By the time you read this, the regular season will be a week away, but before we get there, we have a massive 16-game preseason slate to work with. Surprisingly, Week 4 may be the easiest week in terms of knowing who is going to play. Coaches seem a little less “tight-lipped” about who will see time, some even going as far as to say, “Player A will play a lot.”
Unfortunately, that also means there is a lot of information out there, and ownership will go up on those players. I tried to dig a little deeper to find some guys that the “masses” may have missed, and there may be some guys I miss as well. It’s a difficult task looking at 32 teams trying to figure out who is getting the playing time. With that, let’s get to my picks…
Lock is at 7 pm today, I will try to be on Twitter at 6:30 to retweet any relevant news from the beat reporters. Be sure to follow me @GeoffLambert77
The DailyFantasyNerd FanDuel/DraftKings Picks | Preseason Week 4
Robert Griffin III (BAL) vs WAS
Griffin will be auditioning for other teams in this game and there is an element of revenge as he is playing his former team. His running ability gives him a nice floor and knowing that he is playing for his career, he won’t be afraid to tuck and run, in fact, he may run more often in an attempt to show other teams he still has it.
Chad Kelly (DEN) @ ARI
The Broncos have already announced that Kelly will get the start in Arizona, how long he will play remains to be seen. Kelly has already passed Paxton Lynch on the depth chart and Lynch may end up being cut. If the Broncos are worried about Kelly getting hurt, they may pull him early, but they also might want to get him some extra reps before Week 1, in case they need him at some point.
Baker Mayfield (CLE) @ DET
The Browns have already said that Mayfield will start and head coach Hugh Jackson said he could play, “quite a bit.” The upside is there, however, with him playing behind a second-string line, if he takes too many big hits, they may pull him early, so buyer beware.
Tyler Bray (CHI) vs BUF
The Bears have already said that Bray would, “play every single snap” in the fourth preseason game. He is a pretty safe bet for your cash game QB, but lacks enough upside for a GPP. He is 40-for-65 passing for 464 yards, five TDs, and two picks so far this preseason.
Jacoby Brissett (IND) @ CIN
Brissett will start and likely play the majority, in not all, of this game. The downside to him is the colts starting receivers are quite terrible outside of T.Y. Hilton, meaning the second and third stringers are extra terrible. He does have some rushing ability, in fact, he had four rushing TDs as the starting QB last season.
Joshua Dobbs (PIT) vs CAR
I have a soft spot for Dobbs as he was my QB in Week 2 in which I won $1,400. He was .9% owned and everything he did in that game had my lineup jumping 100-plus spots each time. He is playing for the right to back up Ben Roethlisberger, which has been a spot to get playing time over the last few years. So far, he has outplayed the rookie Mason Rudolph and if he shows well in this game, could secure the No. 2 spot.
Update: C.J. Bethard (SF)
Expected to play the entire game, or very close to it.
Kapri Bibbs (WAS) @ BAL
Bibbs is the “Chris Thompson” insurance policy, but with the signing of Adrian Peterson, his roster spot is in jeopardy. Living in the D.C. area as I do, I’ve heard Bibbs a few times on the radio talking about how he doesn’t feel any pressure, he has been doing this his entire life and if he goes out and does what he knows he can do, things will take care of themselves. I don’t know if that translates to a good game on Thursday, but it sounds like he wants to go out and show that he belongs — even if it ends up being for another team.
Ameer Abdullah (DET) vs CLE
Abdullah is expected to see “significant time” in Week 4, and he is playing for his job. I always like guys with their back up against a wall knowing this could be it for their careers. Abdullah has shown flashes over his four-year career but has not been consistent nor healthy enough to be the lead back. He is now playing for the No. 4 RB behind rookie Kerryon Johnson, LeGarrette Blount and Theo Riddick. Being that he is going up against the backups in Cleveland, I like him to have a good game here.
Justin Jackson (LAC) @ SF
Jackson was expected to claim the No. 2 spot behind Melvin Gordon, but injuries and the play of Austin Ekeler have left him vying for the No. 3 RB. Having just recovered from a hamstring injury, he is a risky play, but he has upside as the 49ers backups haven’t been able to stop the run this preseason.
Ralph Webb (NE) @ NYG
The stable of Patriots RBs have seen their fair share of injuries in this preseason, and I wouldn’t expect any of the “usual suspects” to get any work in this game. Webb has played well in limited time and I’d expect him to get the bulk of the carries in this one.
Jaylen Samuels (PIT) vs CAR
James Connor is locked in as the No. 2 RB behind Le’Veon Bell, but Samuels has played pretty well in his own right. He had 77 total yards in Week 3’s “warm-up” on 15 total touches. I don’t have any info on him as far as him even playing in this game, but if he plays, he immediately becomes one of my favorite RBs on the slate.
Bo Scarbrough (DAL) @ HOU
Largely expected to claim the No. 2 spot behind Ezekiel Elliott, he may now be playing for a job at all. The rookie has failed to impress in this offseason and could end up on someone’s practice squad unless he can show something in this game. Elliot and Rod Smith are not expected to play, and there isn’t a ton of RBs on the roster, leaving Scarbrough the favorite to get the most snaps.
Update: Ryan Nall (CHI)
Competing for a roster spot with Taquan Mizzell. Both RBs are playable but I like Nall more.
Cameron Meredith (NO) vs LAR
One of the few “expected starters” to play in this Week 4 shit show, Meredith really needs to play well to justify his signing this offseason. To this point, he has been outplayed by the rookie Tre’Quan Smith, and while I don’t think he will get cut, he may end up losing the starting role if he can’t show the coaches that he is fully recovered from his injury.
Brian Quick (WAS)
Quick and Sims are essentially vying for the same position on the 53-man roster and both will see extended time in this game. Whichever one plays the best wins a spot on the 53, the other will be sent packing, making both a good play.
Cam Sims (WAS) @ BAL
See Brian Quick
Demarcus Ayers (CHI) vs BUF
Both Ayers and Gentry should see some significant time as both try to make this team. One of them would make a good stack if you decide to use Bray as your QB.
Tanner Gentry (CHI) vs BUF
See Demarcus Ayers
Keke Coutee (TEX) vs DAL
If healthy, Coutee will need as many reps as he can get as he has fallen behind on the depth chart this offseason. I’ll be monitor Twitter for news on him and if I get anything solidifying his role tonight, I’ll have him in some of my lineups.
Auden Tate (CIN) vs IND
Tate is always a threat to score. The biggest knock on him is his lack of speed, but you don’t need speed to be a red zone threat, which he most definitely is. If you’re rostering him, you are hoping he scores, otherwise, he may not get you a single point.
Daniel Brown (CHI) vs BUF
It was extremely hard trying to find any info on TEs for this slate. Brown was the only TE I found anything saying he was “expected to play a ton”. The injuries to the Bears TEs have left them depleted and will be forced to play Brown the majority of the game.
Ian Thomas (CAR) @ PIT
I have no info on him one way or the other, I’m only putting him here because I think he offers some great upside if he plays. I’ll be monitoring Twitter listening for anything on him.
Update: Will Tye (NE)
Most of the Patriots tight end are expected to sit, Will Tye will play a lot by default.
Cardinals DEF vs DEN
Rams DEF @ NO
Ravens DEF vs WASDownload the Free GoingFor2 App by Clicking Here...