FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 8 Monday Night
Week 8 is just about the rearview mirror, but worry not because we still have a Monday Night Football single-game slate left to scratch that DFS itch. Tonight's matchup between the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills is likely to be short on drama as New England is favored by two touchdowns, but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of intrigue from a fantasy perspective.
For those unfamiliar with the single-game format, scoring is identical to its full roster cousin, except lineups consist of five flex spots, and kickers (remember them?) are an option in place of defense/special teams. The one twist? One of the five roster spots is your designated "MVP," who receives 1.5x his total fantasy points. Naturally, it's crucial that you choose your MVP carefully if you want to be at the top of the leaderboards when it's all said and done.
Let's run through some of tonight's top plays, starting with the best options to consider for your MVP slot.
James White ($16,000 on FanDuel): Almost certainly one of the most popular plays tonight, if not the most popular, James White should be in line for a near-feature back role with Sony Michel ruled out for Monday night. With Michel going down in Week 7, White saw 11 carries and caught 8-of-10 targets for a season-high 19 touches, and his upside was on a full display with 25.7 FanDuel points. White also saw a season-high 70% of the snaps, and while Kenjon Barner figures to steal his share of touches, White should once again dominate the workload. Although he figures to see some touchdown regression after already achieving a career-best 7 touchdowns in just seven games, he leads the team red zone targets (11) and is second in red zone carries (7) behind Michel. The Bills don't necessary make for a cupcake matchup, ranking 11th against the run by numberFire's schedule-adjusted metrics, but with the Pats sporting a 29.00 implied total as a 14.0-point road favorite, it's hard to see White not hitting pay dirt tonight.
Tom Brady ($18,500): The other most popular MVP figures to be Tom Terrific, and despite the hefty price tags, many may try to roster him and White together, as that could very well lock up all of the Pats' touchdowns tonight. The Bills' pass defense ranks highly as numberFire's ninth-best, but with an overmatched and turnover-prone Derek Anderson leading the offense, the Patriots should have little trouble dominating both time of possession and field position like the Indianapolis Colts and Andrew Luck did in a 37-5 Week 7 blowout. Brady is averaging 20.3 FanDuel points per game this season, the best on the slate.
Rob Gronkowski ($13,000) and Josh Gordon ($12,000): If you're looking for a slightly more contrarian option to man your MVP slot, Rob Gronkowski and Josh Gordon fit the bill. Gronkowski is dealing with a back injury, but is expected to play, as nagging injuries have contributed to what has been a down season so far, with Gronk's lone touchdown coming way back in Week 1. Still, we're well aware of the upside he brings, and he's destroyed the Bills throughout his career, including a 9-reception, 147-yard day in his last trip to Buffalo in 2017. Meanwhile, Gordon continues to quietly improve with every passing week in this offense, coming off his first 100-yard game of 2018 and a season-high 95% of the snaps. While it's probably wishful thinking to hope for the 2013 Gordon to reemerge, Brady has had nothing but positive things to say about Gordon, and we could be on the verge of a true breakout performance.
Kenjon Barner ($11,000): Kenjon Barner could very well be the biggest wild card of the slate, as it's unclear just how much he'll be used after logging 10 carries following Michel's injury in Week 7. But in a game where the Patriots figure to get out to a big lead, it's possible the Pats elect to lean more on Barner late in the game, although at 195 pounds, he shouldn't be confused for a late-game hammer like LeGarrette Blount was in 2016. Still, the positive game script should ultimately help Barner, and he did see three red zone carries last week.
LeSean McCoy ($10,500): LeSean McCoy has cleared the concussion protocol, so he should be good to go on Monday night. On a team averaging a league-worst 11.6 points per game, McCoy has yet to find the end zone this season, and it should once again be tough sledding tonight as a massive underdog. Even so, prior to Week 7's early-game concussion, McCoy had touch totals of 26 and 19 in back-to-back games, and he remains regularly involved in the passing game. As essentially the only show in town on this offense, his volume gives him a reasonable floor, and in spite of that scoreless streak, he remains the most likely Bills player to get a touchdown.
Steven Hauschka ($9,000): Obviously, given New England's huge implied total, Stephen Gostkowski ($10,000) is the more desirable of the two kickers tonight, but considering how ugly things get once you drop into the four-digit salary range, Steven Hauschka is still worth a look if you need the savings. Even with this putrid Bills offense, Hauschka has gotten enough opportunities to score 9.0 or more FanDuel points in four of six games.
Kelvin Benjamin ($8,000) and Zay Jones ($8,000): Anyone catching passes from Derek Anderson comes with a low floor, but Kelvin Benjamin and Zay Jones will at least see more targets than the complimentary Pats pass-catchers in this same price range (Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson). Benjamin's 18.5% target market share leads the team, making him the "safest" bet in terms of volume -- although he figures to draw a tough matchup against Stephon Gilmore -- while Jones is second on the team with a 17.0% target market share. Each one has only scored once through seven weeks. On New England's side, Dorsett ($8,000) and Patterson ($7,000) both played under 10 snaps last week, so they're really just touchdown-dependent dart throws in GPPs. Chris Hogan ($9,500) is a tad pricier and has seen his stock plummet since the beginning of the season, but he did draw a promising seven targets last week, albeit with Gronk out of the lineup.
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.