Each week of the NFL DFS preseason we’ll be outlining some of the important situations to monitor that impact the roster construction for that week’s games. The NFL Preseason DFS Hall of Fame game is here and features a Showdown Contest with the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos. We’ve already outlined some important strategic considerations for each week of the preseason.
In Week 1 the typical starters and veterans will rest leaving ample playing time for the unproven rookies, backups, and practice squad team members. We also know that it is important to target thin positional depth charts which will likely lead to more playing time for the eligible players.
At a team level, we are looking at positional scoring averages for QBs of roughly 15 DK points, RBs 25 DK points, WRs 35 DK points, and TEs 10 DK points. These averages could then be used to cascade down based on depth.
For Showdown correlation is always important. Rosters that play a quarterback at Captain should consider targeting the 2nd string players who are likely to play with him. Similarly, you may catch some beat writer reporting on starters for each offense that could have valuable correlation information. DST and 2 DST lineups have both a high floor and a high ceiling for Showdown and there are plenty of scenarios where a Captain D could end up as the optimal lineup.
And yes, we know how to ship the damn thing.
Positional Depth (Healthy Status + Practice Squad from FantasyData)
Pittsburgh: 4 QBs, 6 RBs, 11 WRs, 6 TEs
Dallas: 4 QBs, 5 RBs, 14 WRs, 6 TEs
Cowboys vs Steelers News and Notes (Last Updated 9:30AM)
Dallas vs Pittsburgh
- Mason Rudolph will start at QB, while Haskins may get an extended look in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. Tomlin noted that any rest would be for veterans rather than specific spots on the depth chart. Someone like Najee Harris could get a series but shouldn’t see extended action.
- Haskins ran a two-minute drill with the 2nd/3rd team like Anthony Johnson and is expected to get a long look tonight.
- Ebron (TE), Gentry (TE), White (WR), Snell (RB), McLoud (WR) are notable names not practicing
- The Cowboys released their unofficial depth chart and also listed several players who did not travel including Cooper, Vasher and Zuerlein.
- Osirus Mitchell and Simi Fehoko flagged by beat writers as names to watch and noted Gilbert will start at QB for Dallas. The wide receivers competing in the 5th/6th spots (Noah Brown) are some of the Dallas exposure.
- McCarthy noted this game and their Saturday competitive practice are equal focal points and reps will be managed.
- Ben DiNucci will be QB3 but could get the majority of playing time
Situations to Target
There is a ton of variance in preseason DFS as snaps are limited and one or two plays can shift things. On top of QB exposure and both DSTs being elite plays, these are my favorite targets for tonight’s slate.
The Steelers wide receivers.
While it is possible that Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, Juju Smith-Schuster and James Washington get a handful of snaps with Mason Rudolph, it is unlikely they play more than a series. Pittsburgh has just 11 wide receivers on their roster and both McLoud and White were held out of practice this week which could suggest a limited role. That would leave a preseason dream scenario of just a 5-6 wide receiver rotation.
Haskins has connected with Rico Bussey and Anthony Johnson in practice and they’re strong options and correlations with our preferred QB tonight in Haskins. I will also try to get over the field on Mathew Sexton, Isaiah McKoy and Tyler Simmons.
The Cowboys thin backfield.
While the Cowboys wide receiver depth chart is a bit more crowded, there is opportunity at the RB position in a RB room with just 5 healthy bodies, two of which are Tony Pollard and Zeke Elliott. Rico Dowdle, JaQuon Hardy, and Brenden Knox are listed on the depth chart in that order and all could have some opportunities in tonight’s game.
In general, DFS players should be cautious of the quality of information. With several popular content providers providing preseason DFS content it is done on a mix of fact and speculation. Even the strongest players are going to have limited opportunity and on a single game slate, there could be opportunities to zag away from speculation-driven ownership.