NFL Preseason Daily Fantasy Helper: Sunday 8/28/16
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
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars -- Blake Bortles stands out as the top quarterback on the slate as the Jacksonville Jaguars' starters could play into the third quarter. The Cincinnati Bengals have a solid secondary, but Jacksonville's first-team passing offense has been spectacular this preseason. Through two games, Bortles is 14 for 18 with 190 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals -- Carson Palmer has averaged 21 pass attempts in his three Week 3 preseason games with the Arizona Cardinals, and he and the starters will likely see a full half of action once again tonight. The matchup against the Houston Texans is less than ideal, but Houston will be without J.J. Watt. Without many appealing quarterbacks on the slate, Palmer is a decent option.
Running Backs to Target
Jeremy Hill, Cincinnati Bengals -- Jeremy Hill has led the Bengals' running backs in DraftKings points this preseason, despite playing just 16.2% of the team's snaps. Cincinnati's starters have played into the third quarter in recent preseasons, so Hill should have no trouble being productive against the Jaguars. Jacksonville has made several additions to their defense this offseason, but they gave up the ninth-most fantasy points (standard scoring) to running backs last year. Both Giovani Bernard and Hill are in play, with Bernard having a safer floor due to his receiving ability and Hill having a higher ceiling due to his goal-line usage.
Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings -- Adrian Peterson will sit out the rest of the preseason, so Jerick McKinnon could see a half of first-team reps against the San Diego Chargers' horrendous run defense. The Chargers gave up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs last season and ranked second-worst in Defensive Rush Net Expected Points (NEP). They have also given up 351 rushing yards this preseason, allowing 6.5 yards per carry. McKinnon is one of the most appealing plays on this small slate.
David Johnson, Arizona Cardinals -- David Johnson hasn't seen much playing time this preseason, but when he's been in the game, getting him the ball has been a priority. In just 19 snaps, Johnson has seen six carries and two targets. He should see close to a half of playing time tonight, which is enough to make him interesting with limited options at running backs.
Wide Receivers to Target
Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars -- Allen Robinson will likely see at least a half of playing time tonight, which should be plenty of time for him to pile up the stats if the first two preseason games are any indication. Despite playing just 26.6% of the team's snaps, Robinson has caught 7 of 8 targets for 114 yards. Look for him and Bortles to continue to establish their chemistry in the final regular season tune-up.
A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals -- A.J. Green has been heavily targeted in limited action this preseason, seeing passes go his way on 6 of the 22 snaps he has been a part of. He should again be heavily targeted in a matchup against Jacksonville's secondary, who ranked sixth-worst in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per drop back last season. Tyler Boyd has also played well this preseason and should get more snaps and less defensive attention than Green, making him worth consideration, as well.
Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers -- Keenan Allen and DeAndre Hopkins both make for quality options. While Hopkins may ultimately be the more talented player, he will likely see a lot of Patrick Peterson tonight. Allen will be taking on Minnesota's secondary, which is pretty stingy in their own right. However, Allen runs a lot of his routes from the slot and could avoid lockdown corner Xavier Rhodes. Allen's matchup isn't ideal -- and Philip Rivers might see his playing time limited -- but on a three-game slate, he still stands out as one of the best options.
Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals -- Michael Floyd doesn't have the pedigree of some of the previously mentioned receivers, but he should see as many targets as he can handle with John Brown and Larry Fitzgerald both dealing with injuries. He could struggle with efficiency while lined up opposite Johnathan Joseph, but Floyd's volume may be enough to make up for the tough individual matchup.
Tight Ends to Target
Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars -- Julius Thomas stands head and shoulders above the competition at tight end today. With Tyler Eifert a long way from a return and Antonio Gates unlikely to see much preseason action, Thomas is the only tight end on this slate to average over eight DraftKings points last season. He should see at least a half of playing time and makes for an interesting stack with Robinson and Bortles.
C.J. Uzomah, Cincinnati Bengals -- If looking for a pivot off of Thomas, C.J. Uzomah is a solid dart throw. With Eifert targeting a Week 4 return and backup Tyler Kroft still on the mend, Uzomah needs to step up and show something in this game if he is going to be Cincinnati's starting tight end to begin the season. He has just one target through two preseason games, but the former fifth-round pick has some athletic wheels. He's worth a look as a tournament play on this small slate.
Defenses to Target
Arizona Cardinals -- The Cardinals are the best defense on the slate and take on a Brock Osweiler-led Houston first-team offense that has mustered a scoring drive on just two of eight possessions this preseason, one of which was actually a field goal after a three-and-out that followed a fumble recovery that put them in field goal range.
Minnesota Vikings -- The Vikings are probably the top pivot off of the Cardinals in a matchup against a Chargers' offense that may not see as much action from their starting quarterback as most teams do in Week 3. Entering his age-35 season, Rivers has played just three snaps this preseason. He accounted for just 40.8% of the team's passing attempts in their past two Week 3 preseason games, which is lower than any other starting quarterback on this slate.