NFL Preseason Betting, DFS Takeaways from All Five Friday Games
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Christian McCaffrey
- Week 2 of the NFL preseason continued on Friday with five games, including Chiefs-Falcons, Bills-Browns and Cardinals-Saints
- A.J. McCarron suffered a broken collarbone, making Josh Allen the frontrunner to start Week 1.
- Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill connected for a 69-yard touchdown and look like a high-upside fantasy stack.
Ryan Collinsworth and Justin Bailey take a look at key takeaways for each team that played Friday.
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Kansas City Chiefs 28, Atlanta Falcons 14
- Closing Spread: Chiefs -1
- Closing Over/Under: 43.5
Kansas City Chiefs
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the first-team offense played the entire first half in this game. Mahomes was inconsistent early, throwing a bad interception on his first deep ball of the game, but he bounced back and showed off his arm strength with a 69-yard touchdown to wide receiver Tyreek Hill to close the half.
Mahomes finished 8-of-12 passing for 138 yards, one touchdown and one pick while Hill logged four receptions for 87 yards and a score.
Running back Tevin Coleman drew the start for the Falcons, and he demonstrated his high-end skill set, rushing five times for 35 yards. If Devonta Freeman misses any games this year, Coleman will be a locked-in three-down back.
Rookie wide receiver Calvin Ridley also impressed, catching three passes for 49 yards and a touchdown. With a team-high six targets, Ridley is starting to establish himself and could be a solid early-season DFS play. He might even take the No. 2 receiver job from veteran Mohamed Sanu.
New York Giants 30, Detroit Lions 17
- Closing Spread: Lions -3
- Closing Over/Under: 40.5
New York Giants
Quarterback Eli Manning threw just one pass before giving way to Davis Webb, who played surprisingly well, going 14-of-20 for 140 yards and a touchdown.
We mentioned in the DFS breakdown that running back Wayne Gallman was likely to get opportunities, and he finished with 35 total yards and two scrimmage touchdowns. Gallman and the veteran Jonathan Stewart are battling for the No. 2 job behind first-rounder Saquon Barkley, and Gallman easily outplayed Stewart (four carries, -1 rushing yard).
The first-team offense struggled against the middling Giants defense. Running back Theo Riddick was the lone bright spot, catching three passes for 50 yards.
Ameer Abdullah ran ineffectively and fumbled early. Second-rounder Kerryon Johnson logged only four rushes for the game. LeGarrette Blount earned a team-high 11 carries but managed just 32 yards. Even with the offensive line improvements, the Lions backfield might be as mediocre this year as it’s been in years past.
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Miami Dolphins 20, Carolina Panthers 27
- Closing Spread: Panthers -3
- Closing Over/Under: 42.5
Wide receivers Devante Parker (finger) and Kenny Stills (ankle) were sidelined, so backups Jakeem Grant and Albert Wilson played as the starters. With 12 targets between them, Grant had four receptions for 45 yards and Wilson had five for 39. If potential bust Parker continues his career-long trend of underwhelming, Grant and Wilson could be significant contributors this year.
Running back Kenyan Drake also played well, rushing eight times for 54 yards and adding three receptions. Although Drake’s ostensibly in a committee with Frank Gore, he looked like a lead back.
Running back Christian McCaffrey broke the game open early with an impressive 71-yard rushing score, and he finished with 120 total yards on five rushes and four receptions. The Panthers apparently aren’t bluffing about wanting to use McCaffrey as a lead back.
Buffalo Bills 19, Cleveland Browns 17
- Closing Spread: Browns -3
- Closing Over/Under: 43
Quarterback A.J. McCarron completed just 3-of-6 passes and “led” the Bills to four straight three-and-out drives — and that was the high point of his night: After the game, the team reported that McCarron suffered a broken collarbone. McCarron seems likely to miss at least the next 8-10 weeks, making first-round quarterback Josh Allen the frontrunner to start in Week 1.
Allen’s outing was better than the box score indicates (9-of-13 passing for 60 yards). His first series was an 80-yarder that culminated in a touchdown pass, and he led the Bills to field goals on his next two drives. Allen could be a competent professional, but the Bills are still a good bet to hit the under on their season total (6 wins, -140) thanks to their atrocious offensive line and difficult strength of schedule.
Running back Carlos Hyde looked fantastic, gaining chunk yardage at will. He also got two-straight goal-line carries, converting the second attempt for a touchdown. He finished the night with a 9-64-1 rushing line.
Second-round running back Nick Chubb also played well, rushing for 14 yards on his first carry and continuing to grind after that. Looking quick and decisive, he finished with 53 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
As for No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield: He’ll have better days. He wasn’t horrible, but he looked like a rookie, totaling just 75 scoreless yards on 7-of-13 passing.
Arizona Cardinals 20, New Orleans Saints 15
- Closing Spread: Saints -6
- Closing Over/Under: 42.5
After a subpar performance last week, first-round quarterback Josh Rosen bounced back in his second preseason game, completing 10-of-16 passes for 107 yards and a first-quarter touchdown to second-round wide receiver Christian Kirk, who finished with a 4-49-1 line on a team-high six targets.
With Brice Butler (foot) dealing with an injury, Kirk could continue to get an extended look in the preseason. By the time the regular season starts, Kirk could be the No. 2 receiver behind Larry Fitzgerald.
New Orleans Saints
Running back Jonathan Williams seems to be the favorite for the No. 2 job while Mark Ingram serves his four-game season-opening suspension. Williams received the first carry in the game and led all Saints backs with eight carries and 37 yards. Even so, Alvin Kamara will be a high-floor, high-ceiling DFS play while Ingram is out.
Third-round wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith led the Saints in targets (4), receptions (3) and receiving yards (60) for the second straight game, giving him a preseason line of 7-108-0 on nine targets. With his combination of size (6-feet-2, 203 pounds) and athleticism (4.49-second 40 time, 6.97-second three-cone), Smith is the running for the No. 3 receiver job.