This article will cover the Monday preseason DFS slate, and our main goal is to identify players who will a) see quite a bit of playing time and b) who have a chance to excel. There are two important things to remember before finalizing your lineup:
1. Players are frequently deactivated, and often for no reason, 90 minutes before kickoff. This article will be written many hours before the inactive list comes out. It is recommended that you check the latest news page on RotoWire an hour before kickoff to make sure you players are active.
2. All salaries are the same for players during preseason.
My philosophy when handicapping players in the second week of preseason is that there are two types of players who tend to see significant action — second-string players battling for a job and rookies who need to be evaluated. Unlike next week's games, when starters usually play more than a half, we're still at the point where most backups will see the most playing time.
49ers-Broncos is the only game on the Monday slate, which doesn't differentiate by position. These are our recommended players.
Drew Lock (Broncos vs. 49ers) - Even though early offseason reports were negative on Lock, he's turned things around quickly, as he now looks like he'll at least be the Broncos' No. 2 QB. He certainly helped his case by throwing for 180 yards and a score last week while chipping in 11 rushing yards. He should see at least a half of action, making him a no-brainer choice on this slate.
Nick Mullens (49ers at Broncos) - In last week's game, Mullens played quite well, but C.J. Beathard also did well in his time under center. This sets up what should be a tough battle for the No. 2 QB job for the 49ers, and as we saw last year, Mullens can definitely run the offense effectively, making him the preferred fantasy option over Beathard.
Royce Freeman (Broncos vs. 49ers) - There's no guarantee how the RB rotation will shake out in Denver, so Freeman is likely playing for a chance to be a starter. Don't forget that he has 88th percentile speed and 85th percentile agility, and should he get even five carries, he easily could have a strong performance.
Jalen Hurd (49ers at Broncos) - Of course, everyone's excited about Hurd finding the end zone twice last week, but more important, he was targeted five times. As part of a crowded WR depth chart, he's competing for regular-season playing time, and with the team expected to play a pair of competent QBs, Hurd should continue to see significant volume, making him a good play.
Richie James (49ers at Broncos) - Not only was Jalen Hurd busy last week, but James is probably competing for the same role with him. In addition, he was targeted seven times last week, and there's no reason that he won't be busy yet again, as he tries to earn a useful regular-season role. The potential volume makes him a nice option this week.
Austin Walter (49ers vs. Broncos) - With Jerick McKinnon and Raheem Mostert out of action while Jeff Wilson is just coming back from an injury, it's unlikely the 49ers want to risk the health of any of their top RBs. As a result, Walter, who had 13 carries and five targets that he turned into 70 yards last week, could see a similar work load this week, and that's all we can hope for in preseason DFS.