If you’re competing in a DraftKings DFS tournament for Sunday’s NFL slate, then you’ve come to the right place. Although it’s always challenging to anticipate preseason Week 1 snap counts, we’ve run through dozens of realistic scripts for today’s game featuring the Raiders and the Vikings. Here is our recommended fantasy football lineup.
Top DraftKings NFL DFS picks for Raiders vs. Vikings
Today we’re playing a DraftKings “Showdown Captain Mode” tournament that includes one player who earns 1.5x his scoring output, plus five Flex players. As always, we’re looking for that DFS sweet spot — the intersection of talent and preseason usage.
Jarrett Stidham, QB, Las Vegas Raiders ($11,400)
Jarrett Stidham has a lot going for him today. Unlike the opposing defense, he’s already seen game action (last week’s Hall of Fame Game against the Jaguars). He’s battling for the backup QB job and should play a full half. And he’s played for head coach Josh McDaniels when McDaniels was the Patriots’ offensive coordinator. Taken collectively, Stidham is probably the safest DFS play, so he belongs in our Captain slot.
Nick Mullens, QB, Las Vegas Raiders ($7,600)
“Wait a second,” you’re thinking. “Why should I start Nick Mullens when I’m already starting Stidham? Is this a trick?” Look, this is Week 1 of the preseason. There are more unknowns than there are players. So we can roll the dice on a No. 5 or No. 6 wideout, or we can embrace the dependability of QBs with something to play for.
Like Stidham, Mullens is fighting for a coveted No. 2 role. He’s been a serviceable spot starter for several years and could realistically rack up 14+ fantasy points today.
Kellen Mond, QB, Minnesota Vikings ($7,600)
“Wait a second!” you’re screaming. “Not another quarterback!” Yes, another quarterback, because the Vikings are also playing today, and we probably won’t see much from their starters. Minnesota has its own battle for the backup QB job. A third-round draft pick last year, Kellen Mond has the tools to become an NFL starter. He didn’t look ready last year. But he has nowhere to go but up — and with a higher ceiling than fellow backup Sean Mannion.
Sean Mannion, QB, Minnesota Vikings ($7,600)
“This is lunacy!” you’re crying while rifling through drawers for some Tums. “You’re making a mockery of DFS!” But this is how the preseason works. We’re drawn to fierce positional battles that must produce a winner. This is the ultimate zero-sum game. Either the more experienced Mannion or the higher-upside Mond will hold the golden clipboard on the sidelines in Week 1. This type of competition often brings out the best in at least one player, sometimes both. That’s a wager worth making.
Keelan Cole, WR, Las Vegas Raiders ($7,600)
When the Raiders added Keelan Cole this offseason, my money was on the veteran to win the No. 3 receiver job over fellow newcomer Demarcus Robinson. But this remains a 50/50 proposition, particularly after both earned action with comparable results last week. Today, I’m expecting Cole and Robinson to earn more targets as the coaching staff moves closer to finalizing this important part of the depth chart.
Demarcus Robinson, WR, Las Vegas Raiders ($7,600)
And, of course, we wrap up with Demarcus Robinson — a capable receiver with perhaps his best shot to lock down the No. 3 WR role. Did he take Stidham out for coffee to walk through his routes? Did he awkwardly bump into Cole, who was taking Mullens out for coffee at the same shop? Did they all have a good laugh? As an NFL fan, these are the questions I want answered. But as a bettor, all I care about is which players are best positioned to produce.