FanDuel NFL Week 8 Picks: Wentz, Agholor among standouts
The NFL week 8 DFS slate has few plays that are slam dunk obvious. As a result, I will be playing the least amount of lineups I have to date this season. Here are my FanDuel NFL Week 8 Picks.
QB Carson Wentz (PHI, $7,900) stands out at the closest thing to a sure play. Wentz leads all QBs with 17 TDs (all passing). The 49ers defense has given up 15 totals TDs to QBs (12 passing, 3 rushing), tied for fourth worst. This will be a home game where Wentz has a passer rating of 120.7 as opposed to 94.1 on the road. Wentz has thrown eight of his TDs in just three home games. The 49ers defense just gave up 40 points to Dallas at home in week 7. San Francisco is ranked second at allowing fantasy points to QBs with an average of 20.79 fantasy points per game (FPPG), according to fantasy.nfl.com.
QB Philip Rivers (LAC, 7,500) hasn’t lit it up from week-to-week, but has been constant. Rivers is ranked 5th in passing yards (1,816), 9th for yards per game (YPG, 259.4), and his 12 passing TDs is tied for 7th. The Patriots are the worst defense against QBs in yards allowed (2262, 324. 14 average), TDs (15 passing, 1 rushing), and FFPG (23.17). Rivers has thrown seven of his TDs on the road where he has slightly better passer rating (92.0), then at home (88.3).
Note: At time of writing, I’m seeing mixed reports on the weather for the Chargers vs. Patriots game that range from drizzle to heavy rain. If heavy rain, I will avoid all offensive players for this game. I may consider the Chargers defense ($4,000) as a sneaky play. Last week, the Chargers defense was roughly 3% owned and scored 27 FanDuel points.
RB Melvin Gordon (LAC, $7,900) has the best matchup on the main slate of RBs who can be considered in the elite workhorse category. The Patriots have given up a 5th worst 20.40 FPPG to opposing RBs which includes six total TDs (three rushing, three receiving). Gordon has seven total TDs (three rushing, four receiving), tied for second. Because more than half of Gordon’s TDs has come through the air, a Gordon/Rivers stack may be a bit sneaky could be a really smart play. Gordon (foot) has been limited in practice, so check the inactive list on Sunday morning
RB Devonta Freeman (ATL, $8,000) has five rushing TDs in just six games, but has not found the end zone in the last two games. There is a good chance Freeman will get things going this week at home against the Jets. Atlanta has averaged 5.2 yards an attempt at home and have six rushing TDs. The Jets have given up a 8th worst 19.57 FPPG to opposing RBs, and six total TDs (four rushing, two receiving).
RB Mark Ingram (NO, $7200) should be considered because he is starting to see the work and production that nears that of a featured back, but price has not caught up to that level. Ingram has averaged 28 total touches a game over the last two games. In that span, he has nine catches, three TDS, and ran for over a hundred yards in both games for a total of 219 rushing yards. The matchup is not fantastic against the Bears who have only allowed 16.46 fantasy points a game to opposing RBs, 11th best. Chicago has allowed five rushing TDs. The game will be played in New Orleans where Saints’ RBs have averaged 5.1 yards per carry and 137 rushing yards a game this season.
RB Joe Mixon (CIN $5,900) is getting the workload that virtually assures he will at least make value. If he can find the end zone, he should provide a big return. Cincinnati struggled as a team last week against a tough Steelers defense and Mixon only had 10 total touches. He still managed 48 rushing yards on seven carries, and 20 yards receiving with three receptions. Last week’s production should be Mixon’s floor and that is safe at this price. For the three weeks prior, Mixon averages 19 touches a game. This week Mixon has a juicy matchup in the Colts defense which has given up a second worst 24.06 FPPG to RBs.
WRs are extremely difficult this week. If you pay up for an elite WR, you need them to have a TD or they likely not going to make value.
WR A.J Green (CIN $8,500) at first glance appears to be in a good position because the Colts has given up a second worst 300.7 YPG average against the pass, and Green has had very good performances against weaker pass defenses. Indianapolis, however, has only four passing TDs all season. While it’s likely Green will rack up the yards, it’s hard to bank on him getting a TD.
WR Antonio Brown (PIT, $9,200) is in a similar position. The Lions have only given up six passing TDs.
WR Julio Jones (ATL, $8,700) appears to be in the best situation of the elite WRs. Jones is at home to face the Jets defense which has given up eight passing TDs, tied for sixth worst. Jones has underperformed for most of the year, but is coming off his best game. He had nine receptions for 99 yards and a TD against lowly Patriots pass defense on Monday night.
The best approach to WRs Brown, Green, and Jones may be to use one of them per lineup and then save some cash for highly targeted WR in good matchups. If you use RB Joe Mixon, you will likely find that you can afford two of the three. That’s an acceptable play, but understand there is some risk neither gets a TD.
These defenses on the main slate have given up at least seven passing TDs to WRs this season: Chargers (9), Cowboys (8), Patriots (7), 49ers (7), and Buccaneers (7).
Ideally we would like to pick on the Chiefs defense that has allowed 30.09 FPPG, and league high 13 receiving TDs to WRs, both a league high. The Broncos o-line is in shambles. Denver got shut out by the Chargers last week. This game will be played in Kansas City, and it’s easy to imagine Denver struggling again.
The Cowboys play the Redskins who don’t have a discernible number one WR. The Buccaneers play the Panthers who have been wildly inconsistent all year.
The Chargers vs. Patriots game has the promise for a lot of action. However, I have reservations about playing WRs from either team. The Chargers pass rush has been on fire and just shutout the Broncos, so the Bolts defense could again surprise.
WR Keenan Allen (LAC, $7,800) is the Chargers number one WR and is the fifth most targeted WR with a 9.7 targets per game average. Allen only has one TD on the season, so expectations for a great game will be tempered and exposure will just be with a stack with Rivers, if at all.
WR Nelson Agholor (PHI, $6,000) is one WR who appears to be jumping off to page to play. Agholor has four receptions and one TD in each of the last three games. The 49ers have given up seven receiving TDs, an 11th worst 21.57 FPPG to WRs. An Agholor/Wentz stack could be a great play.
WR Michael Thomas (NO, $7,500) is similar to Allen. He is the 10th most target WR with an 9.0 average. He faces the Bears defense which has given up only six passing TDs to WRs this year. Thomas has two TDs. Thomas (knee) has been limited in practice this week, make sure he is active on Sunday morning.
TE Hunter Henry (LAC, $5,500) has a great matchup and consistent play of late provides a safe floor with high upside. Henry has FanDuel scoring range for the four weeks from 8.6 to 11.7 points. Henry played 47 snaps last week, while TE Antonio Gates played just 18. Gates (knee) has been limited this week, so Henry could see even more playing time. The Patriots have given up five TDs to TEs, third worst. They have also allowed a 7th worst 9.51 FPPG to TEs.
TE Jason Witten (DAL, $5,400) will likely be heavily involved in the Dallas offense as the Redskins have given up a league high 519 receiving yards to TEs. Washington has only allowed three TDs to TEs. Witten has a good chance to make value with volume, may be kept out of the end zone.
McLellan’s Week 7 FanDuel Player Pool
Carson Wentz (number one play)
Philip Rivers (check weather Sunday morning)
Melvin Gordon (check weather and make sure Gordon is active)
Keenan Allen (check weather)
Nelson Agholor (great stack with Wentz)
Michael Thomas (decent play, make sure Thomas is active)
Hunter Henry (check weather)
Thank you for taking the time to read my FanDuel NFL Week 8 Picks. Feel free to leave a comment below, voicing your thoughts on this week’s DFS slate and this article.