Opportunity Awaits: NFL Preseason Week 2 Targets

FantasyDraft has given us another juicy preseason slate, this one a three-game, Thursday-only slate. I will look at the top options in three categories – Lock and Load (players you can set in your lineup with no hesitation), Fire if Ready (players with a question mark or two, but lots of potential), and Do Not Let Them Out of Your Sight (players we need to pay close attention to approaching lock; if things fall right they will be great, underowned plays). With all of that out of the way, let’s get to the first tier of players!



Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay

Coach Dirk Koetter has said that he expects the starters to play close to a half in this one. While this is not usually the case in the second week of preseason, we need to really think about this opportunity here. If Koetter is serious about getting his starters fully ready (it appears as though he is, Tampa starters played more snaps than almost any other team in Week 1), then Winston will be the most talented QB option without question.

Corey Grant, RB, Jacksonville

Leonard Fournette will miss this game with a foot injury and veteran back Chris Ivory will also sit out with an ailment. He had a huge game last week with 120 yards and a touchdown, which translates to must-have fantasy points on FantasyDraft. Do not expect that much yardage again as a lot of it came on one big play, but the one thing we want in preseason DFS is opportunity and Grant will have as much as any other back on the slate.

Trey Burton, TE, Philadelphia & Cameron Brate, TE, Tampa Bay

Here we are. Tight End, the barren wasteland of preseason fantasy football. Luckily we have two good options on this small slate in Trey Burton and Cameron Brate. The trade of Jordan Matthews opens up some opportunities in the slot for the Eagles offense (no, I do not think Nelson Agholor can handle it all) and that will mean Zach Ertz in the regular season, but it means more Trey Burton in the preseason. Burton has pass-catching upside and will play a significant amount of snaps, which is all we can ask for this time of year. Brate is also expected to play close to a full half with the rest of the Tampa Bay starters.

Zay Jones, WR, Buffalo

Jones was looking to be a preseason stud before the Sammy Watkins trade shook up the wide receivers room in Buffalo and he has a clearer path to success here now. With newcomer Jordan Matthews not ready to go, Jones is the clear top option here and the rookie will see more snaps than a typical starter as he acclimatizes himself to the NFL game. Look for his snaps, targets and catch totals to all rise from last week as he establishes himself as a bona fide NFL talent.



Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay

I know, I know, another starter. I have been telling anyone who will listen that starters are not an option until the third week of the preseason! But as we discussed with Winston, the opportunity for Evans is much greater than a typical starter at this point in the preseason. Evans had four receptions for 58 yards last week and dropped a touchdown as well! By all accounts, Winston and Evans are looking to get back in their groove early this year, so we might as well take advantage!

Mack Hollins, WR Philadelphia

Hollins is playing all over the field in camp, backing up Nelson Agholor in the slot, in addition to his primary role as Torrey Smith’s backup on the outside. Backups are the players we need to target here and not many have the safe workload that Hollins does. It would be nice if he was getting some looks from Wentz, but as long as Matt McGloin is willing to look his way he should be a top play on the slate.

Nathan Peterman, QB, Buffalo

This is your pivot off chalky Jameis Winston. Peterman has worked with the second team all week long, relegating TJ Yates to third-string duty. He has looked sharp in camp and will see the most snaps of any Bills QB in this game and will be in the mix for most snaps among any QB overall. This is his chance to really grab a hold on the backup job and the meshing of opportunity and motivation is very appealing from a fantasy standpoint.

Javorious (Buck) Allen, RB, Baltimore

There is a pretty clear contrast in Baltimore with their running backs. Terrance West is the first and second down guy, and Danny Woodhead will be the go-to option in passing situations. Both of them will play some in this game, but will give way to the backups shortly after. Javorious Allen will come in behind West and should have no issue running against second-string defenses. He should see as many carries as you can expect out of a back in the preseason and the only knock against him is that like West, he will also likely come out of the game in passing situations with Taquan Mizzell coming in there. Mizzell is another option on this slate but does not have the same safety as Allen.



Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay

Godwin burned a lot of players last week, though it was through no fault of his own. He caught his only target for 12 yards, but was silent otherwise. Despite the single target, he was out on the field for 25 snaps and that number should grow this week. For most of practice, he has been rotating with Evans and Desean Jackson as the starting outside WR, but with Jackson likely to miss this game (monitor the situation until game-time), Godwin will handle all of the starters reps, as well as some with the second string players.

Keelan Cole, WR, Jacksonville

Recency bias is a real thing and it will definitely be there with Cole this week after he was on the receiving end of a 97-yard touchdown last week. But if you look at the process, he led all Jacksonville WRs in snaps and targets last week (albeit not by much). Keep tabs on this situation as Cole will likely carry the highest ownership on the team at WR as well. Arrelious Benn could be a nice pivot play off of Cole here.

Malcolm Lewis, Drew Morgan & Damore’ea Stringfellow, WRs, Miami

These three young receivers are all on the roster bubble fighting for the WR6 spot, and with Leonte Carroo nursing a hamstring injury, this is the best chance they will get. There are no guarantees Miami even carries a sixth receiver, so at least one needs to make as splash. If I had to choose, I would lean towards Morgan, but in the preseason you might as well pick names out of a hat once you get into situations such as these.

Ryan Mallett, QB, Baltimore

Not this song and dance again. Yes, Joe Flacco is still out. Yes, Ryan Mallett will again see the majority of the reps in this game. But the question is if he is good enough to have a chance to outperform a Jameis Winston or a Nathan Peterman and help us win a GPP, and I am not sold on the answer yet. I will preach opportunity relentlessly in the preseason, but in this case you really have to hope he has improved as he was terrible last week. Keep this in mind when rostering any Ravens receivers as well, as they all get a downtick with him under center.


That will do it for this slate, be sure to keep tabs on all the action in the FantasyDegens Slack Chat so that you can be sure you have the most up-to-date news and instant analysis on a slate that will be shaken up with any late-breaking info. Also, if you have yet to play on FantasyDraft, sign up through the FantasyDegens link so you can be eligible to participate in our exclusive Week 1 NFL contest, with an incredible VIP trip to Charlotte in October to take in a NASCAR race from a luxury suite! Follow the link here to join and you will also receive a free month of access to FantasyDegens.com: https://page.fantasydraft.com/landing/fantasydegens/

Cecil Peters

Cecil Peters

You can catch Cecil Peters at FantasyDegens.com where we love to chat all things sports and have great tools available to help you evolve your DFS game or on Twitter @cecpetes.

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