4 FanDuel NFL 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-salaried 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’re nearing the halfway point of the season and have a good amount of data to lean on to decide who the best plays are each week. Let's look at one from each of the skill positions.

Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

FanDuel Salary: $8,400
Projected Points: 23.7

While Josh Allen is in a great spot, Jalen Hurts also deserves some recognition as a potential quarterback option this week. He has been buried by a large section of the media for his passing ability and for the Eagles having a 2-5 record. However, we don't have to worry about that. For our fantasy purposes, Hurts is a great option every week.

It's hard to find the consistency in fantasy that Jalen Hurts has offered every week. He has at least 21.8 FanDuel points in every game this season. Hurts is the overall QB2 and is the only quarterback in the league who has been a top-10 fantasy option every week this season. The knock against Hurts fantasy-wise would be that he hasn't a true ceiling performance, but that could come in Week 8.

The Philadelphia Eagles will play the winless Detroit Lions on Sunday. They are 31st in schedule-adjusted pass defense, according to numberFire's metrics. They are great for quarterbacks in fantasy, allowing the third-most adjusted fantasy points per drop back. Lamar Jackson had 58 rushing yards when he faced the Lions earlier in the year, and it wouldn't be a surprise if Hurts had a similar output.

We've seen Hurts have big games through the air against the Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, and Kansas City Chiefs. He didn't have a rushing touchdown in any of those three games but has two rushing touchdowns in two separate weeks.

If he is able to combine passing production with a rushing touchdown, the sky's the limit, and he could end up as the top quarterback on the week.

Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

FanDuel Salary: $8,400
Projected Points: 19.1

One of the biggest question marks heading into the season was how the absence of Drew Brees would affect Alvin Kamara's fantasy value. He was being used much differently to begin the season, seeing many more touches on the ground than he had in years past. Many fantasy managers were calling out for him to see his normal passing game volume, and that has come to fruition over the past two games.

Kamara has seen 19 targets over the last two games and has a receiving touchdown in each. He led the team in targets on Monday night with 11 to go along with 20 carries.

The offense is once again built around him, which makes sense given the New Orleans Saints' lack of talent at the wide receiver position. Even though FanDuel's scoring system awards only a half-point for a reception, it's still crucial for the running backs to catch passes to help their fantasy value.

Kamara should be the focal point of the passing offense once again this week, as the Saints face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs are stellar in run defense, so much so that it forces teams to pass against them. They've faced a 2.35 pass/run ratio this season, the highest number in the league.

Kamara saw at least six targets in all three of their meetings last season, and the Saints were playing from ahead for the majority of the time in those games.

If the Saints move away from the run like teams usually do against Tampa, Kamara could see another double-digit target game. His stellar Monday night performance is not factored into his salary this week, too. He comes in with the fifth-highest salary at the position but is projected for the second-most points.

He's a solid value even at $8,400 and might get slightly overlooked in this matchup.

Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams

FanDuel Salary: $9,200
Projected Points: 17.6

Is this another Cooper Kupp week? Every week is Cooper Kupp week.

It's been a shift for Kupp from being a solid fantasy wide receiver to becoming one of the best in the league, and he's been one of the best we've seen in a long time.

He's easily the number one wide receiver this season, with his 23.2 half-PPR points per game dwarfing second-place Deebo Samuel's 18.7. His start has been historic, as he has the most fantasy points through Week 7 since the merger.

Kupp's usage is what separates him from other wide receivers. He has seen at least 10 targets in every game this season, becoming only the fourth wide receiver to do that since targets have been tracked. His target share is 33.6%, a high number but not so outrageously high that we would expect it to come down a lot. His 15 red-zone targets are second in the league, and his 9 touchdowns in the red zone show that the play designs for him to score have been on point.

Like the past two weeks, the Los Angeles Rams get a matchup that should allow Kupp to go off. They'll face the Houston Texans on the road. The Texans have not been good in most aspects of football, including ranking 27th in schedule-adjusted pass defense. They also rank 21st in adjusted fantasy points per target against wide receivers, and that number is likely to get worse after facing Kupp.

The Rams' implied team total is 31.25 points, the second highest on the week. With the chemistry that Matthew Stafford and Kupp have shown together this season, they are in play as a stack every week. This week, they might be one of the best options on the board.

Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons

FanDuel Salary: $6,800
Projected Points 9.6

With the likes of Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, and Darren Waller off the main slate, we are left with a rookie at the top of the tight end position. This isn't just any tight end, however -- this is Kyle Pitts.

Pitts is one of the most gifted athletes we've seen come into the league at the position. He's been delivering on the promise many had for him over the past two weeks, and he truly could be in the conversation for one of the elite players at tight end soon.

Pitts started out slow as many rookie tight ends do. The volume has been pretty good throughout the season, however, as he has seen at least six targets in all but one game so far. He has seen 27 targets in the past three games, turning that into 332 yards and a touchdown. He has encouraging usage in the red zone, as well, as he has seen the third-most red-zone targets among tight ends, but he's played one game less due to his Week 6 bye.

Pitts has caught just 3 of those 10 red-zone targets and scored his lone touchdown of the season on one of them. He was the overall TE2 last week without getting into the end zone. If his red-zone targets convert into touchdowns at a more normal rate, he could have a true breakout performance that makes him the clear best tight end on the main slate.

The Atlanta Falcons host the Carolina Panthers in Week 8. The Panthers have come crashing down since their 3-0 start and look beatable. Their defense has been better than the offense, and they rank 12th in adjusted fantasy points per target allowed to tight ends.

However, Pitts has played outside or in the slot on 69% of his snaps, so he's used more like a wide receiver. The Panthers are not as strong against receivers, ranking 23rd in adjusted fantasy points per target allowed to that position.

Pitts could really be breaking out, and if that happens to the extent that his talent suggests it might, $6,800 could look like a bargain for him in a few weeks time.

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.