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NFL Team Depth Charts

When it comes to fantasy football one the key pieces of information that people look at especially before the season starts is the depth chart for each team. Inevitably each offseason is filled with players moving, being cut, being signed, retiring, being traded, and being drafted. Some players take a few years to develop and it is the team depth chart that will clue you in to who the potential starters might be in the upcoming season.

This can help you find sleepers that might have more playing time than they did the year before. You can get valuable insight regarding who might be winning the battle for a starting spot through the pre-season.

The interesting things about depth charts is that you don't always know if the official NFL depth chart submitted by each team really reflects what is in their heads. This is where our headline news can help you keep tabs on each player from the local sources that are on the ground watching the practices.

In the case of players on the offensive line or certain defensive positions are sometimes listed on the depth chart for more than one position. This is often because teams are only allowed to carry a limited number of players on their roster and they don't always have the room for players 3 or 4 deep at each position.

Currently 90 players are allowed on a team's offseason roster. This includes active, inactive, practice-squad, exempt, and reserve-list players. It also includes unsigned draft choices and franchise free agents. On the third week of the preseason each team must but their roster from 90 down to 75. The 51 highest paid players will count toward the salary cap for the team. On game day only 46 players can be active on the field. Also, teams used to have an "emergency" spot for a 3rd dtring quarterback. This has been eliminated in the most recent labor negotiations. This is pretty much a wash because teams used to have 45 spots and the emergency QB spot, so now with 46 roster spots they could continue to carry 3 QBs or they can use the extra spot for another player.

Depth Charts are very useful to fantasy football because they can tip off players if someone may be starting or getting benched. Some players, particularly along the offensive line, or on defense may be listed on a depth chart more than once at different positions. This sometimes occurs because of the roster limitations and teams being unable to carry enough players to be 3 or 4 deep at each position.

When it comes to fantasy football draft strategies, it is important to check the depth charts to either protect your investment in the starter (by drafting the backup in case your stud goes down) or to possibly get a backup player of a starter on someone else’s team that could pay off as trade bait if their guy has an injury. Likewise, some teams that do a "committee" approach for positions like Running Back could provide a lot more value to 2nd and 3rd string players than they would have otherwise have had.

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