On-Air Now
On-Air Now
Listen Live

DFS Picks For NFL Preseason Week 1

Week 1 NFL Preseason DFS Picks

Welcome to the kickoff of the 2023 NFL Preseason! As the excitement builds, we’re here to guide you through the DFS landscape, offering valuable insights and picks to help you build winning lineups. DraftKings is offering enticing DFS contests with substantial prize pools, and our exclusive offer below ensures that you can dive into the action with added advantages. 

With flat scoring rules and a distinct lineup structure this week, the strategy shifts, allowing you the freedom to curate your roster strategically with raw points in mind. Essentially, salaries don’t matter. Notably, kickers are taking a backseat for now (unlike on Showdown slates), and you’ll be tasked with crafting a lineup comprising a quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, a tight end, a FLEX player, and a defense/special teams unit. Ready to navigate the preseason intricacies and discover your winning combinations? Dive into our comprehensive insights, covering every team and highlighting DFS targets that can set you on the path to success.

Texans at Patriots DFS Picks 

New England Patriots

The Patriots are entering this preseason matchup with a renewed sense of purpose following a disappointing 8-9 season. Their off-season moves have been calculated and aimed at returning to the playoffs. One key strategy has been the reacquisition of offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien and assistant head coach Joe Judge, both of whom bring valuable experience and strategic insight to the team. Furthermore, the addition of free agent wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and tight end Mike Gesicki, along with the re-signing of standout cornerback Jonathan Jones, signifies the Patriots’ commitment to enhancing both their offensive and defensive capabilities.

The Patriots’ quarterback depth chart boasts a mix of potential, with Mac Jones leading the pack. Interestingly, in the previous preseason, Jones was held back from action in the Week 1 game. Instead, Bailey Zappe took the reins and showcased his skills with 32 pass attempts out of the team’s total of 40. Given this pattern, it’s likely that Jones will once again sit out, providing Zappe with the opportunity to command the offense for the entire first half. In the second half, Trace McSorley and Malik Cunningham are anticipated to share quarterback duties. Both McSorley and Cunningham offer dual threat potential due to their mobility, making them intriguing options for DFS purposes. Nevertheless, based on raw point production, Zappe is expected to outshine his counterparts and he’s the better play.

Turning attention to the running back position, the Patriots present a depth chart featuring Rhamondre Stevenson, Kevin Harris, Pierre Strong Jr., and J.J. Taylor. In the previous preseason’s Week 1 game, a shared workload approach was evident, with Harris, Strong Jr., and Taylor each receiving five or six carries out of the team’s 18 rushing attempts. Notably absent from the equation is Rhamondre Stevenson, who is unlikely to see any action in this game. As a result, the trio of Harris, Strong Jr., and Taylor is projected to once again divide the rushing workload. Following the typical Bill Belichick philosophy, no single running back is expected to emerge as a standout option, particularly considering flat pricing dynamics. Consequently, it’s prudent to avoid investing in Patriots running backs for DFS purposes.

The wide receiver depth chart is led by established players such as JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker, and Kendrick Bourne, who are anticipated to retain their regular season roles. The previous preseason’s Week 1 showcased a diverse target distribution, with Kristian Wilkerson, Tre Nixon, and Lil’Jordan Humphrey garnering the lion’s share of opportunities. Given the solidified roles of the aforementioned trio, attention shifts to emerging talents like Tyquan Thornton, Kayshon Boutte, rookie Demario Douglas, and Nixon. Diversifying lineups by incorporating at least one of these wideouts could prove beneficial, considering the likelihood of increased targets for at least one of them. Conversely, the tight end position lacks similar clarity and is advised to be avoided for DFS purposes.

Considering the defensive aspect, the Patriots’ D/ST unit is expected to field a majority of second and third-string players during this matchup. A precedent was set in the previous preseason’s Week 1, where those defensive units allowed 23 points against the Giants. However, it’s crucial to note that Belichick’s coaching history suggests a penchant for challenging young quarterbacks and creating formidable defensive schemes. This historical context implies that despite potential vulnerabilities, the Patriots’ defense might still pose challenges for the opposing team’s offense, especially with Houston’s plan (which you’ll read about below).

In conclusion, the Patriots’ preseason matchup against the Texans offers a chance to evaluate various players across different positions. While the quarterback situation favors Zappe for raw point production, DFS enthusiasts can find intriguing options among wide receivers Thornton, Boutte, Douglas and Nixon. The running back and tight end positions, on the other hand, lack clear frontrunners and warrant a cautious approach. Defensively, although second-string players might dominate the field, historical coaching tendencies hint at the potential for disruptive defensive play.

Houston Texans

Like New England, the Texans have undergone a series of strategic moves aimed at strengthening their roster and bolstering their prospects for the upcoming season. A significant shakeup has occurred, including key signings, trades, and draft selections, all under the guidance of new head coach DeMeco Ryans.

Starting with the quarterback position, the Texans present a notable hierarchy with rookie C.J. Stroud at the forefront. As already declared by Ryans, Stroud is set to begin the game, likely handling a few series. While Stroud’s presence is expected, the experienced NFL veteran Case Keenum as the third-string option may translate into a substantial workload for QB2 Davis Mills. Mills, who held the reins for the Texans in the previous year, could see extended action, creating a unique scenario where a former QB1 from 2022 takes on a considerable role in Week 1 of the preseason. Given this context, Mills emerges as a compelling DFS candidate, even if he’s chalky.

Transitioning to the running back depth chart, the Texans’ arrangement offers insights into potential usage. The anticipation is that Dameon Pierce, Devin Singletary will sit and Mike Boone might not see significant action, thereby opening the door for others to shine. Dare Ogunbowale, renowned for his pass-catching abilities, and fullback Andrew Beck are unlikely to garner extensive carries. Instead, attention is directed towards Xazavian Valladay and Gerrid Doaks. Of particular interest to me is rookie Valladay, an impressive performer during his college tenure at Wyoming and Arizona State. With his collegiate workload of 841 carries, the 25-year-old Valladay is poised to contribute effectively if granted the opportunity. While Valladay appears to be a promising choice, it’s advised to avoid pairing him with Mills for DFS strategies.

In the wide receiver realm, the Texans boast a dynamic room, with key additions and returnees. John Metchie III’s return from cancer is a heartening narrative, contributing to the excitement surrounding this receiving corps. Among the rookies, Tank Dell and Xavier Hutchinson, drafted in the 3rd and 6th rounds respectively, stand out as noteworthy prospects. Assessing the receiving hierarchy, Dell, Hutchinson, and Metchie emerge as primary targets, with a notable drop-off beyond these players. This prioritization of top talents is particularly relevant given the absence of pricing considerations.

The Texans’ tight end depth chart features Dalton Schultz as the lead option. Supporting him are Eric Tomlinson, Nick Vannett, Mason Schreck, Jordan Murray and Dalton Keane. The tight end position doesn’t seem to yield standout candidates for DFS consideration since Schultz won’t see the field. You do have to take a shot on a tight end and I might look at Keane, who has bounced around practice squads after beginning his career in New England. Getting revenge on them would be sweet in this matchup. 

The Texans’ defense has seen notable improvements, fueled by their new defensive-minded head coach and strategic reinforcements. While it might be challenging to predict the exact translation of these changes into Week 1 of the preseason, drawing parallels with the San Francisco 49ers’ elite defensive play from the previous year provides optimism for the Texans’ defensive potential this season.

In summary, the Texans’ roster shifts, coupled with the dynamics of their quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and defensive units, present a diverse range of DFS options. Mills stands out as a notable quarterback consideration due to his potential workload. Among running backs, Xazavian Valladay shows promise, while in the wide receiver category, Tank Dell, Xavier Hutchinson, and John Metchie III emerge as top-tier choices. It’s advisable to approach the tight end position with caution, while the defense presents intriguing potential improvements. With a focus on these key insights, DFS enthusiasts can strategically build lineups for this Texans’ matchup. 

Vikings at Seahawks DFS Picks

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks, coming off a playoff appearance, made some significant offseason decisions, particularly concerning their quarterback situation. Geno Smith was chosen as the franchise’s cornerstone, with a multi-year extension signaling the team’s commitment to building around him.

At the quarterback position in 2023, the Seahawks offer a distinct hierarchy, with Geno Smith, Drew Lock, and Holton Ahlers on the depth chart in that order. In contrast to the previous year’s preseason, where Smith and Lock shared duties in Week 1, this season’s dynamics have evolved. Smith is not expected to see time in this game, leaving Lock and rookie Ahlers to divide playing time, presumably each handling a half on the field. Ahlers, a rookie with an impressive collegiate resume during his five years at East Carolina, brings a notable resume, amassing substantial passing (97) and rushing (26) touchdown numbers. The potential for a backup quarterback role to be determined between Lock and Ahlers creates an intriguing scenario, making both candidates viable for DFS consideration due to their rushing potential.

Shifting to the running back depth chart, a combination of Zach Charbonnet, Deejay Dallas, Bryant Koback, Wayne Taulapapa, and SaRodorick Thompson Jr. is projected to share the rushing workload. In the previous preseason, Dallas took on a significant role, with 10 carries in the opener. This season, Dallas, Koback, and Taulapapa are anticipated to handle a heavy workload, complemented by a limited number of carries for Charbonnet, the team’s prized rookie who is poised to serve as Kenneth Walker’s primary backup in the regular season.

Within the wide receiver and tight end depth charts, D.K. Metcalf leads the way, but will sit. As a result, attention turns to Jaxson Smith-Njigba and Jake Bobo as primary rookie targets. Of particular note is Bobo, who has garnered attention for his impressive training camp performances. Bobo’s potential for impact positions him as a strong GPP play. The tight end options are advised to be avoided due to a lack of standout candidates.

The Seahawks’ defense, following a season of limited productivity, prompts a cautious approach for DFS purposes. The unit’s performance remains uncertain. Taking a wait-and-see stance might be wise to accurately assess the defense’s progress. Kenneth Walker III, Kenny McIntosh, Tyler Lockett, Dee Eskridge and Dareke Young are all nursing injuries and are not expected to play. 

To sum up, the Seahawks’ preseason matchup against the Vikings provides a unique opportunity to evaluate players across positions. While the quarterback scenario points to Drew Lock and Holton Ahlers as intriguing options, the running back distribution offers potential value from Dallas, Koback, and Taulapapa. In the receiving realm, attention shifts to Jaxson Smith-Njigba and particularly Jake Bobo, who has drawn positive attention. By aligning strategies with these insights above, DFS enthusiasts can strategically navigate this Seahawks’ matchup.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings, fresh off a 13-3 regular season but marred by a playoff loss to the Giants, underwent significant changes in the offseason, bidding farewell to key offensive players like Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen. Nonetheless, the team remains positioned for success, having drafted Jordan Addison as a promising target for Kirk Cousins beside superstar Justin Jefferson. 

At the quarterback position, the Vikings feature a clear hierarchy led by Kirk Cousins. However, Cousins is not expected to make an appearance in this preseason game. This creates an opportunity for Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall to take the field, each likely handling a half. Mullens and Hall are engaged in a competition for the role of Cousins’ backup. Their equal opportunities in this game reflect the importance of this battle. Mullens’ history of accumulating passing yards, even in regular-season play, positions him as a viable DFS target, particularly if he is given the opportunity to throw the ball 15-to-20 times.

Turning to the running back depth chart, with Alexander Mattison sidelined, Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu, and Dewayne McBride are expected to split carries. Chandler and Nwangwu, who saw significant work in Week 1 of the previous preseason, are likely to handle the bulk of the workload. This preseason’s significance is heightened, as the trio will compete for the coveted RB2 role behind Mattison.

Within the wide receiver and tight end depth charts, a mix of potential and limitations exists. Jefferson is not expected to suit up, while Addison will likely see limited playing time if he does take the field. Osborn is also likely to be absent. In this context, Jalen Reagor emerges as a speculative play, owing to his speed and potential workload. The receiver unit as a whole might not be the most appealing option for DFS strategies, and this sentiment extends to the tight end position, where viable choices appear scarce.

The Vikings’ defense, given their matchup against a potentially turnover-prone Drew Lock and rookie QB Holton Ahlers, could be a strategic target. However, their appeal is overshadowed by the attractiveness of defenses from the Patriots and Texans, making the Vikings a secondary choice.

Injury considerations are important, with Alexander Mattison, T.J. Hockenson, Jalen Nailor, Trishton Jackson, and Malik Knowles marked as players to avoid.

In summary, the Vikings’ preseason encounter with the Seahawks presents a backdrop for evaluating various players across positions. While Cousins is absent, quarterbacks Mullens and Hall are in a pivotal competition for the backup role. Among running backs, Chandler and Nwangwu take center stage as they vie for the RB2 position. Wide receiver options are limited due to absence or limited playtime, making Reagor a speculative consideration. Defensively, the Vikings present potential value, but other options might be more appealing. 

Preseason NFL Week 1 DFS Targets: Top 15

1. Davis Mills (Texans QB)

2. Xazavian Valladay (Texans RB)

3. Nick Mullens (Vikings QB)

4. Bailey Zappe (Patriots QB)

5. Drew Lock (Seahawks QB)

6. Holton Ahlers (Seahawks QB)

7. Patriots D/ST

8. Ty Chandler (Seahawks RB)

9. Kene Nwangwu (Seahawks RB)

10. Texans D/ST

11. Tank Dell (Texans WR)

12. Jake Bobo (Seahawks WR)

13. Demario Douglas (Patriots WR)

14. Xavier Hutchinson (Texans WR)

15. Kayshon Boutte (Patriots WR)