Top DFS plays for this weekend’s preseason games
A pair of rookie quarterbacks kick off Pat Thorman's targets for preseason play.
Top DFS plays for this weekend’s preseason games
The final slate of the opening weekend of preseason DFS action includes a Sunday night game. Although we will have more limited information than usual – late-breaking injury news is vital to preseason DFS success – it is an attractive matchup between two fast-paced teams. Gaining exposure to this game is still a good idea. Be sure to check for updates on Sunday, and take advantage of DraftKings’ late-swap feature as needed.
Below are some DFS picks for this weekend’s preseason games.
Dak Prescott, Cowboys
Using a rookie in his first preseason game is aggressive, but Prescott has reportedly been sharp in camp – at least sharp enough that Dallas hasn’t traded for a veteran. Tony Romo will play very little, if at all. He hasn’t partaken in a preseason opener since 2012, and judging by how many practices he’s missed, we won’t see him. Prescott will get at least a half before giving way to Jameill Showers.
Trevone Boykin, Seahawks
Another rookie quarterback, Boykin is in a similar spot as Prescott – attempting to convince his coaches they do not need to acquire a veteran backup. Russell Wilson won’t play much against Kansas City’s first-team defense – he attempted one pass during last season’s first preseason game. Coach Pete Carroll has compared the athletic rookie to Wilson when he was first drafted.
Also consider: Blaine Gabbert (49ers); Scott Tolzien (Colts)
Darius Jackson, Cowboys
Jackson is a must-play with Ezekiel Elliott not suiting up. Darren McFadden hasn’t been activated from the non-football injury list and Lance Dunbar is still on PUP. That leaves an early series or two for veteran Alfred Morris before Dallas unleashes their athletic-freak rookie for most of the game’s balance. Rod Smith is their only other healthy halfback.
Josh Ferguson, Colts
Ferguson was set for heavy ownership before the Hall of Fame game got canceled. While he will again be popular, his isn’t the only game in town on Saturday. Potentially ticketed for passing-down duties, the rookie tied Ezekiel Elliott for our seventh-highest passing game grade and tied for the third-most forced missed tackles on receptions among draft-eligible backs.
Jonathan Williams, Bills
LeSean McCoy will be in bubble-wrap, playing little or not at all. Newly-signed Reggie Bush is out. Karlos Williams’ “Dad Bod” is on the non-football injury list. That leaves Mike Gillislee, Boom Herron, James Wilder Jr. and Williams. The fifth-round rookie Williams is a tackle-breaking machine who needs reps after an injury-lost 2015, and the Colts front-seven is an injury-plagued dumpster fire.
Christine Michael, Seahawks
This has nothing to do with an “awakening” and everything to do with a bombed-out depth chart. Thomas Rawls is ruled out. C.J. Prosise and Zac Brooks are both hamstrung and have missed practice. Alex Collins has a sore ankle and missed Friday’s practice. Michael won’t play all game, but he will play enough that you will want to play him.
Also consider: Bishop Sankey (Titans); Rod Smith (Cowboys); Tyler Ervin (Texans)
Will Fuller, Texans
The fast pace of this game mitigates the fact that there is an abundance of receivers to choose from. Fuller will likely get a deep shot or two, and that could be enough against a suspect 49ers’ secondary. Whether it’s Brock Osweiler early, or later with an improving Tom Savage or Brandon Weeden (quietly effective as a Texan last year), Fuller will have competent passers throwing to him.
Marquise Goodwin, Bills
The depth chart is thinned, with Sammy Watkins likely held out and Dezmin Lewis questionable. Greg Salas will probably sit and Robert Woods will only play a little. Tyrod Taylor will play a quarter before E.J. Manuel takes over, and Cardale Jones gets the second half. A training camp standout, Goodwin fits the quarterback sweet spot and his blazing speed should be good for a big play or two.
Jerome Simpson, 49ers
Simpson has stood out during camp, earning coach Chip Kelly’s praise, and he flashed again during joint practices with the Texans. It is a crowded depth chart, but Quinton Patton didn’t finish practice on Friday due to an injured hamstring and DeAndre Smelter won’t play. Even if Colin Kaepernick doesn’t suit up, all of the 49ers quarterbacks are relatively competent and a lot of plays will be run.
Tyrell Williams, Chargers
The 6-foot-4, 204-pound Williams is an athletic freak who is set up to see significant regular season playing time in the wake of Stevie Johnson’s knee injury. Chargers coaches will want to get a good look. With Travis Benjamin missing practice recently, and Keenan Allen too valuable to play many preseason snaps, Williams will have his chances against a porous Titans secondary.
Also consider: Tyreek Hill (Chiefs); Brice Butler (Cowboys); Tajae Sharpe (Titans)
Hunter Henry, Chargers
Another potential playing time beneficiary from Johnson’s injury is San Diego’s second-rounder. He earned our highest passing game grade among draft-eligible tight ends, while dropping zero balls – and is reportedly catching everything in camp. If the Chargers will run more two-tight-end sets with him and Antonio Gates (bubble-wrapped in preseason), they need to accelerate the rookie’s learning curve.
Stephen Anderson, Texans
Despite going undrafted, the athletic (4.58 40-yard dash; 38-inch vertical) 6-foot-2, 230-pound pass-catching tight end signed a nice contract with the Texans. He opened eyes in OTAs and has carried it over to training camp. Anderson will play after the first-team exits, but the game’s pace, weakness of the 49ers defense, and the Texans’ quality quarterback depth make him an interesting option.
Also consider: Eric Swoope (Colts); Tyler Higbee (Rams)