Thursday, September 3, 2015

NFL Preseason Week 4

The preseason comes to a close this evening and we are only 7 days away from the regular season opener. Tonight is the last opportunity to sharpen our skills for the enormous tournaments DraftKings has on tap for Week 1, including the $10M Millionaire Maker which pays out $2 MILLION DOLLARS to first place.

Of course, this particular skill-sharpening session comes with a huge caveat: Week 4 of the preseason can be full of landmines and is typically the realm of backups, players on the roster bubble and future members of the practice squad. For some perspective, Week 4 of the 2014 preseason treated us to the talents of fantasy legends such as Broncos RB Kapri Bibbs (32 yards and 2 TDs), 49ers QB Josh Johnson (135 passing yards with 3 TDs, another 34 yards on the ground) and Bengals WR Cobi Hamilton (3 receptions, 74 yards and 1 TD).

Needless to say, play well within your means and pick your spots wisely. The best chance for success on a night like tonight comes from recognizing the players who will have opportunities on the field while staying away from those who will see little if any time.

Each of the games has a player who is locked into either a position battle or jockeying for position to secure their roster spot. Players that you’ll want to keep in mind as you construct your rosters for tonight’s games.   

Tampa Bay @ Miami
The Bucs have several rookie receivers battling for roster spots. UDFA Adam Humphries has 5 receptions for 77 yards thus far this preseason and could see a few more targets this evening.   

Cincinnati @ Indianapolis
Colts RB Tyler Varga has only 9 carries for 32 yards and a TD this season, but he could be in line for some extra duty tonight. Starters are not expected to play and there is uncertainty over the status of RBs Josh Robinson and Vick Ballard for tonight's game.

Baltimore @ Atlanta
Ravens WRs Jeremy Butler and Darren Waller are among those jockeying for position on the depth chart. Through 3 preseason games, Butler has 7 receptions for 60 yards while Waller has 5 catches for 38 yards and 1 TD.  

New Orleans @ Green Bay
Veteran RB Tim Hightower appears to be on the roster bubble for the Saints. He should receive a decent amount of carries against the Packers as he looks to complete his comeback after 3 years out of the league.

Philadelphia @ New York Jets
One of the most scrutinized third quarterback battles in recent memory could be decided tonight. Matt Barkley and Tim Tebow will both receive time behind center and make for intriguing plays this evening.  

Jacksonville @ Washington
Jaguars WE Bryan Walters has 10 catches for 102 yards through 3 preseason games, another strong performance could lock up a roster spot.

Carolina @ Pittsburgh
Michael Vick is expected to receive plenty of snaps for the Steelers tonight. The recently-signed Vick could use all the time and reps he can get to cement his backup role over Landry Jones.  

Buffalo @ Detroit
Rex Ryan favorite Matt Simms could see some extra time at quarterback against the Lions. Simms is a long-shot for the 53-man roster with three quarterbacks ahead of him, but still has some practice squad eligibility.

New York Giants @ New England
Patriots WR Aaron Dobson could very well be playing for his job against the Giants. He struggled in his last outing and the Pats responded by bringing in DaVaris Daniels and Jalen Saunders. Dobson is expected to play a good amount tonight, albeit with the services of Ryan Lindley behind center.  

Cleveland @ Chicago
Once thought to be the starting TE for the Browns, Rob Housler has fallen down the depth chart. He appears to be battling for his spot on the 53-man and may even need a strong performance tonight just to be in consideration.  

Houston @ Dallas
Cowboys QB Dustin Vaughan should see the majority of time tonight. He has struggled through camp and the preseason. The Cowboys carried him on the roster last year, he may need a strong showing tonight to get the same treatment this year.

Minnesota @ Tennessee
Vikings rookie QB Taylor Heinicke was an impressive 11 of 11 for 83 yards in last week’s preseason game against the Cowboys. Heinicke set several school records at ODU and is not shy about throwing the ball.  

Kansas City @ St. Louis
Chiefs QB Chase Daniel is expected to play the first half against the Rams. Daniel has played exceptionally well this preseason, throwing for 289 yards and 4 TDs.

Arizona @ Denver
Montee Ball has stumbled down the RB depth chart for the Broncos. He is on the bubble for a spot and expected to receive a bunch of carries tonight.

San Diego @ San Francisco
Jarryd Hayne leads the 49ers with 117 yards and 7.3 yards per carry. Hayne is a former rugby player and San Francisco should look to get him as many live game reps as possible. He’ll face a Chargers defense that finished near the bottom of the NFL (25th overall) against the run last season.

Oakland @ Seattle
Michael Dyer should get a heavy workload for the Raiders. Dyer is the favorite for the #3 RB job after Oakland parted ways with disappointing veteran Trent Richardson. Veterans Latavius Murray and Roy Helu, Jr. are established in their roles atop of the depth chart and don’t need the wear and tear of live action as the season approaches.

Thanks to Dan Hindery for helping to get the info together for tonight’s games. Speaking of Dan, he has an awesome article posted for Week 1 of the college football season here. Footballguys is going all in on coverage for CFB DFS this year. You can find everything you need to know here. 

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