Let’s get ready to rumble. Here are my top nine position battles to watch in the preseason:
1. Ryan Grant vs. James Starks for the Packers No. 1 RB job. I fully expect Grant to get the nod here as the veteran with the big paycheck, but Starks is a force as we all saw in the playoffs. The question is how much of a role Starks will earn. The Packers usually don’t do the running back by committee thing.
2. Greg Little vs. Brian Robiskie for the the Browns No. 2 WR job. Little is a deep league sleeper and a Dynasty prospect as a tough WR that fits the West Coast offense. But if he can’t beat out Robiskie, it’s a little concerning.
3. Kevin Walter vs. Jacoby Jones for the Texans No. 2 WR job. Same as last year. Jones was unable to beat out Walter in 2010, but now has another year of experience under his belt. If Jones can somehow win out here, he’ll be a nice sleeper.
4. Nate Washington vs. Damien Williams for the Titans No. 2 WR job. Washington is the mediocre veteran while Williams has the explosive potential and USC pedigree.
5. Mike Tolbert vs. Ryan Mathews for the goal-line back job. Mathews has gotten off to a really rough start at camp, showing up out of shape and hurting his toe. I won’t consider him unless he wins this GL job.
6. Kyle Orton vs. Tim Tebow for the Broncos QB job. Orton is way in front already and any hopes of a trade are reportedly dashed. Tebow would need a real rally to win here.
7. Victor Cruz vs. Domenik Hixon for the Giants No. 3 WR gig. We all saw what Cruz can do when he lit up the preseason a year ago. Excited to see if he could replicate that on the big stage.
8. Robert Meachem vs. Devery Henderson for the Saints No. 2 WR job. I really think Meachem is the btter player and the one ready to take a leap. But he has to prove it.
9. Danario Alexander vs. Donnie Avery vs. Mike Sims-Walker for the Rams No. 1 WR gig. With Josh McDaniels at the controls, this is one to really watch. Whoever gets the most snaps is going to be a sleeper.