As we head into the weekend, be sure to check out all the content rolling onto the Rotoworld Daily page. Here’s a list of articles looking at the NFL DFS Week 8 slate. I will be updating as new columns are added, so consider this section as your DFS Table of Contents.
NFL DFS Bargains by Renee Miller
NFL GPP Pivots by Spencer Limbach
NFL DFS Stacks by Renee Miller
Fantasy Football Forecast by Hayden Winks
DFS Building Blocks (VIDEO) with John Daigle & Ian Hartitz
NFL DFS Starting Points by Renee Miller
DFS Value Finder by Nick Mensio (coming soon)
NFL DFS Fades by Renee Miller (coming soon)
NFL DFS Single Game Breakdown (check back for Sunday & Monday Night Football)
Now onto the NFL DFS Must Plays for Week 8!
Just a reminder, this column includes only Sunday afternoon games (not SNF), as that’s considered the main slate on DFS sites.
PLATINUM: Build your lineup around these guys
Deshaun Watson - QB - Houston (vs. Oakland)
Watson has everything we are looking for in an elite cash game quarterback. His floor/ceiling combination is unmatched on this slate, especially considering a home date with Oakland. The Raiders have allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, as they were dismantled by QB Aaron Rodgers (429-5) last Sunday. Watson is another deadly accurate quarterback who could absolutely shred this Oakland secondary, and his rushing ability feeds the DFS rationale.
DeAndre Hopkins - WR - Houston (vs. Oakland)
Pairing Hopkins with his quarterback makes for an excellent strategy through all DFS formats. Fellow WR Will Fuller is expected to miss several weeks, which could push even more volume towards Hopkins. Put that alongside a dream matchup (OAK has allowed the second most FP to WRs) at home, and Hopkins checks in as the best receiving option of the week. There’s enough value to absorb his lofty salary, and I highly recommend him as a building block in cash games.
GOLD: Next wave to consider in terms of priority
Leonard Fournette - RB - Jacksonville (vs. NY Jets)
Fournette was a top recommendation last week, and he finds himself in another juicy matchup to make more fantasy noise. Fournette hasn’t scored a touchdown despite handling 57 touches over the past two weeks, but he’s bound to find the end-zone (perhaps multiple times?) with that insane level of volume. Game flow is on his side with the Jaguars checking in as seven-point home favorites against an NYJ team that has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. Go ahead and keep rolling with Fournette through all DFS formats.
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Chris Carson - RB - Seattle (at Atlanta)
Carson is another “volume monster” with a strong matchup to boot. The Seahawks want to run the football, and Carson has been the centerpiece of that strategy while averaging 27 touches and 17 fantasy points (half PPR) over the last four games. Go ahead and consider that his baseline with a good chance to surpass that threshold. After all, his opponent (Atlanta) has one of the worst defenses in the league at the moment.
SILVER: Good options that narrowly rank ahead of similar players
Latavius Murray - RB - New Orleans (vs. Arizona)
We’ll need to monitor the status of Alvin Kamara before locking in Murray with 100% confidence. Kamara was limited in Thursday’s practice, and the Saints have incentive to give their star RB a break with a bye week on the horizon. The fact that Murray thrived in his absence at Chicago (27-119-2 & 5-31) gives them that luxury. If Murray is given the starting nod with Kamara sidelined, he makes for an excellent RB2/FLEX at a bargain salary. The game flow should be on his side with New Orleans checking in as 10.5 home favorites against a subpar Arizona defense.
John Brown - WR - Buffalo (vs. Philadelphia)
Brown has been a strong DFS option all season, and now he finds himself in an ideal matchup to make some fantasy noise. The Eagles’ defense funnels production through the air, where they’ve had problems limiting opposing receivers. In fact, Philadelphia has allowed the most fantasy points per contest to the WR position this season. That makes Brown an excellent mid-range DFS streamer while potentially seeing double-digit targets in his best matchup of the year.
Kenny Stills - WR - Houston (vs. Oakland)
I’m all in on Deshaun Watson this week (for cash games), and Stills makes for an economical stacking extension against a vulnerable Oakland pass defense. As mentioned earlier, Will Fuller is out for several weeks, giving Stills a chance to see more snaps and targets in that “field-stretching” role. Texans WR Keke Coutee is a candidate to step up as well, but Stills makes for the better options while emerging with a 4-105 line last week.
BRONZE: Not 100% necessities, but they mix well into a quality lineup
Ty Johnson - RB - Detroit (vs. NY Giants)
Kerryon Johnson was placed on injured reserve, so Ty Johnson is expected to handle a majority of Detroit’s backfield carries. The matchup looks great against the Giants (5th most FP to RBs) with game flow on his side (DET -7), but Johnson is an unproven option with somewhat of a mysterious role for a team that hasn’t run the ball much this season. Having said that, he’s dirt-cheap on most DFS sites with plenty of upside if things go according to plan. I’m treating Johnson as a FLEX alternative to Murray if Kamara ends up making the Saints’ RB obsolete for DFS purposes.
Austin Hooper - TE - Atlanta (vs. Seattle)
Atlanta QB Matt Ryan returned to practice on Friday, which is good news for Hooper and the Falcons’ pass catchers. While the Falcons disappointed their DFS backers last Sunday, Hooper actually came through with a respectable 4-46-1 line. It’s encouraging to see him come through even when Atlanta’s offense is at their worst, representing a strong fantasy floor no matter the matchup. Seattle has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this year, meaning we could see Hooper closer to his fantasy ceiling this time around.
PARTICIPATION RIBBONS: Fell just short of a featured spot
Russell Wilson - QB - Seattle (at Atlanta)
Saquon Barkley - RB - NY Giants (at Detroit)
Sony Michel - RB - New England (vs. Cleveland)
Michael Thomas - WR - New Orleans (vs. Arizona)
Tyler Lockett - WR - Seattle (at Atlanta)
Corey Davis - WR - Tennessee (vs. Tampa Bay)
Darren Waller - TE - Oakland (at Houston)
Jonnu Smith - TE - Tennessee (vs. Tampa Bay)
Jaguars Defense (vs. NY Jets)