Opportunity is king in projecting fantasy football production. Here is a look at the overly strong and weak NFL depth charts at each skill position and what potential cut players could quickly find 53-man roster spots elsewhere, continuing with the running back position:
The typical NFL roster keeps four running backs (can include a fullback but is not a set rule in 2019-era NFL)
POTENTIAL SHUFFLE PLAYERS
Qadree Ollison: Atlanta is five deep at running back with Ito Smith and Brian Hill firmly running ahead of Ollison, the mid-Day 3 rookie. Kenyon Barner was the surprise at RB4 over Ollison to start the preseason, showing the risk of Ollison to be practice squad bound or shifting to another team without leap-frogging one, if not two, obstacles in the coming weeks.
T.J. Yeldon, Senorise Perry: The Bills were on the 'weak depth charts' list a year ago in this article and now are one of the deepest in the NFL at running back. Yeldon and Perry are RB4/5 in the rotation and, outside of LeSean McCoy being moved, at least one of them is unlikely to make the active roster. Perry has bounced around the NFL but stuck in the league for a number of years. Yeldon has some Le'Veon Bell-light qualities to his game but did not see much traction or appeal in free agency earlier this offseason, settling for the crowded Bills depth chart.
Ryan Nall: The hybrid fullback, running back, H-back, player lined up all over the place in Week 1 of the preseason but is the clear RB4 for the Bears. He may make the roster but is at risk unless vital to special teams and ancillary work beyond running back, Nall is on the outside looking in.
Alfred Morris, Mike Weber, Darius Jackson: Morris feels like a stopgap option if Ezekiel Elliott misses regular-season time with his holdout. Weber is a late Day 3 back who could be sent to the practice squad or make the active roster depending on Elliott and Morris over the coming weeks. Jackson played behind Weber in the first preseason game and, despite his measured size-athleticism combination, has yet to see much traction for regular season contribution to-date.
Tra Carson, Dexter Williams: Green Bay was running on fumes for backs in the first preseason game with Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams both returning from injury. Dexter Williams would have the advantage over Carson with his draft pedigree (mid-Day 3) but Carson played over him last week. Carson has the 'big back who can move' profile who has bounced around the NFL but continues to get more cracks at an active roster.
Jonathan Williams, D'Onta Foreman: The Colts have their top-2 with Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines. Williams saw the RB3 work with Foreman just arriving via waivers in the first preseason game. If Foreman cannot stick in Indianapolis, he may have a single shot (or less) left to stick in the NFL. Williams was a surprise cut when he looked to have the Buffalo RB2 job locked down years ago.
Ameer Abdullah, Mike Boone: Both are fighting for the RB3 role (Abdullah was the RB3 in the first preseason game) with the loser likely off the roster. Abdullah is still getting chances after flaming out in Detroit after a Day 2 selection. Boone has minimal pedigree but has flashed athleticism within the Vikings' system.
Dwayne Washington, Devine Ozigbo: Jacquizz Rodgers is also on the radar within the RB3-4-5 spots this preseason for the Saints. Washington has looked adequate and Ozigbo looks the part of a big back with plus feet, balance, and power. At least one of these names, if not two, will not make the roster. Washington has bounced around the league despite his size-speed combination and Ozigbo would figure to get another opportunity quickly.
Paul Perkins, Rod Smith: The Giants have three names (these two plus Wayne Gallman) competing for likely two spots. Perkins is a reclamation project with tweener size and questionable athleticism. Smith showed well over the years in Dallas before struggling to find a free agent opportunity until late in the process this offseason. Perkins had a drop and a fumble in the first preseason game.
Bilal Powell, Elijah McGuire, Trenton Cannon: Ty Montgomery looks locked into the RB2 role for the Jets. McGuire was RB3 with Cannon RB4 and Bilal Powell not playing in the first preseason game. Any cuts from this depth chart would warrant attention from other NFL teams to upgrade their back end.
Travis Homer, Bo Scarbrough, C.J. Prosise: All have their appeal with Prosise being a Day 2 pick who has not stayed healthy to-date, Homer is a quality metric prospect from this year's class, and Scarbrough has the Alabama pedigree but lacks durability or much of an NFL profile thus far.
Jeremy McNichols, Alex Barnes: Both are in the mix for the RB3-4 role (if they keep four) with Dayln Dawkins seeing time ahead of Barnes as the RB4 in the first preseason game. The practice squad for Barnes or career bounce-around back McNichols could be on the move in the next few weeks.
WEAK DEPTH CHARTS
Cardinals: Chase Edmonds is a decent, but unspectacular RB2. T.J. Logan ran as the RB3 in the first preseason game but is at risk of being upgraded with a back with more RB1/2 potential and prototypical size.
Panthers: Cameron Artis-Payne is one of the weaker RB2 options in the NFL. Elijah Holyfield flashed in the RB3 role and Jordan Scarlett did not play as another RB3/4 contender. Behind Christian McCaffrey is not a strength for Carolina's roster at present and replacing at least one of the options from the outside would not be a surprise by Week 1.
Browns: Duke Johnson Jr has been traded away and Kareem Hunt is suspended until the second half of the season. Until then, Nick Chubb and Dontrell Hilliard are the main names. Cleveland is one of the more overt depth charts to add a back at least until Hunt returns.
Buccaneers: Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones look like roster locks, but the RB3 role is wide open with Andre Ellington and Bruce Anderson possible in-house options. A myriad of cuts from other teams stand to be upgraded by Week 1.