Many call Week 3 of the preseason "the dress rehearsal," and for some teams, that's true. However, other teams prefer to hold starters out or give some players a cameo, so predicting playing time is the best chance to mine DFS gold.
To understand my reasoning in making these lineup decisions, here are my criteria (and not all players can meet all of these) in order of importance:
1. The player has already had at least some successful preseason action in the first two games.
2. The offense the player is on has either played well during this preseason or is a unit with a lot of cohesion expected to carry over from 2018.
3. The coaching staff has made some type of comment about the starters seeing significant playing time.
There are two games Friday, so the pickings are slim.
Josh Allen (Bills at Lions) - In last week's game, Allen was surprisingly efficient by completing nine of 11 passes for 102 yards. It would be a surprise if he didn't play into the third quarter, making him our de-facto QB option.
Browns at Buccaneers - Cleveland coach Freddie Kitchens is non-committal on how much time starters will play, and even though Baker Mayfield would like to play two quarters, we have no clue if he plays at all. Then, Jameis Winston threw just four passes last week, so how much work will he really get? Finally, Matthew Stafford has yet to play this preseason.
LeSean McCoy (Bills at Lions) - Even though he didn't have impressive yardage last week, McCoy had four carries, three targets and scored. It's unlikely he gets a ton of work, but should he play close to a half of action, he'll have a chance to contribute as a runner and receiver.
Kerryon Johnson (Lions vs. Bills) - At least he was on the field to see three carries last week, so he was used more than quite a few of the RBs in the league. Hopefully, the coaching staff gives him three or four drives to get ready for the season along with some red-zone work. He could come through with a respectable stat line.
Rashard Higgins (Browns at Buccaneers) - Whether Browns play their starters this week, Higgins should see quite a bit of playing time. If the starters play, he'll likely again be on the field in three-receiver sets, and if playing with reserves, he'll probably start, so playing time shouldn't be an issue. In last week's game, he caught all four of his targets, and he continued an impressive preseason.
Cole Beasley (Bills at Lions) - It was apparent last week that the coaching staff is trying to help Josh Allen develop his short-to-intermediate passing, and as a result, Beasley had five passes come his way, all of which he caught. Beasley should see significant work again this week, and the Bills certainly want to keep Allen healthy, which may mean he'll throw shorter passes again.
Justin Watson (Buccaneers vs. Browns) - With Mike Evans expected to miss the game, and Chris Godwin not being involved last week, Watson continued to have a busy preseason by seeing six targets. Although he only caught two passes for 22 yards, volume and opportunity are king in the preseason.
T.J. Hockenson (Lions vs. Bills) - In last week's game, Hockenson was targeted twice, catching one for 22 yards, and being that he's a rookie, he'll likely get in a full half of action. Even with a backup QB, his likely playing time gives him an edge on the field at his position.