Well, that was one wild night of preseason daily fantasy football action. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers both suited up for their 2018 debuts, but they were long gone when the majority of the fireworks went down.
Nate Sudfeld owned all at the quarterback position on Thursday, while you were lucky to roster James White, Shelton Gibson and a handful of others. That was largely thanks to the Packers/Steelers and Patriots/Eagles games going bonkers.
I didn’t nail all of the picks I’d hoped to, but I did deliver a few winners. New England’s defense returned a fumble for a touchdown and worked out quite nicely (the Packers had two defensive scores), while Jake Kumerow and James Washington both paid off with touchowns.
There were some bad plays mixed in there, but if you used some of my NFL DFS preseason picks, you could have been on the winning path.
Friday has us going right back to work, as FanDuel pushes out a fun five-game daily fantasy football preseason slate. Let’s go over some of my favorite NFL DFS picks to help you build out a GPP-winning lineup:
QB: Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs ($6k)
I’m phoning this one in. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid told reporters his first team offense would play the entire first half of Friday night’s showdown with the Atlanta Falcons. I’m going to take him at his word and roll out the KC stack, hoping this offense actually gets two full quarters of action.
It’s worth the risk, as Mahomes is athletic with a huge arm and has a slew of weapons to work with. I’m sure the play here is to shake off any remaining jitters Mahomes has as he and this offense try to gear up for a successful 2018 campaign.
I don’t blame you for looking at other starters like Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton and the like, while Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen all figure to see solid playing time.
Nothing beats two guaranteed quarters of starter action, though. I love Mahomes’ upside and with all of his weapons out there with him, he’s a very attractive NFL DFS option – if not the pick at quarterback.
RB: Kareem Hunt – Kansas City Chiefs ($6k)
I will certainly want to keep an eye on whether or not the Chiefs surprise us with any crazy inactives, but if all of the KC starters are going to get two full quarters, you better believe I want the big names. That includes Hunt, who is as dynamic as anyone in the league and has a huge role in this offense.
RB: Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints ($6k)
My other running back will be the equally dynamic Kamara, who could be handed a few extra touches to gear up for a bigger workload to start 2018 (Mark Ingram is serving a suspension). I’ll need confirmation from the Saints that he won’t be out or limited, but he’s easily one of my favorite backs to target.
Week two is not a bad time to start rostering big name stars, especially if you can get close to two quarters of guaranteed action. Kamara is one guy I’ll be eyeing, while the likes of David Johnson and Christian McCaffrey could also be appealing with extra work in their second preseason game.
If you want to stick with backup running backs, Cleveland’s Nick Chubb, Miami’s Kalen Ballage and Detroit’s Kerryon Johnson all stand out as viable targets.
WR: Tyreek Hill – Kansas City Chiefs ($6k)
You can consider Sammy Watkins here as a pivot off of Hill, but Hill knows this system and has had more time to build chemistry with Mahomes. I trust him more in this spot, while pairing the two is rather tempting due to their big play ability.
WR: D.J. Moore – Carolina Panthers ($6k)
I’m tempted to keep the fun times going with studs like Julio Jones, Michael Thomas and Odell Beckham Jr., but I won’t get too crazy unless more news trickles out about these superstars getting serious playing time.
For now I’ll assume they’re too risky and use rookie receiver D.J. Moore. He flashed a nice connection with Cam Newton last week and should see even more work in his second preseason game.
WR: Rashard Higgins – Cleveland Browns ($6k)
Higgins played well in his 2018 debut and is a threat to be even better this week.
The Browns should try to get more work out of him with Josh Gordon away from the team and Corey Coleman traded to the Bills. Higgins is auditioning for a big role and if Antonio Callaway (ribs) sits out tonight, he feels like a lock for me on this slate.
TE: Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs ($6k)
Kelce will be my fourth Chiefs player to complete the full stack and that’s largely because I don’t exactly trust Watkins in his new environment just yet. Kelce has a huge role in the offense and was a monster last year (#1 overall tight end), so if he and the starters are locked into this suck run, I have to bite.
If you want a TE pivot, consider Evan Engram or Miami rookie, Mike Gesicki. David Njoku scored last week and will also be on the table.
FLEX: Christian Kirk – Arizona Cardinals ($6k)
Again, if we catch wind that some big stars are getting nice run, I’ll shift my focus to some bigger names. If not, I want young guys who are either working to lock down a starting role or need to perform to simply make their team’s roster.
Kirk is still in play for Arizona’s #2 receiver role, so he should get more chances to prove himself this week. He wasn’t great in week one, but he’s too talented to stay grounded.
DEF: Carolina Panthers ($6k)
I was high on the Panthers a week ago and they let the Bills come out and score on them at will. I have to assume Carolina’s top defensive players will play longer and be more effective this time around, while a matchup against the Miami Dolphins looks good for them on paper.
This slate starts with stacking up the Chiefs. I think there is little hesitance in that, but be sure to look around Twitter and the KC websites in case they plan on slipping something through the cracks. Because Tom Brady played the entire first half on Thursday and the Chiefs are doing this on Friday, you’ll need to check in on every team to see if they’re revealing their plan for their top starters.
Depending on what emerges from that, things could change greatly. For now, I love the mix of Chiefs and intriguing young talent that still has something to prove or work for.
Hopefully my daily fantasy football preseason picks can help you cash tonight. Either way, I wish you luck and hope you enjoy the games!