Week 8 of the 2017 NFL season gets us halfway through the year, which is good (hopefully) for predicting trends, but bad because a new NFL season is going ridiculously fast.
Daily fantasy football has not been kind to us lately and week 7 was no exception. Marcus Mariota was one of the top chalk quarterbacks, yet he couldn’t even crack 9 fantasy points against the Cleveland Browns. The concerns for Green Bay Packers wide receivers weren’t exaggerated, either, as Jordy Nelson registered just one catch and Brett Hundley couldn’t even top 90 yards through the air.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the Cardinals got housed 33-0 by the hands of the Rams, the Patriots and Falcons combined for just 30 total points and Josh McCown (4 total touchdowns) was probably the top quarterback play of the week. It was another crazy week in the NFL, but here’s to hoping things even out a bit in week 8:
QB: Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles ($7.9k)
I think part of my personal lack of high level success in NFL DFS in 2017 has been a reluctance to embrace fresh faces that have risen to elite status. Wentz is one of them and he’s just red hot right now (21+ fantasy points in three straight games). He’s pushed the Eagles to a league-leading 6-1 start and in week 8 he’ll be at home against the winless 49ers.
San Francisco’s bad offense should give him extra chances, but the Niners simply don’t stop the opposition very well, either. That specifically applies to fantasy passer, as the Niners rank 31st against quarterbacks right now. Fire up Wentz with confidence.
RB: Ameer Abdullah – Detroit Lions ($6k)
There is not much value at running back this week, but I like the idea of using Abdullah against a Steelers defense that can struggle against the run. Pittsburgh will be on the road in Detroit’s dome on Sunday Night Football this week, which benefits Abdullah.
The matchup looks strong on paper, as the Steelers rank 21st against fantasy backs so far in 2017. Their defense isn’t terrible, but I expect the Lions to stay in this game. If they can do that, Abdullah should see a good amount of work and might be able to punch in a touchdown.
RB: Le’Veon Bell – Pittsburgh Steelers ($9.4k)
Closing the week 8 slate out with two running backs on SNF sounds like fun, especially when one of them is Le’Veon Bell. Even when the Steelers struggle this guy seems to get touches and produce, as he’s now churned out 11+ fantasy points in every game after his sluggish opener.
It’s been better than that lately, too, with Bell carrying Pittsburgh with performances of 20.7, 26.6 and 32.6 in three of his last four outings. He has to take it to the road this week, but the Lions haven’t been tough against the run (23rd) and have also allowed the 7th most receptions to running backs. All signs point to a big game for Bell and hopefully due to the steep price his ownership will be down in big GPPs.
WR: Kelvin Benjamin – Carolina Panthers ($6.6k)
Benjamin seems to have a tendency to turn up lame in great spots, but I can’t fade him this week. Not only is he Cam Newton’s top weapon in the passing game, but he faces a Buccaneers pass defense that ranks 31st on the year at stopping wide receivers.
This is an awesome spot and is also a huge divisional game for both sides. After a recent slump, I expect Carolina to get back on track offensively in what could be a bit of a shootout. That should equate to success for KB, who has crushed Tampa Bay in the past.
WR: Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders ($7.2k)
Cooper was a straight up beast last week (38 fantasy points!) and given his low price going into week 8, we have to assume he’s now back to being a stud. He’s too cheap to be biased against and he also has a delicious matchup against a Bills defense that has had some issues stopping talented receivers.
We saw that front and center last week, when Mike Evans shredded the Bills to the tune of a 7-88-1 line. Cooper is erratic and can be prone to bad drops, but if he’s got his swagger back, he feels like a must this week.
WR: Alshon Jeffery – Philadelphia Eagles ($6.6k)
This is the week we can finally try Jeffery with confidence. The big play threat has been held in check so far with the Eagles, largely thanks to a long string of brutal matchups against elite cornerbacks. Week 8 marks arguable just the second time where Jeffery didn’t have a truly difficult matchup and it comes against Niners defense that has allowed the 11th most points to fantasy wide receivers.
Can Jeffery go bust again? Sure, but he does get targeted about 6-10 times per game and he finally has an awesome matchup at home. If you’re looking for a time to give him a try, this is it.
TE: Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins ($6.1k)
Reed has been banged up all year but he finally blasted off on Monday Night Football, hauling in 8 catches for 64 yards and two scores. He seems to be as healthy as he’s going to get and is just way too cheap at $6.1k.
Dallas has been stingy against tight ends by the numbers this year, but they also haven’t faced any elite players at the position. Reed is certainly that and he wrecked this defense last year (10-95-2 line in week 7). I’ll take my chances.
K: Jake Elliott – Philadelphia Eagles ($4.8k)
Elliott remains too cheap for a very reliable young kicker in a great system. He’s averaging over 12 fantasy points per game on the year and hasn’t fallen below 9 yet in 2017. He’s a product of Philly’s awesome run to this point, but he also has simply been really good. Against the Niners at home, he’s again a strong bet to top 10+ fantasy points.
DEF: Philadelphia Eagles ($5.4k)
I’m not getting cute with my defense this week. The Eagles have an aggressive pass rush and can force turnovers, plus this week they get C.J. Beathard and the 49ers. San Francisco does not have a scary offense and has yet to explode this year. I highly doubt that happens this week against the 6-1 Eagles – on the road, mind you. Look for a big week out of the Philly defense and really Eagles players, in general.