Week 8 is one of those weeks were those who take part in Daily Fantasy Football (DFS) will have to earn their money. Not only are there six teams on bye (Arizona, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants and Tennessee) but it’s also safe to say a significant injury has hit just about everyone's fantasy team somewhere on their roster.
At least fantasy owners can take some solace in the fact that they would have been without Aaron Rodgers, David Johnson and Odell Beckham Jr. this week even if they weren’t hurt. On second thought that probably matters little at this point.
As for DFS, I will be focusing more on the cash game strategy, and by default may be intending these posts for the more novice DFS players. I am not a high-stakes tout, nor will I pretend to be and I am not intending for someone to read these posts and enter high entry tournaments expecting a big win.
What I will be doing each week is listing some top plays for the week at each position as well as a few value plays to help you start building your DFS lineup(s) for the upcoming week. More often than not I will not focus on the Thursday night games. I will be entering some lineups for those slates as well, but be forewarned this post will not include the Miami-Baltimore matchup, and that's probably a good thing honestly.
So, now that my synopsis is out of the way let’s get into my Week 8 DFS Picks shall we? If this is one of your first times playing DFS feel free to check out my "10 Tips to Win at DFS."
As always any questions, arguments, or glowing praise can be sent to me via Twitter @fantsychillpony.
Week 8 Core Plays
These will be my top plays of the week. These are players who I will try to have in as many lineups of mine as possible. If I can, I will use three or all four in one lineup. A reminder that for cash games going with an elite quarterback is typically recommended. If you go value at quarterback he MUST meet value for your loaded lineup to be worth it.
QB: Cam Newton, Carolina at Tampa Bay ($7,800 FanDuel/$6,600 DraftKings)
Newton slipped a bit in Week 7 against the Bears, turning the ball over three times and accounting for no touchdowns. This week he should be able to right the ship and get back to his Week 4 and 5 ways. The Buccaneers are giving up the third-most fantasy points to QBs (Athlon scoring) and are ranked 30th in the NFL against the pass. Newton will probably be owned less this week, even with all of the teams on bye, which is why he’s one of my top GPP plays for sure. I like him enough to play in cash this week too. Even though Week 7 was awful, he still managed to finish with 50 rushing yards, so his mobility is a nice asset to have as well as the possibility that he can run for a TD at any point.
RB: Devonta Freeman, Atlanta at New York Jets ($8,000 FanDuel/$7,200 DraftKings)
Freeman (above, right) was not a large part of the game plan in Week 7, and it is hard to understand why. When he was used he was productive (12 carries for 72 yards). This week he faces a Jets defense that is ranked 28th against the run. I expect Freeman to be utilized early and often against this soft defensive front. Freeman is averaging 16.6 DraftKings points per week, and I expect him to come close or hit the 20s this week for sure.
WR: A.J. Green, Cincinnati vs. Indianapolis ($8,500 FanDuel/$8,600 DraftKings)
This is a dream matchup and Green will certainly be a chalk play this week going up against the 31st-ranked pass defense in the league. Like Cam Newton and Devonta Freeman, Green is coming off of a disappointing Week 7 performance. He had just 41 yards on three catches against the archrival Steelers, so hopefully Andy Dalton will look to him early and often to improve upon that. Green has had two monstrous weeks with 30.1 and 33.9 points this season, but his floor is relatively safe as well, last week’s effort aside. I expect him to shred the Colts making him my top receiver play, chalk or not, this week.
WR: Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers at New England ($7,800 FanDuel/$7,300 DraftKings)
The Broncos shut down Allen and the Chargers’ passing attack last week, but Sunday he faces a Patriots team that if anything, will probably result in Los Angeles throwing a lot. New England’s defense has looked better, but is still ranked last against the pass and the game flow could find Philip Rivers airing it out often. Allen is the Chargers’ top receiving option, averaging 10 targets a game, so the potential is here, the matchup is solid, and he makes an affordable WR2 this week.
TE: Jordan Reed, Washington vs. Dallas ($6,100 FanDuel/$4,700 DraftKings)
Reed is as risky as they come each and every week whether it is injuries, or the lack of being involved in the game plan. Last week he started slow yet again, but came on strong in the second half with 64 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The Cowboys have done well against opposing tight ends, the matchup won’t be easy, but if Reed can stay on the field he should see plenty of looks from Kirk Cousins. Let’s hope paying up for him pays off again this week.
Value Plays of the Week
QB: Andy Dalton, Cincinnati vs. Indianapolis ($7,600 FanDuel/$5,700 DraftKings)
Much like A.J. Green, Dalton is in a fantastic spot if he can capitalize and minimize mistakes this week. He is coming off of back-to-back two-interception weeks, and if he can avoid costly turnovers, and make enough connections with Green and his other weapons, he is in line for a 4X kind of day. There’s risk here of course, but if Dalton plays more like he did in Week 4 he will reward you.
RB: DeAndre Washington, Oakland at Buffalo ($5,700 FanDuel/$4,100 DraftKings)
With Marshawn Lynch suspended for this game, there’s opportunity for both Washington and Jalen Richard to get more touches. Washington has been somewhat underwhelming this season, but I like his chances to reach the end zone this week. Jalen Richard costs a few hundred more, and seems to have more upside, but value-wise I am taking a risk with Washington, who probably won’t be as popular in GPPs as well.
WR: Willie Snead, New Orleans vs. Chicago ($5,400 FanDuel/$4,000 DraftKings)
Snead has been non-existent all season following his three-game suspension to start and then he missed last week’s game because of a hamstring injury. If he is able to suit up and play, we saw what Ted Ginn Jr. did last week, and know what Snead did last season. The Bears looked like an elite defense last week, but I don’t expect them to be able to slow the Saints this week. If Snead plays I will be taking a risk and using him this week, especially this cheap. But there’s just as much a chance of him busting as breaking out. Definitely buyer beware here. If he isn’t a go, consider Josh Doctson, who has been seeing more snaps with Washington as of late.
— Written by Chris Meyers, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the FSWA. Meyers' work appears on many other sites, including socalledfantasyexperts.com. Follow him on Twitter @FantsyChillpony.