FanDuel NFL Week 8 Plays and Stay Aways

Each week I plan to give you what I feel are the best FanDuel plays at each position, as well as the plays that I am staying away from. My DFS methodology is a little different than the typical player. I don’t make separate cash and tournament lineups. I simply make the best possible lineup that I can, period. I feel like it distracts me too much to make different lineups for different contest types. I end up splitting up plays I really like for the sake of qualifying a guy as cash or tourney. Therefore, I put together the best lineup I can with the best plays, and that’s what you will see reflected in this article. With that said, I primarily enter GPPs, with anywhere from one to four lineups each week on with a mix of my core plays.

If you’re looking for DraftKings plays, check out Neil’s GridIron Gang article which posts every Thursday.

Week 8 NFL FanDuel Plays

Quarterback

I think this is a good week to save money at QB. You could consider some of the higher priced guys, but you won’t be at a disadvantage if you start with Andrew Luck ($7,900). Luck has been over 22 FanDuel points in each of his last three games and I expect to see him in that range again this week. The Chiefs have been less than average against the pass this year, so while some are scared to play anyone against the Chiefs defense, we can exploit that here. The biggest stat staring me in the eye this week in this matchup is that the Chiefs have only eight sacks on the year, tied for worst in the league. One of Luck’s biggest struggles has been when he doesn’t have time to throw. If the pocket stays clean, he’s dangerous. It should be pretty clean this week.

The other two quarterbacks I’m considering are in the same game: Derek Carr ($7,800) and Jameis Winston ($7,400). This game has the potential to turn into a shootout and I like both guys quite a bit. There is some risk with each of them, but I think this is a spot where they both could go off and be the highest scoring QB of the week. If I have to pick one I think it’s Winston. I’ll take the savings and he has the better matchup, with the Raiders giving up the most yards per game in the NFL to opposing quarterbacks.

Just to prove to you that I’m not completely bias against Aaron Rodgers ($8,800), I’ll go ahead and include him here this week. He finally broke free last week and threw for over 300 yards for the first time in 14 games. I’m still not willing to say he’s back to normal though. Why? Because he threw the ball 56 times in that game. Every NFL quarterback should get to 300 yards if they throw it 56 times. The reason I’m fine with him this week is because he has an outstanding matchup and I think he’ll continue throwing the ball a ton. Maybe not 56 times, but it should be over 40 times. With Eddie Lacy and James Starks both out, they’re using a hodgepodge of running backs and their game plan is going to be centered around Rodgers chucking it.

Running Back

The guy you almost have to play this week is Devontae Booker ($5,600). Booker had looked exceptional in limited carries through six weeks. In Week 7, he earned a time share with CJ Anderson and turned in 83 yards on 17 carries with a touchdown. Anderson is going to be lost to injury which should lock Booker in to over 20 total touches. At this price, it’s hard to pass up. The San Diego Chargers defense hasn’t been horrible from a yards per game perspective, but they have given up the third most rushing touchdowns. On top of that, they’ve been horrible against running backs in the pass game. They give up the 2nd most targets, receptions, and yards to opposing running backs in the receiving game. It’s hard to find one reason not to play Booker, except for ownership. But sometimes, you eat the chalk when a play is this good.

At the top of the running back spectrum, I love David Johnson ($8,700) and Ezekiel Elliott ($8.500). I like Johnson a little better on Draftkings where he gets a full point per reception, but you can play him on FanDuel too. Johnson is matchup proof. But people still hesitate to roster him in matchups that look difficult on paper. This is one of those weeks, but there’s no reason to avoid him.

Elliott has rushed for 134 yards or more in four consecutive games. The Eagles have been pretty good on defense this year, which I think will keep people off of him. That’s a mistake. He’s on a different level. Just play him.

I could rattle off a few more names, but the three guys above will be my running back plays on FanDuel. I won’t consider anyone else. If I decide to look elsewhere, I’ll let you know by Sunday on twitter: @mrclutchdfs


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Wide Receiver

It all starts with Mike Evans ($7,900) this week. Evans has seen between 11 and 18 targets in each of his last 5 games. He’s underpriced, against the worst pass defense in the league through seven weeks, and he’s going to see 10-15 targets. There’s not much else I should have to say to convince you to play him. He has as high of a floor as anyone and just as high of a ceiling.

Just below him, I like T.Y. Hilton ($7,800) just fine. Hilton will continue to see plenty of targets. The chemistry between he and Luck is very fun to watch. As I mentioned with Luck, the Chiefs defense tends to scare people off of opposing players. Their pass defense isn’t something to be scared of, so load up on Hilton.

Let’s make it 3-for-3 in listing the top receiver of the quarterbacks I mentioned above. Amari Cooper ($7,500) is a column favorite here. This is a perfect spot for a rebound game with lower ownership levels this week. Last week we learned that Jalen Ramsey is a dang good rookie corner and will probably be one of the best in the league in a couple of years. Cooper will be featured in a high scoring game, and while everyone else is zigging (rostering Michael Crabtree after his big week), I’ll be zagging with Cooper.

One guy that keeps popping out to me as I get further down the wide receiver list is John Brown ($5,900). This is a tournament flyer. The sharp fantasy football players expected John Brown to be sneaky good this year. There was a lot of mystery around what was hampering him, but it seems they have figured it out. Brown has sickle-cell trait. It appears that the Cardinals medical team have come up with a solution to help Brown feel 100%, and I expect him to be heavily involved this week. At his price, against what has been an abysmal pass defense, I might fire him up.

Tight End

On FanDuel, Jimmy Graham ($6,700) is stacking up as my favorite tight end. He’s getting plenty of targets and he’s returning to the Superdome where he dominated for years. I think the Seahawks will keep him heavily involved, and don’t make me tell you “I told you so” next week when he has 100 yards and two touchdowns in Week 8.

I’m also okay with Rob Gronkowski ($8,100). At first glance this week, I was going to lock Gronk in and move on. It was just because of the savings available with Graham and a similar projection that has me leaning more heavily towards Graham. I won’t knock you for going Gronk.

The cheap guy I’m considering is C.J. Fiedorowicz ($4,900). I wouldn’t be surprised if your first reaction was “who?!” Fiedorowicz gets the tight end flow chart defense, the Detroit Lions. He’s seen eight, seven, and seven targets the last three games respectively and has hauled in 15 catches for 181 yards and a touchdown. It’s all there for a solid game this week.

Defense/Special Teams

There are two defense for me this week.

The first is the most obvious, the Denver Broncos ($5,000). If you have the money, you can play them and feel good about it.

If you need to save a little money or want to go contrarian, check out the Dallas Cowboys ($4,600). Defense and the Cowboys aren’t usually synonymous. They’ve held their last four opponents to 17 points or less, so we need to start taking notice of them. On top of that, they get an offense that has been struggling. The Philadelphia Eagles has only scored one touchdown the past two weeks. Carson Wentz has sputtered after his respectable start. The Cowboys are sneaky good this week.

Kicker

You know my motto. Go cheap at kicker (unless you have leftover salary). It seems every week there’s a couple cheap kickers that you can roster and feel comfortable getting 10 points out of. Granted, the higher priced guys are more consistent, I’m okay going low in the right matchups.

The two guys I’m considering are in the same game. The first is Nick Novak ($4,500). Novak has been exceptional this year. He is 16 of 19 on the year with 11 points or more in four of his six games. In the other two games, he’s had seven and eight points. He’s safe, and he has upside.

You could also consider Matt Prater ($4,500). Prater hasn’t had as many double-digit games as Novak, but he has been consistent. Prater has between six and 12 points in every game, so you can count on him for consistency as well. I can envision the Lions stalling in the redzone two or three times, giving Prater’s big leg plenty of opportunity.


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Week 2 Stay Aways

The first quarterback I’m staying away from may be a little surprising. The angry Tom Brady ($8,800) train slowed down a little in Week 7; he only threw it 26 times. As has been the issue in the past, you never really know what the Patriots game plan will be. Now that they’ve let Brady come out and destroy for a couple of weeks, I think it will be harder to predict his big games. Due to his high price, I’ll take the savings and pay down this week.

Another train that has continued to roll down hill all year is playing quarterbacks against the Cleveland Browns. I hear a lot of people talking about playing Ryan Fitzpatrick ($7,300). At this price, no thanks! Don’t go for it. Sure he could have a good game, but there’s nothing that should lead you to play him above a guy like Winston for only $100 more.

I don’t hate Spencer Ware ($7,400), but his price is creeping up, as is his ownership. He’s topped 20 FanDuel points in two consecutive weeks, but he got over 10 points on one play last week. Take that away and he only has one double-digit game in his last five. I’ll just pay up $1,000 for Elliott and truly know what I’m getting.

Devonta Freeman ($6,900) might be popular with Tevin Coleman out, and for good reason, but I won’t be on him. I’ve talked about the Packers run defense a few times in past weeks and I still don’t want any part of them. I think the Falcons will look to win the game through the air, and while Freeman may be involved, I think the receivers will do the heavy lifting.

I fully understand that Julio Jones ($9,200) can have a huge game this week. However his price is $1,300 higher than the next highest wide receiver (Evans). I think Evans can have just as good of a game as Jones, and we could argue that Evans has a higher floor. After all, Jones has games with 3.9 and 2.1 FanDuel points in his last five. If you pay this price for him and he does that again, your lineup is done before it started.

I was on Jack Doyle ($4,900) across the board last week and it paid off well. This week, I’m going to stay away. Donte Moncrief should be back on the field in Week 8 and he should take some of the targets from him. Doyle could still be relevant, as he looks like he really is a good receiving tight end, but I’m willing to look a different direction this week.

*****

Well, that’s it for this week. Be sure to follow me on twitter at @mrclutchdfs if you want to get any updates from me on which way I’m leaning on some of these plays once Sunday gets here.

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Eric S
Eric is the creator of DFSdigest.com and has played fantasy football for nearly 20 years now and is primarily a GPP player in DFS. He estimates he enters lineups in either football, basketball, baseball or golf roughly 350 days a year. Eric is ranked inside the top 7% in RotoGrinders overall player ranking. His favorite teams include the Detroit Lions, Oklahoma City Thunder, Oklahoma State Cowboys, and the Atlanta Braves.
Eric S

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