DRAFT Week 8 Breakdown and Top Plays
Week 8 is upon us, and with it, we get six teams on a bye, different matchups and a fresh set of players primed for your DFS lineups. The DRAFT platform has put together a unique format that marries redraft and DFS together into one exciting and different power couple.
Their weekly fantasy contests are not your typical salary cap format. Instead, they offer a series of snake-style draft contests with differing team amounts. You can choose from head-to-head, 3-team, 6-team, 8-team, or 10-team contests, with varying dollar amounts per contest. With each draft, players must select five position players: 1QB, 2RB, and 2WR/TEs. There are no salaries, no ownership percentages, and no large tourneys.
Below I will take a look at some of the best plays of the week, according to league size. You will see multiple references to aFPA, which is our schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed metric. By using aFPA, we remove bias so that we can level the playing field and compare matchups in an "apples-to-apples" manner. One more note: remember that DRAFT is a snake-style format, so you must plan accordingly in larger contest sizes.
With only two drafters involved, your cumulative score just has to be higher than that of your opponent. Since only 10 players are involved, stick to the elite DFS chalk here.
Carson Wentz (PHI) vs. SF
Wentz is second among QBs in total fantasy points, averaging 22.24 DRAFT points per contest. He’s coming off an impressive Monday Night performance, where he threw for 248 yards and 4 touchdowns against a stingy Washington defense with an aFPA of just 15.4 to opposing QBs. He should have plenty left in the tank for Week 8’s tilt versus the 49ers’ 27th ranked defense. In a format void of ownership percentage worries, grab him before your opponent does.
Kirk Cousins (WAS) vs. DAL
Washington’s implied team total is 24.25 against the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon. Dallas’ defense is ranked 26th in the league against opposing QBs, which bodes well for Cousins’ potential output this week. He laid 24.92 DRAFT points on Philly last week, and should see similar results in Week 8, as Cousins historically plays better at home, averaging 312 passing yards in three home contests this season.
LeSean McCoy (BUF) vs. OAK
Coming off a solid 24.70 DRAFT points outing in Week 7, McCoy should eat again on Sunday at home versus the Raiders. He leads the Bills offense in fantasy points, touches, and targets through the first seven weeks, and is clearly the guy in Buffalo.
Mark Ingram (NO) vs. CHI
New Orleans is a 9-point favorite this week at home, with a team implied total of 28.25 points. Since Adrian Peterson was traded to the Cardinals in Week 6, Ingram has seen 56 touches, to rookie Alvin Kamara’s 28, with just one less target than Kamara in that time frame. This game script should continue on Sunday, providing ample opportunities for Ingram to show us his best end zone dance.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
A.J. Green (CIN) vs. IND
Green wins the matchup lottery this week as he gets a super soft Colts defense at home. Indy ranks 29th against opposing wideouts with an aFPA of 38.5 points heading into this Week 8 contest. As with most teams, the Bengals play tougher at home, and Green is no exception. He put up 26.40 DRAFT points in Week 6 against Buffalo and should see similar numbers Sunday against a beat up Colts secondary.
Julio Jones (ATL) @ NYJ
The Falcons have struggled on offense at times this season, and there’s no cure quite like a cushy defense. The Jets are giving up an average of 35.3 fantasy points per game to opposing receivers as the 28th ranked unit in the league. Jones’ DRAFT points have been all over the place this season, but he is coming off a 20.40-point performance in Week 7. Atlanta should save face a bit this weekend in New York, allowing their star wideout to put up a decent stat line.
Antonio Brown (PIT) @ DET
With 146.5 total PPR points, Brown leads the league in not only fantasy points, but in targets as well. He’s matchup proof and perennial chalk week in and week out. For formality sake, I’ll let you all know that Detroit is ranked 13th in the NFL against opposing receivers, but it really doesn’t matter. Draft Brown and draft him often.
When you enter a contest with only three teams, you’re either picking two players at a time, or you’re in the middle of two drafters doing just that. Same studs apply here; draft accordingly.
6, 8 or 10-Person Draft
Below you’ll find a few more recommendations for Week 8 starters to assist in filling out five-player rosters when more players are involved. You’ll need to dig a bit deeper into the rankings to find a player or two who will out-produce the players your opponents draft.
Tom Brady (NEP) vs. LAC
The Chargers are deceivingly tough against the pass, with an aFPA of just 11.9, but it’s still Tom Brady we’re dealing with. New England is favored to win by 7.5 points with an implied team total of 27.75. Brady currently sits third among QBs in total fantasy points with 142.9, and averages 20.99 DRAFT points per week. He’s always in the mix and this week is no different.
Dak Prescott (DAL) @ WAS
The Cowboys QB is coming off two impressive weeks, scoring 29.96 DRAFT points in San Francisco Week 7, and 30.74 versus Green Bay in Week 6. He should keep rolling along on Sunday against the division rival Washington, as Dallas boasts a team implied total of 26 points, the fourth-highest on the slate. The sophomore QB is well on his way to weekly chalk, as he continues to shred secondaries around the league.
Andy Dalton (CIN) vs. IND
Here’s your one not-usually-chalky QB play. This week Dalton gets a juicy contest against a Colts defense ranked 29th against opposing QBs, with an aFPA of 20.9 to the position. Indy has allowed the last three QBs they've faced to gash them through the air, with over 300 yards passing for each, including a 353-yard performance from the now-benched Brian Hoyer. To top it all off, the Colts defense is banged up, making them even less of a threat to Dalton’s fantasy production in Week 8.
Tyrod Taylor (BUF) vs. OAK
This week is a good one in terms of matchup for Taylor. He gets a home tryst against a Raiders defense ranked 24th in the league versus the pass. His mobility is also a plus, as the Bills signal-caller sits third in rush attempts by a QB thus far in 2017 with 38. Taylor is a solid play this week and will be there if your strategy is to wait on a QB while your opponents grab Brady, Wentz, and Prescott early in the draft.
Melvin Gordon (LAC) @ NE
Gordon had a rough go last week against Denver, but should rebound nicely in Foxboro against the 25th ranked rush defense. In Weeks 5 and 6, the Chargers’ leading rusher put up over 31 DRAFT points, on a combined 60 touches. According to DRAFT’s rankings, Gordon is projected to score the fourth-highest points in Week 8, putting him in the conversation in any contest.
Devonta Freeman (ATL) @ NYJ
New York ranks 27th against the rush with an aFPA of 27 points to opposing running backs. Freeman’s touches nearly double those of Tevin Coleman, making him still the go-to guy in Atlanta’s backfield. Coleman is currently listed as questionable with a knee injury, so Freeman may see even more usage than usual this Sunday in New York.
Ezekiel Elliott (DAL) @ WAS
The Cowboys are a road favorite over Washington with a 26-point implied team total this week. This matchup should stay fairly close, with Elliott getting a large amount of the workload. Washington gives up an average of 23 PPR points to opposing backfields this season, while Elliott is averaging 21.4 PPR points a game. This seems like a recipe for a solid performance from the second-year RB.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Doug Baldwin (SEA) vs. HOU
Sure, Baldwin has been tough to trust this season. In fact, the whole Seahawks offense has been inconsistent. In Week 8, they get a home game versus the Texans, in one of the most difficult venues to play for opposing teams. The Texans rank 19th against the pass, with an aFPA of 30.6 points to wide receivers this season. Baldwin should thrive in this situation putting enough points on the board to warrant a spot on your DRAFT roster this week.
Rob Gronkowski (NEP) vs. LAC
Gronk is second only to Zack Ertz in total fantasy points this season, and sits as TE5 in total targets. He’s massive, a good blocker and just seems to make plays happen. Through six games, Gronk has 452 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns, with an average of 15.6 yards per catch. He should fare well again in Week 8 at home in Foxboro.
Mike Evans (TBB) vs. CAR
Projected as the fourth-highest scoring WR heading into Week 8, Evans faces a decent Carolina defense at home in Tampa. He averages 14.48 DRAFT points per game this season, and boasts the largest volume of targets in the Bucs offense. He’s certainly draft-worthy in the larger contests this week.
Keenan Allen (LAC) @ NEP
Despite a road tilt in New England, Allen projects high this week against their 27th ranked pass defense. He sits as the WR2 in total targets this season, averaging 9.7 per game, with an average of 13 fantasy points a contest. The Patriots have been allowing opposing WRs an aFPA of 37.6 points weekly, setting up for a monster day for the fifth-year wideout. He’s a quality choice in larger DRAFT contests this week.
Zach Ertz (PHI) vs. SF
I never thought I’d see this day, but Ertz leads the league in both fantasy points and targets among TEs, and sits eighth overall in receiving yards this season with 494. He and Wentz are on fire and should continue to dominate in Week 8 against the winless 49ers at home. He’s become a must-start and is definitely on the table in all DRAFT contests this week.