Green Bay v Pittsburgh
You’ll probably see Aaron Rodgers play a quarter or more in this game. Gambling on him getting you a couple quick scores is an ok strategy. Brett Hundley and Scott Tolzien will see the rest of the snaps and I’d guess get equal playing time. I like Hundley (he can run and was great in college) but Tolzien probably has better upside as he’s more familiar with the pro offense.
In Pittsburgh Big Ben will also see an increase in reps. The Pitt offense can be explosive in chunks and will be playing at home. Gambling that Ben and Antonio Brown or Martavis Bryant get you a big play is an ok way to go on a short slate. The backup here is Landry Jones and he looked a little better in week 1 than he did in the HOF game. It looks like Bruce Gradkowski is healthy but might not be ready for this game. Jones could get a lot of playing time once again.
Le’Veon Bell could see a little more work than people realize given that he has a one game suspension to serve to start the season. After him and veteran DeAngelo Williams there isn’t a whole lot to get excited about. Josh Harris was the third stringer last year and so he could see an uptick in carries here. My play might be to gamble on Bell or avoid this backfield altogether.
The Packers Eddie Lacy and John Starks should get a few more reps in this one but I doubt either will play a ton. UDFA Alonzo Harris played well in week 1 and the team might give him the bulk of the work in this one to see if he can win the number three job. I really like him as a play this week and would also consider fellow UDFA John Crockett.
I might consider gambling on Davante Adams in this one. Adams got a lot of targets from Aaron Rodgers in his lone drive in the first week and might get a little extended playing time in this one given he’s the third WR and only a second year player. The other two WR’s to consider are Jeff Janis and Myles White, they are battling for the number 4 job. I like Janis’ upside better and he did catch a td in week 1.
The popular pick in Pittsburgh this week will be Martavis Bryant who caught another long td in week 1. It’s plausible he repeats the feat but the wide out I like targeting is rookie Sammy Coates. Coates is a burner who should see much more of the field. He’s looked pretty decent in the two games the Steelers have played thus far and had 5 catches in week 1.
For Pittsburgh, veteran Heath Miller has yet to catch a pass in preseason, and given his injury history and oldness might not play this week either. That leaves backup Matt Spaeth and rookie Jesse James. Of the two neither are great options but James has two catches in each of the first two games. The Steelers need him to develop in case of injury to Miller so he’s probably not a bad play.
In Green Bay Andrew Quarless and Richard Rogers are really the only two options worth considering. Green Bay doesn’t throw a ton of passes to the TE and so don’t expect much. Still, Rogers is the one who seems to be getting pushed by the coaching staff and so an uptick in targets might be seen for him in this game.
Dallas v SF
A lot of Cowboys will be out this game and even if Tony Romo plays the most he’ll play is two series. Brandon Weeden and Dustin Vaughan will get most if not all of the reps. Of the two I’d probably prefer Vaughan. He’ll see a lot of the third stringers and probably have the best chance for a big fantasy game.
In San Fran you’ll probably see a little more Colin Kaepernick but not enough to make him a fantasy play. I’d probably roll the dice here with Blaine Gabbert as he’s the clear backup and the one who’s likely to see the most playing time. Gabbert did well against the second string in week one and does have some “preseason” upside.
Former Rugby Player turned NFL player Jarryd Hayne took quite a few snaps in week 1 for SF and looked decent. Hayne will get work again against second and third stringers and with SF’s strong O-line he could reel off some big plays again, I like using him here. San Fran’s new coaches are being very careful with their starters and so going strictly with backups at RB is probably the best play.
In Dallas, all three of Darren McFadden, Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar are expected to play, but I doubt any of them will play much more than a few snaps. There’s not a whole lot to chase behind these three and I have no idea who is going to take snaps for Dallas at this position tomorrow. They just released Lache Seastrunk and the rest of the players on their roster at this position are all fullbacks. Avoiding is probably the best play.
Both Cole Beasley and Dez Bryant are out for the Boys and so there should be some opportunity for Devin Street to get some snaps. Street is currently sitting around number 4 on the depth chart and had a nice preseason opener. I think he makes a good bet to play almost the entire first half given the injury issues and is a player I’ll be targeting.
In San Fran you’ll probably only see a little bit of Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin. With Jerome Simpson suspended and Bruce Ellington out that leaves Quinton Patton as the lead for the number three position. Patton is a good player who hasn’t been given much of a chance in two years with SF. He should play lots in this one given the injuries/issues at WR. I like his chances for a decent fantasy night.
The Cowboys are very beat up at this position. Its doubtful Jason Witten plays more than a series or two and both backups (James Hannah and Gavin Escobar) are hurt. That leaves only rookie Geoff Swaim left. Swaim had a strong game in week 1 and looks like he’ll play most of this one. He’s definitely shaping up like a top play for today.
The 49ers traded Derrek Carrier meaning that Vance MacDonald is now the clear backup to Vernon Davis. I like his chances to get quite a bit of work in this one and probably rack up a couple of catches. Rookie and former college QB Blake Bell is another target and could work the entire second half against third stringers so he is in play as well. Bell is raw but has upside as a pass catcher.
St Louis v Tennessee
Marcus Mariota should get close to a half in this game. The Titans gave him a full quarter in week 1 and the rookie needs reps. I think he makes for a good play this week. However backup Zach Mettenberger should also get a lot of playing time and will probably see more second and third stringers on defense. It’s plausible he ends up being the better fantasy play simply due to a better matchup.
In St. Louis Nick Foles will probably play close to a quarter. However, rather than gamble on him producing in limited playing time I’d rather use one of the Rams backups. Currently, Case Keenum and Austin Davis are locked in a camp battle for the backup position. Both have their limitations but I think Keenum might have the upper hand right now and be more likely to have a big game against second stringers. Pairing him with a good down-the-field option like Chris Givens might not be a bad idea.
David Cobb is apparently going to get a longer look from the Titans in this game. I’m not a huge Cobb fan but if he’s getting more reps than he’s probably going to be a decent play. You could consider using Bishop Sankey, especially if he’s going up against second stringers. It’s hard to say how the carries will be divided but I’d anticipate these two both getting decent looks.
In St. Louis Todd Gurley remains out and it’s doubtful Tre Mason receives too much work before being pulled. I think using Isiah Pead or Benny Cunningham makes sense. Cunningham is the better back but Pead might see more work. I’d probably roll with Cunningham and hope he produces for you in the first half.
Chris Givens is battling for a spot in St. Louis and he had a nice game in week 1. He can be explosive and capable of a big play so I like him as a fantasy play here. I also like gambling with the idea that either Tavon Austin or Kenny Britt catches a td pass from Nick Foles. It’s very high risk since both will be limited in the amount they play but td’s are hard to come by in preseason so it might not be a bad strategy.
Dorial Green-Beckham, Tennessee’s monster rookie, looked ok in his first preseason game and should see more of the field in week 2. Green-Beckham had a big 32 yard, over the shoulder catch in week 1 and should see time with Mettenberger so another big play or two is possible. I also like using Harry Douglas in this game. The Titans are not super deep at WR and Douglas should get lots of work in with Mariota before he gets pulled. There’s upside in using those two in a stack together.
Lance Kendricks should see some work with Nick Foles in this game and also play deeper into the game than starter Jared Cook. Kendrick’s a great pass catcher and could easily score a td if Foles or one of the backups looks his way near the endzone.
Delanie Walker, the starter for the Titans, could return to action this week after being held out of week 1. Backup Anthony Fasano is an okay play as well and probably a better bet for playing time. If Walker doesn’t go than I would bet on Fasano playing more with the starters and getting a couple of targets thrown his way.