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Fantasy Football: NFL Preseason Week 3 Friday Night DFS Cheatsheet

Aug 21, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) at the line in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 of the NFL preseason treated fans and fantasy football managers to the second dress rehearsal of 2021. We saw a little more of many teams' starters, and PFF’s Nathan Jahnke, Dwain McFarland and Ian Hartitz each broke down notable takeaways following the Week 2 slate.


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With Week 3 upon us and DFS lineups to set, it's time to dive into the fantasy-relevant details of Friday Night’s four-game slate featuring the Indianapolis Colts versus the Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles versus the New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers versus the Carolina Panthers and Minnesota Vikings versus the Kansas City Chiefs

*Be sure to check back in on my Twitter account @AndrewErickson_  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.

WHO’S PLAYING THEIR STARTERS? 

Before the positional breakdown, let's brush up on how each team plans to enter its final preseason game as far as playing time for starters. 

Game 1

Indianapolis Colts: resting starters. Second-year quarterback Jacob Eason will be getting the start with Sam Ehlinger coming in for the majority of the remainder of work.

Detroit Lions: resting starters. Head coach Dan Campbell apparently convinced the Colts to bench their guys because he is not putting his starters out, either. 

Game 2

Philadelphia Eagles: resting starters. Nick Sirianni hasn’t explicitly stated whether his starters will play, but we can read between the lines. The Eagles head coach believes the joint practices with the Jets are almost as good as preseason games, so I doubt we see Jalen Hurts or anybody of relevance play much on Friday. 

New York Jets: playing starters. Robert Saleh plans to play the starters for no more than a half. That includes quarterback Zach Wilson

Game 3

Pittsburgh Steelers: resting starters. Ben Roethlisberger and backup quarterback Mason Rudolph will not play, and Dwayne Haskins will get the start. 

Carolina Panthers: playing starters. Matt Rhule won’t play Christian McCaffrey, but every other starter will play in the first half, including starting quarterback Sam Darnold

Game 4

Minnesota Vikings: minimal time for the starters. Mike Zimmer said the team will operate similarly to last week. Kirk Cousins played 12 snaps. Anticipate one quarter at most for the starters. 

Kansas City Chiefs: half at most. Andy Reid said he’ll play the 1s in the first half. But he also said the team played a ton of snaps last week versus Arizona, so he can be flexible with allotted playing time. 

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