MadPicks will be bringing you the top options on virtually all preseason slates through the end of August. There are only three games on the Thursday schedule, so the options are a bit more limited for DraftKings and FanDuel slates. As is always the case, keep an eye on Twitter throughout the day on game days, as injury and lineup news is always coming in prior to kickoff, turning popular plays into fades and lifting obscure plays into tournament-winning position.
Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars
Winston looked pretty good in a quarter of work last week, and he’s expected to go the full first half against a weak Jacksonville defense. Winston to Mike Evans might be the QB-WR combo play of the season in DFS, and there’s no time like the present to get that party started. Ownership should be high, but that should not dissuade you at all in tournaments.
Chad Henne, Jaguars vs. Buccaneers
The Blake Bortles Era in Jacksonville is hanging by a thread these days and Henne is the man poised to overtake Bortles as the starter. Henne looked good against the Patriots last week, including a 97-yard TD pass that certainly helped the overall stat line. But he did complete 5 of 6 passes, and he could get a long look against the Bucs as the Jags find themselves at a crossroads.
Nathan Peterman, Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles
Peterman is expected to be the first man off the bench to replace Tyrod Taylor. The rookie completed 13-of-25 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown and ran for 26 yards last week and should have plenty of opportunity to improve on those numbers, making him a nice sleeper pick.
Corey Grant, Jaguars vs Buccaneers
Leonard Fournette’s debut was the headline for the Jaguars last week, but it was Grant that stole the show with 120 yards on eight carries, including a 79-yard touchdown run. Grant also excelled in the final regular season game of 2016 and is definitely in the mix for a roster spot. But the biggest news this week is that Fournette has already been ruled out with an injury. Grant may never get a better chance to cement his place on the team.
Damien Williams, Miami Dolphins vs. Baltimore Ravens
Jay Ajayi is expected to get the starter treatment, which means one or two series. Kenyan Drake is in the concussion protocol, so he’s out. That leaves Williams to soak up considerable playing time in his bid to secure the backup role.
Donnel Pumphrey, Corey Clement, Eagles vs. Bills
Pumphrey was pretty underwhelming last week against the Packers, but the Eagles as a whole were underwhelming, so I’m giving my favorite Aztec another chance here. Wendell Smallwood might not play, which could lead to a longer look for Pumphrey and Clement. Both are solid plays this week.
Taquan Mizzell, Ravens at Dolphins
Terence West and Danny Woodhead are expected to play in this one, but for how long is anyone’s guess. Assuming it’s not more than a quarter, Mizzell should get another chance to impress the coaching staff and secure the No. 3 running back slot. He carried 15 times last week for 51 yards and was targeted twice in the passing game.
Mike Evans, Buccaneers at Jaguars
The starters played about a quarter last week and it was enough for Evans to light up the stat sheet. This week, the starters could go the entire first half. This is an easy call.
Anquan Boldin, Bills at Eagles
The starters are scheduled to play 1 ½ quarters in this one, which can always become a full two depending on game flow. This is Boldin’s debut and he has already moved to the head of the line among Bills receivers since being acquired last week. He and Tyrod Taylor are developing good chemistry, and now they need to see it on the field. With Jordan Matthews out with an injury, Boldin should be heavily targeted in this one.
Quincy Adeboyejo, Ravens at Dolphins
Breshad Perriman will not play in this game, giving Adeboyejo another chance to establish himself as the big wide receiver the Ravens can trust. He was targeted four times last week and caught two passes for 24 yards.
Bryce Treggs, Eagles vs. Bills
Treggs was targeted eight times last week against the Packers, catching seven for 91 yards. When someone is that involved on a team with an unsettled receiving corps, you have to like his chances to be active again in Week 2.
Trey Burton, Eagles vs. Bills
Burton was a preseason hero in 2016 and his three catches for 19 yards, while not earth-shattering, was still pretty good for a position that struggles to produce preseason points. Don’t be afraid to ride the Trey Train again.
Thomas Duarte, Dolphins vs. Ravens
Duarte was targeted four times and made three catches for 19 yards. Works for me.