We’ve hit Week 8 and the season is already rolling along. Now that we have some data at our fingertips, we’ll dive into a handful of the available research tools at RotoGrinders to uncover some of the top options for Sunday’s main slate.
A few of the tools I’ll dive into are for DFS premium members, so you’ll get a sneak preview of our top content. I’ll also take a look at some of my favorite free content that I use weekly while building my own lineups. Let’s get into it…
Targets & Touches
The Targets & Touches page is something I use every week during football season – it’s one of the best indicators of opportunity, which we like for fantasy purposes. You can find target data for RBs, WRs and TEs in addition to snap data and percentage of workload information. One of my favorite features is that you can view this information alongside salaries for each site, which makes it a little easier to spot value.
Travis Kelce ($7,300 on FanDuel, $6,800 on DraftKings) – I find it hard to believe that Kelce is going to go three straight games without a touchdown in this offense. That’s of course not the only reason I find him appealing in Week 8 – he leads all TEs on the main slate in targets (60) and sits fifth in red-zone targets (7). Throw all that on top of Patrick Mahomes and you’re going to have a recipe for success more often than not. Kelce has accounted for roughly a quarter of Mahomes’ targets to date and Denver has given Tyreek Hill fits in the past while allowing some very fantasy-friendly stat lines to Kelce (7-78-1 on 12 targets earlier in the year). Kareem Hunt figures to draw a ton of tournament ownership thanks to a matchup with a Broncos Defense that had been getting shredded on the ground prior to a meeting with the anemic Cardinals in Week 7, so it’s possible Kelce even goes a little overlooked in GPPs. He’s worth paying up for in all formats.
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A.J. Green ($8,800 on FanDuel, $8,000 on DraftKings) – Coming off an embarrassing performance in Kansas City, the Bengals could not be in a better spot to bounce back against arguably the league’s softest defense. Tampa Bay has allowed the most points per game to date and continues to be hit by the injury bug, so it’s hard to imagine things are going to improve in the near future. They’ve struggled in all facets but have really struggled with receivers thanks to a young group of corners, and Green has drawn double-digit targets in each of the three games since Tyler Eifert’s ugly injury. Green sits 5th among WRs on the main slate in targets (69) and red-zone targets (12), and Cincinnati’s own defensive struggles may push this one into shootout territory. You’re going to want a piece of the Cincinnati offense come Sunday.
James Conner ($8,000 on FanDuel, $7,500 on DraftKings) – The Browns Defense has definitely improved this year, but they still get beaten up on the ground due to a variety of factors, most of which have to do with Gregg Williams’ defensive schemes. I generally like to bank on Big Ben at home, but this whole offense has a green light in Heinz Field fresh off a bye. The rushing upside here is the main appeal, but Connor has been productive as a pass-catcher, ranking 7th among RBs on the main slate in targets. There is something to be said for consistency – he’s seen between 4-7 targets in every game this year. I prefer Connor slightly more on FanDuel given the large discrepancy in price between he and Todd Gurley; he’ll still be heavily owned even at $11K on FanDuel, so taking some savings with guys like Connor, Saquon Barkley and Kareem Hunt make more sense over there. The price difference on DraftKings isn’t nearly as steep.
For those playing large-field GPPs, ownership is something you should be monitoring closely each week. It’s not an easy thing to forecast but using a combination of different factors we’re able to get a good idea of who the most popular plays will be each week. We don’t need to be fading every popular play on the board, but for large tournaments it’s going to be tough to finish at the top without either employing strong stacking strategies or taking a slightly contrarian approach. Our Projected Ownership is part of our premium content package, so it’s monitored vigorously throughout the week.
Davante Adams ($8,600 on FanDuel, $7,900 on DraftKings) – Our Projected Ownership page has Adams projected for 7.5% ownership on FanDuel and 10% on DraftKings, and I think his price tag is going to lead to him being somewhat of an afterthought. I’d suspect much more of the field will gravitate towards Brown and Green at the top of the WR salary pool, and the number of appealing high-end plays at RB (not to mention Travis Kelce at TE) creates a number of different avenues to take. While Marcus Peters’ name still has some value, he’s been torched of late and the Rams’ play against outside WRs in general has been abysmal. It’s probably not going to feel all that great stacking Rodgers-Adams with Todd Gurley once you look at the remaining salary you are playing with, but the Value Town section below can help make the process easier. As can the next guy on this list…
Martavis Bryant ($5,300 on FanDuel, $3,700 on DraftKings) – With Amari Cooper headed to Dallas in a mid-week trade, the Oakland passing game is in need of production and Bryant’s recent stretch suggests he should be high on the list. Jordy Nelson and Jared Cook should both garner a lot of interest this week, but Bryant was second on the team in air yards only to Cooper prior to the trade. He doesn’t necessarily need a ton of volume to generate GPP-friendly box scores, but he did play over 70% of the offensive snaps in Week 6 (Oakland is coming off a Week 7 bye) and could see a bump in that number with more of Carr’s attention in Week 8. I’m still hesitant to heavily invest in this passing game, especially if they are going to be popular, but Bryant is only projected for 5% ownership on DraftKings at a measly $3,700 and holds the same ownership projection at $5,300 on FanDuel.
Jordan Reed ($5,400 on FanDuel, $3,500 on DraftKings) – It’s been a dreadful run for Reed. He’s failed to score in every game dating back to Week 1 and his target counts have been all over the place (4-9-2-7 over the last four games). The switch to Alex Smith has had a very noticeable impact on this aerial attack, but even injuries to Jamison Crowder, Chris Thompson and Paul Richardson haven’t been enough to spark Reed. There is some good news here. After a tough draw with Byron Jones and the Cowboys, Reed steps into a much softer draw with a Giants Defense that has been ripped apart by NFC East TEs over the past few seasons. Reed is projected for just 5% ownership on both major sites.
Welcome to Value Town, parts unknown. I won’t be recommending the Todd Gurley’s of the world here, but instead will try to find a handful of viable value plays at each position to make the rest of the roster building process a little easier. I won’t go into detail for each player, but they are ranked in order of preference for GPPs/tournaments at each position.
Andy Dalton ($7,800 on FanDuel) and Jared Goff ($6,000 on DraftKings) – He’s not really a value play, but Dalton is my favorite QB under $8K on FanDuel. Goff obviously isn’t a value play either, but he’s the top option at or under $6K.
- Matthew Stafford ($7,300 on FanDuel, $5,600 on DraftKings)
- Derek Carr ($6,900 on FanDuel, $5,200 on DraftKings)
- Marlon Mack ($6,700 on FanDuel, $5,400 on DraftKings) – He did not practice Thursday, and if his Friday participation isn’t there he may end up sitting. Nyheim Hines would become appealing in that case.
- Nick Chubb ($6,400 on FanDuel, $4,700 on DraftKings)
- Kerryon Johnson ($6,900 on FanDuel, $5,300 on DraftKings)
This is more site-dependent than usual. On DraftKings, Michael Crabtree, Jordy Nelson, Sammy Watkins, Robby Anderson and Martavis Bryant are all viable targets under $5K. On FanDuel, that entire list plus Doug Baldwin qualify as strong targets under $6.5K. Jarvis Landry is way too cheap at $6,700 on Fanduel, but he’s probably a little overpriced on DraftKings. John Brown is also a mid-range target that seems too cheap on both sites. I guess it wasn’t all that site-dependent after all.