It’s Week 8 of the NFL season folks! We’re nearly at the halfway point and there has been lots of volatility with some of the biggest names in football. The Week 8 slate is the toughest one to gauge so far this season, but I think the numbers will help you make some decisions for your daily fantasy and season long lineups. I personally use FantasyDraft as my daily fantasy site as opposed to DraftKings and FanDuel where there is a ton of competition, thousands of DFS sharks, and a higher rake. My lineups and picks are tailored to be used in full PPR leagues and daily fantasy sites like FantasyDraft. (Don’t recognize some of the lingo? Click here for definitions)
Let’s take a look at a few players who present the best matchups for high output this week.
Tyrod Taylor – FantasyDraft $10,400
Taylor is my top cheap QB play this week and can be found in 38% of leagues on ESPN. Here’s what’s so intriguing about Taylor. He’s facing a Raiders defense that has only generated 12 sacks so far this year and has 0 interceptions. Taylor is one of the best mobile QB’s in the NFL, posting 30 rushing attempts and 183 yards but no touchdowns yet. That’s a rate of 6.3 rushes per week, giving him roughly 100 on the season if he starts all 16 games. His past two seasons he hovered around 100 rushing attempts and has scored 10 total rushing touchdowns, having 4 in 2015 and 6 last season. I’m expecting a positive regression to the mean for his rushing TD total this week in addition to a very easy matchup through the air for him. Oakland’s pass defense is ranked 29th in NFL with a DVOA rating of 36.2% and a variance of only 0.4%. This is telling me that you can expect Taylor to operate as usual, with potentially even more upside than normal if he runs in a touchdown.
LeSean McCoy – FantasyDraft $15,400
Not only does LeSean McCoy have the easiest remaining schedule among running backs vs. rushing defenses, but he’s a major reason why I have Tyrod Taylor in lineups this week. Playing both Taylor and McCoy gives you a QB/RB stack that, when used intelligently, can reap serious rewards. Using this strategy ensures that you get every touchdown a team will score in a given week. McCoy is a fantastic pass catcher with 32 catches on the season, and was a prime positive regression to the mean candidate last week for rushing touchdowns. He scored twice. Oakland, who’s ranked 21st against the rush, also cedes 6.8 targets and 52.9 yards per game to pass catching backs. Those a relatively good numbers compared across the league. Here’s my thinking, the Bills have an assortment of average to below average receivers. No one has a large target share that’s effective in that offense besides McCoy. The Bills are going to hand the ball off around 20 times like they typically do, and then target McCoy out of the backfield as a number one receiving option. High volume is all you could ask for as a fantasy player, and McCoy is in line for arguably the highest ceiling in regard to volume this week.
LeGarrette Blount – FantasyDraft $9,500
Here’s where everyone is going to make a killing this week. LeGarrette Blount hasn’t topped 48% of Philadelphia’s snap counts in any week so far and he’s notorious for being a short yardage and goal line back because of his size and strength. He’s facing a Swiss cheese like run defense in San Francisco, whom of which have allowed 57 rushing touchdowns in just 39 games dating back to 2015. That’s a lot of production coming from the running back against this defense and the rest of the Eagles running backs don’t pose a big threat carrying the ball since they all specialize in Blount’s major flaw, his pass-catching ability. With that being said, Blount is averaging 5 yards a carry and only has one touchdown on the season. In any season where Blount has more than 65 carries, he bottoms out at 5 touchdowns which was his sophomore season. Last year, Blount barreled his way into the endzone 18 times on a good Patriots team that frequently visited red zone and better yet, the goal line. Philidelphia’s offense is poised for a Pats’ like day against San Francisco this week. Did I forget to mention that he averages 83.6 yards and 1.14 touchdowns per game when he has a good matchup at home? Plug him in.
Keenan Allen – FantasyDraft $13,200
I can’t give away all of my picks, but here’s one that’s easy to see so I don’t mind going over it. Keenan Allen has been targeted 68 times this season, tied for second with Jarvis Landry and behind Antonio Brown with 84. Fade on AB this week who draws a tough matchup vs. Darius Slay and is also the highest priced WR this week at $16,200
Don't throw at these guys pic.twitter.com/L5lDDZcyK0
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 25, 2017
Here’s why you want Allen in your lineups. First off, the targets are impossible to ignore. Second, the Pats’ outside corners are actually pretty good despite their pass defense ranking 30th in NFL and 38.2% DVOA. It’s the slot corners and linebacker coverage that’s killing them. The best way to attack the middle of the field against the Pats’ is to utilize your slot receivers and tight ends. This makes Hunter Henry a viable play as well, but you want volume as a DFS player. Allen has the speed, route running ability, and hands that make him one of the biggest threats in the NFL out of the slot, evidenced by his usage rate. Allen will be facing Eric Rowe, Pro Football Focus’s second lowest rated cover corner in the NFL, or an undrafted rookie named Jonathan Jones. Either way, it’s an easy matchup to exploit given his target share. Allen has the upside to be a top 5 receiving play for Week 8.
Chargers Defense – FantasyDraft $4,200
The Chargers defense is the lowest ranked defense on FantasyDraft this week and will have virtually no ownership, making them a fantastic tournament play. People are so scared of the Patriots offense and Tom Brady that they highly overvalue those players against sneaky defenses. But, is
the Chargers defense really that sneaky? They’ve broken through for 18 sacks and have arguably the best pass rushing tandem in the NFL behind Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Their pass rush is legit. Their nickel package features no defensive back rated lower than 74.9 according to Pro Football Focus. This makes their secondary effective and with great depth. Their original slot corner, Trevor Williams, has stepped up since week 2 and is now starting on the outside across from Casey Hayward who had 7 interceptions last year and is regarded as one of the leagues top cornerbacks. Ever since Williams made that switch, no QB has scored more than 15.1 fantasy points against the Chargers. And at the lowest priced defense this week, it’s a huge bargain. Don’t be afraid of Brady, he’s old, bound to regress, has shown signs of slowing down this year, and has yet to face the type of defense the Chargers present. They’re considered a run flowing funnel defense, which means they’re great against the pass but bad against the run. If you’re going to target a Patriots player this weekend, utilize James White. Regardless, the Chargers defense should easily exceed the perceived value this week and will help beef up the rest of your lineup, especially if you go with a cheaper QB option.