Week 8 of the NFL season marks the midpoint of the year and the
time in which teams find their identities and contenders begin to
separate from pretenders. The Dolphins proved last night that not
all 4-2 teams are built the same and that early season victories
do not necessarily mean a team is good. Conversely, teams like the
Patriots and Steelers who struggled somewhat through the first half
of the season may not be as bad as people think.
From a fantasy standpoint, we now have large enough sample size
of games to provide intel on player performance. For example,
we know that the Dolphins are a terrible offense and Jay Ajayi
is a legitimate first-round bust. We also know that the loss of
Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator and the Super Bowl hangover
has dramatically affected the Falcons, and those owners who bet
on Matt Ryan building off his career year have been greatly disappointed.
As DFS players, the second half of the NFL season becomes less
of a crapshoot as we now have enough data to make educated guesses
on cash and GPP contests. Here are a few players I am targeting
for Week 8, including a Bengals stack of Andy Dalton and A.J.
Green against the Colts.
Carson Wentz's roll should continue against
a 49ers defense allowing the 3rd most FPts to QBs.
H2H/Cash - Carson Wentz vs. San Francisco ($7,300
Carson Wentz and the Eagles should have a field day this week
against the 49ers, a defense that has allowed the 3rd-most fantasy
points to opposing quarterbacks. After two subpar games against
the Chargers and Giants, Wentz has been the top fantasy quarterback
in October with two 30-point performances, including last week’s
32.02 point game at home against Washington.
GPP - Andy
Dalton vs. Indianapolis ($5,700 on DraftKings)
Dalton is precisely the type of quarterback that you want to
target in daily fantasy, as he is predictably bad against good
defenses and does well in easy matchups against bottom-ranked
units. The last time Dalton faced a defense as terrible as Indy
he scored 29.34 points on the road against Cleveland. With the
Bengals hosting a Colts team that has allowed the 4th-most points
to opposing QB’s this year, look for the Red Riffle to put up
some big points with A.J. Green.
Watson has been a revelation this year, averaging 28 fantasy
points per game over his last four contests. In that time, he
faced four teams that rank in the bottom ten in points allowed
to quarterbacks, with three of the games played at home at NRG
The rookie from Clemson faces arguably his most challenging matchup
of the season against Seattle on the road. It would not surprise
me to see Houston win this game, but I will be shocked if Watson
can keep pace with his recent success.
H2H/Cash - Mark Ingram vs. Chicago ($7,400 on
With three touchdowns and 219 yards rushing since the departure
of Adrian Peterson to Arizona, it is safe to say that Ingram has
been rejuvenated with the running back shakeup in New Orleans.
The Bears are not a pushover when it comes to the run (15th most
points allowed), but Ingram and backfield mate Alvin Kamara continue
to run well and Drew Brees should be able to move the ball in
the passing game. Stay in the fire with Ingram and reap the rewards.
At only $4,700 on DK, Mixon looks like the play of the week in
GPP formats with the Bengals hosting the 30th ranked Colts run
defense. I’m not buying into the squeaky wheel narrative
that Mixon will get more carries after complaining about his second-half
usage last week against Pittsburgh. But I am buying into the notion
that Cincy will take a big early lead on the Colts and Mixon will
have his best game of the season closing out the game.
Other options to consider - Dion
Lewis vs. Chargers & LeGarrette Blount vs. San Francisco
Gordon is either a bust or a monster this season, with three
games under 15 points and two games over 30. If healthy I would
pay the $8,100 premium and play Gordon against the Pats, but his
foot injury makes me a bit nervous.
H2H/Cash - Mike Evans vs. Carolina ($7,900 on
Although the Panthers rank 26th in points allowed to opposing
wide receivers this season, closer examination reveals a team
that shut down receivers on bad passing offenses like Detroit,
San Francisco, and Buffalo but allowed WRs on good teams like
New Orleans, New England, and Philly to have big games. I am not
convinced the Bucs are a good passing offense, but I am confident
that Mike Evans will find success against the Panthers at home
My favorite sub-$4k wide receiver this week is Brando LaFell
vs. Indy. LaFell has 15 targets over his last two games, with
60 yards and a touchdown. Nothing to write home about, but the
volume is there, and the matchup against the Colts is choice,
especially if Vontae Davis shadows A.J. Green and Andy Dalton
looks to LaFell against Rashaan Melvin.
As a Cooper owner in season-long, I hope I am wrong with this
prediction, but Cooper’s history of big games followed by
duds is well documented. I also do not like the Raiders traveling
to the East for an early game against a good Buffalo defense.
H2H/Cash - Hunter Henry @ New England ($4,800
The Chargers are finally using Henry as the primary tight end
in the offense after limiting his snaps in favor of Antonio Gates
in the first part of the season. Henry has at least 11 points
in each of his last three games, with 20 total targets and 12
receptions. In what could be a high scoring game at Foxboro, Henry
is going to be an important receiving weapon for Philip Rivers.
In keeping with my theme of Bengals against the Colts in GPP
formats, Tyler Kroft is a solid value this week at $3,000. Kroft
has three total touchdowns and double-digit points in two of his
last three games. Pairing him with Dalton and Mixon in a GPP triple
stack could equate to a nice payday this week.
Other options to consider - Jason
Witten vs. Washington & Nick O’Leary vs. Oakland
Fade - Jack
Doyle @ Cincinnati ($3,500 on DraftKings)
With the Colts likely behind big in this game, you would think
that game flow would dictate Doyle as a good play, especially
considering his rapport with Jacoby Brissett and his high target
volume. The reason why I am fading Doyle this week is the fact
that the Bengals are fairly strong against tight ends and Brissett
is going to be under a ton of pressure, and may not be able to
find Doyle downfield.
Defense & Special Teams
Philadelphia vs. San Francisco ($3,800 on DraftKings)
I am paying the premium this week on D/ST to play the Eagles
against my lowly 49ers. San Francisco will be chasing points in
this game, opening the door for the Philly pass rush to destroy
the San Fran offensive line.