This article is part of our DraftKings NFL series.
The final tune-up is upon us in a week where we usually see the deep backups get a majority of the playing time. Scores this week will be variable and possibly low scoring. However, we do get a full slate to end our preseason contests. We will cover Thursday's 15-game slate.
Joe Callahan (GB) - Starter Aaron Rodgers won't suit up for the Packers' preseason finale against the Chiefs, and it looks unlikely that backup Brett Hundley will either. That leaves Joe Callahan and Marquise Williams to play quarterback. Callahan is on the fringe of making the roster after a strong preseason that has seen him complete 64 percent of his passes for 356 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. If the Packers are serious about keeping Callahan then they likely will get as long a look as they can Thursday.
Joe Webb (CAR) - Cam Newton and Derek Anderson are solidified at the top of the depth chart with nothing to prove heading into the final preseason game. That leaves Joe Webb to play nearly the full game for the Panthers. It hasn't been announced if Derek Anderson will get some reps, but conventional wisdom says this game will be Webb's to play. Webb offers dual-threat ability that will pay off over four quarters.
Paxton Lynch (DEN) - Coach Gary Kubiak told NFL Network on Monday that Paxton Lynch would play the entire Thursday's preseason finale against Arizona. The Broncos just named Trevor Siemian their starting quarterback, so it makes sense to let Lynch get an entire game under his belt.
Jameill Showers (DAL) - The Cowboys quarterback situation is actually quite simple now. With Tony Romo out 6-10 weeks, Dak Prescott will start and his backup is the only other healthy quarterback in Dallas in Jameill Showers. With Prescott in line to start Week 1, don't expect to see him on the field in the preseason finale. Last week, Showers completed 10 of 17 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. All signs point to him playing all four quarters in this one.
Byron Marshall (PHI) - The Eagles are unlikely to run Ryan Mathews or Darren Sproles any further this preseason after getting three healthy games out of each. Kenjon Barner looks to have taken control of the direct backup role to Mathews, and rookie Wendell Smallwood is still in concussion protocol. That leaves fellow rookie Byron Marshall to get a ton of work. Marshall can contribute in both the running and passing game.
Darius Jackson (DAL) - Jackson has already been a popular play this preseason for DFS and we will get one more opportunity to fire him up on Thursday. The Cowboys backfield is set at this point with Ezekiel Elliott as the lead back and Alfred Morris backing him up. Neither should suit up Thursday, leaving Jackson to get a majority, if not all, the work against the Texans. Lance Dunbar has an outside shot of playing, but it remains unlikely.
C.J. Prosise (SEA) - Prosise was on a lot of early season sleeper radars, but a hamstring issue held him out of the Seahawks' first two preseason games. In his return last week, Prosise carried four times for 23 yards. The Seahawks hope to use Prosise as a pass-catching third-down option, and he has one more preseason game to show he is ready for that expanded role. Fellow rookie Alex Collins also figures to get work, but the stakes are high for both running backs.
Kenneth Farrow (SD) - The Chargers waived running back Dreamius Smith on Tuesday, leaving the final running back spot available to Farrow or newly signed Gus Johnson. With Branden Oliver suffering an Achilles injury last week, Farrow has the inside track to make the team and should get the last preseason game as a final audition of his talents. Farrow hasn't touched the ball in the Chargers' last two preseason games, which makes this play risky, but with a bunch of upside.
Notes & Other Options:
With a 15-game slate, there isn't enough time to mention all the potential plays, but here is some food for thought:
• As it stands, the Falcons have no running backs suiting up against the Jaguars. Terron Ward and Brandon Wilds are both injured and ruled out and neither Tevin Coleman or Devonta Freeman will play. It is possible fullback Patrick DiMarco gets work out of the backfield, but you'll have to pay attention to that situation.
Alex Erickson (CIN) - The undrafted free agent out of Wisconsin has turned his strong preseason into a roster spot with the Bengals. With the Bengals waiving Brandon Tate and Mario Alford on Tuesday, Erickson figures to now open the season as the Bengals' punt returner. His role in the offense might be a bit limited, though he does have two receiving touchdowns this preseason. The Bengals likely won't suit up A.J. Green, and Tyler Boyd might only play a few snaps, leaving a lot of offensive duties to Erickson and fellow rookie Cody Core. Both make for strong plays in this slate.
Geronimo Allison (GB) - Allison is having a great preseason but possibly on the wrong team. The Packers are already one of the deeper teams at wide receiver, and the strong play of Allison isn't making their roster decisions any easier. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb will sit this game out, with Davante Adams and Jared Abberderis playing sparingly. That leaves guys like Allison and fellow rookie Trevor Davis to see extended time in the passing game. Both should produce enough volume to be DFS relevant.
Mose Frazier (DEN) - Frazier hasn't gotten many opportunities this preseason, but he does have one thing going for him in this finale and that is a Memphis connection with Paxton Lynch. Frazier has been targeted seven times this preseason, all with Lynch under center. With Frazier making the 75-man cut Tuesday, it appears he will get opportunity Thursday and the comfort level with Lynch could help turn out a solid performance.
Paul Turner (PHI) - The Eagles released Rueben Randle and Chris Givens, making Paul Turner's odds of making the team very strong. This preseason, Turner has caught 11 passes for 99 yards on 14 targets. Dorial Green-Beckham will also suit up for the Eagles on Thursday, but the length of his play is uncertain. With Jordan Matthews and Nelson Agholor sitting out, Turner should see plenty of targets.
Notes & Other Options:
•Robby Anderson has hauled in 10 receptions for 196 yards and two touchdowns in his last two preseason games. He is a great play with Bryce Petty on the field, however Christian Hackenberg still has a lot to show at the pro level.
• The Cardinals have a three-way battle for their fifth and sixth wideout jobs between Chris Hubert, Jaxon Shipley and Brittan Golden. All could make for good plays, but there also may be too many mouths to feed.
•Jakeem Grant started the preseason well for the Dolphins, catching four passes for 68 yards. A rib injury then put him out of action for a week before returning in a game that saw 16 receivers catch at least one pass. With rosters cut down a bit look for Grant to spin another week one like performance.
• The Colts have a roster battle for entering the final week of the preseason between Tevaun Smith, Mekale McKay and Chester Rogers. Smith has the upper hand as it sits now, but expect all three to see the field exclusively in the preseason finale.
David Morgan (MIN) - The Vikings lost third-string tight end MyCole Pruitt for up to four weeks with a leg injury, and backup Rhett Ellison is still working his way back from a torn patellar tendon. Kyle Rudolph won't be risked to injury in the preseason finale, leaving rookie David Morgan as the top (and only) tight-end option for the Vikings.
A.J. Derby (NE) - Derby has had a strong preseason, one that has included a six-reception, 71-yard performance back in Week 2. Derby has seemingly leaped Clay Harbor for a roster spot and has one final game to make his final case. Derby is also at the advantage of playing with a more talent quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo for at least a quarter.
Darren Waller (BAL) - With Ben Watson lost for the year with an Achilles injury, the Ravens likely will open the season with Crockett Gillmore as their starting tight end. Fellow tight ends Dennis Pitta and Maxx Williams will also be in the mix, but neither is healthy and able to play in the preseason finale. Waller should see increased work out of the tight end spot and has an outside chance of making the roster.