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 Saturday.
Note: All NFL DFS players are priced the exact same on both FanDuel and DraftKings.
Cincinnati @ Kansas City
Coach Andy Reid has confirmed that NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes will indeed play the entire first quarter of their first preseason game. I will definitely have some shares of him. I have more confidence in him in a quarter than I do the backups, Chad Henne and Chase Litton, even if they have extended time. I also believe Reid will be focused more on the running game once Mahomes exits because that is certainly a position that needs more evaluation than QB.
At running back, Damien Williams will start with Mahomes and also take a seat after the first quarter (if he makes it that far). He has shown just how dynamic he can be in both the passing and running game but I don’t expect him to “break” the slate. He can get in the endzone, sure, but I’m absolutely not expecting to see it twice. Mahomes is also going to want to show that arm off a bit. Also, Williams has not gotten much practice in this year with a pulled hamstring. I don’t think Reid is going to want to push him too hard. Carlos Hyde will come in next and try and make his case for playing time. Hyde is a vet and is going to get some attempts. While Hyde is fine, I will be going with Darrell Williams. He has impressed in camp so far and I believe the Chiefs OC is going to give him an extended look over Hyde to find out what they have.
At wideout, I’m skipping over Tyreek Hill. He hasn’t been confirmed out but he does have a quad contusion and that’s not something I am willing to bet on in a preseason game. With the departure of Chris Conley that opens up time for wide receivers like Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson, Mecole Hardman, Gehrig Dieter, Byron Pringle and Marcus Kemp. My favorite of the bunch is Demarcus Robinson. He has chemistry with Mahomes proven by his 22 catches and four TDs in 2018 from the MVP. Robinson wants a bigger role, and he is going to try and earn it vs the Bengals.
At TE I am just avoiding Kelce. I know, he is awesome and I know he could break one at any time, however he won’t have a lot of time to do so. I am looking at undrafted rookie and former Princeton QB John Lovett. He is transitioning to TE with the Chiefs and has impressed with his athleticism. Although he played QB primarily in college he still finished his career with 51 receptions 533 yards and two receiving touchdowns. I’ll get him on my roster as a low owned option.
Andy Dalton is most likely sitting this one out which leaves Jeff Driskel and struggling Rookie Ryan Finley. Driskel will start this game and I estimate he should get about a half. If I had to play one, it would be Driskel just based on playing time, but I am going to look elsewhere.
With the expectation that backup RBs will get the most work I am looking to Trayveon Williams. Mixon is out and Gio Bernard AND Rodney Anderson are banged up. Williams WILL see the bulk of carries here. Opportunity equals better chances at production. He will be in my lineups.
At wide receiver I like Josh Malone the best. The third year WR has been taking snaps with the first team with injuries to starters A.J. Green and John Ross. Malone is 6’3 205 lbs and is a very capable red zone target. He has impressed so far this year with his speed, strength and ability to pick the ball out of the air at it’s highest point. He will start this preseason game, but I think he gets a longer leash than a traditional preseason starter. Damion Williams is also a wideout that has been turning heads at practice. He is a fine NFL DFS play.
The Bengals have SEVEN tight ends listed on their depth chart. I don’t want to play roulette here, but if I am taking a shot (pun intended) then it will be Drew Sample or Mason Schreck. Sample is known for his blocking so I would lean Schreck who recently caught a touchdown from Ryan Finley in a scrimmage and is fighting hard to make the final roster.
Los Angeles Rams @ Oakland
The Rams players with confirmed starting jobs are not expected to play.
Blake Bortles will open the game at QB for the Rams. Head Coach Sean McVay told reporters “He will be out there for a couple series.” That leaves Brandon Allen and John Wolford. I have not confidence in either to be the highest scoring QB on the NFL DFS slate, so why would I play them when everyone is priced the same? I’m not.
With no Todd Gurley carries will be split up between Darrell Henderson, Malcom Brown, John Kelly and Justin Davis. Malcom Brown and John Kelly are two guys I am will use as NFL DFS plays. Both Brown and Kelly have had reps with the starters and are battling it out for backup duties in the regular season. Henderson has been drawing raves in camp and should see some action, but Kelly may have to shine to make the team.
Your receiver options are Josh Reynolds, JoJo Natson, KhaDarel Hodge, Austin Proehl and Nsimba Webster. I am going to go with KhaDarel Hodge here as he continues to show flashes at practice and has experience after eventually making the team last year and even playing in the Super Bowl. Tyler Higbee is still listed as the TE starter on the depth chart which mean Gerald Everett should see more playing time at the position. Everett is talented enough to win the starting role here and that’s why I’m happy to roll him out on my NFL DFS lineups.
Starters are not playing. Mike Glennon and Nathan Peterman will split the snaps at QB. Well, I’m not playing Peterman (career: 3 TD and 12 interceptions) so that leaves Glennon. He was said to have had his best day at practice this Friday, looking more comfortable in the pocket and putting nice touch on the ball. He seems like one of the safer options on this slate.
Josh Jacobs is listed as the starter. They love him and are going to want to keep him healthy this season. IF he plays, it should not be for long. Doug Martin, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington will split the majority of the rest of the snaps. I’ll take Richard, for his familiarity with the system and pass catching ability, over Doug Martin.
Hunter Renfrow feels like a safe NFL DFS play at wide receiver but be sure to check for playing time updates from the Raiders on how much PT he will actually get. The Clemson product does not drop passes and is getting first team reps. They are going to let him get out there and try and prove himself vs the Rams. I don’t expect him to get more than a quarter but I do expect several targets that he won’t drop. Ryan Grant and Marcell Ateman are a couple punts..
I am going with Foster Moreau at tight end. He should be in the game when Glennon is passing (aka not Peterman) and consistently makes catches when targeted.
Dallas @ San Francisco
Cooper Rush and Mike White are both splitting time with the second and third team offenses and are both struggling. I am not playing either. I would rather look to the Cowboys run game than their passing.
At running back we have Tony Pollard, Alfred Morris, Mike Weber and Darius Jackson. I am going to play the rookie Pollard, who has been showcasing his playmaking ability at practice and taking first team reps with Zeke holding out.
Skipping over starters Cooper, Cobb and Gallup you can look to Tavon Austin, Jon’vea Johnson and Reggie Davis. I am not too thrilled with the QBs throwing to them so will be fading the Cowboys receiving corps for the most part. I would consider Austin just because of his breakaway speed and playmaking ability.
Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz are going to split the majority of reps at TE. I would play Jarwin because he has better hands than Schultz, who is primarily used for blocking.
Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard will combine for the most playing time at QB, with Wilton Speight likely coming in at the fourth quarter. Although Mullens and Beathard are listed a co-backups, Mullens has been outplaying Beathard recently and Saturday night he will try and win the position outright. I will not have any Beathard or Speight lineups.
Tevin Coleman should get two or three series and contribute somewhat but I am not sure that’s enough time to win a NFL DFS GPP tournament. Injuries to running backs Matt Breida, Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson should help keep Coleman on the field a little longer than he usually would in a preseason game.
WR Starters Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis are unlikely to play. This leaves Trent Taylor, Jordan Matthews, Kendrick Bourne, Deebo Samuel and Richie James to duke it out for the final two wideout roster spots. I ranked them in order or preference above. Levine Toilolo is my pick at TE. He is familiar with Shanahan’s offense from the Falcons and in my opinion is the second best skilled tight end on the team behind Kittle.
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