NFL Preseason DFS Primer Week 3: Saturday, August 24th

Our analysts break down the main slate in detail, setting you up for success in your daily fantasy football contests throughout NFL Preseason.

Discord

Please come and join us in our Discord group chat each slate leading up to roster lock. We’ll talk about DFS strategy, player options for tonight, and the ever-important late-breaking injury news that often impacts the slate in a big way. Come join us!

Hello Grinders. Before diving into the games, I just want to mention I will not be around much today as my wife and I do counseling training a few times a year, and this is one of our weekends of training. Therefore I would encourage you to use this Primer as, well, a primer. If you can, I’d check out the Discord channel and review the projections in LineupHQ, as those will be the best sources to find the latest news up until lock. Thanks for understanding.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Minnesota Vikings

Game Total: 42.5
Spread: MIN -7.0

Arizona Cardinals

Core Options: None
Secondary Options: Kyler Murray
Third Tier GPP: KeeSean Johnson, Trent Sherfield, Andy Isabella, David Johnson

“Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said he may employ more of the offense this weekend against the Vikings than has been run thus far. “It’s still going to be not as complex as we want to be but I would just say we’ve worked our processes more this wk as far as game planning goes.” – tweet from beat writer Josh Weinfuss.

There’s a good article here that mentions Kyler Murray is expected to play in this game because he needs to preseason reps and experience, but they are going to be cautious with him. The article is quoted as saying “Murray will play the most he’ll play in the preseason” but it also quotes GM Steve Keim saying he doesn’t want Murray coming out to play after halftime. We saw Murray play four series last game and play into the 2nd quarter, so if we are to expect Murray to get his most time this preseason, maybe we see another 1.5 to 2 quarters of play? I’m going to list Murray as a secondary option for now but he could be a strong play if he ends up getting a half. He’s somewhere between a Core Option and Secondary Option for me.

David Johnson has only received six carries this preseason and while he’s certainly viable if he plays a series or two with Murray, you’ll really need a touchdown to smash value. I’m viewing him as a third tier option just because of his upside, but there’s been no hints he’s going to get extended playing time here nor does he even need it (unlike a rookie such as Murray). It seems more likely the team continues to give the majority of work to third-stringer T.J. Logan, who has had five carries in each of the first two preseason games. None of the running backs on the Cardinals are really popping for me or on my radar.

Already without wideout Hakeem Butler due to a hand injury, the Cardinals cut wideout Kevin White on Wednesday and then signed veteran Michael Crabtree. The article here mentions Crabtree should slot in behind Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk, but ahead of KeeSean Johnson, Trent Sherfield and Andy Isabella. That’s consistent with what I’ve read from another beat reporter, meaning Pharoh Cooper and Damiere Byrd could be fighting for the final wideout spot if the Cardinals choose to keep seven. It’s worth noting Crabtree didn’t practice on Thursday so I’m assuming he’s not playing in this game. In terms of my targets for this game, I’m less excited about the veterans like Fitzgerald and Kirk as it’s unclear how long they will go. I’m more excited for Johnson, Sherfield (who has caught touchdowns in both preseason games) and Isabella as I feel like they could also use the reps. If you want to target Cooper and Byrd and hope they get extended looks as the team tries to figure out what to do with them, I’m fine with that, but I would think they are better targets next week when the starters are out.

Minnesota Vikings

Core Options: Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs
Secondary Options: Dalvin Cook (monitor his status as he may be rested again)
Third Tier GPP: Alexander Mattison, Mike Boone, Kyle Rudolph

Even though third-stringer Kyle Sloter has impressed this preseason, he’s expected to still lose the backup role to Sean Mannion per this article. There are several quotes here and here from Coach Mike Zimmer saying Sloter isn’t always doing the little things like check downs and time management.

In terms of this game, I have not found any quotes on how long the starters and Kirk Cousins are planning to go. I found an article here that just mentions starters typically play a half in the third preseason game, but it was a generalization and not specific to the Vikings. Looking at the box score from the third game in last year’s preseason, Cousins did play the entire first half, finishing 17/28 with 182 yards but no touchdowns or interceptions. Even guys like Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen were playing in that entire first half with him. This is speculative, but I’m going to call Cousins a Core Option with the guess/assumption he’s getting around a half here. I’m also calling Diggs and Thielen Core Options and I have no problem pairing one or both with Cousins either. Again, this is all guessing here based on usage from last year, so it’ll benefit us if we monitor news prior to lock in case we can get something definitive.

Mike Boone continues to dominate the preseason, rushing 25 times for 136 yards. The coaching staff has been impressed so much by Boone that they are even considering giving him some kickoff returns in the preseason. The Vikings kept four running backs last season and with Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison and Ameer Abdullar ahead of him on the depth chart, he’s making a case for them to do it again. Boone is a GPP-only play for me, and I could see him potentially being a Core Option next week when the starters are rested. I’m calling Dalvin Cook a Secondary Option but be careful as he didn’t play last week and could continue sitting this preseason. Backup Alexander Mattison is more of a GPP-dart throw in the event he gets some time with the starters if Cook does rest again.

As of Wednesday, wideout Bisi Johnson was back but Jeff Badet was still out. That could mean third-stringer Laquon Treadwell may get some extra looks here and build off his 4-47-0 line from last week, but he’s not someone I’m going out of my way to roster today.

I will just list Kyle Rudolph as a GPP option as well and I don’t hate him considering he could be a red zone target. I’d probably stagger my Rudolph exposure with someone like Dalvin Cook since they don’t seem as complementary pieces. If you play Rudolph, you’re really hoping for a red zone look or two.

Houston Texans vs. Dallas Cowboys

Game Total: 40.0
Spread: PK

Houston Texans

Core Options: None
Secondary Options: Joe Webb, Buddy Howell
Third Tier GPP: Tyron Johnson, Vyncint Smith, Jordan Thomas, Jerell Adams

“Don’t expect the Texans’ starters to spend a lot of time and energy trying to defeat the Dallas Cowboys in the third preseason game at AT&T Stadium. That would be hard to do with so many of them on the sideline.” – article by beat writer John McLain.

The article linked above suggests not to expect DeShaun Watson or the Texans starters to see extensive time in this game. They played one series last week and could see a little more here, but not much more. Watson did finish 5/7 with a touchdown last week to DeAndre Hopkins, but it sounds like one or two series’ at most (depending on how the first series goes) is the most likely scenario. As such I’m not going to prioritize the starters much here. I’m going to assume we see a lot more Joe Webb, and I’m viewing him as a Secondary Option considering he’s probably the quarterback here who gets the most time. The Texans do have Jordan Ta’amu as their 4th stringer with AJ McCarron still out, but Ta’amu had just one pass last week and I would think he plays a ton next week.

It wouldn’t shock me if we saw the debut of Duke Johnson, but like Watson and the other starters, I don’t see him getting much playing time here. The Texans rode backup running back Buddy Howell last week for 15 carries, 84 yards and a touchdown. It’s hard to gauge where he stands with the team. I have seen plenty of speculation he’s making the team, which is why I can’t figure out whether the team continues to ride him here and get more of a look at him, or if they save him a bit and instead play the backs further down the depth chart like Damarea Crockett (who had eight carries last week) or Karan Higdon (who had seven carries). I’ll give Howell a Secondary Option status just given how good he’s looked, but I’m not going to go crazy with my exposure in case we see more of guys like Crockett and Higdon tonight.

In terms of the wideouts, tight end Kahale Warring is still in the concussion protocol, so I’m not expecting him to play. The article here calls out backup tight ends Jordan Thomas and Jerell Adams as options to overtake Warring and make the team as the 3rd or 4th tight end, depending on how many they keep. Thomas had a touchdown called back last week due to a penalty while Adams had a touchdown two weeks ago. Considering they will likely be working with Joe Webb, one of the better quarterbacks on this slate, I don’t have some exposure to them to help fill the tight end position.

With regards to a battle at the wideout spot, Tyron Johnson and Vyncint Smith appear to be battling for one final spot. The article here suggests Smith has a slight edge given his role on the team last year, so this is worth monitoring in case you want to target those playing for something. Sure, you could play a starter like DeAndre Hopkins or DeAndre Carter and hope for some production in the early series’ they play with Watson, but I’d prefer targeting other situations.

Dallas Cowboys

Core Options: Devin Smith
Secondary Options: Cooper Rush,
Third Tier GPP: Tony Pollard (willing to bump up to Secondary or Core Option if we can get confirmation he’s playing)

I have not found anything definitive with regards to the starters playing time but an article here from The Athletic by beat writer Jon Machota suggests Dak Prescott isn’t likely to play much, if at all. Last year in the team’s 3rd preseason game, Prescott was rested and Cooper Rush and Mike White split the work. That’s the most likely scenario here, with Rush being my preferred target but nothing more than a Secondary Option.

It’s worth monitoring the status of Amari Cooper, who is playing through plantar fasciitis. He says here he’s not worried about it and played through it in his rookie year, but I’m curious how the Cowboys handle this for the rest of the preseason. My guess is he doesn’t play here. One wideout being talked up (and shining) in the preseason is Devin Smith. Smith had three catches and 54 yards two weeks ago, and then had three catches and 24 yards (plus a touchdown) last week against the Rams. The article linked above mentions Smith, Jon’Vea Johnson, Reggie Davis, Cedrick Wilson, Noah Brown and Jalen Guyton are likely fighting for the remaining two spots behind Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Randall Cobb and Tavon Austin. Smith is probably my favorite target on the Cowboys today.

I have no idea what to do with Tony Pollard. He was the focal point of the offense on their first drive last week where he finished with five carries, 42 yards and a touchdown. He also caught his lone target. With Zeke continuing to hold out, Pollard has become so important to the team. I don’t have a strong sense of what the Cowboys do here. At most I could see him playing the one or two series’ with Prescott and potentially having him be the focal point once again. On the other hand, it wouldn’t shock me if the Cowboys just sat him and rested a bunch of starters. I’m going to call him a third option for now because he has big GPP upside, but this is a spot where we’ll want some kind of news prior to lock for more information.

Chicago Bears vs. Indianapolis Colts

Game Total: 38.0
Spread: IND -1.5

Chicago Bears

Core Options: CHI Defense
Secondary Options: Ryan Nall
Third Tier GPP: Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray, Kerrith Whyte (if we get confirmation he’s playing), Riley Ridley

“Matt Nagy essentially confirms that the #Bears starters won’t play against the Colts this weekend.” – tweet from beat writer Adam Jahns.

Coach Nagy continues his trend of resting of his starters and there’s a good article here detailing the reasoning behind it. Moving forward, I’d proceed with caution from anyone on the Bears who is likely to make the team as it sounds like Coach Nagy doesn’t want to risk injury and it doesn’t make sense to play a starter alongside guys who are second or third stringers since that doesn’t build rapport. This means we should continue to see a lot of Tyler Bray and Chase Daniel. Through the first two preseason games, the two have split time almost evently. Neither have thrown a touchdown or an interception, and the timeshare just isn’t appealing for me for a team just trying to go through the motions of preseason. I’ll list both as third tier GPP options since it’s likely they both continue playing here, but I’ll be looking elsewhere for my QB needs.

There’s a good article here on the position battles on-going. If I’m targeting Bears players, I’ll likely start with the list here.

The Bears didn’t play David Montgomery last week and I’m skeptical he plays much, if at all, the rest of the preseason. The article I linked above even mentions fellow running back Kerrith Whyte and wideout Javon Wims may be getting limited work moving forward as it sounds like they may be on the verge of making the team. Whyte did have six carries and a touchdown last week so I would be interested in him here if we can get confirmation he’s playing. I’m calling him a third tier play for now but giving the caveat to monitor his status based on that blurb in The Athletic cautioning his workload in the remaining two games. If he’s limited or out, we should see a bunch of Ryan Nall, who led the team with seven carries last week and also had a team-high seven targets. I’m calling him a secondary option for now but the article I linked above from The Athletic mentions they already have enough tape on Nall and view him as a practice squad guy. It’s also worth mentioning the Bears signed running back Josh Caldwell on Monday too, giving them another backfield option and why I’m sticking with Nall as a secondary option for now and not anything higher. We likely see Nall and Caldwell a ton next week when we know for sure the Bears will be playing the guys deep down on the depth chart, and there’s so much uncertainty here that it wouldn’t shock me if Caldwell got some carries tonight too to save the players who are making the team.

I did not expect Javon Wims to play heavily last week where he finished with a 5-64-0 line off six targets. If Wims is rested here, we should see a lot of Tanner Gentry, Riley Ridley and Marvin Hall. The volume of these Bears pass catchers hasn’t been a lot and the team is still looking for its first passing touchdown in the preseason, which is why I’m not especially high on anyone here. It’s fine if you want to take some GPP shots on Gentry, Ridley or Hall, but these are all true dart throws. There’s a quote here from Coach Nagy praising Ridley so I suppose he’d be my primary target of this group, but it’s not a group I love. The article above does have one beat writer thinking Ridley makes the team.

If you want to attack the tight end spot here, undrafted rookies Ian Bunting and Dax Raymond are likely fighting for one final spot, but both haven’t impressed or been much of a factor in the passing game so I’m not too interested here.

I listed the Bears defense as a strong play and as you’ll see below, the Colts are also expected to rest their starters. With the Colts down to their third and fourth string quarterbacks, I have plenty of interest attacking them with the Bears D.

Indianapolis Colts

Core Options: None
Secondary Options: Aca’Cedric Ware, Deon Cain
Third Tier GPP: Zach Pascal, Marcus Johnson, Krishawn Hogan

“Frank Reich is here. Says most of the ones “probably” will not play against the Bears on Saturday.” – tweet from beat writer George Bremer.

Jacoby Brissett is not playing, so we should be looking at a health dose of Chad Kelly and Phillip Walker. This is a situation I’m avoiding and I’d rather get exposure to the Bears defense. I’m personally not playing either of these quarterbacks on a full slate.

The Colts signed running back James Williams on Tuesday but waived him on Friday. This comes after Johnathan Williams (rib) and Jordan Wilkins (foot) continue to deal with injuries. This also comes after the team signed running backs Charcandrick West and Marquis Young on Monday after D’Onta Foreman was placed on the IL. Aca’Cedric Ware led the team with seven carries last week and also had four targets. He could be the lead back here with the position getting thin on options. He’s probably my favorite option on the Colts, but still a secondary play at best where you’re banking on volume in this horrid offense. I’m most likely just avoiding this situation.

In terms of receivers, there are likely two spots open. Deon Cain is coming off a 7-80-0 game and is the frontrunner for one spot per this article, with Zach Pascal, Marcus Johnson and Krishawn Hogan likely fighting for the last spot. I like them in that order (Cain > Pascal > Johnson > Hogan). The article was focused on Hogan and his health coming back this preseason, but I still feel like he’s the longshot to make the team considering what Pascal and Johnson did last season. These are all GPP darts for me considering they will be catching their passes from Kelly and Walker, which is a huge downgrade.

New Orleans Saints vs. New York Jets

Game Total: 42.5
Spread: NO -3.0

New Orleans Saints

Core Options: None
Secondary Options: Taysom Hill, Devine Ozigbo
Third Tier GPP: Teddy Bridgewater, Simmie Cobbs

Drew Brees will play but how much he plays is unclear. In last year’s preseason week 3 game, Brees finished 7/9 for 59 yards and one interception. I’d expect something similar here where he likely plays a series or two depending on how the starters look, and then he turns things over to Taysom Hill and Teddy Bridgewater. Hill has been the most impressive quarterback on the Saints this preseason, leading the team in rushing yards in their first preseason game and then throwing two touchdowns in the team’s second preseason game (as well as adding a team-high 53 yards). My guess is we continue to see both play here with Hill my preferred option.

I have not found much information on the Saints, making them one of the hardest teams to project today. I’m planning to take an underweight approach on the starters like Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray and Michael Thomas. Backup running back Devine Ozigbo has been one of the more impressive players in preseason so far for the Saints, rushing a team-high eight times for 30 yards last week while also catching all three of his targets for 23 yards and a touchdown.

If you want to chase the snap counts from last week’s game, then perhaps Simmie Cobbs is worth a look. He only had two catches for 18 yards last week but did play on 50% of the snaps. Fellow wideout Emmanuel Butler played on 39% of the snaps but didn’t catch any of this three targets. And then we have Discord favorite Lil’Jordan Humphrey playing 34% of the snaps. I’m not going there, but I had to give Lil’Jordan a shoutout.

New York Jets

Core Options: Sam Darnold, Jamison Crowder
Secondary Options: Robby Anderson, Ty Montgomery, Chris Herndon
Third Tier GPP: Bilal Powell

“Jets starters probably will play the first half + one series on Saturday vs Saints” – per tweet by beat writer Manish Mehta.

There’s a series of tweets suggesting the Jets starters anywhere from midway through the second quarter to one series into the third quarter. Depending of your view on Sam Darnold and this Jets offense, that’s good enough to consider Darnold a core option. This is also good news for Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder. I’ve viewing both as secondary options, with Anderson having more boom/bust potential and the higher ceiling, while Crowder having the safer floor. We’ve seen Darnold have a tendency to pepper his slot receiver last year and Darnold did connect with Crowder for a touchdown in the first preseason game. I think it’s viable to stack Darnold with one or maybe even both of them if you believe they can get close to a full half together. I much prefer Crowder between the two and am calling him a Core Option.

It sounds like we won’t see LeVeon Bell this preseason and he’s completely fine with that plan. With Bell out here, we should see a lot of backups Ty Montgomery and Bilal Powell. Montgomery led the team with seven carries and a touchdown last week, while Powell had five carries. With Montgomery also able to be a factor in the passing game, he’s my preferred target here, but it would seem likely we’ll see both Montgomery and Powell share some of the workload here.

Chris Herndon caught a 32-yard pass from Darnold in the first preseason game but wasn’t a factor in the second game. Assuming he’s running with the starters in the first half, I do like him as a option here. Herndon came on strong in the second half of his rookie year, seeing at least four targets in six of his final eight games. He was also an occasional red zone target too, nabbing four touchdowns last year.

Just a minor note, but the Jets signed wideout Quincy Adeboyejo on Thursday and waived J.J. Jones. This shouldn’t move the needle for us today.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Game Total: 43.5
Spread: KC -3.5

San Francisco 49ers

Core Options: Jimmy Garoppolo
Secondary Options: Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel, Jalen Hurd, Marquise Goodwin, Matt Breida, Tevin Coleman
Third Tier GPP: George Kittle (pending health status)

“#49ers coach Kyle Shanahan says QB Jimmy Garoppolo will likely play through first half and possibly a bit more in Saturday’s preseason game against Kansas City. Will depend on how things go and play count.” – tweet by ESPN report Nick Wagoner.

It wasn’t an impressive 2019 debut for Jimmy Garoppolo, who finished last week going 1/6 with an interception. In last year’s third preseason game, Jimmy G played one series after halftime, and this article by beat writer Cam Inman suggests that could be the plan again. Considering Jimmy G looked rusty and could benefit from getting into a rhythm (and even taking his first hit/sack to prove to himself his ACL is fine), I’m going to project Garoppolo as if he’s playing around a half. That’s good enough for him to be a Core Option, although we’ll need to keep monitoring the news for something more concrete. If we do see Garoppolo get a half, it’s likely Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard split the remaining half, and that’s likely not enough for them to be viable on a full slate.

George Kittle is still nursing a calf injury and his status is up in the air. I’m going to list him as a GPP dart throw for now and I’ll update this if we can get confirmation on his game status before lock.

The wideout situation is a hot mess. Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd are the options flashing the most upside, while Marquise Goodwin, Kendrick Bourne, Jordan Matthews and Richie James are all still fighting for their spot in the pecking order. Trent Taylor is also still around, meaning the team is likely going to have to make some cuts in near future. My guess is Bourne and James are most at risk not making the team, meaning I’d likely take shots on Pettis/Samuel/Hurd if looking for a stacking partner with Jimmy G. This article mentions Jordan Matthews as getting a vote of confidence from Coach Shanahan and it looks like he could surprisingly make the team. I can’t get myself to play him on a full slate but it does bode well for his outook getting that vote of confidence.

The article I linked above also thinks Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman are closer to a 50/50 split, with Raheem Mostert also seeing some work. If that’s the case, both Breida and Coleman are options here if the 49ers play their starters a half. I don’t have a strong lean between the two so I’m viewing both as secondary options but it may be worth to stagger them into some lineups and hope they find the end zone.

In terms of some odds and ends, the team waived wideout Shawn Poindexter and running back Brandon Wilds, but re-signed wideout Chris Thompson. I don’t have interest in Wilds or Thompson this week but they could be seeing heavy workloads next week.

Kansas City Chiefs

Core Options: Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill
Secondary Options: Sammy Watkins, Travis Kelce, Darwin Thompson, Damien Williams
Third Tier GPP: Nick Keizer

“Andy Reid said he’s not inclined to change his usual way of playing the starters into the second half of the third preseason game, which for the Chiefs is Saturday night against the 49ers at Arrowhead Stadium. “I’ve been doing this for a number of years…” – tweet from beat writer Adam Teicher.

Assuming Coach Andy Reid is being truthful, we could see the starters get a little more than a half this week. Last year in the Chiefs’ third preseason game, Patrick Mahomes finished 18/24 with 196 yards and a touchdown. It was also a game where Tyreek Hill led the team with a 8-88-0 line, so there is some history here of Reid giving his starters some decent burn in the third preseason game. I’m going to go ahead and list Mahomes as a Core Option.

I’m calling Tyreek Hill a Core Option, and Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce secondary options but you can argue they are borderline Core Options. I have no problem stacking one or multiple with Mahomes either. I’m just more hesitant on these three after Watkins only played nine snaps last game while Hill played eight and Kelce only played on seven snaps. I debated whether to call Hill a Core Option as it does seem like this trio is being babied and while I’m assuming Coach Reid is true to his word and plays the starters a half, it also wouldn’t shock me if he pulled them early if there have success early.

The Chiefs lost wideout Marcus Kemp to an injury and placed him on IR, so they brought back De’Anthony Thomas and signed wideout Jalen Tolliver. Wideout Davon Grayson was also waived.

There’s a good story here about how rookie running back Darwin Thompson has impressed so much in his limited preseason play that he’s likely moved to #2 on the depth chart, behind Damien Williams and ahead of Darrel Williams and Carlos Hyde. The article also mentions the desire for Thompson to start moving onto more advanced things like protecting the quarterback. I don’t know how much playing time he gets here, but this would be the perfect time for him to work on those things. I’m calling him a Secondary Option and he has big upside if he gets enough carries/targets.

If you want to YOLO, there’s a video here by beat writer BJ Kissell on five players to watch for this game, and he did list backup tight end Nick Keizer. Keizer did have three catches in the first preseason game, so he could be someone to monitor for this game (and next week) once Kelce is out.

Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Rams

Game Total: 37.0
Spread: LAR -1.5

Denver Broncos

Core Options: None
Secondary Options: Khalfani Muhammad (if he’s healthy and playing)
Third Tier GPP: Bretty Rypien, Jake Butt (if cleared to play)

“Vic Fangio said he’s uncertain about whether the Broncos’ starters will play — and not because Sean McVay isn’t playing the Rams’ starters: “No. This is our fourth preseason game, not our third. That is (factoring) into it more than anything else.”“ – tweet by beat writer Nicki Jhavala.

It sounds like the fact the Broncos played in the Preseason Week 0 Hall of Fame game could impact how the Broncos approach this game in terms of playing time for the starters. Beat writer Troy Renck tweeted here that it sounds like most Broncos starters are done for preseason. We did get clarity here on the quarterback situation, where Kevin Hogan will start and be followed by (Brett) Rypien, who will see extended time. Drew Lock remains out with an injury, so Hogan and Rypien will handle all quarterbacking duties. I’m going to avoid this situation. I did find an article here from beat writer Nicki Jhabvala saying the split won’t be even, so we don’t even know how much time either will get (although it sounds like Rypien will get the majority).

With the starters likely done, we’ll want to target the backups. The article I linked above also mentions Jake Butt (please no more Butt jokes in Discord) could make his preseason debut. I’m going to list him as a GPP-only play.

I wouldn’t mind some of the running backs here, but I haven’t found an updated status on Khalfani Muhammad, who missed Monday’s game. In his absence, backups David Williams and Devontae Jackson only had four and three carries, respectively, which is much lower than I expected. I wouldn’t mind Muhammad exposure but again, we’d need confirmation he’s suiting up and healthy.

For the most part, I don’t see myself getting much exposure to the Broncos.

Los Angeles Rams

Core Options: None
Secondary Options: Darrell Henderson
Third Tier GPP: John Kelly, JoJo Natson

Jared Goff is confirmed out for this game. The Rams also had a 60-play scrimmage on Thursday for the starters and key reserves to get some run. In other words, I’m not expecting any starters to see significant time here and we’ll continue seeing more of Blake Bortles, Brandon Allen and John Wolford. This is a pass for me.

In his mailbag article, beat writer Vincent Bonsignore feels Darrell Henderson and John Kelly need more playing time to figure out their roles in the offense, while the team already knows what they have in Justin Davis. Henderson led the team with six carries last week, as well as a team-high six receptions. Kelly had five carries and one reception, in contrast. Henderson is slightly interesting to me so he’s at least on my radar as a secondary option, especially on a full-PPR site like DraftKings.

JoJo Natson did catch a touchdown last week and he has been someone on the roster bubble, so I suppose he may be worth another shot here. But given how the Rams are treating the preseason, I’m just not interested in this offense or its pass catchers. There are better teams and better game environments to target.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Game Total: 40.5
Spread: SEA -2.5

Seattle Seahawks

Core Options: None
Secondary Options: Russell Wilson, Geno Smith
Third Tier GPP: Jazz Ferguson, Rashaad Penny

“Carroll said he wouldn’t get into specific playing time but says he expects everyone to play.” – tweet from beat writer Bob Condotta.

Paxton Lynch is out after a brutal helmet-to-helmet hit last week, while Geno Smith is back from minor knee surgery and will play. Smith had a knee cyst removed and Coach Carroll said Smith “needs to play—a lot.” per this tweet. I’m going to call Smith a Secondary Option given it sounds like he’ll play the bulk of this game but I’m always a little weary of someone coming off a knee procedure. It’s unclear to me how much Russell Wilson will play here (but it does sound like he will play), so I’m still viewing him as a secondary option for now too. The Seahawks have just JT Barrett behind Smith (Barrett went 0/3 with an interception last week although beat writer Gregg Bell thinks the team may keep Barrett and stash him on the practice squad if he clears waivers).

Running backs C.J. Prosise and J.D. McKissic are expected to play per this tweet. This tweet mentions Bo Scarbrough is out, so we’re looking at close to a full squad here. There are too many mouths to feed here for me to be interested in this timeshare. If you’re looking for something here, Rashaad Penny did lead the team with six carries last week and is trying to shed the bust label, who only has 13 yards on 12 carries this preseason.

Wideout Amara Darboh is expected to play per this tweet. That’s good news considering the team is already without D.K. Metcalf and lost David Moore to a shoulder injury on Thursday. That article mentions Keenan Reynolds, rookie Gary Jennings Jr., rookie John Ursua and undrafted rookie Jazz Ferguson could get some looks here to help fill the void. Ferguson had a team-high seven targets last week but only caught two of them. Given his usage, he’s my main target here of these pass catchers.

Los Angeles Chargers

Core Options: None
Secondary Options: Artavis Scott, Andre Patton
Third Tier GPP: Detrez Newsome, Troymaine Pope

Philip Rivers is not playing this game, so we’re looking at another game of Tyrod Taylor, Easton Stick and Cardale Jones. This is not something I have much interest in.

At the running back spot, it sounds like there is a legit battle for the #3 spot (between Detrez Newsome and Troymaine Pope. Neither back has really impressed this preseason, with Newsome averaging just three yards per carry and Pope averaging two yards per carry. I don’t have a good sense of who will see more time here as the Chargers have been mum on the situation, but I have to think they don’t go too crazy with Austin Ekeler here given he’s in line to be the opening day starter with Melvin Gordon continuing to hold out. I suppose it’s possible we see some Justin Jackson here as he did have a team-high eight carries last week, but his importance to the team rises each day with Gordon out.

The Chargers did sign wideout Dontrelle Inman for depth with Keenan Allen a bit banged up. Considering he signed on Tuesday, it’s possible he plays in this game but I haven’t heard any confirmation yet on his status for tonight. He immediately comes in fighting for a roster spot among fellow wideouts Artavis Scott, Geremy Davis, and Andre Patton. My guess is Inman makes the team, but Scott does lead the Chargers in receiving yards this preseason and had a 4-64-0 line last week, while Patton went off for a 4-62-1 line last week. Davis has special teams ability working in his favor, so this is probably a battle worth monitoring. If we can get confirmation Inman isn’t playing, I’d have mild interest in Scott and Patton as GPP dart throws.

About the Author

  • Allan Lem (fathalpert)

  • Allan Lem (aka fathalpert) began playing fantasy sports in high school and transitioned to DFS in 2015. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Economics and lives in California with his wife and two kids. He dreams of winning a big tournament so he can try cashing one of those giant cardboard checks at his local bank.

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