As we look at DFS in Week 8, we have nearly hit the halfway point of the NFL regular season, which means we are also halfway through the fantasy football regular season. Has your team effectively been eliminated? Decimated by injuries?
If so, join the club. Yes, as much as I’d love to say that all my ReDraft teams are undefeated, I have my fair share that are left for dead.
That’s precisely why I love DFS. Every week is a new adventure, a new opportunity to draft a team you can’t play anywhere else, and an opportunity to make some money.
Last week may have been rough. The chalk plays like Cooper Kupp and Kenneth Walker didn’t hit the ceiling performances we were hoping for. Instead, National Tight Ends Day reigned, and seemingly every big-name tight end dominated. But Week 8 is here, and there is value all over the slate with every team playing this week.
And sure, we can continue to celebrate tight ends even if their holiday has passed.
Let’s dig into the Week 8 NFL DFS Cash slate.
Cash is in session.
NFL DFS Week 8
Travis Kelce (DraftKings: $8,400 / FanDuel: $9,000)
How could you not want to play Travis Kelce this week? Every week, we have to decide whether to pay up for Kelce or to punt the position. So why include him this week when that’s the base scenario for DFS Cash? Whether or not I play Kelce often says more about the overall slate context than his matchup itself. This week, we have many salary-saving options, including a potential free spot at quarterback, freeing up salary to spend up for Kelce. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the Broncos have given up the most points to tight ends since Week 4.
Lamar Jackson (DraftKings: $8,100 / FanDuel: $8,800)
Last week, the Baltimore Ravens offense seemingly got rolling, thumping the Detroit Lions. This week, they play the Arizona Cardinals, who have consistently been a fantasy-friendly defense. Lamar Jackson is coming off one of his best performances this season and now has a healthy receiver room. It is hard to fit both Jackson and Kelce in your lineup this week on DraftKings, so I prefer to play Jackson on FanDuel. Additionally, his rushing floor is particularly useful on FanDuel, where we do not get bonuses for 300-yard passing games.
Alvin Kamara (DraftKings: $7,300 / FanDuel: $8,300)
It’s incredibly hard to ignore what Alvin Kamara has done since returning from suspension. He has been wildly utilized in the passing game, with over a 20% target share. That is bonkers for running backs. Rest assured that is the highest target share of any running back. Pair that with an Indianapolis Colts defense that has allowed over 30 points per game to the running back position since Week 4, and we have a match made in heaven. Kamara is a more compelling DraftKings play because of the PPR upside. He is less likely to be in my FanDuel lineup because the Saints have struggled to score touchdowns this year.
Breece Hall (DraftKings: $5,900 / FanDuel: $7,200)
Eventually, the DFS sites are going to respect Breece Hall, right? FanDuel has started to catch on, but DraftKings still has Hall below $6,000, likely because he has less pass-game utilization. Even so, Hall has been the RB11 since Week 4 in DraftKings scoring, which includes his bye week. Admittedly, Hall doesn’t have the most favorable matchup this week, but I expect this offense to be much more organized coming off the bye week and for Hall to take advantage of a mid-range New York Giants defense.
Chris Olave (DraftKings: $6,400 / FanDuel: $7,300)
I honestly have struggled with the mid-range receiver plays this week. Because I’m recommending playing Travis Kelce, I’m trying to provide cheaper options at the other positions. To that end, we have Chris Olave, who has gone from being one of the most exciting players to a fairly un-sexy fantasy starter. Much of that is because of the offense, which has struggled overall. However, despite recording only one touchdown on the year, Olave still holds a 26% target share and is just outside the Top 20 in DraftKings scoring. Olave has a safe floor and is always a threat to break the slate. However, because of the risk with the New Orleans offense, I will likely avoid him on FanDuel, where touchdowns are king.
Christian Kirk (DraftKings: $5,900 / FanDuel: $7,000)
I continued to be surprised at Christian Kirk’s salary value, which has yet to surpass $6,000 on DraftKings despite being the number-one receiver for the Jaguars. I’m also surprised at his receiving prop this week, which is currently set at 53.5 yards on Underdog Fantasy. Long story short, I’m smashing Kirk in my DFS lineup and smashing his receiving over. The Pittsburgh Steelers have been strangely bad against receivers, giving up the fifth most points to the position since Week 4. How can you not be excited to play Christian Kirk?
Check the Chalkboard
Dameon Pierce (DraftKings: $5,300 / FanDuel: $6,700)
Dameon Pierce just seems due for a solid performance. He has had tough matchups throughout the season, but this week gets the best matchup for running backs in the Carolina Panthers. Further, he is coming off a bye week, so he should be rested and ready to carry the load on Sunday. Plus, his salary is incredible, allowing you to get a fairly cheap player with top-10 upside.
Jake Ferguson (DraftKings: $3,600 / FanDuel: $4,900)
Yes, yes, I am still in on Jake Ferguson, who continues to be the lead tight end in Dallas. The Cowboys take on the Los Angeles Rams, who have given up the fourth most points to the tight end position since Week 4. Even more importantly, this list of tight ends they faced doesn’t include the likes of Mark Andrews and Travis Kelce. No, they’ve instead faced Connor Heyward, Trey McBride, Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Mo-Allie Cox, Kylen Granson, and Drew Ogletree. If you’re keeping count, that’s seven tight ends that have put up decent performances in four weeks. Ogletree led the Colts in passing when they played the Rams. Long story short, tight ends feast on the Rams.
Back of the Classroom Studs
Brock Purdy (DraftKings: $5,600 / FanDuel: $7,200) or Sam Darnold (DraftKings: $4,300 / FanDuel: $6,100)
I was already in on Brock Purdy against the Cincinnati Bengals despite them being a decent defense this year. While Purdy has struggled the past two games from an NFL perspective, he still managed to put up Cash-worthy numbers against Minnesota. Essentially, his salary is cheap enough that he can have an average day and be just fine. But Purdy is currently in the concussion protocol, and I expect him to miss Sunday. This allows us to pivot to Sam Darnold, who is essentially free. I’m avoiding him on FanDuel, where I want a rushing quarterback, but on DraftKings, we just need 12 to 15 points from him for this to pay off. I simply trust quarterbacks in Kyle Shanahan’s offense to hit that target, even if the journey along the way is rough.
Gus Edwards (DraftKings: $5,500 / FanDuel: $6,600)
I love the Baltimore Ravens matchup on many fronts. Gus Edwards is coming off a solid week where he got in the endzone and ran all over the Detroit Lions, who were one of the best running defenses in the league. Essentially, Edwards was clearly the lead back once the Ravens got ahead, and I expect them to play from ahead once more. The Cardinals continue to be one of the best matchups for opposing running backs. Don’t miss your ride on the Gus Bus.
Diontae Johnson (DraftKings: $5,000 / FanDuel: $6,400)
If I told you Diontae Johnson had a 26% target share in his first week back from injury, how many targets would you expect him to have? Eight? Ten? Well, he only had six, which could sound like an argument against him, but his salary is so low that six targets are plenty. Plus, the Steelers are going to need to pass the ball to keep up with the Jaguars, and Jacksonville has been vulnerable to opposing pass catchers this year. If Johnson brings in six catches for 80 yards, you will feel great about your odds to Cash.
Josh Downs (DraftKings: $4,800 / FanDuel: $6,100)
Similar to Alvin Kamara, I cannot argue with the target volume for Josh Downs. Getting a player priced below $5,000 on DraftKings with a 20% target share is simply unheard of. Frankly, I underestimated Downs, but he has a connection with Gardner Minshew and has met the moment when called upon. This isn’t a great matchup for the Colts, but the targets alone warrant playing Downs in your Cash lineups.
New England Patriots (DraftKings: $2,000 / FanDuel: $3,100)
This is almost purely a roster construction move. If I’m going to fit Travis Kelce and Lamar Jackson in my lineup, I need to save at defense. The New England Patriots are so cheap that we really only need them to not get negative points. If they get us six points, it’s a killer day, and we can move on. Despite giving up points this year, they have consistently scored three to six DraftKings points this year, including scoring five points when they played Miami earlier this year. That’s plenty for what it allows us to do elsewhere.
Atlanta Falcons (DraftKings: $2,900 / FanDuel: $3,900)
Atlanta has started to get rolling on defense, getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks and forcing turnovers. This week, they match up against a rookie quarterback, which often provides opportunities for opposing defenses. Plus, their salary is cheap enough to still allow us to pay up for Travis Kelce if you find salary savings elsewhere.
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- A: Scored over three times their price
- B: Scored over two times their price
- C: Matched their price
- F: Scored lower than their price
- A: Scored over two times their price
- B: Scored over one and a half times their price
- C: Matched their price
- F: Scored lower than their price