NFL Preseason Week 1: Friday DFS Preview

NFL Preseason Week 1: Friday DFS Preview

This article is part of our DFS NFL series.

Preseason action continues Friday with six games scheduled. Eleven teams will take the field for the first time, while Cleveland will play again following its win over the Jets in the Hall of Fame Game. DraftKings features its $15 Preseason Special contest with a $25k first prize, while FanDuel's main contest is its $9 Preseason Rush with a $5k top payout. The action begins at 7 p.m. EST. No need to worry about salaries, as every player costs the same in preseason.


Baker Mayfield, TB vs. PIT

The Bucs have a QB battle on their hands between Mayfield and 2021 second-round pick Kyle Trask. Trask will start next week's game, while Mayfield gets the nod this week. He'll have the advantage of playing with Tampa Bay's best players, even if that doesn't include Mike Evans or Chris Godwin.

Skylar Thompson, MIA vs. ATL

We won't see any of Tua Tagovailoa on Friday, leaving Thompson and Mike White likely to each play a half. White has reportedly struggled during practices, while Thompson has the benefit of being in Mike McDaniels' system for a second year. Thompson saw a decent amount of action when Tagovailoa was out last year, throwing for 220 yards and a touchdown in the playoffs.

Honorable Mentions: Sean Clifford, GB at CIN, Tommy DeVito, NYG at DET, Adrian Martinez, DET vs. MIA,

Running Back

Jashaun Corbin, NYG at DET

The Giants will play a number of running backs, including Corbin, Matt Breida, Eric Gray and James Robinson (though no Saquon Barkley). Corbin may be at the bottom of the depth chart, but he probably has a better chance of making the roster than the often-injured Robinson. Corbin was signed as an undrafted free agent last year and spent the season on the Giants' practice squad after averaging 6.2 YPC his senior year at Florida State.

Emari Demercado, ARI vs. DEN

With James Conner not expected to play and Keaontay Ingram likely out with an abdominal injury, Demercado could see a decent amount of snaps. An undrafted free agent out of TCU, his playing time behind Kendre Miller was limited last season, but he showed his talent when given the opportunity, going 17-150-1 in the national semifinal against Michigan.

John Kelly, CLE vs. WAS

With Jerome Ford dealing with a hamstring injury, Kelly should get plenty of time, even with Nick Chubb active this week. In last week's Hall of Fame Game, Kelly saw the most touches with 10 carries for 42 yards and four receptions for 27 yards and a touchdown. He looks locked into a roster spot and could even push for some third-down work come the regular season.

Honorable Mentions: De'Von Achane, MIA vs. ATL, Tyler Goodson, GB at CIN, Carlos Washington, ATL at MIA

Wide Receiver

Erik Ezukanma, MIA vs. ATL

Ezukanma is a player to stack with Thompson in GPPs, as the Dolphins' 2022 fourth-round pick has good size (6-foot-3, 220) to take advantage of lesser competition. He only appeared in one game last year but was Texas Tech's leading receiver for three consecutive seasons, and has the big play ability to find the end zone.

Cedric Tillman, CLE vs. WAS

Tillman saw three targets in the Hall of Fame Game, catching passes of 20 and 15 yards. Even with Cleveland likely to give its starters a little bit of run, Tillman looks like the team's No. 4 wideout at this point and could even get time with Deshaun Watson. Known for his strong hands and toughness, the 6-3 third-round pick is a player to keep on eye on this preseason.  

Jameson Williams, DET vs. NYG

Williams is suspended the first six games of the regular season but is eligible to play in preseason. Detroit's first-round pick a season ago didn't return from a torn ACL until Week 11 and showed his big-play ability with a 41-yard touchdown in his second game. Expect him to play at least one half and get a handful of targets.

Honorable Mentions: Marquez Callaway, DEN at ARI, Davion Davis, ARI vs. DEN, David Sills, NYG at DET

Tight End

Tanner Hudson, CIN vs. GB

Hudson and Devin Asiasi should be the primary TE options for the Bengals, and Asiasi is more of a blocking TE who hasn't shown much in his career. Hudson was an excellent pass-catcher in college but has lacked playing opportunities at the next level. He caught 10 passes in 11 games for the Giants last season, and is worth a shot on a slate without many attractive choices at the position.

Cole Turner, WAS at CLE

Logan Thomas is unavailable due to a calf injury, which should open opportunities for Turner. He was the team's fifth-round pick out of Nevada last year, where he posted 111-1,282-19 in his final two seasons. Turner has stood out in practices and is a player to keep an eye on for an increased role this season.

Honorable Mentions: Lawrence Cager, NYG at DET, Thomas Greaney, CLE vs. WAS, Darnell Washington, PIT at TB

Defense/Special Teams

Green Bay Packers, GB at CIN

Cincinnati is one of just two teams on the slate with an implied point total of less than 16 points, as veteran backup Trevor Siemian will start. Even though much isn't expected out of the Packers this season, that's largely due to their likely struggles on offense. Defensively, they should be one of the best units in the NFL.

Honorable Mentions: Broncos, DEN at ARI, Giants, NYG at DET

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.
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Ryan Pohle
Ryan Pohle is a DFS Product Specialist at RotoWire and has written for the site since 2020.
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