DraftKings NFL: Thursday Preseason Preview

DraftKings NFL: Thursday Preseason Preview

This article is part of our DraftKings NFL series.

Preseason football is back Thursday with a two-game slate as the Patriots face the Giants and the Titans travel to take on the Ravens. If you're new to preseason DFS, you'll notice that all players have identical salaries and targeting players that are going to be on the field the most is crucial. DraftKings featured contest is the $12 Preseason Special with a $50k top payout, while FanDuel headlines their $9 Preseason Rush and $10k to first. Showdown slates are also offered with the NE/NYG matchup starting at 7 p.m. EDT and TEN/BAL at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

QUARTERBACK

Bailey Zappe, NE vs. NYG: I don't expect Mac Jones to be on the field, which means we should get at least a half of action out of Zappe. A rookie that originally played at Houston Baptist, Zappe exploded at Western Kentucky last year with 62 touchdowns and nearly 6,000 yards passing. I'm not expecting Belichick to let him throw it around like crazy, but at least we know the ceiling potential is high.

Malik Willis, TEN vs. BAL: Willis figures to be a popular choice, but with good reason. The Titans third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft out of Liberty looks to be the heir apparent to Ryan Tannehill, who is unlikely to play in the preseason opener. Logan Woodside is also likely to play 1-2 quarters tonight but Willis is of the most likely options on the slate to see ample playing time. 

RUNNING BACK

J.J. Taylor, NE vs. NYG: While using a Patriots running back in Bill Belichick's circling web of RBs is usually taboo for fantasy players, the preseason does offer opportunity. The 5-6 Taylor is an effective receiving back and had an excellent preseason a year ago where he averaged 80 yards per game and 7.8 yards per carry. Fourth round rookie Pierre Strong also figures to see playing time for the Pats.

Hassan Haskins, TEN vs. BAL: Haskins is third on the Titans depth chart behind Derrick Henry and Dontrell Hilliard, but Henry won't play and Hilliard was in a non-contact jersey in practice this week. That should provide Haskins, a fourth-round pick out of Michigan this year with plenty of playing time. The power-back is a great option in the red-zone, should the Titans get there.

WIDE RECEIVER

Kristian Wilkerson, NE vs. NYG: Wilkerson had a nice preseason for the Patriots last season, catching 13-of-17 targets for 147 yards over three contests. He also received one start in Week 17 and took advantage of the opportunity with a pair of touchdowns. He's certainly buried on the depth chart but assuming the none of the Patriots' receiving starters play much, Wilkerson has plenty of second-half upside. 

Kyle Philips, TEN vs. BAL: Philips has had a nice camp and the fifth-round pick out of UCLA will get his chance to shine on a bigger stage. He's been getting some work with the first-team with Robert Woods still coming back from injury, and I wouldn't be surprised in the least to see a Willis-Phillips combination on winning lineups. 

TIGHT END

Matt Sokol, NE vs. NYG: Tight Ends typically aren't reliable in the preseason, as they are usually counted upon more for blocking and have to compete with a few guys for playing time. Nevertheless, if you're playing the two-game slate, you'll have to start with someone and Sokol is the most reliable option. I can't imagine that Hunter Henry or Jonnu Smith will see the field much (if at all), leaving plenty of snaps for Sokol. 

Austin Allen, NYG vs. NE: Allen is a gamble but should get some work in the second-half, which could result in some targets if the Giants are trailing. Ricky Seals-Jones and Andre Miller are both sidelined with injuries. 

KICKER

Graham Gano, NYG vs. NE: I'm going to go with the contrarian route at the kicker position in showdowns as Justin Tucker will the route most fantasy managers go with. Gano has been one of the more accurate kickers in the league the last four years albeit under-the-radar, and he made a career-high seven kicks from 50-plus last season.

DEFENSE

When it comes to preseason games, team defenses become much more viable in showdowns simply because they're in play for the entire game and you don't have to make any assumptions when it comes to playing time for positional players. The Patriots D/ST is a prime target for my lineups against a Giants squad that is banged up at receiver and offensive line. Conventional wisdom also brings the Ravens D/ST into play as the favorite over Tennessee in the lowest over/under of the two games.

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.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NFL Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NFL fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Pohle
Ryan Pohle is a DFS Product Specialist at RotoWire and has written for the site since 2020.
Week 4 Friday Injury Report: Not All the Saints are Marching
Week 4 Friday Injury Report: Not All the Saints are Marching
Wide Receivers vs. Cornerbacks: Week 4 Matchups
Wide Receivers vs. Cornerbacks: Week 4 Matchups
NFL DFS Picks on FanDuel: Week 4:
NFL DFS Picks on FanDuel: Week 4:
NFL Monkey Knife Fight Picks: Week 4
NFL Monkey Knife Fight Picks: Week 4
Monkey Knife Fight: Thursday Night Football Picks
Monkey Knife Fight: Thursday Night Football Picks
Thursday Night Football Picks: NFL Best Bets and Player Props for Cincinnati Bengals vs. Miami Dolphins
Thursday Night Football Picks: NFL Best Bets and Player Props for Cincinnati Bengals vs. Miami Dolphins