Each week I search for the cheapest viable options for your DFS lineups at every position. The plays are geared toward cash games unless otherwise indicated and I do try to use a price ceiling of $7000/$6000 for QB, $6000/$5000 for RB/WR, and $5500/$4500 (FD/DK) for TE insomuch as possible.
Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans vs. Tampa Bay
I was intrigued by the Titans’ big move last week, enough to buy Corey Davis, but not Tannehill. Against a reasonably good Chargers secondary, though, Tannehill showed playmaking ability with several receivers, including Davis, former hot prospect Tajae Sharp, and Jonnu Smith. Overall he ended the day with over 300 passing yards, two touchdowns, and most importantly, the win. He gets a far better game environment in Week 8 as the home favorite vs. one of the most generous pass defenses in the league.
Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. NY Jets
While some people will bang the bargain drum for backup QB Matt Schaub (I considered him, I really did, but it is becoming more likely that Matt Ryan will be able to play, so we might not have to deal with it anyway), I will continue to utilize Minshew, one of the most consistent QBs in the 17-20 fantasy point range. He did have a bad game vs. New Orleans, but it’s just one of seven, and he bounced back nicely in Week 7. This matchup with the Jets, the demoralized Jets, I have to assume, at home should be another nice opportunity for Minshew to seize control of the Jags starting job…even when Nick Foles returns.
Kerryon Johnson has been placed on IR, opening the door for hot preseason/dynasty pick Ty Johnson to take advantage of a favorable matchup with the Giants. I expect J.D. McKissic to be involved as well, especially as a third-down receiving option. Salaries are very different on the main sites, so let that be a guide to your usage. McKissic is the better value by far on DraftKings, while the two are much closer with Johnson cheaper on FanDuel. Either one could make a big play here and be the fantasy hero, despite my inclination that Johnson gets more volume. For that reason, I’m sprinkling them both in my GPP lineups and not committing to either one exclusively.
Darrell Henderson, LA Rams vs. Cincinnati
This is the ideal RB matchup, so you need plenty of Todd Gurley exposure, but he’s not a bargain play. Given that the game could get out of hand early, and Gurley is still very much in a load management protocol, I’m not afraid to use Henderson, assuming that Malcolm Brown remains sidelined. Henderson carried a lot of offseason hype, and if he gets a chance at 15-plus carries in this game, he should easily pay off his meager salary against the league’s worst run defense.
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Emmanuel Sanders being traded to the 49ers makes Sutton the undisputed No. 1 in Denver. He already was in many peoples’ minds, but this seals it. Sitting just at the bargain threshold, Sutton has been extremely consistent this season, and he’s actually the best value on DraftKings, in a PPR format. The Sanders trade makes room for Hamilton to develop in this offense, and we could see a big uptick in his usage right away in this fairly neutral defensive matchup with the Colts.
Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans vs. Tampa Bay
Again? Yes, again. I liked what I saw from Davis and Ryan Tannehill in Week 7, and they are in position to exceed that in Week 8, given a fairly high scoring matchup with a Bucs team that is very pass-friendly (second-most fantasy points allowed to wide receivers, sixth-most to QBs). Coming off a six-catch, 80-yard, one-touchdown day, Davis’ salary didn’t move. He’s still very, very affordable on both sites.
Justin Hardy, Atlanta Falcons vs. Seattle
The trade of Mohamed Sanu to the Patriots opens the door for Hardy to get more snaps and targets for the Falcons. I don’t think it really matters who starts at QB this week, because Hardy will be equally risky either way. Hardy has never really made a huge impact in his career at Atlanta; nine touchdowns total in the last three years, but has reasonable catch rate and yards per touch numbers to suggest that if he were to see 8-plus targets, he could easily pay off his low salary.
Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans vs. Tampa Bay
Can it finally be Jonnu Smith time? The athletic tight end looked good in Week 7 relief of Delanie Walker, catching a couple long passes from Tannehill. He would enter a sweet matchup with the Bucs, who have given up the second-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. He’s an extremely cheap pivot from Austin Hooper this week, who is himself more affordable than expected.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. NY Jets
The Jets were just as responsible for their six turnovers as the Patriots. No way the Jaguars are as talented or well-coached as the Pats, but there’s upside for any D/ST facing the Jets right now. They’ve become the lowest-scoring team in the league, ranking second in sacks taken and fifth in giveaways. Jacksonville isn’t the formidable unit of the past, but they do have 21 sacks so far, fourth in the league. It’s a total stroke of luck that salaries were posted before the MNF box score.
LA Chargers (DraftKings especially) at Chicago
If you’re looking for pivot defenses, the Chargers stand out as one talented group in a low scoring environment. The lack of a quality (any?) run game in Chicago forced Mitchell Trubisky to throw the ball 54 times last week. He eventually scored in garbage time, but it was not a good looking game for him. Only Allen Robinson figures to be a threat. Since the Chargers’ secondary, including slot corner Desmond King, is their strength, I like the chances for a couple picks this week.