NFL Fantasy Football | Preseason DFS Strategy Matchups, Breakdowns, & Predictions for 2021

NFL DFS Pre-Season with DFSArmy!

I know, I know NFL football is back, baby! However, for those of you that play DFS weekly during the regular season and playoffs but have not played preseason fantasy football, be aware it is vastly different. Let’s go through the things you will need to adjust and look for when playing preseason fantasy football.

Get ready, the excitement of Pre-Season NFL starts August 5th with the HOF game!

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Dec 23, 2018 – Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

What will the DFS Army provide for you in terms of preseason NFL content?


The Cheatsheets are available via the website which will be completed for each major slate and provides the coaches’ favorite plays of the slate including “core” plays that they absolutely love and intend to build fantasy football lineups around. This is an awesome tool that allows you to see where your plays line up with ours as well as gives you an idea where your DFS Army coaches think the game is going to flow through.  NFL Cheatsheets can be found on the DFS Army Website or by clicking the link.

Domination Station:



For those not familiar with the Domination Station, this tool is incredibly useful for those individuals that are creating multiple entries in contests. The “DS” will also have live, real-time projections for individual players which allow the lineups to be built. You can also view projected ownerships via the DS that gives you an idea of where your plays lineup with the fields.  The Domination Station can be found on the DFS Army Website or by clicking the link.

NFL Discord Conversations:

The community here in the DFS Army is amazing with great coaches and awesome members that are incredibly useful to bounce ideas off of and discuss strategies and enjoy the daily sweat together.  Many of our 35 six-figure winners credit these discussions for changing their games…and their lives.   Join the discussion!  Our Discord channel is FREE!!


NFL Preseason Change:

First and foremost, this preseason is much different than years past because we are looking at only 3 weeks as opposed to the regular 4 weeks due to the NFL adding an extra week of regular season football.

What does that mean?

This means there is one less opportunity for those rookies, younger talent, newer talent to the team and guys fighting for roster spots to show what they have. So, we should see some more of those guys then the regular starters that have nothing to prove.

This also means that we will likely see the starters play more in the 2nd week than the 3rd week and more of the younger/newer guys playing the 3rd week.

How do you attack these specific NFL slates?

The most important question I will be asking myself when I do the research and put the lineups together is “Who has the most to prove?”  Find the guys on the field that have the most opportunity to be the focus of the drive, the focus of the quarter and so forth. Is it that simple? Nothing is ever that simple but with the tools here at the DFS Army we will be looking to make it a simpler process and provide those details via our cheat-sheets, projections, and research station. Remember, your players cannot score points if they are not on the field.

Here are some things we will need to look for during preseason fantasy football and lineup construction:

  • How do teams need to use this season to prepare? What talent are they rolling out? What new positions did they fill? Who is the newest members to the team?
    • Example: The Washington Football Team brought on Fitzpatrick during the offseason. Due to bringing in Fitzpatrick and Heinicke showing some solid performances during the post-season last year the WFT will want to see who the best player is to determine the starter for next season so prepare for a lot of drives with both. We assume/expect it to be Fitzpatrick but who performs the best in the pre-season?
  • Use experience, depth chart order and tenure on the team to determine playing time.
    • Example: Take Buffalo for example, Stefon Diggs will likely see less playing time then a player that has moved up in the rotation such as Gabriel Davis who should see more playing time due to the departure of John Brown and moving up as the #3 behind Diggs/Beasley.
  • Be around. Do not just set your lines the day before, morning of and be happy with that. We are going to be following multiple outlets for player information and potential game plans to bring you the best information we have around time on the field.
  • Pay attention to the salary and build of your DFS lineup. While regular season we will season pricing be tight and more restrictive to our lines, in the past for preseason we have seen a much looser salary format that allowed so many different playing options.

DFS Army Strategy Advice

What am I looking for in terms of DFS opportunity?

Opportunity? What does this mean in terms of NFL preseason? Well in the end, what teams are looking for are those players that are going to impact the team the most. So while we prepare for preseason fantasy football there are certain categories that we need to be aware of on fades and plays. Those categories are below:

  • Lead Dogs: Each team has certain players especially those high-dollar/value running backs and wide receivers that just wont see a lot of playing time as they are critical to the teams success in the regular season. Their time will be limited to avoid any kind of injury that would result in losing playing time in games that matter the most. Example: Derrick Henry for the Titans. The dude is a work horse during the regular season so they’ll limit his time/carries during the pre-season.
  • Injuries: Who is coming off a major injury/surgery from last season and/or preseason. These individuals will likely be limited as well so they aren’t being rushed back and getting the feel back for the game. Example: Saquon Barkley who is returning from an ACL injury will start training camp on the PUP. It is very likely he plays little to no snaps in the preseason.
  • The Old Dogs: It’s no mystery that the older you are, the more wear and tear your body has on it. Well not only that but they also understand the importance of these young guys getting more playing time to be physically/mentally ready for the regular season. Example: TY Hilton, due to his years of experience he would need less time to prepare than a Michael Pittman Jr.
  • The Carr/Mariota Dilemma: While I don’t expect this exact situation to be a big deal the thing we need to look at is who is fighting for that starting position. Each guy will get the playing time to determine the best starter however who will play the best? Example: Rams running back situation. We recently found out about Cam Akers season ending injury so who’s going to step up? We all think it’s going to be Henderson but what are Xavier Jones/Jake Funk going to do to prove that should be the work horse. We’ll see a massive split here between these 3 guys so they can fix the massive hole Akers leaves.
  • The Talented Outcasts: Like every year we have rookies coming into the league, free agents joining new teams and new leaders on old teams. However, which guys are on the roster bubble? Which must put up or shut up? We hope to bring those guys we expect to have the biggest impact and prove they belong on the team. Example: Those younger guys sitting at the 4th and 5th position of the depth chart. What are the going to show to move them up above that cut spot.

The last couple things to remember about the above situational opportunities is every team will have these guys in each bucket and as a DFSArmy member we will strive to bring you the best information around these buckets.

Also, while you are looking at the data there are two ways to look at these games. Is the team well established and looking to get the team up to speed in ways or preparation or is the team with new key parts and using this time as a point of evaluation.

The Weekly Fantasy Football Breakdown:

As mentioned earlier we are dealing with a newer situation in the preseason layout with them cutting that 4th week out so here is how we expect the play to work:

  • Week 1: Starters should see around a quarter of play then giving way to the deeper roster guys from the 2nd through 4th
  • Week 2: NFL Starters will likely play around the first half while giving way to the deeper roster guys from the 3rd and 4th
  • Week 3: This is where it could get tricky. I’m expecting starters to not seeing any playing time and the teams will use this last week to really evaluate the deeper guys to decide between those remaining spots.

This is where the research and time spot will pay off as we will monitor everything we possibly can to identify and breakdown any coaches notes we can review.

What’s Next for you?

The NFL is quickly coming up on us and if you’re not a DFS ARMY member yet, what are you waiting on? Right now, we have some awesome deals going on:

First our NFL Season Pass: For just $199 you will receive access to the Domination station, Cheat-Sheets, Weekly videos/live streams breaking down slates and many other new and exciting articles we will be bringing to the users which include all pre-season games.

NFL Season Pass DFS

If the season pass isn’t for you, we will also be offering a 50% off your first month promotion that allows you to experience all the DFS Army has to offer without committing to a full season.  Don’t sit back and be content with the day to day coasting of losing money, get on with the DFSA and enjoy the tools, articles, videos and the community to get you to the next level in your DFS life!  In order to get access to these promotions make sure to use the code PRESEASON at sign-up.

Make sure you act on these promotions quickly as they will expire August 18th, don’t miss out on these amazing deals.

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