This article will cover the Friday's slate of two games, and our main goal will be to identify players who will a) see quite a bit of playing time and b) who have a chance to excel. There are two important things to remember before finalizing your lineup:
1. Players are frequently deactivated, and often for no reason, 90 minutes before kickoff. This article will be written many hours before the inactive list comes out. It is recommended that you check the latest news page on RotoWire an hour before kickoff to make sure you players are active.
2. All salaries are the same for players during preseason.
On this small slate, the best bet is going heavy on the Saints — not only are their deep reserves expected to see significant playing time, but they have a mix of deep reserve players who have either solid NFL experience or strong athletic profiles.
Teddy Bridgewater (Saints vs. Vikings) - The backups for the Saints are Taysom Hill and Teddy Bridgewater, and since the team knows what it has in Hill, it seems likely that Bridgewater is the one who'll need the extra work. He's recently said the knee injury that almost ruined his career is no longer a problem. Look for him to take advantage of the Vikings' overmatched reserves.
Ryan Griffin (Bucs vs. Steelers) - Griffin was one of the most productive QBs in the league during the 2018 preseason, and he goes into this year as the third-string QB and the team doesn't have a fourth QB on the roster. He should see a ton of action, and his success of last year gives us reason to expect a repeat of that success.
Mike Boone (Vikings vs. Saints) - In the 2018 preseason, Boone was one of the top-performing RBs in the league, gaining 195 yards with a TD on the ground while chipping in 10 catches for 60 yards. He's one of the more talented third-string RBs in the NFL, as he has 69th-percentile speed to go with 100th-percentile explosiveness and above-average agility.
Trey Edmunds (Steelers vs. Bucs) - Edmunds is the fourth-string RB, so he should be in line to touch the ball often, and his 83rd percentile speed and 67th percentile agility will be on display, which hopefully leads to a strong performance.
Devine Ozigbo (Saints vs. Vikings) - This undrafted free agent is sitting sixth (and last) on the RB depth chart, so he should be the player we see on the field during the second half of the game. Once given the chance, his 82nd percentile explosiveness and 70th percentile agility is what could help him have a number of productive touches.
Emmanuel Butler (Saints vs. Vikings) - After posting more than 3,200 yards to go with 33 TDs in his college career, Butler's been the star of Saints' camp. The even better news is that he'll be fighting for a roster spot, so he has a ton to prove, and his 86th percentile speed might prove to be too much to handle for backup defenders.
Rishard Matthews (Saints vs. Vikings) - A few years ago, Matthews was a strong fantasy option when he was with the Titans, but those days are long gone. That said, the fact that he's seventh on the Saints depth chart while seeing field time with Teddy Bridgewater could be enough for the savvy veteran to have a productive performance.
Dare Ogunbowale (Bucs vs. Steelers) - The coaching staff is on record that Ogunbowale has impressed during training camp, and he'll be spending the preseason fighting for a roster spot. Between the positive buzz and the urgency, he's looking like a solid choice on a small slate of games.
Jordan Leggett (Bucs vs. Steelers) - After spending time with the Jets, Leggett is now with the Bucs as the fourth-string TE, which means he's likely battling for a roster spot. With above-average speed and agility to go with NFL experience, he should have a distinct advantage playing against a number of defenders who won't be in the league a few weeks from now.
Irv Smith Jr. (Vikings vs. Saints) - As a rookie, the Vikings need to see what Smith brings to the table, and they've spent time during training camp moving him all over the formation (including fullback). Although there's no certainty he'll get as many snaps as we'd like, he's a receiving TE who shouldn't be asked to do much as a blocker.
Bucs (vs. Steelers) - Since the Steelers offense is the group we've targeted the fewest players from in this two-game slate, the Bucs become our default defensive play.