NFL Preseason Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 8/19/16
Regular season football games are still weeks away, yet you're here reading a preseason daily fantasy football article. So I'll assume that you're a huge football fan? Oh, perhaps you're just a person who likes easy money. If that is the case, then preseason daily fantasy football is for you.
If you're new to preseason DFS, let me introduce you to the beautiful opportunity it presents.
With every player listed at the same price tag, it really comes down to being able to identify which players will see the most playing time. If you are willing to dig deep and find those players, you have a huge advantage.
The purpose of this article is to help you identify which players possess the right combination of talent and opportunity on each slate and give you an edge over your opponents.
Quarterbacks to Target
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys -- Prescott was terrific in his debut last week, completing 10 of 12 passes for 139 yards and 2 scores. With Tony Romo out, Prescott played 54 percent of the snaps for Dallas (third-most among quarterbacks on this slate), and easily led the slate with 14.9 DraftKings points. Romo will make his debut tonight, but he's thrown just a combined six passes over the past two Week 2 preseason games for Dallas. Prescott should be expected to play nearly half of the snaps once again and is the top quarterback play on the slate.
Everyone was waiting for Jared Goff’s debut but then Dak Prescott came and stole the show https://t.co/ABDCjA5iPO https://t.co/DlWjg5KWP7
— SB Nation NFL (@SBNationNFL) August 14, 2016
Matt Barkley, Arizona Cardinals -- If looking for a pivot off of Prescott, who will likely lead the slate in quarterback ownership, Matt Barkley is an interesting option. Barkley's 46 snaps, 24 pass attempts, and 57 percent market share of offensive snaps in Week 1 were easily the highest on this slate. He struggled mightily, only totaling 4.2 DraftKings points, but that should help keep his ownership low. With Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton locked in as the number-one and -two options, Barkley is fighting for a spot on the team and will likely get every opportunity to show that he deserves a spot on the final-53.
Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins -- Perhaps you rostered Landry Jones last night and are hesitant to jump aboard the "horrible quarterback with lots of volume" train the next day, so you can't stomach rostering Barkley tonight. That's fair. But that doesn't mean you have to have 100 percent exposure to Prescott, either, as there is another intriguing tournament pivot: Ryan Tannehill. Miami's offense struggled before getting a quick hook last week, but Coach Adam Gase says there will be no play limit on the first team this week, which means we could get an extended look at Tannehill against a suspect Dallas defense. When you consider that he will also get both Arian Foster and DeVante Parker back this week, Tannehill makes for an interesting risk-reward option tonight.
Running Backs to Target
Darius Jackson, Dallas Cowboys -- Jackson was the chalk at running back last week, and for good reason. The uber-athletic sixth-round pick saw 58 percent of the snaps (third-most among running backs on this slate) with Ezekiel Elliott, Darren McFadden, and Lance Dunbar all sitting out. He should get plenty of touches once again this week with all three on the shelf, making him the top running back play on the board.
David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals -- Second-year phenom David Johnson saw just 10 snaps in Week 1, but that was enough for Arizona to get him four touches, which he turned into 4.1 DraftKings points -- or 0.6 fewer than Darius Jackson scored with 23 more snaps at his disposal. He should get at least a quarter of playing time this week, which will make him worth rostering on a small slate with a juicy matchup. San Diego was one of the worst run defenses in the league last year, and their performance last week gave rookie holdout Joey Bosa plenty of leverage. Tennessee's "exotic smashmouth" offensive attack was on full display in Week 1, as they totaled 288 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground, averaging 8.7 yards per carry. San Diego made the likes of DeMarco Murray (15.5 yards per carry) and Bishop Sankey (17.3) look explosive. It's terrifying to imagine what Johnson can do to them this week.
Not even a full quarter into the preseason and @dajohnson7's already putting defenders on skates.#OAKvsAZhttps://t.co/DtnqF9zH4G
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) August 13, 2016
Kenneth Farrow, San Diego Chargers -- Farrow looked like the heir apparent to pass-catching stalwart Danny Woodhead in Week 1, being targeted four times and making defenders miss in space. He finished the day with 16 carries for 60 yards and 2 catches for 25 yards while playing 59 percent of San Diego's snaps (second-most among backs on this slate). Melvin Gordon will likely get a decent amount of work in the first half, which makes him somewhat intriguing on a small slate, but Farrow should again get the mop-up duties in the second half against a defense that is much less intimidating than the starting unit Gordon will face. He's a solid option based on volume and his pass-catching ability.
Wide Receivers to Target
Rashad Ross, Washington Redskins -- Rashad Ross was up to his usual tricks last week, putting up 8.9 DraftKings points while playing 73 percent of the team's offensive snaps and being targeted five times. Ross always balls out in the preseason, and should be heavily involved once again this week. The return of Jamison Crowder crowds (see what I did there?) up the depth chart a bit, but Ross should again be looking at a 50-plus percent market share of snaps against second-stringers.
Leonte Carroo, Miami Dolphins -- 2016 third-round pick Leonte Carroo's 75 percent market share of the snaps led all receivers last week, and he should get plenty of run again this week as he battles with Kenny Stills for the third receiver spot for Miami. The return of Devante Parker will knock Carroo's snaps down some, but his assured playing time and talent make him one of the top receiver plays on the slate.
Chris Hubert, Arizona Cardinals -- Hubert has been turning heads all training camp, and it was clear the Cardinals coaching staff wanted to see him in game action, as he played 54 snaps in Week 1, which was more than any other receiver. Unfortunately, Barkley and company were so inefficient that it was hard to judge Hubert's performance much, so he should be expected to see plenty of playing time again this week. Teammate Jaxon Shipley saw just three less snaps and was heavily targeted (10 targets), so he is certainly in play, too.
Charone Peake, New York Jets -- Rookie Charone Peake showed why he has been the talk of camp in Week 1, catching all 4 of his targets for 45 yards and a score. He also played in 41 percent of New York's offensive snaps. He is fighting for a role behind Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, so he should be heavily involved once again tonight.
Tyrell Williams, San Diego Chargers -- Be sure to keep an eye on his status leading up to kickoff, but Williams practiced all week and has a chance to play after sitting out last week's game. Williams has been San Diego's most exciting story at camp this summer, and San Diego would presumably like to see what they have in him with Steve Johnson on the IR. If playing, Williams is an exciting risk-reward option.
Tight Ends to Target
Geoff Swaim, Dallas Cowboys -- Geoff Swaim saw a large workload in Week 1 with several Cowboys tight ends out of commission, as his 74 percent market share of snaps was easily the highest among tight ends on this slate. He struggled to do much with that playing time, though, dropping two of his three targets and finishing with just two PPR points. With the same situation at tight end this week, Swaim should again see over half of the snaps at tight end, making him an option by default.
Hunter Henry, San Diego Chargers -- The 35th pick in this season's NFL draft, rookie Hunter Henry is certainly the most exciting play at tight end on this slate. He saw four targets last week and converted them into three catches and 43 yards. He might not see as much playing time as we'd normally hope for, but tight end is mighty thin on this three-game slate, so Henry's upside is certainly worth the risk.
Defense/Special Teams to Target
Arizona Cardinals -- Picking defenses in preseason is all about targeting situations in which there are high chances of turnovers. If you read last night's article and rostered the Eagles, you know what I mean. Arizona appears to be the most likely team to pile up turnovers tonight, as they'll spend a lot of time facing Kellen Clemens and Zach Mettenberger, who looked atrocious last week.
Washington Redskins -- Washington's defense is also in an interesting spot tonight, as they'll face Ryan Fitzpatrick (career 3.3 percent interception rate), Geno Smith (4.1 career percent interception rate), and uninspiring backups Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg.