DraftKings Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 8
The daily fantasy football games offered on FanDuel and DraftKings have many similarities, but one distinct difference is that DraftKings uses full PPR scoring. Much like you would in season-long leagues, that means we must evaluate players slightly differently on each site. In this space, we'll help you on the DraftKings side of the equation.
Be sure to pay attention to inactives prior to Sunday's games. Similar to late scratches in the NBA, injuries can have a huge impact on playing time, and great values can open up for you at the last minute. At a position like running back, a low-priced backup can suddenly find his way into a feature role and crush his value.
Also, be sure to use numberFire's premium tools at your disposal! In particular, the heat map is a great way to get a general overview of the slate's implied team totals, and every team's strengths and weaknesses.
Now, let's check out the top plays on this week's DraftKings main slate.
Carson Wentz ($7,200): Following his third straight game with 3 or more touchdowns, you probably don't need much of an explanation for why MVP candidate Carson Wentz makes this list. This week he gets a home matchup against San Francisco 49ers, who rank 28th in Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play, and have allowed the second-most DraftKings points per game to quarterbacks. As an added bonus to Wentz's floor, he's quietly amassed the third-most rushing yards among quarterbacks (196). Oh, and the Philadelphia Eagles have a slate-high 29.5 implied team total. (Fly, Eagles, Fly.) The only thing that might slow Wentz down is some poor weather in the forecast, so keep an eye on the latest Sunday morning.
Kirk Cousins ($6,400): Kirk Cousins isn't on a bad run himself, throwing multiple touchdowns in four straight games and 300-plus yards in three of them. With the highest over/under on the board (50.0), a home spot against the Dallas Cowboys has plenty of shootout potential. The Cowboys rank an unintimidating 22nd against the pass by numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics.
Andy Dalton ($5,700): The Indianapolis Colts have allowed the most points per game (31.7) and the second-most passing yards per game (300.7). They rank dead-last against the pass by numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics. Need more convincing? They just coughed up 330 yards to Blake Bortles. There's a good chance Andy Dalton is the chalk in cash games this week.
Ezekiel Elliott ($9,200): With Le'Veon Bell off the main slate on DraftKings, that leaves Ezekiel Elliott alone at the top of the running back pool. Excluding a rough matchup in Denver, he's garnered at least 25 touches in all five of his other games, and overall, he's seen nearly 41% of his team's carries and targets. He's hit pay dirt in three of his last four games and has seen the third-most red zone carries this season (25). The matchup against Washington isn't ideal, and the price is steep, but Elliott's high floor makes him well worth it.
Mark Ingram ($7,400): Mark Ingram continues to enjoy the post-Adrian Peterson era, getting touch totals of 30 and 26 the last two games. The price keeps creeping up, but Ingram is still a good deal as long as he's seeing this kind of volume. And despite the emergence of Alvin Kamara, Ingram also remains involved in the passing game, seeing at least 4 targets in every game, raising his floor on DraftKings. The New Orleans Saints have a 28.25 implied team total and are 9.0-point home favorites over the Chicago Bears, so this lines up as another excellent game script for Ingram.
Joe Mixon ($4,700): Marshawn Lynch's one-game suspension opens up some potential values in DeAndre Washington ($4,100) and Jalen Richard ($4,300), but following Lynch's ejection last week, the two split the workload down the middle, making it difficult to trust their floors in a mediocre matchup against the Buffalo Bills. Therefore, in cash games it makes more sense to move up to Joe Mixon instead, who gets a pristine matchup against the Colts. While it's concerning that Mixon saw zero carries in the second half against the Pittsburgh Steelers -- something he was none too pleased about -- that's unlikely to happen this week, with the Cincinnati Bengals expected to have the lead as 10.5-point home favorites. Prior to last week, Mixon had seen touch totals of 21, 21, and 15 the past three games. With that kind of usage, he shouldn't have trouble hitting value at this salary, and he's seen the team's most red zone carries since Bill Lazor took over as offensive coordinator.
A.J. Green ($8,600): How many Bengals can we list? A.J. Green is the priciest wide receiver on the slate, but he's the obvious pairing with Andy Dalton. Green is seeing almost 32% of the Bengals' targets, averaging 9.5 targets and 90.8 yards per game. Yeah, he's pretty good. The Colts defense is not.
Alshon Jeffery ($6,700): We want exposure to the Eagles' high implied total, but Carson Wentz and Zach Ertz ($7,000) are both among the most expensive at their respective positions, so you can consider opting for Alshon Jeffery at a slightly cheaper price point. At first glance, Jeffery's production has been underwhelming, but he's faced a brutal schedule so far, and the 49ers stand as one of the best matchups he'll see all year. He's still getting nearly 24% of Philadelphia's targets, and has the third-most air yards to his name. A little further down in the mid-range, Kelvin Benjamin ($6,400) and Devin Funchess ($5,900) face a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that's allowed the most DraftKings points per game to wide receivers.
Aldrick Robinson ($3,600): Marquise Goodwin didn't practice on Thursday, which puts him in danger of missing Sunday's game against the Eagles. On a slate lacking many value options, if Goodwin is inactive on Sunday, that puts Aldrick Robinson at the head of the table. When Goodwin was forced out of a game with a concussion in Week 4, Robinson was the main beneficiary, seeing 12 targets. The Eagles have a solid defense, but have beatable cornerbacks in Jalen Mills and Rasul Douglas.
Jordan Reed ($4,700): It's been awfully hard to predict where the targets are going in Washington's offense, but Jordan Reed sure looked good (and healthy) last week, grabbing 8-of-10 targets for 64 yards and 2 touchdowns. He played his highest percentage of snaps (78%) since Week 1, and even while battling his usual health issues, he hasn't seen fewer than 5 targets in any game this season. With the big performance happening on Monday night, we didn't see a price hike, making it a good time to pounce on a Reed trending in the right direction heading into a potential high-scoring affair against the Cowboys.
Jack Doyle ($3,500): Jack Doyle isn't an exciting option considering his team has a pitiful 15.25 implied team total, but he's averaging 8.3 targets over his last three games, good for just under a 25% market share over that span. That's enough to like his floor at this price, and we know the Colts should be throwing often while they try to keep up with the Bengals. Speaking of the Bengals, Tyler Kroft ($3,000) is another one to keep in mind as a punt pairing with Andy Dalton.
Cincinnati D/ST ($3,600): Not to keep picking on the Colts, but they have the lowest implied team total on the board, and they'll likely be forced to throw, leading to more potential sacks and turnovers. Jacoby Brissett took 10 (!!!) sacks last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and now has the dubious honor of leading the league with 25. The Philadelphia D/ST ($3,800) is also pricey, but the Eagles are similarly massive home favorites against a 49ers team traveling across the country for a 1:00 PM Eastern start.
Seattle D/ST ($3,200): We've seen cheap defenses have some slate-altering impacts lately, particularly last weak, in which some sub-$3,000 defenses provided huge double-digit scores. However, with six teams on bye, our cheap options are limited this week. Seattle's defense hasn't quite been the fantasy force we've grown accustomed to, and they haven't gotten as much pressure as we would like, but keep in mind that this unit has only had two home games and is still tied for the fewest points allowed per game (15.7). This will be by far the hardest test of rookie Deshaun Watson's young career, and despite his early success, this could be a spot where we see him struggle against the second-best pass defense by numberFire's metrics. As Rotoworld's Rich Hribar points out, since Pete Carroll joined Seattle, starting rookie quarterbacks have a 1-6 record and are averaging just 172 passing yards per game in Seattle.
Kenyatta Storin is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Kenyatta Storin also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username yatters. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.