4 NFL FanDuel Studs to Target in Week 8
Spending your available salary in any DFS lineup on a stud can make or break your lineup. These high salary players will take up the majority of your budget, so it’s critical to carefully consider which ones you’ll want for each slate. Whether it’s trying to capture a safe floor in a cash game or chasing a huge game to help you win a tournament, nailing the expensive players is one of the keys to making winning NFL lineups on FanDuel.
We are nearing the halfway point of the NFL regular season, so let's make the best lineups we can and hopefully make some money this week by targeting the right star players.
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
FanDuel Salary: $9,200
Projected Points: 24.9
We all know $9,200 is a lot to spend on a quarterback on FanDuel, but this could be the spot to do it. We haven't seen 2018 record-setting Patrick Mahomes this season, but it's not like he's been bad. He ranks as the overall QB3 in fantasy and is also third in passing Net Expected Points per drop back. This week, he gets the kind of situation that quarterbacks likely go to bed dreaming about,
The Kansas City Chiefs are at home to New York Jets, in one of the biggest mismatches we will see in the NFL season. Taking a look at our daily fantasy matchup heat map, Kansas City is a massive -19.5 favorite, with an implied team total over 33 points. A spread that lopsided may scare some people off with Mahomes not needing to throw too much, but we really want efficiency from our fantasy quarterbacks, not necessarily volume. Mahomes should be able to be efficient against the Jets, as they rank 23rd in schedule-adjusted pass defense. While the Jets are only allowing 19.1 FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks according to Pro Football Reference, that number is deceptive because of the schedule they've faced. Mahomes should be able to outproduce the likes of Brett Rypien, Philip Rivers, and one half of Jimmy Garoppolo.
Mahomes is at the top of numberFire's projections for fantasy points, regardless of position. The concern about the number of times he will need to throw is there, but the Jets have been above average against the run this season, which could force the Chiefs to have to throw to get their points. The projections have Mahomes for 34 pass attempts, and if he can do that against this Jets team, his ceiling is massive.
Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
FanDuel Salary: $9,500
Projected Points: 21.3
One of the most polarizing players in fantasy football is Derrick Henry. The debate revolves around his pass-catching role, or lack thereof. He has seen at least two targets in every game this season, and while that isn't great, we know that Henry doesn't need a ton of opportunities to break off a long play. The part of Henry's game that is indisputable is his role in the scoring areas, as he leads all players in red zone rushing attempts, despite already having his bye week. This week, we should see the big dog eat again.
The Tennessee Titans will face the Cincinnati Bengals and look to bounce back after their first loss of the season. Their implied point total is above 30 in this game against the Bengals defense, which is ranked 27th by our schedule-adjusted defense metric. That was before Cincinnati traded defensive end Carlos Dunlap, who was one of the best at his position against the run, according to PFF. Henry was able to get 75 yards and a score against the second-rated Pittsburgh Steelers run defense last week, so he could feast in this much easier matchup. We know that the Titans will continue to give him the ball if the game goes according to plan for them, as Henry has over 20 carries more than anyone else in the league, and has played one game less than most other running backs.
Henry is the only running back we have projected for over 20 fantasy points on the main slate in Week 8. He's also the highest projected player that doesn't play quarterback. Whatever your opinion of Derrick Henry's fantasy value is, you can't deny his huge upside in any game, as he is the only player with a 200-yard rushing performance in each of the past three seasons. This makes him a great way to spend up in tournaments, giving you access to a ceiling that most players just cannot match.
Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
FanDuel Salary: $9,100
Projected Points: 17.2
There's no need to get too cute in fantasy football, so we're sticking with what worked last week. Davante Adams certainly worked for those who rostered him against the Houston Texans in Week 7, catching 13 balls for 196 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He's easily been Aaron Rodgers' go-to receiver when he's been healthy, leading the NFL with a 34% target share, according to airyards.com. Week 7 wasn't Adams' first blow-up game of the 2020 season, which is great news for the upcoming rematch.
The Green Bay Packers will host division rivals in the Minnesota Vikings in Week 8. When these teams played in Week 1, Adams went off for 34.6 FanDuel points with another mulit-touchdown performance. The Packers are expected to have another big offensive game, as they are implied to score 30 points in this matchup. Adams should be able to rip up this Minnesota defense again, as they've allowed the most touchdowns to wide receivers, and the third-most FanDuel points per game to the position. Overall, the Vikings schedule-adjusted pass defense is 20th, which should allow for Adams to do his thing.
Davante is at the top of our wide receiver projections, projecting for over 1.5 points above anyone else at the position. He's also projected for the most targets, and is both a safe play along with having a high upside in this game.
George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers
FanDuel Salary: $7,700
Projected Points: 14.5
Paying up at tight end can be tricky, as those of us who played Travis Kelce last week know. This spot for George Kittle certainly makes him in consideration for FanDuel lineups this week, despite the expensive salary. Kittle leads all tight ends in target share and air yards share, so his opportunity at the position is tough to match. Unlike in other games, his team may need to force the ball to him.
The San Francisco 49ers are playing against familiar opponents in the Seattle Seahawks. A concern in 49ers' games is always that they will dominate the game with running and defense, causing them to neglect Kittle and the wide receivers. That is unlikely to be the way the game script plays out, as Vegas is projecting a high-scoring, close game. The Niners are three-point underdogs and the game has a 53 point total, which should mean they'll have to pass more often. Teams have killed Seattle through the air, as their schedule-adjusted pass defense is 26th in the league. With Deebo Samuel out in this game, Kittle's volume could increase even more, which would be great in this matchup.
Kittle has the most projected points for tight ends on the Week 8 main slate. You may find his price tag a bit prohibitive, but you should also consider that his projection also makes him have the best value projection at the position. He'll work well in tournament lineups where you want to game stack this game with Seattle's players -- hoping the game will go off and send your lineups to the top of the leaderboards.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. 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.