NFL

FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 8 Thursday Night (Packers at Cardinals)

On FanDuel Sportsbook, the Arizona Cardinals are 6.5-point favorites over a banged-up Green Bay Packers squad in a game with a 51.0-point total. That makes the implied score 28.75-22.25 in favor of the Cards.

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.

Our Brandon Gdula has done a deep dive on single-game strategy. It's worth checking out before you make your lineups.

MVP Candidates

Kyler Murray, Cardinals ($17,000)

Kyler Murray is the obvious MVP pick, and our projections bear that out as we forecast him for 23.0 FanDuel points, 4.0 more than anyone else.

While Murray is rushing for 33.2 fewer yards per game this year than he did a campaign ago, which is certainly noteworthy, he's still run for 3 touchdowns and is averaging 6.1 carries per game. And he's doing a lot more through the air than he has in previous seasons, tossing for 286 yards per game and 17 tuddies through seven outings while averaging 9.5 adjusted yards per attempt. Murray threw for 26 touchdowns all of last year and averaged just 248.2 passing yards per game on 7.1 adjusted yards per attempt.

In short, Murray is still producing elite numbers; he's just doing it in a different way. He averaged 24.4 FanDuel points per game last year and is at 24.8 per game this season.

Against a Green Bay defense that is going to be sans top corner Jaire Alexander, Murray could go off, and his rushing ceiling might return, as Green Bay has allowed the second-most rushing yards to signal-callers.

Aaron Rodgers, Packers ($15,000)

This is going to be a weird one for the Packers. They are missing a few key guys on offense, including Davante Adams and Allen Lazard, and Green Bay's implied total has fallen to a blah 22.25 points as 6.5-point road 'dogs.

I'm not sure what Green Bay's offense will look like, and I'm also unsure what the impact of all this will be on Aaron Rodgers' MVP popularity. I'm guessing the loss of Adams will drive it down a decent amount, and this is also a tough matchup against a stout Arizona defense. Then again, it's Aaron Rodgers, so maybe he'll still be a chalky MVP pick.

I know I'm very interested in using him in the multiplier spot, especially if it seems like the masses will be scared away. With Green Bay expected to see a negative game script, we could get a lot of Rodgers' drop backs, and our model projects him for 19.0 FanDuel points.

Aaron Jones, Packers ($12,500)

This might be an Aaron Jones night.

Green Bay's receiver shortage could make it like what we saw with Alvin Kamara this past Monday, where the New Orleans Saints funneled a ton of their offense -- rushing and receiving -- through their stud back. Jones' pass-game chops are good enough that he can replicate that kind of performance, and he's second on the team in red-zone targets (eight). And if the Packers get out in front, Green Bay could ride the ground game.

On the negative, the Cards are giving up the third-fewest FanDuel points per game to running backs (16.2).

But Jones' potential volume trumps any matchup concerns, and we project him for 16.0 FanDuel points, rating him as a slightly better point-per-dollar option than Rodgers.

DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals ($12,000)

DeAndre Hopkins is my kind of MVP option -- a little weird but not super weird.

Hopkins has been kinda meh -- by his standards -- all around this season. His 60.0 receiving yards per game is his worst mark since 2016, and his 22% target share is down seven percentage points from last year's 29% clip.

The positives are that Nuk is still getting a nice 31% air yards share, and the usage looks much better if we focus on just the last three games, a span in which Hopkins has recorded a 27% target share and 39% air yards share. He's also been targeted heavily in the red zone, seeing 11 red-zone looks and turning them into 7 catches -- all of which have gone for touchdowns.

Taking on a banged-up Packers secondary, Hopkins is capable of a blowup game tonight, and we have him projected for 13.7 FanDuel points. He's the last legit MVP option, as the four players I put in this section are the only four we have pegged to score double-digit FanDuel points.

Flex Priorities

Christian Kirk, Cardinals ($11,000)

I'm a lot more into Christian Kirk than I am the similarly salaried A.J. Green ($10,500).

Over the last three games, Kirk bests Green in target share (19% to 12%) and air yards share (26% to 24%). While Green holds the edge in snaps, Kirk has logged snap rates of 85% and 72% in his past two outings, and Kirk's big-play ability is great for single-game slates.

To be fair, our projections don't really like either Green or Kirk, projecting Kirk for 8.0 FanDuel points and Green for 7.0.

Chase Edmonds ($9,500) and James Conner ($10,000), Cardinals

Chase Edmonds has out-snapped James Conner in every game but one. Edmonds has at least three targets in every game, while Conner has zero or one target in six of seven outings, with his lone exception being a two-target game.

The only place where Conner has the edge is near the goal-line, but it's a big edge.

Conner has 11 carries inside the 10 while Edmonds has 6. Conner has seven carries inside the five, and Edmonds has two. As a result, Conner has six tuds, and Edmonds has yet to score. Edmonds isn't a total zero in the red zone, but his best chance to score is on a longer play.

Our algorithm has Edmonds projected for 9.7 points and Conner at 9.3. Both are viable picks, and despite the poor red-zone volume, Edmonds is the guy I lean toward.

Packers Pass-Catchers

Editor's note: Since this article was published, it has been announced that Marquez Valdes-Scantling is not expected to play. Our model now ranks Cobb as the slate's best point-per-dollar option.

Adams has accounted for 33% of the Packers' targets and 42% of the air yards. Lazard has logged a snap rate of at least 85% in three straight. There are a lot of targets and snaps up for grabs for the Pack.

Randall Cobb ($7,000), Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($6,500) and Robert Tonyan ($8,000) figure to be the biggest beneficiaries, and Amari Rodgers ($5,500) and Equanimeous St. Brown ($6,000) are decent dart throws.

MVS might be active tonight. He hasn't played since Week 3 but was in on between 63% and 66% of the snaps each of the first three games, seeing 16% of the targets and 37% of the air yards in that time. While it's fair to be worried that he might not be 100% and could be getting rushed back to help in an emergency situation, MVS is worth considering if he suits up.

Cobb has been in on at least 55% of the snaps in two of his past three games and could be close to an every-snap player in this one. We know Aaron Rodgers and Cobb have great chemistry. Despite Cobb garnering a mere 8% target share on the season, he could operate as Green Bay's lead receiver regardless of MVS' status.

Tonyan -- the owner of a 12% target share on the year -- will likely have an increased role, as well. He played 68% of the snaps last week but projects a little worse, according to our numbers, than MVS and Cobb despite having a higher salary than both.

We have Cobb and Valdes-Scantling going for 8.4 and 8.3 FanDuel points, respectively, while Tonyan has a projection of 7.8. Check the status of MVS.

Value/Differentiators

Rondale Moore, Cardinals ($7,500)

Rondale Moore is a fun lottery ticket whose two highest single-game snaps shares have come in the past two weeks (52% and 56%).

While the rookie's 13% target share and 4% air yards share won't get anyone too excited, he has elite ability after the catch, and Arizona has manufactured touches for him quite often this year; they want the ball in his hands.

Salaried around the Packers' value pass-catchers, Moore might go overlooked on this slate.

A.J. Dillon, Packers ($6,500)

I can see a scenario in which the Packers split Jones out wide more than usual, resulting in a lot of snaps for A.J. Dillon.

Dillon had been getting a solid amount of work prior to last week, running the ball 15, 8 and 11 times from Weeks 4 through 6 with 5 targets in that time. That came to a screeching halt last week when he fumbled twice and registered just three carries and two targets. But with the Packers short on playmakers, Dillon and Jones could share the field together a lot in this one.