The last weekend of exhibition football has arrived as all 32 teams look to structure the final anatomy of their 53-man rosters. With opening kickoff 13 days away, fringe players around the league are looking for their final push to make the roster or crack the starting lineup. Below, we will take a look at some of the top DFS plays over the 14 games remaining on the schedule to help you build a war chest for the regular season.
WR Chase Cota [DET vs. CAR]
At 6'4" 205lbs with a 4.50 40-time and a 38 inch vertical leap, Chase Cota has made his presence felt in the Lions two preseason games reeling in 6 catches for 69 yards on 12 targets including a touchdown in last weeks matchup against the Jaguars. Fighting for the last spot in the WR room, Cota should see another healthy intake of targets vs. the Panthers on Friday night giving him ample opportunity to join the likes of Amon-Ra and Jameson Williams on opening day.
WR Kayshon Boutte [NE vs. TEN]
Coming out of LSU, Kayshon Boutte did not have the same buzz or hype that other Tigers WRs have seen in the past like Justin Jefferson, Ja'Marr Chase, OBJ and others despite being the fastest LSU WR to 100 catches in their programs history. He is, however, making his mark in the short time he has been with the New England Patriots including a 42-yard touchdown catch last week. With a majority of the Patriots offense locked in, Boutte will aim to make one final push to impress the two Bill's [Belichick and O'Brien]
QB Malik Cunningham [NE vs. TEN]
Sticking with the Patriots, there is no one who has been more exciting to watch for Patriots fans this preseason than Malik Cunningham, the speedy do-it-all QB (slash WR, slash RB?) out of Louisville. With rumors of Mac Jones sitting for the third preseason game and Cunningham averaging 28.5 snaps per game, I wouldn't hesitate to put MC16 in the drivers seat of your DFS lineups for Friday or weekend play.
QB Aidan O'Connell [LV vs. DAL]
For non-starters, there has been no QB more impressive through two weeks of preseason play than Raiders QB Aidan O'Connell who has thrown for 304 yards and 3 TDs on 72.2% passing in the first two weeks. The 6'3" Purdue graduate has caused a bit of a stir in a QB room that had all but shoed in Jimmy G as QB1 and the reliable Brian Hoyer as QB2. I believe Vegas and their fan base want to see more of O'Connell before he moves to a backup role to see what their future may hold and give him a chance to win the #2 spot.
RB Zonovan Knight [NYJ vs. NYG]
Bam Knight was a solid contributor for the New York Jets in 22-23 especially in the wake of the Breece Hall injury. He racked up 300 yards on the ground (3.5 yards per attempt) and 100 yards in the air (13 catches on 14 targets) and seemed to be a lock for a roster spot coming in to this season. After the addition of Dalvin Cook and the impressive 5th round pick, Izzy Abanikanda, Knight is now at risk of being cut. They increased his workload in Week 2 of the preseason (12 touches) and I see that increasing a bit as we enter the final game.
RB Julius Chestnut [TEN vs. NE]
It looks as if Julius Chestnut may benefit from situational luck heading into the weekend as Titans running backs Hassan Haskins and Jonathan Ward have missed time this week and are unlikely to contribute on Friday night leaving only three backs. Chestnut is coming off of a HUGE week vs. the Vikings where he rushed for 98 yards on 13 carries and scored a touchdown while also catching a touchdown for one yard. Chestnut may not make the Titans roster, but he certainly has the chance to impress the league in his final preseason game.
WR Justyn Ross [KC vs. CLE]
Chiefs WR Justyn Ross is coming off of a season where an injury sidelined the undrafted rookie for the entire season and although he has battled injury again heading into 2023, he has a decent chance to make Kansas City's opening day roster. At 6'4", 205lbs, Ross' size should continue to create a problem for the 2nd and 3rd string defensive units as we conclude the preseason. He has 4 catches and a touchdown through the first two weeks and will look to put a bow on his resume to make the team vs. Cleveland on Saturday.
WR Jalen Tolbert [DAL vs. LV]
With the return of a healthy Michael Gallup and the addition of Brandin Cooks, second year WR Jalen Tolbert has quickly lost a solidified role in the Cowboys WR grouping despite Dallas using a third round pick on the South Alabama wideout in last years draft. Only starting one game last season and catching a mere two targets, Tolbert has had to use the preseason as his stage where he has 95 yards on 6 catches and a touchdown so far. His roster spot is locked, but he has one more chance to show his prowess against the Raiders on Saturday. Look for him to expose a few of the Vegas defensive backs tomorrow night.
WR Andrei Iosivas [CIN vs. WAS]
Look for the Bengals 6th round pick Andrei Iosivas cement his role behind Chase, Higgins and Boyd this week vs. the Commanders after leading the team in receiving the first two weeks of the preseason (4-50, 5-44). At 6'3", Iosivas can add yet another terrifying option to the arsenal that Joe Borrows already has at his disposal.
WR Elijah Cooks and RB Salvon Ahmed [JAX vs. MIA]
There are a number of options in the Jaguars/Dolphins game on Saturday for your DFS lineups including Tim Jones, Cartavious Bigsby, Braxton Berrios among others but I have honed in on Elijah Cooks and Salvon Ahmed for different reasons. Cooks, the 6'4" undrafted rookie out of San Jose State, is really putting pressure on Tim Jones and Seth Williams for the final WR spot on the Jaguars roster and has some explosive plays through two games this preseason. If he can put together one final impressive performance, he may find himself on the opening day roster.
Salvon Ahmed's spot on the roster is locked in at this point but with a crowded running back room, he can still make an impression vs. the Jaguars. We likely won't see much from expected RB1 Raheem Mostert this week and with explosively fast rookie Devon Achane dealing with a small injury, Ahmed could see some extra run on Saturday night. He is coming off of an incredible performance (4-99 rushing, 4-32-1 receiving) and will look to repeat that.