Throughout the preseason, we heavily emphasize identifying potential impact players throughout the season that others may not recognize as they aren't necessarily "stars". In our 'Preseason Players to Watch' series, we highlight potentially noteworthy players in each night's game(s) that may be impactful for fantasy football, both in the 2022 season and beyond.
Here are our top players to watch for in tonight's preseason action:
C.J. Stroud (QB - Houston Texans) - vs NE, 7:00 PM on NFL Network
It's official: C.J. Stroud will open up the preseason as the Texans' starting QB on the depth chart.
He's set to be the first QB out there tonight and is expected to get at least a series or two of work alongside the starters to see where he's at in his development. For as much as we should be paying attention to how he plays, I'd be more focused on what type of scheming Stroud sees with the starting personnel.
He's got an even blend of bigger-bodied possession receivers (Robert Woods, Nico Collins) and slimmer, athletic-based receivers (Tank Dell, John Metchie III) with one in-between (Noah Brown). It's unclear what the 'pecking order' will be at WR, but what personnel is utilized (and coincidently, what play-calling scheme is implemented) will dictate more of Stroud's potential in 2023 than anything.
Zach Charbonnet (RB - Seattle Seahawks) - vs MIN, 10:00 PM on NFL Network
It sounds like it's all good to go for Charbonnet tonight, seeing his first taste of NFL action after overcoming a shoulder injury earlier in camp.
While it's unclear how much action he'll see in the preseason debut, it is an opportunity for him to push for significant work in the Seahawks' backfield earlier rather than later, especially with the absences of Kenneth Walker III (groin, "week-to-week") and Kenny McIntosh (knee sprain, to miss "a couple of weeks"). With his top competition for notable work sidelined for a bit, the 2nd round rookie out of Michigan will have the opportunity to potentially carve out a 1B-type role to Kenneth Walker's 1A (as opposed to a true 1-2) if he can capitalize on the injury-riddled RB room.
I'm very excited to see what he can do in limited action tonight, especially seeing if he's utilized at all in the receiving game as that is particularly Walker's biggest weakness.
Jordan Addison (WR - Minnesota Vikings) - vs SEA, 10:00 PM on NFL Network
Addison is set to see his first NFL action tonight, per Head Coach Kevin O'Connell, though it's unclear exactly how much time (and how involved) the rookie WR will be against Seattle.
Currently not listed among the starters, it will be very interesting to see if that is really the case, and perhaps just as important, where will Addison be lining up? A role within the slot, especially if he ends up seeing first-team snaps (despite the unofficial depth chart) could prove extremely valuable for him and offer notable rookie as a rookie.
That will be what I am watching for the most out of Addison, even in anticipated limited action.