NFL DFS is NFL DFS, right? 

Not exactly. You are still playing the same game, but the builds are entirely different. The good news is that there exists a tremendous competitive advantage for savvy DFS players who realize one key fact: Unlike during the regular season, the objective of the teams on the field isn’t to win. They aim to evaluate talent. 

Because of that fundamental difference, DFS players need to adjust their strategies for the preseason slates. You don’t want to be one of those cats that started Matt Ryan in the Hall of Fame Game. 

What follows are some fundamental rules for preseason DFS. 

  1. Fade starters unless its week three. Remember, teams aren’t trying to win. They are trying to evaluate talent, and studs don’t need evaluating. They certainly don’t need to risk injury, either. Those who do play won’t play more than a series.
  2. Look for players who have little college tape. Coaches can only learn so much in camp. If a player doesn’t have extensive film, their coaches will want to see them in full helmet and pads at game speed. They will be on the field more than the known commodities. 
  3. Don’t be afraid of UDFAs. See above. An undrafted free agent that impressed in workouts and is fighting for a roster spot might get an extended look from a coaching staff.
  4. FLEX a running back. Historically running backs have slightly outproduced wide receivers. Don’t ever Flex a TE in the preseason.
  5. Don’t go crazy with stacks. DFS scores and pay lines are typically lower in the preseason. It doesn’t take much to cash. A Haskins/McLaurin stack could work, but there is no need to stack QB/WR/TE for monster upside. Fading the obvious stacks, like Haskins/McLaurin, could be the winning move. 
  6. Do your research (or let us do it for you). DFS is difficult enough, and preseason is just a mess. You need to dig deep to find the key plays. For example, there is a good chance you’ve never heard the name Reggie Bonnafon, but he has an excellent opportunity to win people some serious money tonight. Bonnafon has been following CMC around Panthers camp, and with Jordan Scarlet injured, the Panthers will be giving him a ton of run tonight. 

*CAUTION* Don’t fall in love. You might see someone doing something amazing in Preseason Week 1. That doesn’t mean it will repeat in another week or during the regular season. Don’t let yourself get Ameer Abdullah’ed.

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