Home Articles 2023 NFL Preseason DFS | Week 1 Thursday Slate Preview
2023 NFL Preseason DFS | Week 1 Thursday Slate Preview | Jaxon Smith-Njigba

2023 NFL Preseason DFS | Week 1 Thursday Slate Preview

by Seth Woolcock

A full weekend of professional football exhibition games kicks off across the country this weekend! Take advantage of the NFL Preseason DFS Week 1 slates, starting with an enticing Thursday night double-feature.

Below is my favorite lineup and core plays for the Thursday night slate, featuring the Houston Texans visiting the New England Patriots and the Minnesota Vikings traveling to the Seattle Seahawks:

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2023 NFL Preseason DFS | Week 1 Thursday Slate Preview

(Pricing courtesy of DraftKings)

2023 NFL Preseason DFS | Week 1 Thursday Slate Preview

C.J. Stroud (QB, Houston Texans)

The No. 2 overall pick kicks things off in a game that features the second-highest Over/Under total in Week 1 (38.5). The Patriots’ secondary is still adjusting to losing their best player, Jack Jones, to some off-the-field issues,  setting up Stroud to have a big debut.

The last time we saw the Ohio State product, he threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns against Georgia on New Year’s Eve. With a plethora of descent weapons and offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik (most recently the 49ers’ QB coach) calling the shots, Stroud should find success for your NFL Preseason DFS lineups.

Pierre Strong (RB, New England Patriots)

Pierre Strong busted out big gainers when called upon last regular season, rushing for 100 yards on just 10 carries. Strong was also hyper-efficient in the passing game, catching all seven of his regular season targets and both of his targets in preseason Week 1. With likely no or limited Rhamondre Stevenson, Strong should see some volume, including a few screen passes.

Bryant Koback (RB, Seattle Seahawks)

With Seattle’s top three RBs, Kenneth Walker, Zach Charbonnet and Kenny McIntosh all banged up, 2022 Undrafted Frree Agent (UDFA) Bryan Koback will carry the load for the Seahawks on the ground.

After running for over 4,000 yards in his four seasons at Toledo, Koback spent his entire rookie year on Minnesota’s practice squad. In preseason Week 1 a year ago, he totaled 14 attempts for 41 rushing yards and a TD, plus two receptions for 14 yards. That was good enough for 13.5 NFL Preseason DFS points. I expect a similar or better performance on Thursday.

Tank Dell (WR, Houston Texans)

Tank Dell will make his preseason debut as the starting slot receiver for the Texans. After posting 1,300 yards in back-to-back seasons and 29 TDs the past two years at Houston University, he’s ready to make a splash. Dell’s chemistry with Stroud has been getting glowing reports at camp. I’ll bite.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR, Seattle Seahawks)

The risk with rostering Jaxon Smith-Njigba (JSN) in NFL Preseason DFS lineups this week is that Seahawks might already know what they have in him: a monster. He has been torching defenders all training camp, picking up right where he le left off when he posted 14 receptions for 347 yards and three TDs in the 2022 Rose Bowl. Though the work could be limited, JSN just needs one big play to be worth rostering.

Jordan Addison (WR, Minnesota Vikings)

Another first-round rookie WR, Jordan Addison, likely sees more playing time than JSN. That’s considering he’s still battling for a role in two WR sets with veteran K.J. Osborn. After making headlines for speeding off the field, the rookie should want to show off on the field.

Addison will likely work most with veteran QB Nick Mullens, who has 27 regular-season TDs to 23 INTs and a solid career completion rate of 65.3%. That’ll do.

Johnny Mundt (TE, Minnesota Vikings)

Tight end T.J. Hockenson is banged up, and the Vikings paid Josh Oliver too much money to play in this one much. That leaves seven-year veteran Johhny Mundt to handle the load for Minnesota’s tight end corps. Mundt is coming off a career year where he caught 19 of his 21 targets for 140 yards and a touchdown.

Mullens loves to target his tight ends, even being one of the QBs credited with helping George Kittle break out early in his career. Expect some love for Mundt in a desolate NFL Preseason DFS tight end landscape.

Devin Singletary (RB, Houston Texans)

The Texans ran Damion Pierce an average of 16.9 times per game last season, the seventh-most among RBs. I’d expect they want to keep him fresh for the regular season and instead get veteran Devin Singletary adjusted to the new scheme.

Singletary led the Bills in rushing for four straight seasons since coming into the league in 2019. He’s also a better pass-catcher than given credit for, averaging 2.4 receptions per game. Singletary sets as a high-upside, low-floor NFL Preseason DFS play in Week 1.

Minnesota Vikings D/ST

Drew Lock threw three picks in his reason debut with the Seahawks last season. With just JSN and a bunch of UDFAs to throw to, I expect Lock to struggle.

I do have a soft spot for the Seahawks’ third-string rookie QB, Holton Ahlers. Still, he’s not enough to scare me away from this unit, now under the control of Brian Flores.

Thanks for reading our favorite NFL Preseason DFS lineup for the Week 1 Thursday Night slate. Check out more of our fantasy football content and other written work here at In-Between Media, or head over to our YouTube channel to get your fix via video.

And for more fantasy football and feel-good content, you can find me on Twitter @Between_SethFF.

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