General Preseason Showdown Strategy
The overarching key is to do your best to highlight which players will be playing the most snaps. This can be gleaned by researching depth chart scarcity, coachspeak/press conferences, or beat reports.
The only position you can roster that will score fantasy points for the entire game is DST. With all other position players having their playing time limited to anywhere from a series to a half, DST becomes a key cog in roster construction. Despite the fact DSTs don’t normally end up as the highest scoring position on a normal slate, they can on a preseason slate. The ability for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends to outscore DSTs is neutralized in preseason by only playing a portion of the game. Don’t be afraid to roster both DSTs in a lineup or in the captain spot, in fact it’s encouraged.
Don’t worry about negative correlation in preseason. QB v. opposing defense, too many WRs from the same team, or two running backs from the same team don’t carry the negative impact they would in the regular season. Oftentimes they won’t eat into each other’s production because they won’t be on the field at the same time, anyway.
The one correlation that does matter is trying to pinpoint which quarterbacks will be paired up with which skill players. It’s often arbitrary and unpredictable, but there are times when a unit will play all their snaps together. That increases your ceiling by having the QB in the same lineup as the RB/WR/TE he has the potential to throw touchdown passes to.
Prioritize wide receivers. Since playing time is limited, target positions and players that can hit a ceiling in one or two plays. Though running backs are in play, it’s unlikely you get a high-volume game where a runner grinds out the 100-yard bonus on 20 carries. When you do roster running backs and tight ends, it’s important to roster the ones that have pass-catching roles.
Saints’ Passing Game
Jameis Winston will start this game before turning it over to Taysom Hill, and eventually Ian Book. This makes it difficult to pinpoint which to target, being that they’ll all see about 1-1.5 quarters. I like the idea that Hill will be playing against 2nd and 3rd stringers after the starters exit. The best approach would be to have a piece of each in multi-entry because all flashed in Week One. I will identify who will be on the field with each quarterback later in this article.
With Jameis Winston at QB, Marquez Callaway and Ty Montgomery are the primary options. Callaway and Montgomery both saw a bunch of snaps last week with Taysom Hill as the starter. The Saints need Callaway to get up to speed as the top option in the offense and targeted him four times in the first quarter. Montgomery played as a wide receiver and three times on 20+ snaps.
With Taysom Hill, Lil’Jordan Humphrey will be the primary option as Hill enters the game, though the receivers listed above could also be in play as they may get extended run across multiple units. Juwan Johnson is a tight end on the roster that’s been converted from a wide receiver. I don’t normally roster tight ends on showdowns, but Johnson is in play as a former wide receiver that lineups up as one.
Kawaan Baker was Ian Books favored target in the second half last week. If you are rostering book, pairing him with Book is the move.
Saints’ Running Game
Tony Jones Jr. turned in an excellent performance thanks to some gashing runs. He’s obviously a great play again. I actually like pairing him with Ian Book. They were college teammates at Notre Dame and Book was in check down mode big time last week, feeding Jones dump-offs multiple times on each drive.
Devonta Freeman saw a fair amount of action last week which included about nine opportunities. He played mostly with the second unit and rotated in with Jones in the second quarter before Jones took most of the second half. Latavius Murray had seven opportunities on the least amount of snaps of the running backs. My preference is Jones overwhelmingly, then Freeman and lastly Murray.
Jaguars Passing Game
The Jags gave four quarterbacks one quarter. The snaps splits were a bit more uneven because certain signal callers led longer drives. I’m not going to have much of the Jaguars’ passing game on this slate with each quarterback expected to get a quarter again. The best option is probably is CJ Beathard because of his mobility but I’ll be light on all Jaguars’ quarterbacks.
The receiver position is a crapshoot as the Jaguars have a healthy amount of players to roll out between wide receiver and tight end. Josh Hammond and Tavon Austin were the most targeted receivers in Week One. Oftentimes, when we see a connection develop in the preseason, it continues due to a connection or tendency from the quarterbacks. I like them both especially because of their versatility on the inside as slot receivers and jet passes.
Marvin Jones had a connection with Trevor Lawrence so if you are rostering Lawrence Jones is the preferred pairing. Laquon Treadwell has a solid draft pedigree and could definitely have an advantage over backup defensive backs. There is a slew of other pass-catchers that will probably see one to three targets and have a very slim chance to be in the optimal lineup, we have to hope to avoid the luckbox touchdown.
Jaguars’ Running Game
Urban Meyer loves rotating all his guys. It may have something to do with getting to know them as a player on the field a bit more as he’s brand new to the Jaguars and the NFL in general. Dare Ogunbawale got the most run last week, so he’s my top pick for Jags’ running backs. I also think Travis Etienne is in play being that he needs the reps. It’s extremely difficult to get roster the Jags players because of how
Kickers and DST
This is a spot where kickers and defenses will be HUGE. I like rotating them in even more than normal. Given the depth on both sides of the ball and the big rotations we are expecting. Full games out of Josh Lambo, Aldrick Rosas, and the DSTs have a higher probability of hitting than 15 snaps from the skill positions.