FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 8 Sunday Night
Arguably the most exciting game of the week falls on Sunday Night Football as the New Orleans Saints take on the Minnesota Vikings. With the FanDuel main slate ending after the afternoon games, this provides fantasy enthusiasts a prime opportunity to play the single-game Sunday night slate.
For those unfamiliar, single-game slates feature five flex spots with identical scoring to the main slate. However, kickers are included in these contests and there an "MVP" roster slot. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot the most important.
A rematch from January's playoff game, tonight's contest should be a close, high-scoring affair, with a 54.0-point over/under and a 1.0-point spread favoring the Saints. With a potential shootout in store, let's examine some of tonight's top plays, beginning with MVP considerations.
Kirk Cousins ($15,500): Playing the league's highest-scoring position at home, Kirk Cousins has to be in consideration for the MVP slot. Cousins has the fourth-most passing yards (2,162) and a 14-to-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He also has the benefit of taking on the league's fifth-worst pass defense, per our schedule-adjusted metrics. While the Saints did add Eli Apple, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen should create mismatches for Cousins all night. Also helping Cousins, the Vikings have shown little semblance of a running game, ranking 31st in rushing offense, according to our metrics. With the Saints playing stout run defense, the Vikings may have to turn to the air early and often.
Drew Brees (16,500): On the season, Drew Brees has 1,870 passing yards, 13 scores, and no interceptions. Working in Brees' favor, the Vikings are hurting in a major way on defense. Anthony Barr and Andrew Sendejo have already been ruled out, while Xavier Rhodes and Linval Joseph look highly questionable. If they do suit up, they will likely be below 100 percent, allowing Brees a friendlier matchup than one might initially expect. Returning to a domed environment, Brees could be the contrarian play for the MVP slot this Sunday night.
Adam Thielen ($15,500): On a record-breaking 100-yard receiving game streak, Thielen should be involved early and often. Thielen plays 61 percent of his snaps in the slot and projects to avoid the stout coverage of Marshon Lattimore, who kicks inside only 3 percent of the time. The stud receiver has seen an absolutely immense workload this season, ranking first in targets (90), receptions (66), and receiving yards (823). The only thing fadable about Thielen is his lofty price and potential high ownership. However, playing a bottom-five pass defense, throwing him into the MVP slot could be a way to circumvent high ownership.
Michael Thomas ($13,500): Flying somewhat under the radar of late, Michael Thomas comes at a slight discount here. With 60 targets, 54 receptions, and 598 receiving yards, Thomas still comes in with elite numbers. He should also benefit from a hobbled Xavier Rhodes. Even if Rhodes plays through his high-ankle sprain, Thomas dusted the Vikings for 85 yards and a pair of scores in their January showdown last season. With Mike Hughes also out with a torn ACL, the Vikings will be digging deep into their corner reserves against a dangerous Saints offense. Thomas provides an awesome way to gain leverage in the MVP slot on this slate.
Mark Ingram ($11,000): With Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray also in play, Mark Ingram checks in as the cheapest viable running back on the slate. Ingram has touch counts of 18 and 14 since returning from suspension, including 5 red-zone touches. Ingram also faces a stout Minnesota defense, but they should be weakened by injuries to Anthony Barr and Linval Joseph. Ingram may not be a voluminous play, but with a 27.5-point implied team total, the Saints project to score a lot of points. This keeps Ingram in play as the cheapest of the running backs projected to receive volume.
Tre'Quan Smith ($8,000): With Ted Ginn Jr. on injured reserve, Tre'Quan Smith has stepped in as the Saints' number-two wide receiver. Last week, he played 73 percent of the snaps and received 6 targets, while Cameron Meredith played 25 percent of the snaps and didn't see a single target. Noted above, the Vikings are struggling with injuries at defensive back. A preferred dart throw, Smith figures to play a major role in a Brees-led offense and opens quite a bit of salary to target some of the studs noted above.
Laquon Treadwell ($7,000): I never thought this day would come, but I am actually considering Laquon Treadwell in DFS. Treadwell has a single-game season-high of just 47 receiving yards with only one score on the season. However, Treadwell played on 74 percent of the Vikings' snaps and received 4 and 3 targets each of the last two weeks. In a projected shootout, Treadwell's targets could conceivably rise and a touchdown would more than pay off his dirt-cheap salary. The Saints will likely deploy Lattimore elsewhere, leaving Treadwell with a potentially exploitable matchup. Plug your nose, take the plunge, Treadwell's projected low ownership and snap share make him a decent option.
Wil Lutz ($9,500): On one-game slates kickers actually provide a good deal of safety at a cheaper price. The Saints have a 27.5-point implied team total, which should allow Wil Lutz multiple scoring opportunities. Lutz is 18 of 19 on extra points and 12 of 13 on field goals this season. Lutz provides a cheap way to take a piece of each Saints scoring opportunity.
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.