We are quickly approaching the midway point of the 2022 regular season, and my oh my, has it been a doozy. The Seattle Seahawks are leading the NFC West. The Denver Broncos currently have the sixth overall pick to give to the Seahawks in the 2023 draft. The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears are tied in the NFC North. And if the Atlanta Falcons win on Sunday, they will lead the NFC South.
The volatility of the NFL has translated to DFS, and therefore, how DraftKings and FanDuel price players. This week, I want to briefly discuss the pricing trends I’ve noticed and how it informs which sites to target for cash. My hope is this provides an additional layer of insight as you set your lineups, but I will avoid telling you which site to target. That ultimately comes down to deciding where you feel more confident setting lineups and where you’ve had the most success.
NFL DFS Week 8
DraftKings Pricing Trends
First, we’ll discuss DraftKings. Perhaps the best case study of their pricing philosophy has revolved around Tyler Lockett. We have now had seven weeks of football, and Lockett has been priced above $6,500 for the first time all season, despite ranking 13th in DraftKings scoring.
DraftKings has remained steady in their players’ pricing despite above-average performances. So, for example, when Lockett had his 30-point week, his pricing didn’t change. Like, at all.
Similarly, DraftKings has been slow to price up the elite running backs, such as Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs. Which has meant there’s been value there for several weeks.
On the flip side, I’ve noticed it is harder to find value and punt plays on DraftKings. Some of this is simply because of how total NFL offense has been down this season, but some of it is also baked into the pricing structure. DraftKings frequently has a few players priced at $8,000 and above, with most players priced between $4,000 and $6,000. In other words, there have been a few sub-$4,000 options weekly outside of tight end and defense.
This has led me to consistently target high-value running backs and quarterbacks, as they provide the safest floor. Then, I’ll usually punt at tight end and defense to make space for several mid-tier receivers. This is becoming harder as more receivers are being priced in that mid-tier, so I’m starting to get more aggressive in my punt plays and more creative at receiver.
FanDuel Pricing Trends
FanDuel is an entirely different beast, as they have taken the opposite approach to DraftKings, quickly shifting player pricing based on quality performances. Unfortunately, this gives less value for the elite players, particularly at running back, and pushes us to look elsewhere for players with touchdown upside.
That said, FanDuel often has more mid-tier and punt options, allowing you to manage several elite players in your lineup. For example, this week, it’s possible to have Jalen Hurts, Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara, and Chris Olave all in your lineup. I still am employing a similar approach of punting at tight end and defense, but overall can find better value on FanDuel.
Now, Cash is in session.
NFL DFS Week 8
Saquon Barkley (DraftKings: $8,100 / FanDuel: $9,500)
How is Saquon Barkley only the third-most expensive running back on the slate? With Austin Ekeler on a bye, Barkley is the number one running back on the slate. Need I say more? This price isn’t even associated with a poor matchup, as Seattle gives up the fourth-most points to running backs. He is a tougher play in FanDuel, where he is the second-most expensive running back, but he has been consistent enough to warrant the play despite the price.
Kenneth Walker (DraftKings: $6,500 / FanDuel: $8,400)
On the other side of this New York versus Seattle battle is one of the players for which I’m most excited. Kenneth Walker has been one of the breakout players of 2022. Over the past two weeks, he has only been outscored by Austin Ekeler, despite only recording two catches during that span. And while the Giants are a mid-tier team against the run, Walker has been getting the opportunities to be a consistent option in cash lineups at his current value.
Tua Tagovailoa (DraftKings: $6,200 / FanDuel: $7,700)
Did you know I like matchups against Detroit? I will continue banging this drum until the Lions get it together. They give up the third-most points to opposing quarterbacks. Further, this game has the highest over/under line on the slate at 51 points, with Miami favored by 3.5 points. While Tagovailoa had some struggles in his first game back, he still managed nearly 16 DraftKings points while only scoring one touchdown. With that floor, he’s a lock with a favorable matchup.
Derrick Henry (DraftKings: $8,400 / FanDuel: $10,000)
I feel like Derrick Henry has been one of the unsung heroes of fantasy football this year. Admittedly, he had a slow start to the season, as did many fantasy superstars. But since Week 3 is the fifth-best running back in DraftKings scoring, and did so with a bye week included. Plus, he is getting a 17.7% target share over that span, which is fifth among all running backs.
Now, he goes up against the Houston Texans, who give up the most points to running backs out of anyone on this slate. Like Barkley, I may avoid him in FanDuel, as you need Henry to score at least two touchdowns to return at value.
A.J. Brown (DraftKings: $7,700 / FanDuel: $8,200)
The undefeated Philadelphia Eagles will attempt to keep their winning streak alive against the Pittsburgh Steelers, which means they’ve basically already secured a 7-0 record. We’ve come to know Pittsburgh as a defensive juggernaut, but 2022 is a different story.
While they have managed to step it up in the red zone, they still give up the third-most points to opposing receivers, behind only Carolina and Houston. Meanwhile, A.J. Brown has only one game with less than five receptions and double-digit fantasy points. With the elite receivers getting priced up, Brown is a value on both DraftKings and FanDuel.
Before you set your Week 8 NFL DFS lineups, be sure to check out Austin and Ryan’s weekly rankings!
Check the Chalkboard
Jalen Hurts (DraftKings: $8,300 / FanDuel: $9,200)
The quarterback options are tough with Patrick Mahomes on a bye week and Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson playing in primetime. Plus, the mid-tier quarterbacks we used to count on have been unpredictable this year. Because of that, I’m taking Jalen Hurts where I can fit him in my lineup and looking to pay down elsewhere.
As mentioned above, Philadelphia matches up against a deteriorated Pittsburgh defense that gives up the seventh-most points to opposing quarterbacks. Typically, I’d avoid this type of matchup, as Philadelphia is favored by 11 points. But with that margin, the Eagles have a 28 implied point total and Hurts consistently accounts for most of their offensive scoring. So I’ll happily take the floor his rushing ability provides and hope they run up the score as the Buffalo Bills did earlier this season.
Kalif Raymond (DraftKings: $4,300 / FanDuel: $5,600)
With Amon-Ra St. Brown and D’Andre Swift in and out of the lineup, Kalif Raymond has seen more action for the Detroit Lions. Over the past two games, he has a 23.2% target share with 13 total targets. Raymond is poised to remain on the field in three-receiver sets with D.J. Chark on injured reserve. Miami gives up the sixth-most points to opposing receivers, and the Lions are expected to be playing from behind. Raymond should continue being a part of the offensive plan and will benefit from a promising matchup.
Back of the Classroom Studs for NFL DFS Week 8
D.J. Moore (DraftKings: $5,300 / FanDuel: $6,200)
It’s time. DJ Moore is coming back. If you’ve read this article throughout the season, you’ve seen me shift how I discuss the Falcons’ cornerback room. I started off being excited about them because they have been one of the only bright spots in Atlanta, particularly A.J. Terrell. Then I started questioning them but still held out hope.
Now, I’m just out. And to be fair, Casey Hayward is currently injured, and Terrell is unlikely to play on Sunday. But Atlanta gives up the most points to opposing receivers, and it isn’t close. They give up three more DraftKings points per game over the second-worst team and a full touchdown per game to the fourth-worst team. With Carolina making shifts, Moore has continued to be a target hog, and I’m looking for him to take advantage of a good matchup on Sunday.
Raheem Mostert (DraftKings: $5,900 / FanDuel: $6,800)
Want to save money at running back? Raheem Mostert has been a consistent force for the Miami Dolphins, averaging nearly 15 DraftKings points per game since taking over the snap share in Week 4. And as mentioned earlier, the Dolphins face the Detroit Lions on Sunday, who give up the second-most points to running backs. So I especially like Mostert on FanDuel, given the number of expensive running backs on the slate.
Brandon Aiyuk (DraftKings: $6,100 / FanDuel: $6,700)
Over the past two weeks, Brandon Aiyuk has gotten going with back-to-back double-digit target games. His target share is above 25%, and he has two touchdowns in that span. Now, he gets a Los Angeles defense that is bottom ten in the league against receivers. And while there is increased uncertainty in the 49ers’ offense with the addition of Christian McCaffrey, Aiyuk has solidified himself as a centerpiece. Look for Aiyuk to show out in a must-win divisional matchup.
Irv Smith (DraftKings: $3,500 / DraftKings: $5,000)
This is a tough week for tight ends, as the elite tight ends (all two of them) are all either on a bye week or playing in primetime. Because of this, I’m punting the position. My first punt candidate is Irv Smith, who matches up against the Arizona Cardinals, who give up the second-most points to the tight end position. However, Smith consistently gets opportunities in this offense, with at least four targets every game since Week 2. Is the price still too high for you? Then, check out my next option.
Ian Thomas (DraftKings: $2,600 / FanDuel: $4,400)
We are getting down bad with this punt play. Despite Tommy Tremble getting the touchdown last week, Ian Thomas has been the top tight end target for the Carolina Panthers. And now, P.J. Walker and this offense get to take on the Falcons, who give up the third-most points to the tight end position. So let’s sit and beg for three catches and a touchdown from Thomas and use that extra salary to pay up elsewhere.
Washington Commanders (DraftKings: $2,600 / FanDuel: $3,400)
Similar to last week, I am aiming to punt at defense. The issue is there aren’t great options for punting this week. The Washington Commanders are one of the cheapest options on the slate, facing off against the Indianapolis Colts and Sam Elingher this week. And while Elingher brings more mobility to the Colts, he won’t change the fact that their offensive line cannot pass-protect to save their lives. The Colts consistently provide sack opportunities for their opponents, which opens up the potential for fumbles and interceptions as the quarterback is forced into mistakes.
Indianapolis Colts (DraftKings: $3,700 / FanDuel: $3,900)
As bad as the Colts have been on offense, their defense has been respectable. If I can, I’m looking to squeeze them into my DST spot, as Washington’s offense has been similarly bad to the Colts’ offense. Washington has had similar offensive line struggles, and Taylor Heinicke is known to make unforced errors. I don’t usually like paying up for defense because of the randomness of the position, but if I’m doing so this week, I like the Colts.
We have maintained a consistent B grade on DraftKings, with FanDuel proving more challenging as we chase touchdowns. Because of the continued challenges at hitting on FanDuel, I have changed my approach to selecting players this week to more diligently identify value players on FanDuel. We’ll start to see how this new approach fairs out starting next week.
- A: Scored over three times their price
- B: Scored over two times their price
- C: Matched their price
- F: Scored lower than their price
*Left early due to injury
*Left early due to injury
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