We have reached the midway point of the NFL season. Week 8 closes out the second quarter of the season with eight weeks left of good football. I don’t include Week 17 because let’s be honest, there are probable 3-4 games at best that week where teams are playing for something. The rest of the league is either limiting or resting players.
Last week was a tough week and probably the worst week of the season for chalk plays. Several high-owned players destroyed lineups such as Ezekiel Elliot and the big zero from Jermaine Kearse. Those that played a contrarian lineup did well to dodge most of the landmines.
This was another week where we saw heavy ownership on two players as compared to the rest of the field. Jared Goff and Baker Mayfield were 12-13 percent owned across tournaments. While Mayfield finished with a decent 20.9 DraftKings (DK) points, Goff was a victim of a Todd Gurley three touchdown day. The third-highest owned quarterback was C.J. Beathard, who scored just 9.1 DK points. Even though he was one of the cheapest quarterbacks he was still one of the biggest busts on the slate. Mitchell Trubisky once again was one of the best value plays as he scored the 36.42 DK points to lead the position. Over his last three games he has averaged 38 DK points per game.
Dollar Per Point (DPP) Value Plays
C.J. Beathard (DK: $4,900/$306 DPP — FD: $7,300/$465 DPP)
Beathard was a chalky low-priced option last week but he came up short, only scoring 9.1 as he failed to throw for two scores for the first time this year. Most rosters this week will have Patrick Mahomes and after last weeks performance I expect his Guaranteed Prize Pool (GPP) ownership to be less than 5 percent. He just faced this team a few weeks ago and in that game he posted 27.66 DK points. It was his highest output of the season. I like the price and lower ownership as a GPP pivot to fit in Todd Gurley and Kareem Hunt.
Kirk Cousins (DK: $5,900/$246 DPP — FD: $8,300/$395 DPP)
Cousins is in a great matchup this week in a game that is going to matter for playoff seeding later down the road. He faces New Orleans, which have allowed the second-highest fantasy points to the position at 25.3 points per game. Cousins will go overlooked as people will have quarterbacks such as Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger. This game can shoot out as the implied total is at 52. Cousins has 296 passing yards or more in four games this season so I like him to go for more than 300 yards this week.
Paying up for Todd Gurley was a very popular move as he was the chalkiest play of the year at 60 percent ownership. This week he is priced the same on Draftkings and could have just as high of an ownership if the value is there. One of the reasons Gurley was so high owned was the trade involving Carlos Hyde to Jacksonville. This opened up Nick Chubb as the value play of the slate. He was the second-highest owned running back at 31 percent and scored a decent 16 DK points. Biggest bust on the slate was Ezekiel Elliot, who was 28 percent owned and finished with 6.2 DK points. Another player who busted because of injury was LeSean McCoy, who left the game with just 0.1 DK points and was 10 percent owned. The best value play was Marlon Mack, who scored 34.9 DK points which was the most for the position on the slate and he was priced at just $4,400.
DPP Value Plays
Adrian Peterson (DK: $4,900/$445 DPP — FD: $7,000/$700 DPP)
The New York Giants have decided to start the rebuilding process by trading away Eli Apple and Damon Harris, who was a Top-5 run-stopper. They also will be without Alec Ogleltree at linebacker. That’s three missing pieces for a run defense that already ranks 20th in run defense entering this game, allowing 186 rushing yards per game with six touchdowns yielded this season. The beauty of Peterson’s price is that he hasn’t triggered the 100-yard bonus on DK which would affect the pricing algorithm. He has 96-plus rushing yards in four games this season so I expect him to put up more than 100 yards easy.
Raheem Mostert (DK: $3,800/$382 DPP — FD: $5,600/$509 DPP)
Monstert took over for Matt Breida after Brieda left with an ankle injury. He’s run well the last two weeks so if he can get the start it will be a good spot for him this week. He will face the Arizona defense that allows the highest amount of points to the position at 34.2 per game. Arizona has allowed more than 100 yards in all but one game this year. Arizona has also allowed 12 rushing touchdowns this season which is the most in the NFL. Keep an eye on the news because Matt Breida has been active for games we had expected him to miss.