DRAFT Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 8
Fantasy Football in 2018 has seemingly been marked by distinct ebbs and flows, with only Todd Gurley and Patrick Mahomes remaining at the top of weekly leader boards. It has almost been forgotten that Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for over 400 yards in each of his first three games this season. This speaks to the fact that fantasy remains a weekly game with edges to be exploited.
DRAFT provides one way for fantasy enthusiasts to test their knowledge of the game through weekly snake and auction drafts. Here are a few of this week's standout plays for the DRAFT platform.
Jameis Winston - An early-to-mid-round pick in weekly snake drafts, Jameis Winston has excelled after returning from suspension. Winston has at least 365 yards passing in each of his two starts and should continue rolling in Week 8.
Winston draws a struggling Cincinnati Bengals defense that has allowed the fourth-most passing yards per game (310.9) to opposing quarterbacks. The Bengals have allowed at least 28 points in each of their last two weeks and now face a Winston-led passing offense, which ranks seventh per our metrics.
Also helping Winston, the Buccaneers struggle on defense themselves, increasing the shootout potential of this match. They currently rank 28th in overall defense by our measure and FanDuel Sportsbook has pegged this match as a high-scoring affair with a 54-point game total.
Increasing in price by the week, Jameis Winston remains a buy for those targeting quarterback early before his price soars into the first few rounds.
Aaron Rodgers - Arguably the best quarterback in the game, Aaron Rodgers has fallen to the mid-rounds in weekly snake drafts. Despite an early-season knee injury, Rodgers has accounted for 1,997 passing yards, 12 touchdowns, and 1 interception on the year, and at least 400 yards passing games in each of his last two games.
With a number of quarterbacks in plus matchups, Rodgers has gone a bit overlooked. However, the Los Angeles Rams present a winnable matchup after dealing with a myriad of injuries, as Marcus Peters has struggled with his calf and Aqib Talib stuck on injured reserve. The Rams have allowed C.J. Beathard, Derek Carr, and Sam Bradford to average 271.8 yards passing.
Rodgers, along with his pass-catchers, appear to be healthier than recent weeks. Rodgers rushed for at least 30 yards in two of his last three games, showing increased mobility after injuring his knee. Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison also figure to return for this contest after practicing early in week.
Rodgers can finish as the top fantasy scorer in any given week and should be targeted in the mid-rounds until his draft cost adjusts.
Kareem Hunt - After a relatively quiet start, Kareem Hunt has burst onto the scene with nine touchdowns in his last six games. However, fantasy enthusiasts haven't treated Hunt like the elite running back he is, allowing him to fall to the late first round in snake drafts.
Hunt is handling a massive 78.2 percent of the Kansas City Chiefs running back touches, including 21 targets. He has touched the ball at least 15 times in every game this season and arguably should have more touches, given the Chiefs blew out Cincinnati last weekend.
To sweeten his outlook even further, the Denver Broncos have regressed on defense in 2018. They have allowed the second-most rushing yards per game, at 135.86, and rank second-worst in run defense, per our schedule-adjusted metrics.
The Chiefs also come in favored by 10 points with the second highest implied team total on the slate. (31.75). With game script in his favor and playing in a plus matchup, Kareem Hunt should dominate come Sunday. He remains more than worth his late first round draft cost.
Joe Mixon - After a disappointing Sunday night, Joe Mixon has fallen to the late second/early third round of weekly drafts. While his 51 yard, scoreless game remains disappointing, Mixon looks like a strong bounce-back candidate in Week 8.
Mixon remains heavily involved in Cincinnati's backfield with Giovani Bernard on the shelf. Mixon has seen at least 80-percent of the running back touches in each of his three games since returning from injury and continues to work as the team's primary passing-down back, with 24 targets on the year.
On paper, Mixon draws a tough matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While they allow the fifth-fewest rushing yards per game, they recently lost Kwon Alexander to a torn ACL and could be without Gerald McCoy for another week after he failed to practice on Wednesday.
Mixon should also benefit as a 4.5-point home favorite, with a 29.25 implied team total. With scoring expected to be high, Mixon looks like a prime target in the mid rounds of weekly drafts.
Phillip Lindsay - Lasting all the way until the final rounds of drafts, Phillip Lindsay could be in line for a feature back role after Royce Freeman suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 7. Freeman failed to practice on Wednesday and looks unlikely to play. However, the market has yet to adjust for Lindsay's projected workload in a prime matchup.
The Kansas City Chiefs have played abysmal run defense to start the year. They have allowed the eighth-most rushing yards (101.29) and the most receiving yards (73.00) per game to opposing backs. Per our metrics, the Chiefs rank dead-last in run defense.
Lindsay has shown electrifying play-making ability, recording 436 yards on 75 carries (5.81 YPC) and another 119 receiving yards on 15 receptions. Game script likely won't be in Lindsay's favor, with the Denver Broncos slotting in as 10-point underdogs. However, the game a massive 53.5-point total and Lindsay's complete skill-set should keep him on the field in all game scripts.
Currently being drafted as a late-round flier, Lindsay allows fantasy owners to load up on quarterback and receiver before locking in work-horse back in a solid matchup.
Michael Thomas - After his monstrous start to 2018, Michael Thomas has quieted of late, receiving only 18 targets in his last 3 games. However, this has allowed his draft stock to fall into the second round, a place he should be targeted this week in snake drafts.
On the year Thomas still ranks T-14th in targets (60), 7th in receiving yards (598), and 3rd in receptions (54). Positively, Thomas retains a 20-percent target share over the New Orleans Saints past three games and should remain a focal point going forward.
Thomas also draws a Minnesota Vikings defense struggling with a slew of injuries. In the secondary Andrew Sendejo has missed the last two games and Xavier Rhodes left last week's game with a high ankle sprain. The Vikings also present a natural pass-funnel defense, ranking third in rush defense and 19th in pass defense, per our metrics.
Often a mid-second round pick, this looks like an awesome bounce back spot for Michael Thomas and the Saints' passing attack.
Smith-Schuster has shown awesome consistency this season, recording either 100 yards or a score in five of six games. He also has 10 or more targets in 4 of those games and 63 targets on the year, ranking T-12th.
Smith-Schuster draws a winnable matchup with Browns stud corner Denzel Ward likely to shadow Antonio Brown. The Browns have allowed the seventh-most yards to receivers (195.57). They are also dealing with injuries in the secondary, with Terrance Mitchell on injured reserve, E.J. Gaines unlikely to play, and Damarious Randall questionable with groin and ankle injuries.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the higher implied team totals (28.75) on the slate and should give a Browns defense trouble after yet another overtime loss. Take the mid-round discount with JuJu and fire him up in weekly drafts.
T.Y. Hilton - After a hamstring injury sidelined him for a couple weeks, T.Y. Hilton returned to the Indianapolis Colts' offense and received a mere four targets, causing him to fall to the final rounds in snake drafts this week.
It should be noted that Andrew Luck attempted his fewest passes of the season (23) in the Colts' absolute dismantling of the Buffalo Bills. Prior to that, Luck had attempted no fewer than 31 passes in a game. This week, bookmakers project a 50-point game between the Colts and the Oakland Raiders, with the Colts winning by three points.
This game script should allow Luck to attempt more passes and subsequently Hilton should receive more targets. Prior to the injury Hilton had seen at least ten targets in every game. The Raiders also present a winnable matchup, ranking 29th in pass defense per our metrics and allowing the ninth-most yards to receivers per game (118.17).
As Luck's preferred target, Hilton should remain a fixture on weekly fantasy teams as a late-round pick.
Matthew Gajewski is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matthew Gajewski also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mgajewski. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.