Fantasy football: Top preseason position battles to watch

Phillip Lindsay broke out last season, but should you take him over Royce Freeman in 2019 fantasy football drafts? Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Those who do not participate in fantasy football can reasonably disagree, but in our world, the most important position battles tend to take place among running backs. There is nothing like a cool quarterback challenge in the real world, but it might not matter -- for our purposes -- what happens under center with the Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins or Washington Redskins. Or it might. It will not matter much for draft day. At running back, everything could potentially matter, based on the scarcity of sure things at the position, the upside of certain combatants and the inherent craziness we have seen with surprise contributors.

I could make a case that perhaps one-third of NFL teams have some relevant competition going on at running back, something that could greatly affect a fantasy league and/or our rankings. In some cases, this would be with the backup position, as with the Los Angeles Rams. I happen to think Todd Gurley II, while being a fantastic, productive player, is not going to be able to play 16 games at a top level through obvious knee arthritis, so I want to know who is next in line. It does not mean that whoever is next in line becomes a star, just as if whoever wins a starting job elsewhere might struggle. There is risk everywhere.

Still -- and in most cases the job battle manifests because the starter is a bit underwhelming or returning from an injury and the newcomer is some hotshot rookie seemingly ready to play -- let us focus on the potential starting situations. Plus, when it comes to the Rams, I think