The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 8 FIRST LOOK October 28, 2015  |  Doug Shain


Check out our NFL DFS Cheat Sheet!


The Huddle – Opening Statement

Welcome to the Week 8 Hail Mary (NFL DFS), your first look at this week’s GPP plays. The further we get through the season the more players we find emerging (hence the larger than normal play lists). With all the choices available to us, the best thing we can do is pick the few matchups that we like best and attack them.  If you’re playing a lot of different lineups you can obviously use more players, but if you’re like me and you only play 3 or 4 then you don’t want to drive yourself nuts with all the options. I’ll be sure to add a “my guys” section this week for my weekend update so you can see who I’ve narrowed my choices down to. Best of luck and enjoy the picks!

To take a look at a list of “musts” when building my GPP lineup, click here. Best of luck this week!


The Depth Chart – The Plays of the Week

I’m going to list 3 groups of players for each position (except K). These groups are going to be PUBLIC plays, EXPERT plays, and HuLo plays. For an explanation of what those plays mean, click here. They are not ranked in any order. I’ll give a little analysis after each position section, but I won’t necessarily give a narrative about each player.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Tom Brady – NE Andy Dalton – CIN Matthew Stafford – DET
Aaron Rodgers – GB Philip Rivers – SD Cam Newton – CAR
Peyton Manning – DEN Ryan Fitzpatrick – NYJ Brian Hoyer – HOU
Drew Brees – NO Carson Palmer – ARI Jay Cutler – CHI
Ryan Tannehill – MIA Jameis Winston – TB Teddy Bridgewater – MIN
Joe Flacco – BAL


– This is the week that I’m going to completely fade the big Public plays at QB. I hate playing Thursday guys so Brady and Tannehill are out of the question. Rodgers is playing a stout Denver D, Peyton is a mess, and Brees is apparently the QB of a run heavy team now. I can see a majority of these guys being highly owned. I won’t own a single one of them.

– My favorite QBs of the week come from the Expert plays list. I think a lot of people “in the know” are well aware of how good Dalton and Rivers are, but I’m not sure they’ve completely gotten through to the general public yet. This is a very good thing as their ownership should be lower than their production/matchups would lead you to believe. Even if they are 15% owned they are a value. Both have excellent matchups and should easily hit value. Do you realize how good Ryan Fitzpatrick has been this year?? I don’t think the general public does either. He’s been very reliable. Carson Palmer is in play at this point regardless of matchup. Winston has some upside against Atlanta where he’s going to have to throw.

– Stafford and Flacco have the most safety/upside, given their matchups, out of the HuLo plays. I think people are going to be way down on Flacco because he often disappoints, but the matchup is great against an awful Chargers defense.  I still don’t think enough people own Cam Newton and he gets a very bad Indy D at home this week. With Foster out, Hoyer is just going to keep throwing.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Todd Gurley – STL Alfred Blue – HOU Charcandrick West – KC
Devonta Freeman – ATL Mark Ingram – NO Eddie Lacy – GB
LeVeon Bell – PIT Doug Martin – TB Giovani Bernard – CIN
Adrian Peterson – MIN Jeremy Hill – CIN Chris Johnson – ARI
Matt Forte – CHI Darren McFadden – OAK Jonathan Stewart – CAR
Marshawn Lynch – SEA Theo Riddick – DET Orleans Darkwa – NYG
Lamar Miller – MIA Danny Woodhead – SD


– RB is kind of gross this week.

– The window to get Todd Gurley at a low ownership is long gone. He’s much more of a cash game play at this point than a GPP play. The same thing goes for Devonta Freeman. Lamar Miller should see sky high ownership, but I’m off him this week. Belichick is going to scheme a way to stop him. LeVeon Bell and Marshawn Lynch are the best plays of the guys that the general public is going to be high on.

– At his price point Alfred Blue is going to be very highly owned and probably shouldn’t be in too many GPP lineups of yours. He gives excellent salary relief, but the upside is limited, and even if he does go off he’s going to go off for 20% of the field. I’d much rather spend up a little and roll out Mark Ingram and Doug Martin. If you want to punt the position, but still have some PPR upside, then Woodhead and Riddick are good plays to make.

– Darren McFadden is an interesting upside play against a not-as-good-as-expected Seattle defense. He’s a hot name coming off his big game against the Giants but he’s facing a “name” defense. His potential ownership prospects will be interesting to monitor over the course of the week.

– Orleans Darkwa makes this list based off of 4 carries and one fantasy mention from Troy Aikman. Needless to say, he won’t be on any of my teams.

– Chris Johnson somehow became a viable NFL RB again. Bruce Arians is a genius. He gets the Browns this week. He’s an easy play against one of the worst run defenses in football. Jonathan Stewart isn’t scoring TDs, but if Ron Rivera ever decides to hand it to him instead of Plumpy Tolbert at the goal line then his fantasy scores would be top 10 RB worthy. Charcandrick West came to play last week and should have another decent game this week against a weak Detroit run defense over in London. Gio Bernard has the trust of the Cincy coaching staff and still catches some passes. He’s not safe, but he’s in play.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Calvin Johnson – DET Mike Evans – TB Marvin Jones – CIN
A.J. Green – CIN Steve Smith Sr – BAL Eric Decker – NYJ
Keenan Allen – SD Julian Edelman – NE Brandin Cooks – NO
Julio Jones – ATL Brandon Marshall – NYJ Travis Benjamin – CLE
DeAndre Hopkins – HOU Jarvis Landry – MIA Tavon Austin – STL
Odell Beckham – NYG Stefon Diggs – MIN Danny Amendola – NE
Antonio Brown – PIT John Brown – ARI
Demaryius Thomas – DEN Amari Cooper – OAK
Larry Fitzgerald – ARI


So, so many good WR options. It’s becoming harder and harder to narrow it down each week.

– Big Ben is back so that means Antonio Brown is back too. He’s a top play at WR this week. I expect Hopkins to go right back to his fruitful ways with Foster out of the lineup. Remember what he did the first few weeks with Foster on the shelf. Julio against TB should be a great, albeit expensive, play. A.J. Green and Calvin Johnson are both going up against bad pass defenses and make excellent stacking partners with their QB’s.

– Steve Smith is in my top 5 WR for the week. SD can’t stop anyone through the air. They made Derek Carr look like Aaron Rodgers. Smith should go off this week. A Smith-Flacco stacko (see what I did there) could be an under the radar monster. People are starting to warm to Marshall, Diggs, and Landry, but not so much that I’m worried about their ownership levels just yet. Marshall and Diggs are on my radar, Landry not as much with his Thursday game. Mike Evans’ ownership is about to go the way of Todd Gurley. Get him this week while it’s still reasonable.

– Danny Amendola is finally playing like we expected him to three years ago when he signed with the Pats. Brady trusts him and his numbers are outstanding compared his cost and ownership. I’d play Amendola over Edelman right now. I’m pretty high on all the HuLo plays this week. Cooks and Benjamin are both catching a good number of passes, and targets equal points. If you want to really go for upside a stack of Dalton/Green/Jones/Eifert could be interesting against a weak Steelers D.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Rob Gronkowski – NE Eric Ebron – DET Jason Witten – DAL
Jimmy Graham – SEA Ladarius Green – SD Martellus Bennett – CHI
Greg Olsen – CAR Gary Barnidge – CLE Ben Watson – NO
Tyler Eifert – CIN


– Gronk just Gronk’d. You either want to pay for Gronk or you don’t. The matchup really doesn’t matter.

– I’ll pass on both Graham and Olsen this week. There are better values further down the board.

– All the Expert plays at TE should have good games this week. Ebron gets to face the worst pass D in the league, Green is a top target for Rivers even with Gates in the lineup, Barnidge is not slowing down, and Eifert gets Pittsburgh. I’d rank them Ebron, Eifert, Green, Barnidge. They are my top 4 overall at TE as of this writing.

– Seattle can’t defend TE for some reason this year. Matt Cassel loves Jason Witten. Nobody ever plays Witten in DFS. Just because he’s boring doesn’t mean he’s not productive. I like him as a top 6 value at TE this week.


Public Plays Expert Plays HuLo Plays
Arizona Cardinals STL Rams Oakland Raiders
Seattle Seahawks Atlanta Falcons Green Bay Packers
Denver Broncos Carolina Panthers New Orleans Saints


– Arizona against Cleveland is money. You’ll pay for it but it should be worth it. I’ll pass on DEN. Seattle should be ok against Matt Cassel.

– Last week was a dream with the Rams priced so low. Not so much this week , but they are still my top defensive value of the week anyway. The 49ers are terrible and the Rams are playing great D.   Atlanta at home is a different beast and they get turnover prone Jameis Winston. Carolina is kind of sneaky against Andrew Luck, but even in his good games he’s throwing a lot of picks. Enjoy the low ownership.

– Oakland at near min-priced against the Jets? It’s not safe but it won’t kill you either. Green Bay and New Orleans get to face the Manning brothers, and both are very turnover prone. They should see low ownership and there is some upside to those plays.

Make sure to check back on Saturday morning for my WEEKEND UPDATE.

Check out the Fake Football Cheat Sheets for my sample lineups. I do the Fantasy Aces section, but the process of selecting the lineups is the same on all the sites.

Follow me on Twitter @bankster17 and good luck with your Hail Mary!

8 Responses

  1. byron says:

    The problem with not taking GPP with Gurley/and or Freeman is that they are the two most likely to go off and get you that 30 points. Yes, last week it was Gurley and L. Miller but that was because Ryan played like a moron and was away, freeman I guess had two long runs called back on penalty..

    It is definitely a tough situation but last week the 222 range on fanduel was Gurley/Miller and would anybody be surprised if it was not Freeman/Gurley this week?

    I will probably roll a combo of those two on 50% at least on GPP and maybe a combo or one or the other in the other half.


    • Doug Shain says:

      Hey Byron,

      Thanks for reading and submitting a comment.

      I totally see your point with Gurley and/or Freeman. Both should have a good game this weekend and can definitely be a part of a GPP winning team. I just feel that you’re going to have to work a little harder to differentiate your lineup if you roster one or both of these guys. I’m not afraid of a little hard work, but with guys like Justin Forsett, Chris Johnson, Jonathan Stewart, Mark Ingram, and Zac Stacy (if Ivory and Powell are out) probably having a lower ownership with good matchups I’d rather get my differentiation there and attack the good passing matchups.

      This is what’s great about DFS. There are a plethora of ways you can make a winning lineup and none of them are wrong (if they hit!).

      Best of luck this weekend!

  2. Tony says:

    Thanks!! This is a weekly read for me. What are your thoughts on Justin Forsett? Looks like he belongs with the other RB expert plays.

    Have a good day.

    • Doug Shain says:

      Hey Tony,

      Thanks for reading and for your comment.

      Your point is exactly why I do a weekend update. What an oversight on my part! Forsett is a great play this week and will definitely be in either the Expert or HuLo list this weekend. I have to keep an ear to the ground so I can get a good idea of where his ownership is going to be before I commit to a which column he fits in.

      Thank you very much for bringing that oversight to my attention.

      Best of luck this weekend!

  3. Cam says:

    Just wanted to thank you. These articles are fantastic!

    • Doug Shain says:

      Hey Cam,

      Thanks for reading. I’m glad you enjoy the article and find them helpful. It’s a pleasure to write for you guys and gals.

      Best of luck this weekend!

  4. mike says:

    Doug, what are your thoughts on Arizona over Clev and Pats over Miami. Leaning Zona for survivor, but could be a trap game. Good work

    • Doug Shain says:

      Hey Mike,
      Thanks for reading!

      I think Arizona is pretty safe, though I do have a little concern about it being an early game for a West Coast team coming East. I don’t love NE at all this week for a 1 and done Survivor. Miami is playing really well, and while I think NE wins, I’d rather save them and take my chances with the Cards.

      Hope it works out for you. Best of luck!

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