DFS Optimal Values, Locks and Fades: Week 8
In this article, we walk through the process of constructing an optimal lineup that will dominate your cash games on the main slate of Week 8. We start with the optimal lineups for FanDuel and DraftKings determined by the Lineup Generator. Then, we identify the players that are irreplaceable and should be locked into your lineup. For the remaining players, we discuss the main alternatives that you can swap in to make a winning team that best fits your own style.
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FanDuel Week 8 Optimal Plays
Josh Allen ($8,800) leads all quarterbacks in FanDuel fantasy points per game and the Dolphins are allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. They are also allowing the third-most passing yards and sixth-most passing touchdowns per game. Jalen Hurts ($8,400) has at least two passing touchdowns through the air or one rushing touchdown on the ground in every game. The Lions defense ranks 21st in aFPA to quarterbacks and is allowing the seventh-most touchdowns per game.
Chuba Hubbard ($6,600) gets the fourth-best matchup for running backs going against a Falcons defense allowing the third-most rushing yards when playing at home. Hubbard has received at least 15 touches in three straight games and while Royce Freeman did see an increase in snaps, he hasn't received many opportunities. In four games played, Elijah Mitchell ($5,800) is averaging over 60% of the snaps and at least 15 touches. He also leads the 49ers in red zone rushes. The Bears look like a tough matchup against running backs (fifth in aFPA) but have allowed the seventh-most rushing yards over the last three games. They've also allowed the seventh-highest passing touchdown percentage despite allowing the eighth-fewest passing yards. While that should regress, it looks good for Deebo Samuel ($7,800) on paper. Samuel hasn't had fewer than 50 receiving yards in any game and is averaging over 10 targets per game.
Brandin Cooks ($6,000) is averaging nine targets per game and could get Tyrod Taylor back under center. In his two games with Taylor, Cooks received 21 targets and was averaging over 100 receiving yards per game. Teams are passing against the Rams at the fourth-lowest rate but the Texans are two-touchdown underdogs. They are going to have to put the ball in the air.
DraftKings Week 7 Optimal Plays
D'Ernest Johnson balled out in his first start but Nick Chubb ($6,800) could still return to a bell-cow role. Chubb had received 20 rushing attempts in three straight games before getting injured but was only playing 60% of the snaps. If that jumps up to 75% or 80% he could also see an increase in his passing game usage. The Steelers are allowing the ninth-most rushing yards when playing on the road. Cordarelle Patterson ($6,200) received 14 carries for the second game in a row but more importantly, his snap share jumped up to 73%. The Panthers' defense ranks second in aFPA to running backs but Patterson's hybrid role gives him a high floor.
Without Antonio Brown out last week, Chris Godwin ($6,400) received 11 targets and had 100 receiving yards. The Buccaneers lead the league in passing attempts and Godwin should be the focal point with Mike Evans likely getting matched up against Marshon Lattimore. Tee Higgins ($5,600) has yet to have 70 receiving yards in a game this season but he's likely close to having a breakout game. He and Calvin Ridley are the only receivers averaging 27% of their team's targets and under 60 receiving yards per game. The Jets rank ninth in aFPA to wide receivers but have allowed the second-most passing yards over the last three weeks. When the Colts are able to control a game, they are more than willing to just sit on the ball. This has led to some low target totals for Michael Pittman ($5,300) over the last two weeks. This Colts and Titans matchup may be more of a shootout with a projected game total of 51 points. Teams are also attacking the Titans' defense through the air, passing against them at the sixth-highest rate.
Over the last three weeks, Ricky Seals-Jones ($3,800) is averaging seven targets and 50 receiving yards per game. However, the Broncos rank fifth against tight ends and are allowing the fewest passing touchdowns per game. He probably doesn't possess much upside but there aren't many tight ends receiving that type of volume either. If you want to go even cheaper, Dan Arnold ($2,800) has five targets in back-to-back games and does draw a better matchup against Seattle that ranks 28th in aFPA to tight ends. I feel better about Seals-Jones's floor but Arnold's two-game sample before the bye looked like a poor man's Dalton Schultz, although nobody is confusing the Jaguars' offense for the Cowboys.