Quarterback

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Ryan Nassib

I really like the talent you get with Nassib.  After being rumoured as a potential first rounder in his draft year Nassib fell to the Giants in the later rounds.  Nassib looked great last preseason.  He led some clutch last minute drives and developed chemistry with another second teamer Corey Washington (see below).  Nassib has a big arm and is a real talent with the potential to start in the NFL one day if he gets his chance.  He might not start or play the whole game but I think you’ll see a very productive performance from him in the now fast-paced Giant offense.

Brock Oswieler  

Peyton Manning is not playing Friday and so that means it’s time for Brock Oswieler to prove he’s still worth keeping around.  Oswieler predictably has not seen more than a few garbage time snaps in his career thus far.  However its likely that the Broncos are going to give him a long leash in this game and possibly even let him go Landry Fields and have him play the whole game.  Oswiler is big and actually fairly athletic for his size.  If he does play deep into the game he has the ability to burn the second and third units.  A must play based on the fact he’ll be starting, has good weapons, and is almost guaranteed a full half of play.

Zach Mettenberger

Even though all eyes will be on Marcus Mariota Friday, the bulk of the playing time will likely fall to Mettenberger who should be eager to put his talents on display for possible future suitors.  Mettenberger is experienced and will get a lot of second and third team defenses to play against.  The Titans also might also use preseason to try and get his trade value up so it’s not inconceivable he plays well into the game.  If there was a lower owned QB I’d be willing to gamble on over the first two it would probably be Mettenberger.

 

Running Back

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Antone Smith

Well what do we have here.  Opportunity and talent? With both Devante Freeman and Tevin Coleman out this means that not only will Antone Smith get first crack at carries in this game but he might potentially play at least half a game.  Last season Smith made himself known to the general public with an electrifying streak of long td’s:

Week 1: 54-yard touchdown reception (3 total touches)
Week 3: 38-yard touchdown run (4 total touches)
Week 4: 48-yard touchdown run (4 total touches)
Week 5: 74-yard touchdown reception (4 total touches)

Smith is a metrics freak (4.33 pro-day, 31 Bench Press Reps) and why he has never caught on as a feature back somewhere is probably more about NFL politics than talent.  It’s possible Smith gets 10 or so carries and 3+ targets.  Given what he did last year against real NFL players it’s very likely he lights up Tennessee for a big game.

Karlos Williams and Bryce Brown

Fred Jackson is old, Lesean McCoy is a workhorse and Boobie Dixon is hurt.  You may not see any of those three Friday and that leaves two players left to eat up the rest of the carries.  Constant Enigma and ultra-talent Bryce Brown is still lingering around Buffalo and is someone who could easily bust off a huge run or two.  If you want a homerun play than Brown is undoubtedly your man.  I still remember the huge games he put up at the end of 2012 that made several fantasy owners very happy.  He’s not exactly been impressing Rex Ryan thus far however and so the safer bet is likely Karlos Williams.  I’m not personally super high on Williams as he had his own off-field problems while at Florida State.  However he’s also a rookie and teams hate wasting draft picks so I think it’s likely Williams will see the majority of the playing time Friday.  You can read my Draft Breakdown on Karlos Williams here: http://playbook.draftkings.com/nfl/draftkings-nfl-draft-breakdown-afc-east/

Storm Johnson

The Jags picked TJ Yeldon fairly early in this year’s draft, however he’s nursing an injury and so that means there’s a little more playing time to go around.  Denard Robinson will get first crack most likely but the majority of the playing time should go to backups Johnson and Bernard Pierce.  Storm was actually drafted by the Jags and so he should get a longer look and possibly even some goal-line carries.  I’m not a huge fan of his but you have to like the opportunity he has here with Yeldon out.  Given the way he’s moving down the depth chart Johnson needs a good preseason to stay relevant.

Rex Burkhead

Burkhead is a versatile RB on the Bengals who has actually been seeing some time at WR in training camp.  He showed off his good receiving skills last season when Gio Bernard went down and looked very comfortable in the role.  Burkhead should get a look at both positions Friday and I love the fact he will be getting carries and pass targets (most likely).  With the injury history of Gio Bernard I can’t see him playing more than a series and so look for Burkhead to get lots of volume in this game.

 

Wide Receiver

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Cody Latimer 

It looks like both of the Bronco’s starting WR’s and even their TE will be sitting out this week.  That means we will once again be treated to a nice preseason showcase of Cody Latimer.  Latimer is a really nice combination of speed and size.  He came in hot last preseason and looked great but ultimately fell victim to the depth chart and a curmudgeonly old coach.  I would anticipate Latimer getting a ton of reps this preseason as he now sits as the number 3 WR and lacks experience (thanks John Fox!).  Expect the Bronco’s to look his way once they hit the red zone Friday.

Corey Washington

Washington was Mr. Preseason last year.  He ended up with 4 tds and had some electrifying catches.  Washington is tall and has a distinct size advantage over most corners.  Last year, as an undrafted free agent he was able to use the preseason to make the team.  This year reports are he’s once again impressing and will want another strong showing so he can get a shot at some regular season action.  I expect after Beckham and Randle leave he will take over once again as the 1WR for the Giants.  I don’t think he’s someone I’d want to leave off my preseason roster tomorrow.

Justin Hardy

Hardy is very nice possession receiver who enjoyed a very very productive career in college.  I doubt you’ll see very much of Roddy or Julio in this game and that should really open things up for Hardy.  Hardy ultimately looks like the replacement for Harry Douglas (who moved on to Tennessee) and so the Falcons will likely give him at least half a game, if not more, to let him get acclimatized to the NFL. You can read my Draft Breakdown on Hardy here http://playbook.draftkings.com/nfl/nfl-draft-breakdown-nfc-south/.

Tyler Lockett

Lockett is one of my favourite prospects from this year’s draft and someone I think could eventually have a big impact this year.  Lockett is a speedster with great agility who should fill into the slot role very nicely, a possible Golden Tate replacement.  I expect he’ll get a long look Friday and is the type of player who could break a bubble screen for a big play and big fantasy payday.  I also really like the fact he’ll be used on special teams as you can pair him with the Seattle defense and potentially get double points if he were to return a kick for a TD.  You can read my Draft Breakdown on Lockett here http://playbook.draftkings.com/nfl/nfl-draft-breakdown-nfc-west/.

 

Tight End

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Tyler Eifert

It’s risky to use starters in a preseason game but given Eifert missed all of last season with a dislocated elbow I think you might see the Bengals go to him early and often to him in this game.  Eifert is an extremely talented pass catching TE who is the de facto number one TE in Cincy (now that Jermaine Gresham, constant fantasy enigma, is gone).  If you use Eifert don’t expect to see him for more than a quarter, or possibly even only a series or two.  This play is based solely on the fact I think the Bengals will try to find him in the end zone (if they get close) and make sure he’s ready for the regular season.

Virgil Green

A you can see, I’m really advocating you take advantage of the fact the Bronco’s are essentially giving their veterans the day off.  Green is going to start at TE and might even push Owen Daniels for playing time eventually when the season starts.  Everyone knows now how good an athlete Julius Thomas is, but remember he was once just another face in preseason no one knew.  Well Virgil Green isn’t too shabby an athlete either (4.6 40m, 42.5m vertical) and as an indicator he might be ticketed for more than just blocking this year, he was an attendee at Peyton Manning’s off-season camp this year.  I love Green in this spot and just hope there’s enough targets to feed all these hungry Broncos.

Clay Harbor

Harbor’s actually a pretty talented pass catcher who’s spent most of his career bouncing around without ever filling a true starter’s role.  With the addition of Julius Thomas and the presence of Marcedes Lewis, Harbour will once again be on the outside looking in.  However he is familiar with this offense and will be a likely security blanket of sorts for backup Chad Henne and whoever else the Jags throw out there after him.  You might see a decent ppr game for Harbor develop and possible a red zone look or two.