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NFL Preseason DFS: Thursday Night Slate Breakdown

NFL Preseason DFS

With one real slate of football under our belts, it is time to take in another NFL preseason DFS slate. This week we will focus on the Thursday Night slate. 

Last week Draftkings featured a $20K first prize GPP for the 12 game slate, and this week they are rolling out that same contest for the 3 game slate tonight. As far as the matchups go we have a Super Bowl rematch with the Eagles taking on the Patriots. Sam Darnold will look to build on his impressive debut from last week as the Jets take on the Redskins, and the Steelers will travel up to Lambeau as they square off against the Packers.

Let’s get down to business.

EAGLES @ PATRIOTS

Already we get to see a rematch of this past season’s Super Bowl as the Eagles head to New England to take on the Patriots. Since it’s the preseason we probably won’t see much of either team’s starters with them maybe playing a quarter at most since its the second game, but I still expect the revenge factor to be alive here.

Nick Foles is expected to play after sitting out last week. In Foles’ absence last week Nate Sudfeld played the entire first half and should see a good bit of time after the ones come out this week. He went 10/14 with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions which was good for 12.10 Draftkings points. He is an intriguing play but there are some better options on this slate that we will get to.

On the other side of this game, we have Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer, and Danny Etling. Reports are that Brady fully expects to play in this game. After him, we have Brian Hoyer who soaked up the majority of the snaps last week. Danny Etling was a popular pick at quarterback last week along with Sudfeld, but Etling only attempted five passes due to his lack of playing time.

If I had to pick a quarterback from this game it would probably be Sudfeld. I think he should see another solid amount of playing time and I am also encouraged by his performance from last week. Another interesting thing to do would be to stack Brady or Foles with one of their first team receivers. The ownership will be down due to the lack of playing time, but one quarter is enough sometimes for first teamers to put up meaningful scores just like Kirk Cousins and Stefon Diggs did last weekend.

Each team’s backfield situation offers some appeal as they are both banged up. Right now on the Eagles side, it is looking like Wendell Smallwood and Matt Jones will be doing the heavy lifting. I would imagine Jay Ajayi plays the first quarter with Smallwood and Jones taking over the rest of the game. Both Donnel Pumphrey and Josh Adams are not expected to play.

On the Patriot’s side, Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead, and Jeremy Hill are all dealing with some kind of injury. All are currently questionable and my guess is the Patriots will be cautious here and let Mike Gillislee and Ralph Webb get the majority of the reps. Webb carried the ball 14 times for 46 yards and added 2 touchdowns and 2, 2 point conversions. He racked up 20.60 total DK points and he could be in line to have another solid week here.

As I said before I do not mind the idea of taking a few shots on some of the first teamers who should be seeing about a quarter of action. One name I like on the Patriots side of the ball is Chris Hogan. Hogan clearly established a rapport with Brady both before he got hurt and after when he returned for the playoffs. He averaged 11 DK points per game and should be in line for a larger workload early on with the suspension of Julian Edelman. A Brady/Hogan stack involves a lot of risk, but it is intriguing. Riley McCarron and Braxton Berrios are also interesting leverage plays this week after being two of the highest owned guys on last week’s slate. They ended up combining for only one catch, but I would expect them to still see a lot of run in this game.

On the Eagles side, I have a feeling Mack Hollins could see some extended run. My guess is he will not only play with the second team but also work in with the ones. With the recent news regarding Alshon Jeffery, the Eagles may need to have Hollins step into a starting role early on. He is someone that I like a good bit and I am hoping he flies under the radar on this slate.

As for the tight ends in this game, Dallas Goedert and Jacob Hollister are both viable. In Goedert’s debut, he caught four balls for 66 yards and a touchdown which was good for 16.60 DK points. I would expect him to be pretty popular this week. As for Hollister, he has been getting some nice reviews in camp. He didn’t come near matching Goedert’s performance as he caught only two passes last week, but I could see him getting plenty of time on the field as Rob Gronkowski should be out and Dwayne Allen is questionable.

JETS @ REDSKINS

Last week we saw three of the quarterbacks featured in this game have impressive performances. Sam Darnold was sharp in his debut, Teddy Bridgewater showed he can still sling the rock and Colt McCoy proved that he is indeed one of the better backups in this league. I would imagine Josh McCown and Alex Smith should see around a quarter of action and the same rules apply for them when dealing with the first-teamers this week. Out of these players, I would expect Sam Darnold to see the most playing time. He was great in his debut going 13/18 for 96 yards and TD, which was good for a solid 8.64 DK points. It would make sense that the Jets would want to keep challenging Darnold to see if he can, in fact, be their Week 1 starter. Colt McCoy should also see a nice amount of time as he looks to build on a two-touchdown performance from last week.

In the backfield, the Redskins suffered a brutal blow this past week as their rookie running back Derrius Guice suffered a season-ending ACL injury. I assume Samaje Perine will enter the season as the primary rusher for the Redskins, with Chris Thompson assuming his regular receiving role. Rounding out their depth chart is Rob Kelley, Kapri Bibbs, and Byron Marshall. Bibbs and Marshall were both involved last week but could see some extended reps during these next couple of games as the team tries to figure out their RB depth chart. Personally, I will probably be avoiding the Redskins backfield where the touches will probably not be too concentrated. On the Jets side, Trenton Cannon was leaned on a bit as the RB depth chart was thin coming into Thursday. He totaled 40 rushing yards and also caught 3 passes ending the night with 7.5 DK points. From a Draftkings perspective, the 3 catches are notable as we need to target RBs who are involved in the passing game.

As for each team’s pass catchers, the Jets receiving corps is kind of a crapshoot. Terrelle Pryor has already been declared out which adds a little more clarity to our decision making. However, I am still not thrilled with the options. Last week, 12 Jets players logged at least one reception which probably means the team is trying to iron out what they have at the wide receiver position. That may sound obvious given its the preseason, but there are still some spots where we can find safer volume. On the Redskins side, Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, and Brian Quick are all listed as questionable. A little further down the depth chart is Maurice Harris who was tied for the team lead last week with 3 catches for 22 yards. He may see a few more targets sent his way this week as his co-leader Robert Davis is now on IR.

At tight end, Jets tight ends Neil Sterling and Jordan Leggett are both questionable. Sterling left last week’s game with an injury after hauling in four catches. The surprise scratch Chris Herndon was still super high owned after late news broke about him potentially missing the game last week. Apparently, Herndon missed the game because he was hurt. If he does play, he could be an interesting leverage play given the fact that so many will refuse to play him since he burned them badly last week. Clive Walford also had 2 catches for 27 yards which could earn him some extra run this week as the Jets try to figure out their tight end for this season. As for the Redskins, Jordan Reed is currently questionable. The Redskins tight end depth chart is bit lengthy, but there may be someone you can “sprinkle” into your lineups. Jeremy Sprinkle seems to be locked in as the third tight end on the Redskins behind Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis. Sprinkle contributed two catches last week and may be worth a look on this slate.

STEELERS @ PACKERS

Ben Roethlisberger traveled with the team after apparently sustaining what was thought to be a concussion earlier this week. Roethlisberger is currently questionable, but I would probably lean more towards him not appearing in this contest. If Roethlisberger were to sit, it would leave Landry Jones to deal with the ones, and if that’s the case we could see Josh Dobbs and Mason Rudolph splitting the rest of the reps as it seems unclear who will be the number 3. If this scenario plays out, I probably like Rudolph the most, but I am not totally sold. As for Green Bay, it sounds like Aaron Rodgers will see playing time. Rodgers is definitely intriguing if he can sniff a quarter of action, and pairing him with someone like Davante Adams could pay big dividends if they end up connecting for an early touchdown. Behind him, we could see another split of reps between Deshone Kizer and Brett Hundley. Last week they both had close to equal pass attempts as it seems there is indeed a competition for the number two job. Again, I am not too excited by either player here and will probably be looking elsewhere at quarterback.

At running back, the Steelers are already without Le’veon Bell and could also be missing James Conner as he is questionable for this game. If Conner ends up missing the game, Fitzgerald Toussaint, Jaylen Samuels, and Stevan Ridley could see extended work. If I had to pick one, I would probably roll the dice on Toussaint here. He had apparently been working with the ones as recently as Sunday and maybe we could see him do double duty with the twos. As for the Packers, Aaron Jones will reportedly be held out of this game, and right now Devontae Mays and Joe Kerridge are both listed as questionable. I would expect to see Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery running with the ones to start, but after that, I am not sure I am interested in this backfield. If guys like Mays and Kerridge end up playing, the touches could easily be spread out with Joel Bouagnon also seeing time as well. 

With the receivers in this game, I am gravitating towards James Washington on the Steelers side. He caught two passes for 44 yards last week and already has that built-in chemistry with Mason Rudolph who should see a good deal of work in this game. Another name to keep in mind here is Damoun Patterson who balled in last week’s game catching 6 passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. On the Green Bay side, I had mentioned Davante Adams earlier as an intriguing play given his strong rapport with Aaron Rodgers. Other than that it is kind of a crapshoot on the depth chart. Jake Kumerow, Equanimous St. Brown, J’Mon Moore and Marquez Valdes-Scantling all had at least 3 catches last week for Green Bay. I am not sure who I would pick as of now, but maybe Valdes-Scantling has a slight edge as he bested everyone in the yardage department last week posting 101 receiving yards.

At tight end, Jimmy Graham is currently questionable. If he does play though, he could be another interesting stack option with Rodgers like Adams if he can find the end zone early. After him though I am not thrilled with the rest of the depth chart and will probably be avoiding those tight ends altogether. On the Steelers side, Xavier Grimble and Vance McDonald are listed as questionable. If both were to miss, Jesse James could possibly end up seeing work with both the ones and twos. James could offer some upside as he does have a good amount of NFL experience under his belt, but I am unsure as of now if I will have exposure or not. 

Well, that about does it for this slate breakdown. Be sure to monitor all news up until lock regarding your rosters so you can avoid another situation like many people did with Chris Herndon last week. Thanks for reading and good luck with your lineups.

 

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