Johnny Manziel and Tyrod Taylor were on full display with the second week of NFL preseason action back on Thursday night. If you added them to a roster that had Zach Zenner and/or Matt Jones, you probably ended up winning a little cash in DFS preseason fantasy football leagues.
Yes, they’re a thing, and speaking as someone who won some cash in them on Thursday night, they’re a ton of fun. It’s not the same as picking Aaron Rodgers and watching him crush the world for an entire game, but it’s almost more intense as you try to cheer on the likes of Marquise Goodwin or the aforementioned Manziel to end the night. Yes, some spare you never heard of could win you a grand on Friday night, depending on which games you play and who you roll with.
I don’t know every single player in existence, but I’ve found a few quality plays for tonight’s two games. Our own Taylor Smith thinks a night of two-game preseason action is a waste of time. He’s only right if you don’t win. With that, let’s go over the top picks for DFS preseason fantasy football tonight:
Atlanta Falcons @ New York Jets
Per usual, rolling with star players (or just starters in general) is a ballsy move when it comes to preseason fantasy leagues. Week three is the week to do it, but after most of the starters sat out or played very limited in week one, we’re probably due to see more of them tonight. That naturally puts the likes of Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Chris Ivory, Brandon Marshall, Roddy White and Eric Decker in play for tonight.
Don’t bother asking me who for sure is playing. It’s preseason. They don’t even know. If a guy is in and he’s a regular starter, you can bank on at least a few series in week two, but probably not much more than a quarter. The second and third team guys continue to be the top targets. That being said, Ryan and Julio hooked up for a score in week one and could find some success again tonight. Then again, the Jets first team defense looks nasty on paper, so you may want to temper your expectations.
For the second team, it’s a guessing game for the Falcons when it comes to running back. Tevin Coleman, Devonta Freeman and Antone Smith are all banged up, so it’s tough to count on any of them. If either/both Freeman and Coleman hit the field, though, they could be interesting plays considering they’re competing for the starting job. With so many injuries, it’s possible we just see a ton of Jerome Smith, Terron Ward and Michael Ford. Ford stumbled into a score in week one but none of these guys were all that impressive and will be big gambles.
For Atlanta’s passing game, both T.J. Yates and Sean Renfree should once again see a good amount of playing time. Yates is more experienced, but neither of these guys are awesome. The Falcons do have a few talented young pass-catchers, though, as Justin Hardy is a big, athletic receiver trying to make the team and Nick Williams found himself pretty active in the first preseason game. Levine Toilolo caught three passes in week one and could be considered, but tight end is a dumpster fire in preseason play unless your name is MyCole Pruitt, it seems.
For Gang Green, any progress is worth noting, as their offense as a whole scored just three points last week. Chris Ivory would be rather limited again, but he did look solid in week one. The same goes for Bilal Powell. Zac Stacy is the guy who should be worth a try. He’s not explosive in the least, but Atlanta’s backups won’t stop him and he needs some carries to try to make the team over Stevan Ridley (who is still not healthy). Daryl Richardson could also be worth a shot, but he mustered -1 yards on four carries last week, so nevermind.
The Beard should see much more than three dropbacks this week. He could team up with Brandon Marshall again this week, while Decker should be out there, too. We can’t be sure how long those guys will be available to you, but Fitzmagic can put up stats randomly and this Falcons defense still isn’t very good. Jace Amaro has a shoulder injury and is probably out, so you can take your pick between Jeff Cumberland or Kellen Davis, although you’ll surely wish you hadn’t. Behind the starters are guys like DeVier Posey, Shaq Evans, Devin Smith and something called a Walt Powell. I’m not overly into any of them, but Smith does have some upside if he is on the field.
Defensively, the Jets have the scare factor, but facing this Atlanta offense early on may make them a tough pick to trust. The Falcons created two turnovers last week and scored a defensive touchdown, so they’re actually in play.
Seattle Seahawks @ Kansas City Chiefs
Holy hell, I got through one game and now I have to do another. Here goes.
Russell Wilson and Seattle’s first team offense flashed some nice stuff in brief action last week, but they really didn’t do much. I think Seattle keeps them out there a lot longer to try to get them in a groove, while I can feel a Wilson to Jimmy Graham score coming. Even with these guys limited, they strike me as fun guys to use and with most quarterbacks topping out at like 8 fantasy points due to the shortened playing time, Russ seems like a good try. Graham is probably the top TE to take a shot on, as it’s all about getting that touchdown, baby.
Elsewhere for the Hawks is their running game, where Beast Mode will either sit or be pretty limited, I reckon. That leaves the door open for any of Robert Turbin, Thomas Rawls or Cristime Michael to put up some numbers. Dontari Poe is sidelined with an injury, so the Chiefs aren’t going to be amazing against the run right now. I like Rawls the most, as he’s in line to get the most work, but Michael is a nice sleeper.
In Seattle’s passing game, I’m not overly into their starters, Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin, but Chris Matthews could be good for a couple big plays. I want to see more of Tyler Lockett, who already made his mark as a dazzling return man. If the Seahawks would use him in the passing game he could end up being a dangerous play. After Wilson checks out it’s probably going to be all R.J. Archer, as Tarvaris Jackson is banged up. Don’t get too excited, but he wasn’t that bad last week (110 yards and a score).
On KC’s side, the first team offense goes up against Seattle’s A squad, so I’m obviously not overly excited about Alex Smith and the like. They shouldn’t play all that much, anyways, although Andy Reid could get real weird with it and randomly give them a ton of time against the best defense in the league. Seattle should be missing some key guys, like their two top safeties, though, so Jeremy Maclin isn’t the worst shot in the dark if he’s out there again (one catch last week). Same goes for Travis Kelce, but I’m not expecting a whole lot.
The second team is where it’s at for the Chiefs, as Chase Daniel lit up the Cardinals for three scores and over 180 yards last week. KC could throw us for a loop and play him hardly at all and let Aaron Murray get a ton of work, but for now I see no reason why we shouldn’t be looking at Daniel as the top option. Brock Osweiler torched Seattle’s backups in week one, after all.
If Daniel is to be trusted, then we should confide in backup receivers Frankie Hammond Jr. and Fred Williams, too. Williams was a total stud last week with over 80 yards and a score on six catches, while Hammond also impressed with a touchdown of his own. Last week isn’t this week and all that jazz, but whatever.
KC’s defense is missing some key guys, so I’m not gaga about them.
Remember, this is preseason fantasy football and it’s a world that you shouldn’t step into ill prepared. It can be a fun world, though, and it can win you some monies. So sign up over at Draft Kings and partake in the madness if you haven’t already.
*photo credit – Shea Huening via Flickr