DraftKings.com NFL DFS Week 8 Picks and Plays for Cash Game and GPP Lineups
Week 8 of NFL DFS is upon us, and everyone is looking to cash in on the big daily fantasy football money at DraftKings. Every week, we’ll bring you our top NFL DFS picks at each position, separating them into Cash Game and GPP plays. And to keep up with all things PlayPicks, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
As with any daily fantasy sport, the advice below is relevant for fantasy purposes. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than in real life due to matchup, price, gameflow, and more. This is important when constructing a roster. And if you’re looking for a new way to play DFS, be sure and give DRAFT Fantasy a try with our exclusive promo code.
In DFS NFL, predicting gameflow can be vital. For example, teams winning comfortably are far more likely to lean on their running games, while two teams with poor defenses and high-powered offenses could pay off by getting into a shootout. Later in the season, weather will play a key factor in NFL games, so make sure to check the forecast for each Sunday.
In general, GPP plays are high-risk, high-reward prospects, which can fizzle out and leave you empty-handed. That said, if you want to win the big money, you have to take big chances. Sometimes that means fading a safer choice for a risky play with more upside.
Best Week 8 NFL DFS Quarterback Plays
Cam Newton @ TBB ($6.6K) – GPP
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers just allowed 20.0 DK points to Tyrod Taylor, so I love Cam Newton’s prospects this week, especially after a dud last week at Chicago. Newton never recovered from his early fumble last Sunday, and the Panthers managed just three points against the Bears. However, gameflow should be much more favorable this week against a Tampa Bay team that just dropped 27 against the Buffalo Bills.
Further, the Bucs are second to last in DVOA against the quarterback position and allowing the sixth-most DK points per game to QBs. Fire up Newton in GPPs, as gameflow and rushing upside both are working in his favor.
Carson Wentz vs. SF ($7.2K) – GPP
While Alex Smith might be the biggest shock at the quarterback position this season, Carson Wentz can’t be far behind. The second-year QB was competent last season, but is operating on a different level this season. For example, he scored more than 20 DK points in a game just one time last year. He’s done in five times this season.
If that wasn’t enough, the San Francisco 49ers are 26th in DVOA against the pass and are allowing the fourth-most DK points per game to opposing QBs. I prefer Wentz in GPPs, thanks to his rushing upside, but also because the 49ers are terrible and this could turn into a blowout.
Philip Rivers @ NE ($6.3K DraftKings) – Cash
I don’t think I’ll be super-heavy on Rivers this week, even if the matchup is excellent. But Rivers is an interesting GPP option this week, as the Pats are allowing the most points to opposing quarterbacks, and Rivers will likely be tasked with throwing the ball a lot in what should be a high-scoring affair (48.5 O/U).
However, I am concerned about using him because I can only play one quarterback, and I don’t think Rivers has enough upside to justify starting him over, say, Cam Newton ($300 more). Still, he does have as good of a matchup as he could ask for in terms of DVOA, and if there was ever a week to be on Rivers, this is probably it.
Tyrod Taylor vs. OAK ($5.9K DraftKings) – GPP
Taylor just notched 20.0 points against a bad Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense, and even without Charles Clay, he’s proven capable of making big plays through the air. Against a weak Oakland secondary (29th in DVOA vs. Pass), and in a game with one of the highest over/unders (45.5), there should be plenty of scoring. And even though the offense flows through LeSean McCoy, Taylor has the rushing upside and big-play ability through the air to get his. After all, last week he averaged more than 10 yards per completion, including a 22-yard touchdown pass to Logan Thomas and a 44-yard pass to Deonte Thompson.
Secondary Options: Tom Brady, Dak Prescott, Kirk Cousins, Andy Dalton
Best Week 8 NFL DFS Running Back Plays
Jordan Howard @ NO ($6.8K DraftKings) – GPP
The Chicago offense is not good, but props to that team for dominating the Carolina Panthers last week. This week they head to New Orleans in a much tougher matchup, mostly because they’re facing Drew Brees at the Superdome. I hate Howard in cash, because I’m always wary of a blowout when Brees is at home. Plus, the Saints defense is actually not bad this season.
However, the Bears offense mostly runs through the lead back. Here are his touches over the past five weeks, from most- to least-recent: 28, 20, 19, 37, 21. He has insane workload upside if this game stays close, and his carries floor is extremely high. Yes, I’m staying away in cash due to the blowout potential, but I think Howard has really strong GPP upside.
Melvin Gordon vs. NE ($8.1K DraftKings) – GPP
Gordon looked terrible last week, with 38 yards on 18 carries and one reception against the Denver Broncos. That should depress his ownership this week, even though he faces a New England Patriots team that is fifth-worst in DVOA against pass catching running backs. Prior to last week, Gordon had 15 receptions in the prior two weeks combined.
The Pats also rank below average (23rd) in DVOA vs. running backs on the ground, and Gordon is averaging over 20 carries in his last three games. In a game that will feature a lot of scoring, I expect Gordon to get more involved in the passing game, bringing him squarely into mid-30s DK-point-upside range.
LeSean McCoy vs. OAK ($8.7K DraftKings) – GPP/Cash
McCoy is very clearly the focal point of this Bills offense, at least while Clay remains out. And last week he managed to score his first two touchdowns on the season.
It’s often difficult to roster Shady with confidence, as he just doesn’t score much. But after last week, when he scored 28.2 DK points, we may be seeing some positive regression here. I expect McCoy to find the end zone again this week, but this time through the air, as the Oakland Raiders rank 21st in DVOA against the run, but 29th in DVOA against running backs catching the ball out of the backfield. For further context, McCoy has 11 receptions on 16 targets the past two weeks. His workload gives him a great floor for cash, and his ability, usage in the passing game, and recent play make him an enticing GPP option.
Chris Thompson vs. DAL ($5.8K DraftKings) – GPP
Many will be on the more traditional running back from Dallas in this one, but Thompson has fully emerged as one of Washington’s greatest offensive weapons. Last week, he saw the same amount of carries as Rob Kelley (7), but was more than twice as efficient with his workload. Thompson also added to his team-leading 38 rushing yards in the game with five receptions for 26 yards and a score.
This week he gets a Cowboys defense that is dead last in DVOA against running backs catching passes out of the backfield. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Thompson has a bit of experience exploiting defenses in the passing game. He is leading the Redskins in receiving yards after all (as well as rushing yards, for what it’s worth).
As Washington struggles to get its wideouts and other running backs going, Thompson should continue to reap the benefits of Kirk Cousins looking his way. I’ll be targeting him in GPPs, as I expect gameflow to lead to a lot of work for Thompson in the passing game.
Secondary Options: Ezekiel Elliott, Jalen Richard, Matt Forte, Joe Mixon, Mark Ingram
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Best Week 8 NFL DFS Wide Receiver Plays
Keenan Allen vs. NE ($7.3K DraftKings) – Cash
I already wrote about why Rivers is a great play, and I’d like to apply that same logic here with Allen. Again, the Pats rank dead last in DVOA, and this game has major shootout potential with one of the highest over/unders on the slate. As such, Allen will likely see around 8-10 targets (with upside for more) and a red zone look or two.
I really can’t ever get excited about him as a GPP option, as he doesn’t seem to have that 30+ point upside you can get from other wideouts in this price range (e.g. Brandin Cooks). However, he’ll be a cash game staple for me, as I think his target floor is really high, and the matchup really is ideal for a wideout.
A.J. Green vs. IND ($8.6K DraftKings) – GPP
With no Antonio Brown on the main slate to win someone a million dollars this week, A.J. Green sits atop the wide receiver options with the highest price tag. And that’s for good reason as he gets a Colts defense that ranks 29th in DVOA.
While there will be plenty of chatter heading into the weekend regarding Joe Mixon’s comments, I don’t think there will be any fundamental shift in the way the Bengals operate. I also don’t think Marvin Lewis was particularly open to the criticism. What I do know is that Green has the highest ceiling out of any wide receiver on the main slate, and he’s coming off a dud performance in which he was targeted just five times against the Steelers.
I also think the Bengals offense will be a popular fade this week, due to gameflow issues (potential blowout, maybe the do run the ball more, etc.) and, well, because they’re the Bengals. But Cincy has an implied total of 25.75 and a soft Indy secondary to exploit. That same secondary just allowed Allen Hurns to record a 100-yard receiving game last week. Fire up green in all formats.
Josh Doctson vs. DAL ($3.9K DraftKings) – GPP
Doctson was on the field for just under 85% of Washington’s offensive snaps last week, as the coaching staff has apparently lost all faith in Terrelle Pryor. Doctson was only targeted five times last week and managed only 6.9 DK points, but he should be getting more comfortable with the additional playing time.
This week, he also gets a soft Dallas Cowboys defense that ranks 30th in DVOA. However, Dallas is averaging 27.5 points per game, making it no wonder why this game carries the highest over/under. In what could very well be a shootout, you can get some inexpensive exposure to Washington through Doctson, who I will likely stack with Cousins and Reed this weekend.
Michael Thomas vs. CHI ($7.6K DraftKings) – Cash
The Chicago Bears rank 29th in DVOA vs. WR1. Michael Thomas has Drew Brees throwing to him in the Superdome. That at least sounds like something that adds up to playing Michael Thomas and/or Drew Brees.
While I do like that stack, I love Thomas as an elite WR option this week in cash. Yes, I’m concerned about blowout potential, but I also do believe that, irregardless of game flow, Thomas is a lock for six targets, giving him a reasonably high floor. On the other hand, he’s got upside in the low-teens in terms of targets, and, with the Saints’ implied total of 28.5, I think he’ll find a way to hit value, with upside for more.
Secondary Options: Jeremy Maclin, Alshon Jeffery, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, Deonte Thompson, Brandin Cooks
Best Week 8 NFL DFS Tight End Plays
Jason Witten @ WAS ($4.2K DraftKings) – Cash
The Washington Football Franchise is ranked 27th in DVOA vs. the tight end position, while boasting a good passing defense (10th DVOA vs. QB) and a competent run D (15th DVOA vs. RB). While I expect Ezekiel Elliott to get his, I expect Witten to stand out in the passing game. The Cowboys are ever-so-slight favorites to win this game at Washington, so I, like Vegas, expect this one to stay close. Further, Witten has back-to-back double digit DK point performances (13.1 and 15.4) in his last two games, and carries legitimate double-digit target upside (he’s had two 10+ target games this year). He’s an elite option in cash games.
Logan Thomas vs. OAK ($2.6K DraftKings) – GPP
The Buffalo Bills offense still has some potency without Charles Clay (returning soon from knee procedure), as they put up 30 points last week. That scoring included a 22-yard touchdown catch by Logan Thomas, who is a gigantic human and who also happens to have served as Tyrod Taylors backup quarterback for one season at Virginia Tech. Yep, the QB-turned-TE is a physical specimen at 6’6″ and is as familiar with Taylor as anyone on the team. He’s heavily touchdown reliant, but the Oakland Raiders rank 25th in DVOA vs. TE. While I don’t see Thomas’ snapcount jumping (he’s still very much in a split with Kyle O’Leary), I do think he earned himself some more work in the passing game.
Jordan Reed vs. DAL ($4.7K DraftKings) – GPP/Cash
The Dallas Cowboys are fourth-worst in DVOA vs. the TE position. Jordan Reed is leaps and bounds ahead of his fellow Washington receivers in terms of looks from Kirk Cousins (he had 10 targets last week, converting 8 of them and racking up 26.4 DK points). This is a no-brainer of a play, and I’ll have plenty of exposure to Reed in cash and GPP.
Secondary Options: Jimmy Graham, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Kyle Rudolph, Julius Thomas
Best Week 8 NFL DFS Defense Plays
Cincinnati Bengals vs. IND ($3.6K DraftKings) – GPP/Cash
I’ll likely have plenty of the Bengals D/ST, as Vontaze Burfict looks to be avoiding suspension after last weekend’s incident, and the Indianapolis Colts are giving up the fourth most DK points per game to the opposing D/ST position. The Cincy D/ST is cash game and GPP viable as ownership should be depressed after the -1.0 point performance last week. However, they’ve shown the ability to get to the quarterback with two 6-sack games this season. The Colts have allowed 29 sacks thus far this season, by far the most of any offense.
Buffalo Bills vs. OAK ($2.9K DraftKings) – GPP
The Bills will not be a popular play with the Raiders week 7 shootout against the Kansas City Chiefs. However, the Bills have never scored fewer than 7 DK points in a game this season. And last week was the first game in which an opposing team scored more than 17 points against this defense. I also love that Oakland is traveling from the West Coast for a 1 p.m. ET game in New York, even if they had a little extra time off. Bills should be a very low-owned GPP option that will more than hit value if Oakland’s offense goes flat, which has been the case more often than not this season.
Secondary Options: Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks
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