Need help setting your Week 8 lineup? We got you covered!
What a Thursday night game for the Texans, hosting the Miami Dolphins with a barrage of touchdowns led by Deshaun Watson, who accounted for 5 of them. This was the type of game fantasy owners had expected from him when he was drafted as a consensus top 3 quarterback in fantasy drafts. This was also a Week 8 game which featured DeVante Parker, who had been a healthy scratch until this week when the team was forced to start him after losing Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills to injuries.
This Week 8 game was as a strong reminder as to why if you want to win in DFS if you have to find the Jordan Thomas’s of the world. Coming into this week he was owned in just 1% of leagues (according to fleaflicker). That number is sure to go up with this performance, which I would not consider being anything more than a one-time blowup spot. Before Thursday night’s game, he had one game with two receptions and somehow he wakes up with two touchdowns in this game. I can still hear the “That helps no one” screams on both those touchdowns.
Nothing to fear fantasy football lovers, because here I am to give you your best DFS plays of the week, along with players you may want to keep an eye on for future production. There are many aspects to consider when deciding who you want to play in your DFS lineup, from match-ups, price, trends, but the most important aspect of picking the right player is the opportunity and game flow. If you are picking a quarterback, for instance, you want to pick one that you know will be throwing a ton, or there is a receiver who due to injury to other players will be in a starting role and be much more involved in the offense. Below are my starts of the week on DFS.
1. Week 8 QB: Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
It is going to be difficult to find much value at the quarterback position this week due to their starting price value just isn’t considered much of a value when compared to other positions. The ravens are coming into their game against the Panthers running the most plays per game in the NFL. Flacco has top 12 fantasy finishes in 4 out of his 7 starts this season, and while he has a QB20 or worse in the other 3 games, he will have a lot of passes to throw as the running game continues to struggle this season. He is already attempting the 3rd most pass attempts this year (43.3). The Panthers defense, on the other hand, has given up multiple touchdown passes in five straight games, opponents which include Alex Smith and Eli Manning. The panthers also struggle to pressure the quarterback position, ranking 19th in sacks (16), and 25th in QB hit rate (13.1%).
Honorable Mention: Matthew Stafford, DET vs. SEA, Derek Carr, OAK vs. IND
2. Week 8 RB: Jalen Richard, Oakland Raiders
Now hold on a second, don’t all of you raise your hands in disgust at me and tell me I need to be admitted into the psych ward for picking an Oakland Raider on my list and risk your money but hear me out here. With Marshawn Lynch on IR (groin), Jon Gruden has already talked up Doug Martin as the man to inherit the featured back role. But let’s be honest are we really trusting a running back who is ranked 43rd amongst all running backs with 3.7 yards per carry, 71st in evaded tackles, 122nd in yards created per carry, and has not ran for over 3 yards per carry in a full season since 2015, while having just two missed tackles forced with his 31 touches this year.
The offensive line has a lot to do with the problem as well, in the running game, as they rank dead last in yards created before contact per rushing attempts. With the colt’s defense, that is allowing the second most receptions (49), and 8th most receiving yards (384 yards) to pass-catching backs, this is a great spot for Jalen Richard, who is averaging 6.5 targets a game. It would not surprise me if he saw over 10 targets as a floor. Derek Carr is ranked near the bottom of the league in air yards per attempt, making Richard a solid DFS play this week against a colt’s team which should score plenty. This game has the potential to actually be surprisingly high scoring considering how bad the Raiders offense has looked.
3. Week 8 RB2: Raheem Mostert, San Francisco
Yes, I am aware he disappointed us fantasy owners but keep in mind the Niners were playing from behind (as expected) from pretty much the get-go. He still had a very efficient game in real life when you consider the production with the minimal touches averaging 8.4 yards per carry (totaling 59 yards). Mostert’s skillset does not suit the pass-catching work, and that is where they (and fantasy owners) miss Matt Breida. This week Mostert gets one of the worst defenses against the run. The Cardinals allow the most fantasy points, second-most rushing yards, and most rushing touchdowns to the running back position. Do you need any more reasons to start Mostert this week? What? Yes, you say? Sure, here is one more reason as to why you should start Mostert this week, even in a negative game script, he was targeted four times. It is not much but he is at least being utilized in some capacity in the passing game which is a bonus.
Honorable Mention: Phillip Lindsay, DEN vs. KC, Trenton Cannon, NYJ vs. CHI, Marcus Murphy, BUF vs. NE
4. Week 8 WR: Anthony Miller, Chicago Bears
With Allen Robinson unlikely to play this week (Game time decision), this is a great spot for Miller. He lines up in the slot and will draw Buster Skrine, who has given up good games to Golden Tate (7-96), Danny Amendola (4-70), and Dede Westbrook (8-120). With Robinson missing most of the game last week against the Patriots, Miller drew 7 targets were a season-high for him but only converted them to a 2-35 stat line, he was covered by Jason McCourty. Skrine on the other hand is allowing 0.48 fantasy points per route covered this season, which is near the bottom of the league, and because of it, the Jets allow the 3rd most fantasy points to the slot position. With a snap share average of 67.5% in the past two games (which should go up this week with Robinson out), I would not be surprised if he saw an upward of 10 targets this game.
5. Week 8 WR2: Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints
Saints rookie who if everyone remembers, is the one who caught the record-breaking reception that gave Drew Brees the all-time yardage record, has been coming on strong in the last two games. Granted he did not have the explosive week last week as he did against the Redskins. He was up against one of the best defenses in the league and finished with a line of 3-44. Now he gets the Vikings, who are no pushovers either. He will draw Trae Waynes, who has given up games of 5-49 (Geronimo Allison) and 3-86 (Robert Woods). He has held Pierre Garcon, Andre Holmes, Christian Kirk, and Jermaine Kearse in check. The big take away here is when up against good offenses controlled by good quarterbacks he has been beatable. The Saints are a high octane offense who can beat you in many ways. With a snap share of over 70% since taking over the starting position from Ted Ginn (lost to injury for the year), and seeing just under 5 targets a game. This is a buy low spot for DFS fans who want a home run for a minimal cost.
Honorable Mention: Martavis Bryant, OAK vs. IND, Jermaine Kearse, NYJ vs. CHI
6. Week 8 TE: Chris Herndon, New York Jets
You must be wondering who on earth Chris Herndon is. He is not a name most are going to recognize, but he has quietly had TE1 finishes back to back weeks. He does not see the field a whole lot, with snap shares of 40% and 25.8%, while running 8 and 9 routes in back to back weeks, his stat line was 2-56-1 and 4-42-1. When he is on the field he sees targets, especially in the red zone. With Quincy Enunwa out for at least another week, Terrell Pryor getting cut and Robby Anderson very unlikely to play this week, Herndon is in a prime spot to see even more targets than he did last week (7).
You are probably saying, well the Bears do not give up many fantasy points to the tight end position Hamid, you are a fool for recommending this. I would say you are right about the Bears, the second part is up for debate though my wife would probably agree with you generally speaking. The Bears do not allow many receptions to the tight end position (20), which is tied for the fewest but that is also because opponents target the tight end position 4th least in the league (34). Here are the tight ends they have allowed touchdowns to, Will Dissly, Ricky Seals-Jones, Cameron Brate, and Nick O’Leary, while facing a Patriots team without Gronkowski. Outside of Brate, are any of them ranked inside the top 15 from a skillset perspective amongst all tight ends? If your guess is yes, you are right. The only decent tight end they have faced is Jimmy Graham. If Will Dissly can score a touchdown against this defense, so can Chris Herndon.
Honorable Mention: Jared Cook, OAK, vs. IND, Ben Watson, NO vs. MIN
What are your thoughts about our DFS picks? Share some of your DFS thoughts and questions below.