Week 8 NFL DraftKings Picks and Preview

ALL INFO PROVIDED AND PLAYERS, MATCH-UPS, ETC. ARE FOR SUNDAY MAIN SLATE ONLY

Key Resources I use every week that you should too:

  1. Oneweekseason.com – Incredible Matchup by Matchup analysis and ownership (@JmToWin on Twitter/@OneWeekSeason on Twitter)
  2. FanShareSports.com – Curates all touting, articles, videos, podcasts, etc. in the DFS industry and provides very accurate ownership projections (@FanShareSports on Twitter)
  3. FantasyGolfInsider.com – Give great WR/CB matchups, Jeff and Zach give great plays for both GPPs and Cash games (@FantasyGolfers on Twitter)
  4. DFSOnDemand.com – Rick makes a weekly video and goes position by position with key stats and players he likes (@dfsondemand on Twitter)
  5. Pat Mayo – Follow him on Twitter and listen to/read his content… he’s the GOAT (@ThePME on Twitter)
  6. Adam Levitan – Follow him on Twitter for all the most up to date news, snap rates, routes run, and his solo podcast is informational/awesome (@AdamLevitan on Twitter)
  7. Shouldn’t need to be said, but if you’re not following Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter on Twitter then I don’t know what to tell you… Turn their push notifications on for news during the week/Sunday morning

Week 7 Quick Recap

We knew Week 7 would be much less scoring than we’ve become accustomed to this year as there weren’t any massive game totals (such as the 5-7 this week) and because we didn’t have some of the highest scoring teams on the main slate, such as the Chiefs, Bengals, or Falcons. I had a very stress-free and dominant cash week as I managed to sweep the board in both head to heads and Double Ups and I hope anyone reading this (all 3 of you) didn’t overthink things and played Gurley/Thielen/Njoku, which I felt should have been a lock for most people. GPPs were mixed as I made several swaps at the end of the week after Thompson was ruled out and that particular swap (about 30-35% of my lineups) was to McCoy, who put up a massive 0.1 points before going out with a head injury. That did not help whatsoever but still a positive ROI week for me and we move on…

Cash Game Score: 156.26; good for cashing in 28/28 H2Hs (100%) and 8 Double Ups (100%)

The Good

  1. It was certainly not a good feeling rostering Flacco in cash but I rolled the dice anyway as the matchup seemed good and he did manage to exceed 3x value
  2. After John Brown let us down in Week 6 I wasn’t going to give up on it as I knew he had a strong chance against a horrible secondary in the Saints; Brown proceed to catch all 7 of his targets and smash for 134 yards and a late TD and 22.9 DK points. Very good.
  3. I loved the spot for Kerryon after Riddick was ruled out and he was finally used correctly by the Lions. Kerryon went for a massive 150 yards rushing, or something like that, and racked up a solid 22.9 DK points to exceed 5x value. (I like him again this week)
  4. The Patriots do not have a good defense and do not defend pass catching backs well so Tarik Cohen seemed like a strong play… we were rewarded! Cohen goes for 22.3 DK Points and shows us the elite talent he is week in and week out.

The Bad

  1. Like much of the DFS community I thought Gabriel was in a prime spot with Robinson being shadowed by Gillmore, but Gabriel only managed 5.6 DK Points.
  2. Went all in on the Lions D, thinking that Miami would regress with Brock but the defense only managed 4 which didn’t kill me but the Chalk Colts D hitting nice value definitely hindered some winnings.
  3. I mentioned above but the pivot from Thompson to McCoy only to have McCoy torch around 30% of lineups was definitely somewhat tilting…

Match-ups I Like This Week

  • Browns at Steelers: This game currently sits at an O/U of 49 and while there is probably an argument to be made for the Browns lackluster offense and semi-strong defense for this game to go under, I like it go over and love a Steelers stack in this spot. 3 of the last 4 games between this 2 teams at Heinz Field have gone over 50 points and the only one not to (a 30-9 win for the Steelers) saw Big Ben not even starting after getting an injury the week before and coming off the bench for an injured Landry Jones. We know how dynamic the Steelers offense is and we know how much better Big Ben is at home. Per DVOA, Cleveland has a very stout pass defense as it ranks #1 overall due to their pass rush and the emergence of the young star in Denzel Ward. However, we know how pretty match-up proof both Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster are week in and week out. Further, the Cleveland D only ranks 25th against the run and per DVP, gives up, on average, 28.66 DK Points per game to RBs with is about 4 points above the league average. I absolutely love James Conner in this spot and will seek to probably have him in every one of my lineups, in cash, and stack him with both Big Ben and JuJu. Antonio Brown is obviously the best WR in the league and always a good play but I like the savings with JuJu on top of the fact that he’s hit value 50% of games this year while AB has only hit value 17%.

On the other side of the ball, it’s tough to figure out who I will have exposure to since this is Baker’s first game against the Steelers, at Heinz field nonetheless, and there are still many unknowns with him. I like Landry as he will continue to get peppered with 10+ targets this game but he runs the risk of being shadowed by Joe Haden, who has held in check WR1s thus far this year. Per DVOA, the Pittsburgh D is pretty average against both the run and pass but per DVP, they are allowing less than 18 DK Points per game to RBs. They are very susceptible to the pass; however, which makes a flier on someone like Callaway (if he plays) a possibility but really the guy I want exposure to is Njoku. His role keeps increasing, he’s now caught TDs in 2 straight games, and the Steelers are one of the worst at covering the TE position this year. I wouldn’t mind a potential stack with Baker and Njoku, but Njoku is the only guy I’m extremely confident in for the week.

  • Steelers I Like: Big Ben (Cash/GPP), Conner (Cash/GPP), AB (GPP), JuJu (Cash/GPP), Vance (Cash for savings/GPP flier), Steelers Defense (Cash/GPP)
  • Browns I Like: Baker (GPP), Duke/Chubb (GPP), Landry (GPP), Njoku (Cash/GPP)
  • Seahawks at Lions: I think this game could be kind of a “road less travelled” type of game as there are obvious other games to stack such as Bucs/Bengals or Rams/Packers but I think go slightly contrarian and pivot to this match-up. The Seahawks come into Detroit after a bye and desperately need a win after they have looked miserable thus far this season. Despite having their moments, I do not think the Lions defense is very good and if Russell gets running again, I could see him having a 300+ yard passing game with rushing upside as well. Receivers wise I believe Darius Slay will actually cover Tyler Lockett, not Baldwin, in this matchup which makes for very intriguing upside for Baldwin. He has not played his best this year and seems to have a nagging injury still but at only $5,500, I think he has multi-TD upside. The Lions pass D, per DVOA, is ranked 28th and lets up the 7th most yards per pass. It’s extremely difficult to figure out what Carroll is going to do in the run game but I would bet on 15-20 carries to Chris Carson; however, I’m not sure I’ll take the risk of playing any of the RBs.

Onto the Lions, I love Kerryon again this week (assuming Riddick is out) as he showed just how explosive he can be in both the running and passing game last week against the Dolphins. I expect to play Kerryon in GPPs and a strong possibility for a cash game play as well. As for the pass offense, I don’t have much interest in Stafford as the Seahawks actually only give up, on average, around 15.17 DK Points to QBs but I will take a stab on Golladay and possibly Tate. Tate is a target monster and should see 10 targets or so with potential for a TD or more, while Golladay has shown all season how explosive he can be if given the opportunity. I would consider Golladay the WR2 at this point and that is where the Seattle D has given up most of their points thus far; GPP play only.

  • Seahawks I Like: Russell (GPP), Carson (GPP flier), Baldwin (Risky Cash/GPP), Lockett (GPP flier)
  • Lions I Like: Kerryon (Cash/GPP), Tate (GPP), Golladay (GPP), Marvin (GPP flier)

 

Key WR/CB Matchups: 1 to 5 with 1 being easiest and 5 being hardest

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-Notes about the above: A “*” means likely to see shadow coverage; these are predicted CB coverage

GPP Plays

GPP Quarterbacks

  • Big Ben vs. CLE ($6,100): I don’t think the Cleveland adjusted sack rate is all that impressive and I expect Big Ben to control the pace of this game with relative ease. The Steelers are in a pretty difficult division this year and I think they need to make a statement. Ben is averaging 25 DK Points a game this year, has hit value 67% of the time and his team has a higher implied total than their team average which I think all sets up well for a solid performance from the Killer B’s.
  • Aaron Rodgers vs. LAR ($6,400): I’m not exactly playing any sleepers at QB this week, and I’m paying up, but Rodgers should be throwing ALL game which makes him even more of an elite play than normal. The Rams have been shakier against QBs lately: for the first 7 weeks, they’ve given up an average of 17 DK Points to QBs; however, in the last 4 weeks, they’ve given up an average of 22 DK Points. More than anything, as I just mentioned, with how dominant the Rams are, for the Packers to stay in this game, I think Rodgers will throw 40+ times which makes him a strong volume play as well as the fact that he’s one of the best in the league and has hit value 67% of the time so far.

GPP Running Backs

  • James Conner vs. CLE ($7,500): Conner is my favorite play on the slate this week and I will most likely have him in all 5-6 lineups I make and my cash game team. He’s 3rd overall in my RB model as he gets 85.5% of his team’s workload rushing, is 2nd in the league in RB touches per game, 5th in the league in RZ rushing attempts per game, and is averaging 5 targets a game. Coming off a 3 game average of 23.82 DK Points PPG and off a bye, I think he is in a smash spot versus a somewhat weak Cleveland defense.
  • Kareem Hunt vs. DEN ($7,100): Hunt reminded us this past Sunday night just how damn good he is as both a catcher and rusher when given opportunities and I love his spot even more this week. Hunt is averaging 28.67 DK Points per game in his last 3 games, is 2nd in RZ attempts (only to Gurley), averages 3 targets per game (still low for him), and averages around 70% of the team’s rushing workload. Denver’s rush rank, per DVOA, is 28th and I think Hunt should be able to light them up.
  • Phillip Lindsay vs. KC ($5,200): I am writing this with the assumption that Royce Freeman will sit this game (or at least be severely limited), which sets up Lindsay for a prime spot. KC is ranked 27th against pass-catching RBs, dead last against the run in general (per DVOA), and gives up 33.57 DK Points per week to RBs. Despite the game script, I see Lindsay with a massive volume game in which he’s viable for carries and catches if the game is close or if they’re getting blown out, solid check down upside.

GPP Wide Receivers

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. CLE ($7,400): Can you tell I like the Steelers this week? JuJu is averaging 2 RZ targets a game (more than AB) and 9 targets a game, which makes up his 25% of the targets for the Steelers. JuJu is still averaging 20.7 DK Points a game despite only scoring 2 TDs all season, which shows that he’s a very solid floor with potential for a massive ceiling as soon as those TDs start coming in… which I expect will be soon.
  • Davante Adams vs. LAR ($7,900): Adams is ranked 3rd in my WR model and I think his ownership is going to be pretty suppressed due to his high price tag and the options around him (Green, AB, Hill, Beckham) which makes for a great GPP play. People are terrified of the Rams, and for good reason, but I would put Adams in the match-up proof category as well as a massive volume category. Currently, Adams is commanding almost 30% of the target share, 10.1 targets per game, 2 RZ targets per game, and over his last 3 he’s score 28.77 DK Points per game. I think people will be scared off by the Rams corners but with Talib still out and Peters being overrated, I think Adams is in a nice spot, especially with the amount I expect Rodgers to throw.
  • Michael Crabtree vs. CAR ($4,800): Let’s see if we can get a Ravens receiver right again this week… I think Crabtree has the best match-up amongst the Ravens as Bradberry has been pretty weak all year. After an underwhelming performance last week, it’s easy to forget that Crabtree is averaging 9 targets a game and 21.4% of the team’s market share. The Carolina secondary is decent but are definitely beatable; further, with Baltimore being the 2nd fastest team in terms of pace of play, Crabtree should have a ton of opportunity against a Carolina team that has allowed zero TDs on the ground over the last 4 weeks but 7 TDs through the air.

GPP Tight Ends

  • Eric Ebron vs. OAK ($4,900): With how many times Ebron has burned me over the last few seasons I expect this week to be no different. However, with Doyle out, Ebron has really thrived and that should continue since Oakland sucks and is clearly in tank mode. Ebron is averaging 8.4 targets a game, 1.7 RZ targets a game and 19.2% of the market share for the team. In his last 3 games he’s average 19.2 DK Points and for the full season, 15.37 DK Points. Oakland is last in DVOA against TEs and per DVP, has given up around 12-13 points per week over their last 3 games.
  • David Njoku vs. PIT ($4,600): I pretty much will keep writing about Njoku every week because I think he’s amazing and such a great target for Baker. He’s facing one of the worst in the league against TEs this week, as the Steelers have given up 19.1 DK Points per week to TEs thus far. Njoku has seen his role steadily rise to where he now averages 7.3 targets per week, almost 21% of the market share and has scored in 2 straight games. I would give him heavy cash consideration and I expect him to actually be quite a bit lower owned than last week.

GPP Defense/Special Teams

  • Steelers vs. CLE ($2,300): I really thought the Steelers D would be more expensive this week as Baker loves to take sacks and his O-Line isn’t very good. I think people are still caught up from the Steelers D at the beginning of the year when they sucked and gave up 40+ points to the red-hot Chiefs. The Steelers are the 4th ranked team in adjusted sack rate and their secondary has slowly improved/gotten healthier; additionally, Baker is still very prone to making bad decisions and questionable throws which sets up the Steelers for great turnover potential. At this very low price tag we don’t need a ton so an 8-10 point game for the defense provides us with fantastic value.

Cash Game Plays

Cash Quarterbacks

  • Big Ben vs. CLE ($6,100)
  • Jameis Winston vs. CIN ($6,000)
  • Andy Dalton vs. TB ($6,200)

Cash Running Backs

  • Todd Gurley vs. GB ($9,800)
  • Joe Mixon vs. TB ($7,300)
  • Kareem Hunt vs. DEN ($7,100)
  • James Conner vs. CLE ($7,500)
  • Jalen Richard vs. IND ($4,200) <<< RISKIER CASH PLAY
  • Kerryon Johnson vs. SEA ($5,300) <<< IF RIDDICK IS OUT

Cash Wide Receivers

  • JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. CLE ($7,400)
  • Doug Baldwin vs. DET ($5,500)
  • Michael Crabtree vs. CAR ($4,800)
  • Emmanuel Sanders vs. KC ($6,500)
  • Demaryius Thomas vs. KC ($4,900)

Cash Tight Ends

  • David Njoku vs. PIT ($4,600)
  • Eric Ebron vs. OAK ($4,900)

Cash Defense/Special Teams

  • Steelers vs. CLE ($2,300)
  • Chiefs vs. DEN ($2,600)

Expected Highest Owned per Position

Quarterback

  • Patrick Mahomes 12%
  • Jared Goff 8%

Running Back

  • Todd Gurley 35%
  • Kareem Hunt 20%
  • James Conner 18%

Wide Receiver

  • Robert Woods (if Kupp sits) 25%
  • Antonio Brown 20%
  • A.J. Green 18%
  • Tyreek Hill 17%
  • Brandin Cooks 15%

Tight End

  • Travis Kelce 15%
  • Vance McDonald 12%

Defense/Special Teams

  • Ravens 10%
  • Steelers 7%

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