My high-risk/high-reward daily fantasy football (DFS) picks from last week had mixed results, but I absolutely crushed my "safe" picks. Not only did every one of them hit, but they hit big. Ryan Tannehill had a big game and hooked up with A.J. Brown as the Titans dominated the Chiefs. Darrell Henderson and Kyle Pitts also had great days and the Arizona defense did a lot better shutting down Houston last Sunday than it did Green Bay on Thursday night. So let's see what I can do with my Week 8 DFS picks.
Recall that there are just two teams on bye for Week 8. The loss of Baltimore and Las Vegas means some appealing DFS options are off the table, but there is far less overlap likely this week. Keep it in mind when playing both your GPPs or a cash game.
Speaking of GPP and cash games, I remind you that I will go through each position and list one "safe" pick and one "high-risk/high-reward" pick. The first is essentially a cash-game play and the second is a GPP play. I also will make sure that said player is priced proportionately about the same across DraftKings, FanDuel, and the other major sites. For those of you unfamiliar with DFS, do yourself a favor and look up cash games vs. GPPs. Or hit me up on Twitter (@MarkStrausberg) and I will explain it to you personally.
Teams on bye: Baltimore, Las Vegas
Safe Quarterback Week 8 Pick
Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams at Houston Texans (DK $7600, FD $8200)
Stafford has averaged nearly 2.5 TDs a week this season and is currently a top-five fantasy quarterback. Houston's passing defense is below average. I like Josh Allen more, but I'll take the savings on Stafford and use that money elsewhere.
High Risk/Reward Quarterback Week 8 Pick
Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars at Seattle Seahawks (DK $5500, FD $6700)
Very tempted to go with Teddy Bridgewater here, but I am projecting his ownership to be much higher than Lawrence. And I really like Lawrence as a pivot.
Lawrence is showing improvement. He has 270 or more passing yards in each of his last two games and we can bank on him rushing for at least 20 yards as well. The Jags are facing Seattle, who is allowing 284.5 passing yards, 1.5 touchdown passes, and nearly 20 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. And don't forget that includes that rainy Monday night game where the Saints opted not to have Jameis Winston throw the ball much. Lastly, the Jags are coming off a bye week and should be well-rested against a Seahawks defense that has often struggled this season. I like Lawrence to put up more than 20 fantasy points this week and wouldn't be surprised if he surpasses 30.
Safe Running Back Week 8 Pick
James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars at Seattle Seahawks (DK $6600, FD $8000)
Two Jaguar recommendations!?!?!? What in the name of Urban Meyer is going on?!?!?!
Speaking of Urban Meyer and the fact that Sunday is Halloween, I thought I would share my favorite costume with you for this year:
But back to Robinson. First off, he's almost overpriced on FanDuel but his cost on DraftKings is just ridiculously low and he will be heavily owned. And it's not just about the price. JRob has 15-plus carries in his last games, along with 13 targets during that time. In those four games, he's scored at least one touchdown while also rumbling for at least 70 yards, including 149 against the Titans three weeks ago.
He's coming in hot, but has one of the best matchups of any RB this week. Seattle is second to last this year versus the run. The Seahawks are giving up an average of 111 rushing yards per game, as opposing RBs are scoring more than 31 fantasy points per game. Robinson might be my favorite play of the week.
High Risk/Reward Running Back Week 8 Pick,
Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions (DK $5000, FD $5900)
I have already told you to take a chance on Gainwell this week. But as a reminder, he is facing the Lions. They have been tamed by opposing RBs for an average of 114 rushing yards, five receptions, and more than 30 fantasy points per game in their last four.
Safe Wide Receiver Week 8 Pick
Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins (DK $8100, FD $7300)
Despite having what should be (on paper) a solid secondary, Miami is giving up the third-most fantasy points to WRs this season. If you need to know why else Diggs could crush in a cushy matchup and could be selected any given week, then I'm sorry, I just don't have time for you right now.
High Risk/High Reward Wide Receiver Week 8 Pick
Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets (DK $5200, FD $6300)
Ja'Marr Chase has been grabbing all the headlines so not everyone is aware of what Higgins has been doing lately. Last week, he might have had the quietest 15 targets of anyone. I was actually at that game and I knew Higgins was having a decent day, but I was completely unaware that he had been targeted more than a dozen times. And it's not the first time he has been heavily targeted this season. His robust target share has helped lead to 10-plus fantasy points in four of five games already.
Furthermore, Higgins has another superb matchup against the often struggling Jets. It should be no surprise that Higgins is being touted nearly everywhere and with good reason. As much as I love him this week, he could be heavily owned. If you are looking for a really deep option, consider Tampa Bay's Tyler Johnson, especially with Antonio Brown already ruled out. Johnson saw two-thirds of the snaps last week. The Saints have a knack for taking away the big-name opposing WRs, so don't be surprised if Tyler Johnson manages to get a few big catches this week.
Safe Tight End Week 8 Pick
Tyler Higbee, Los Angeles Rams at Houston Texans (DK $4500, FD $6100)
I like Matthew Stafford this week and Higbee makes for a potential pivot in a Los Angeles Ram stack. I think the "big game" comes from Cooper Kupp or maybe even another WR like Van Jefferson, but I like Higbee's floor this week. He has five catches in more than half of his games. He should be in that range again against a Houston team that is allowing more than 18 fantasy points a week to opposing TEs. No team playing this week has given up more.
High Risk/High Reward Tight End Week 8 Pick
Gerald Everett, Seattle Seahawks vs.Jacksonville Jaguars (DK $3300, FD $4800)
See my comments earlier in the week in my TE Rankings.
Safe Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 8 Pick
Cincinnati Bengals at New York Jets (DK, $3600 FD $4900)
On FanDuel, I'll spend the extra $100 and grab the Rams. But if I'm strapped for salary, I'll gladly pivot down to the Bengals. And on DraftKings, I'd much rather save the $1.400 and use it elsewhere by grabbing the Bengals over the Rams. But do you realize just how good the Bengals have been this season?
They only have six takeaways, but they have 19 sacks already on the year, including five ofn Lamar Jackson last week — not the easiest cat to bring down. The Bengals also have given up the fifth-fewest points per game. Folks are starting to be aware of how good this defense is. Lock them in for cheap on DK while you still can.
High Risk/Reward Defense/Special Teams (DST) Week 8 Pick
Indianapolis Colts vs. Tennessee Titans (DK $2600, FD $3800)
Down in the cheapest dozen options, fantasy points per game provided by both the Colts DST and Saints DST stick out like Mark Davis at a modern fashion convention. But the Bucs' offense scares far more than the Titans' offense does. If the Colts can somehow stop Derrick Henry, they can stop the Tennessee offense at home in Lucas Oil Stadium. Or maybe they can just get him to cough it up. The Colts are fourth in the league in forced fumbles and number one in fumbles recovered. And they're above average in sacks as well.
I'm spending up for the Bengals or Rams. But if I was looking to save some salary on my DST, the Colts make for a nice way to do that.
— Written by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.