Daily Fantasy Football Week 8 #HOTSIZZLETAEKS
Are you ready for my Daily Fantasy Football Week 8 #HOTSIZZLETAEKS? Dang, almost got the quadruple hit last week, but Matt Ryan just had to ruin it. Such a ruiner. For those of you who rostered Mike Evans and won millions with him, join me next week as I hold a parade for Evans to showcase my appreciation to his talents and extremely long arms that are good at catching stuff for touchdowns. Love ya, big guy! Oh, and don't forget to pay 90% of your DFS winnings to me if you rostered Crowell. Again, I'm just being a fair man. Now let's focus on the new NFL week, as we have some nice, juicy matchups and some really, really ugly ones. Almost as ugly as the Cardinals offense. The Falcons/Packers game should be a shootout with prime options that won't break the bank, and it's the game I'll be targeting heavily. This is around the time where teams' bye weeks and injuries start to change the DFS landscape and it's crucial to find the great value plays as well as being able to accurately predict usage rates. It's been 7 weeks! You should know who sucks and who doesn't at this point! Let us commence.
WEEK 8 PROJECTIONS | DST | KICKERS | TARGETS | CARRIES | RED ZONE | HISTORICAL | SNAPS | DEFENSE
Top Play – The Packers/Falcons game has a classic recipe for an elite shootout game with huge fantasy implications. The Packers, due to injuries and ineffectiveness of certain offensive players and schemes, are now very pass happy with a big emphasis on quick throws and short route combos. Rodgers attempted 56 passes last week against the Bears, completing 39 of those passes for a new career high. He looked much more like his former self as the Packers were in shotgun for most of the game. With Ty Montgomery doing beastly stuff out of the backfield and Randall Cobb/Davante Adams playing like they're actually good receivers. The Falcons rank 24th versus the pass DVOA, giving up the 29th most fantasy points to opposing QBs. They've been getting decimated in their nickel sets, with very few good-to-great coverage linebackers and an inconsistent pass rush. Trufant and Neal are some of ATL's best players in the secondary, but they can't cover everyone on the Packers. The trio of Adams, Cobb, and Montgomery will be a nightmare for the Falcons to defend against. And with Rodgers looking much more comfortable in the new Packers' offensive scheme, another 300 yard/3 TD day looks likely for Olivia Munn's boyfriend. I'm jealous. I really am.
Value Play – The guys at DailyRoto love Famous Jameis Winston this week. Winston will be dueling against Derek Carr, whose price has plummeted over the past few weeks. Derek Carr has been stringing together a top 10 QB season thus far, as the Raiders have turned in a 5-2 record in addition to an undefeated road record at 4-0. Carr's play has dipped as of late, only throwing 4 TD passes in the last 3 games combined, but that should change as he faces a Bucs secondary that can be sliced and diced. The Bucs got a boost to their pass defense DVOA after their drubbing of the hapless 49ers, who could barely move the ball through the air and got gashed by both Jacquizz Rodgers AND PEYTON BARBER! The Bucs' 17th ranked DVOA pass defense will have its hands full against a top 10 WR unit in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. The Bucs are only 16th in fantasy points given up to QBs, but with the return of Gerald McCoy and the Raiders' prowess on the road, the game may turn into a shootout instead of a grinding, run heavy battle between two great young QBs. Another thing that may help Carr is how bad the Raiders' 28th overall defense has been as well as the Bucs' fast paced offense (2nd most plays and 5th highest pace). Carr is going to have to air it out in order to keep the Raiders in the game and claim the top spot in the suddenly competitive AFC West. What's the difference between a Raider and a Buccaneer? Nothing, they're both terrible. Go Dolphins!
BOLD CALL – I AM ALL IN ON THE PISSED RYAN FITZPATRICK! That's right! The bearded assassin came back after Geno Smith tore his ACL trying to put the team on his back, but have no fear! Fitzmagic is back and he's here to stay, despite Todd Bowles and the Jets still not believing in him. He gets the 30th ranked Browns pass defense DVOA that's been consistently getting toasted all year long. Even their run defense has been atrocious. The Browns defense just cannot get opposing offenses off the field. Therefore, the Jets shouldn't' have a hard time moving the ball, especially after Lord Forte emerged from the shadows and put on a 30/101/1 rushing performance with a 4/54/1 receiving stat line. This is great news for Fitzmagic, as both Forte and Marshall greatly improve his fantasy outlook against the Browns defense that's giving up the 2nd most fantasy points to QBs. If Fitzpatrick doesn't show up against the Browns, then I have no idea what's wrong with him. Maybe he's only good when he gets benched?
Top Play – Let's see. Who's playing against the Colts? Ah, Spencer Ware. Locked and loaded! With Jamaal Charles' knees as healthy as an 1,000 year old tortoise, the Chiefs have depended on Ware's large thighs to lead them to victory. He had a very solid fantasy day against the Saints, putting up 131 total yards and a TD...[sociallocker] But the most important stat of all is the fact that he had 19 touches to Charles' one. ONE! The Chiefs clearly don't want to give Charles any unnecessary touches, preferring to keep him as healthy and fresh as possible for a playoff push, if needed. Ware gets the worst run defense DVOA that's giving up the 3rd most points to running backs. Did you not see Lamar Miller annihilate that Indy defense? You did? Why am I asking you? Why am I talking to myself? Why is Ware so fat, yet so good? Life's a mystery, but you know what isn't? Ware. Lock him in!
Value Play – I had a difficult time finding the best RB values for the week before the CJ Anderson injury. Now he has made my job easier. Devontae Booker had already begun to leech into Anderson's workload over the past few weeks, including his best game yet as a rookie as he rushed for 83 yards and a TD against the Texans. Now with Anderson sidelined, Booker looks poised for a 20+ carry day against an improved Chargers defense that's been getting better and better against the run, but still gives up 4 yards a carry and the 5th most FP to RBs. It's a pretty straightforward play, banking on the high workload in a game script that will likely involve ball control and keeping the ball out of Siemian's hands as to avoid the suddenly dangerous San Diego pass rush. Joey Bosa has been a menace this season, and he was one of the biggest reasons why the Chargers were able to pull out the upset against the Broncos. In an effort to neutralize Bosa, the Broncos will probably instill a much more run heavy game plan this time around, and I'll be taking advantage of that with my Booker shares. Book 'em, Devvy! Okay, not my best work.
BOLD CALL – You know who's been a really reliable running back that basically nobody rosters? He's a possible hall of famer with a career that's not really flashy, but somehow he's near the top 10 all time for running backs. Have you guessed who it is yet? It's Frank the Tank - Frank Gore of the Indianapolis Colts. He's been Mr. Reliable all season for the Colts, and he's coming off a very solid 4 game stretch, rushing for a combined 309 yards, 12 catches for 55 yards, and 2 total touchdowns. Those are respectable numbers for a respected running back, and it should continue against the 19th ranked run defense DVOA Kansas City Chiefs. It's a home game as well, so Gore may get an extra boost if Luck decides to run his no-huddle offense more often and gets the offense going early. The Chiefs aren't exactly offensive juggernauts, so any game script or game flow worries shouldn't even be considered. Gore is just a damn good, solid, reliable, respectable RB that gets the points you need. Vote for Gore in 2020. Frank that is, not Al. He had his turn and lost.
Top Play – Hey, you know that Packers/Falcons shootout game? Yeah, the QBs should do pretty well in the matchup, but what about the receivers? Let's not ignore the best WR play of the week in Julio Jones, coming off yet another big week with a 9/175 yard day on 15 targets. He's been ridiculous this year, leading the NFL with 830 receiving yards. He also has a 26% market share of the Falcons targets, and that will likely go up even more after he coasts against a decimated Packers secondary, losing Damarious Randall to surgery and having to put Sam Shields on IR. The Packers are 26th worst at defending opposing #1 WRs, and Julio is as #1 as #1's come. He'd make Dr. Evil call him Number One. I wouldn't be surprised if Julio decided he wanted to break the single game receiving record against the Packers. Another note that should help boost Julio even further is the fact that the Packers are the 2nd toughest run defense DVOA and have given up the fewest FP to opposing running backs. Chalk City baby!
Value Play – Ty Montgomery is probably everyone's favorite value play at WR (not on FanDuel though, where's he's listed as a RB), but I'm going to lean on a WR that maybe some people have forgotten about. You know I love those “Yall musta' forgot!” plays. Stefon Diggs gets the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football, where he will show all of his primetime watchers that he's a damn good receiver and y'all better keep your eyes on him. He'll face the 18th DVOA pass defense that's 20th against number one WRs. Diggs had been recovering from a groin injury and had a bye, so it's safe to say he was a little rusty last week against the Eagles. Going from the number 1 ranked defense in the Eagles to the 19th ranked defense in the Bears will certainly help Diggs' fantasy prospects, but the best stat to look at is that the Bears are giving up the most fantasy points to opposing receivers. Cha-ching! With a McKinnon possible injury and the ineffectiveness of the slug Matt Asiata, the Vikings may have to be more pass happy than they'd like to be, and that's not necessarily a bad thing against the Bears. It's a great value play for an elite matchup that may be lower owned than you think. He's the 5th best value at WR on the DailyRoto projections. Can you Digg it? I'm just off today.
BOLD CALL – OK, we all know the Brock Lobster has been a huge disappointment this season, making John Elway look like a horse. And a genius, too. Osweiler still gets a Lions defense that's struggled to play any sort of defense this season, partly due to several key injuries like DeAndre Levy and now Haloti Ngata. The return of Ziggy Ansah hasn't helped the defense at all, giving up 301 passing to Kirk Cousins and 2 combined TDs. For as bad as Brock has been, he's still...ok, he's just flat out bad. The one saving grace for Osweiler is his reliance on the deep ball, consistently chucking up the pigskin several times a game in lieu of an easier, wide open pass down the middle or to basically anywhere else. Will Fuller returned from his hammy injury and played on 94% of the Texans' offensive snaps. Sure, he barely did anything but whatever. The point here is Fuller has big play ability and the speed to toast a burnable secondary. With Darius Slay possibly playing on Hopkins more often than not, that leaves Nevin Lawson on Fuller, with some looks in the slot against 48 graded nickel back Quandre Diggs. It's a nice slump buster of a matchup for the entire Texans offensive unit, and Fuller may be the biggest beneficiary. The Lions rank dead last against slot receivers, with the worst pass defense DVOA in all of the NFL. ALL OF THE NFL! I would make a Fuller House joke here, but that show is way too terrible to earn a joke. And it got a second season!!! WHY?!?!
Top Play – Most of the elite TEs this week face some brutal defensive matchups, with Gronk facing the 2nd stingiest defense against TEs, Olsen facing the stingiest defense of all, and even the GOAT Jack Doyle facing a KC D giving up the 9th fewest fantasy points to TEs. So, what do we do? Easy! Take a ride to #NarrativeStreet and roster Jimmy Graham against the team that traded him away, as the Seattle Seahawks will travel to the SuperDome to face off against his former Saints team. He's been a monster since returning from a gnarly patella tendon injury, posting a 27/408/1 stat line on 41 targets. The touchdowns are a little low for a man of his size and talent, but he did start the season off slow and has only recently begun playing the majority of the offensive snaps. He'll get the 26th ranked DVOA defense against tight ends, giving up the 16th most fantasy points to the position. It's a good matchup on paper, but what we're banking on is the revenge game portion for Jimmy. Russell Wilson has had a very strong rapport with Jimmy over the last few games, trusting him more and more with numerous seam routes and increased target workload. Wouldn't it be great for Graham if he dunked on the Saints' field goal posts three times? Yes, it would benefit me more than for Jimmy, but I'm a degenerate. The DR team has projected ex-Saint Jimmy very, very well. Check that out.
Value Play – Hey, remember that BOLD CALL on Will Fuller? If that pick made you uneasy and waffling on who to pick against the Lions, look no further than CJ Fiedorowicz, the Texans' number one TE. His name is too long, so I'll call him Fiedor as tip of the hat to my MMA brethren. Fiedor gets a juicy matchup against a Lions defense that has been torched relentlessly by opposing tight ends early in the season. They've given up the most touchdowns to opposing TEs and Fiedor is coming off four straight games of 4 catches or more. He's been targeted 27 times during the 4 game span, putting up very solid numbers for his price point. The Lions' defense is just bad everywhere and someone's gotta benefit from it. Fiedor is the safest bet to get a cool 10 points on a 5/50 stat line, with good upside for a knockout touchdown catch. He's my Jack Doyle value play of the week and you know that guy rules.
BOLD CALL – I'm gonna go with Zach Ertz in this spot, despite his struggles since returning from a rib injury. He's managed a poor statline of 5/73/0 in the last 3 games combined. Boy, that Ertz my eyes. Thankfully for him, Ertz will face the 2nd worst defense DVOA against tight ends, giving up the 6th most fantasy points. There are a couple things holding back Ertz's fantasy value, not counting his own bad recent play, such as the Eagle's resistance at picking up the pace and their lack of offensive plays. The Eagles rank as the slowest paced offense in the NFL, as well as only managing the 5th fewest offensive snaps. Maybe that's why Ertz has been struggling, or it could be attributed to poor QB play by rookie Carson Wentz. Whatever the case may be, Ertz still has a good matchup that can help him and the Eagles' O get out of their current funk.
WEEK 8 PROJECTIONS | DST | KICKERS | TARGETS | CARRIES | RED ZONE | HISTORICAL | SNAPS | DEFENSE
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