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DraftKings 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 DraftKings 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

Blaine Gabbert, Cardinals vs. Raiders -
The veteran QB has typically played well in preseason, in part because he doesn't face a consistent pass rush. As the third-string passer for the Cardinals, he should be in the game the entire second half and should have great success moving the ball against the Raiders' third-string defense.

EJ Manuel, Oakland at Arizona -
After spending a number of years with the Bills, Manuel will see his first action with his new team. As the third-stringer, it's expected he will be on the field for the entire second half. The veteran should have little trouble moving the ball both as a passer and a runner against the deep backups the Cardinals have on the field.

RUNNING BACK

Alfred Morris, Cowboys at Rams -
With Ezekiel Elliott suspended, Morris is the backup to starter Darren McFadden. Morris should get plenty of playing time and should be motivated to show the coaching staff that he could be the lead runner in a high-powered rushing attack.

Elijah McGuire, Jets vs. Titans -
McGuire has generated quite a bit of positive buzz throughout training camp, and with the Jets going through a full rebuild, he certainly could earn his way into the regular-season rotation at RB. This will be his first opportunity to show the coaching staff he can be a significant part of the rushing attack. He should see a fair number of carries, as Bilal Powell will sit this one out, and Matt Forte is unlikely to play.

WIDE RECEIVER

Ryan Switzer, Cowboys at Rams -
Switzer enters the NFL as a potentially lethal option out of the slot, and with Cole Beasley entrenched as the Cowboys' primary slot WR, the rookie could find himself on the field for an extended look. If that's the case, he'll have the possibility of piling up a number of receptions, making him a nice PPR option.

Taywan Taylor, Titans at Jets -
Taylor is listed as the Titans’ top option in the slot, but he'll certainly need to earn that role, as Eric Decker could easily pass the rookie based on his experience. It would be surprising if Taylor didn't get significant playing time with the second-string offense, as he learns to play at the NFL level. He likely will get to work with Matt Cassel, who should have little problem getting the ball to his rookie receiver against backup defenders.

TIGHT END

Troy Niklas, Cardinals vs. Raiders -
The veteran enters preseason behind Jermaine Gresham on the depth chart, so he should see plenty of time with the reserves as he faces the Raiders. In addition, he'll likely be on the field along with third-string QB Blaine Gabbert, and although Gabbert has had his struggles during the regular season, he typically does quite well in preseason games where there is unlikely to be much in the way of a heavy pass rush. It wouldn't be a surprise if Niklas found himself targeted in the end zone, and his potential to score gives him DFS appeal.

Gerald Everett, Rams vs. Cowboys -
Everett will be making his NFL debut, and projects to be used in a Jordan Reed role, as the new coaching staff brings its offense over to the West Coast from Washington. The rookie has exceptional ability and likely will be difficult for defenses to handle, especially when he runs routes down the seam. Since the Rams already have Tyler Higbee listed as the first-string TE, Everett could see significant playing time, which will also help him acclimate to the speed of the professional game.

DEFENSE

Dallas Cowboys (at Rams) -
The Rams are learning a new offense, and there is likely to be plenty of growing pains, especially when the rookies play. The likelihood of the offense making critical errors is significant, and that's the main reason why Dallas is a decent option this week.

Tennessee Titans (at Jets) -
It's no shock to anyone the Jets are in disarray, especially on the offensive side. And just as it'll be in the regular season, fantasy owners will be playing opposing defenses against the New York offense whenever possible. The preseason is no different, and the Titans are a strong DFS play this week.

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.