Training camp battles: The final countdown (Page 2)
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Football > Preseason > Training camp battles: The final countdown

Training camp battles: The final countdown

We know not all of last year's stars will remain among the best so we ponder who might fall
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49ers Second WR: Jon Baldwin, Kyle Williams, Quinton Patton, Austin Collie and Marlon Moore

It was nice to see Patton return from his broken finger to catch a touchdown – the second from any 49ers receiver during the preseason. But much like what is happening with Heyward-Bey and Hilton, it's most important to look at the trends. And while Patton and Williams have battled injuries, Collie has looked a shell of his former self, and Baldwin gets used to his new digs, Moore has started every game this month. He is lining up as the "X" receiver, Michael Crabtree's old spot. If there is someone to watch right now in an extremely deep league, it's Moore.

Week 1 Leader: Nobody yet

Week 2 Leader: Nobody yet

Week 3 Leader: Nobody yet

Week 4 Leader: Moore, barely

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

Cooper remains the team's No. 2 WR despite low preseason totals. Shepard is coming in off the bench, and Jason Avant plays solely out of the slot. Head coach Chip Kelly hasn't said anything about this position, but Cooper is the obvious leader. And everyone here appears to not be worth your time in re-draft leagues.

Week 1 Leader: Cooper

Week 2 Leader: Cooper

Week 3 Leader: Cooper, definitely

Week 4 Leader: Cooper, definitely

Ravens Second WR: Jacoby Jones and Deonte Thompson

Jones is absolutely locked in to this gig. However, as Jon Gruden said during the telecast of Thursday's game against the Panthers, Jones probably won't play more than 40 snaps per game this season. So, yeah, Jones gets on the field first, but he will be coming off the field often, too.

Week 1 Leader: Jones

Week 2 Leader: Jones, definitely

Week 3 Leader: Jones, definitely

Winner: Jones

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

Thompkins was Tom Brady's top target with Danny Amendola inactive. Brady played a half and connected with Thompkins on six of eight throws for 93 yards. Thompkins finished the game with eight catches for 116 yards. Dobson turned in a fine line – four catches, 50 yards – but Thompkins is just getting stronger as this preseason continues. He's pulling away from the rest of the field.

Week 1 Leader: Dobson, barely

Week 2 Leader: Thompkins, barely

Week 3 Leader: Thompkins

Week 4 Leader: Thompkins

Eagles Second RB: Bryce Brown and Chris Polk

Brown runs with great speed and power, racks up 92 yards on 11 carries and fumbles. It was a standard performance from the second-year talent on Saturday. He and Polk shared the carries behind LeSean McCoy, but Brown was much more productive, as expected. The two aren't on the same level in terms of skill. But if those fumbles rear their ugly head again, Brown should lose playing time and a noticeable amount of his fantasy appeal.

Week 1 Leader: Brown

Week 2 Leader: Brown

Week 3 Leader: Brown

Week 4 Leader: Brown

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

This would be so much easier if Dunbar didn't sprain his foot in the previous preseason game. Instead, this situation looks a bit confusing at the moment. It was thought that Randle would get the carries ahead of Tanner in the third preseason game, but that wasn't the case. Tanner got a lot of work in the first two quarters while Randle didn't appear until after halftime. But the rookie was much more productive, averaging more than four yards per carry to Tanner's 2.79 YPC. One of these two guys will have to be DeMarco Murray's handcuff entering Week 1, but your guess as good as anyone else's as to whom that will be.

Week 1 Leader: Dunbar

Week 2 Leader: Dunbar

Week 3 Leader: Randle, barely

Week 4 Leader: Tanner, barely

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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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