Kansas City Chiefs position battles for preseason game No. 2 against San Francisco 49ers

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The KC Chiefs host the San Francisco 49ers in the second game of the preseason on Friday night against the San Francisco 49ers. Keep an eye on these five position battles in tonight's game. Links: Starters playing time (first half) Chiefs depth chart | Chiefs roster | Chiefs preseason schedule

No. 2 receiver

I start here because of a few stories I've seen floating around suggesting Donnie Avery will win the No. 2 receiver job, which is based off of this from Bill Williamson at ESPN: "Free-agent pickup Donnie Avery will likely be the guy, and he has shown he can be a capable NFL player."

Important point here: Jon Baldwin, and not Donnie Avery, has spent training camp as the No. 2 receiver. Sure, Avery could win that job, but wouldn't you expect the Chiefs to give him some first team snaps during camp? Maybe it comes to fruition down the line but right now the tangible signs point to Baldwin being the guy early on.

It's still an open position, and it will probably rotate throughout the year, but what the Chiefs have done on the field during camp does not suggest that Avery is going to win the job.

What to watch for: Compare first team reps for Baldwin vs. Avery.

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John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

No. 2 running back

The availability of Jamaal Charles will play a big role in this. Charles, who hurt his foot earlier in the week (it's not serious), may not play. If he doesn't, then expect Knile Davis, Shaun Draughn and Cyrus Gray to see increased carries. Davis, in particular, would be the one who would see the most time in the scenario that Jamaal doesn't play.

Through three weeks of camp, this looks like Davis's job to lose but the games mean a lot. Davis carries the ball five times for just seven yards last week, which is kinda disappointing. He also had a drop.

What to watch for: If Jamaal doesn't go, how many targets Knile Davis gets in the passing game.

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Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Inside linebacker

The veteran vs. the rookie. Akeem Jordan missed the Chiefs Wednesday practice for personal reasons but indications are that he will play in this game. I would expect him to start. He has the edge over Nico Johnson, who I also expect to see first team snaps.

I would call this the most open of the position battles. Jordan is the logical pick to win this job out of the gate because he's the experienced veteran but Nico Johnson has been given opportunities with the first team during camp. Both head coach Andy Reid and defensive coordinator Bob Sutton have said this position is open.

What to watch for: How many first team snaps Nico Johnson gets. That will be a good indicator of what's to come.

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Tight ends

Is it really a position battle when I expect everyone to be involved? We're going to make a thing out of the tight end depth chart but in reality I suspect all three of the top guys will be involved.

The depth chart as of now looks like this:

1. Anthony Fasano
2. Travis Kelce
3. Tony Moeaki

I asked Moeaki earlier this week about being third and he said he doesn't get into the politics of the depth chart. He's just going out to play.

The order of 1, 2 and 3 doesn't seem to matter all that much to be honest. It's the total snaps that matter, and I think all three of these guys are going to see time with the first team.

What to watch for: How often two tight ends are on the field. It happens a lot.

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Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

No. 3 quarterback

Of course I have to put the third quarterback here. It's a quarterback! We love to hate those guys in Kansas City.

This time around it's Tyler Bray vs. Ricky Stanzi for the third team job with Chase Daniel (2) and Alex Smith (1) ahead of them. Bray is listed as third on the Chiefs depth chart.

Despite Bray's showing last week against the Saints -- he fumbled one away -- all indications are that he is leading this. Andy Reid hasn't commented on it but judging by what we've seen in camp Bray has the edge here.

If there's such a thing as a "gamer" -- someone who plays better in a game than practice -- then now is the time for Ricky Stanzi to show it.

What to watch for: Who turns it over? The easiest way to lose the battle.

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Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

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