Week 1 of the preseason is finally here, and FanDuel is offering up a number of Thursday-night only contests. You’ll be able to choose anyone you’d like, as all players, regardless of position, are priced at $6,000. However, the trick this week is trying to see into the crystal ball to figure out which players will play enough to be useful for DFS. Be sure to check late news reports before finalizing your lineup, as news of playing time might force you to make last-minute changes. Good luck!
Carson Wentz, PHI at GB - Wentz went through plenty of growing pains after a hot start to his rookie season, so it would seem logical that he’d get more reps than most starting quarterbacks as he continues to learn his craft. In addition, he’ll see a defense that won’t game plan to stop him, so he should be able to move the ball easily against a liberal number of Packers’ reserves.
Chase Daniel, NO at CLE - Daniel is back with the Saints after spending the last couple years with the Chiefs. However, his advantage is that he knows the offensive system inside and out, and he’s one of the better backup QBs in the NFL. Hopefully, he’ll play at least half the game and throw a pair of TD passes.
Javorius Allen, BAL vs. WAS - Allen wasn’t a lock to make the Ravens’ regular-season roster, but after Kenneth Dixon was removed from the equation, he’ll now battle for playing time with Terrance West and Danny Woodhead. In 2015, Allen proved to be an excellent receiver, so he certainly could do some damage throughout the air this week. In addition, he has to believe that he can challenge West for the early down role, so he should be plenty motivated to have a big game.
Tarik Cohen, CHI vs. DEN- The rookie has some serious juice as a receiver and has impressed throughout the early days of training camp. The Bears’ coaching staff will certainly want to get a look at what it has as it determines his role. Should he get significant playing time against the Broncos’ backups, he could break off a big play to reward fantasy owners.
Tanner Gentry, CHI vs. DEN - Gentry, an undrafted free agent, scored three touchdowns in Tuesday’s practice and has been heralded as one of the best players during Bears’ camp. The team sounds excited to see if he can put up the same type of performance in game action, as he’s been able to get past defenders and make big plays. He’ll likely see plenty of playing time in the second half against the deepest Denver reserves, and Chicago likely will have Mark Sanchez or Mitch Trubisky throwing passes his way.
Nelson Agholor, PHI at GB - He’s had an impressive camp and looks nothing like the player who struggled his first two years in the league. He has a chance to push for regular playing time, challenging Jordan Matthews for work in the slot. That could get him increased snaps Thursday. He’ll likely play for a while with Carson Wentz at QB, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he ended up having a productive game.
Adam Shaheen, CHI vs. DEN - The rookie dominated lesser competition when he played at a small college, and he’ll likely see some of the easiest NFL defense possible when he plays in the second half against the Broncos’ deep reserves. An added benefit is that the Bears will likely use either Mark Sanchez or Mitch Trubisky late into the second half, and both should be able to get him the ball.
Lance Kendricks, GB vs. PHI - It’s unlikely the Packers will use Martellus Bennett much, and Richard Rodgers left practice earlier this week with an undisclosed injury. That makes Kendricks a solid option as he plays in the first game with his new team. In addition, he’ll likely see quite a bit of time with QB Brett Hundley on the field, which could help him post solid production.
Jason Myers, JAC at NE - It would be surprising if any team takes the preseason any less seriously than the Patriots, so Myers could find himself on the field for a few FG attempts, making him a strong play.
Caleb Sturgis, PHI at GB - If the Eagles let Carson Wentz get some extra work as he tries to keep improving, that could provide Sturgis some scoring opportunities against a veteran Packers’ team that likely won’t risk many of their regular defenders’ health by being on the field.
Chicago Bears (vs. Denver Broncos) - The Broncos have QB issues as it is, but they’ll likely get their top WRs on the bench quickly. Also, after C.J. Anderson plays a couple series, they’ll likely go to the deepest reserves, as Jamaal Charles and Devontae Booker sit this one out.
Buffalo Bills (vs. Minnesota Vikings) - It’s unlikely the Vikings will risk Sam Bradford by putting him on the field for more than a series or two, and once he’s out, the Bills will face a third-string QB. Also, it’s unlikely that they’ll put rookie RB Dalvin Cook on the field for long, especially since Latavius Murray just started practicing this week, so they’ll need to protect their depth at the position.