DFS Core Four and Value Stacks: Week 8

Oct 29, 2021
DFS Core Four and Value Stacks: Week 8

This Week 8 NFL DFS article consists of two parts, the "Core Four" and value stacks. The Core Four are my four favorite plays on the main slate for any game format, regardless of price or projected percent rostered. All four will almost assuredly be in my cash lineup and be an integral part of my GPP core plays (though they probably won't all be in the same GPP lineup).

For the value stacks, I’ll be using 4for4's Stack Value Reports to find stacks that can take down a tournament. I like building contrarian stacks around my chalkier core of players because you only have to get one instance correct for it to hit. Though there may be a chalkier player or two within the value stack, I will usually add a piece from the game that makes the stack a bit contrarian.

For example, if we hit on a contrarian quarterback play while having a pass-catcher or two from that same game, the positive correlation of those stacks is technically getting one contrarian play correct despite filling multiple roster slots. I feel this is easier than having a chalkier stack while trying to hit multiple individual low-rostered plays throughout the rest of your lineup. Keep in mind that these are contrarian stacks, so you don’t have to use these stacks in a large percentage of lineups to be overweight on the field. They should be used in tandem with a chalkier core of players.

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More GPP Strategy: GPP Stacks, Fades, and Leverage Plays | WR/CB Matchups

Core Four Plays

QB Jalen Hurts ($8,400 FD/$7,200 DK)

I've been riding Hurts for the better part of the season, especially in cash, and it's not time to exit the train just yet. His salary is slowly creeping north, but it hasn't gotten to a prohibitive point just yet. I'm sure you've heard the buzz about Hurts being a terrible real-life quarterback, but a good fantasy quarterback. It's true. The Eagles are struggling to win games, but Hurts has still yet to score less than 20 DraftKings points in any week. The outlook often is grim at halftime, but whether with his arm or legs, he racks up the yards and touchdowns by the end of the game.

The Lions rate out 21st in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to quarterbacks, so the matchup for Hurts will be one of the better ones he's had this season. There could be some wet games in the NFL this week, especially in the Northeast, so getting Hurts in a dome, albeit a road game, is definitely an advantage as well. I also think Miles Sanders being out is an added benefit. Kenny Gainwell and Boston Scott are both solid receiving backs and have shown they can do a bit more after the catch than Sanders. Hurts may even have some more designed runs called for him without Sanders active.

RB Darrell Henderson ($7,700 FD/$6,500 DK)

Darrell Henderson's salary still hasn't been adjusted for his usage, perhaps because he's been a tad inefficient over the last two weeks. Nevertheless, the touches have been there. He has played over 80% of Rams' snaps in the last two games while averaging 81% for the season. He's also a lock for 15 carries and three or more targets, though his ceiling on touches in this game is probably closer to 25. The Texans rate out as the 22nd team in aFPA to running backs and I can imagine a game script in which Henderson carries the ball a bit more than usual. With that said, the Rams have been throwing the ball no matter the score in most contests, so I wouldn't expect anything crazy in terms of carries, but Henderson also works into the passing game quite a bit. He has three games this season with five or more targets. At his current price, he's a tough pass in cash games and a good leverage piece off of the Rams' passing attack in tournaments

WR Chris Godwin ($7,200 FD/$6,400 DK)

It's going to be difficult to pass up on Godwin again this week with Antonio Brown out. Rob Gronkowski getting back may limit Godwin's upside just a little bit, but Brown really opens up a lot of targets in this offense. Godwin earned 40% of the Buccaneers' air yards last week while smashing from a fantasy perspective. He was overshadowed by Mike Evans's three touchdowns, which resulted in a minor salary bump. Godwin rates out as 4for4's third-best value in our lineup generator despite the increase and Gronk returning. The Saints rank fifth from the bottom in aFPA to wide receivers. On top of that, the Buccaneers have been leaning pass, especially as they get closer to the end zone.

WR Tee Higgins ($6,300 FD/$5,200 DK)

Tee Higgins is the poster boy for buying low this week. I'll admit, I wasn't sold on how highly rostered he's been over the past few weeks. With Ja'Marr Chase commanding targets, C.J. Uzomah breaking out, and Tyler Boyd still lurking, I was skeptical that Higgins would see the usage to be a top play. Last week sold me as I watched the Bengals and Ravens square off. Burrow peppered Higgins with targets, 15 to be exact. The matchup doesn't get a whole lot easier against the Jets, but I think a lot of those unrealized opportunities will end up being fantasy points for Higgins. The major factor here is that he is only $5,200 on DraftKings and $6,300 on FanDuel. For the salary, he's one of the best value plays on the board. Sure Chase, Uzomah, Boyd, and even Mixon will get their opportunities, but Higgins has the best point-per-dollar outlook of any of them.

Value Stacks to Target

QB Josh Allen, Bills ($8,800 FD/$8,100 DK)

WR Stefon Diggs, Bills ($7,300 FD/$8,100 DK)

WR Emmanuel Sanders, Bills ($6,700 FD/$5,400 DK)

WR Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins ($6,400 FD/$5,600 DK)

This Bills/Dolphins stack ranks first on FanDuel and second on DraftKings in terms of value. The absence of Dawson Knox boosts the touchdown equity for Sanders and Diggs in this game which makes this stack all the more appealing. Together Allen and Sanders combine for 45% of the Bills' targets and 66% of the Bills' air yards. I really like the value and the uniqueness of this stack. The Dolphins have a reputation for having a talented defensive backfield, which they do, but the Bills passing attack should supersede that. I don't mind swapping out Diggs for Cole Beasley if you think Diggs will get the stud treatment.

Over the last two weeks, Jaylen Waddle has built up some nice chemistry with Tua. He has earned 25% of the Dolphins' targets and air yards over that time span and also scored two touchdowns in London. If the Bills stack hits, Waddle will be called on in up-tempo catch-up drives throughout the second half. He can really shine on DraftKings with the full PPR format. He is still in play on FanDuel as well, but I wouldn't mind using Mike Gesicki on FanDuel because the scoring system favors touchdowns over receptions. Gesicki has been in lockstep with Waddle in terms of usage and could be the preferred end zone target in Week 8

QB Tom Brady, Buccaneers ($8,300 FD/$7,400 DK)

RB Alvin Kamara, Saints ($8,400 FD/$8,700 DK)

WR Chris Godwin, Buccaneers ($7,200 FD/$6,400 DK)

Antonio Brown being off the field did wonders for Chris Godwin last week. He immediately jumped up to the team leader in target share and air yards share, even over Mike Evans. Evans got all the hype and attention because he reeled in three touchdowns, but Godwin saw the most usage. Brady targets him on almost 30% of his attempts and he also saw 40% of team air yards. It's quite obvious the Buccaneers want to sling the football, or at least sling it into the end zone. That's good for fantasy purposes because we can identify that trend and exploit it. In Week 8, I'm going to hope some of the touchdown variance swings to Godwin. You can make this a four-man and add Evans if you'd like.

Alvin Kamara looked back to his old self catching passes out of the backfield from Jameis Winston in primetime last week. The Saints immediately went out and got Mark Ingram after the game. I don't think these two things are a coincidence. The Saints realize they need to utilize Kamara the way he's been used his whole career. To start the season he wasn't seeing as many targets as usual and even had a game with 20+ carries and no targets. This past week Kamara caught 10 of 11 targets and helped the Saints move the ball with Jameis checking down instead of slinging picks into tight windows. I think the Saints go return to this strategy of getting Kamara lots of targets while mixing in the running game as well.

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