Last week could have been a lot of fun if some of my value picks didn’t spare me to death. Todd Gurley was his usual monster self and the Baker Mayfield/David Njoku pairing was very solid, but value receivers like Taylor Gabriel, D.J. Moore and Marquise Goodwin just couldn’t come through.
Ezekiel Elliott was also a total dud, while Alvin Kamara was fine but not good enough for his price tag. I also used the Colts defense, which was more than good enough to help you out if you followed along with me there.
There were some misses, but if you paid up at receiver and faded Zeke/Kamara you could have benefited from last week’s NFL DFS picks.
It’s a new week, so let’s dive into some of my favorite options to help build a competitive GPP squad for week eight:
QB: Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers ($8.6k)
The Packers are big underdogs on the road this week and this game has a disgusting 57 Total at most NFL betting sites. Suffice to say, there’s a good chance A-Rod will be throwing the ball quite a bit in catch-up mode.
Rodgers will be fresh off of a bye and will be the healthiest we’ve seen him since the start of the season, plus he’s red hot with 28+ fantasy points in each of his last two games. Green Bay probably loses this game, but it won’t be before Rodgers puts up some fat numbers.
This is also an appealing play because it gives you an elite late-game hammer and Rodgers is right between more palatable plays like Patrick Mahomes ($9.2k) and Andrew Luck ($8.3k). I don’t know if Rodgers is actually going to be contrarian, but if you can get him at 10% ownership or less that could be a massive advantage in GPPs.
Alternative pick: Andrew Luck ($8.3) and Andy Dalton ($7.8k)
RB: Kareem Hunt – Kansas City Chiefs ($8.1k)
Todd Gurley is a cash game lock and probably needs to be the first player you click on in most of your tournaments as well. But not this lineup.
Instead of locking in Gurley at his rich $11k price tag, let’s save almost $3k and get a guy in Hunt that has topped 25+ fantasy points in three of his last four games. In fact, he gets a Broncos run defense that ranks 27th against fantasy running backs – one in which he registered 25 fantasy points against just three games ago.
That game was in Denver and now Hunt gets to do work in his home stadium. He’s on fire and a huge part of what’s clicking for KC’s offense, so instead of trusting in Gurley I’ll just try the other monster rusher in DFS these days.
Alternative pick: Pay up for Gurley ($11k)
RB: James Conner – Pittsburgh Steelers ($8k)
You are not going to be able to get A-Rod and two other elite options if you roster Gurley. That, or you’re going to be going uber-spare diving to make it happen.
I’d rather just load up on studs and piece together a more balanced roster. Conner lets me do that, as Le’Veon Bell is still not back with the Steelers and this dude’s amazing role has gone nowhere.
Conner has been a beast for Pittsburgh, topping 26+ fantasy points in each of his last two games. Now he’s at home against a Browns defense that allowed him to pile on 31.7 fantasy points back in week one. He’s the total package and Cleveland (22nd vs. RBs over the past four weeks) remains a very solid matchup.
Alternative pick: Joe Mixon ($7.8k)
WR: Tyler Boyd – Cincinnati Bengals ($6.8k)
I am a big fan of the Bengals passing game this week, as they draw an unbelievable matchup against a really bad Tampa Bay secondary (30th against WRs!). The Bucs struggle to stop wide receivers and have given up the second most receiving scores (11) in football.
A.J. Green is the top target here, but why not shed $2k in salary and use a guy in Boyd who has proven several times already he can make a big impact? Boyd has been quiet of late, but he’s topped 15+ fantasy points four different times this year. Get Green if you can afford him, but I’ll just eat the savings and roster Boyd.
Alternative pick: John Brown ($6.7k) and Jarvis Landry ($6.7k)
WR: Randall Cobb – Green Bay Packers ($6.1k)
Feel free to stack whatever Packers receivers you want, but Cobb makes the most sense against a Rams defense that is loaded with talent. I’m not so sure how easy it will be to break big plays down the field against L.A., but they can give stuff up in the slot. That’s where Cobb will be busiest if he’s healthy.
Los Angeles doesn’t get shredded for a ton of yardage by wide receivers, but they have allowed the 5th most touchdowns (10) to the position. Also consider Geronimo Allison and Davante Adams here, but Cobb is my favorite of the three if he’s out there and ready to rock.
Alternative pick: Larry Fitzgerald ($5.8k) and Geronimo Allison ($5.7k)
WR: Jermaine Kearse – New York Jets ($4.7k)
I am not a big believer in Kearse’s talent, but I do see a very cheap receiver with what figures to be a big role in week eight.
I don’t love the idea of Jets fantasy weapons on the road against a talented Bears defense, but let’s consider the following; Chicago has been torched through the air in two straight weeks, Kearse produced a solid 9-94 line just two games ago and he could be looking at a lot of targets with Robby Anderson hurt, Quincy Enunwa already ruled out and Terrelle Pryor cut.
He could flame out like he did last week (2 targets, 0 catches), but a lot of things point to him being in a great bounce-back spot. I’ll roll the dice so I can spend in other spots.
Alternative pick: Josh Reynolds ($5.1k)
TE: Jimmy Graham – Green Bay Packers ($6.4k)
My guess is most people will either pay up for Travis Kelce (which is not dumb) or try to find value with someone like O.J. Howard or Jared Cook (also not dumb). I’m fine with that or a full punt at tight end, but why not get one more share in the Packers side of this 57 Total in L.A.?
Graham has a big role in Green Bay’s passing game and I really only think it’s a matter of time before he has a true blow-up game. Can it come this week against the Rams? It’s no lock, but let’s consider L.A. ranks 24th in receiving yardage allowed to the position over the last four weeks (28th on the year!).
The touchdowns haven’t been there yet for opposing tight ends, but I feel a big game coming and Graham figures to be a very contrarian stacking option with Rodgers.
Alternative pick: Jared Cook ($5.9k) and David Njoku ($5.7k)
FLEX: David Johnson – Arizona Cardinals ($7.3k)
There are some cheaper options you can look at if you want pricier wide receivers than I’m suggesting, but DJ is an awesome price against a Niners defense that coughed up 20 fantasy points against him just three games ago.
San Francisco has stopped the run at a decent rate in terms of yardage, but Todd Gurley just dominated them and they really only rank 23rd against the position on the year (27th over the last four weeks). It’s also worth noting the Cardinals switched offensive coordinators and new OC Byron Leftwich has been public about using Johnson more like he was utilized during his monster 2016 campaign.
That doesn’t guarantee anything, but the logic suggests the explosive Johnson will be put in space and get way more touches. Suffice to say, he’s too cheap going into week eight and he just might finally deliver an elite outing.
DEF: Pittsburgh Steelers ($3.8k)
I’m pretty flexible on my team defense this week, as I simply am not enamored with a single one. I don’t mind rolling the dice on the Steelers, though. They’re at home and tend to play well at Heinz Field, while they should get up for a tense division rivalry clash with the Cleveland Browns.
The Browns pushed them to a tie in week one and I doubt the Steelers have forgotten. Cleveland’s offensive struggles have been well documented, too, so I would not be shocked if the Steelers deliver a big performance on defense.
Even if they don’t shut the Browns down, this is still a top-five team in terms of pass rush and some turnovers and/or a defensive touchdown is never out of the question.
I am starting this week by attacking this crazy game in L.A. My guess is Todd Gurley slays per usual and accounts for most of L.A.’s offensive production. I’ll get the other half of that game with a three-man Packers stack, while my three-man stud running back stack hopefully makes Gurley’s big day a non-issue.
Let’s think about that. Gurley got 28 fantasy points in his last game and both Hunt (34.6) and Conner (26.9) either came very close to besting him or actually did. If all of these guys just keep it going this week, fading Gurley is going to be a very good move. If David Johnson can also blow up in the Flex spot like I feel he can, not rostering Gurley saves me $3k in cash and I’m potentially getting an edge.
Again, we don’t know for sure what ownership will be, but I’m taking a calculated risk by fading the best running back in DFS this week.
I need my value plays to work out elsewhere and this Packers stack can’t come back to bite me, but this could be the makings of a special GPP squad.
As usual, pivot where you feel you need to and if you must roster Gurley, just make the necessary adjustments. That, or just fire up my team as it stands. Either way, I wish you luck in your daily fantasy football contests this week! Enjoy the games!