FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 8 Monday Night (Buccaneers at Giants)
Per our oddsFire tool, the betting public is hammering the Bucs and the over. Of the bets places on the spread, 80% are on Tampa Bay and 87% of the money has followed suit. With the total, 75% of the bets and 70% of the money is backing the over.
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 is an "MVP" roster slot. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot crucial.
This past offseason our Brandon Gdula did a deep dive on single-game strategy. It's worth checking out before you make your lineups.
Tom Brady, Buccaneers ($16,500)
Tom Brady comes into this one fresh off a season-best 36.86 FanDuel points last time out against the Las Vegas Raiders, and this is another smash spot for him. Per our schedule-adjusted metrics, the Giants rank 10th-worst in overall defense and 5th-worst versus the pass. Brady could go off in a Bucs offense passing at the 11th-highest rate entering Week 8.
The negatives are that Brady will likely be the chalk MVP play, and if the score gets out of hand -- a definite possibility with Tampa Bay a 12.5-point favorite -- the Bucs could opt for a more run-heavy attack in the second half.
Brady has been held under 15 FanDuel points in three of six starts, but he also has two games of 33-plus FanDuel points. He could have another big day if he keeps getting touchdowns, something he's done a lot of with a 6.7% touchdown rate, his best clip since 2010.
We project Brady for 18.4 FanDuel points, 3.3 more than anyone else on the slate.
Daniel Jones, Giants ($15,000)
This is a tough spot for Daniel Jones, but his running ability helps both his floor and his ceiling. Jones has rushed for at least 45 yards in four of his last five games, including outings of 74 and 92 rushing yards the past two contests.
On the downside, Jones hasn't shown much upside with his arm, failing to hit the 200-yard passing mark in four of his last five. He does have three total passing scores across the last two weeks, but those came in softer matchups versus the Washington Football Team and Philadelphia Eagles. The Bucs are an elite defense, ranking first overall, first against the pass, and second versus the run, according to our numbers.
Given the brutal matchup and the general blahness of the Giants' offense, Jones isn't going to be an overly popular MVP pick. But weird things happen on single-game slates, and Jones is due for a rushing score as he has yet to find paydirt this season despite 296 rushing yards. We forecast him to total 15.1 FanDuel points.
Mike Evans, Bucs ($14,000)
With Chris Godwin out, Mike Evans' outlook gets a boost. Evans is having a funky season, but he's been really good in the three games Godwin has missed in 2020. In those three contests, Evans has averaged 9.0 catches and 89.0 receiving yards while scoring a touchdown in each game -- good for an average of 18.1 FanDuel points per game.
When Evans lines up on the outside in this game, he'll likely see a ton of James Bradberry. That's not ideal, as Bradberry is balling out this year and has a track record of success against Evans. But Evans has been in the slot on 32.2% of his snaps this year, a number that could rise in this game with Godwin -- the Bucs' primary slot man -- sidelined. Going into the slot will likely be a way to get Evans free from Bradberry, who has lined up in the slot on only 7.4% of his snaps.
I like Evans as an MVP play, and our model projects him for 13.1 FanDuel points, tops among the non-quarterbacks.
Leonard Fournette, Buccaneers ($10,000)
The 2020 Bucs backfield has a way of making you feel dumb. I'm not going to pretend like I know who will carry the mail tonight, but I do know this is a really good spot for the Tampa Bay run game in what should be a positive game script.
Leonard Fournette ($10,000) has a much friendlier salary than Ronald Jones ($13,000) does, and Fournette was in on a backfield-best 56% of the snaps last week -- compared to a 43% snap rate for Jones -- in a game flow that played out a lot like this one might. Fournette finished the win over Vegas with 11 carries for 50 yards and added 6 catches for 47 yards. Jones, meanwhile, turned 14 total touches (13 carries and 1 catch) into just 36 total yards, though he did get into the end zone once.
With Fournette's rise in involvement last week and the $3,000 salary difference between he and Jones, I'd expect Fournette to be the more popular Bucs running back. But we've been fooled by this backfield before, and both of these guys have good touchdown equity in a game in which Tampa Bay is implied to score 28.75 points.
I'm siding with Fournette, though Jones is a fun leverage play.
Sterling Shepard, Giants ($9,000)
Sterling Shepard returned from injury last week and played 77% of the snaps, the second-most among the Giants' wideouts. He ended that game with 6 catches, 59 yards and a score on 8 targets. The targets, catches and yards were highs among the team's receivers, although Evan Engram ($8,500) saw a team-best nine looks.
Shepard has recorded six and eight targets in his two full games this season while playing 78% and 77% of the snaps in them, and we project him for a team-high 7.3 targets tonight. While Darius Slayton ($12,000) has the big-play chops to make a huge impact on a single-game slate, our model has Shepard as the best point-per-dollar play among Big Blue's receivers.
Tyler Johnson, Bucs ($7,500)
The last time Godwin missed a game, Tyler Johnson led Tampa Bay in receiving yards with 61 in a tough spot at the Chicago Bears. He played 79% of the snaps that game, the second-most among the Bucs' wideouts, and is a viable dart throw on Monday night.
As we touched on earlier, the Giants' defense has struggled in all facets this season, and with Tampa implied for a shade more than four tuddies, maybe Johnson gets in on the act. He's my favorite low-salary choice on the slate.