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Daily Fantasy Football Picks for FanDuel and DraftKings - Week 8 10/30/16
Happy week 8, everyone! Week 7 in the NFL saw a dramatic return to sanity (overall), with chalk lineups getting paid off and those who cut against the grain getting chewed up in the process. Week 8 is sort of an odd one. With another London game and a slew of byes, we're dealing with a limited player pool. Thankfully we have some terrific match-ups and a handful of great value plays to get us home. Let's do this.
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Tom Brady FD 8700 DK 7600
Proj Points FD - 21.3 DK - 22.15
Brady took a step back from a fantasy perspective, but that can likely be attributed to the fact that he was playing a Steelers team that was missing its quarterback. Brady still went off in wildly efficient fashion, going 19/26 for 222 yards and two touchdowns without getting sacked a single time. This week he'll square off against the Bills, who have allowed a league-average yards per game to opposing passers but the 7th worst yards per attempt figure this season. Brady is still very reasonably priced, and a very solid cash game option given his healthy receiving corp.
Aaron Rodgers FD 8800 DK 7500
Proj Points FD - 22.8 DK - 23.43
Were we too quick to write Aaron Rodgers off? It's looking possible. With the insane RB situation in Green Bay, the Pack have leaned back on their superstar quarterback, and he's responded. He's averaged better than 300 yards per game on better than a 70% completion rate in the last two games, and will have one of his best match-ups (if not his best) of the season against Atlanta. The Falcons have allowed the 2nd most passing yards per game, and grabbing the best QB in the game with the highest overall total is rarely a bad thing unless the price is out of hand. That isn't the case here, and our projection system is pegging Rodgers for an excellent week here.
Jameis Winston FD 7400 DK 5700
Proj Points FD - 19.91 DK - 20.87
The 2015 first overall pick is... pretty much doing what he did last season. Which is to say, he's a relatively average quarterback on a team that will put him in position to get around 250 passing yards per game. He's still erratic, and the Bucs dependency on the long-ball to get the offense going will lead to some up and down performances, but all indicators are that this game should be of the "up" variety. The Raiders are the only team in the NFL that has allowed 300 passing yards or more per game, and their simple existence will rocket any QB into top tier consideration. What you're really into here, though, is the price. Winston represents a significant savings over the top tier of QBs, and getting extra attempts in against a team that's among the bottom of the league in yards per attempt allowed should mean the normally erratic (does that make sense?) Winston should have a higher floor than usual.
Devonta Freeman FD 6900 DK 6500
Proj Points FD - 17.2 DK - 18.96
Freeman was getting consideration on these prices with Tevin Coleman healthy, and with Coleman ruled out for week 8, you better believe Freeman will be the chalk play in all formats this weekend. Green Bay has been excellent against the run this season, but this game has the highest total of the week, and Atlanta is favored here. Since most of their offensive plan revolves around lots of RB touches and Julio Jones, Freeman just looks wildly underpriced here. He's closer to an $8,000 dollar running back on FanDuel at these prices, and you could make a solid case he's worth even more than that. Just play Freeman everywhere unless we get some news that drastically changes things.
David Johnson FD 8700 DK 7700
Proj Points FD - 19.18 DK - 20.62
The time has past to attribute David Johnson's workload increase to Carson Palmer's health issues. After DJ single-handedly eviscerated the 49ers, he's now averaged 32 touches per game in his last 3 games, including an absurd 41 in last week's slog against Seattle. It's almost like giving the ball to your best player over and over again is a decent offensive strategy. Who knew? Johnson has a very tough match-up with Carolina this week, but a running back of his talent touching the ball this frequently becomes something close to match-up proof, and I suspect he'll see lots of play in many formats.
Ty Montgomery FD 6400 DK 5300
Proj Points FD - 15.89 DK - 18.9
In case you haven't noticed a pattern yet, you're going to see a lot of players from the game with the highest total this week. Green Bay's running back situation is really unlike any we have seen in recent memory. They're using a mishmash of guys who actually play running back, used to play running back, and guys who can kind of play running back in a pinch. Enter Ty Montgomery. He led the team in carries with 9, but also accrued 13 targets (and 10 receptions) a week after hauling in 10 receptions on 12 targets. He is getting huge volume for a guy who costs just $6,400 on FanDuel, and offers a great combination of floor and ceiling against the terrible Falcons' passing defense.
Randall Cobb FD 6800 DK 6400
Proj Points FD - 17.42 DK - 20.56
We wrote it about Montgomery and Rodgers, and it holds true for Cobb as well - the Falcons stink at defending the pass, and this game has a high total. There's more to see with Cobb here, though. He remains one of Rodgers' favorite red zone targets, has had 11 targets or more in each of his last 3 games, and even carried the ball 5 times against the Bears. Daily fantasy football players with memories that extend beyond the last 3 weeks will remember that Cobb was seeing heavy play at $8,000 plus when Rodgers was right and Cobb was seeing the endzone targets, and he's currently seeing a better target share than at any point in his career. In what will likely be his A) lowest price going forward and B) best match-up of the season, Cobb will be a staple play across the industry once again.
Julio Jones FD 9200 DK 9600
Proj Points FD - 20.13 DK - 24.16
Speaking of chalk plays! Jones was one of the industry's worst kept secrets for 2 weeks straight, and has proven that fantasy analysts wer way too quick to bury him. Mohammed Sanu and Jacob Tamme seem to be an afterthought after really eating in to Jones' 2015 league-best 200+ targets, and the Falcons seem to have remembered that the way they can stay in and win games is to throw the ball to their best player over and over. He's expensive, yes, but Green Bay has given up big performances to far lesser WR1's this season (think: Stefon Diggs), and with his calf woes long behind him, Jones should continue to put up monster numbers.
Mike Evans FD 7900 DK 8100
Proj Points FD - 17.24 DK - 20.43
With 75 targets so far this season, Mike Evans is the third most targeted receiver in the league this season, just behind TY Hilton and Antonio Brown (who have 76 each). The difference? They've both played one more game than he has. Evans is averaging 12.5 targets per game, which would put him on pace for exactly 200 targets this season. Getting a target share like that for less than $8,000 on FanDuel is downright absurd, and getting that kind of target share againts the league's worst passing defense is an opportunity that's likely too good to pass up. Now it's not all gravy with Evans - he and Winston have trouble hooking up sometimes, and he's very much in the Ty Hilton./Amari Cooper school of occasionally turning big targets into not so many receptions. It's hard to believe that will be the case this week, though, and after being owned in more than half of cash game lineups last week, it's hard to imagine people will pivot off of him for this week.
Michael Thomas FD 5700 DK 5000
Proj Points FD - 14.17 DK - 17.1
Sports journalists are calling Michael Thomas' week 7 performance a break out, but the underlying signs that he was a good breakout candidate have been there for weeks. He's now averaged better than 9 targets per week over the course of the last 4 weeks, and the presence of a healthy Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead only led to the biggest performance of his young career. On paper the Seahawks are a very lousy match-up for any wide receiver, but digging a little deeper shows that they are much tougher on WR1s and WR2s, which should give Thomas an even greater target share than average. It's possible that the above three guys are simply too great a value (even at higher prices) to pass up on for cash games, but don't be surprised if Thomas is a part of winning big tournament lineups this weekend.
Jack Doyle FD 4900 DK 3500
Proj Points FD - 14.06 DK - 17.51
Doyle was the break-out tight end of week 7, and blessedly, his price has barely climbed for week 8. While TY Hilton continued to gobble up basically every downfield opportunity for the Colts, Doyle took over in short yardage situation - grabbing 9 receptions on 10 targets for 78 yards and a touchdown. This is simply elite production for the tight end position, and while he gets a much stiffer match-up this week against the Chiefs, he's priced to the point where the match-up doesn't matter all too much. Yes, we're basing this projection off of just 1 week of production, but Luck's historical affinity for tight ends and Doyle's affordable price mean he should be a safe play with upside for all formats. At a position that has generally sucked all season? That's my kind of play.
Kyle Rudolph FD 5100 DK 3500
Proj Points FD - 10.55 DK - 13.28
Antonio Gates FD 5300 DK 2700
Proj Points FD - 12.29 DK - 14.95
For my money, there's no reason to pivot off of Doyle for cash games, particularly not for guys in his price range that are a little more expensive and rate to e a smaller part of their team's offensive plan. But for big tournaments? Bog Rudolph and Gates have a reasonable resume. Rudolph has led his team in targets twice this season, and is one of the first red zone looks when the Vikings manage to get down there (as evidenced by his 3 game touchdown streak earlier this season). He's got a nice match-up with Chicago, and should be much lesser owned than Doyle. As for Gates, he has retaken the reins of the TE1 role in San Diego, and has averaged a 24% target share when he's been on the field during the last 3 weeks. While Hunter Henry is still in the mix, Gates has been very effective, and it wouldn't shock me at all if his snap count continued to climb and his production climbed along with it. It's a bad match-up with Denver, but if you're looking for upside, he'll provide you with lots of separation from the field.
DEFENSE/ SPECIAL TEAMS
The New England Patriots vs. the Buffalo Bills
Picking a good daily fantasy football defense often comes down to just finding a relatively cheap D in a good match-up. The Pats qualify, here. With McCoy dealing with ongoing injury concerns, and Tyrod Taylor taking a step back in terms of both completion percentage and rushing yards per game this season, the Bills offense is sorely lacking both consistency and upside. The Bills have done relatively well in terms of overall points per game, but their 7th worst yards per game suggests that they are likely due for some regression in that area.
Again, this primarily comes down to not having to pay up at a position where it's usually incorrect to do so.
The Minnesota Vikings vs. the Chicago Bears
Vegas has the Bears currently pegged for the worst point total of the week by far, and rightfully so. They're basically a league average offense that doesn't do anything particularly well, and they happen to be facing the team that's allowed both the fewest yards and the fewest points per game. Hoyer and the Bears have done an excellent job limiting mistakes and turnovers this season, so I wouldn't exactly call this a high upside play, but the Vikes should be pretty steady if you just don't want to get burned at a pretty volatile position.
Again, you can grab a free trial of our NFL DFS suite of tools including full projections, optimal NFL lineups and our Player Lab, which includes filters to help you create NFL lineups for FanDuel and DraftKings for any format. It’s a set of tools well beyond anything we’ve ever had, and something we feel will help our users crush it this daily fantasy NFL season.
You can grab a go test it out yourself.