NFL Preseason Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 8/27/16
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
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders -- Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders will take on the Tennessee Titans, who ranked 29th in Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points per play last season. He should play the entire first half, and after watching him chuck it 34 times in last year's preseason Week 3 game, there's reason to believe he could see more than a half of playing time. Carr has struggled thus far this preseason, going 12 for 20 with just 82 yards and 1 interception, but he ranked third in DraftKings points per game last season among quarterbacks on this slate who played a full season. With plenty of playing time, he is one of the premier options against a weak Titans' defense.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions -- Matthew Stafford hasn't played much this preseason, but he has accounted for 59% of the Detroit Lions' pass attempts over the past two Week 3 games. He should get at least a half of playing time against the Baltimore Ravens, who were middle of the pack against quarterbacks last year, ranking 16th in Defensive Pass NEP and 9th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. Look for Detroit to get Stafford and the first-team offense going in this one after struggling in the first two games. He is an interesting play with likely a full half of playing time at his disposal.
Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles -- In his past two seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs, Doug Pederson has seen his first-string quarterback average 21 pass attempts and 55% of the team's pass attempts in Week 3. Sam Bradford should play at least the entire first half against the Vontae Davis-less Indianapolis Colts, which could very well be one of the worst defenses in the league without their top corner. Bradford has played relatively well in limited playing time this preseason, completing 15 of 20 passes for 118 yards, and he makes for an interesting contrarian option tonight against Indianapolis.
Running Backs to Target
C.J. Anderson, Denver Broncos -- The Denver Broncos gave their first-string running back 13 carries in Week 3 of last preseason, and it is likely that C.J. Anderson gets a half of playing time again tonight against a Los Angeles Rams' defense that ranked 12th in fantasy points (standard) allowed to running backs last season. St. Louis has a tough front-seven, but with a weak running back group on this slate, he is worth a look based purely on volume and talent alone.
DeMarco Murray, Tennessee Titans -- The Titans starters should play the entire first half in this one, meaning we should get an extended look at DeMarco Murray, who has been exceptional in limited playing time this preseason. In 11 carries, Murray has totaled 113 rushing yards and 1 touchdown. Backup Derrick Henry has been equally effective, though, so Murray actually has something to play for in this one. He should get extended work against Oakland, who ranked 11th in Defensive Rushing NEP last season. He is one of the safest running back plays on the slate.
Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders -- If looking for an off-the-wall play, rookie Jalen Richard is your guy. Richard stole the show this training camp, but he missed the first two preseason games with an injury. Seemingly buried on the depth chart at this point, Richard has a chance to showcase his ability this week, as it has been reported that he'll see time running behind the first team offensive line. Oakland coach Jack Del Rio said, "He’s done great, had a good week of practice, and we’re excited to get a look at him.” Richard should see plenty of playing time, and if he's anywhere near as good as he was reported to be during training camp, he should have no trouble against a suspect Titans defense.
Wide Receivers to Target
Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions -- Marvin Jones saw 5 targets on just 15 snaps last week, and he should be targeted early and often again this week against Baltimore. With Eric Ebron out, Jones is also likely the top red zone target for Detroit. With extended playing time, he is one of the top receiver plays on the board.
Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis Colts -- T.Y. Hilton hasn't suited up for a preseason game yet thanks to a hamstring injury, and if forced to miss again tonight, Donte Moncrief would become a must-play at receiver. Even if Hilton suits up, Moncrief is still in play. The Eagles gave up the second-most fantasy points to opposing receivers last season, and Moncrief should have no problem getting open in this one. With potentially an entire half of playing time at his disposal, Moncrief is an excellent option.
Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders -- After all the buzz about Amari Cooper and Carr rooming together this offseason, they haven't shown much chemistry this preseason. Oakland will likely do all they can to establish that chemistry in tonight's regular season dress rehearsal, and as we touched on with Carr, the Titans had one of the league's worst pass defenses last year.
Dorial Green-Beckham, Philadelphia Eagles -- Dorial Green-Beckham is certainly the wild card of this group, but he should see as much playing time as he can handle tonight, especially with Jordan Matthews dealing with an injury. Facing a Colts' defense that's without Vontae Davis, Green-Beckham is an interesting high-risk, high-reward tournament option while he tries to prove himself to his new team.
Tight Ends to Target
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles -- If looking for a safer option to pair with Bradford, Zach Ertz is your man. Ertz has seen eight targets through two games, and he should be heavily targeted again tonight as Bradford's only proven weapon. He's one of the safest tight end options on the slate.
Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans -- Delanie Walker has seen limited playing time this preseason, but he should be out there for a quarter or two against the Raiders tonight. Oakland was one of the worst defenses defending tight ends last season, ranking third in fantasy points allowed to the position. Walker should be targeted heavily by Marcus Mariota, especially following the departure of Green-Beckham and an injury to Kendall Wright.
Virgil Green, Denver Broncos -- Many expected Jeff Heuerman to emerge for Denver this preseason, but it has instead been Virgil Green who has stepped up. With Heuerman and Garrett Graham both out -- as well as John Phillips and Manasseh Garner -- Green is one of the few healthy tight ends left for Denver and should see plenty of playing time. He is an appealing play based purely on playing time, but he likely won't be heavily targeted like Ertz and Walker.
Defenses to Target
Denver Broncos -- The Broncos will likely be the chalk at D/ST tonight. Not only are they the best defense on the slate, but they draw the best matchup on the board against a Rams team that is unlikely to play Todd Gurley for more than a drive or two.
St. Louis Rams -- If looking to fade Denver's defense, look no further than the opposite side of the ball. The Rams have plenty of potential against a Broncos offense led by Trevor Siemian and Mark Sanchez.