Week 8 DraftKings Breakdown

Top Plays

RB’s

Todd Gurley - $9,800

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Todd Gurley is an elite play every single week. When you are making your roster, the first decision you need to make is if you are going to play or fade him. As of right now I’ve yet to make that decision. Here are the two sides of the argument.

Play him:

It’s actually not that hard to fit him. There is an obvious D/ST play, some cheap TE’s and some solid mid range QB options. At sub 10K you can absolutely fit him into your main team.

Fade him:

There are some other options this week that could conceivably score the same, or close to the same amount of points. If two of Conner/Mixon/Hunt can come within 5 points of him then it’s not going to be worth playing him. You also run into the issue of roster construction. If you play Gurley then you and 10,000 other people are going to have a very similar build. The dude was 60% owned in tournaments and 95% owned in cash last week. Then he crushed and his price didn’t change. You can absolutely fade a 60% owned 10K RB in GPP’s. In fact you probably should. The deeper conversation is in cash games. Right now he’s not in my lineup, but I can for sure see him being in it come Saturday night. Make sure to check the chat for my updated view on the optimal build.

James Conner - $7,500

Conner is in a smash spot this week at a more than reasonable price tag. He’s just $7,500 at home, as 8 point home favorites, on a team with a 28.5 implied team total, against a Browns defense that gives up far more production on the ground as opposed to the air. As per @JMToWin the Browns have allowed more TD’s to RB’s than to WR’s and TE’s combined. They also rank 25th in rushing DVOA and are a below average team in terms of red zone TD efficiency. Connor has been dominating the RB touches out of the backfield and there is a near 0% chance that this changes in what could be his final week as the starting RB. Look for Conner to score at least one TD this week with upside for 30+ DK points.

Kareem Hunt - $7,100

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Speaking of smash spots…may I introduce you to Kareem Hunt? Hunt had us all concerned to start the season when he opened with three total targets over the first three weeks. Well, those concerns have been thrown out the window. He’s seen 6 targets in back to back weeks and has turned those 12 targets into 160 receiving yards and 3 TD’s. That’s on top of his 166 rushing yards and another TD on the ground. Hunt has been the featured back in this offense while the game has remained close and is being used heavily in the red zone. This weeks he gets a matchup with a Denver defense that has been gashed by RB’s so far this season. They rank second in pass DVOA…and 28th in rush DVOA. They have also allowed the second most rushing yards in the league behind the Cardinals. The Chiefs are 10 point home favorites with an implied team total of 31.25 points! You should be over the field in Hunt (I’m terrible with ownership, but I’d guess he’ll be about 20%-25% owned in GPP’s.

Kerryon Johnson - $5,300

I like KJ more than Lindsey this week, but I get it if you want to play Lindsey more. Theo is out again this week which means that KJ should get the lions share (I’ll see myself out) of the passing game work. People will look at the goal line TD by Blount last week and not realize that Johnson actually had 2 carries inside the 5 yard line himself. In fact, he was given the initial attempt on an early drive. Johnson was one of my favorite RB’s going into this season and one of these weeks the Lions are going to realize how special of a RB he is. If he had converted his goal line carry last week then he would be at least 20% owned this week. I have him at 10%.

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Phillip Lindsey - $5,200

Lindsey should be one of the best value plays of the week. He has one week without double digit DK points, and it was week 3 against Baltimore where he was limited to just 20 yards on 4 carries over 19 snaps due to injury. These two teams played in week 4 where Lindsey posted 12/69/1…and 2 receptions for 10 yards. The Chiefs have the honor of being the worst team in the league against the run as they rank dead last in rushing DVOA and have been ripped apart by opposing RB’s. Booker is still there so his upside is capped and there is a scenario where game script leads to less volume than we think. He’s better for GPP’s than cash, but he is still cash viable given his price and his expected opportunity.

WR’s

I do not have a good feel on WR as of writing this I have plays that I like of course, but I can’t get a great feel for which one’s I’ll be using in my main lineup right now. That’s good because there won’t be a ton of overlap in cash or tournaments, but unfortunate because it makes my roster construction more difficult than it has been in recent weeks. My plan is to start with what I want at the other positions and to see how much I have left at WR when I get there.

Davante Adams - $7,900

Adams has been by far the best WR on the Packers this season, and they are going to need him to produce. This play is all contingent on the health of Cobb and Allison. If they are both out then Adams is a great play. If one of them is out then he’s a solid play, and if they both play then you can only play Adams in GPP’s. He’s unlikely to be in my main lineup regardless since he doesn’t allow for the kind of construction I want.

Odell Beckham Jr. - $7,500

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Odell has a ton of upside at one of the lowest price points we have ever seen him at since his rookie season. I really want to fit him into my main lineup, but he’s just not a player that I trust enough. Washington represents an average matchup for WR’s, but are a better matchup for RB’s. The Giants have the 20th highest implied team total, and they could spread the ball around to all of Shepard, Engram and Barkley. With Eli throwing him the football he could disappoint at any price. In GPP’s I’d probably go overweight, but he’s just not safe enough in cash.

Emmanuel Sanders - $6,500

You guys know how much I love Sanders. He’s by far the best WR on that team (with Sutton being the second best) and the matchup is great against a garbage Ciefs secondary. The Chiefs are dead last in pass DVOA, in large part due to the fact that teams are forced to throw after the Chiefs drop 20 in the first quarter. As of right now Sanders is one of the guys I have in at WR. The price tag is more than reasonable and I trust this offense enough to at least score in the low 20’s for points. So he should see somewhere between 7 and 13 targets with a decent shot to get into the end zone. If he can do that then I have a really good feeling about my current roster. If he duds then we are in trouble. He’s projected sub 10% ownership which I find a little hard to believe. Like I’ve said, roster construction is going to dictate where I go at WR. Sanders fits some builds that I like so It’s likely he makes the final cut.

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Kenny Golladay - $5,700

Golladay is a $6,500 WR. Seattle has been decent against WR’s this season, but not enough for DK to discount prices for. Golladay received a price decrease as if he was playing the Jaguars. Well….he’s not. He has one week with less than 11 DK points and it was last week in a game where Stafford attempted just 22 throws. Before that he had received target counts of 12/9/7/4/9. Let others watch the box score and shy away from playing him (7% projected ownership). My issue is that he’s on the same team as KJ. I think that KJ is a slightly better play than Golladay, so from a cash game and single entry perspective it’s tough to justify fitting both into my lineup. It adds risk and lowers your ceiling. If I have $5,700 left then I’m ok playing both since they could both have a good week even if the Lions only put up 24. I’m trying not to go there though. In GPP’s I don’t hate trying out a Stafford/Golladay/Tate stack for much cheaper than it should be. Just know that the Seahawks love running it so it’s possible that this game has a lot fewer games than normal.

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Christian Kirk - $4,500

Hopefully the new OC for the Cardinals at least knows a little about running an NFL offense. From what I have heard, Byron Leftwich does. The intrigue with Kirk is two fold. First, the price and matchup. At $4,500 there really isn’t anything he can do to sink you in cash games. He has target counts of 5/8/5/4/7/6 since week 2 and the 49ers don’t exactly have the best defense in the league. The second part is Leftwich. Maybe this is the shiny new toy effect, but I’ve actually heard some good things about this guy. If Kirk was producing with McCoy then there is a real chance that he is able to break out a little bit under Leftwich. Add in the fact that they are coming off a bye and you have an interesting salary saver.

D.J. Moore - $3,600

This is the hair on fire play of the week. The correct play in this range is more than likely Martavis Bryant. However, since he sucks at football I can’t justify recommending him. What I will do is recommend D.J. Moore in tournaments. He is going to be LESS than 1% owned at $3,600 and there is absolutely a world where he outscores Bryant. Will he? Probably not, but he shouldn’t be 10 times lower owned. Yes he faces the Ravens elite secondary and yes defenses matter. However, they have been trying to get him more involved in recent weeks and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a big week some time soon. To make things 100% clear…I will almost certainly NOT be playing him this week (I plan on only making one team). But if you want to have some fun then take a shot. What’s the worst that can happen?

QB’s

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Jameis Winston - $6,000

This really shouldn’t surprise anyone as Winston was my favorite QB going into the season. This new offense is hyper aggressive and is absolutely built for the modern NFL. Winston will have over 300 yards, will get rushing yardage, and has a decent shot at multiple TD’s. He’s also tied as the 7th most expensive QB. We all know how bad the Bucs are against the pass and how good they have been against the run. I expect the Bengals to be in the upper 20’s so Winston is going to have to put up points. I don’t think you have to pair him with anyone, but if you do then I’d go with one of Evans/Godwin/Howard.

Aaron Rodgers - $7,000

If you have the money then Rodgers is a great play this week. The Packers travel to the Rams in a game with a 56.5 point total. The Rams should be able to move the ball fairly easily (like usual) so this game sets up as one of those vintage Aaron Rodgers second half explosions. In cash it’s tough to come up with the 7K given how many good plays there are at RB. I’ll likely play one of Winston or Goff. If more value opens up then I’m cool with playing Rodgers in cash. He’s obviously a great GPP play.

TE’s

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David Njoku - $4,600

This was an easy play last week…and it is again this week. The Steelers have absolutely no idea how to guard the TE position and Njoku has been getting great volume for his price since Baker has taken over. In Baker’s 4 starts Njoku has 7, 10, 12 and 6 targets, with two TD’s over that stretch. He’s worth about $5,100-$5,300 so we can play him in almost any matchup until he’s priced in that range. Given that this is one of the best possible matchups, I’m very likely to play him on my main team.

O.J. Howard - $3,900

Speaking of Howard…he’s a great play for cheap, and can be stacked with my QB pick! Howard has over 50 yards or a TD in every healthy game this season including 9 targets last week. We know that Winston loves throwing to his TE’s and that Brate is at least being used less in the passing game. The Bengals are 27th in passing DVOA and have allowed 9 receptions per game to opposing TE’s (Second most behind PIT). The best part about this play is that for some reason it’s expected to be less than 5% owned. That means that less than 1% of people will have a Winston/Howard stack. I’ve thought about a construction with both Njoku and Howard in my lineup…but as of now I don’t believe that’s optimal. If that changes then you will see it reflected in my lineup when I post it in chat (first post will be Sat. night and then an update on Sunday).

Travis Kelce - $6,800

The issue with Kelce is his price. That’s it. He’s always been a great play at home and the matchup against Denver isn’t scary at all. If you want to play him in GPP’s then do it. For cash games it’s just not feasable unless you pay down for 2 RB’s and then go with one of Conner/Mixon/Hunt. I think that the opportunity cost is just too high in cash. Just play one of Njoku or Howard.

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Defenses:

Just play the Steelers ($2,300). It’s too easy.

Nick Zylak