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Hall of Fame Game: NFL DFS Lineup

Some might say that gambling on the first NFL preseason game of the year would classify me as a degenerate. Well, I humbly accept that title and will raise you one DFS lineup. For those of you that are not aware, tomorrow officially marks the long-awaited return of the NFL with the Hall of Fame Game.

The NFL Hall of Fame Game is an annual preseason game where two teams, this year the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons, play each other during enshrinement ceremony weekend. The festivities take place at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium located in Canton, Ohio.

The games are usually not very exciting, with both teams playing zero starters. It is a chance for the participating teams to get a look at what their rookies can do in a “real” game setting. To really understand how slow these games can be, there have only been more than 40 points scored five out of the last twenty years. Dating back to 2010, there have only been two Hall of Fame games that have gone over 34 total points. This can be attributed to the fact that new defenses tend to progress quicker than new offenses.

When setting a DFS lineup, especially for the Hall of Fame Game, you have to do a lot of research. Look into what the training reports are saying, local beat writes, and analyze coaches comments. The trickiest part is figuring out who is going to get the most playing time. Like I said before, their likely won’t be any starters, so you can eliminate them from your lineup. Now you need to find out who will be taking up those minutes. Will it be the backup, third-string, or even fourth-string guys for the better part of the game?

With all of that in mind, here is my Hall of Fame DFS lineup. We will be competing in the NFL Showdown Captain Mode. The difference in a showdown mode on Draftkings is that you have to pick one player or unit that costs more but returns 1.5 times the amount of points. Everyone else costs the exact same.

Captain (1.5x the points)

Atlanta defense (11 400$)

The preseason is the only time of the year where I will start a defense in the captain spot. On top of that, I can guarantee it will be the only time I start Atlanta’s defense. Atlanta’s defense was a disappointment last year. They ranked 25th or worse in rushing and passing yards allowed. The team drafted a surplus of defensive help, and they’re expected to see considerable action.

A young defense that will strive off of mistakes made by the third or fourth string quarterbacks and receivers, a no brainer for the captain spot. If they can come up with an interception or two, then they will easily cover their cost.

FLEX – Denver Defense

We are largely expecting a low scoring, defensive battle in this game. It would only make sense to have both defenses in your lineup. They will be slugging it out with one another, hopefully taking advantage of their opposing offenses.

FLEX – Denver Kicker Brandon McManus

One of the reasons that research is so important when setting a preseason lineup is to catch situations like this one. Denver currently only has one placekicker on its roster, that is Brandon McManus. In a low scoring, defensive battle, kickers can be the most valuable assets. If McManus doesn’t have to share time with anyone else, or battle for a spot on the roster he is guaranteed all of the field goals for Denver. It might be a dull play, but it is necessary to be successful in this format.

FLEX – Denver QB Drew Lock

The quarterback situation in Atlanta is too tough to figure out. On the other hand, Denver GM John Elway will be looking to see what the team has in rookie Drew Lock. Denver is currently rolling with Joe Flacco as their number one option, but Lock is everything Elway has been searching for in a QB. He’s tall, a good pocket passer, and has a cannon for an arm. He hasn’t looked great in training camp so far; this might be his opportunity to show that he could lead this team. Fellow rookies Kevin Hogan and Brett Rypien will also see some time, but we have to hope Lock gets at least the second and third quarter.

FLEX – Atlanta RB Kenjon Barner

Journeyman Kenjon Barner has now landed in Atlanta. Word out of training camp is the veteran has been impressive. Atlanta has a pretty solid running back core with Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith. The problem is that Freeman cannot stay healthy, and Ito cannot carry a team on his own. The Falcons will try to see what they have in Barner for depth at the position. I can see him playing for most of the game, and he can be a disruptive force in the passing game.

FLEX – Denver RB Khalfani Muhammad

Being able to grab the “starting” running backs for both teams will make or break this DFS team. Muhammad is fighting hard to make the 53 man roster in Denver, and he has impressed so far. The Cal product boasts 4.34 40 speed and amassed 2,644 yards from scrimmage in college. He is a small back at only 175 pounds but can play a Darren Sproles type role in this offense. I think Denver will try to showcase him tomorrow night, and he will use the opportunity to impress as much as possible.

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