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FanDuel Fantasy Football: Saturday Preseason Picks

Jim Coventry

Coventry covers football and baseball for RotoWire. He started playing fantasy football in 1994 and won a national contest in 1996. He also nabbed five top-50 finishes in national contests from 2008 to 2012 before turning his attention to DFS. A published author, Coventry wrote a book about relationships, "The Secret of Life", in 2013.

Week 1 of the preseason is here, and FanDuel is offering a number of Saturday night contests. You can choose anyone you like, as all players, regardless of position, are $6,000. However, the trick this week is trying to see into the crystal ball to figure out which players will see enough playing time to be useful for DFS. Be sure to check late news reports before finalizing your lineups, as news of playing time may be stated that'll force you to make last-minute changes. Good luck.

QUARTERBACK

EJ Manuel, Raiders at Cardinals -
Manuel is the Raiders' third-string QB and likely will play at least a half against the Cardinals' third-string defense. Not only should he easily move the ball through the air, he can run if his receivers are covered.

Jared Goff, Rams vs. Cowboys -
It would surprise if the Rams didn't keep their QB in the game for extended time. First, Goff simply needs game experience after his forgettable rookie season. In addition, he needs to practice the new offense along with his new teammates, so the reps would be invaluable. Finally, he's unlikely to see much of a consistent pass rush from the Cowboys. He'll be a great play if he's kept in the game for an entire half.

RUNNING BACK

Elijah McGuire, Jets at Titans -
With Bilial Powell sitting this one out and Matt Forte unlikely to play, McGuire should get quite a few opportunities in the first half. He also should be plenty motivated, as a solid performance could easily turn into opportunity in the regular season should Powell and/or Forte get nicked up, and this could be a great chance to impress the coaching staff.

Kerwynn Williams, Cardinals vs. Raiders -
With Chris Johnson now the second-string running back, Williams should get extended time on the field as a third-stringer. He's proven that he's an effective runner in regular-season games, so he should be able to pile up solid numbers against the Raiders' backup defenders.

WIDE RECEIVER

Cooper Kupp, Rams vs. Cowboys -
The rookie's had an impressive training camp, and he enters the NFL as one of the more polished route runners of the 2017 draft class. It's possible he plays extensively, especially since he'll most likely be a backup this season, as the team just traded for Sammy Watkins. Also, he faces a Dallas defense that's breaking in a number of new cornerbacks. This is shaping up as an excellent spot for Kupp.

Taywan Taylor, Titans at Jets -
Taylor's been running with the first-string offense as a slot receiver. With Eric Decker also in the fold, the rookie likely will find himself in a battle to earn playing time during the regular season, so a big performance against the Titans could certainly make an impression on the coaching staff. Also, it would seem likely that he'd be on the field quite a bit to get the valuable reps that he'll need to learn the offense.

TIGHT END

Gerald Everett, Rams vs. Cowboys -
There's no question that Everett's one of the best receiving TEs to come out of this year's exceptional draft class. In addition, the new coaching staff plans to deploy him similarly to Jordan Reed, so the rookie should see plenty of time on the field as he learns the offense. There's also a strong possibility that he could find himself on the field with Jared Goff for extended snaps, and it's easy to imagine that the young QB will take at least a couple shots down the seam to his new tight end.

Jonnu Smith, Titans at Jets -
With Delanie Walker entrenched as the first-string TE, Smith should spend quite a bit of time on the field as he acclimates to the NFL. Once Marcus Mariota leaves the game, he will see passes from Matt Cassel, who's a much better QB than many of the other second-stringers. Smith's also had an excellent training camp.

KICKER

Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders at Cardinals -
Since the Raiders likely will play the entire second half with EJ Manuel at QB, the offense could potentially move the ball well throughout the game. It's likely the Raiders will score quite a few points, making Jankowski an excellent option.

Phil Dawson, Cardinals vs. Raiders -
Even though the Cardinals' starters won't likely be in the game long, Dawson could see plenty of scoring opportunities in the second half as Blaine Gabbert is expected to finish the contest. Although Gabbert has struggled, he's typically good when he's not under heavy pressure, and in this preseason game, that's likely to be the case.

DEFENSE

Tennessee Titans (at Jets) -
No matter which QB the Jets use, the Titans have a decent chance of getting sacks and possibly an interception too. As will be the case during the regular season, many fantasy defenses will be started against this offense.

New York Jets (vs. Titans) -
On the Saturday night slate, there are a number of decent third-string QBs, but the Jets will potentially be up against one of the weakest options in Alex Tanney, so it's possible they produce in the second half.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.