As we head into the weekend, be sure to check out all the content rolling onto the Rotoworld Daily page. Here’s a list of articles looking at the FanDuel NFL week eight slate. I will be updating as new columns are added, so consider this section as the DFS Table of Contents.
FanDuel NFL Bargains by Renee Miller
QB/RB Grind Down by Stephen Young
RotoGrinders NFL Primer by Stephen Keech
QB/WR/TE Tournament Stacks by Spencer Limbach
FantasyLabs Ownership & Pivots by Matthew Freedman
VIDEO: FanDuel NFL 6-Pack hosted by Chris Prince
FanDuel NFL Fades by Renee Miller
WR/TE Grind Down by Josh Lewis
Rotoworld Rankings vs DFS Pricing by Rich Hribar
Now onto the FanDuel NFL Must Plays for week eight!
Just a reminder, this column includes only Sunday games (starting at 1 ET), as that’s considered the main slate on FanDuel.
PLATINUM: Build your lineup around these guys
LeSean McCoy – RB – Buffalo (FanDuel Price: $8,400)
McCoy was an obvious platinum lift last week, rewarding fantasy backers with 24.7 FP on 122 total yards and two touchdowns. Despite that, his salary remains reasonable with a significant discount compared to top-flight RBs like Le’Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott. McCoy has an outstanding matchup to replicate the success of last week, facing a Raiders’ defense that ranks 29th in overall DVOA. Shady is one of the only playmakers on this Buffalo offense, looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 touches to make things happen.
A.J. Green – WR – Cincinnati (FanDuel Price: $8,500)
Green was very quiet at Pittsburgh last week, but the Steelers rate as one of the better pass defenses at this point in the season. Meanwhile, Green’s current opponent (Indianapolis) profiles as one of the worst pass defenses in the league. The salary is imposing at $8500, but I’m doing everything I can to gain exposure considering the excellent bounce-back situation.
GOLD: Next wave to consider in terms of priority
Mark Ingram – RB – New Orleans (FanDuel Price: $7,200)
Chicago’s defense has performed much better than anticipated lately, but I’m still optimistic about Mark Ingram and his New Orleans’ teammates from a fantasy perspective. Despite looking good over the past few weeks, the Bears actually rank 29th in DVOA against the run. On top of that, New Orleans checks in as solid nine point home favorites. The matchup, game script, and workload (56 touches total in past two weeks) all appear favorable for Ingram. The salary isn’t too bad either.
Kirk Cousins – QB – Washington (FanDuel Price: $7,800)
There’s a logjam of viable quarterbacks with solid matchups in this price range. Carson Wentz, Cam Newton, and Russell Wilson should all garner plenty of consideration alongside Cousins. However, I’m rolling with the Washington QB in this spot, and here’s why: All of the QBs mentioned have strong matchups, but this Washington-Dallas game has the best shootout potential. There’s a chance the Eagles and Seahawks could jump out to an early lead, lending a more conservative game plan for Wentz and Wilson in the second half. Washington doesn’t seem to have that luxury, as they’ll need to keep the pedal down in an effort to keep pace with Dallas. Because of that, Cousins will have plenty of opportunities to maintain his hotstreak Sunday afternoon. He always seems to play better at home as well, which is an added bonus.
SILVER: Good options that narrowly rank ahead of similar players
Jordan Reed – TE – Washington (FanDuel Price: $6,100)
Reed falls into the same rationale of QB Kirk Cousins, serving as his favorite (and most consistent) pass catcher. The Washington tight end struggled to begin the season, clearly hindered by a rib injury. He’s getting healthier as the season goes along, looking good with 22.4 FP last Monday (8-64-2). Washington could fall into a similar pass-heavy game script against the Cowboys, opening Reed for a similar fantasy performance. Dallas ranks 28th in DVOA against the tight end position.
Kelvin Benjamin – WR – Carolina (FanDuel Price: $6,600)
Earlier, I mentioned Cam Newton as a strong QB selection in all formats. Taking his favorite receiver is a nice way to gain exposure in this welcoming draw. Tampa has been burned through the air this season, ranking 25th in that category. Per usual, Kelvin Benjamin has a significant size advantage over these opposing corners, and Newton should pepper him with plenty of targets considering the mismatch. Benjamin’s mid-range salary blends comfortably in all formats.
BRONZE: Not 100% necessities, but they mix well into a quality lineup
Marvin Jones Jr. – WR – Detroit (FanDuel Price: $6,100)
This recommendation is more about volume than matchup. Pittsburgh ranks as one of the best pass defenses at this point in the season. However, Detroit will have to throw the ball, and Jones will see plenty of targets if Golden Tate (highly questionable) misses this game. Keep an eye on any news surrounding Tate’s status. If he’s out, I’m feeling comfortable with Jones in a larger role. If Tate plays, I’m backing off.
Cincinnati Bengals – DEF (FanDuel Price: $4,800)
If you have the salary to make it work, Cincinnati is one of the better defensive streams this weekend. Indianapolis clearly has some issues with their offensive line. Checking in as double-digit road underdogs against a solid Bengals’ defense puts them in another compromising situation to yield more sacks, turnovers, and subsequent fantasy points.
PARTICIPATION RIBBONS: Fell just short of a featured spot
Carson Wentz – QB – Philadelphia (FanDuel Price: $7,900)
I already explained my rationale for picking Cousins over Wentz, Newton, and Wilson. In fact, that’s my order of preference while considering the similar price points. The matchup looks great for Wentz to keep rolling (vs San Francisco), but there’s a chance the Eagles may slow things down in the second half.
Doug Baldwin – WR – Seattle (FanDuel Price: $7,700)
If you don’t have enough salary to make A.J. Green work, Doug Baldwin makes for a nice contingency plan while saving $800. Russell Wilson has been heating up over the past month, which is obviously good news for his top receiver. Baldwin was hindered by a groin injury for a few weeks, but he looked healthy en route to a 9-92-1 performance at NYG last Sunday.
Melvin Gordon – RB – LA Chargers (FanDuel Price: $7,900)
One of my alternate lineup strategies goes with Gordon/Baldwin over Ingram/Green. There will probably be less ownership (but similar upside) in the former. The game script doesn’t look great for Melvin Gordon, as LAC checks in as seven point underdogs across the country at New England. However, this Patriots defense has been generous all season, and Gordon is a good enough all-around back to make things happen via the receiving game if LAC falls into pass-heavy mode.
JuJu Smith-Schuster – WR – Pittsburgh (FanDuel Price: $5,500)
Marvin Jones Jr was listed in the bronze category. However, if Golden Tate ends up playing, I’ll remove him from consideration. From there, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Nelson Agholor are the next best economical WR3 candidates. Smith-Schuster is generating a ton of hype this week, but most of it is warranted. Antonio Brown will see tough coverage vs Darius Slay and Martavis Bryant has been benched. That opens things up for JuJu in this Sunday Night matchup.
Chris Thompson – RB – Washington (FanDuel Price: $6,000)
It’s hard to believe Thompson is only $6000 while averaging a solid 16.2 FPPG on the season. The fact that he only sees around 15 touches per game makes him somewhat risky despite fantastic results up to this point. Having said that, there’s a chance he’ll make the most of his opportunities in a likely high-scoring shootout against a generous Cowboys’ defense. Thompson is certainly on my tournament radar, earning borderline cash game consideration as a value filler also.
Detroit Lions – DEF (FanDuel Price: $4,500)
When selecting a defense, Cincinnati makes the most sense from a price/matchup point of view. However, I’m more flexible with defenses (and kickers) to make the rest of my lineup work. Speaking to that point, Detroit makes for a decent value streamer if you need the extra $300 savings. There should be plenty of energy surrounding this primetime home game vs Pittsburgh. If Detroit can stuff Le’Veon Bell early, we could see a few turnovers with Big Ben backed into obvious passing downs.
The Kicker Conundrum
I’m looking towards Jake Elliott ($4800) of Philadelphia or the minimum-salary mainstay Robbie Gould ($4500) if extra value is needed. Elliott is the obvious choice of these two if you have the extra salary to make him happen (double-digit FP in all but one game this season).