Just like that, after a tumultuous first week back to NFL action, we’re already looking at the second week of preseason football and a slightly different twist in how the action will play out this coming week. And this means some intriguing DFS for the next few days, specifically a variety of DraftKings contests to choose from, and angles you can play from there.
With the range of possibilities in Week 2 of Preseason NFL, the question of stacking is not quite as aimless as in the previous week and the stability of playing time is a bit more projectable (while nothing is ever certain).
So this week I’d like to give a quick breakdown of game by game for Thursday’s action: highlighting some potential players who stand out to fit the mold for the way action typically pans out in Week 2 specifically, glossing over the games of lesser interest and touching more in-depth on the standout plays.
First, beginning with a brief addendum on how you’ll want to approach your roster construction within the confines of this second week back to NFL action (sort of).
The nuances of roster rotation during Week 2 of NFL Preseason differ vastly from Week 1 in that Second and First-String are the dominant keys when it comes to opportunity and time of possession. However, that’s definitely not to say the third-string doesn’t receive a share of opportunities, but it typically doesn’t come until later in the game in many team circumstances (while of course it does vary depending on the coach).
The split in majority share between first and second string also often varies per team, but as a noticeable trend to roster flow, it tends to be a 60/30/10 between second, first, and third string (and beyond) in who’s getting the share of snaps in this week of games. Let’s stay focused on what garners fantasy points to begin with…opportunity count. And besides the aberration where a player the caliber of Tom Brady received the vast majority share in snaps during this week of Preseason action last year, most others see it go to the second-string players.
The players I will highlight will all be plays I’m [mostly] looking to target, despite the fact that my ownership share of first-string players will be rather light, if much at all. I’m aiming at the best chances of majority opportunity for these games and I don’t see much risk being wagered to starters outside of Week 3 of Preseason.
Cash Game & GPP Picks
Philadelphia Eagles at Jacksonville Jaguars
This matchup will feature a couple of quarterbacks that should be solid Cash Game plays, along with some stackable pieces at receiver and tight end. After digging into some of the latest practice notes from both teams, I think there are plenty of intriguing WR and TE plays based on the sounds of the productivity going on in both end zones.
Making noise at Jaguars camp, Gardner Minshew (QB) has had a very strong week at practice and seems to have established some sort of rapport with Tre McBride (WR), as they connected four times throughout team drills, where one of those catches came as a diving catch in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.
But it doesn’t end there with Minshew’s connection established amongst wide receivers. Rookie free agent Tyre Brady (WR) was the recipient of a 30-yard touchdown grab as well, while it appears that Minshew has no problem slinging that ball.
However, Nick Foles (QB) was not to be shown up, connecting for touchdown passes with Chris Conley (WR), James O’Shaughnessy (TE), Keelan Cole (WR), and Leonard Fournette (RB). We can expect to see Foles for likely no more than a full quarter of action though. I’ll be leaning Minshew in about 10% of entries while fading Nick Foles, as I don’t think I’m risky enough to wager on the Jags’ risking of Foles beyond a quarter or less despite the silly “revenge” narrative.
With Nate Sudfeld out of action recovering from surgery on his left wrist, we can expect to see a sizeable opportunity for Cody Kessler (QB) in this second week of Preseason exhibition. He’s been gaining reps at practice and Coach Pederson hasn’t decided whether Carson Wentz (QB) will play or not (despite some outstanding play from Wentz). You know that opportunity is the key to fantasy points, so Kessler is going to be a Cash Game anchor while being a solid play in GPP entries as well.
Speaking of GPP’s, I find Clayton Thorson (QB) to be one hell of an interesting play considering the lack of depth at the quarterback position for this game and he should see the field for at least a quarter whether Wentz starts the game or not. It will be a particularly slick DFS roster plug should Kessler omit a disasterpiece early in his large window of opportunity.
JJ Arcega Whiteside (WR) is also continuing one dominant training camp performance, having just followed up on that with a leaping grab at the pylon during practice. I’ll be getting a solid share of this guy across my number of entries.
Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins
Ryan Finley (QB) appears to have gotten pretty close to sewing up the backup spot to Andy Dalton following a solid performance in Week 1 against the Chiefs, and getting most of the work with the second team. He’s been throwing connections to Damion Willis (WR) through the latest practice, and Auden Tate (WR) is especially making noise with his stellar performance at Bengals camp. I’ll be getting to stacks of these three sprinkled into my entries.
Also, despite obtaining a rib injury in Week 1 against the Chiefs, Trayveon Williams (RB) has returned to full participation in practice and is next in line behind Joe Mixon (RB) and Gio Bernard (RB), who haven’t been determined to be playing yet while being deemed starters. I imagine he will get a brunt of the majority share of carries on Thursday (while I could be wrong). He’s also handling goal line carries.
When looking at the Redskins, nothing looks safe when it comes to quarterback play. I can’t determine who will get what in terms of share percentage between McCoy, Keenum, and Haskins, and there’s plenty of solid play to look to from other teams on this slate at the QB position. However, Colt McCoy (QB) did deliver a pass to Terry McLaurin (TE) for a long touchdown. I would lean McCoy/Haskins if I wanted to pull from this player pool.
Dwayne Haskins (QB) did further establish his connection with his [current] favorite target, Donald Parham (TE), finding him at the end of training camp for a touchdown.
Green Bay Packers at Baltimore Ravens
According to Head Coach Matt LaFleur, the Packers starters will play “a quarter or so”. In my mind, that would probably mean less than a quarter for Aaron Rodgers (QB) and I will not be rostering him or any other starter. Speaking of which, Aaron Jones (RB) is out again for this game.
I’ll get to some DeShone Kizer (QB) in all likelihood, after tossing three touchdowns and no turnovers in their Preseason home opener against the Texans. Rookie Darrius Shepherd (WR) is making a name for himself with the first-team offense and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get more action here following his touchdown from Kizer against the Texans.
Of the Baltimore Ravens I’m looking at, I am really interested in the hype behind Jaleel Scott (WR) as he seems to be making a name for himself at practice with the first and second teams.
Michael Floyd (WR) just had his biggest practice of the summer as he made a leaping grab in traffic and also had a touchdown later on. I will definitely get him paired up with Trace McSorely (QB), who I’ll also be stacking with Scott after they connected for a deep touchdown in practice. Marquise Brown (WR) is also another piece worth adding to the potential stack here if you do choose to go that route.
New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons
All eyes on Greg Dorch (WR) for the Jets as he continues to move up the depth chart and I should suspect he’ll follow up on last week’s touchdown with his share of catches this week.
Sam Darnold (QB) has taken steps backward at practice, and I’m not too eager to roster him for the likely-quarter he’ll end up playing. On the other hand, I will get some Trevor Semian (QB) for the hell of it, as he hit Eric Tomlinson (TE) for a 25-yard touchdown in practice.
Ty Montgomery (RB) limped off with a groin injury a couple of days ago, which should mean a fair share of Bilal Powell (RB) and Elijah McGuire (RB). They’ve proven stout in the past and they should get a fair share of time out there.
On the Falcons side of the ball, Calvin Ridley (WR) is back at practice after rehabbing a tight hamstring, but I’ll be looking at Russell Gage (WR) once again as well.
Based on what Dan Quinn is saying about the competition in the backfield, I see no problem with getting to either Brian Hill (RB), or especially Ito Smith (RB) as they should both see a majority of the work on Thursday.
Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals
Tyrell Williams (WR) continues to impress and look like the number one wide receiver with Antonio Brown out of practice, and while I don’t know quite how much run he will get on Thursday, I certainly don’t mind rolling the dice on him on a potential big play. Naturally, Hard Knocks has everyone in a frenzy following Nathan Peterman (QB) and Mike Glennon (QB) to see who is backing up Derek Carr (QB). The competition should make for a solid share of snaps, and Carr is too coveted to be risked beyond part of a quarter (but we shall see).
In Arizona, KeeSean Johnson (WR) also is making a fair share of spark at practice, and I wouldn’t mind playing him.
Brett Hundley (QB) strikes me as a bit of an interesting GPP play as well, depending on how much they reel it in with Kyler Murray (QB).