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FanDuel Fantasy Football: Thursday 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.

As always, the biggest concern with the preseason is playing time. This week, most starters will get more run than they did in the first preseason game, but they’ll be pulled anywhere from the mid-first to the mid-second quarter, so I’ll try to list a mix of choices between veterans and players trying to establish themselves to provide options. As always, before setting final lineups, be sure to check the RotoWire news to see if there’s any last-minute updates regarding playing time/roles. Finally, all players have the same salary during the preseason, so you may start any combination of players you wish in any of the site’s contests.

QUARTERBACK

Matt Moore, MIA vs. BAL -
With Jay Cutler having only recently come into camp, Moore should should take over the offense Thursday before long. In addition, he’ll likely be motivated to show the team that it should have trusted him to take over after losing Ryan Tannehill for the season. A little motivation in a preseason game could be a beautiful thing.

Jameis Winston, TB at JAX -
In the preseason opener, Winston slinged it, completing nine of 13 passes for 99 yards and had a few unsuccessful chances to throw a TD pass near the goal line. He looks like a QB ready to break out, especially with more weapons in the fold, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him air out a long pass to DeSean Jackson that could result in a score while the defense focuses on Mike Evans.

RUNNING BACK

Jonathan Williams, BUF at PHI -
Williams was brilliant in the preseason opener, and he’ll likely get plenty of touches to have a repeat performance this week. It would be a surprise if LeSean McCoy saw many snaps, and if Williams is running with the ones, he easily could have a productive evening.

Chris Ivory, JAX vs. TB -
With Leonard Fournette expected to miss this week’s game with a foot injury, Ivory should get plenty of carries after turning his six carries into 20 yards last week. Despite the unimpressive yards per carry, should the Jaguars get the ball near the goal line, he’d likely be the RB to get the chance to cash in on a short TD run.

WIDE RECEIVER

Andre Holmes, BUF at PHI -
We’re really digging deep here, but here’s the thought process: Sammy Watkins was the only classic boundary receiver the Bills had, and Holmes is someone who the coaches should take a look at in that role. Although Zay Jones should get work on the outside, Holmes has the ability to get deep, and that plays to Tyrod Taylor’s strengths. All it takes in preseason is one big play to make for a big DFS week.

Mike Evans, TB at JAX -
If last week was any indication, Jameis Winston has no plans of shying away from Evans, as he targeted his WR seven times. Evans posted 58 yards on four catches, but had multiple chances for a red zone TD, but Winston was off on his pass location each time. Volume in the preseason is a great thing, and here’s hoping it happens for Evans again.

TIGHT END

Zach Ertz, PHI vs. BUF -
The Eagles' first-team offense was quite impressive last week, but Ertz was not involved. So, it would make sense for the team to keep working on the Wentz-Ertz connection. Also, with Jordan Matthews no longer in Philly, Ertz could become a bigger focus in the middle of the field.

Cameron Brate, TB at JAX -
In the preseason opener, Brate appears to be the Bucs’ primary receiving TE, as well as security blanket for Jameis Winston. Especially on a smaller-slate of games, Brate is likely to haul in a few passes, making him a strong lineup choice.

DEFENSE

Miami Dolphins vs. BAL -
The Ravens will be without Joe Flacco for the preseason, and otherwise, the Ravens don’t exactly have a potent offense. Rolling with the Dolphins at home looks like a solid play.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. BUF -
The Bills might not be terribly excited about their season after trading away Sammy Watkins, so they could come out flat this week. In the preseason, that’s enough of a reason to look at the Eagles as a starting defense.

KICKER
Justin Tucker, BAL at Mia -
Although the Ravens don’t have a strong offense, at least we know that if they get in FG range, Tucker is money.

Andrew Franks, MIA vs. BAL -
The Dolphins should have Jay Cutler and Matt Moore in the game at some point for an entire half, and they have a good chance of moving the ball down the field against a Ravens defense that’s not scary at all. That certainly could lead to a FG chance or two for Franks.

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.