Many call Week 3 of the preseason "the dress rehearsal," and for some teams, that's true. However, other teams prefer to hold starters out or give some players a cameo, so predicting playing time is the best chance to mine DFS gold.
To understand my reasoning in making these lineup decisions, here are my criteria (and not all players can meet all of these) in order of importance:
1. The player has already had at least some successful preseason action in the first two games.
2. The offense the player is on has either played well during this preseason or is a unit with a lot of cohesion expected to carry over from 2018.
3. The coaching staff has made some type of comment about the starters seeing significant playing time.
Matt Ryan (Falcons vs. Redskins) – Ryan was in midseason form last week, completing 10 of 14 passes for 118 yards, and there's every reason to believe that he'll play into the third quarter, making him a fantastic lineup choice.
Honorable mention: Cam Newton (Panthers vs. Patriots)- He's expected to play three or four drives.
Damien Harris (Patriots vs. Panthers) - Although he did carry 14 times for 80 yards along with four receptions for an addition 23 yards last week, he did most of that damage against backups. However, it's unlikely that the coaching staff will risk Sony Michel's knee, which would likely mean that Harris will be plenty busy and a great lineup choice.
Josh Jacobs (Raiders vs. Packers) - In last week's game, Jacobs had a respectable four carries for 21 yards, and if the Raiders play their starters for a half, then he could easily see double-digit touches in a week when many top running backs will be sidelined.
Honorable mention: Justice Hill (Ravens vs. Eagles)
Calvin Ridley (Falcons vs. Redskins) - With Julio Jones not expected to play, Ridley could have a busy evening after catching both of his targets for 28 yards last week. The Atlanta starters are expected to play into the third quarter, and Ridley could easily be one of the most-targeted WRs on this week's slate — all he needs is a big play to come through.
D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel (Panthers vs. Patriots) - Both of these starters saw a respectable three targets playing with backup QBs last week. With Cam Newton and most of the offense expected to play three or four series, both of these dynamic playmakers could see enough targets to have strong performances.
Honorable mention: Dede Westbrook (Jaguars vs. Dolphins)
Austin Hooper (Falcons vs. Redskins) - Not only did Hooper catch all three of his targets last week, but Matt Ryan has been on fire this preseason. With the starting offense likely to play more than a half, and with no Julio Jones on the field, Hooper could be among the leading TEs in targets.
Honorable mention: Darren Waller (Raiders vs. Packers)
Jaguars (vs. Dolphins) - If the Jaguars play their starters, they should easily dominate a Dolphins offense that's trying to figure out its identity. Even if they run a "vanilla" scheme, facing Josh Rosen and Ryan Fitzpatrick could be a recipe for success.
Honorable mention: Falcons (vs. Redskins)