I will never not be amazed at how random the NFL can be. We make our best educated guesses based on the information at hand, but the truth is that’s all we’re doing – guessing. Stubborn coaches, injuries, unpredicted game flow and more all play a role in spoiling what we thought were good plays. Each week this year just seems to big a big bag of hit and miss. All we can do is hope for more hit than miss. With that said, here are my best guesses for Fanduel week eight.
Dak Prescott ($8,600) @ Washington
The mid to high $7,000’s at quarterback this week are stuh-stuh stacked (as you’ll see as you read further). As such, Dak is my “spend up” or tournament special this week. The Dallas/Washington game has the highest projected total on the slate (50.5), and with two weak secondaries (although Washington’s could get a nice upgrade if Josh Norman suits up) we could be looking at quite the shootout. Dak has tossed three touchdowns in each of the last three games, and has yet to have a game under 17 fantasy points.
Carson Wentz ($7,900) vs. San Francisco
Seriously, who’s not a Carson Wentz fan at this point? After that emotional piece that ESPN ran before last Monday night’s game and then seeing him, right on cue, go out and shred the Washington defense, I don’t see how anyone can’t be a fan at this point. He rolls right into week eight with a no brainer of a matchup against the pass funnel defense of the 49er’s. Vegas is giving Philly a massive 30-point implied total in this one. There is a cluster of QB’s I like right around this range, and Wentz likely will be fairly popular, but it’s for good reason.
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Kirk Cousins ($7,800) vs. Dallas
For just $100 cheaper, Cousins is an awesome pivot off of Wentz, especially for tournaments. Vegas has pegged this game against Dallas with the highest over/under on the slate at 50.5, and with two bad defenses this should be quite the shootout. Since week 10, Cousins has thrown for 10 touchdowns to only two interceptions, has thrown for 300-plus yards in three out of his last four and has posted 20-plus fantasy points in four straight. The Skins simply can’t run the ball meaning they must rely on Captain Kirk and his arm for them to compete.
Tyrod Taylor ($7,600) vs. Oakland
“TyGod” likely isn’t wowing anyone, but he’s actually been very solid. He’s probably been a better real life player than fantasy one, but this week, against Oakland and their 31st ranked pass defense, we should be able to capitalize on him for fantasy purposes. His rushing prowess is always a nice fall back, and he has six or more rushing attempts in every game but one so far.
LeSean McCoy ($8,400) vs. Oakland
Rostering Shady is almost always a good idea, but it’s especially optimal when he’s at home and Buffalo is a favorite. This week the Bills are three-point favorite against an 20th ranked Oakland run defense. Volume is king, and when the Bills can get a lead they love nothing more than to feed their offensive centerpiece. He’s averaging almost 24 touches per game, and is seeing a tremendous 6.5 targets per contest thus far.
Melvin Gordon ($7,900) @ New England
Gordon has become a do-it-all back this year. On the season, he ranks eighth in carries (117), seventh in receptions amongst running backs (29), third in targets (43) and is first in receiving touchdowns with four. The Chargers are 7.5 road dogs against the Patriots, and will assuredly need their star running back to help them keep pace.
LeGarrette Blount ($6,100) vs. San Francisco
As I’ve stated before, I’m not a huge fan of Blount’s game, but all of that goes out the window when he’s plowing in touchdowns – which he could very well do this week. He’s strictly a tournament play for me this week, but with Philly being such a huge favorite this week it’s likely he gets multiple scoring chances in what should be a blowout.
Chris Thompson ($6,000) vs. Dallas
Given that he’s only seeing about 13 touches per game, we probably can’t feel comfortable rolling Thompson out in cash games, but we also can’t ignore that he’s basically Washington’s number one receiver, either. Weather by ground or by air, Thompson is getting it done this year. If he gets even the smallest sliver of space, he’s making teams pay. He only has one game under 13 fantasy points this year. Granted it was 1.2 against Kansas City, which might highlight his downside if he doesn’t get the touches, but even in limited work he has proven he can get the job done. Love the price, too.
Joe Mixon ($5,900) vs. Indianapolis
I might be a little crazy, but Mixon feels like free money this week. Yes, the Bengals coaching staff hasn’t quite proven trustworthy with him yet, but this feels like a smash spot/coming out party for the talented rookie. You can’t beat the price, and Cincinnati is a whopping 10.5 point favorite against an Indy team that is in shambles.
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AJ Green ($8,500) vs. Indianapolis
As you can see by the fact that I’ve already mentioned two other Bengals players (Dalton and Mixon, in case you’ve skipped to this part), the Bengals studs are in a smash spot this week. None more so than AJG. Last week was a tough draw on the road in Pittsburgh, but this week he returns home to Indianapolis and their 30th ranked pass defense. Additionally, the Bengals are a 10.5-point favorite which means they should roll in this one. Look for Green to get them out to a big early lead, and then hopefully Mixon can close things out. Green is a lock for me this week.
Keenan Allen ($7,800) @ New England
Allen has been a disappointment as of late, failing to reach double digit fantasy points in three straight. However, his importance in the LA offense has not trailed off during that span. He is still Rivers’ favorite target, seeing no less than seven in any game. The Patriots offer no answer for him and his superior route running, and he could very well eclipse his high of 12 targets (week five @ NYG) as he will be needed to help keep pace with Brady and Co.
Alshon Jeffery ($6,600) vs. San Francisco
Similar to the Bengals stack I like this week, the Eagles are obviously no different as I like Wentz, Blount and now we can add Jeffery to the list. Overall, we have to say Jeffery’s been a disappointment as he’s failed to reach double digit points in all but two games so far, but a matchup against San Francisco should be a cure all. Despite the struggles, he is seeing almost eight targets per game.
Ju Ju Smith-Schuster ($5,500) @ Detroit
Ju Ju is all the rage of late with his spectacular touchdown celebrations and twitter presence, but it might also be time to buy in before his fantasy price sky rockets. With the drama and demotion of Martavis Bryant, Ju Ju is set to see an increase in workload. He hasn’t seen more than six targets in a game yet, but with three touchdowns already under is belt, it’s clear he’s established a connection with Big Ben. I’m probably not rolling him out in cash, but I couldn’t talk anyone out of him, either. If you believe he will indeed see more work, then this price might prove to be way to low.
Jordan Reed ($6,100) vs. Dallas
Ordinarily, Ertz would be getting the nod first here, but San Francisco, surprisingly, has been the number one defense against the position so far. He’s getting enough work to warrant rolling him out, I just don’t think it’s necessary this week. As such, I’ll be looking to spend down some this week. Enter: Jordan Reed. Now, obviously Reed is made of glass and could exit the game at any moment, but his 8 catches (on 10 targets) for 84 yards last Monday against was a glimpse of what he can do when he does stay in. The price is cash game worthy, but I wouldn’t begrudge anyone not wanting to risk him in cash games.
Tyler Kroft ($5,700) vs. Indianapolis
Again, Cincinnati skill position players. Kroft doesn’t blow my skirt up, but we can’t deny his touchdown potential in this game.
Jason Witten ($5,400)
The “Dad Runner” gets a nice matchup here with the 28th ranked tight end defense. He’s not exciting, but the price is excellent and the game projects to be high scoring. Additionally, if Josh Norman returns you know he’ll be locked up with Dez, which means Witten should have a few more looks coming his way.
Philadelphia ($5,400)/Cincinnati ($4,800)
I’m linking these two together because these two teams have been a running them of this article. Both are huge home favorites and should roll to easy victories. However, they’ll be very chalky as well, which brings merit to fading them in tournaments.
Buffalo Bills ($4,600) vs. Oakland
Buffalo is my GPP special of the week. Oakland, a west coast team, is traveling to the east coast for an early game. This is usually not a good combination. Buffalo has been really tough on defense this year, ranking 11th against the pass and 7th against the run. They are also 3rd in interceptions with nine.
Jake Elliot ($4,800) vs. San Francisco
Another Philly player. Why not?