Collin Hulbert is back to provide you his expert picks and insight as you prepare your DFS lineups for Week 8 of the NFL season.
Week 7 was our worst combined fantasy output on the season. One lineup absolutely fell flat on it’s face as it finished with just 86 points and was dead last in its 50/50 contest, but the other managed to cash (146) after my Twitter update Sunday morning to replace the injured Christian Kirk and the displaced Darrell Henderson (due to Gurley update). I recommended replacing Henderson with Latavius Murray and downgrade elsewhere (which for me, was removing Kupp).
I replaced Kupp with Tate but since I didn’t provide Tate as a replacement like I did with Murray, I won’t count his score. Regardless, our second lineup had both Darren Waller and Latavius Murray, so we made a dramatic cash in that competition where the cash line ended up being 127.
For the season now, we are averaging 148 when the average cash in DraftKings has been just 135, so we’re sitting at 13 points over average, which is funny because that was our differential in FanDuel last season.
DraftKings Lineup Scores for our 2019 season
Week 1: 168
Week 2: 146
Week 3: 185 & 158
Week 4: 142 & 127
Week 5: 182 & 162
Week 6: 160 & 110
Week 7: 146 & 85
Yearly average : 148
Avg 50/50 cash in DraftKings: 135
Week 8 Preview
This week, we are fading the third defense and tight end so we can expand upon the Flex for those of you looking to play a tournament or just looking to fill a slot after going with Saquan or Hopkins or some other high-end player. Quarterback is deep this week, as is the receiver position, due to the spike in variance over the past few weeks among receivers. Tight ends are a position I’m moving away from this week because I believe the matchups for Evan Engram and Hunter Henry are great. Henry, in particular, won’t be competing for targets much as Keenan Allen is likely going to be ruled out this Sunday.
As it is set every week, the prices on DraftKings are listed next to every player in parentheses.
|$100,000 Main Event Final Table Results|
Josh Allen (DK-$6,500)
Josh Allen is about to face one of the best rushing defenses and worst passing defenses in the NFL. This season, Allen is the top graded passer in throws within 20 yards in the NFL. He’s also the lowest graded on balls over 20 yards, so I believe he has a pretty high ceiling this week against a weak Philly secondary in a game where rushing yards will be hard to come by. Allen’s line is 240 passing yards, 1.75 passing touchdowns, but 38 yards rushing with around a 25% chance to score. I’ll take those odds plus tremendous upside in a home game against one of the worst passing defenses in football.
Matt Stafford (DK-$6,100)
Stafford is the safe play this week in a prime matchup against the woeful Giants defense. Yes, it’s true Kerryon will be gone, but I’m going with the belief that Mike Patricia will trust in his quarterback more this week and lean on him to carry the load, rather than his running back tandem of JD McKissic and Ty Johnson. The Giants are very beatable in multiple ways, but I think the Lions will just take the easy road and use Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay until they’re blue in the face. The line on Stafford this week is 290 yards passing and 2.5 touchdowns. Keep in mind, stacking Marvin Jones with Stafford is an extra-cheap play this week, too.
Ryan Tannehill (DK-$5,100)
Seemingly every week now, I’ve given out three quarterback picks and at least one of them has you frowning. Oddly enough, those are the ones that usually work out the best. We know the Bucs plan this week has to be slowing down the Titans’ rushing attack, featuring Derrick Henry. Based on the limited game film they have on Tannehill, the Bucs are hoping they can zero in on the run game and force Tannehill to beat them through the air. It’s such an obvious play, but I like the challenge here. Tannehill is cheap on DraftKings and his receivers are very talented, so I think this should be the likely outcome. His line this week is 245 yards and 2 touchdowns. I think that’s a reasonable floor with a long way to go before the ceiling. Tannehill has a tremendous upside this week.
Saquan Barkley (DK-$8,900)
Saquan has a juicy matchup this week in a game without the likes of Sterling Shephard. We saw the volume a week ago but the production wasn’t near what anyone was hoping for, considering his price. Barkley’s total yardage line is 133 yards and he’s about 60% to score a touchdown. There isn’t another slam dunk like this all week and it’s exactly why he is the highest-priced player on Sunday’s main slate. Start him in every lineup if you can.
Chris Carson (DK-$7,000)
Carson is the safe play this week, if there ever was such a thing. He’s playing a very mediocre run defense and we have all witnessed the Falcons falling apart at the seams. I think it’s reasonable to expect the Seahawks to run the ball early, as they typically do, and if this game snowballs, which all things considered seems reasonable, Carson should easily get over 22 carries in this game.
I think the game will be well in hand by the half and I think the less the Seahawks need to use Russell Wilson, the less they will actually use him. Wilson and the Seahawks are a lot like Cousins and the Vikings in the sense that both coaching staffs prefer to run the ball as much as possible and elect to pass only when the game calls for it. Carson’s line here is 120 yards.
Marlon Mack (DK-$6,100)
Mack is coming off a game in which he amassed just 44 yards on 18 carries against Houston. He’s got a much better matchup this week against a run defense we have seen struggle mightily at times in 2019. Though it’s certainly not the best matchup, I expect the Colts to be in a positive game script for most of the game, so I can see Mack getting a good amount of carries yet again. His line this week is 86 yards, so it’s clear Vegas believes he will get a high volume of work against a susceptible rush defense.
DeAndre Hopkins (DK-$8,100)
Will Fuller is gone for the foreseeable future. Say goodbye to the days of Fuller getting 200 yards and three touchdowns and say hello to the good ol days where Hopkins was getting 12 targets a game and making each one worth the while. It’s true Hopkins’ depth of target has decreased this season, but a lot of that has to do with the Texans wanting Hopkins to help get the ball early and keeping Watson out of the crosshairs of opposing defenses. Hopkins has a line this week of 95 yards, which is certainly feasible, given the matchup and his talent.
Tyler Lockett (DK-$7,000)
Lockett is a play this weekend who should get the majority of his yardage early in the contest. I don’t expect this game to be very close and I could easily see Lockett having a big game, early. His line right now is 85 yards, so it’s clear Vegas believes this game may actually be close for some time. I expect Chris Carson to get the great majority of touches in this game, but there will certainly be plenty of opportunity for Lockett to get his as well.
DJ Chark (DK-$6,000)
It’s no secret the Jets have been a very different team since Sam Darnold returned. With the exception of last week, the Jets knocked off the Cowboys and looked very competent in the game. Don’t let last week fool you. Their pass defense hasn’t been as badly exposed so far this season, mainly due to their competition, but this is the kind of game that may actually stay relatively competitive throughout.
That should mean DJ Chark will be heavily involved from Jacksonville’s end, especially with Dede Westbrook listed as doubtful for the upcoming game. Gardner Minshew has connected with Chark for big plays all season and I expect the two to get back on track this week in what should be a very close game. Chark’s line this week is 76 yards, so he’s offering pretty good upside for the price.
Evan Engram (DK-$5,300)
Engram was straight up ignored a week ago in the Giants loss to Arizona at home. It was perhaps the best matchup any tight end could’ve asked for, as the Cardinals are dead last against tight ends in 2019. However, it ended up being a Rhett Ellison type of day as he was the one to get the big score in last week’s contest and very, very few people actually played him in DFS. Engram’s line this week in a matchup without Sterling Shephard present is 67 yards, which is pretty low, but I think he will be the top target for Daniel Jones this week in this critical game against the Lions.
Hunter Henry (DK-$4,900)
Henry makes his debut in my picks this season and will likely get the nod in both my DFS lineups this week, following the news of Keenan Allen being limited in Sunday’s game. Henry has averaged over 100 yards receiving since returning from his injury in the offseason. It’s likely teams just don’t know how to prepare for Henry because of his athleticism and lack of game tape on him recently. The struggles in the run game and limited work for Keenan Allen means Henry should get another heavy serving of targets. Henry’s line is five receptions and 66 yards, but I believe he’s realistically good for eight receptions and around 80. Get him at great value this week.
Bears D (DK-$3,600)
The Bears have Khalil Mack and the Chargers have a bad offensive line. That’s a recipe for a big week from the Bears defense and I’m all for it. I think the Bears have playmakers on defense, despite last week’s stinker against the Saints. I expected the Saints would win last week so it came as no real surprise to me, but the biggest issue with the Bears this season has been their offense and getting pressure on teams with good offensive lines and moving the ball on the ground.
Obviously, Trubisky is a problem, but the Bears only ran the ball like five or seven times last week because they thought they could exploit the Saints’ secondary. After the game, Matt Nagy said that only an idiot believes he can win a game rushing the ball less than seven times, so in a way, he was calling himself an idiot for that performance. Expect the Bears to attack the Chargers on the ground, where they struggle mightily.
Titans D (DK-$3,200)
I feel like I need to remind people I’m doing pretty well with recommending defenses lately. Last week, the Bills got 11 points and the 49ers pitched a shutout against the Redskins. This week, I’m going with the Titans as my #2 defense solely on the matchup here. The Bucs have been awful against opposing defenses, solely based on the number of sacks and turnovers they surrender.
In their last game, they turned the ball over a half dozen times and had a lot of trouble protecting Winston. This week, the Titans will again have Jeffrey Simmons back, who played a shockingly strong debut last week against the Chargers. If the Titans can get to Winston, they should be able to force a flurry of turnovers, similar to Week One against the Browns and their suspect line and quarterback.
Tevin Coleman (DK-$5,000)
Tevin Coleman seems to be in my picks every week now. Last week wasn’t great for him, but you can blame the weather since DC was being pounded by a monsoon. This week, Coleman gets a favorable matchup against the Panthers, who only really struggle against strong rushing attacks. Coleman’s line is 76 yards and two receptions. He’s very close to Breida’s lin,e but keep in mind, he’s still the slightly preferred back in terms of touches, so he could very easily end up with a big week if he just breaks one. He’s a solid value for the price.
David Montgomery (DK-$4,400)
Don’t be scared off by the negative point production of last week. Last week was purely the Bears being overconfident about their awful quarterback and the lackluster Saints secondary. This week, they’ll get a very favorable matchup against a weak Chargers rushing defense. Montgomery should get a steady diet of carries this week and given the matchup, he’s going to get a lot of volume for the price. Monty’s price this week is just $4,400 and his expected total yardage is around 90 yards. Go ahead and give him the green light.
Corey Davis (DK-$4,400)
Corey Davis is a play you want to utilize if you start Ryan Tannehill. He had a big week last week with Tannehill at quarterback and has an even better matchup this week against one of the worst secondaries in football. Davis’ line this week is only 57 yards, but that’s unusually low for the matchup, especially considering the possibility that the Bucs will likely be able to slow the Titans rushing attack and be able to put up points on the Titans defense. There’s a lot of appeal to starting Davis this week as he could easily be considered a homerun play in a tournament stacked with Tannehill.
Austin Ekeler (DK-$5,900)
Ekeler has only a total yardage line of 75 yards this week but the Bears are averaging a whopping 7.5 receptions to running backs per game on the season, so there’s some upside appeal to this play.
John Brown (DK-$5,900)
John Brown is a good stack for those of you who want to start Josh Allen. Brown’s line is around 65 yards this week so he’s worth it if you’re like me and believe the Eagles’ secondary is as bad as I do.
Marvin Jones (DK-$5,800)
We saw Jones’ appeal last week as he had a career game with four touchdowns. With the Giants focused on Kenny Golladay, Jones should be good to see more action in this one. Stack him with Stafford this week.
Kenny Stills (DK-$4,700)
Stills is purely a homerun play for tournaments but I’m going to roll the dice with him this week, seeing what the Packers and their receivers were able to do a week ago. For the price, Stills is a good value for his projected total of 66 yards.
Collin is a former Army Intelligence and Logistics officer who got a little too into Football analysis. Since leaving the Army, he’s practically the Jack Ryan of football analysts. But he spends most of his days with his wife and two daughters, so he is clearly a better father than Jack Ryan.
Follow Collin on Twitter @CollinHulbert