This article is part of our DraftKings NFL series.
With preseason Week 1 in the books, we move to Week 2 where backups still get a majority of the playing time. A few select starting quarterbacks might play up to a full quarter, but usually Week 3 is when most first-team offenses play past the first quarter. For that reason, we will still focus on players who have the most upside mixed with the most playing time. This article will focus on Thursday's six-game slate.
Now, if you are new to playing preseason fantasy football there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, all salaries are the same. Each player is priced at $5,500 since it is virtually impossible to predict players value in preseason. The most important factor for roster decisions is playing time. First-string quarterbacks, or offenses for that matter) will see limited play and starting them in the first two preseason weeks is not recommended. Running backs and wide receivers also see their play be sporadic and short as most teams are six to seven deep at the skill positions. Scoring will be low for these tournaments, but if you can land on a few of the touchdowns you will be in good shape. With those things in mind, let's move on to a few top targets for this slate.
Jimmy Garoppolo (NE) – Garoppolo likely will be one of the highest-owned players. The Patriots are still working out Garoppolo to start the first four games of the season and are likely to increase his reps week to week to get him ready. Tom Brady might play a few series for the Patriots, but that news likely won't become public until before kickoff, so keep your eyes on it. Last week, Garoppolo completed 11 of 18 passes for 168 yards. Although it is hard to analyze matchups off one week, the Bears' defense did not look good last week against Denver, adding a little extra value to Garoppolo.
Trevone Boykin (SEA) – As it stands now, the Seahawks will enter the season with Boykin as their backup to Russell Wilson. The undrafted free agent out of TCU went 16-for-26 for 188 yards and a touchdown in Week 1 against Kansas City and is likely to see a lot of work again for Seattle. Boykin offers you dual-threat upside with the guarantee of minutes.
Brett Hundley (GB) – Back in 2015, Hundley finished the preseason as the NFL's highest-rated passer at 129.7. That included a four-touchdown game against New Orleans and a 315-yard game against the Eagles. Hundley is now solidified as the backup to Aaron Rodgers and should see plenty of work if deemed healthy. Hundley missed the first preseason game of the year with an ankle injury, but returned to practice this week.
Chase Daniel (PHI) – With the news that Carson Wentz has a fractured rib, Daniel should see extended time at the helm for the Eagles. Sam Bradford is locked into the starting role in Philadelphia with Chase Daniel as his backup. Unless the Eagles want to give McLeod Bethel-Thompson multiple meaningless quarters Thursday, Daniel should play at minimum two quarters. Bethel-Thompson has virtually no chance of making the team.
Daryl Richardson (PIT) – Judging by Richardson's Week 1 numbers, the Steelers are taking a hard look at the fourth-year pro. Richardson finished Week 1 with 44 yards on 11 carries, but out-carried fellow back Fitzgerald Toussaint by nine carries. The Steelers are set atop their depth chart with Le'Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams, so the battle for the third-string job is likely one to take advantage of the rest of the preseason.
DeAndre Washington (OAK) – The rookie out of Texas Tech had an impressive debut last Friday, carrying eight times for 43 yards and recording 32 yards on one reception. With the backup role in Oakland up for grabs, Washington should be able to see the field long enough to be a strong fantasy option. Washington was a pass catcher out of the backfield at Texas Tech, and we can expect to see that as well in Oakland.
Zach Zenner (DET) – Based off of name alone, Zenner will be highly owned after a darling 2015 preseason in which he led the NFL in rushing yards. However, in 2016 he is in position to take the No. 3 job in Detroit behind Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick. The primary competition for Zenner the rest of preseason will be Stevan Ridley, so expect both Zenner and Ridley to see plenty of work to decide their futures with Detroit.
Christine Michael (SEA) – With lead-back Thomas Rawls still out with an ankle injury, Michael started for Seattle in Week 1 against Kansas City and stood out with 44 yards on seven carries. After being released and an unsuccessful stays in Dallas and Washington, Michael returned to Seattle late last season and is now turning heads in camp. A knock on Michael has always been his attitude and lackadaisical approach to the field, but coach Pete Carroll has had nothing but good things to say about Michael in 2016. At one point questionable to make the team, Michael is now in position to have a big role in the Seattle offense in 2016. Expect another long look Thursday, especially with Thomas Rawls not expected to suit up.
Sammie Coates (PIT) – With Martavis Bryant suspended for the season, Coates is trying to use the preseason to vault him into a greater role in the Pittsburgh offense. However, Coates didn't seize the opportunity in Week 1, catching three of four targets for 18 yards and fumbling twice. Coates will have plenty of opportunity to redeem himself Thursday and could see himself on field into the third quarter.
Aldrick Robinson (ATL) – Robinson stood out against the Redskins in Week 1, hauling in three balls for 118 yards on a team-high five targets. Appearing to be backup Matt Schaub's favorite target, Robinson should again get plenty of playing time as he tries to carve out a role in the Atlanta offense. Just note that after a big Week 1, his ownership is likely to be higher than normal.
Trevor Davis (GB) – With Jeff Janis expected to miss up to six weeks with a fractured finger, Davis now has the inside track to secure a spot in the Green Bay offense. The fifth-round pick out of Cal was targeted five times in last Thursday's game again the Browns, catching two balls for 23 yards. Davis now controls his own destiny with Green Bay and should see multiple quarters of action. Outside of Trevor Davis, Jared Abbrederis should also see extended action, though he now seems a lock to make the final 53.
Jeremy Kerley (DET) – Kerley led the Lions with six targets and five receptions last Thursday, totaling 36 yards. In a battle with Andre Roberts for the No. 4 spot in the Detroit offense, expect Kerley to see action the entire first half and possibly into the second half depending on when the Lions hand the ball over to Jake Rudock. There are some rumblings out of Detroit that Lions quarterback Matt Stafford could see extended play, which would only boost Kerley's value. Keep an eye on player news for more on that.
Justin Perillo (GB) – Perillo led all Green Bay receivers last Thursday against the Browns, hauling in five of seven targets for 52 yards. With Jared Cook and Richard Rodgers locking down the top two tight end spots in Green Bay, Perillo should get plenty of run the rest of the preseason to secure his roster spot.
David Morgan (MIN) – MyCole Pruitt worked his way up the depth chart to the No. 2 spot behind Kyle Rudolph while Rhett Ellison was out with an injury. With Rudolph's extensive injury past, the Vikings are likely to play him sparingly the rest of the preseason. This leaves Pruitt and rookie David Morgan as the two healthy tight ends to split reps in preseason action. Morgan impressed last Thursday against the Bengals, catching all three of his targets for 38 yards and will need to build on that performance to make the final 53.