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FanDuel Fantasy Football: Saturday Preseason Rankings

James Smizek

James Smizek

Since his introduction to Daily Fantasy Sports in 2010 James has turned a hobby into a profitable venture. A former writer of the now defunct DraftStreet.com and his own site BucketFullofPoints.com, James brings his knowledge and passion to RotoWire. He can be contacted on Twitter @iKezims or challenged on any DFS site under the moniker "ItzJamesFTW"


With a big week of preseason football kicking off this week, FanDuel is once again offering it's unique preseason contests for Saturday's slate of games. Though relatively the same as regular season contests, preseason challenges the player to hedge the differences between starter and backup playing time. With a plethora of different strategies to consider, I will outline my top plays. Keep in mind week three of the preseason is typically the week starters will see the most playing time.

Quarterback:

1. Drew Brees (NO) at Indianapolis - $9,700
2. Alex Smith (KC) vs. Minnesota - $6,900
3. Jake Locker (TEN) at Atlanta - $6,600
4. Sam Bradford (STL) at Cleveland - $6,000
5. Peyton Manning (DEN) vs. Houston - $10,200
6. Ryan Tannehill (MIA) vs. Dallas - $6,500
7. Teddy Bridgewater (MIN) at Kansas City - $6,100
8. Andrew Luck (IND) vs. New Orleans - $9,200
9. Zach Mettenberger (TEN) at Atlanta - $5,200
10. Brock Osweiler (DEN) vs. Houston - $5,000

Injury Report: Robert Griffin III (Probable), Tony Romo (Probable)

Drew Brees (NO) at Indianapolis - $9,700

Though Brees has been slowed by a strained oblique all signs point to him not only suiting up, but playing a half in Saturday's contest against the Colts. Brees has yet to play this preseason, meaning he has a lot of lost time to make up with rookie Brandin Cooks and veteran Jimmy Graham. Consistently one of the best quarterbacks in football, Brees is atop the rankings with a little something to prove before the regular season kicks off.


Jake Locker (TEN) at Atlanta - $6,600

Locker came out hot last Friday going 8-of-11 for 75 yards and a touchdown. With Charlie Whitehurst down with an injury, the depth chart in Tennessee appears to be just Locker and rookie Zach Mettenberger. In the final tune up game expect to see Locker play heavy minutes in what could be a make or break year for the fourth year player.

Brock Osweiler (DEN) vs. Houston - $5,000

As most quarterbacks will use Saturday as their final tune up, the Broncos won't be taking any chances with a possible injury to Peyton Manning. Though he will play his fair share, he won't be getting first half minutes like other quarterbacks around the league. Osweiler is waiting in the wings so the Broncos will take full advantage of getting him out on the field for extended minutes.

Running Back:
1. Zac Stacy (STL) at Cleveland - $8,300
2. DeMarco Murray (DAL) at Miami - $8,800
3. Ben Tate (CLE) vs. St. Louis - $7,400
4. Knile Davis* (KC) vs. Minnesota - $4,700
5. Alfred Morris (WAS) at Baltimore - $7,700
6. Ronnie Hillman (DEN) vs. Houston - $4,600
7. Jonathon Grimes (HOU) at Denver - $4,500
8. Matt Asiata (MIN) at Kansas City - $4,600
9. DeVonta Freeman (ATL) vs. Tennessee - $5,700
10. C.J. Anderson (DEN) vs. Houston - $5,200

*Davis took all first team reps with Charles inactive, if Charles is out, Davis holds top-five value. If Charles plays, Kniles still ranks in the top ten.

Injury Report: Jamaal Charles (Probable), Arian Foster (Questionable), Adrian Peterson (Doubtful)

Zac Stacy (STL) at Cleveland - $8,300

This Rams team has a lot to prove. From injury riddled seasons, to under-performance, it feels like it's nearing now or never for the Rams to take a step forward. More of that rests on the shoulders of Sam Bradford, but with the recent injury to Isaiah Pead, the running back burden will lie directly on Stacy. After a lackluster performance in last week, expect Stacy to come back to form and show some positives. On a week with uncertainty of running back playing time, Stacy should be a lock for a quarter and a half with the running back time split thinner in St. Louis.

Knile Davis (KC) vs. Minnesota - $4,700

The status of Jamaal Charles is currently unknown for Saturday's contests, but in his absence Davis has been taking all first-team reps. He racked up 56 total yards in last week and continues to impress in camp. At worst, Davis is the clear-cut backup in a run-heavy offense.

Jonathon Grimes (HOU) at Denver - $4,500
I had to dig to the bottom of the player list on FanDuel to find Grimes' name, but the third-year back is currently acting as the direct backup to Arian Foster. With Foster's status unknown at this time, Grimes should see plenty of the field regardless. He will look to build on a 67 total yard performance last Saturday against Atlanta.

Wide Receiver

1. Dez Bryant (DAL) at Miami - $8,500
2. Cordarrelle Patterson (MIN) at Kansas City - $6,400
3. Demaryius Thomas (DEN) vs. Houston - $8,700
4. Roddy White (ATL) vs. Tennessee - $7,000
5. Justin Hunter (TEN) at Atlanta - $4,800
6. DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) at Denver - $5,900
7. Josh Gordon (CLE) vs. St. Louis - $6,900
8. DeSean Jackson (WAS) at Baltimore - $6,700
9. Hakeem Nicks (IND) vs. New Orleans - $5,800
10. Kendall Wright (TEN) at Atlanta - $6,200

Injury Report: Julio Jones (Questionable), Andre Johnson (Unknown), Pierre Garcon (Probable)

Dez Bryant (DAL) at Miami - $8,500

Unlike the uncertainty from Friday's slate of games, Bryant is the clear cut No. 1 option for Saturday's slate. Dez hauled in three passes for 59 yards and a touchdown in last week's game against the Ravens. With he and quarterback connection Tony Romo to see extended action, look for Bryant to be in mid-season form.

Cordarrelle Patterson (MIN) at Kansas City - $6,400

As a Packers fan it is hard for me to admit when I have a fantasy crush on a player not donning the green and gold, especially when that player is a Viking, but I can't hide my man-crush on Patterson. A dynamic, all-over-the-field player, who is only 23-years-old, Patterson's ceiling is through the roof. With Matt Cassel and Teddy Bridgewater splitting first-team reps, Patterson should see action underneath each quarterback in what could prime him for a big game.

Justin Hunter (TEN) at Atlanta - $4,800

Hunter had a flashy week two of the preseason, racking up 111 yards and two touchdowns. Though his numbers won't hit that level of gaudiness again this week, he will offer a good mid-priced option. Locker and Mettenberger will see majority of the playing time at the helm and Hunter is fighting to take over the #2 spot on the depth chart.

Tight End

1. Jimmy Graham (NO) at Indianapolis - $8,100
2. Julius Thomas (DEN) vs. Houston - $7,400
3. Kyle Rudolph (MIN) at Kansas City
4. Travis Kelce (KC) vs. Minnesota - $4,500
5. Jordan Reed (WAS) at Baltimore - $6,100

Injury Report: Charles Clay (Probable)

Jimmy Graham (NO) at Indianapolis - $8,100

What can I really type here that you don't know? He dominates preseason, he dominates regular season, he will always be the top tight end option on any given week.

Travis Kelce (KC) vs. Minnesota - $4,500

Once a sleeper, a sleeper no more. After back-to-back preseason games with touchdowns, Kelce is no longer an under-the-radar name. With an offense that lacks pass catchers, Kelce may be the spark the Chiefs need. He is still behind Anthony Fasano on the depth chart, but with repeat performances like the last two weeks that won't last too long.

Kicker

1. Matt Prater (DEN) vs Houston - $5,300
2. Justin Tucker (BAL) vs. Washington - $5,200
3. Blair Walsh (MIN) at Kansas City - $5,000
4. Dan Bailey (DAL) at Miami - $5,300

Defense

1. Chiefs (vs. Minnesota) - $5,400
2. Dallas (at Miami) - $4,800
3. Cleveland (vs. St. Louis) - $5,100
4. St. Louis (at Cleveland) - $5,400