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
Hopefully you put the right combination of plays together from last week’s article. If you would did, your roster would have looked something like Carr, Elliott, Booker, Cooper, John Brown, Evans, Fiedorowicz, and Broncos defense. The only player who flopped in that is Evans, but it was still a dang good lineup. It would have also helped you avoid Julio Jones. With those guys you would have put up a score north of 160 and been in the top 2-3% of tournaments. Let’s get to this week’s picks.
The quarterback I keep gravitating towards when building my lineups is Dak Prescott ($7,600). There’s no one below him that I want to play, so he’s as cheap as I’ll consider in Week 9. He’s been very consistent and I think he should score towards the top end of his scoring range this week. Since Week 2, Prescott hasn’t scored fewer than 17.48 FanDuel points and topped out last week at 28.28. With a matchup against Cleveland, we can expect him to maintain his floor in the high teens and have an upside as high as he’s had all year.
As we move up from Prescott, I am also strongly considering Andrew Luck ($8,000). Luck also has been very consistent over recent weeks. He has scored more than 19.4 (Week 8) five times, with three games in the twenties, and one in the thirties. The Green Bay Packers had a really good game plan to slow down Julio Jones last week, but they still lost the game. Their secondary is banged up and wasn’t very good to start. Matt Ryan threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns in the game. Luck probably has a higher ceiling than Prescott, but I think it’s close. The thing that worries me with Luck is that his receiving corps is very banged up. However, that’s been a recurring theme for him this year and it hasn’t seemed to bother him yet, so maybe that doesn’t matter. I’ll likely settle on one of these QB’s by Sunday, so follow me on twitter (@mrclutchdfs) if you want to know who I end up on.
My picks are going to be fairly narrow again this week, but I think you can make a solid lineup out of them. The running back that I’m 100% sold on and will probably have in 100% of my lineups is Ezekiel Elliott ($9,200). Elliot is very expensive this week and I’m hoping it will keep people off of him, but I’m not expecting it to. He has a dream matchup, an exceptional offensive line, and he has been unstoppable. That’s a recipe for a fantasy gold. He probably would have secured his fifth straight 100 yard rushing game last week with just one more carry. Don’t overthink it this week. Elliott is head and shoulders above the rest of the field, so click the green plus next to his name and move on.
Devontae Booker ($7,000) saw his price jump up $1,400 this week, but for good reason. He was heavily owned in Week 8 and performed well in his first opportunity as a RB1 for the Denver Broncos. In between Elliott and Booker there is a lot of question marks and bad matchups. The Raiders haven’t been able to stop the ball on the ground, and I don’t see that changing this week. Right now, I’m leaning heavily to just using both Elliott and Booker as my two RBs. We’ll see how things shake out as we move closer to lock on Sunday.
As the week rolls on, it’s looking less likely that Spencer Ware will play, which could make Charcandrick West ($5,600) a decent value play against the Jacksonville Jaguars at home. Nick Foles is starting for the Kansas City Chiefs this week, so I think we can expect them to get the run game going and keep it going. This puts West squarely in play as his price and opportunity intersect to make him a solid option.
Besides that, there’s not another direction I’d feel comfortable going at RB. Unfortunately that worries me that these guys above could be heavily owned. There’s a lot to keep an eye on this week as Sunday approaches, and we’ll add this to the list.
It is such a weird week. We only have three wide receivers over $8,000 and I don’t like any of them. The highest priced guy I’m going to consider is Dez Bryant ($7,800). Bryant turned in a great performance on Sunday Night in his return from injury. He was heavily targeted (14) by Prescott. As you see now, I like the full Cowboys stack this week, and unless I decide to go with Luck at QB, you will see three Cowboys on my roster. There’s not a lot of analysis needed here. He has a great matchup, he always has HUGE upside, and he’s going to get 10+ targets.
As I’ve continued to dig in at each position this week, it’s much different for me than in previous weeks. Many times this year I’ve had too many guys that I’ve been high on, tempting me to make a couple different lineup combinations. This week, I can’t find enough guys I love to make one full lineup.
Receiver is the toughest position. After Bryant, I think my next favorite guys are Demaryius Thomas ($7,400) and his teammate Emmanuel Sanders ($6,800). The Broncos have had fairly tough matchups the past three weeks, but Oakland presents both of them with an opportunity to have bounce back games. I think I’m leaning towards Sanders when choosing between the two.
On the cheaper side of things, Michael Thomas ($5,800) really stands out to me. In the pass happy offense that is the New Orleans Saints, he is high on the food chain. His worst game on the entire season is four catches for 56 yards. And that was in Week 2, in only his second career game. I think he should be priced more in the mid-$6,000’s. I like him as a solid value WR3 this week.
If you haven’t been watching Tyreek Hill ($4,700), it’s time to take notice. He has double-digit FanDuel points in three of his last four games, with touchdowns in each of those three. It’s obvious the Chiefs realize that they have something with Hill and want to use him. In a game where they are going to possibly be down to their third string running back and some other guys they picked up off the waiver wire this week, I have a feeling that they will make a point to get him more involved. It’s risky, but could pay big dividends.
I think there are three options at tight end this week. The first is pay for Greg Olsen ($7,500). You can go all the way up and feel confident that you have a good probability of rostering the top scoring TE. He doesn’t have a great matchup, but he’s the best actual tight end playing this week.
My second option you should know before I tell you if you’ve been reading this article at all this year. Kyle Rudolph ($5,000) gets the flow chart defense for tight ends, the Detroit Lions. I constantly recommend against them at TE each week (which is hard because I’m a die-hard Lions fan), and week after week they let opposing tight ends have good game. On top of that, Rudolph is no slouch. He has six or more targets in six of his seven games, with two games with double digit targets. Look for a 60+ yard game with a touchdown. For $5,000, we’ll take it.
The last option? Lance Kendricks ($4,500). Full disclosure here, this is my wife’s pick. Here’s the back story. We are co-owners in a 12-team traditional money league this year. It’s her first year playing. She asks me for advice and usually takes it, but it’s her team. She’s the owner; I’m the general manager. At the end of the day, she has the final say. As the year has went on, it’s been fun to watch her evolve into being able to make decisions without needing to ask me. Anyways, Tyler Eifert is our only tight end and he’s on bye. She heads to the waiver wire and tells me she wants to pick up Kendricks. Huh?! Why?! Here were her reasons:
- Carolina sucks.
- He’s doubled his weekly point projection more times than not(Yahoo projection).
- He’s pretty consistent.
- Vance McDonald did really good against the Panthers.
It caught me off guard, but she actually convinced me. Granted, the Panthers don’t actually suck (well, maybe they do, but I want to see more). And McDonald did have 14 FD points against them, even though it was on one 75-yard touchdown catch. Kendricks will cost you the bare minimum at the position and he’s had at least seven targets and five receptions in three of his last four games. On top of that, the Panthers have given up the fifth most FanDuel points per game to opposing tight ends. I think Rudolph will be chalky, so pivoting to Kendricks could be an excellent play. Time will tell.
The defense I’m singling in on this week is the Kansas City Chiefs ($5,100). The Chiefs have been exceptional on defense in four of their last five games. They’ve had double-digit FanDuel points each of the last three weeks. The game before that the Pittsburgh Steelers were playing like they were in a video game, so let’s throw that out. The week before the Steelers game, they had 35 points. Ultimately, they are consistent and have upside. This week they play the Jacksonville Jaguars who just look bad on offense. On top of that, they’re at home in Arrowhead which is one of the toughest places for opponents to play. Play the Chiefs with confidence. I’m locking them in.
The kicker that I’m leaning towards is Mason Crosby ($4,700). He’s cheap, his team has an implied team total of roughly 30 points, and he’s at home. No one else is jumping out at me. I like his chances to lead all kickers in scoring this week and he’s the ninth most expensive.
Week 2 Stay Aways
Since there aren’t a ton of guys that I love, there is obviously a lot of guys I want to stay away from. I’ll highlight a few here.
Philip Rivers ($8,300) is priced up this week and I don’t think it’s warranted. He hasn’t topped 16 FanDuel points in the past three weeks and I think we’ll see a grind it out type game against the Tennessee Titans. I can’t understand why he would cost you more than guys like Andrew Luck and even Cam Newton.
A lot of people might want to play Derek Carr ($7,700) after his huge game in Week 8 where he threw for over 500 yards and four touchdowns. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s really good and only getting better. I would probably consider rostering him this week against any other team in the league besides the Broncos. The Broncos pass defense just isn’t something to put your money in play against. Sure he could have a decent game, but in the long run, you’re going to lose your money playing QB’s against Denver.
Some people might be tempted to play Matt Forte ($7,500), but that won’t be me. He posted two big game in a row following four games in which he was almost non-existent in the FD game logs. He doesn’t have young legs anymore and I worry about him after two weeks of heavy usage.
I love Theo Riddick ($6,600) on Draftkings this week, but I’m not touching him on FanDuel. The full point PPR and low price on DK, make it easy for him to pay off his salary there. On FD, I think his upside is a bit limited at this price in this tough matchup.
Tim Hightower ($6,100) surprisingly got a lot of touches last week and he’s cheap this week, but I’m going to pass until we see more. You can never count on production to come from the Saints ground game anyways, so I’m not willing to roll the dice on a time share back after one good week.
I already mentioned I don’t like the top priced receivers. I’m not going to fault you for playing Odell Beckham Jr. ($8,900) or Antonio Brown ($8,700). I just don’t necessarily like the matchup for Beckham Jr. and I won’t roster Brown until Ben Roethlisberger returns. That could be this week. If he does, I’ll have to rethink the entire Steelers offense.
I originally had Davante Adams ($7,100) in my plays list above, but it looks like they’re going to have Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery back, so I lose most of my interest. With his game log making him look like a superstar the past two weeks, I think he’ll be overowned, which is more than enough reason to stay away from him.
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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Additional DFS picks and recommendations can be found on DFS Digest.