7 Daily Fantasy Football Tournament Plays for Week 8
There are a few players this week that I like to break out of slumps to go along with some more proven commodities. Their low prices and what will likely be low ownership percentages can mean big things for you in big tournaments.
Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs - Smith finds himself matched up this week with a St. Louis Rams defense that he should have no problem putting up big numbers against. The Rams have allowed a league-high 21.91 points per game to quarterbacks and sit 31st in the league in Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play. Also encouraging is that odds-makers have the Chiefs projected to score 25.5 points this week, and in 2 out of the 3 games in which the Chiefs scored at least 21 points this season, Smith has contributed with 3 touchdowns.
Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders - McFadden has been far and away the most effective Raiders running back this season. He has posted a Rushing NEP per play of -0.02 this year, which has him 23rd among backs with 50 or more carries. This is in stark contrast to the -0.25 mustered by teammate Maurice Jones-Drew so far. McFadden also contributes in the passing game, recording an average of 5.25 targets over each of the last 4 games. Where McFadden offers the most upside, however, is on the goal line. McFadden has accounted for 100% of the Raiders' rushes inside their opponents 10 yard line, and 85% in the red zone, giving him plenty of upside as far as touchdowns go. Also worth noting is that this week he will be up against a Browns defense that ranks 29th in terms of Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per play.
Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings - As many predicted, McKinnon has overtaken Matt Asiata for the starting running back role in Minnesota. Over the last 2 weeks McKinnon has out-carried Asiata 30 to 8. He has been impressive when he gets the ball and ranks 12th among backs with 50 or more touches in Rushing NEP per carry. Averaging five targets per game over the last three weeks, he also offers PPR upside. He faces a Tampa Bay defense this week that has given up 28.6 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, the 4th most in the league.
Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs - Bowe makes for an interesting stack with Alex Smith this week but is also a high upside play on his own. As mentioned above, the Rams have been among the worst in the league defending the pass. This has translated into big fantasy points for opposing receivers, as St. Louis has given up the fifth most fantasy points to opposing wideouts. Despite seeing action in only five games so far, Bowe is one target behind Travis Kelce for the team lead, and has yet to see fewer than five in a game. Bowe has 30 targets in his limited action. Bowe's inability to find the end zone has hurt his value all season, but being targeted in the red zone the second most on the team, there is reason to be optimistic.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals - Fitzgerald is having a quiet year in fantasy so far, but he's still well positioned to put up solid numbers any given week, and matching up against an Eagles defense allowing the eighth most points to wide receivers this year, this may well be one of those weeks. Like Bowe, Fitzgerald has struggled to find the end zone this year (he has only scored once). However, there's a good chance that number starts to improve. The Cardinals are the fourth most pass-heavy team in the red zone, and Fitzgerald has six red zone targets, twice as many as any other Cardinal. With Arizona projected to put up 25.25 points this week, the scoring opportunities will be there for Fitzgerald and the Cardinals.
Owen Daniels, Baltimore Ravens - Since taking over for an injured Dennis Pitta in Week 4, Daniels has played a big role in the Ravens offense. He has averaged 6.25 targets per game and has become the primary red zone threat, seeing 26% of all of the Ravens red zone targets in that stretch. He has an incredibly favorable matchup this week against the Bengals, who at 22.15 points per game are now allowing the most points in the league to opposing tight ends.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Tampa Bay draws the Vikings this week, a matchup that should allow them to put up some big numbers. They are projected to hold Minnesota to 19 points -- the 5th lowest in the league this week. Over the last three games, the Vikings have thrown seven interceptions, five of which were thrown by Bridgewater. They have also given up five or more sacks in four different weeks this year. Fantasy defenses have been able to put together some huge games against Minnesota this year, with 3 different defenses scoring at least 20 fantasy points.