Welcome to the NFL Preseason Week 1 DraftKings Breakdown! We have a three-game slate tonight with the Bills taking on the Lions, the Titans facing off against the Falcons, and the nightcap with the Cowboys visiting the Cardinals.
In this article, I am going to break down my top plays at each position. Be sure to join us in our Free Discord to stay up to date for any changes as the news breaks throughout the day.
Each team playing tonight besides the Cowboys are playing their first game tonight. I don’t expect the starters to play much more than a drive or two if they play at all. If you are MME’ing tonight, however, I don’t mind getting some exposure to Kyler Murray. The Cowboys defense is not good and Murray has the potential to break one and end up as the optimal play tonight. This is an MME type only thought because if he doesn’t score a TD then it could potentially kill your lineup especially if a chalkier backup goes off.
Now onto those backups, now that we have a couple more teams to pick from tonight, we can afford to potentially fade situations where there is not a lot of clarity or the options or just not good. Tonight, that is the Dallas Cowboys. We know Dak is out which will leave Ben DiNucci, Garrett Gilbert, and Cooper Rush available for them. Gilbert started last game, Rush came out of the hall of the fame game with an injury and has missed some practice time this week, and well DiNucci is just not good at all. If you are MME’ing tonight, then sure getting some exposure to these guys is fine as you never know who could throw a slant and the wideout takes it to the house for an 80-yard TD. But for cash and single-entry contests I am going to look elsewhere.
Looking at situations where we do have some clarity going into tonight, the Bills, Lions, Falcons, and Titans are where I am going to target most of my QB exposure at tonight.
Starting with the Bills, Mitchell Trubisky, Jake Fromm, Davis Webb are going to play the most tonight. I imagine Trubisky will similar playing time to what we saw with Joe Flacco last night except Trubisky will probably be a bit more popular tonight because well Trubisky is probably the best backup tonight from a talent perspective. I would expect Fromm and Webb to see most of their playing time in the 2nd half.
The Titans only have two QBs on the roster besides Ryan Tannehill in Logan Woodside and Matt Barkley. Woodside is currently listed as the backup to Tannehill so I would expect him to play the most and gets to play with the better-skill position guys compared to Barkley. Woodside would be the cash play and Barkley the tournament play as I would expect both to play about a half. Plus, remember they get to face the Falcons terrible defense.
The Lions and Falcons are in similar situations to the. Titans as they have only two QBs listed behind their starters. Aj McCarron, Felipe Franks, Tim Boyle, David Blough are all in play tonight. I listed them by my preference.
Derrick Henry is out for the Titans as it looks like Darrynton Evans will start tonight. Overall, the Titans only list four backs on the depth chart so I think it’s reasonable to expect Evans to see a good amount of work in the first half tonight. After that could be a combination of Brian Hill, McNichols, Sargent as they are listed on the depth chart after Evans.
For the Falcons, Mike Davis should be their starter this year and will only play a series or two but where things get interesting is their backup is listed as Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson is listed as WR on both sites. Be sure to pay attention to that when filling out your lineups. Qadree Oillson and Keith Smith are listed as the 3rd and 4th string back and I would expect to see those guys in the late 1st half and into the 2nd half. We could also see some Javian Hawkins as well. Hawkins is an explosive back from Louisville. Falcons could use him a lot in the 2nd half as they look for a back to backup Mike Davis.
For the Bills, my main targets are going to be Antonino Williams, and Matt Breida. Antonio Williams had one chance last season to show what he can do and proved he has some upside as he averaged 5.3 yards a carry on 12 carries. However, the Bills brought in Breida so I expect he will want to show out.
As I mentioned with QB, I want to avoid situations where there is just not a lot of clarity and at Rb the Lions backs are that. Behind Swift, the lions list five running backs including one they just signed on Wednesday. I prefer to look elsewhere.
The Cowboys are the reverse of the Lions when it comes to the backs on the depth chart, as we saw last week Zeke and Pollard did not play and I expect more of the same this week. Leave Rico Dowdle, JaQuan Hardy, and Brenden Knox as the three backs to rotate through tonight. Dowdle is my top back tonight as we know what we can expect from him. Hardy is a great tournament play tonight.
Finally, with the Cardinals, Enos Benjamin is a name to pay attention to tonight. Edmonds probably won’t play much more than a series or two. James Conner is on the Covid list. This will leave Enos Benjamin and Jonathan Ward as the top two backs for the Cards tonight against the terrible Cowboys defense.
Wide Receiver is such a hard position to predict in the preseason. For example, the Steelers last week targeted 18 different guys last week. Cowboys targeted 24 different guys with no one having more than 5 targets. Our goal is to target situations where a WR group may be thin due to injuries or just a team is sitting all their regulars giving the 2nd and 3rd stringers plenty of snap opportunities because the starters won’t be taking them away by playing a drive or two.
Some top plays from the Wide Receiver spot tonight include Marcus Johnson, and Racey McMath from the Titans, Jake Kumerow, Marquez Stevenson, Gabriel Davis from the Bills, Frank Darby, Antonio Nunn from the Falcons, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Sage Surratt, from the Lions.
For the Cardinals, we need to see how they are going to handle their rookie Rondale Moore. I would expect DeAndre Hopkins, AJ Green, and Christian Kirk not to play much if at all. Andy Isabella is in Covid protocols. If Moore were to join them in not playing much, we can look to guys like KeeSean Johnson, JoJo Ward from the Cardinals as targets as well.
For the Cowboys as I mentioned earlier they targeted 24 guys last week and no one saw more than 5 targets. Guys like Simi Fehoko, Cedrick Wilson, Malik Turner are in play but I prefer other spots especially with the guys who will be trying to throw them the ball.
The one situation at the tight end I want to monitor tonight is the Falcons with Kyle Pitts. Pitts is a rookie so the Falcons could want to see how he handles a live game situation and let him play an entire quarter tonight. If he does then I do want to get some exposure to him tonight.
Aside from Pitts my targets tonight include: Alize Mack from the Lions, Sean McKeon from the Cowboys.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s article all defenses are in play and don’t be afraid to play guys against your defense. Players do not play the entire game so your defense will still have opportunities to score points while your skill position guys are on the bench with pads off.
I would rank the defenses tonight with Cardinals and Bills being my favorite targets. Titans, Lions, Cowboys, Falcons would follow them.