DRAFT Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 8
Just because the NFL season is underway doesn't mean you can't enjoy fantasy football drafts.
Over at DRAFT.com, you can get the experience of a fantasy draft while building your daily fantasy rosters, and the format is quite simple.
You roster one quarterback, two running backs, and two wide receiver/tight ends, while drafting against opponents in real-time. That means the typical "value" aspect of daily fantasy is different, as you're not worrying about salary cap and instead just playing your opponents for your preferred picks of the week.
What stands out for Week 8's main slate?
When considering running backs in the DRAFT format, you are required to draft two, but the difference between the top options and the next grouping can be a big drop-off.
Our projections have only two running backs projected for 21.0 points or more, while the third running back is projected for 18.8 fantasy points. This might not seem massive, but in fantasy football or DFS, every point matters. In your head-to-head matches, you will 100% be grabbing at least one of these top running backs, but as you move on to 4-Person, 6-Person, and 10-person DRAFTS, things can change dramatically.
Let's take a look at a few players by tiers, so you can get a clear picture of where you should be targeting each player.
1. Christian McCaffrey (RB1) - The Carolina Panthers are back from their bye week, which means CMC is back as the top projected running back. It should be noted that Alvin Kamara has the same projection as McCaffrey, but Kamara's health status for the game is unclear. CMC does have a tougher matchup versus the San Francisco 49ers, who are only allowing 10.7 FanDuel points per game to running backs this season. Regardless of a tougher matchup, we have McCaffrey projected for 20 rushing attempts and 8 targets in the passing game.
2. Saquon Barkley (RB3) - Barkley returned last week and saw 21 total touches, which is right where we have him projected this week. Playing against the Detroit Lions in a game with an over/under set at 50, we are in for plenty of opportunity for Barkley. The Lions are allowing the second-most FanDuel points per game to running backs -- 28.4 -- making one of the safer options as usual.
3. Leonard Fournette (RB4) - Fournette is simply doing his thing, posting over 100 rushing yards in three of his last four games and is primed for another repeat performance. He is facing off against the New York Jets, who are allowing the fourth-most points to running backs this season.
4. Todd Gurley (RB5) - I guess Todd Gurley is good this week? It's tough to tell since he has been a bit unproductive at times this season, but has managed to post five touchdowns in his last three games. The matchup is amazing for him against the Cincinnati Bengals, who are allowing the most FanDuel points per game to running backs this season. It just seems tough to trust him at times this year.
5. Chris Carson (RB6) - Carson is always going to be one of the more consistent options in fantasy simply due to his volume in the rushing game. We have him projected for over 20 rushing attempts -- yet again -- and even a few targets in the passing game. The Atlanta Falcons are allowing over 20 FanDuel points per game to running backs this season. Easy choice here.
6. Le'Veon Bell (RB7) - For as ineffective as the New York Jets' offense is, Bell will be a decent fantasy option on most slates since he has posted 22 total touches or more in four of his six games this season. Volume is king when it comes to fantasy running backs, even if he plays on a bad team. Bell is projected for another 22 touches this week.
7. Marlon Mack (RB10) - Mack is a home-favorite against the Denver Broncos, in what could be a rather unexciting game. The Broncos are allowing over 21 FanDuel points per game to running backs this season, but this game only has an over/under of 43 points.
8. Sony Michel (RB11) - Michel is in a somewhat similar spot to Mack above. Home-favorite -- shocker, I know for the New England Patriots -- and should see the ball plenty if they are controlling the game. He doesn't play a role in the passing game, which can limit his upside at times.
9. Ty Johnson (RB12) - Johnson was the talk of the town this week for season-long FAAB bids, but in a DRAFT format he is only an option for deeper leagues. He is a good option based on the matchup versus the New York Giants, but just not projected highly enough.
1. DeAndre Hopkins (WR1) - Hopkins has been just OK this season and hasn't had an explosive game, but that could be coming this week. He is up against the Oakland Raiders, who are allowing 35.4 FanDuel points per game to opposing wide receivers, which is the fourth-most in the league. This is his week.
2. Michael Thomas (WR2) - Thomas might be getting Drew Brees, which is always good, but he might not need it. He has eight or more receptions in four straight games and now gets to face-off against the Arizona Cardinals, where the over/under is set at 47.5 points. The Cardinals are allowing 29 FanDuel points per game to wide receivers this season, making him an elite option as always.
3. Tyler Lockett (WR3) - This could be the game of the week with the Seattle Seahawks visiting the Atlanta Falcons with an over/under at 53. With plenty of scoring and given with how horrible the Falcons' secondary is -- allowing 35 FanDuel points per game to receivers -- Lockett is in a spot to feast. He is our third-highest projected receiver this week.
4. Julio Jones (WR4) - Jones is on the other side of Lockett and while the matchup isn't as good for him in terms of DvP, we have Julio projected for only 0.1 fewer points. As of now, Matt Ryan is still questionable for this game, and depending on his health, you could realistically bump Jones to the top-tier if Ryan plays.
5. Kenny Golladay (WR5) - The Detroit Lions are going to be the chalk of the week? Well, when you play the New York Giants you will be popular. Golladay is coming off a very bad game, but love this as a bounce-back spot since the Giants are allowing 32.6 FanDuel points per game to receivers.
6. Cooper Kupp (WR6) - This game is in London but still an extremely good spot for Kupp against one of the league's worst teams. Kupp carries a strong 13.1 FanDuel point projection, but may not have a ceiling since the Los Angeles Rams are 13-point favorites and won't need to push the ball downfield.
7. Chris Godwin (WR7) - Godwin is on his way to elite wide receiver status, but falls a bit short this week simply due to the game script. Up against the Tennessee Titans, who play at a slower pace, so we won't see this game turn into a high-scoring shootout. He still owns an aDOT (Average Depth of Target) at 11.6, so the downfield threat is always there.
8. Julian Edelman (WR8) - The New England Patriots receiving core is going under a series of changes, but Edelman will always be the constant. A 12.2 FanDuel projection for him against a middle of the road Cleveland Browns defense.
9. Courtland Sutton (WR11) - With Emmanuel Sanders being traded away, there is some more room in the Denver Broncos passing game. This does mean you have to trust Joe Flacco, but the targets have to go somewhere, right?
We all know you should be prioritizing elite running backs and receivers over taking a quarterback in season-long fantasy, and that should be the same here. This week, there are eight quarterbacks who we have projected to score from 20.1 to 21.4 FanDuel points, and another three projected at 17.1 to 19.0. At a certain point, it can be splitting hairs and essentially comes down to personal preference, but know that you will be in a good spot at quarterback this week.
1. Deshaun Watson (QB1) - Of these top three quarterbacks, any of them could finish as QB1 on the week. Watson has scored at least one touchdown in every one of his NFL games. This is a pure smash spot for him against the Oakland Raiders, who are allowing 23.5 FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks, the third-worst in the league.
2. Russell Wilson (QB2) - Russell always has multi-touchdown upside and has shown that in five of his seven games this season. A 53.0-point over/under versus the Falcons is an amazing spot to attack, as they are dead last in the league versus quarterbacks. Stack him with Lockett for all the points.
3. Matthew Stafford (QB3) - Stafford has the lowest projection out of the three here, but that is due to the other two having some rushing equity. Still, Stafford against the New York Giants is a matchup you want to attack, since they are allowing 19.5 FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks this season.
4. Jared Goff (QB4) - Goff is projected for 19.2 FanDuel points this week, which is right where you would expect him as a 13-point favorite. There is a bit of worry -- in my opinion -- that Goff will have to do a whole lot versus the Cincinnati Bengals. Maybe one passing touchdown, a rushing one by Gurley, add a defensive one in there, and he won't have to push the ball at all.
5. Kyler Murray (QB5) - The Arizona Cardinals are 10-point road underdogs, which should lead to them passing the ball to catch-up against the Saints. Murray has 16 FanDuel points or more in six of his seven games this season, which looks to stay consistent this week since the Saints are allowing over 20 FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks.
6. Josh Allen (QB6) - Allen has been quietly producing all season and has 10 touchdowns through six games. He is one of the quarterbacks on this list who have one and one upside. By that I mean one passing and one rushing touchdown, making him all the more valuable in fantasy.
7. Tom Brady (QB7) - A 28.50 implied team total for the Patriots, just another normal week for them. Brady never makes it into the top-tier of options since their defense could easily have one or two touchdowns, which ultimately take away from his potential ceiling.
8. Gardner Minshew (QB8) - Minshew has multiple touchdowns in three of his last five games and now gets to face a weak New York Jets' secondary. There are clearly other quarterbacks who are projected higher than Minshew, but in deeper DRAFTS, he is a solid option.