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NFL DFS Picks Of Destiny: Friday Preseason Preview

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Preseason NFL is all about finding players who will have guaranteed playing time and high usage on the field. Follow my position plays and lock in the NFL DFS Picks of Destiny for Friday.

Tampa Bay @ Pittsburgh

Note: All NFL DFS players are priced the exact same on both FanDuel and DraftKings. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

“Young players – they’re going to play the majority of the game, 80 percent of it. One or two of them are either going to get exposed or have good exposure, and that’s really what this is all about. That’s what we talked to them about it. What they’re putting on tape is not just for us – 31 other teams are going to look at it. So, you want to put the best thing you have on tape to be evaluated.” – Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians 

The QB Depth is Jameis Winston, Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Griffin and Nick Fitzgerald. Well, not one is really “young” at this position besides Nick Fitzgerald and he is 4th string. I’m going to assume Coach Arians was referring to all other positions besides QB. You will probably get about a quarter from each QB. Nothing too special here really. I’ll look somewhere else for QB.

The running back battle for the Bucs will be one to keep an eye on. Peyton Barber is starting and it’s confirmed he won’t play with the second unit. Ronald Jones will step in and take the majority of snaps at running back. Jones has done well at camp so far this year. He has improved his hands and elusiveness after the catch from his rookie year. He has been breaking tackles and sprinting down the sideline at practice and has earned the opportunity to bounce back from his underwhelming freshman year. It will be Dare Ogunbowale stepping in at RB after Jones. He will be on the field so you can take a shot if you want to. I probably won’t.

Tampa Bay is going to have plenty of receivers available for Friday, which is not great news for NFL DFS. My favorite wideout would be Justin Watson. He is a Pittsburgh native and has already commented that he will have plenty of family and friends in attendance, including his entire high school football team. Other receivers who should get on the field behind the starters include Anthony Johnson, Bryant Mitchell, Matthew Eaton, Spencer Schnell and Cortrelle Simpson.

I am not interested in any tight ends on Tampa. O.J. Howard won’t get much time, Brate is coming back from injury and I just don’t want to play a third string TE.

Pittsburgh Steelers 

Big Ben is not playing which means Josh Dobbs will be starting at QB, to be followed by Mason Rudolph. I would expect a half for each. Either QB is viable but I think I would lean towards Rudolph for the simple reason he plays the worst defense. On the other hand this also means he won’t have the bonus of throwing to JuJu Smith-Schuster (if he plays) and Donte Moncrief. Coach Mike Tomlin has said he really wants to focus on kicking in this preseason game, which makes me worry slightly about the offensive production. If Tomlin wants to stretch out the kickers then they aren’t going for it on fourth downs even if they are on the goal line.

The running backs I would consider her are Jaylen Samuels or rookie Benny Snell Jr. The Steelers love what Samuels has been doing and I am sure they are going to give him a good look tonight. They will also be curious to see how the rookie Snell performs and will give him the opportunity to showcase his skill set. I lean Samuels as a NFL DFS play.

Donte Moncrief is a vet and will get some reps. He will certainly be receiving a few targets and is safe. Other wideouts I would consider are James Washington and rookie third-round pick Diontae Johnson. Mason Rudolph has plenty of experience throwing to James Washington as they both played at Oklahoma State together.

Xavier Grimble should get some time at tight end..

Minnesota @ New Orleans

Vikings

I am not interested in any Vikings QBs. They have four (if Kirk Cousins plays) and they are all expected to see only one quarter each. Sean Mannion is going to get second crack after Cousins and may get a little over a quarter if Cousins gets pulled early. He’s a gamble.

Ameer Abdullah should get plenty of run. The Vikings won’t be risking injury with Dalvin Cook and rookie Alexander Mattison is banged up too. Mike Boone should get some garbage time in the 4th.

The Vikings will want to take a look at their two 2019 seventh round Wide Receiver draft picks Dillon Mitchell and Olabisi Johnson. Mitchell is 6-foot-2 and ran a 4.4 40-yard dash, however still has not had a very impressive camp. Bisi Johnson has been turning some heads and even has gotten some run with the first team. I lean Johnson here.

Rookie tight ends Irv Smith, Jr. and Brandon Dillon have both contributed at camp and will see the field. I would play Smith Jr over Dillon in NFL DFS.

Saints

I wrote up Teddy Bridgewater yesterday and nothing has changed. He is finally healthy and set to see plenty of time at QB vs the Minnesota Vikings. Drew Brees will not see much time (if any) and I have a feeling Sean Payton is going to want to keep Taysom Hill healthy this season. Hill is the third string QB and the Saints Swiss Army knife, and Payton won’t want to risk an injury with him either. Bridgewater is going to get at least a half vs. his old team. He can do it in the air and with his legs. He is going to get the opportunity, and I think he delivers as the top NFL DFS quarterback on the two game slate.

The Saints also signed former Viking Latavius Murray at RB. He should see ample playing time and we know that he can produce. I really like the fact that he will be playing the team that just released him last offseason. He should get in the end zone. Jacquizz Rodgers will get the next best shot after Lat Murray.

At receiver I am looking at the 6-foot-4, 220 pound Emmanuel Butler. He started off training camp hot, however sustained a minor injury, forcing him to miss five days. He has since been back and putting in work. Coach Sean Payton expects him to play and to contribute. The only other wideouts I would play are Austin Carr, Keith Kirkwood and Tre’Quan Smith. Saints assistant wide receivers coach Ronald Curry said “part of what played into the franchise’s decision to not actively pursue a wideout was the trio’s success at picking up the intricacies of the Saints system established under head coach Sean Payton and Brees” At least one of these these guys are getting in the end zone. Pairing Bridgewater with a couple might not be a bad NFL DFS GPP winning strategy.

The tight ends options are Josh Hill and Dan Arnold. I believe in both honestly, but am partial to Arnold as a NFL DFS play.

Defense Rankings:

  1. Saints (I’m just not too impressed with who the Vikings are putting on the field)
  2. Steelers
  3. Bucs
  4. Vikings (I like the talent the Saints have on offense)

 

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David Jones has been playing fantasy sports since he first discovered it in 2007 while attending the University of Alabama. He began taking DFS more seriously in 2015 when he started winning major tournaments with single entries. He has qualified for the 2018 FanDuel World Fantasy Basketball Championship, 2018 FanDuel World Fantasy Baseball Championship, 2018 DraftKings NFL Showdown Championship, 2018 Inaugural DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship and has two entries in the 2019 FanDuel World Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has taken down 1st place wins in the FanDuel Monster multiple times for 30k/25k as well as winning the Demonster on FanDuel for a hefty 50k. He also won three consecutive NFL Showdowns in 2019. David has won over $230 K since mid-August of 2019.

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