomes a player of interest, especially in deeper leagues.

New England WR - With Brandon LaFell still sidelined, his availability for Week 1 has to be considered highly questionable. That's particularly the case in light of the Patriots' signing of Reggie Wayne, who now appears set to play at least a reasonably decent-sized role in the passing game. Brandon Gibson suffered a torn ACL in last week's game and is out for the season. Aaron Dobson returned Friday from a hamstring injury and has a chance to make an impact as the team's deep threat.

Pittsburgh WR - Martavis Bryant was hit with a four-game suspension for violating the Substance Abuse Policy, and though he's appealing it, that clearly elevates Markus Wheaton to the No. 2 receiver role opposite Antonio Brown. Rookie Sammie Coates -- who caught a 54-yarder last week -- appears set to see some time in three-wide sets too.

San Francisco RB - It's time to say hello to Jarryd Hayne. A two-time MVP as a rugby player in Australia, he's decided to test his luck with the NFL, and he's been wowing us with the results: on 13 carries through two preseason games, he's piled up 117 yards. He's looked pretty damn good in the return game, too -- to the point that it wouldn't be surprising to see him take over punt-return duties. It's questionable where his blocking and receiving skills are, but he's got to be considered a lock to make this roster. Carlos Hyde -- even though he's also looked good -- and Reggie Bush should be looking over their shoulders, 'cause this guy can run.

St. Louis RB - Todd Gurley keeps on progressing, as he's been cleared for 11-on-11 work, and that has to have Tre Mason worried. Mason saw only three touches last week, and he didn't do much with them, while unheralded second-year man Trey Watts impressed, ripping off 53 yards on only six carries. Watts has got a mountain to climb just to make the team, though.

Tampa Bay WR - Mike Evans' hamstring injury seems to be lingering unexpectedly, as he's expected to miss the rest of the preseason, but Lovie Smith has downplayed it, so we should tentatively expect Evans to be in there for Week 1. If not, Louis Murphy would be in line for extra work.

Washington QB - Things remain uncertain with Robert Griffin, who's expected to rest another week or two yet before returning to action. Kirk Cousins is still sitting in the No. 2 hole here, with Colt McCoy No. 3, and both played fairly well last week, though McCoy lost a fumble.