Week 8 is considered the midway point of the NFL season and what an injury riddled season it has been. This week, in addition to the injuries, we have a small nine game main slate due to a game in London between the Vikings and Browns and six teams off on a bye week. So far the games in London have been completely lopsided with the winners outscoring the losers 99-7. One touchdown and two straight shut outs make the bad Thursday night games feel like a playoff game. The Browns plan to go back to Deshone Kizer on the other side of the pond against the 5-2 Vikings. Which looks to be another unwatchable disaster.
With the main slate cut down to nine games, we miss out on the Steelers vs. Lions so out goes Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Monday’s game features the Broncos and Chiefs which removes Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce and the leading quarterback on DK for points per game, Alex Smith. Yes Alex Smith is the top fantasy quarterback through 7 weeks with 23.32 points per game.
Last week we had a mix of great performances from players such as Dak Prescott, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson who all put up 24 or more DK points. The ones that were a bust were the ones I was all over. Cam Newton, Marcus Mariota and the injured Carson Palmer killed all of my lineups. Josh McCown continues to be the top value play each week. He has met or exceeded value over the last 3 weeks and his price has been well below $6,000 all year. As mentioned, my recommend of Mariota was a dud as he finished with only 8.92 DK points. Tyrod Taylor though finished with 20.02 DK points. The best values were C.J. Beathard who scored 16.4 DK points at $4,900 and Blake Bortles who scored 20.3 DK points and was the cheapest starting quarterback at just $4,700.
$DPP Value Plays
Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (DK: $6,400/$246 DPP — FD: $7,800/$339 DPP)
The Cowboys and Redskins will battle it out this week for second place in the division and have the highest team total on the board with 50.5 and Dallas is favored by less than a field goal. That’s a game that will garner some heavy ownership but you can look at the Redskins side for discounted players. Last week Cousins threw for 303 yards and three touchdowns for 27.92 DK points. Because this game was on a Monday night his salary remains the same. Cousins has been over 20 fantasy points for the last four weeks, throwing for multiple touchdowns in each game and has three 300+ passing yard games during that span.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (DK: $5,700/$317 DPP — FD: $7,600/$422 DPP)
Dalton has been a big disappointment this season having only one game this year over 20+ fantasy points. Since that big game against the Browns he has an 18.32 DK point game and a 12.4 DK point effort that he managed his least amount of passing yards on the season with only 140 yards. Now the Bengals offense can’t be this bad and Dalton has got to be a better quarterback than this. He needs just 17.1 points this week to make value. He faces a Colts defense that has allowed 22 DK points a game and has given up 295 passing yards or more in four straight games.
It was a good week for the Top-4 running backs as Le’Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley and LeSean McCoy each scored 25+ DK points. Elliott led all scorers with 43.9 DK points. C.J. Anderson and Melvin Gordon were the top higher priced bust. The highest owned player was Chris Ivory who started for the injured Leonard Fournette. He was 47.6% owned on average and scored just 9.7 DK points. He was outscored by teammate T.J. Yeldon who went .08% owned in tournaments. It just goes to show that you should always hedge a stack with each backup running back if a starter is out. After a monster game where he was low owned and close to min salary, Adrian Peterson‘s salary shot up to $5,800 and he was 15% owned on average. He finished with just 4.3 DK points though Carson Palmer‘s injury and the game score played a big role in Peterson having a quiet day.
$DPP Value Plays
Bilal Powell, New York Jets (DK: $4,800/$320 DPP — FD: $6,100/$469 DPP)
I see a lot of people higher on Matt Forte this week but Powell is the better running back at this stage of Forte’s career and should out perform him this week. Powell should be healthy and can do damage to the Falcons defense that is allowing 27 DK points per game to the position. The Falcons last week gave up 76 rushing yards to Dion Lewis while allowing James White to catch 5 passes including one for a touchdown. The 27 points per game is surprising because they have only allowed two rushing touchdowns on the season.
Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals (DK: $4,700/$392 DPP — FD: $5,900/$536 DPP)
Mixon was a big preseason sleeper who people targeted in drafts but hasn’t made the impact as expected. His breakout game is coming and when it does, you will want to play him at a discounted price. This week he faces the Colts who are worse on run defense than they are against the pass. They rank 2nd in DK points allowed to the position with 29.5. Here are a list of top running backs over the past five weeks that have produced against this defense. T.J. Yeldon who we talked about, Derrick Henry, Matt Breida, J.D. McKissic and Duke Johnson. These players were nothing more than a flex play. Mixon needs 14.1 DK points to hit value. Something he has failed to do this year, which makes him a big boom-or-bust play for tournaments.