For Sean Koerner’s complete DFS projections for Week 3 of the preseason, check out our NFL Models.

Week 3 of the preseason is the closest thing we’ll get to real NFL action before the regular season kicks offs. Expect to see plenty of starters play for at least a half, and some teams might even be feeling themselves enough to play their studs for up to three quarters.

What follows is an analysis on the optimal daily fantasy strategy and picks for Friday’s Preseason Week 3 DraftKings slate.

General Preseason DFS Strategy

Action Network NFL expert Chris Raybon wrote an incredibly helpful and actionable piece titled The Definitive Guide to Crushing Preseason DFS that tackles some of the unique nuances of preseason daily fantasy football.

Some of Raybon’s key takeaways were:

  • Fade starters/weekly regulars outside of Week 3.
  • Target players who are considered in the running for a spot on the 53, but without much prior tape of live NFL game action.
  • Feel free to target undrafted players at running back, wide receiver and/or tight end, but quarterbacks who post top-10 preseason results tend to be drafted more often than not.
  • Experience is not a big factor at quarterback. Less experience has also been better at running back and wide receiver. Experience has historically meant the most at tight end.
  • Running backs have had a slight edge as flex options, but wide receivers have been similarly productive. The tight end position should generally be avoided in the FLEX and faded completely in one-game contests.
  • Target teams with only one kicker on the roster and don’t hesitate to use a kicker or D/ST in the 1.5x spot in one-game contests.
  • Limit quarterback stacks to one pass catcher on large slates.
  • Stack DSTs with running backs or wide receivers vying for return jobs.
  • Don’t overrate Vegas odds.
  • Be aware of preseason coaching tendencies.
  • Local team beat reports are key.
  • Preseason lends itself to tournaments.

As you’ve probably realized by now: Evaluating opportunity is more important than ever compared to discerning talent gaps when it comes to preseason DFS.

Friday’s NFL DFS Slate Breakdown

Everyone costs $5,500 on DraftKings this week, so there’s no need to concern ourselves with any pricing discrepancies. Now let’s dig into my favorite plays on the board for Friday.


Baker Mayfield, Browns: Mayfield took the Browns straight down the field for a touchdown during his only drive of the preseason. He might not need more than a few more drives to emerge as Friday’s QB1 against the Buccaneers’ porous defense, regardless of whether OBJ and/or Jarvis Landry wind up suiting up.

Running Backs

Nick Chubb, Browns: Chubb figures to be on the field for a majority of Mayfield’s snaps on Friday night. He’s an underrated receiver and one of the most difficult backs to get to the ground in the entire league. His average of 4.47 yards after contact per touch was the highest mark recorded by Pro Football Focus since 2010 (minimum 100 carries).

Devin Singletary, Bills: LeSean McCoy looks like the clear-cut starter in Buffalo, but don’t be surprised if Singletary gets some snaps alongside Josh Allen in addition to a more featured role with the backups. Singletary has caught three passes in each of the Bills’ preseason games.

Wide Receivers

Chris Godwin, Buccaneers: Godwin is getting the same looks that Bruce Arians fed to Larry Fitzgerald in the slot during his time with the Cardinals. He posted 3-98-0, 7-111-1, 5-101-1, 1-13-0, 0-0-0 and 6-114-2 receiving lines in six career games with DeSean Jackson sidelined.

John Brown, Bills: Smokey is the Bills’ upgraded version of Robert Foster, who worked as the overall PPR WR26 from Weeks 10 to 17. Josh Allen has displayed both better accuracy as well as an enhanced idea of when to check the ball down during the preseason, but he’s still a gunslinger at heart — and Brown is his unquestioned No. 1 deep threat.

Tight End

Tanner Hudson, Buccaneers: Hudson inexplicably leads the entire league in preseason targets (15), receptions (13) and yards (177) after two weeks of action. He’s earned the right for some snaps with the starters and figures to continue to shine with the reserves against a Browns defense that has historically struggled with tight ends.


  • Bills at Lions (42)