Fantasy football preview: Panthers vs Eagles

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

A few positional battles will be on display when the Panthers travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles. We break down the fantasy implications.

The Eagles and Panthers aren't teams many fantasy football owners have on their radars in terms of the amount of studs each offense has. However, there are still a few storylines to take note of while watching Thursday's preseason matchup when the two clash.

More: For more on the Panthers and Eagles, check out Cat Scratch Reader and Bleeding Green Nation

The lack of depth at wide receiver for the Eagles has been well-documented this offseason, but what gets buried in that talk is the praise that has been associated with their tight ends. Brent Celek, James Casey, Clay Harbor and Zach Ertz all have been involved in the passing game this summer, and it showed during the team's first preseason game when tight ends soaked up 14 targets. It could be a sign of things to come once the regular season begins, given the lack of depth behind DeSean Jackson. Whichever tight end warrants the most snaps come Week 1 could be in store for a nice volume of targets as well.

At running back, there was talk of Chris Polk breathing down Bryce Brown's neck to overtake him as LeSean McCoy's primary backup earlier this summer. However, Brown responded to that by posting a strong effort versus the Patriots, logging 41 total yards on seven touches, and scoring a touchdown. Polk will have to improve on his seven-yard performance from a week ago if he wants to keep the pressure on.

And of course, the quarterback situation remains as murky as ever, with Nick Foles set to get first-crack at the Panthers defense tonight after sitting behind Michael Vick a week ago. Vick has more fantasy upside of the two due to his running talents, but at such a deep position, it may not be enough to make him fantasy relevant.

As for the Panthers, Brandon LaFell will be looking to build off of last week's performance, where he caught a three-yard touchdown pass on his only target. He was an up-and-down player on a weekly basis last year, but has WR3 upside as long as Cam Newton remains at the helm. After logging over 600 yards on 44 catches a season ago, LaFell is once again expected to have more value in standard-scoring leagues than PPR leagues.

Rookie Kenjon Barner is another player worth keeping track of, showing his ability to contribute both as a runner and in the passing game as well. The scat-back touched the ball 11 times in his 21 snaps, totaling 54 yards and a rushing touchdown along the way. It's clear that the Panthers would like to see what he can do with the ball in his hands, but he would need both Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams to both miss some time in order to be fantasy relevant.

More from SB Nation:

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2013 fantasy football QB rankings

2013 fantasy football RB rankings

2013 fantasy football WR rankings

2013 fantasy football TE rankings

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