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NFL Week 8 Daily Fantasy Football Picks For DraftKings, FanDuel [UPDATED: SAT, 10/26] (Sunday, October 27)

NFL Week 8 Daily Fantasy Football Picks For DraftKings, FanDuel (Sunday, October 27)

Following a mixed bag of picks last week that featured players on both ends of the performance spectrum, we enter Week 8 looking to wash our hands of the Kyler Murray bust plays and embrace more of the Aaron Rodgers 5-TD type energy (I wrote them both up as top plays last week).

Peering into the pricing this week, there is plenty to get eager about with some blowup spots for a couple of home teams in Seattle and New England that have more than caught my attention (yes, outside of being a Pats fan). At the same time that the more obvious can clearly be confirmed, there are some challenging spend-up top talent players in difficult matchups. The silver lining within this element is that ownership tends to take a significant drop-off depending on the scenario and how much a skewed perception propels the public into a “safer” direction.

Dicey situations for top-priced stalwarts make for some interesting slates, in that their undeniable talents are uncomfortably conflicted by steep price combined with high-risk matchups, and thus establishing a Russian roulette of roster construction for us all. This becomes even further the debacle in Single Entry and 3-Max tournaments considering you’ve got a very risk-laden decision to make one way or the other: fading the possibility of high-ceiling fantasy point production or rostering a lofty price tag with a strong possibility for a subpar outing. Then there are simply the unappealing games (see: Chargers/Bears), which may contain some players who go overlooked.

While lower ownership is something we strive to select from at times, weighing the decision to roster a bad matchup is another story. Let’s make some difficult decisions.

The Gameplan

Creating a roster by hand this week isn’t the easiest endeavor, and mainly for the above conundrum just mentioned. Should you play the route of avoiding the dangerous matchups in favor of the “safe” ones, you wind up pigeonholing yourself into roster construction that will wind up being extremely chalky due to the number of DFS players who have the tendency to react the same way by default.

It’s not every Sunday that fading Christian McCaffrey is even close to a thing, but for some there could be an argument for it this week against the 49ers, and he isn’t the only one who may see slightly decreased ownership. Nick Chubb is headed into a stifling matchup with the Patriots in Foxboro and appears to be garnering far less ownership than he would on any other slate. These are two characters I will be keeping an eye on throughout the week and talk about in the update in time for the weekend, but very much intriguing plays to be over the field on considering ownership at appealing levels.

I’ll be focusing on affordable key pieces from the Texans, Seahawks, and Patriots, along with a rotation of all three quarterbacks in Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, and Tom Brady (as a contrarian play considering they’ll likely be running the ball in large doses). Sony Michel will be one of the more appealing Cash Game plays from this matchup, while James White and Brandon Bolden will be the GPP appeals. Chris Carson will be finding himself in both Cash Games as well as GPP’s, as the bell-cow back in one of the best matchups on the entire slate in front of the Twelfth Man against the reeling Falcons.

Our dirt cheap value of the week is in a sudden [shared] starting role for the foreseeable future out in Detroit in Ty Johnson. While supposedly sharing carries in the Lions backfield with J.D. McKissic until Kerryon Johnson comes off of Injured Reserve, Johnson appears to be the first and second-down ball carrier based on touches we saw last week against Minnesota following Johnson’s exit.

Then, of course, how could I forget the Rams at home against the Cincinnati Bengals who rank 31st, only behind the Dolphins, in overall defensive DVOA (29th Pass, 28th Rush)? Todd Gurley at low ownership is definitely going to catch my attention every time here, and Cooper Kupp seeking redemption for last week’s blunder at high ownership seems like a stellar play to get to in high doses. Either way, there’s plenty to mix-and-match from low and high-popularity plays in Week 8. The weekend update should spell further insight after days of gauging the field’s designations.

UPDATE (FRI 10/25):

With yet another week that passes and David Johnson missing practice with a number of injuries (back and ankle) being deemed a game-time decision by General Manager Steve Keim, Chase Edmonds finds himself on the radar as a spend-up-to-be-contrarian option after absolutely dominating the fantasy scoreboard last weekend against the Giants on the road (3 RU TD, 126 RU YDS, 2 REC, 24 REC YDS). While the Saints defense against the rush ranks 9th overall DVOA (per Football Outsiders), at the same time they’re middle of the pack at 14th overall DVOA against the RB in the receiving game, which makes Edmonds a very intriguing contrarian option. Considering I strictly play in GPP’s, I will be getting to a fair share of Edmonds, as besting the field in ownership shouldn’t take much.

And now that we’re talking about practice (cheers to you, AI), Drew Brees and Alvin Kamara have apparently returned to the participation in such and according to one Saints beat reporter Kat Terrell, is quite optimistic of Brees’ return Sunday. If this winds up being the case, default from Teddy Bridgewater over to Brees in your potential (and suggested) pairing with Michael Thomas. If Kamara does in fact play also, I would still consider Latavius Murray a somewhat sneaky GPP play.

Delanie Walker is ruled out with a concussion (once again), which means we’re on the brink of Jonnu Smith Chalk Week. Coming in ridiculously cheap on both sites, it’s easy for Smith to hit value and then some, especially considering he’s a favorite option of recent Titans starter Ryan Tannehill, who is an inspiring GPP play himself considering the Bucs defense ranks 25th DVOA against the pass. Stacking these two up with A.J. Brown wouldn’t be entirely frowned upon (I say that now) as a contrarian stack that makes for much affordability elsewhere and if it hits, that’s a bonus on top of it all.

And finally, Matt Ryan is questionable to return this Sunday following an ankle injury last week against the Rams that didn’t appear to be one you could just bounce right back from (but naturally, I could be wrong). Should he play, Ryan would be an interesting GPP play as well, especially considering how low-owned he would likely be and how high his fantasy ceiling truly is. I would recommend throwing in at least one dart stacking Ryan with Julio Jones, Austin Hooper, or Calvin Ridley and let the dice roll where they may. Seattle’s secondary is dead middle of the pack against the pass ala DVOA ranking at 16th overall, and the Falcons being at home at least helps their case as well. Not a shabby contrarian option, despite being burned by that group (besides Hooper) as of late.

UPDATE, SAT 10/26:

Scratch that apparently! With Matt Ryan now officially out, dart-throw would be Matt Schaub at extremely low production required to pay off his price tag. But that’s a huge if.

Drew Brees is officially playing, so fire him up as well.

Best of luck, fellow degens.  Get at me on Twitter (@TopherSquints) as well.

Quarterback

Deshaun Watson, HOU ($7,100 DK/$8,400 FD)

Consideration: Cash Games, GPP (All Entry Field Sizes)

Speaking of seeking redemption, Deshaun Watson goes back home to take on Oakland in Reliant Stadium as a breath-of-fresh-air matchup for the Texans, who are seeking to stay in the race with the Colts for the AFC South. Bunched right down there with the Falcons and Bengals tier of Not-Quite-Dolphins-Worst pass defense at 30th overall DVOA per Football Outsiders, the Raiders setup as a fantastic bounce back spot for Watson, who will be looking to stretch the field against an Oakland secondary who ranks 31st against the deep ball. This in turn will setup to allow Watson the room to scramble for a sizeable share of rushing yards as well while keeping linebackers guessing.

I believe pairing Watson with DeAndre Hopkins will prove to be a popular move, and one that I would recommend accompanying with one other receiving component (even Duke Johnson) besides Hopkins, along with one of the Raiders receivers to run it back, adding necessary differential to your roster for uniqueness.

Watson is a bit pricey for Cash Games, but given his extreme ceiling and fantastic spot, I believe it’s entirely warranted in all capacities of DFS entries.

*Teddy Bridgewater, NO ($5,900 DK/$7,500 FD)

Consideration: Cash Games, GPP (All Entry Field Sizes)

Don’t look now, but the New Orleans Saints are 5-0 without Drew Brees. Better yet, it’s with Teddy Bridgewater. And getting the visiting Cardinals this week while Alvin Kamara is still questionable with a banged-up ankle could very well mean a whole lot of the Bridgewater/Michael Thomas Show.

Just ahead of the lowest denominators of defense which I just mentioned, the Arizona Cardinals rank 26th against the pass ala DVOA, and Bridgewater just went into the Midway and slung two touchdowns, no turnovers, and 281 yards, while Latavius Murray rushed for two more scores as well.

Bridgewater boasts a lofty ceiling that’s reason to make him considered in GPP play also, as he has thrown for four touchdowns in a game already this season, and only two interceptions since his injection to the game in Week 2. At the same time, his 16 DraftKings Fantasy Point Per Game average is what makes him an affordable Cash Game play on top of that.

I know it doesn’t sound like the most entertaining play to the ears of some, but I believe Teddy Bridgewater allows you the financial fantasy spending at other positions all whilst offering very achievable upside against this uninspiring Cardinals secondary.

*If Bridgewater is benched in lieu of Drew Brees, Brees becomes the obvious spend-up play.

Other Cash Game QB Considerations:
Tom Brady, NE ($6,600 DK/$7,900 FD)
Matthew Stafford, DET ($6,100 DK/$7,700 FD)
Jacoby Brissett, IND ($5,600 DK/$7,500 FD)
Gardner Minshew, JAC ($5,500 DK/$6,900 FD)
*Drew Brees, NO ($6,300 DK/$7,200 FD)

Other GPP QB Considerations:
Russell Wilson, SEA ($7,200 DK/$8,600 FD)
Jared Goff, LAR ($6,800 DK/$8,000 FD)
Josh Allen, BUF ($6,500 DK/$7,700 FD)
**Matt Ryan, ATL ($6,000 DK/$7,600 FD)

DART THROW GPP QB:
Ryan Tannehill, TEN ($5,100 DK/$6,900 FD)

**If Matt Ryan is playing, then he becomes a GPP option.

Running Back

Todd Gurley, LAR ($7,400 DK/$7,400 FD)

Consideration: Cash Games, GPP (Small, Mid Field Entry Sizes)

Despite his Week 1 being marred by Malcolm Brown vulturing away his red zone opportunities, Todd Gurley is plugging along as a steady play and looks to continue the recent trend into the end zone. Over his past three games, Gurley has score a touchdown in each matchup and two touchdowns a piece in Weeks 4 and 5. Drawing a depleted opponent in a Bengals defense that ranks 29th against the rush per DVOA, and has surrendered the most rushing yards in the league and leading by a mile (1,323 rushing yards; 1,042 by the Chiefs is next closest).

The initial idea that Gurley is going to be low-owned is a fond one, and makes getting over the field so much easier in the process. His price tag is just high enough to scare some people off of it, and makes it that much easier to get over them in ownership percentage.

While averaging 19.36 DKFP over the past three games, I’m betting that the trend continues and truly hope his field exposure stays low to some degree.

Chris Carson, SEA ($7,000 DK/$8,000 FD)

Consideration: Cash Games, GPP (All Entry Field Sizes)

Although he most definitely signifies some of the higher-owned chalk on the slate, there’s also no denying how he got there and why it makes all the sense in the world. And after starting the season as a notorious fumbler on his way to Coach Carroll’s dog house, Chris Carson soon shed the bad habit (along with the rap that came with it) and has proven himself a top ten DraftKings running back to this point in the season.

If it weren’t for high ownership, I would suggest Carson in larger tournaments in full confidence but my only hesitation is being too much like the field here if he ends the day with middling numbers. Thankfully he isn’t too pricey, so he wouldn’t entirely kill you with putting up mediocrity. But I find the massive upside to be worthy of investments in all tournament structures, as he averages nearly 18 DKFP per game and hasn’t fumbled the football since Week 3 against the Saints (which in hindsight makes plenty more since with their vaunted defense).

Get to Carson, because the potential is clear and the Falcons are clearly bad…at home. Imagine on the road in an electric CenturyLink Field thirsty for a win they feel they should have been treated to last weekend.

Other Cash Game RB Considerations:
Sony Michel, NE ($5,200 DK/$6,500 FD)
LeVeon Bell, NYJ ($6,900 DK/$7,000 FD)
Leonard Fournette, JAC ($7,800 DK/$7,700 FD)
Marlon Mack, IND ($6,100 DK/$6,800 FD)
***Latavius Murray, NO ($5,800 DK/$6,200 FD)
Devonta Freeman, ATL ($5,500 DK/$6,200 FD)

Other GPP RB Considerations:
Saquon Barkley, NYG ($8,900 DK/$8,600 FD)
Christian McCaffrey, CAR ($9,200 DK/$9,600 FD)
James White, NE ($5,100 DK/$6,000 FD)
Ty Johnson, DET ($4,900 DK/$5,200 FD)
Nick Chubb, CLE ($6,600 DK/$7,700 FD)
Chase Edmonds, ARI ($6,200 DK/$6,100 FD)
***Alvin Kamara, NO ($7,600 DK/$8,100 FD)

 

DART THROW GPP RB:
Brandon Bolden, NE ($3,500 DK/$5,000 FD)

***If Kamara plays, I still consider Latavius Murray to be a viable GPP option.

Wide Receiver

Michael Thomas, NO ($8,000 DK/$8,500 FD)

Consideration: GPP (All Entry Field Sizes)

There’s no denying the greatness of the New Orleans Saints led under the on-field commander in Drew Brees. But Michael Thomas is a proven talent regardless of who is throwing him the ball (no slight to Bridgewater whatsoever), and the numbers are an ongoing testimonial to it.

In 2019, Michael Thomas is the highest scoring DraftKings receiver on the year and has also averaged the second-highest DKFP per game just behind Chris Godwin by less than three points. He’s currently on pace for over 1,700 receiving yards and with a matchup like the Cardinals, the pace should only continue stridently in favor in Week 8.

The Cardinals rank 27th overall against the WR1 positioned player, the fifth-most receiving yards to date of all teams with 1,828, and 29th overall against the deep threat (which could also be Ted Ginn). As the Saints standout talent in the receiving game, there’s argument for potentially getting as close to being a “lock play” as anyone on the slate at the position.

Kenny Golladay, DET ($6,400 DK/$6,700 FD)

Consideration: Cash Games, GPP (All Entry Field Sizes)

With a bad beat Detroit Lions squad that’s got every bit as much fight and scrappy talent as it does of bad luck, Kenny Golladay stands as one of the bright spots on this Lions offense who will need to step up the receptions per target (e.g: hold onto the ball more often when it’s thrown to him). With Kerryon Johnson on IR, and T.J. Hockenson banged-up all year, the Lions will need every bit they can get out of Golladay until the end of the season to be a low-probability playoff hopeful.

If the Lions are lucky for anything, it’s that we find their Week 8 opposition of the New York Giants in that same category of bottom-of-the-barrel pass defense I’ve been clammering on about for the entire article, ranking 27th overall DVOA per Football Outsiders. Ranking 26th overall in passing yards allowed with 1,799 yards, this appears to bode well for the third-year receiver who is currently on pace for a 1,000-yard season.

The absence of Johnson should work in Golladay’s favor for the next several weeks and starting with the Giants secondary isn’t a bad thing whatsoever (so long as he catches the ball).

Other Cash Game WR Considerations:
Tyler Lockett, SEA ($7,000 DK/$7,200 FD)
Julian Edelman, NE ($6,900 DK/$6,600 FD)
T.Y. Hilton, IND ($6,100 DK/$7,600 FD)
Cooper Kupp, LAR ($7,500 DK/$7,700 FD)
Robert Woods, LAR ($6,300 DK/$7,000 FD)
DeAndre Hopkins, HOU ($8,100 DK/$8,200 FD)

Other GPP WR Considerations:
Zach Pascal, IND ($4,300 DK/$5,700 FD)
Golden Tate, NYG ($5,800 DK/$6,100 FD)
Keke Coutee, HOU ($4,100 DK/$5,100 FD)
Brandin Cooks, LAR ($5,700 DK/$6,900 FD)
Kenny Stills, HOU ($4,700 DK/$5,700 FD)

DART THROW GPP WR:
Chris Conley, JAC ($3,300 DK/$5,100 FD)

Tight End

Evan Engram, NYG ($5,300 DK/$6,300 FD)

Consideration: GPP (All Entry Field Sizes)

Granted, this would require him to be an actual player on the field, but I have hope this week for Evan Engram. And against one of the worst defenses against the tight end position in Detroit (according to Defense Vs Position DVOA), Engram could have a redemption week as well in a dome setting that should work more in his favor than the slop he was playing in last week at the Meadowlands.

Although his season stat line is anchored in part by a blowup performance against the Buccaneers in Week 3, Engram still remains a top four DraftKings tight end performer in 2019, averaging 15.1 DKFP per game to this point of the year. The Lions are tied at 18th with the Browns, Bears, and Dolphins for the average fantasy points per game surrendered to tight ends, and if Engram is suited-up for this matchup then he stands opportune to be a top scoring fantasy tight end for Week 8.

Austin Hooper, ATL ($5,500 DK/$6,600 FD)

Consideration: Cash Games, GPP (All Entry Field Sizes)

One may think that Hooper isn’t even a factor with Matt Schaub coming in behind center, but from what we saw last week it appears Hooper is Schaub’s favorite target on the Falcons offense. Coming in one target shy of Julio Jones’ nine targets in Week 7, Hooper scored the Falcons only touchdown (thrown by Schaub) and will likely be the first candidate to see looks from the grizzled backup quarterback.

Thankfully, Hooper’s opponent in Seattle ranks 22nd against the tight end position DVOA and ranks 27th in fantasy points surrendered per game to the tight end position (8.86). The Falcons will almost certainly be playing from behind and also equally as likely seeing a lot of pressure from the Seahawks front 7, meaning there should be a solid share of distribution via check-down to the reliable tight end, and he may wind up with some garbage time points as well.

Ownership will be interesting here as the week progresses, and we should make it a point to monitor it periodically as we proceed with roster construction throughout the week.

Other Cash Game TE Considerations:
Gerald Everett, LAR ($4,300 DK/$6,100 FD)
Eric Ebron, DET ($3,400 DK/$5,400 FD)
Ben Watson, NE ($3,000 DK/$4,900 FD)
Cameron Brate, TB ($2,700 DK/$5,200 FD)

Other GPP TE Considerations:
George Kittle, SF ($6,500 DK/$6,900 FD)
Darren Waller, OAK ($5,900 DK/$6,800 FD)
Jacob Hollister, SEA ($2,900 DK/$4,800 FD)
Jonnu Smith, TEN ($2,800 DK/$4,900 FD)

DART THROW GPP TE:
Dawson Knox, BUF ($2,900 DK/$4,600 FD)

Defense/Special Teams

Cash Game DST Considerations:
Patriots ($4,300 DK/$5,000 FD)
Seahawks ($2,800 DK/$4,900 FD)
Colts ($2,900 DK/$4,800 FD)
Saints ($3,500 DK/$4,400 FD)

GPP DST Considerations:
Rams ($3,800 DK/$5,00 FD)
Titans ($3,200 DK/$4,600 FD)
Niners ($3,700 DK/$4,800 FD)
Bears ($3,600 Dk/$4,800 FD)

DART THROW GPP DST:
Panthers ($2,400 DK/$3,500 FD)

Chris "Topher" Giordani is a sports gambling nerd who derives his passion for such from a number of avenues, particularly the ilk of fantasy sports. Currently working and residing in Orange County, California, daily fantasy sports consume a vast majority of his attention span on any given day. Reviving his sports rant podcast in 2019. #FadeTheChalk

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