Buccaneer, Far, Wherever You Are

Mike Evans is unlikely to suit up against the Browns so DeSean Jackson will be given all the reps he can handle. Make sure to use him as he attempts to build chemistry with his new quarterback in tonight’s special $25,0000 Freeroll on FantasyDraft. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NFL Freeroll.

Jameis Winston, Buccaneers, $10,000 – Typically, young players are given extended looks in preseason whereas coaches will sit veterans who have proven their worth time and time again. Injury is a risk anytime a player steps on a football season so it makes sense that a team like the Patriots would only play Tom Brady for a short time. However, a team like the Buccaneers are hoping James Winston takes the next step in his development this season. Therefore, game situations are valuable to a young player like him, so he should be set to start at least a half. If rostering a quarterback (QB) in preseason, playing a half plus at least a series in the second half is a victory all to itself. In the third preseason game last year, Winston completed 16-25 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns (TDs). Of course, he was a rookie then, but he still needs seasoning. Coincidentally, the Buccaneers are once again squaring off against the Browns in the third preseason game and the Browns’ secondary still stinks (one player graded inside the top 50 at their respective position). The only downside here is Mike Evans will likely be inactive but rookie stud O.J. Howard will get some work and DeSean Jackson/Adam Humphries are still a fine receiving duo. All aboard the Winston bandwagon once again.

Derrick Henry, Titans, $10,000 – As noted in the Winston tidbit, veterans, especially those who are injury-prone, will not be rode into the ground in the preseason. Consequently, DeMarco Murray’s reps will likely be monitored closely and Derrick Henry almost assuredly will shoulder a heavier load. Henry proved last year that he would push RB1 status if Murray were ever to miss an extended period.  Thus far in preseason, Derrick Henry ranks 26th in rushing yards (65) although he has only averaged 2.7 yards per carry (YPC). In fact, only Elijhaa Penny, Rod Smith and Taquan Mizzell have racked up more carries than Henry’s 24 so far. Since the third game is used as a tune up, and Henry is going to act as the team’s change-of-pace back (at the very least), he should be expected to receive a heavy workload. Although the Bears have improved their defense a bit in the offseason, their major signings were in the secondary. Last year, the Bears allowed the sixth most rushing yards per game and then lost Cornelius Washington to the Lions in free agency. Essentially, Henry is a safe investment because he should see the necessary volume against a subpar defense.

DeSean Jackson, Buccaneers, $10,000 – With Evans destined to sit this one out, a lot more volume should be headed DeSean Jackson’s way. In a limited sample this preseason, Evans had already caught nine of 13 targets for 115 yards in two games. One of the most important connections that needs to be worked on is the one between Winston and the newly acquired Jackson. With that being the case, the team will look to get Jackson reps and try to find ways to get him the football. Jackson is significantly faster than any receiver that Winston is used to at the professional level so the chemistry needs to be worked on. Only one of the Browns’ corners graded inside the top 20 at the position (per Pro Football Focus) and Jamar Taylor normally guards players in the slot. The outside corners both graded outside the top 50 at the position and are incredibly beatable. Look for Jackson to catch a long one as the team works on Winston stretching the field in concurrence with his new toy.

Hunter Henry, Chargers, $10,000 – Technically, Hunter Henry is second on the depth chart at the tight end (TE) position and the starter Antonio Gates is about 1,000 years old. No, but seriously, there is virtually no chance the Chargers push Gates in the preseason so Henry should play a majority of the snaps by default. The preseason is more about opportunity than the matchup but it should be noted the Rams ranked 10th in defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) against opposing TEs last year (just 36.2 yards per game). Still, Henry lines up at both the TE spot and as a wide receiver (WR) plus defenses use sort of a vanilla playbook in preseason. Considering all the snaps Henry should inevitably be playing, there should be enough production to warrant rostering him, and he should be given a red zone look or two (due to his size).

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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