I was really hoping to get this out much earlier today, but life just got in the way, unfortunately. Still, here is a preview of tonight’s games if you plan on playing some preseason NFL on Draft Kings. I will have a preview for tomorrow’s slate posted by the morning. I hope this helps you win some money tonight!
Washington Redskins @ Atlanta Falcons
QB: The Redskins only have 3 quarterbacks listed on their depth chart: starter Kirk Cousins, backup Colt McCoy, and 3rd string rookie Nate Sudfeld. We can expect to see Cousins get one, possibly two drives and will sit the rest of the game. Coach Jay Gruden knows what he has with McCoy already, but he should still see a handful of drives. That leaves the majority of the game for the rookie from Indiana University, Nate Sudfeld, to prove that he has what it takes to be an effective NFL quarterback. Sudfeld is a tremendous athlete with a big arm, and with the pass-heavy offense of the Redskins, we should see a good number of passes from him. Sudfeld is one of, if not, my favorite quarterback to target on this slate as he should see a ton of reps, but we could see the rookie toss an interception or two.
RB: The first and second running back positions are already solidified with second year man Matt Jones and Chris Thompson. The third back behind them, however, is up in the air. There is a heated competition among the rest of the backs to prove that they deserve that third spot. Keith Marshall is the only other running back listed that has seen any NFL action, playing in a couple preseason games last year. Marshall will have the first crack at securing the No. 3 spot, with Mack Brown, Rob Kelley, Kelsey Young, and Joe Kerridge getting their chances after him. With so many players fighting for a spot, it is hard to single one out to target this week. With other teams offering less depth at running back, I’m comfortable fading the Redskins running back situation.
WR/TE: Coach Jay Gruden has already stated that there are 5 guys that won’t see any action this week: wide receivers Josh Doctson, Reginald Diggs, Jamison Crowder, and tight ends Jordan Reed and Derek Carrier. Due to Crowder’s absence, receiver Ryan Grant has seen more snaps with the Redskins first-team offense, showing that the ‘Skins have faith in his ability to be a solid backup to Crowder. Behind the team’s three established receivers, college free agent Maurice Harris is looking to prove he deserves a roster spot after signing in May and even seeing some reps with the first-team offense. Another receiver that has been shining during camp is wideout Dez Stewart. Stewart has made a couple highlight plays, and being able to play in the Georgia Dome should help with his speed and Nate Sudfeld’s deep passes.
QB: The Falcons have four quarterbacks on their roster, with the top two spots solidified by Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub. Coach Quinn made it known that for the first preseason game, he plans to get all the quarterbacks involved. What Quinn didn’t say is how involved Ryan and Schaub would be considering their solidified position. My guess is that we will see Matt Ryan and Matt Schuab early on in the game so that Sean Renfree and Matt Simms can get the bulk of the snaps. I’m not overly excited about either quarterbacks, especially since there are better options on this slate in my mind.
RB: Running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman have their roles solidified as the No. 1 and No. 2 backs for the Falcons, with Terron Ward most likely being the third back in the rotation. Ward should be sitting out on Thursday, leaving the bulk of the running for Gus Johnson, Brandon Wilds, and Cyrus Gray. Wilds and Johnson should see the majority of snaps at running back, as they are the two most likely backs to take the third running back spot from Terron Ward.
WR/TE: By golly do the Falcons have a lot of receivers on their roster. The top spots are solidified by Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, and Justin Hardy. Behind those three guys, Atlanta has 9 other receivers on their roster as of now. My favorite target from this deep list of options is Aldrick Robinson, who has had a great camp so far and has shown tremendous deep speed. Look for him to see a good amount of reps against the Redskins. Another receiver I like to see a good amount of snaps is Nick Williams who is a scrappy receiver that earned a roster spot last year by posting 157 receiving yards and 101 kick return yards in four exhibition games. One last camp standout is tight end Austin Hooper, who has run some practices with the first-team offense. Hooper is very athletic and can be a great option at tight end on this slate.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Philadelphia Eagles
QB: The Buccaneers have three quarterbacks listed on the depth chart. Last season’s starter Jameis Winston has had a pretty good camp so far, but has struggled with consistency. He is still the team’s solidified starter, so he shouldn’t see too many drives today. After Winston, though, things get interesting. No. 2 starter Mike Glennon is slated to become a free agent after this season, leaving the Bucs with a tough decision – keep Glennon or let him walk after this year? That’s where the third quarterback on the depth chart, Ryan Griffin, comes into play. This preseason is basically a tryout to become the solidified backup if the Bucs decide to let Mike Glennon walk. Griffin should see a large majority of the drives, and with the quality of wide receivers the Buccaneers have, should come in as a nice play at quarterback this week.
RB: Just like the quarterback situation, the Bucs’ No. 1 and 2 running backs are set with Doug Martin as the lead and Charles Sims as the No. 2. After that, though, the situation is a tossup. Running backs Mike James, Storm Johnson, and Peyton Barber have all looked great in camp so far, but the Buccaneers need to see how they play in real game situations. They will all most likely split time, making any one of them tough to target specifically. The most intriguing back, however, is Peyton Barber, as he has proved that he is a power runner with the ability to b a strong, goal-line back.
WR/TE: Like most teams this early in the preseason, the Bucs have some good depth at the receiver position. Wideouts Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson are the clear No. 1 and 2 receivers. Bucs’ coach Dirk Koetter has explicitly stated that Adam Humphries is the team’s third wide receiver, but he still continues to grind through camp. Another receiver that has shown flashes during camp is Evan Spencer, even though he’s not pushing Humphries or any other starter for their spot yet. Look for him to make some noise against the Eagles’ defense and prove why he should stay on the team’s roster. Receiver Jonathan Krause hasn’t been as consistent in camp as Spencer, but has shown flashes of remaining on the roster. One last player to possibly target is Kenny Bell, who has been tremendous during training camp. The problem is, though, he did the same thing last year, but disappeared during the preseason. This probably isn’t the week to target him for DFS, but keep an eye out for his snap counts and how coach Dirk Koetter utilizes him.
QB: The Eagles pretty much have their quarterback situation figured out, and is now just a matter of seeing how the new guy Carson Wentz plays in an actual game. Sam Bradford will be the starter come the regular season, with Chase Daniel acting as his backup. This leaves Wentz as the third-string quarterback, so the question is, how much will he play against the Buccaneers? Thankfully, coach Doug Pederson has already announced that Wentz will see almost all of the snaps in the second half of the game. I don’t think we will see a whole lot of Sam Bradford, so the first half will be mostly Chase Daniel’s time to shine, while Wentz gets to finish the game out. I like Wentz as an option this week, especially since we know how much time we can expect him to play.
RB: The Eagles have arguably one of the best running back situations to target this week. Starting running back Ryan Matthews just returned to training camp last week as he comes off an injury. He most likely won’t see any snaps, bringing our choice down to four options. The team’s second string running back, veteran Darren Sproles, is established and doesn’t have too much to prove, so likely won’t see more than a drive or two, if that. Our options are now down to three backs for the whole game. Our choice becomes even easier as one of the three remaining backs, Wendell Smallwood, has been ruled out of the game by coach Pederson, leaving us with two options. Kenjon Barner is easily the best of the two running backs remaining – an explosive running back and has shown promise out of the backfield as a receiver. Barner will most likely be the chalk play at running back this week, but rightfully so. I’m thinking of just handcuffing Barner with the other running back on the team’s depth chart, Byron Marshall. Playing both running backs basically guarantees that you will have a player out there for the entire game, which is huge for preseason success. If you’re choosing just one, however, Barner is the way to go, hands down.
WR/TE: The Eagles don’t have a ton of depth at the wide receiver postion, and coach Pederson has already ruled a few receivers out. Jordan Matthews, Hunter Sharp, and Marcus Johnson won’t see any playing time today against the Buccaneers.Nelson Agholor has already been established as the team’s second wide receiver, and Josh Huff should start the season as the team’s No. 3 receiver. Reuben Randle will also begin the season as the starting slot receiver, and is already established in the NFL. The key receivers to target should be Paul Turner and Cayleb Jones, both of which have played very well during training camp. Expect the Eagles to take some shots downfield, with Turner and Jones being the top two targets for whoever is behind center.
Carolina Panthers @ Baltimore Ravens
QB: There is no doubt who the Panthers starting quarterback is come the beginning of the season – Superman himself, Cam Newton. The main thing to watch this preseason for Newton is what his new touchdown celebration will be, since he has said he is done with the “Dab”. Even though we don’t get points on Draft Kings for celebrations (although we should), if you know who to contact to make that happen, let me know on twitter @kzolson19, it will still be fun to watch him for the one drive he sees. Newton’s backup is Derek Anderson, should see a good amount of snaps. He will split time with third-stringer Joe Webb, who established himself as a solid quarterback when he was starting for Minnesota. Both Anderson and Webb have seen actual action in the NFL, and are both good targets today. My favorite of the two is Webb, who has the ability to scramble if necessary.
RB: The Panthers have their first three running backs set with Jonathan Stewart, Mike Tolbert, and Fozzy Whitaker. In a press conference on Tuesday, head coach Ron Rivera said that the two running backs that they are most interested in seeing is Cameron Artis-Paine and Brandon Wegher. They are my top two targets at running back for the Panthers, with really no need to look elsewhere.
WR/TE: The Panthers are very deep at both the wide receiver and tight end positions. Kelvin Benjamin, Ted Ginn, and Greg Olsen shouldn’t see more than one or two drives. With such a wide array of receivers, it is difficult to target any one player, which is why I most likely won’t be targeting any of the Panthers’ receivers.
QB: Quarterback Joe Flacco is coming off of a season ending injury and most likely won’t even see a single snap in this game. That leaves the rest of the game for backup Ryan Mallett, along with Josh Johnson and Jerrod Johnson to see all of today’s snaps. Mallett surprised the Ravens last season when he signed with the team in December and led them for a win against the Steelers 12 days later. Mallett would be my favorite target at the position for the Ravens, but there are better options on this slate.
RB: The lead running back role is Justin Forsett’s to lose. Throughout camp, Terrance West has been very impressive and has the best shot at taking Forsett’s starting job. With running back Lorenzo Taliaferro on the PUP list, we are left with Javorius Allen, Kenneth Dixon, and Stephen Houston. With such a deep rotation of backs fighting for a roster position, I don’t like targeting any specific running back. If I was forced to choose, Terrence West would be my favorite, but it’s not an overwhelming decision.
WR/TE: The best position target for the Ravens will be the tight end position, as Crockett Gillmore, Dennis Pitta, Maxx Williams, and Daniel Brown all have some sort of injury. That leaves us with tight end Benjamin Watson, along with Darren Waller and Nick Boyle who will both begin the season on suspension. Gillmore probably won’t see a ton of reps as he established his abilities last season on the Saints. Walker and Boyle should see the bulk of the action, and you can make a case for both, even though they won’t be able to play to start the season.
In terms of the receiving options, there are quite a few injuries here, too. Receivers currently sidelined by injury include: Steve Smith, Breshad Perriman, Chris Moore, Chris Matthews, and Michael Campanaro. That still leaves seven receivers available for today, but Kamar Aiken and Mike Wallace probably won’t be on the field for many drives. My favorite target for the Ravens is wide receiver Jeremy Butler, who will be doing all he can this preseason to take Campanaro’s roster spot. He has looked great during training camp, especially since he has been getting more reps with Campanaro sidelined.
New Orleans Saints @ New England Patriots
QB: The Saints have a pretty short quarterback rotation, with the No. 1 and 2 spots already secured in Drew Brees and Luke McCown. Brees, like most starters, will play one, maybe two series before Luke McCown takes over. Coach Peyton has already said that McCown will play for about a quarter, with third string quarterback Garrett Grayson playing the rest of the game. With the expected volume, I don’t dislike Grayson as an option at quarterback tonight.
RB: Mark Ingram is the solidified starter for the Saints and won’t see more than a series on the field. But there is a competition for a roster spot between Marcus Murphy, Travaris Cadet, and Daniel Lasco. The downside for us, however, is all three players should get about equal snaps, which isn’t an ideal situation to target. I would look elsewhere for your running backs tonight.
WR/TE: This wide receiver position is interesting for the Saints. Receiver Willie Snead was a starter last year, so most people will avoid him tonight, but he is listed pretty deep on the depth chart. I’m a big fan of Snead tonight, and he should be rather low owned. Two other players that have stood out in camp so far are Michael Thomas and Jared Dangerfield. Thomas has supposedly caught every ball that has come his way, and Dangerfield seems to have a connection with Dangerfield. All three are viable options, with Snead as my favorite.
QB: Here we go, Tome Brady won’t see any preseason time, and rightfully so. That leaves two players left on the depth chart – Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett. I doubt that coach Belichick wants Brissett to play more than a half, which leads us to believe Garoppolo should still see adequate time. Garoppolo is one of my favorite plays at quarterback today, as he has what it takes to be a leader.
RB: There is way too much going on with this running back situation, as the Patriots have six running backs available, and it is too hard to single any one out. I would avoid this situation as there are better teams to target.
WR/TE: Again, there is nothing overly exciting here. Both the receiving and tight end situations have a little too much depth for my liking, and with Garoppolo behind center, he can truly throw to anyone. There are better situations to take advantage of.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Jets
QB: The Jaguars have a solidified starter in Blake Bortles, and a solidified backup in Chad Henne. Rookie quarterback Brandon Allen could see a large majority of the snaps tonight, but they are missing some of their key offensive lineman, which makes me dislike him quite a bit.
RB: Running backs Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon are listed as co-starters on the Jaguars depth chart. The most intriguing options behind them are Corey Grant and Joe Banyard, with Grant being the most intriguing option as he will get some options to return kicks along with a good look in the backfield.
WR/TE: With a pretty deep list of receivers, there is one that stands out to me – second year man Rashad Greene. Greene has played very well in camp so far, and in order to make a roster spot he must perform well during these four preseason games. While the Jaguars have a pretty deep list at tight end, one name that keeps coming up at camp is Braedon Bowman. Bowman has shown that he has hands of glue during training camp, as he rarely drops a pass that comes his way. He is one of my favorite options at tight end tonight, as he should see a good number of reps.
QB: This quarterback situation is an ugly one, with four players listed on the depth chart. Ryan Fitzpatrick has the starting job locked up, which means that three other players will be splitting snaps under center. This isn’t a good situation to target, as we don’t know who exactly will see a majority of snaps.
RB: This is a great situation here at the running back position for us in DFS. Both Matt Forte and Bernard Pierce are out, with Khiry Robinson most likely not seeing any time as well. Bilal Powell will most likely see a series or two, but that leaves the rest of the game for Dominique Williams and Romar Morris. Williams is the most intriguing of the two backs, and is one of my favorite targets on this slate.
WR/TE: The wide receiver situation is most likely one we can avoid, but the Jets offer one of the best tight situations on the slate. Jace Amaro is trying to surpass Kellen Davis on the depth chart, and he can do that with a solid preseason. Amaro has shown to have some chemistry with the quarterbacks in camp, and offers a great option at a pretty slim tight end position on the slate.
Denver Broncos @ Chicago Bears
QB: This competition between quarterbacks is pretty much set, Mark Sanchez will be the starter come the beginning of the season. Sanchez should split time in the first half with Trevor Siemian, who will then give way to Paxton Lynch for the entire second half. Lynch is my favorite option of this group, mainoly due to the volume he will see.
RB: This is another great running back situation to target. There are only five guys listed on the depth chart, with one of them being a fullback. Most likely CJ Anderson, Ronnie Hillman, and Devontae Booker will play with the first and second team offenses. That means in the second half we will also see some Kapri Bibbs, but my favorite option is still Booker, as he tries to prove that he deserves the starting job over CJ Anderson.
WR/TE: This is a tough situation to peg, as the Broncos have some good depth at the receiving position. There is no one that impresses me enough to target, as we can see passes go every which way in this game. The tight end situation is something we can target though, as Jeff Heuerman should see a good amount of looks so that coach Shanahan can see what they have in him.
QB: We can expect to see a good amount of Brian Hoyer in this game, as coach John Fox said that the second team should see about two quarters of action. Hoyer is a great target tonight, and has the experience to excel in this game.
RB: There is a competition for positioning here for the Bears, so it is somewhat hard to peg who will see more time on the field. With so many unanswered questions, it is best to just target a running back situation elsewhere.
WR/TE: The Bears have a long list of receivers on their depth chart as of now, but one of my favorite options for this week is their 2015 first round draft pick, Kevin White. White is an animal, and with missing last season, should see a good amount of drives in this game. Expect him to be a focal point of this offense early on.