Last week we broke down key strategy elements for Preseason NFL DFS, so be sure to check that out. This blog will serve to provide news and notes for each week of the preseason and we’ll be updating it periodically. At times it may feature bullet points, run on sentences, or simple links, but with the goal of putting out some information that can help you make your FanDuel and DraftKings preseason picks.
Week 3 Basics – The highest scoring fantasy producers are likely to be starters, particularly at QB, but young players in key positional battles will often get a look with starters and 2nd team. This is the closest thing you will get to a dress rehearsal for a quarter or half of play. Last year’s highest scoring QBs included Bryce Petty, Brian Hoyer, Tom Brady, Matt Stafford, Derek Carr and Case Keenum.
Week three is upon us, and we know we want to target starters, but there is still plenty for us to sift through on depth charts and positional battles for the games.
- Kansas City at Chicago
- Houston at LA Rams
- Tennessee at Pittsburgh
- Vance McDonald Out, Antonio Brown questionable for Pittsburgh while other starters should play but not sure how much. James Washington should be the chalk WR target.
- James Connor would be considered the starting RB.
- Mariota and starters expected to see an entire half with Corey Davis the WR1. It is uncertain whether Taylor or Tajae Sharpe will play with the starters per Adam Levitan. Henry and Lewis should split RB time.
- San Fran at Indianapolis
- Alfred Morris will start with the ones and the 49ers depth chart is light at RB. That could leave a lot of Jeremy McNichols who 90% of snaps last week. Garcon and Goodwin will roll at WR and Celek at TE
- Jack Doyle is ahead of Ebron and if Hilton plays but is limited Ryan Grant and Chester Rodgers would see more PT
- Baltimore at Miami
- RG3 and Lamar Jackson in a backup QB battle while starters should see 20 snaps leaving this a QB situation that is split, though Jackson has shown fantasy upside with his legs.
- Kenny Stills returned to practice but it is unsure how much he will play. Albert Wilson, Danny Amendola and Gesecki would be the other passing game options. Drake played on the majority of Miami’s snaps.
- Atlanta at Jacksonville
- The Falcons seem to be playing conservative with starters receiving limited action. Julio will sit again. Its not a great spot for Calvin Ridley and Sanu versus the Jaguars starters. Ito Smith may see the most RB time.
- Bortles played 41 snaps last week with Keelan Cole and Marqise Lee as his ones. Fournette will be the RB option. The Jaguars coach says “you have to play” to get better.
- New Orleans at Los Angeles
- Brees has yet to play but did play half of week 3 last year and some the year before. The Saints will play into the 2nd quarter but it doesn’t sound like a full 2nd quarter committment. Tre’quan Smith lead Saints WRs in snaps and should continue to play, while Cameron Meredith will see his first action.
- Keenan Allen, Gordon and Rivers will lead the ones for San Diego who are set to play the first half and Mike Williams is looking strong.
- Seattle at Minnesota
- Both Seattle and Minnesota are thin at RB on their depth charts.
- Chris Carson should run with the starters and had 10 touches last week. CJ Procise put up PPR numbers with the backups and could have another decent workload.
- Dalvin Cook should see some action but it will be controlled, and guesswork on my part but splitting 1st teams reps with Latavius Murray seems viable.
- Jaron Brown is looking to secure a starting WR role for Seattle while Brandon Marshall will also get more than the 17 snaps he saw last week
- Detroit at Tampa Bay
- Kenny Golladay hype train rolls on and Detroit’s crowded backfield is tough to sort out leaving limited value. The Detroit passing attack should see the standard first half.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick expected to see time with the starters including Mike Evans and Godwin. Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber will both see time at RB.
- NY Giants at NY Jets
- Eli Manning expected to play most of the first half
- Wayne Gallman expected to play alongside Stewart with 1st string at RB. The Giants are thin at RB and with Barkley sitting Gallman could get a longer look. Beckham may sit as well but looking for official confirmation.
- Denver at Washington
- Green Bay at Oakland
- New England at Carolina.
- Per Mike Reiss Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead and and Jacob Hollister are not playing tonight. James White saw 26 snaps with Tom Brady. Hogan, Edelman and Dorsett would also be TB12 viable weapons and Gronkowski saw action last Week 3. Hoyer would be stacked with Patterson and McCarron.
- If not James White, Jeremy Hill seems to have the lead on Gillislee.
- Last year Brady saw equal action in Week 3.
- With Hollister out (and two TE sets viable) Will Tye is also interesting. He played the 2nd most snaps of any TE Week 2.
- Christian McCaffrey went to town on just 17 snaps last week. The Panthers starters should get extended playing time including the first series of the 3rd quarter.
Week 2 Basics – Starters become much more relevant but playing time is still uncertain. The best targets are high-quality backups or starters who are on teams with thin positional depth.
- Philadelphia at New England
- Per Mike Reiss Burkhead, Michel will sit at RB due to injury. Britt, Slate at WR. Dorsett was shaken up in practice but should still play. Riley McCarron stepped in as WR3 when he was out. NE is thin at RB and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a good bit of Mike Gillislee or Jeremy Hill.
- Per Mike Reiss TB12 could play deep into the first half.
- Etling received minimal snaps Week 1 and has had no work in competitive periods of practice with Brady and Hoyer ramping up. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hoyer play all of the non TB12 time.
- Hollister a top TE target this week and has more catches from Brady than Gronk this preseason. Yes I am a homer.
- Foles is expected to play a series or two but then it will be all Sudfield again.
- The Eagles are very thin at RB (Pumphrey, Adams Out, Sproles Old) leaves Clement, Smallwood and Matt Jones to carry the rock. Clement didn’t practice the 13th. This could be an extremely concentrated situation where both RBs are viable.
- The Athletic has Greg Ward as a WR to watch
- Dallas Goedert has 66 yards and a TD last game and is a strong play again this week. His ownership will be high so I don’t mind Hollister as a pivot but Goatert as good of a preseason TE play as you can find for cash.
- Goedert may not play much?
- NY Jets at Washington
- Darnold and Bridgewater part two but Darnold expected to start.
- Trenton Cannon could get some more run in a positional battle with Thomas Rawls. EDIT: Cannon may not play.
- Chad Hansen disappointed in Week 1 with 0 targets but is still being talked up in practice reports. TE Jordan Leggett practiced fully all week.
- In Washington expect some Alex Smith and a lot of Colt McCoy again.
- Rob Kelley, Samajae Perine, Kapri Bibbs and Byron Marshall to split RB duties. Bibbs and Marshall were noted in practice reports and at WR could see a lot of Trey Quinn.
- Pittsburgh at Green Bay
- While we’ll see a little more of Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery there should still be carries for Joel Bouagnon.
- GB Rookie WRs Valdes-Scantling and St. Brown will be thrown right back into the mix and may even get snaps with Aaron Rodgers while J’Mon Moore looks to bounce back.
- Joshua Dobbs and Mason Rudolph will split snaps at QB for PIT. Dobbs has some floor rushing.
- I haven’t found much info at PIT for RB but wouldn’t surprise me to see James Connor for a few series and then some more Fitzgerald Toussaint.
Week 1 Basics – Normal starters and veterans are irrelevant except in the thinnest of depth. If they see more than a series it still won’t matter. The lone exception here is a positional battle or unproven rookie. Last year’s highest scoring QBs Week 1 were Trevon Boykin, Jimmy Garrapolo and Jeff Driskel. Of the six highest scoring QBs, all except Garrappolo ran for 24+ yards.
- Out and about most of today so limited updates.
- DEN says they will play Booker/Freeman with the 1st team for two series, then the twos will play through the 3rd. Paxton Lynch viable as is Deangelo Henderson and Courtland Sutton / Daesean Hamilton at WR. I actually like targeting this game b/c the news is clear.
- Rosen for ARI the other QB I’d consider along with Lynch.
- The Chargers depth chart is thin. Gordon won’t play, Justin Jackson is hurt. Curious if Eckler plays or if that leaves Hansborough a lot of time.
- Minnesota has thin WR depth but I am not sure exactly sure what to do with it. Treadwell?
Friday Night Notes (Last Updated 830am)
- Atlanta has 5 QBs on their roster leaving the 3-man depth charts of DET, NYJ and OAK as the spots to target.
- Atlanta: Ito Smith listed at RB3 behind Coleman and Freeman. Matt Bryant is not playing if you are playing showdown. Calvin Ridley and Justin Hardy also worth monitoring for news on snap count.
- Detroit: Not revealing their plan at QB but Stafford won’t play much. 6 healthy RBs but Abdullah, Blount, Riddick, Zenner and Washington all fairly known. Kerryon Johnson could see decent playing time.
- NY Jets: Sam Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater will likely play half the game. The Jets have the thinnest RB and TE depth as well. Potential to see a lot of 6th round Rookie Trenton Cannon with Crowell and Powell known skillsets, and McGuire and Rawls banged up.
- Oakland: Chris Warren surprising in camp. Martavis Bryant could see a lot of snaps along with Connor Cook. Marcus Baugh has the most pass catching upside for Oakland TEs.
- Drewby’s Rankings:
- QB: Cook, Darnold, Bridgewater, Rudock, EJ Manuel in order. Avoid the rest.
- RB: Cannon, Smith, Johnson, Warren.
- WR: Bryant, Ridley, Hardy, TJ Jones, Chad Hansen.
- Tight End: Pretty grimy, I may roll with Tomlinson or Jets rookie Chris Herndon.
Thursday Night News and Notes (Last Updated 8/8 5pm)
- Buffalo, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, New England, NY Jets, Oakland, Seattle, Tennessee and Washington all have just 3 QBs on their roster and many will rest their starters to open up the preseason.
- The Packers return three starters from last year in Ty Montgomery, Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams but beyond that have just Devante Mays (DNP) and Joel Bouagnon. With Aaron Jones suspended for the first two games (and hurt) the Packers will likely need to keep a fourth RB on their roster at least temporarily. Will they use this opportunity to get an extended like at Bouagnon while Mays recovers? Packers injury report.
- The Chicago Bears have just 5 RBs on their roster and only 3 saw carries in the HOF game. Cunningham, Nail and Mizzell split the carries with Howard and Cohen sitting. Cunningham ran ahead of Mizzell but Nail saw action both early and late. Bears starters should see limited action.
- Lamar Jackson rushed 8 times in the opener and threw a TD. He should see an expanded role in Week 1.
- The Rams have just 5 RBs on their depth chart and Gurley won’t see much run. Justin Davis and John Kelly should see more action.
- Boyd starting at WR for Bengals while John Ross and Josh Malone run with the second team.
- Sudfield, Pumphrey and Perkins viable Eagles options that could see playing time. Eagles have 3 healthy QBs and Foles should sit leaving just two for snaps. Sudfield may play 3 quarters.
- Tre’Quan Smith a guy to watch in New Orleans
- Braxton Berrios and Danny Etling (QB) could see a lot of run for New England while Hill, Gillislee and Ralph Webb got the most RB snaps. Hoyer should play with returning players like Devin Lucien
- Derrius Gulce will get his first look with Washington
- Vrabel tight-lipped on Tennessee playing time but Gabbert could see extended time if Mariota doesn’t play. Akrum Wadley running as RB3 behind Lewis and Henry at a thin position?
- Baker Mayfield to play around two quarters. Darnold and Bridgewater should split the QB time for the Jets. Rosen should play a lot for Arizona as well.
- Some Bills positional battles to watch
- Joe Williams a guy to watch in SF?
- Foles says to watch Goedert
- Gus Edwards saw the most BAL RB action. With 5 men on the depth chart and Collins/Allen proven he may be worth a look.
- The Colts have just four healthy RBs and may want to see Mack, Hines and Wilkins
- Jacksonville carries could be split between just 3 RBs – Corey Grant, Brandon Wilds and Tim Cook
- Drewby’s Preferred Plays
- QB: Sudfield (CASH), Hoyer (Large Field) or Etling (Small Field), Lamar Jackson
- RB: Bouagnon, Cunningham, Kelly, Williams, Edwards, Webb, Guice
- WR: Lucien, Berrios, Smith, Mack Hollins,
- TE: Hollister and Goedert