We are almost halfway through the season, and like I said last week, I just can’t believe how fast the NFL season goes by. Week 7 was one of the worst weeks I’ve ever had and I’ve been playing daily fantasy since 2010. That said, I’ve put some extra time in this week and feel really good about the slate for Week 8.
Cash Game Targets
Carson Wentz vs. San Francisco 49ers
If you’re playing on FanDuel, there is a big price difference between Wentz and Brady, but on DraftKings, I could certainly understand playing Brady for a little more money. The 49ers are allowing the second most fantasy points per game (21.36) to opposing quarterbacks this season. They’ve allowed an average of 271.14 passing yards and 1.71 passing touchdowns per game, and they’re ranked 29th in DVOA against the pass and 25th in DVOA against the run. Teams have had no problem moving the ball against this team. The Eagles have the highest implied team total this weekend, and with Wentz averaging 33.1 passing attempts per game, he has a high floor in Week 8.
Philip Rivers @ New England Patriots
Josh McCown was able to throw for 354 yards against the Patriots recently, and funnily enough Matt Ryan was the first quarterback this season not to throw for 300+ yards against them. The Patriots are allowing the most fantasy points per game (23.88) to opposing quarterbacks this season. They’re allowing an average of 323.14 passing yards per game and 2.14 passing touchdowns per game, which is more than even the Cleveland Browns. Rivers has attempted 256 (36.6 per game) passes this season, which is the fourth most in the NFL. He’s also thrown at least one passing touchdown in six of seven games. Rivers has a high floor, and he’s cheap on FanDuel and DraftKings this weekend.
Cam Newton vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Newton has thrown five interceptions over the last two games, so he will be lower owned than he should in this matchup. Tampa's defense is starting to get healthy, but they’re still going to struggle with the pass. They’re allowing the third most fantasy points and an average of 302 passing yards per game. Tyrod Taylor was able to beat this defense with limited weapons, and Cam has a lot more options surrounding him offensively. Tampa is also 21st in DVOA against pass catching backs, so Carolina will be able to use Christian McCaffrey quite a bit in this game. Newton has a lot of upside in this matchup, and it’s a good spot to get back on track for him.
Josh McCown vs. Atlanta Falcons
McCown is coming off a three-touchdown game against Miami, and now he has multiple passing touchdowns in three straight games. Atlanta is ranked 25th in DVOA against the pass, and they’ve allowed at least one passing touchdown in every game this season. Outside of a matchup with the Jags, McCown has been doing really well with this offense. He’s averaging 131.3 air yards per game, which is the eighth most among quarterbacks this season. He’s cheap on DraftKings and is a guy that can get you 4x. The Falcons are struggling right now and could look to air it out against this defense, so if McCown is playing from behind, it gives him even more upside in this matchup.
Cash Game Targets
LeSean McCoy vs. Oakland Raiders
After re-watching the game from last weekend, McCoy is clearly the focal point of this offense, and he’s going to be playable every week moving forward. He had 23 carries and five catches on seven targets against Tampa last weekend. It was the first time this season he’s found the end zone, and Taylor missed him on a wheel route where he was open for a third touchdown. McCoy has a 74.1% opportunity share this season, which is the sixth most among running backs. He’s averaging 5.3 catches per game, and he has double-digit fantasy points in five of six games. Meanwhile, Oakland is allowing 105.14 rushing yards and 52.29 receiving yards per game to opposing running backs.
Jordan Howard @ New Orleans Saints
The Saints haven’t faced many good running backs this season, but their numbers should scare people off Howard this weekend. He’s one of my favorite plays for GPPs, and I think he has a high floor for cash games. The Saints rank 29th in DVOA against the run this season despite having been a lot better against the pass. In addition, the Bears seem committed to the run this season, as they’re averaging 30 rushing attempts per game, which is the fifth most in the league. Howard is averaging 19.9 carries per game, the third most among running backs, and he has 560 rushing yards this season, which is the fifth most among running backs. Howard has at least 18 touches in five straight games, so I think he’s a great play against this weak rush defense.
Melvin Gordon @ New England Patriots
I like Melvin Gordon a lot on DraftKings this weekend, but I will have exposure to him on both sites. New England has struggled everywhere defensively, so I’m simply going to pick on this defense as much as possible. The Patriots are allowing 90.43 rushing yards per game and 67.86 receiving yards to opposing running backs, which is the second most this season. Gordon is eighth in carries and third in targets among running backs. He’s also fourth among running backs in red zone touches this season. Gordon has a ton of upside this weekend, and he’s coming off one of his worst games of the season, which should lower his ownership.
Joe Mixon vs. Indianapolis Colts
Mixon only had 10 touches against the Steelers last weekend, but I’m willing to overlook that because of the game script. The Bengals are big favorites against the Colts this weekend, so they should look to rookie running back Joe Mixon to carry the ball. Mixon has 74 carries this season, while Jeremy Hill only has 33 carries. It’s clear that the Bengals like Mixon more than Hill, and it’s only a matter of time before he’s consistently getting 20+ touches a game. The Colts are allowing the second most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, and they’re allowing 106.71 yards and 1.14 rushing touchdowns per game. I expect Mixon to be popular this weekend, but he’s cheap enough that I’m willing to play him at a little higher ownership.