There is a five-game preseason slate for tonight in NFL, and it looks to be a fun slate. Here are some notes to help you make lineup choices for tonight!
In the preseason, it’s all about playing time. Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity. Here are some players I am looking at tonight that have a chance for fantasy points. As always, preseason is tricky but let’s try to find an edge!
Patrick Mahomes II
Andy Reid has announced the Chiefs starters will play the first half, so we have to go with his word! In all honesty, I’m all in on the Chiefs tonight. Mahomes gets a half against ATL, who will likely have some backups in for a majority of the second quarter. Mahomes is my top QB on the night, as he is one of the few players that is likely to play a full half.
Mayfield attempted 20 passes in Week 1, and it looks as if the Browns will give him every chance to prove himself during the second week of the preseason. I still like Mahomes better, but Mayfield is a solid QB2 tonight. What’s even scarier, if you are a #NarrativeStreet follower is that Hue Jackson indicated yesterday that he may make Drew Stanton his backup over Mayfield. Looking for motivation? It’s there.
Last season, Matt Simms had 29 passing attempts in the Falcons’ second preseason game. The landscape is a bit different this year, but ATL still has Ryan/Schaub so QB3 would be the assumed guy for playing time. I like Mahomes better, but Benkert is worth a look for those playing many lineups.
With the Chiefs’ starters likely to play a half, that means Hunt gets a chance to get 8-12 touches. In the preseason, that is well worth it to me. Other backs may out-touch him on this slate…but he has the most talent/opportunity combo of any other back playing tonight. I’m using him likely everywhere, and expect him to be chalky.
Johnson was fantastic in Week 1 for the Lions, and there is no reason to expect Blount/Riddick/Abdullah to shoulder any significant part of the load for this offense. Keep an eye on any DET inactives, because of any of the other backs sit…he becomes an even better play. He’s behind Hunt for me, but expect him to be chalk worth eating in your lineups tonight.
A running back in Miami is going to get some good work in tonight. Drake and Gore shouldn’t see much action, Ballage is hurt, and that leaves just a few options to choose from. Between Perry and Jeremy Langford, I lean towards Perry as Langford has already played for Adam Gase and has not gotten many reps in practice. It could be the Perry show, so he’s my RB3 tonight, and I have no problem deploying him as a RB2 as well.
With Mark Ingram out for the first month of the season, the Saints will need a second back with Kamara. Williams is likely a favorite, but it’s not a slam dunk with Terrence West and Shane Vereen on the roster as well. Expect him to see some work tonight against ARI, and I was a fan of his talent at Arkansas. The worry is, Williams didn’t get in until very late last week. So he is the RB4 for me, and is risky. The reward is obvious, but his playing time isn’t necessarily “guaranteed”.
Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill
It’s a broken record at this point, but with the Chiefs playing their starters for the first half tonight I want both of these receivers in my lineups. Can you play both together? I think so, absolutely. With Mahomes under center, there is upside for big plays and I expect Andy Reid to take a few shots to give this offense a chance to spread their wings before the season starts. We’ve seen it before and we’ll see it again, both Hill and Watkins are burners and will get a chance against some backup cornerbacks for ATL.
Hue Jackson is “punishing” Callaway by “making” him play football this preseason. He played a ton of snaps (nearly 80%) in Week 1, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t play quite often with Mayfield again tonight. As a very talented WR, he’s worth using to me and I have him as a WR2 behind either Watkins or Hill or WR3 if you want to use both.
Moore played with the starters last week, but he also played with the backups. Usually this is a sign of a guy that is looking to be used and seen in the preseason. Add in his rookie status and the likelihood that he is fighting to be one of the starters for CAR this season (he should be), expect Moore to get ample opportunity to make a play tonight. His worry is the level of QB throwing to him, depending when he’s in the game. I have him as WR4.
This choice was done with process of elimination for me. Cam Meredith is hurt, Michael Thomas shouldn’t play much along with Ted Ginn Jr. TommyLee Lewis and Brandon Tate are special-teamers, so that makes Smith a favorite to play ample snaps by default. After a solid showing in Week 1, look for him to continue to get looks from whenever is quarterbacking the Saints.
Travis Kelce and David Njoku
From TEs in the preseason, you just want guys that have a chance to score a touchdown. That is what Njoku is, and we’ve seen it already this preseason. Personally though, I’m locking in Kelce. A top-tier talent in an offense that should be explosive is supposed to play an entire half. I’m not overthinking this one, so all the Kelce for me tonight.
New York Giants or Kansas City Chiefs
Defenses are very hard to predict anyway. Let alone in the preseason. We’ll give it a shot tonight though, as the Giants likely will get a full half against a horrid Jake Rudock and maybe more time against Matt Cassel. With the Lions’ OL woes, this is a nice spot for a defense in the preseason. Also, if the starters on offense play a half for KC, the defense should as well and that alone is attractive.
Good luck tonight!