This article will cover the Saturday preseason DFS slate, and our main goal is to identify players who will a) see quite a bit of playing time and b) who have a chance to excel. There are two important things to remember before finalizing your lineup:
1. Players are frequently deactivated, and often for no reason, 90 minutes before kickoff. This article will be written many hours before the inactive list comes out. It is recommended that you check the latest news page on RotoWire an hour before kickoff to make sure you players are active.
2. All salaries are the same for players during preseason.
My philosophy when handicapping players in the second week of preseason is that there are two types of players who tend to see significant action — second-string players battling for a job and rookies who need to be evaluated. Unlike next week's games, when starters usually play more than a half, we're still at the point where most backups will see the most playing time.
Joe Webb (Texans vs. Lions) - Hopefully, you followed our lead last week and started Webb, who threw 40 passes for 286 yards and a TD and ran for 47 yards. He's a great preseason play because he'll throw the ball enough, and his ability to run that makes gives him the floor and ceiling that pays off in DFS.
Honorable mention: Ryan Tannehill (Titans vs. Patriots)
Darrell Henderson (Rams vs. Cowboys) - It would've been great to see Henderson get more than six carries and one target last week, but as preseason work goes, that's not a bad total. That said, he didn't have a great performance, and being this is usually a week to give rookies a longer look, his 81st percentile 40-yard dash could easily translate into the type of big play that gives him a strong stat line.
Dontrell Hilliard (Browns vs. Colts) - With speed, explosiveness and agility scores in the top third at his position, Hilliard profiles as one of the most athletic backup RBs in the league. More important, he had an impressive nine carries last week with an outstanding six targets. Being that he's still proving himself to the coaching staff, he should be in line for another solid workload, and that's one of the most important things we need in preseason DFS.
Honorable mention: Darwin Thompson (Chiefs vs. Steelers)
Mecole Hardman (Chiefs vs. Steelers) - It was clear that Andy Reid wanted to see what he had in the rookie last week, and although Hardman had just three touches, each came on a schemed play that gave him a chance to break off a big play. When we combine a couple creative plays with a 99th percentile 40-yard-dash along with 75th percentile agility, and one big play is enough to cash in preseason DFS, which is what happened in the preseason opener.
Deon Cain (Colts vs. Browns) - Seeing Cain healthy and on the field last week was fantastic, and the fact that he was targeted four time shows that the Colts want to see what he brings to the table after missing his rookie season with a knee injury. Considering the crowded depth chart, expect him to see plenty of snaps as the coaches determine how big a role he'll have this year. The fact he's having a strong camp means he could be in position to be productive with his chances.
James Washington (Steelers vs. Chiefs) - Even though he had a disastrous rookie year, Washington came into camp in great shape in 2019, and playing with his former college QB, Mason Rudolph, he posted more than 80 yards and a TD last week. After his strong start, he may be putting himself in position to challenge for the No. 2 WR job. He's almost a lock to get significant playing time as the coaching staff tries to get the roster lined up for the regular season.
Honorable mention: Byron Pringle (Chiefs vs. Steelers)
Blake Bell (Chiefs vs. Steelers) - In the preseason opener, Bell was used as a starter in two-TE sets, which the Chiefs used liberally. They also threw the ball frequently out of their heavy personnel, and Bell was targeted three times, catching two for 37 yards. He should see even more time this week as he competes for the backup TE role, making him a solid lineup option at a tough position to find targets.
Honorable mention: None
Patriots (vs. Titans) - Don't look for the Titans' offensive starters to get much work, and even though the Pats won't be playing many starters either, we could see some really bad offense out of the Tennessee backups, which is a good enough reason to bet against them this week.
Honorable mention: Rams (vs. Cowboys)