Preseason is one of the more frustrating aspects of NFL football
because although it is not the same quality of play that fans expect
in the regular season, football degenerates like me cannot get enough
action and count down the minutes to the next game.
We love to watch, while at the same time praying that players
from our real-life football team and members of our fantasy squad
do not get injured in a meaningless game. Owners are in a similar
boat, as they want to reap the rewards of four extra games to
help pad their profits while hoping that starting players with
hefty contracts do not come up lame.
For DFS players, preseason injuries can be a blessing (as terrible
as it sounds, it is the truth,) in that daily fantasy providers
like DraftKings and FanDuel must release Week 1 salary values
well before preseason games begin. Those values are based on anticipated
starters for the first week of action, making relatively cheap
bench players excellent targets when more expensive starters miss
time due to a preseason injury. It is also true for players who
are positively affected by trades, like the mega deals that sent
Sammy Watkins to the Rams and Jordan Mathews to the Bills.
Next man up is a long-standing mantra for NFL teams, with the
next man on the depth chart asked to assume a larger role in the
offense when a starter goes down or leaves via trade. More often
than not, that next man up in the first week is priced well below
other starters, giving DFS owners a viable play at a discounted
The following five players are bargain priced based on injuries
to the starting player at their respective position or a preseason
trade. Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola, and Kareem Hunt were left
off of the list due to the fact that the Thursday kickoff game
is not included in the weekly slates offered by DraftKings and
Rolling with Kevin White is risky, but
his price his nice in a game that should see plenty of passing.
A season-ending knee injury to presumed No.1 wide receiver Cameron
Meredith opened the door for former first round pick Kevin White
to top option for Mike Glennon and the Bears passing game. I mention
Glennon in jest, as it is only a matter of time before John Fox
and the Bears give up on the untalented QB and give the reigns
to Mitchell Trubisky, their second overall pick in the 2017 NFL
White has been nothing short of a bust in his injury-shortened
NFL career, and rumors of his receivers coach needing to motivate
him like a child with positive comments and smiley faces is not
exactly a ringing endorsement.
At just $4200 and a matchup against a potent offense like the
Falcons, the Bears will likely be behind early and will be forced
to pass the ball. Will White be able to get open and will Glennon
be effective at getting him the ball? I’m not so sure, but
his price tag makes him worth the risk, especially in GPP formats.
The NCAA record holder for career receptions (399) and catches
in a season (159), Zay Jones has been vaulted into the starting
lineup after the Bills traded Sammy Watkins to the Rams and Anquan
Boldin abruptly retired after 13 days with the team.
Although Jordan Matthews is technically the No.1 starting wide
receiver on the team’s depth chart, Matthews is dealing
with a cracked sternum and missing out on vital reps with quarterback
The Bills host the Jets Week 1, a team that is solid against
the run with a stout front-four but can be beaten in the air.
Assuming Taylor can return to action from his concussion suffered
Week 3 of the preseason, Jones could be one of the best bargain
wide receivers based on price, opportunity, and matchup.
A season-ending neck injury to Jets No.1 WR Quincy Enunwa vaulted
Anderson to the top of the New York depth chart. Although the
Jets are terrible and they have all but admitted via their front
office moves that they are trying to lose for the first overall
pick, a volume player like Anderson will have some DFS value,
especially in the first week of the season when his salary is
The trade of cornerback Ronald Darby to the Eagles as part of
the Jordan Matthews deal certainly made the Bills secondary weaker,
making Anderson an even more attractive play in Week 1.
The biggest beneficiary of the Jordan Matthews trade to Buffalo
is Nelson “brick hands” Agholor, a former first round
selection of the Eagles that has failed miserably to live up to
his draft pedigree.
With Matthews gone, Agholor will get more action in the slot,
attacking the middle of the field with tight end Zach Ertz as
Torrey Smith works the deep routes and Alshon Jeffery patrols
I am not a fan of Agholor, and I think he will continue to be
a bust, but if there is a week in the NFL regular season to start
him, it would be Week 1 against the Redskins. Josh Norman will
likely neutralize Jeffery, forcing Carson Wentz to rely more on
Agholor and Ertz to move the ball in what could be a high-scoring
It would not surprise me to see Clay lead the Bills in receptions
over the first quarter of the season as Tyrod
Taylor slowly gets acclimated to his new receiving corps.
Quarterbacks like to throw the ball to guys they trust, and Clay
is the last man standing in the circle of trust for Tyrod Taylor.
Add in the fact that he is relatively inexpensive at $3,200 and
the Jets allowed the 23rd most points to opposing TE’s last
season, and you have the recipe for a solid opening game for the
veteran tight end.