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QB/RB Grind Down: Week 8

by Stevie "stevietpfl Young
Updated On: December 3, 2018, 6:09 pm ET

I say this every week, but I can't believe how fast the season is going by.


Week 8 is an interesting slate, and I find myself having a tighter core of players this weekend. I like the idea of paying up for key plays and taking shots of some of the value options that have more risk.


As always, make sure to check the weather and inactives before lineups lock. Let's get into some of my top plays for FanDuel and DraftKings.




Cash Game Targets


Patrick Mahomes vs. Denver Broncos


I think it's a week to pay up at quarterback, even though I like saving salary at QB when possible. Patrick Mahomes is a top option for cash games and tournaments this weekend. He's thrown multiple passing touchdowns in five of seven games, and one of the games he didn’t was against this Denver defense. I hope that lowers his ownership a little, but I still project him to be one of the highest owned quarterbacks. Denver ranks second in DVOA against the pass, and they've only allowed multiple passing touchdowns in two of seven games this season. Mahomes is just on another level right now, as not only does he rank first in touchdowns, he also ranks second in passing yards.


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Andy Dalton vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers


If you're not wanting to spend all the way up, Andy Dalton draws a great matchup against the Buccaneers. Tampa ranks 32nd in DVOA against the pass this season, and they're allowing the most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. The Bucs have also allowed multiple passing touchdowns in five of six games this season. Dalton has thrown at least one passing touchdown in every game this season, and he's thrown multiple in five of his seven starts. I don't think you get the upside with Dalton that you'll get with others, but he has a high floor and he's not priced up too much.


Tournament Targets


Andrew Luck @ Oakland Raiders


Luck is one of my favorite overall plays on the slate, not just one of my favorite quarterback plays. He is throwing the ball 44.4 times per game, which leads the NFL this season, and he's also first in red zone attempts (7.4), fifth in air yards, and fifth in pass attempt distance. Luck has thrown multiple passing touchdowns in six of seven games this season and has 15 passing touchdowns over the last four games. With Hilton getting healthy and this offense clicking right now, he is in a great spot against a defense that struggles to pressure the quarterback.


Mitchell Trubisky vs. New York Jets


After a slow start to the season, this offense has looked great over the last three games, and a lot of that has to do with the play of Mitchell Trubisky. He has over 28 FanDuel fantasy points and over 31 DraftKings fantasy points in three straight games. Trubisky has thrown for 300+ yards in three straight games, and he's run the ball for a total of 181 yards in that three-game stretch. His running ability adds to his upside and ceiling for tournaments. The Jets rank 8th in DVOA against the pass, but they've allowed multiple passing touchdowns in four straight games and five of the last six games.


Running Back


Cash Game Targets


Todd Gurley vs. Green Bay Packers


If you're strictly playing on FanDuel, I think you can make an argument that Gurley's price is too high for cash games this season. With that said, he leads the NFL in rushing, touchdowns, and rushing attempts. You'll always hear people say touchdowns aren't predictable, and while I won't fully disagree with that, I think it's important to target players that will get the work. Gurley is averaging 7.1 red zone touches per game, which leads all running backs and wide receivers this season. With the opportunities he receives in this offense, it's extremely tough not to play him in cash games.


Kareem Hunt vs. Denver Broncos


If you're not paying up for Gurley or you want to play two stud running backs, Hunt is a top option in this matchup. Denver is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, and they're ranked 28th in DVOA against the run. After a slow start to the season, Hunt has put up at least 25 fantasy points in three of the last four games, including a 25-point day against Denver. He has scored in every game except the first game this season, and for some reason, people have a bias against him and he tends to come in with lower ownership. I think Hunt's very playable in all formats this weekend.


Tournament Targets


David Johnson vs. San Francisco 49ers


Is this the week the Cardinals finally feed David Johnson the football? We shall soon find out. We have a new offensive coordinator in Arizona, and I think the best way for him to keep the job is getting the ball to the most talented player in the offense. The 49ers rank 18th in DVOA, but they're allowing an average of 25.1 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, which is the seventh highest. Johnson had 18 carries for 55 yards and two touchdowns against the 49ers earlier this season. I'd be extremely happy to get that type of production again, though I don't think I can trust him for cash games.


Jalen Richard vs. Indianapolis Colts


If you like the Colts Offense as much as I do, you're expecting the Raiders to be down in this game. With Lynch heading to the IR, Richard should be in line to get more work in the backfield. He's a tournament-only play because Doug Martin is in line to start this game, which could lead to less work for Richard. The Colts have allowed 49 catches on 67 targets to running backs this season, and they're allowing 56.4 receiving yards per game to opposing running backs. This is risky and more of a DraftKings play.

Stevie "stevietpfl Young
Stevie "stevietpfl" Young is a top-ranked DFS player and GrindersLive host who specializes in NFL, MLB and NASCAR. He provides both written content and media work for RotoGrinders.