Week 8 Daily Fantasy Football Advice: Sleepers, Busts and More
Now that the trash heap Thursday Night Football game is out from under us, we all can finally focus on a beautiful week 8 of daily fantasy football – one that features 12 more tantalizing contests.
The trick, of course, will be figuring out which of those 12 games to target the most, as well as where to spend your cash when it comes to paying up for the elite options or paying down for some value picks.
We explore that and more in our week 8 daily fantasy football preview, as we nail down our favorite sleepers, busts, chalk and contrarian plays for the week.
Note: We’ll use salary prices at DraftKings to analyze value across the board this week.
Let’s get to it:
Top NFL DFS Values
- Josh McCown, QB, Browns ($5.2k)
- Devontae Booker, RB, Broncos ($3.7k)
- Russell Shepard, WR, Buccaneers ($3.3k)
- Gary Barnidge, TE, Browns ($3.3k)
- San Diego Chargers ($2.4k)
If you’re just playing the 10-game slate this week (which is what we’re largely focusing on), value is actually somewhat hard to come by. That’s why we may want to consider fading some of the pricey fantasy quarterbacks and just roll out McCown, who returns from a collarbone injury to take on a Jets defense that just hasn’t been good in 2016.
— NFL (@NFL) October 28, 2016
McCown is tough to trust, but he put up 16 fantasy points with one good arm in his only start this year and the Jets rank just 24th against QBs this year.
McCown might not put up 300+ yards and 3 scores, but he could come close and the amount of salary relief he gets you could make him very much worth the dive.
If you’re not down for McCown, you’ll at least be into Booker, who worked his way to 15 fantasy points a week ago – and he wasn’t even the starter.
Coming off a strong Sunday, look for Denver’s Devontae Booker to break out in the coming weeks with C.J. Anderson sidelined with an injury pic.twitter.com/ViuzroypEj
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 28, 2016
With C.J. Anderson sidelined with a knee injury, Booker is going to be so chalky that he won’t even be listed in our chalk section. He’s also too much of a value not to mention here. He should be in most of your lineups as he prepares for a San Diego run defense that ranks just 30th against running backs over the last four weeks.
Shepard and Barnidge feel like darts being tossed in the dark, but they have roles and are insanely cheap. Shepard stepped up in the wake of the Vincent Jackson injury (15 fantasy points last game) and could suddenly be a big benefactor of more targets in Tampa Bay’s offense. He’s not necessarily trustworthy, but at his low price, he’s worth the gamble in a big GPP.
The same goes for Barnidge, who has yet to score after finding the end-zone nine times in 2015. That can’t last forever, while the return of McCown bodes very well for his fantasy prospects.
Defensively, this does not feel like the week to dive. However, the Chargers seem like a team on the rise ever since Joey Bosa hit the field, and this week they get a Broncos team that is down their top running back. They’re cheap and worth a flier in big tourneys.
Players to Avoid
- Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers ($6.1k)
- Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers ($4.9k)
- Jeremy Maclin, WR, Chiefs ($6k)
- Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers ($6.5k)
- Houston Texans Defense ($3.1k)
There are certainly some scary situations this week in daily fantasy football, but one of the worst has to be Chargers players on the road against the Broncos. It might be tough to fade Melvin Gordon (who seems to score ever single week), but Rivers is not looking like a fun try after putting up just 11 fantasy points the last time he faced Denver.
Those weak numbers were put up in a win at his own stadium, so trusting in Rivers feels like a lost cause. If you need more evidence, just look to Denver’s blistering defense, which ranks #3 against quarterbacks on the year. Suffice to say, we may not see this in week eight:
WATCH: Philip Rivers’ high-steppin’, fist-pumpin’ reaction to the game-winner.
— San Diego Chargers (@Chargers) October 24, 2016
I’m also not into Jonathan Stewart, who really doesn’t have huge weeks all that often and in week eight draws an Arizona run defense that dominates running backs (#2 against the position in 2016). Stewart had a big game in week six and isn’t a bad price, but this won’t be the spot I roll the dice on him.
Week eight very well could be a great spot for Jeremy Maclin to erupt, but he’s been way too quiet lately and Alex Smith traditionally has not fed a ton of production to his wide receivers. In 2016 specifically, Maclin has just one touchdown and has failed to top even 9 fantasy points in three of his last four games.
Maclin has the deep speed to go nuts on Indy’s turf, but Vontae Davis should be on him a lot and Indy surprisingly ranks 5th against wide receivers on the year.
Greg Olsen has been a monster all season (12+ fantasy points in every single game) but if there’s a game where I fade him, it’s this one. Logic says the guy is due for a stinker, but just look at Arizona’s play against tight ends (#1 in 2016). Olsen could still find a way to score or crack 12 fantasy points yet again, but a huge outing probably isn’t arriving this week.
I’m not shoving the Texans defense out there and hoping for a big day, either. Not only can Matthew Stafford shred any defense, but Houston has not been elite defensively ever since J.J. Watt went down. Their offense isn’t doing them any favors, either, so the upside is tough to trust even in what could be a favorable home matchup.
Ultimately, I can’t see Stafford getting shut down by this defense – one that has topped ONE fantasy points just twice in the past five weeks. Yikes.
Top Week 8 Chalk
- Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers ($7.5k)
- Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs ($6.8k)
- Julio Jones, WR, Falcons ($9.6k)
- Jimmy Graham, TE, Seahawks ($6.1k)
- New York Jets Defense ($3.4k)
You could go in a number of directions when it comes to chalk, but one of the leaders has to be Aaron Rodgers, who seemed to get in a groove last week (27 fantasy points) and gets a Falcons defense that is just 29th against fantasy quarterbacks on the season.
Rodgers should be engaged in a shootout with the high-powered Falcons and even if the Packers don’t win, the numbers should be there.
Spencer Ware is another guy who makes too much sense to not use in week eight daily fantasy football contests.
Jamaal Charles is OUT for Week 8. Deploy Spencer Ware. Must start.
— Michael Fabiano (@Michael_Fabiano) October 28, 2016
He’s been a monster lately (21 and 27 fantasy points the past two weeks), Jamaal Charles has been ruled out and Indy is just 29th against running backs. Yeah, fire this dude up.
Julio Jones doesn’t require much analysis. Green Bay is down their top three corners and ranks just 21st against wide receivers. Jones is a tough cover, and if you recall, he ate up the Packers when they were healthy two years ago in a showdown at Lambeau Field. On his own turf, Jones could have himself quite a day and is worth every penny this week.
You could throw Rob Gronkowski’s hat in the ring here, too, but he doesn’t have a good matchup this week and is more expensive that our chalk tight end – Jimmy Graham. Graham missed some practice time with knee soreness, but he should be good to go in the ultimate revenge game this week. The Saints traded the star tight end away last year and he was none too pleased. Look for him to express that displeasure in a massive week eight outing.
I’m not sure I’m enthralled with the Jets now that Josh McCown is starting, but the are still undoubtedly the most chalky defense going into week eight. BROWNS, and all.
You can still fire up the Jets as a popular play, as McCown can still take sacks and turn the ball over. Just don’t be shocked if they’re not as amazing as they could have been had Kevin Hogan been starting under center for Cleveland, instead.
- Cam Newton, QB, Panthers ($7.4k)
- Mark Ingram, RB, Saints ($5k)
- Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys ($7.1k)
- Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles ($3.6k)
- Buffalo Bills Defense ($2.8k)
It’s strange to put Cam Newton up as a contrarian play, but how can he not be? Not only are there a plethora of more attractive options at quarterback this week, but he’s also pricey and gets a tough Cardinals defense that ranks 4th against quarterbacks on the year.
Still, this is Cam Newton we’re talking about. He’s at home, his team badly needs a win and he did shred this defense in the NFC title game.
Mark Ingram could also be fun, as he’s got a brutal matchup this week against Seattle’s defense (6th against RBs), but he’s also a nice price and is at home. Ingram is always a touchdown candidate and he’s been in a nice groove (17+ fantasy points in three of last four contests).
Dez Bryant is expected to return for the Cowboys this week, but it comes against a pretty good Eagles defense and he’s still a little pricey for a guy that is not truly 100%. Still, he’s Dez freaking Bryant and if he’s the elite guy we know, $7.1k is a steal.
Dez Bryant ‘healthy,’ ready to ‘break out?’ https://t.co/0EtziVdcul
— Rotoworld Football (@Rotoworld_FB) October 29, 2016
Just monitor his status and make sure he’s a full go, then consider throwing caution to the wind. It could end up being magical.
On the other end of that Sunday Night Football game is Zach Ertz, who no one will be on after three straight absolutely brutal DFS outings. Nothing points to him suddenly being elite, but Dallas is not good at covering tight ends (28th) and the guy has to get going eventually. Right?
Lastly, what about the Bills? There is no denying this defense has been good, having registered 10+ fantasy points four times this year and 5+ fantasy points in every game, except one. They fell apart last week, but maybe Rex Ryan’s group gets fired up at home to sweep Tom Brady and the Pats. Not likely, but maybe.
That does it for our week eight daily fantasy football advice breakdown. Hopefully our insight on some picks help you win some fat cash this weekend! Good luck in all of your NFL DFS contests!
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