Week 1 of the NFL preseason treated fans and fantasy football managers to the first dress rehearsal of 2021. We didn't see much of most teams' starters, but there was much to glean from player usage across the first full slate of games. PFF’s Nathan Jahnke and Dwain McFarland broke down every notable takeaway following the Week 1 slate.
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With Week 2 upon us and DFS lineups to set, it's time to dive into the fantasy-relevant details of Friday Night’s two-game slate featuring the Washington Football Team vs. the Cincinnati Bengals and the Arizona Cardinals vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.
*Be sure to check back before kickoff for any last-minute updates. Feel free to follow my Twitter lists of beat reporters to stay updated on player news. Also, for those testing the preseason DFS waters for the first time: click here for a breakdown of strategy and game theory.
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid on Wednesday said his starters will play the first half, followed by the backups in the second half. We shouldn't necessarily take this at face value — most are doubting Patrick Mahomes will play a full half.
Reid also said the starters would play the first quarter of the team’s first preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers. Then Mahomes played just four snaps. Tyreek Hill played eight and Travis Kelce played six out of 13 total offensive first-quarter snaps.
Instead, turn to Arizona Cardinals third-string quarterback Chris Streveler, who played 69% of the team’s offensive snaps in Week 1. He turned his allotted playing time into 24 pass attempts, 107 passing yards, 11 rushing attempts and 58 rushing yards. Streveler should see the majority of work for a second straight week. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury has been non-committal on playing any of his starters.
Joe Burrow is out for Week 2, so it will be the two-man show of Brandon Allen and Kyle Shurmur for the Bengals. They split reps 60-40 in Shurmur’s favor in Week 1, so he would be the primary Bengals quarterback to target.
Ryan Fitzpatrick only played two drives in Week 1 (14 snaps). Taylor Heinicke (27 snaps) and Steven Montez (40) led the offense in relief. Fitz isn’t going to see much more playing time in Week 2, but Heinecke/Montez likely won’t play as much, either, with Kyle Allen returning to the lineup.
Allen’s return will certainly lower Heinecke’s roster ownership, especially after how highly he was owned last week (42%). But Allen is going to eat into Montez’s snaps, not Heinicke’s.
He’s worth going back to at a newly suppressed ownership. His aDOT (10.5) ranked fifth-highest in Week 1.
Action: Start Streveler, Heinicke | Fade Fitzpatrick, Allen, Mahomes, Henne, Shurmur