The moment we have all been waiting for has finally arrived… NFL DFS! The 2019 DFS Football Season is finally under way and it starts off with a quick, one-game matchup on Thursday night in Canton, Ohio. In a preseason matchup where very few (if any) starters get playing time, it’s crucial to build your DFS lineups with players who will spend a lot of time on the field.
I would never recommend using a significant amount of your NFL DFS bankroll in the preseason, but after waiting all this time for football to return, why not make a FanDuel lineup or two this Thursday Night? Here are the players I actually have interest in when building my NFL FanDuel lineups for Thursday Night.
Sign up NOW for WIN DAILY Premium Gold right here! Projections, weather reports, wagering info, 24/7 expert chats and more!
Quarterbacks: Kurt Benkert & Drew Lock
As it is the first game of the preseason, there is a zero-percent chance we see any snaps from Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco. That leaves us with Matt Schaub and Kurt Benkert for the Falcons, Kevin Hogan, Drew Lock, and Brett Rypien on the Broncos’ side for our preseason DFS builds.
I’m immediately taking Matt Schaub out of my player pool. Schaub is 38 years old, and has been around the league for quite some time… the Falcons know what they have in Matt Schaub. He’ll probably get some playing time, but I am putting most of my confidence in shares of Kurt Benkert. He should get 60% or more of the snaps and is playing to earn a spot on the 53-man roster and to continue his dream of being an NFL Quarterback.
The Broncos’ situation is not nearly as clear in regards to handicapping playing time at the quarterback position. I’d advise FanDuel players to just stick with Benkert if they want to play a QB, but you’re probably going to want to get a few shares of a Denver QB if you want to win a GPP.
Denver has announced that Kevin Hogan is going to get the start, but I have not had any success in finding reports that hint at Hogan playing for more than a quarter – for that reason, I am out on rostering Hogan in DFS. I’m assuming this means second-round pick Drew Lock is going to get a lot of playing time once Hogan is done.
If Lock is indeed the Quarterback of the future in Denver, he is going to need every rep he can get to acclimate himself to the NFL style of play. I’m under the impression he will get a significant amount of snaps in this first preseason matchup.
Lastly, we must touch on undrafted Rookie Brett Rypien. He is most certainly going to be a motivated player who is fighting for a roster spot, but I just don’t see him getting much playing time. Best case scenario, the former Boise State standout gets some ticks in the fourth quarter with the rest of the guys who are in a battle for a place on the practice squad.
- Kurt Benkert is my QB1 for the Thursday game
- Drew Lock would be my second choice for a QB
- Brett Rypien can be used as a GPP flyer, though I do not advise it
Running Backs: Devontae Jackson, Khalfani Muhammad, Kenjon Barner, Brian Hill, Qadree Ollison, and Tony Brooks-James
If you’re going to play Running Backs in the one-game, NFL DFS contest on FanDuel, I’d only recommend those listed above. In all honesty, this position is going to be more of a dart throw (as if this whole game wasn’t). Personally, I’d like to go with the guys I think are fighting for roster spots.
I think Brian Hill’s job is safe in Atlanta as they seem to always keep someone around strictly for special teams duties. He is a talented player and wouldn’t surprise me if he’s heavily active in the early part of the game at the running back position. Hill is definitely in play, but I think playing time will be minimal.
Qadree Ollison, Kenjon Barner, and Tony Brooks-James would be my favorite plays for the Atlanta side in the running back conversation. I don’t think we’ll see a ton of Qadree Ollison (he was drafted by the Falcons and should be in their plans for the future) as it appears his roster spot is safe, but he should see some of the early carries – especially in the red zone. Qadree is my favorite bet for a touchdown.
Kenjon Barner is 29 years old and may have a hard time making this Falcons’ roster. He was always a talented prospect coming out of Oregon, but has never really found a good fit for himself in the NFL outside of special teams. We should be seeing a highly motivated Barner in Thursday’s preseason game.
Tony Brooks-James is the other back to watch for the Atlanta squad. He is a very shifty running back out of Oregon with big-play ability. Brooks-James profiles as a “Scatback” and probably will not see more than 3 or 4 carries. If Brooks-James is going to be DFS relevant on Thursday, it will be because of a big screen pass or some sort of home-run style play.
On the Denver side of the ball, I don’t expect to see any Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman, or Devontae Booker. After reading some of the Broncos’ beat reporters thoughts on the Hall of Fame game, we should get a lot of Devontae Jackson and Khalfani Muhammad.
I’d love to give you a projection on who has the more fantasy-relevant NFL DFS game, but I’d again, just be throwing darts. Get a few shares of both of them and hope for the best. I don’t think I’ll have any shares of sixth-stringer David Williams.
I’ll say it again, a one-game contest in the preseason is going to be a dart throw in NFL DFS. I’m not going to profile all of the pass catchers in this game, but I’m going to be leaning towards those who need to really impress the coaching staff in order to make the team (and those who I think are in need of more reps to prep for the regular season).
Here is how I would rank them in terms of who I will have the most exposure of on FanDuel:
- Devin Gray, Atlanta
- Russell Gage, Atlanta
- Trinity Benson, Denver
- Christian Blake, Atlanta
- Nick Williams, Denver
- Kelvin McKnight, Denver
- Olamide Zaccheaus, Atlanta
All in all, your guess is as good as mine for who leads the wide receivers in fantasy points, but these are the guys I’ll be focusing on when building my lineups. I have no interest in rostering a tight end, but would not be surprised if we saw a Noah Fant touchdown.
If you want to get a little different with you lineup builds, put in a kicker (or both of them). Neither of these teams are carrying two place kickers, so if you want a “volume-lock”, the kickers are just that.
MVP: Kurt Benkert
Flex: Devin Gray
Flex: Brandon McManus
Flex: Giorgio Tavecchio
Flex: Khalfani Muhammad
THANK YOU FOR READING. YOU CAN READ SOME OF MY OTHER WORK AND THOUGHTS ON MY AUTHOR PAGE. FOLLOW Win Daily DFS ON TWITTER @WinDailyDFS. PLEASE CHECK OUT EVERYTHING THAT Win Daily DFS HAS TO OFFER. NEW ARTICLES, STATISTICS AND DATA ARE BEING ADDED CONSTANTLY. ALSO, DO NOT FORGET TO LISTEN TO THE WIN DAILY PODCASTS HERE.
Andrew has come a long way as a fantasy football writer. After graduating from Roger Williams University where he received a degree in marketing he began to write his own fantasy blogs via WordPress.com. He used to call himself the Fantasy Football Master. Nowadays, he is slightly more humble. He has worked with Pro Football Focus as a base data analyst along with bringing head writing experience from Gridiron Experts and FantasyData. He is an absolute die-hard Patriots fan and will never forget his first fantasy football team. In his first-ever fantasy football league he drafted the Bears defense in the 1st round. He then proceeded to win the entire league. #DefenseWinsChampionships