The second week of the 2016 NFL preseason is alive and well on Thursday night, which means now is a good time to figure out who you’re going to use in tonight’s daily fantasy football games over at DraftKings.
Unlike the first week of preseason play, week to should open the door a bit more for the starters, as we’ll see some stars that have so far been absent or limited, and we may see some big names lasting beyond the first quarter and maybe even up until half-time. Keep in mind that is never set in stone, and we still need to stay on top of last second inactives on Twitter and the like.
Also, extra playing time from some regular players doesn’t totally discount the backup options that could have some appeal. You can play the starters at your own risk, but we’ll show you our favorite plays for the night:
QB: Jimmy Garoppolo (Patriots), Brett Hundley (Packers) and A.J. McCarron (Bengals)
We’re looking mostly at backups that should get a good amount of time tonight, but if you want starters who could impress with a little more time on the field, consider Andy Dalton, Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford. Derek Carr could also be in play if he’s active tonight against the Packers.
This trio makes more sense, however, as they’ve had ample preseason success and they figure to see the field for a good chunk of time. Jimmy G still needs to get ready to start the first four games of the season, so you can safely bet the Pats will play him a quarter or two again tonight. The same goes for McCarron, assuming the aforementioned Dalton doesn’t play too much.
Brett Hundley’s preseason debut? Other players to watch?
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) August 17, 2016
The big play here could be Hundley, who figures to make his 2016 preseason debut. He was a preseason star last year, as he can run the ball and his big arm allows for huge plays down the field.
RB: Daryl Richardson (Steelers), John Crockett (Packers), Zach Zenner (Lions), Duke Johnson (Browns) DeAndre Washington (Raiders), Alex Collins (Seahawks) and Tyler Gaffney (Patriots)
There are even more running backs to consider, as this is without a doubt the most volatile position with so many random guys hitting the field during the preseason.
That being said, Gaffney scored in his debut, D-Rich played well and Duke Johnson may have the most upside in this entire group. Crockett and Zenner were both very good and should once again see strong playing time. Crockett is trying to secure a roster spot in Green Bay, while Zenner is still trying to lock up the third running back role in Detroit.
Alex Collins and DeAndre Washington are two other big name rookies to consider, as they were disappointing in their debuts, but could have big roles as they fight to earn some playing time in year one.
WR: Terrelle Pryor (Browns), Jared Abbrederis (Packers), Sammie Coates (Steelers), Tyler Boyd (Bengals) and Laquon Treadwell (Vikings)
Corey Coleman remains out yet again for the Browns tonight, which should push Pryor into a big role for the second straight game. He is going to be hit or miss, but he and RG3 connected twice in week one and he makes for as good a play as anyone.
Abbrederis was decent in his preseason debut, and he could be in for a bigger role tonight with Green Bay’s main starters (specifically Jordy Nelson) likely out. Jeff Janis (hand) is also done for the preseason, so Abbrederis could get some more chances to secure a roster spot.
Treadwell and Boyd both looked solid enough in their preseason debuts and both will look to improve even more if they hit the field tonight. Boyd had one big play in his first preseason game, and with Brandon LaFell out for a while, he could get a shot at working his way into a starting role.
Coates needs to be considered despite a terrible week one effort, where he did catch three passes but also fumbled the ball twice. If he ends up redeeming himself, however, you’re going to wish you used him.
TE: Martellus Bennett (Patriots), Trey Burton (Eagles) and Jesse James (Steelers)
Tight end is extremely hit or miss during the preseason, so take our favorite three plays with a huge grain of salt. None of these guys have done anything yet this month, but all three have reportedly looked good in camp and could be fighting for bigger roles.
Burton is the one that probably is more just worried about a roster spot, but he’s been great in camp and was also a stat-stuffer last preseason. After doing nothing in week one, the Eagles could try to get him going tonight.
You probably will have better luck with Bennett and James, as Bennett likely will play more tonight with Rob Gronkowski sitting out and James should get every chance to win Pittsburgh’s starting tight end gig. LaDarius Green’s career may be over, so the Steelers need to find a starter somewhere.
“Jesse James is in line to start…Don’t be surprised if [Ladarius Green] starts the season on IR” https://t.co/EYOzq3nJqb
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) August 18, 2016
A strong effort tonight by James could cement his role with the team.
DEF: Patriots, Steelers, Falcons and Seahawks
Defense is a total toss-up in DFS preseason games, as we never know how the first unit will perform or how long it will be out on the field.
Atlanta really isn’t a scary unit, but RG3 did throw a pick in his preseason debut, so perhaps they can sack him and force a turnover early. The Steelers and Pats are easy tries, as they’ve both made some big plays in preseason so far, while the Legion of Boom certainly carry monster upside at home tonight.