DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Primer: Week 8
Week 8 in the NFL presents some interesting challenges for us building fantasy lineups. Many of the elite fantasy quarterbacks are in difficult matchups, however, we have some intriguing options on the low end of the salary spectrum. This could be a unique week where the best strategy is to fade the typical studs at the position, while targeting some unreliable but high-upside quarterbacks.
In this DFS preview, I'll focus on the Sunday main slate and group players into two categories based on their DraftKings salaries: players to build around and value plays.
Players to build around are those with high salaries but even higher production ceilings, making them worth prioritizing in your lineup. Value plays are guys with lower salaries and typically come with some risk, but adding them to your lineup will help you afford the more expensive players on the slate.
Players to Build Around
QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers ($7,600) vs. MIN
The Minnesota Vikings secondary is a mess, and Aaron Rodgers already picked them apart once this year, to the tune of 364 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 33.8 fantasy points. Rodgers is one of three quarterbacks to reach at least 25 fantasy points against Minnesota through five games. The Green Bay Packers implied team total of 30.5 points is the second-highest on the slate, and given Green Bay's defense inconsistencies, this matchup has shootout potential.
RB Derrick Henry, Titans ($8,000) vs. CIN
Derrick Henry's salary has reached a season high, but he's still an elite option for your lineups against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Titans have an implied total of 29.5points (tied for second highest on the slate) and are favored by 5.5 points, which means there should be plenty of scoring opportunities for Henry as he's carrying the load with a second-half lead.
RB Kareem Hunt, Browns ($6,900) vs. LV
The Cleveland Browns are favored in this matchup, which means the game script is likely to tilt in Kareem Hunt's favor. Cleveland is running the ball 60 percent of the time when playing with a lead, the fourth-highest rate in the NFL. As a result, at least one Browns running back has topped 15 fantasy points in all five of their victories. Additionally, the Las Vegas Raiders have been a friendly opponent for running backs, allowing 15 or more points to six different ball carriers this year.
WR Davante Adams, Packers ($8,800) vs. MIN
The Vikings have allowed an opposing receiver to reach 20 fantasy points in four of five games, including Davante Adams (44.6 points) in Week 1. Adams will likely draw consistent coverage from rookie cornerback Cameron Dantzler, who is allowing 11.1 fantasy points per 30 snaps in coverage according to Sports Info Solutions, the second-worst rate among 72 qualifying players.
WR Tyreek Hill, Chiefs ($6,700) vs. NYJ
Tyreek Hill hasn't had an elite fantasy performance yet this year, which has caused his salary to drop in recent weeks. That may give us an opportunity to roster him on a reasonable cap hit right when he goes off against the New York Jets. This Jets secondary has struggled against slot receivers, giving up 9.4 yards per target in the slot, the fourth-worst rate in the league. Last week the Buffalo Bills exploited this matchup, leading to 25.2 fantasy points for slot receiver Cole Beasley. Hill moves around in the Chiefs offense, but he's still seen 68 percent of his targets while in the slot, according to Sports Info Solutions.
QB Joe Burrow, Bengals ($6,200) vs. TEN
The Titans have been a tough defensive matchup in recent years but that hasn't quite held true in 2020. Opposing quarterbacks are scoring two points above their season average versus Tennessee. This is likely due to the Titans' weak pass rush, which is generating pressure on just 27.1 percent of opponents' dropbacks, the second-worst rate in the league according to Sports Info Solutions. Like most rookies, Burrow has struggled a bit when pressured, but he's been brilliant when kept clean in the pocket, which means he should have an elevated ceiling versus Tennessee.
|Burrow vs pressure||51.30%||4.7||1-2|
|Burrow vs no pressure||72.40%||7.7||8-3|
QB Nick Foles, Bears ($5,800) vs. NO
Through four starts Nick Foles hasn't shown much of a ceiling, peaking at 17.3 fantasy points since taking over for Mitchell Trubisky. However, the New Orleans Saints defense may give Foles enough of a boost to be fantasy-relevant this week. New Orleans has only held one opposing quarterback below their season average (Tom Brady in Week 1).
QB Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers ($5,400) vs. SEA
In five games, Jimmy Garoppolo has topped 20 fantasy points just once, but every starting quarterback facing the Seattle Seahawks defense needs to be on your radar. Opposing quarterbacks are scoring 9.7 fantasy points per game above their season average when facing Seattle, the second-highest rate in the league. If this trend holds true for Garoppolo, he'd be projected for 23 points in this matchup.
RB J.K. Dobbins, Ravens ($4,600) vs. PIT
Prior to the Baltimore Ravens' bye week, J.K. Dobbins set a season-high with nine carries and matched a career-high with four targets, following Mark Ingram getting knocked out of the game due to an ankle injury. Ingram is still banged up and questionable for this week but, even if he returns, Dobbins could be worth rostering. Clearly, the Ravens liked Dobbins enough to snag him with a second-round pick, and it's possible they spent the bye week finding ways to expand his role in the offense, as in sometimes the case with rookies.
WR Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers ($5,800) vs. SEA
The 49ers spread the ball around, so it's always a little risky rostering one of their receivers. However, Brandon Aiyuk's role in the offense matches up well with Seattle's defensive weaknesses. According to Sports Info Solutions, the Seahawks are allowing a 59.6 percent completion rate on throws 10 or more yards downfield, sixth-worst in the league. Aiyuk is the 49ers' primary downfield threat, with 53 percent of his targets coming at least 10 yards downfield.
WR Rashard Higgins, Browns ($4,200) vs. LV
Odell Beckham is out for the year with a torn ACL, which opens the door for Rashard Higgins to take on a bigger role in Cleveland's offense. Beckham only played two snaps before his injury last week, so we've already had a taste of what Higgins can do in this role. Last week against Cincinnati, he played 85 percent of the Browns snaps and led the team with 6 targets. Cleveland's passing game has been inconsistent, so Higgins' floor is low, but on this cheap salary, it won't take much for him to prove value in your lineup.
TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Broncos ($2,800) vs. LAC
Over the last two weeks, Albert Okwuegbunam leads the Denver Broncos with a 21 percent target share. Some of that is due to his action in Week 6 while Noah Fant was sidelined, but when Fant returned last week, Okwuegbunam set a career-high with seven targets. Since he was teammates with Drew Lock at Missouri, it shouldn't be surprising to see their connection now that Okwuegbunam is getting on the field. With Okwuegbunam drawing seven targets to Fant's six last week, it's probably reasonable to take a chance on him again in hopes the Broncos continue to roll with this two-tight-end offense.
Ryan McCrystal is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ryan McCrystal also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username cfbfilmroom. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.