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Daily Fantasy League Breakdown – Week 8

Tavon Austin - Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Daily Fantasy League Breakdown – Week 8
CPGM Juice

I’m getting closer. I can feel it. Hopefully I win the million before the Feds scrap the Daily Fantasy League websites. In the mean time let’s continue to mind for DFS gold with the unlikeliest of options. Clive Walford anyone? Perhaps…

Daily Fantasy League Breakdown – Week 8

Daily Fantasy League advice.

Quarterbacks

  • After a slow start to his sophomore campaign, Teddy Bridgewater ($6,900/$5,100) has really started to display the promise we saw from him during the final stretch of 2014 NFL season. It’s no coincidence that Bridgewater’s improved play over the last few weeks coincides with the emergence of rookie wideout, Stefon Diggs. Since Diggs has became a integral part of the Vikings’ offense, Bridgewater has enjoyed spikes in practically every statistical category. Over the first 3 games without Diggs, Bridgewater averaged 17 completions per game, 168 yards per game and only managed a paltry 1:2 TD:INT ratio. In the 3 games Bridgewater has had Diggs at his disposal, Teddy has averaged 23 completions per game, 278 yards per game and has accrued a respectable 4:2 TD:INT ratio. The knock on Bridgewater since his catastrophic Pro Day has been his inability to throw the football with authority and deliver the deep ball with accuracy. With Diggs emerging as Bridgewater’s “go to” receiver Teddy is throwing the ball downfield with more confidence and authority as evidenced by his increased yardage totals. Additionally, Diggs gives Bridgewater more room for error when going deep (see Diggs’ diving TD grab in Week 7). You may recall I recommended a struggling Matthew Stafford in Week 6 against the Chicago Bears and their awful pass defense, which resulted in a 4 TD performance and over 400 yards passing. Well, the Bears haven’t improved against the pass and the only team in the NFL that has allowed more TD passes than the Bears (15) is the Houston Texans (16). Not to mention only the Dallas Cowboys (2) have fewer interceptions than the Chicago Bears (3). Don’t hesitate to start Bridgewater in DFS this week. The one thing Bridgewater hasn’t done as of yet is put together a complete game or four good quarters. For that reason I think many will steer clear of Teddy. However, at that price, against this opponent, and armed with Stefon Diggs I believe Teddy could be a steal in Week 8.

Running Backs

  • The 2015 season was supposed to mark Jonathan Stewart’s ($6,600/$4,100) liberation. No longer would the talented albeit oft-injured running back have to play in the shadow of DeAngelo Williams and with a lack of weapons on the outside for Cam Newton, many including myself figured that Stewart would be the focal point of Carolina’s offense. Not so fast… Through the first 3 games of the season Stewart played through lingering injuries and was used sparingly never exceeding 18 carries and only mustering a pedestrian 3.5 yards per carry and zero touchdowns. However, over the last 3 contests Stewart has come alive. Jonathan has managed a very healthy 4.7 yards per carry and has reached pay dirt twice. Stewart is coming of his best rushing performance last week against the Philadelphia Eagles’ stingy run defense (24/125) but unfortunately had a couple of TDs vultured by short yardage back Mike Tolbert. Entering that contest the Eagles had only allowed 1 rushing TD on the season so last week’s performance is a testament to the Panthers’ rushing attack as a whole. On Monday night, Stewart should find comparable success against the 25th ranked rush defense in the Indianapolis Colts who have surrendered a whopping 8 rushing TDs thus far, ranked 29th in the NFL. I expect most DFS owners/players to focus on the 1 p.m. kickoff games and the likes of Chris Johnson and Justin Forsett as they have incredibly favorable matchups respectively. Why don’t you invest in Stewart as a high floor bargain on Monday night and work against the grain. I think the yardage will be there and that he’s good for at least 1 TD in Week 8.

Wide Receivers

  • To be frank, Tavon Austin ($5,300/$4,600) has been a huge disappointment since being selected 8th overall in 2013 NFL Draft. He was a reach, there’s no other way to put it. Diminutive, lack of polish, unimaginative play-calling and questionable quarterback play have all contributed to his lack of production as a receiver throughout his young career. However, when Austin is on that fast-track turf in St. Louis and when he sees a divisional opponent across the line of scrimmage Tavon shows flashes as to why the Rams selected him so early. Austin actually has 4 total TDs this season (3 receiving). Three of his four touchdowns have come against divisional opponents. Austin’s 3 receiving TDs put him at 7 for his career so he is actually enjoying his best season as a receiver albeit in boom or bust fashion. If you’re in a (full point) PPR league you can find better value than Austin. However, in standard or half point PPR leagues Austin’s big play ability in both the pass and return games makes for an intriguing and under the radar DFS option in Week 8. Not to mention his opponent is the ‘least’ of the NFC West, the San Francisco 49ers. I expect San Fran to punt early and often which means punt return opportunities and offensive possessions a plenty for Austin and the Rams.

Tight Ends

  • At the tight end position I like Ben Watson ($5,400/$3,500) this week. Outside of his (10/127/1) outburst against Atlanta Watson has been rather quiet. He’s losing red-zone looks to backup tight end Josh Hill and Willie Snead continues to dominate targets from Drew Brees. However, the Giants  have been susceptible to strong performances from opposing tight ends (Jordan Reed, Jason Witten, Charles Clay) as teams haven’t had a lot of success outside the numbers against Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Prince Amukumara. The Giants’ safeties are liabilities in coverage and their linebackers are nothing to write home about. Despite advanced age in terms of football, Watson is still one of the most athletic tight ends in the game. He’s also developed into an every-down tight end by becoming a better run blocker which means additional opportunities in the  passing game particularly between the 20s. He will present a matchup nightmare for the Giants and should provide good under the radar DFS value for the shrewd DFS owner/player.

Defenses

  • Give me the Carolina Panthers ($4,800/$3,200). The Colts have an abundance of offensive talent but until Andrew Luck demonstrates some patience and takes what the defense gives him from time-to-time I will take the fast and physical Panthers defense and book a couple of takeaways. I believe most DFS owners/players will see the matchup and the price and look elsewhere (Rams vs 49ers; Cardinals vs Browns) so in the interest of avoiding the crowd I will take the 7th ranked total defense on Monday night.

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