The title of this article says it all, so let’s not waste time. Friday boasts another slate of NFL preseason games, Draft Kings is letting you spend money to make money in preseason DFS games, and you want to take advantage of all of these things. Yes? Great, sign up and get going and then listen to some of my sage advice.
Oh, tip number one, this isn’t easy to project. We don’t know who will randomly suit up or not suit up, we have no clue who will play for what amount of time and there absolutely will be some guy with a name you can’t even pronounce and never heard of that scores a touchdown tonight. Don’t go crazy trying to predict all of this. Just stick with the basics:
1. The best players aren’t the best players tonight
2. Matchups don’t matter
3. Chill out and have some fun
It’s the NFL preseason and you can watch the games while making a little bank. What could be better? Almost nothing. With that, let’s take a look at the best bets on Friday’s slate. Salary cap means nothing in this insane world of preseason DFS fantasy football, so you just need to grab something, throw it at the wall and hope it sticks. It’s a tad more complex that that – after all, our own Taylor Smith saw MyCole Pruitt coming, and if you asked yours truly who to use last night, you would have been happy (sort of) with Johnny Manziel, Gus Johnson, Lorenzo Taliferro and Jeff Janis. Everyone else, well, hey, it’s preseason.
Here are guys you’ll want to at least consider using tonight:
Quarterback: Derek Anderson (Panthers), Brock Osweiler (Broncos), Tyrod Taylor (Bills), Josh Johnson (Bengals), Ryan Nassib (Giants), Zach Mettenberger (Titans)
There are starters you could try to use ala Matt Stafford last night (he threw a touchdown, brah), but that’s risky business I just don’t get into with DFS preseason gaming. Instead, I want backups that will play a good amount and aren’t completely awful. Peyton Manning is out, so Osweiler should get a good amount of run, DA is strangely one of the better backups in the league, Taylor is competing to start, Johnson and Nassib are notoriously solid in preseason play and Metty will play a lot after Marcus Mariota is done. You could take a stab at any of the Bills quarterbacks because they’re in a competition, and I also can’t fault you for taking the Mariota dive. I doubt he plays all that much in his first pro action, though.
Running Back: Ronnie Hillman (Broncos), Cristine Michael (Seahawks), Trent Richardson (Raiders), Andre Williams (Giants), Bishop Sankey (Titans), Cameron Artis-Payne (Panthers)
There are a ton of running backs to consider, as Hillman and Michael give way to fellow Broncos and Seahawks – Juwan Thompson, Montee Ball, Robert Turbin and Thomas Rawls. All are fine choices, but Hillman and Michael are special runners who should get a decent amount of play. T-Rich is awful but he’s basically playing for his career and word is if he’s OK to go he’ll get a ton of run. Williams is New York’s main backup and he’ll probably play a good amount, Sankey just NEEDS to play to improve and I’m a fan of Artis-Payne, who should see a ton of snaps tonight.
Wide Receiver: Cody Latimer (Broncos), Chris Matthews (Seahawks), Rashad Greene (Jaguars), Dorial Green-Beckham (Titans), Devin Funchess (Panthers)
Wide receivers are oddly the toughest spot to predict in DFS preseason fantasy football, as a litany are hurt, not playing or just terrible. I actually am OK with rolling the Golden Tate route (he scored last night) if the right guy is starting. But it’s game one and that’s a total hit or miss strategy. The aforementioned guys are young and have something to prove, and also don’t suck. Wide receiver is a disaster area, though, so be sure to make sure anyone you pick is actually playing.
Percy Harvin is pictured here but that’s to throw you off. Yep.
Tight End: Tyler Kroft (Bengals), Clay Harbor (Jaguars), Lance Kendricks (Rams), Virgil Green (Broncos)
Did I say wide receiver sucked? Tight end is even worse. I don’t truly “like” any of them, but I picked some solid talents that need to play to either learn or lock down a spot. Kroft is probably my favorite and then I just get less hateful as the list goes on. It’s a total crap shoot here, folks.
Team Defense: Panthers, Falcons, Rams
Carolina is facing a trio of awful Bills quarterbacks, Atlanta takes on a rookie passer and just the Titans in general, and the Rams get the Raiders. Fewer choices seem more rock solid. Good luck, sirs. The first team units are even tough to predict in regular season play. Forget about getting it right in the preseason.