The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 8
October 24, 2016 | Doug Shain
The Huddle – Opening Statement
Welcome to the FIRST LOOK at the GPP plays for NFL Week 8. If you want to know more about my article and what it’s all about, please click here.
This week’s FIRST LOOK is also going to double up as the WEEKEND UPDATE as I’ll be away from my computer starting Thursday and won’t have access to it again until Sunday night. My goal with this article is to make it as close to the WEEKEND UPDATE as possible with a list of “My Guys” and a scaled down list (shouldn’t be hard with 6 byes). I’ll have my phone with me all week and weekend so feel free to hit me up on Twitter, and we can discuss any changes I might need to make. I’ll be sure to Tweet thoughts periodically as they come to me over the weekend. Never fear, The Fake Football Cheat Sheets for Fantasy Draft and Yahoo will be completed before I’m away from my computer (and for those of you that follow my hockey stuff I’ll have a Thursday One Time Shot, but not one for Saturday).
Because of the large number of players on these lists, please understand when I don’t write a blurb about each and every one of them. If you want to know more about a player that I glossed over, or why they are placed into the list I have them in, please feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@bankster17). I respond to everyone who writes to me so you can feel confident that your question will get answered.
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|Tom Brady (NE) @ BUF||Kirk Cousins (WSH) @ CIN||Andy Dalton (CIN) vs WSH|
|Russell Wilson (SEA) @ NO||Ryan Fitzpatrick (NYJ) @ CLE||Tyrod Taylor (BUF) vs NE|
|Drew Brees (NO) vs SEA||Alex Smith (KC) @ IND||Kevin Hogan (CLE) vs NYJ|
|Cam Newton (CAR) vs ARI||Carson Palmer (ARI) @ CAR||Brock Osweiler (HOU) vs DET|
|Andrew Luck (IND) vs KC||Derek Carr (OAK) @ TB|
|Jameis Winston (TB) vs OAK|
|Matt Ryan (ATL) vs GB|
|Aaron Rodgers (GB) @ ATL|
– The one name I keep coming back to this weekend is Jameis Winston. His home numbers don’t look all that great, but when you consider he’s only played two of them, and one of them was against the Broncos (1 pass TD allowed all season), I’m going to give that stat a hard pass. What I do see is that he has pretty much had his way with almost every other team he’s faced this year. OAK is a poor pass defense, and they will be playing their second early slate East Coast game in two weeks. At some point this is going to end poorly for the Raiders. I say that week is this week and I expect a monster game from Winston and Evans. Chalky as they are, they are my top stack of the week.
– Drew Brees is another chalky play that I’m going to have a hard time moving away from. He’s so good at home that I really don’t care what the matchup is. Seattle just played in that brutal Sunday night game and now have to travel down to New Orleans for an early Sunday matchup. Somehow the Seahawks are favored in this one; I hope it leads to a reduced ownership for Breezus.
– I know he played well last week but I’m not really all that interested in Andrew Luck against a solid Chiefs defense. There better plays at that price point that I’d rather use (including Brees and either ARod or Ryan in what could be a shootout type of game).
– I can hear it now, all the experts are going to be talking about how poorly the Panthers defense has played this year. I get all that, but I’m still not about to rest my hopes on Carson Palmer in an early road game. One player I will pin my hopes on is Ryan Fitzpatrick. It’s no coincidence that the Jets’ offense suddenly came alive once he entered the game on Sunday. Maybe that time on the bench set his head straight. Even if it didn’t, he’s got the Browns, and that makes anyone a solid play. Speaking of solid, Kirk Cousins has yet to have a clunker and if you want a low ceiling/high floor play for cheap, he’s it.
– Tyrod Taylor is wildly inconsistent, but when he gets on a roll he can be lethal. I love what he does with his legs, and he’s got a penchant for the deep ball. I don’t think he’s going to have a monster game, but for his low price he sure has the potential to pay off his salary (and then some). Detroit can’t really stop anyone via the pass, and Brock Osweiler has the weapons to make this offense work. I know he’s not all that good, but he’ll be very low owned; if he happens to pop off (as many have done against DET), then you’ve got yourself a GPP-winning type of play.
My guys: Jameis Winston, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brock Osweiler
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|Giovani Bernard (CIN) vs WSH||Lamar Miller (HOU) vs DET||Chris Thompson (WSH) @ CIN|
|LeGarrette Blount (NE) @ BUF||Christine Michael (SEA) @ NO||Frank Gore (IND) vs KC|
|Matt Forte (NYJ) @ CLE||Devontae Booker (DEN) vs SD||Latavius Murray (OAK) @ TB|
|Spencer Ware (KC) @ IND||Zach Zenner (DET) @ HOU||Melvin Gordon (SD) @ DEN|
|Jacquizz Rodgers (TB) vs OAK||Devonta Freeman (ATL) vs GB|
|C.J. Anderson (DEN) vs SD||Reggie Bush (BUF) vs NE|
|David Johnson (ARI) @ CAR|
|Ezekiel Elliott (DAL) vs PHI|
|Mike Gillislee (BUF) vs NE|
– There’s a lot to like at both the high end and low end of the RB spectrum. At the high end I’m going to probably be riding Ezekiel Elliott pretty hard as he continues to be underowned every week. He’s gotten better in every game this year, and I have no issue paying up for him. David Johnson is always in play and will continue to be until he stops being awesome (so, 2019 maybe). Spencer Ware continues to get all the touches for KC, and he’s been really good with them. I don’t see that changing, and he’s got a dandy matchup against the Colts this weekend. Everyone rips them up. I’m very happy to use him at his price. If Jeremy Hill doesn’t play this weekend then Gio is going to get all the work he can handle, and I like that a lot. He’s so underpriced for the upside he can give you with 20+ touches. I’m not a huge Matt Forte guy, but this is the Browns we are talking about; everyone scores on the Browns. I’ll probably be fading Blount as he rarely has two good games in a row, and he’ll see a high ownership after people realize that he’s facing the same team that just got shredded by Jay Ajayi. On the other side of the ball in that game I’ll be off Mike Gillislee since Rex Ryan seems to be favoring Reggie Bush near the goal line and in passing situations.
– Another hard fade is C.J. Anderson. He looked good on Monday night, but Booker looked even better. I think this could be the week we see Booker have his breakout game. SD is bad at stopping the run, and, if Booker is the hot hand, the 50/50 split we saw this week will be 65/35 in favor of Booker in no time. Denver WANTS Booker to be their lead back. His workload has increased every week and he’s been very impressive. I so badly want to use Booker this weekend and will talk myself into it by Sunday.
– If Lamar Miller is healthy enough to go (he was really touch-and-go on Monday night) then I love the matchup at home against Detroit. A full 25+ touches for Miller should produce 130+ yards and some scoring opportunities. If Miller can’t go, then Alfred Blue is going to probably be the most widely owned RB for the week, and I’ll probably pass. If SEA wants to keep the Saints offense from totally going off, they’re going to have to ride their workhorse. NO can’t stop the run, and I like Christine Michael as a pretty sneaky play this weekend. If Riddick and Washington are out again this week then I’ll give Zenner a look as a punt play at RB. Justin Forsett isn’t the answer there.
– There are 3 HuLo backs I’m really focused on this weekend. The first is Chris Thompson for the Redskins. He was told by his coach that if he keeps getting 4 yards a carry, he’s going to keep getting carries. We saw what he was able to do in Week 7 when he was getting a lot of touches (12-73 on the ground and 7-40 through the air…yummy). Matt Jones continues to look pedestrian, and I expect Thompson to increase his workload against Cincy. Good lord I hate Frank Gore, but dammit if he doesn’t keep producing. He’s gotten 13+ carries in every game this year and is a factor in the passing game for the Colts. He won’t ever give you a huge game, but he also has a nice floor and is well worth his cheap price. I also like Melvin Gordon this weekend. I know he’s TD dependent, but he’s got a sneaky good matchup against the Denver rushing defense this weekend. DEN gave up over 5 yards per carry to both Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue on Monday night. I know we should expect that out of Miller, but Blue? He’s as average as it gets. Gordon should be able to put together a decent game (think 12-60-1) and that might be enough as your RB2 or Flex. Latavius Murray was back in full force in Week 7 with 18 carries for the Raiders. TB has not been terribly stout against the run this year, so if we can get to another heavy workload for Murray, he should pay off his low price.
My guys: David Johnson, Ezekiel Elliott, Gio Bernard, Spencer Ware, Devontae Booker, Chris Thompson, Frank Gore, Melvin Gordon, Christine Michael, Matt Forte, Lamar Miller
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|A.J. Green (CIN) vs WSH||Julian Edelman (NE) @ BUF||Brandon LaFell (CIN) vs WSH|
|Brandon Marshall (NYJ) @ CLE||Golden Tate (DET) @ HOU||Jamison Crowder (WSH) @ CIN|
|Quincy Enunwa (NYJ) @ CLE||Michael Thomas (NO) vs SEA||Amari Cooper (OAK) @ TB|
|DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) vs DET||Emmanuel Sanders (DEN) vs SD||J.J. Nelson (ARI) @ CAR|
|T.Y. Hilton (IND) vs KC||Demaryius Thomas (DEN) vs SD||Jordy Nelson (GB) @ ATL|
|Ty Montgomery (GB) @ ATL||Dez Bryant (DAL) vs PHI||Brandin Cooks (NO) vs SEA|
|Randall Cobb (GB) @ ATL|
|Davante Adams (GB) @ ATL|
|Mike Evans (TB) vs OAK|
|Michael Crabtree (OAK) @ TB|
|Julio Jones (ATL) vs GB|
– The WR situation in GB is out of control. You’ve got 3 guys playing at an incredibly high level…and none of them are Jordy Nelson. It would be the most Davante Adams thing ever to have him be the most widely owned Packers WR (he should be) and then end up with 1 catch for 7 yards. I don’t trust him, never have. If I’m going to own one Packers WR this weekend it’s going to be Ty Montgomery. He seems like the guy with the safest floor of touches (who saw that coming 2 weeks ago??) as long as he’s lining up in the backfield. If I’m fading all the public GB wideouts but I want exposure, I’ll gladly take a shot with Jordy.
– Both Jets WRs should be highly owned this weekend as a matchup with CLE looms, but I’m not going to get cute here. Fitzpatrick loves Marshall, and I’m not sold on Enunwa being anything special. I’ll pay up here for BMarsh and let everyone else take their chances with the wild card. This is also going to be the week that DeAndre Hopkins breaks out. He’s had tough matchups all season, but the next seven weeks are very friendly and it all starts against one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Mike Evans might be my top WR play of the week against a wretched Raiders secondary. T.Y. Hilton has 10+ targets in all but one game this year; the one where he didn’t he had 9. I love volume like that, and I’m not scared by a Marcus Peters shadow. Julio at home against a depleted GB defensive backfield is a solid play as well, though I’m not sure I want to pay up for that.
– Give me all the Michael Thomas I can handle. He’s been a PPR machine this year considering his low price/ownership. He’s averaging 6-72-0.5 and he doesn’t have to face Richard Sherman this weekend. Brees is going to find him quite a bit as he looks away from Brandin Cooks. I’m wavering on which DEN WR I want to use, but if I had to choose it’d be Thomas due to his bigger upside. Either way, DEN has a nice matchup against the Chargers.
– Brandon LaFell doesn’t catch a lot of passes, but the ones he does sure count. If Josh Norman is back in this game then he’s going to most likely be matched up on A.J. Green. That will leave LaFell to face inferior players, and he’ll be able to take advantage of that matchup. He’s better than people give him credit for. Kirk Cousins is starting to develop a real trust in Jamison Crowder, and, as long as Jordan Reed is still out, he’ll continue to get some of those targets. Amari Cooper has to be better this week than he was last week, right? If John Brown and Michael Floyd remain gimpy (Jaron Brown is out for the season) then it’ll be J.J. Nelson who gets to run against a Carolina secondary that’s been torched this year. I think CAR turns it around a little bit, but if Nelson starts he’s a great value.
My guys: Brandon Marshall, T.Y. Hilton, Ty Montgomery, DeAndre Hopkins, Michael Thomas, Brandon LaFell, J.J. Nelson, Mike Evans
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|Rob Gronkowski (NE) @ BUF||Tyler Eifert (CIN) vs WSH||Antonio Gates (SD) @ DEN|
|Jack Doyle (IND) vs KC||Travis Kelce (KC) @ IND||Jason Witten (DAL) vs PHI|
|Greg Olsen (CAR) vs ARI||Jimmy Graham (SEA) @ NO||C.J. Fiedorowicz (HOU) vs DET|
– TE is really gross this week. There just aren’t a lot of guys worth playing. You have two real choices at the position. You can pay up for Gronk or Olsen (both in really good matchups) or you can spend down with Doyle, Gates, and Fiedorowicz. Someone on the radio today compared Doyle to 2015 Gary Barnidge. That’s a great comparison and one I fully support. Doyle is going to keep getting targets from Luck, and it looks like he’s going to be productive with them. He’s a 5-60-1 type of player, which is great for TE (especially this weekend).
– Once Hunter Henry got dinged up on Sunday, Philip Rivers started to remember who Gates was. While he only caught 5 passes for 38 yards, he was targeted 10 times on the day. This was 4 more targets than he’d received in any game this year. What was truly telling was that Rivers looked towards Gates twice near the goal line during their late 4th quarter drive to tie the game. Now that he’s one week healthier, expect those targets to remain. At his low price, he’s a great punt option at TE that will see a lot lower ownership than Doyle due to his tough matchup against DEN. The Lions get burned by every TE, and this week it’s Fiedorowicz’s turn to take his shots. He doesn’t have the upside of some other TEs they’ve faced, but Osweiler trusts him and he should get half a dozen targets.
My guys: Rob Gronkowski, Jack Doyle, Antonio Gates, C.J. Fiedorowicz
|Public Plays||Expert Plays||HuLo Plays|
|New York Jets @ CLE||Houston Texans vs DET||New England Patriots @ BUF|
|Arizona Cardinals @ CAR||Kansas City Chiefs @ IND||Cincinnati Bengals vs WSH|
|Denver Broncos vs SD||Philadelphia Eagles @ DAL||Dallas Cowboys vs PHI|
|Carolina Panthers vs ARI|
|San Diego Chargers @ DEN|
– Pretty much anyone against the Browns is a plug and play for the general public. Those Browns are pretty plucky though, and I really don’t want to use anyone against them. Somehow teams just don’t put up big numbers against CLE. If I’m going with the public on anyone it’s going to be the Broncos. They have only given up one passing TD this season, all the way back in Week 1. If you’re not giving up passing TD, then you’re probably a pretty stout defense. I’m more than happy to pay up for them.
– I’ll keep running my defenses out against the Colts every week. Luck gets sacked quite a bit and is prone to turnovers. KC is one of the better defenses that IND has faced this year, and it wouldn’t shock me to see them get 4 sacks and a couple of turnovers in this one. I also really like the Eagles DST. They force a lot of turnovers and have one of the best Special Teams in the NFL. Between Sproles, Huff, and Smallwood they are a threat to return a kick at any moment. I like that in my defenses.
– Don’t look now, but the Cowboys are a pretty solid team on both sides of the ball. We know all about their offense, but their defense has been pretty outstanding as well. Carson Wentz is finally looking like a rookie QB and the Cowboys, in Dallas, are going to be a tough task for him. I wouldn’t be shocked if Dallas wins this game and holds PHI to under 17 points. Cincy has a solid D-line and secondary, and the Redskins are definitely turnover-prone. The bye week was maybe exactly what the Panthers needed. They get a gift with a struggling ARI offense coming to play an early East Coast kickoff after a late Sunday slugfest.
– I won’t go crazy with my love for them, but SD has been playing much better on defense since Joey Fricking Bosa showed up. He’s played in 3 games and already had multi-sack games in two of them. They’ll give up their points, but they will also get to the QB and force turnovers.
My guys: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, San Diego Chargers
Best of luck this week! I hope you all kick some butt and make a ton of money. Make sure to check out all the great content at The Fake Football including the Cheat Sheets.You’ll find a ton of analysis, data, and sample lineups. It’s well worth the cost of subscription.
Your feedback is always welcome. You can find me on Twitter @bankster17. I’m around all the time for questions, advice, and comments. I answer every single person that sends me a Tweet.