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NFL DFS Picks: Preseason Week 3, Friday, August 23rd for DraftKings, FanDuel (FREE)

Eric MacPherson



NFL DFS Matchups column: Colts at Buccaneers, looks at Bo Scarbrough and Kirk Cousins for Week 13 fantasy football, DraftKings, FanDuel

We will be breaking down every NFL DFS slate for the preseason this year. Our *FREE* NFL DFS Picks for Week 3 of the NFL preseason. Game Breakdowns for DraftKings, FantasyDraft & FanDuel, on Friday, Aug 23rd. Baker Mayfield, Chris Godwin + more.

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NFL DFS: Preseason Week Three

Finally, Week 3 of the preseason and potentially a little bit of certainty. The starters are going to get the bulk of the work for at least SOME of these teams tonight, so you don’t have to overthink things too much.

Of course, not every team plays its starters, so you’re going to want to double check inactives before lineup lock. The Washington Redskins, for example, didn’t start Alex Smith last year, because, it’s likely they deemed he didn’t need the practice reps. Same went for Aaron Rodgers and Jared Goff.

Looking back at last year, a general rule of thumb is that if a first string quarterback is active, he’s going to get around two quarters of action. If the first-stringer quarterback is inactive, the backup will get a half of work, likely with some starters.

With so many options on the slate, you might want to consider fading whomever is getting the most buzz in tout circles tonight – in preseason, tout recommendations carry more weight and lead to increased ownership. Another option: Consider a chalk lineup, mixing in some sure to be low-owned fliers for tournaments (See: Javon Wims, below).

Finally, we might get news that a first string QB is playing, but some of his top weapons aren’t. If that’s the case, fire up whichever backups are running with the first team. You’ll likely get some unique, low-owned stack combinations.

If you’re playing tonight, it’s crucial to be around your lineups in the hour before lock to adjust to these inactives.

Scroll down to the bottom to find notes on tonight’s action.

2018 Week Three NFL Preseason Leaders


Blake Bortles: 204-0

Nathan Peterman: 200-1

Chase Daniel: 198-2 (started, no Trubisky)

Patrick Mahomes: 196-1

Eli Manning: 188-0

Kirk Cousins: 182-0

Andy Dalton: 180-2

Running Backs

Alfred Morris: 17-84

TJ Logan: 6-86-1

De’Lance Turner (Baltimore) 5-75-1

Leonard Fournette: 10-57-1

Adrian Peterson: 7-56

Chris Warren III (Raiders): 15-54-1

Christian McCaffrey: 12-48

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Javon Wims: 4-114-1

Tyreek Hill: 8-88

Sterling Shepard: 7-78-0

Tim White (Baltimore) 3-70

Anthony Firkser: 5-68-1

John Ross: 2-66-1

Emmanuel Sanders: 4-61

Chad Beebe: 5-59-1

Eric Ebron: 5-54-1

Observations from 2018 Week Three

  • Starting RBs don’t get as much run as other skill positions
  • There are enough first string QBs getting two quarters, that you don’t have to reach on any scrubs.

NFL DFS Week Three Preseason Game lines and News

As we saw on Thursday night, anything can still happen in preseason, even when the coaching staffs allude to certain players getting specific time and or roles.  Keep an eye on the inactives list as that could help tip the scales for some of our selections.

Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3.0 (40.5)

Cleveland Browns

  • Baker Mayfield will play somewhere between a quarter and a full half – gee thanks Coach Kitchens.  If it is only a quarter then Garrett Gilbert would likely be the one to get the 2nd/3rd quarter and then probably a quarter for David Blough.  It is also unlikely skill position starters play in next week’s preseason finale.
  • Nick Chubb has one carry so far in the preseason, though I would suspect he plays most of the time that Mayfield is under center. Dontrell Hillard will likely be in line for two quarters of action as he gets more seasoning as the second option behind Chubb. D’Ernest Johnson will likely get the fourth quarter action and be a stalwart next week.
  • It is unlikely that Odell Beckham Jr and David Njoku play in this one, but Rashard Higgins should see a lot of time along with Jaelan Strong (who is on the roster bubble) appear to be in line for action as well.  This trio is definitely on the short list.  Antonio Callaway is the wildcard, he will be suspended for the first four games, but should see a fair amount of time this week or next.  Saving the best for last, Jarvis Landry should be on the field in lock step with Baker Mayfield.
  • David Njoku should also get some time with the ones, however, I do not believe it will be much.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Jameis Winston has not seen much action in exhibition games as he is the clear cut starter.  He has had a rough week of practice with regards to his accuracy (including scrimmages against the Miami Dolphins in joint practice sessions), so we could see him get pulled early either because he nails everything or because things go so sideways Coach Bruce Arianskeeps him from digging a deeper hole.  Ryan Griffin would be my preference as he should get two quarters and change (531 passing yards in the first two tilts).
  • Ronald Jones has fallen behind Peyton Barber and he also is dealing with a knee sprain, keep an eye on his status.  Dare Ogunbowale looks to be in line for the bulk of the opportunities on Friday with veteran Andre Ellington trying to hand on to a roster slot as well.
  • Chris Godwin and if active Mike Evans should be on the field as long as Jameis Winston is out there.  Spencer Schnell and Bobo Wilson will still see a fair amount of work and file away Emmanuel Hall who was claimed after being dropped by Chicago.  He could see some serious time next week and is a speed demon.
  • Tanner Hudson has two touchdowns and 13 receptions for 197 yards in the first two games… he is the tight end du’jour.

Buffalo Bills at Detroit Lions +1.0 (41.5)

Buffalo Bills

  • Josh Allen is entrenched as the future of the franchise and it is hard to envision him playing much beyond the first quarter.  This will be particularly true if the surprisingly solid Buffalo D/ST can keep the Lions off the field and get their own quarterback a handful of first quarter drives.  Matt Barkley would seem to be the better play as two periods is a reasonable outcome for his playing time.
  • LeSean McCoy seems like a decent bet for a touchdown if the opportunity appears as a potential showcase for a trade to a team in need of a veteran running back.  Veteran Frank Gore does not need many reps if he even is active. Rookie Devin Singletary would be my favorite option among the Buffalo skill position players.  Then we have a bunch of players who will be scrambling this week and next to make the team in T.J. Yeldon, Senorise Perry and Christian Wade.
  • It sounds like the oft-injured John Brown is the WR1 but he is unlikely to see much action tonight.  Cole Beasley is intriguing and also worth a selection in the final two rounds of 12 team Best Ball drafts.  After him it is potentially Zay Jones or Isaiah McKenzie as a fair number of passes have been going to the running backs making things difficult to decipher.
  • With Charles Clay released in the off season and Tyler Kroft injured it is dart throw time.  Best guess is that Dawson Knox sees about two quarters of action  and he may even end up as the Week 1 starter.  Keep in mind he has had a sore hamstring in camp, so he may be in for only a cameo.  Isn’t preseason fun?!

Detroit Lions

  • Matt Stafford has not played in the preseason yet, but heading into his eleventh season that is not a surprise.  The worry though is coming from training camp whispers that he is not 100% which should put David Fales (288/1/1 in the first two games) in line for a lot of time under center.  Josh Johnson is the other option as Tom Savage (concussion) is not likely to play.
  • There is no reason to place Kerryon Johnson in harm’s way for long if at all tonight.  That leaves Ty Johnson, Mark Thompson and Zach Zenner likely to split the work.
  • Good luck reading the tea leaves here.  Of the 28 completions in the preseason, Brandon Powell 5, Tom Kennedy 3 and Travis Fulgham 3 are the only players with more than two.  This unheralded trio consists of two undrafted free agents and a sixth round pick with a combined one season of NFL experience under their belt.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing

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