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Andrew Swanson | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

DFS Preview for Week 8

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

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 on DraftKings)

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 weeks 32.02 point game at home against Washington.

Other options to consider - Drew Brees vs. Chicago & Kirk Cousins vs. Dallas

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 QBs this year, look for the Red Riffle to put up some big points with A.J. Green.

Other options to consider - Josh McCown vs. Atlanta & Tyrod Taylor vs. Oakland

Fade - Deshaun Watson @ Seattle ($6,400 on DraftKings)

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 stadium.

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.

Running Backs

H2H/Cash - Mark Ingram vs. Chicago ($7,400 on DraftKings)

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.

Other options to consider - LeSean McCoy vs. Oakland & Jordan Howard @ New Orleans

GPP - Joe Mixon vs. Indy ($4,700 on DraftKings)

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. Im 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

Fade - Melvin Gordon vs. New England ($8,100 on DraftKings)

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.

Wide Receivers

H2H/Cash - Mike Evans vs. Carolina ($7,900 on DraftKings)

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 this week.

Other options to consider - Alshon Jeffery vs. San Francisco & Keenan Allen @ New England

GPP - Brandon LaFell vs. Indy ($3,700 on DraftKings)

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.

Other options to consider - Jermaine Kearse vs. Atlanta & Nelson Agholor vs. San Francisco

Fade - Amari Cooper @ Buffalo ($6,600 on DraftKings)

As a Cooper owner in season-long, I hope I am wrong with this prediction, but Coopers 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.

Tight End

H2H/Cash - Hunter Henry @ New England ($4,800 on DraftKings)

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.

Other options to consider Austin Seferian-Jenkins vs. Atlanta & Zach Ertz vs. San Francisco

GPP -Tyler Kroft vs. Indy ($3,000 on DraftKings)

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 OLeary 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.