Week 3 of the NFL preseason kicks off Friday night with a four-game slate on DraftKings, with the headlining contest a $12 entry with $150,000 in total prizes and $50,000 to the winner. Like all preseason contests, every player and defense is priced at $5,500, so you can play anyone you want without any salary-cap concerns. As always, keep your eyes on Twitter throughout Friday for late-breaking lineup and playing-time news that could alter the strategy for your lineups. But entering Friday, this are the way each game is shaping up, with players to target highlighted in bold:
Lions coach Dan Campbell has already ruled out his starters for this final exhibition game, and Colts coach Frank Reich is following suit, which opens up all sorts of opportunities for reserves and fringe players to see huge chunks of playing time, which is essential for DFS success in NFL August. Jacob Eason is expected to start at quarterback for the Colts and could play as much as half, before giving way to Sam Ehlinger. Eason has been the better QB thus far in camp, so he would be the choice here. David Blough is the QB to watch on the Lions, as he could be auditioning for a job on another team with a solid performance. Blough’s best target should be Amon-Ra St. Brown, the fourth-round pick from USC. This is a game where you can look to use your defense, as neither offense is expected to sparkle.
Steelers QB Dwayne Haskins could play into the third quarter in this one, and the starting wide receivers are likely to play perhaps a series or two, so Haskins has a chance to pile up some nice numbers here. The most interesting play on the Steelers might be tight end Pat Friermuth, who looked great in Week 2 and should get another good look here. With the Steelers likely sitting their first-team defense and the Panthers indicating their starters could play a full half, there is considerable fantasy goodness here. Sam Darnold to Terrace Marshall is your stack of the night, and rookie Chuba Hubbard might be the top running back on the slate. Tommy Tremble is another solid tight-end option. You won’t load up on Panthers in the regular season, but this is why preseason DFS is so much fun.
The Jets are expected to run their starters for a half and the Eagles are likely to only play backups, so our focus here should be on the Jets’ offense. That makes Zach Wilson a viable option at quarterback and Corey Davis is worth a look in a possible stack scenario. I want to advocate for Devonta Smith at wide receiver, but with Nick Mullens likely at QB and the Jets playing their first-string defense, that’s a risky call. The safer Eagles play is running back Kenneth Gainwell, who is excelled as a pass-catcher, making him viable in DraftKings’ PPR format.
This game is all about how you want to handle the Kansas City starters. Andy Reid loves, loves, loves to play his first-teamers at least a half in the Week 3 preseason game, and even with no Week 4 anymore, we expect Reid will stick to his script. That means Patrick Mahomes is in line for the biggest raw-points projection on the slate. Keep your eyes locked in on Chiefs Twitter tomorrow. If word emerges that the starters will be limited, Mahomes is the fade of the slate. Jerick McKinnon figures to see the bulk of first-half carries at running back, but Darwin Thompson is perhaps the best option, as he could ultimately get the most playing time. Byron Pringle is the best bet to make the biggest splash at wide receiver. The Vikings are pretty much a full fade here, and the Chiefs’ defense is another strong option.