DFS Week 8: By the Numbers

Each week I will bring you information, statistics, and facts that I find helpful in picking the players that I will be targeting on the NFL main slate (Sunday afternoon games). Unless otherwise noted, the points, salaries, and advice are primarily focused on DraftKings. Remember that there is a lot of variance in the NFL from week to week so have a solid process, stay within your bankroll, and have fun.

Favorite DFS Stud

Christian McCaffrey, RB (CAR): $9,200 @ SF – I don’t care about the matchup or the price, I am not going to fade CMac, which is essentially what I’d be doing if he wasn’t listed here. Yes, the 49ers are good but here is the list of the RBs they’ve faced this year: Peyton Barber, Joe Mixon, James Conner, Nick Chubb, Malcolm Brown, and Adrian Peterson. Chubb is the only one that is relevant in 2019.

McCaffrey is a stud in every sense. The fewest touches he has seen was 22 way back in week two (averaging 27/game). He has scored nine touchdowns in only six games. I will find value to jam him in. Sure, he could fail but when I see the likely possible outcomes, a fail for him would be 18-20 DKFP. I will gladly pay this price for a “guaranteed” floor and a slate-breaking ceiling. Nobody else gets you this floor.

Favorite DFS Core Play

Matthew Stafford, QB (DET): $6,100 vs. NYG – I rarely consider a QB as a core play but I really like Stafford’s situation this week and don’t foresee me playing someone different in cash games. Kerryon Johnson is out so the Lions should rely on the pass game even more. Stafford is coming off a 364-yard, four touchdown performance against a tough Vikings defense and this week gets a Giants’ defense that tends to struggle against the pass. Only the Dolphins give up more passing yards per attempt than the Giants’ 8.92. Last week was his second 30+ DKFP performance of the season. Certainly, anything can happen in DFS, but I am going to bet on the likeliest scenarios typically and in this game, Stafford should connect early and often with his receiving weapons.

Favorite DFS Value

Austin Ekeler, RB (LAC): $5,900 @ CHI – This is a risky play given the low total in this game (41.0 o/u) and the fact that Melvin Gordon has been stealing carries. After seven weeks, Ekeler still has a very high fantasy average (23.7 DKFP) as he trails only Christian McCaffrey (31.7) and Dalvin Cook (26.5). Yet, he is priced as the 13th most-expensive RB. I know all of the reasons why this is, but he has still earned 20+ DKFP in two of the three games since Gordon has been back. He isn’t the same RB he was the first four weeks of the season, but he is still producing at a high level.

Ekeler is getting overlooked because of perception, not reality. He might not be doing much on the ground but think of him as a top-tier WR at a $5,900 price tag as he has seen 28 targets the last three games. Speaking of perception, the Bears are not the defense that we have grown accustomed to. They are sixth-worst in RB fantasy average (28.9) and only three teams have allowed more receptions to RBs, which correlates nicely with Ekeler.

Favorite DFS Punt Play

DaeSean Hamilton, WR (DEN): $3,300 @ IND – Emmanuel Sanders was traded this week opening up plenty of opportunity for Hamilton to finally show out. In the last four games of the 2018 season, Hamilton averaged 6.2 catches on 9.5 targets when Sanders was sidelined. This shows us the kind of usage that Hamilton can get so we aren’t completely speculating (though it was a different head coach). So far this season, he has been targeted 22 times in his five games. He doesn’t have to do much to return value in this game. The Colts are good against the deep ball, but they have still given up 100-yard games to five different WRs in their six games this year.

Six-Pack of Interesting Facts

  1. Michael Thomas not only leads the NFL in targets with 11.1 per game but he has more than double that of the second leading receiver on his team. Thomas has 78 targets and Alvin Kamara has 39. This despite having two different QBs throwing him the ball this year.
  2. Christmas came early for Mohamed Sanu as he and his 14.4% target share were traded this week to the Patriots. This might open things up for Calvin Ridley. In the five games that Ridley has been targeted at least eight times in his career (according to Rotoworld’s Ian Hartitz), he has averaged seven catches for 100 yards. He has scored seven touchdowns in those five games.
  3. Michael Thomas and John Brown are the only players with at least 50 receiving yards in each one of their team’s games this season.
  4. Bears RB Tarik Cohen caught nine of his 12 targets last week … for 19 yards. Do with that what you will.
  5. The New England Patriots DST has scored three defensive TDs, two return TDs, and one safety for a total of 32 points. They have allowed only 30 points this year.
  6. In the last three games, Gerald Everett has led all TEs in targets (26) and air yards (240). He has also seen a team-high 30% air yards share. If he was a WR, he would have ranked 19th in receiving yards (195).  *Stats according to Rotoworld’s John Daigle.

Top Scoring DFS Players (Week 7)

  • Aaron Rodgers, QB (GB): 46.7
  • Marvin Jones, WR (DET): 43.3
  • Chase Edmonds, RB (ARI): 38.0
  • Latavius Murray, RB (NO): 35.0
  • Darren Waller, TE (OAK): 34.6
  • Matthew Stafford, QB (DET): 32.5
  • Kirk Cousins, QB (MIN): 32.2
  • Jacoby Brissett, QB (IND): 31.6
  • Zach Pascal, WR (IND): 31.6
  • Dalvin Cook, RB (MIN): 30.9

Top Scoring DFS Players (Season by Position)

  • Lamar Jackson, QB (BAL): 27.5
  • Christian McCaffrey, RB (CAR): 31.7
  • Dalvin Cook, RB (MIN): 26.5
  • Austin Ekeler, RB-flex (LAC): 23.7
  • Chris Godwin, WR (TB): 26.2
  • Michael Thomas, WR (NO): 23.6
  • Cooper Kupp, WR (LAR): 20.7
  • Hunter Henry, TE (LAC): 19.6
  • New England Patriots DST: 21.7

Highest Owned DFS Players (Week 7 Milly Maker)

  • Leonard Fournette, RB (JAC): 48.5% (19.5 pts)
  • T.Y. Hilton, WR (IND): 35.1% (19.4 pts)
  • Cooper Kupp, WR (LAR): 32.7% (11.0 pts)
  • Josh Jacobs, RB (OAK): 27.7% (19.4 pts)
  • Dalvin Cook, RB (MIN): 25.8% (30.9 pts)
  • Hunter Henry, TE (LAC): 22.8% (15.7 pts)
  • Mark Andrews, TE (BAL): 21.6% (5.9 pts)
  • San Francisco 49ers DST: 18.1% (4.4 pts)
  • Jared Goff, QB (LAR): 18.0% (25.0 pts)
  • Austin Hooper, TE (ATL): 16.9% (14.6 pts)

RB Total Touches (Week 7)

  • Latavius Murray (NO): 32
  • Leonard Fournette (JAC): 31
  • Chase Edmonds (ARI): 29
  • Ezekiel Elliott (DAL): 28
  • Dalvin Cook (MIN): 26
  • Chris Carson (SEA): 24
  • Josh Jacobs (OAK): 24
  • Derrick Henry (TEN): 23
  • Tevin Coleman (SF): 22
  • Marlon Mack (IND): 21
  • Saquon Barkley (NYG): 21

RB Total Touches (Season Avg.)

  • Christian McCaffrey (CAR): 27.0
  • Leonard Fournette (JAC): 24.6
  • Chris Carson (SEA): 23.0
  • Ezekiel Elliott (DAL): 22.7
  • Dalvin Cook (MIN): 22.4
  • Nick Chubb (CLE): 22.3
  • Marlon Mack (IND): 21.5
  • Le’Veon Bell (NYJ): 21.5
  • Derrick Henry (TEN): 20.3
  • Alvin Kamara (NO): 19.8

Target Leaders (Week 7)

  • Allen Robinson (CHI): 16
  • Alex Erickson (CIN): 14
  • Tyler Boyd (CIN): 14
  • Marvin Jones (DET): 13
  • DeAndre Hopkins (HOU): 12
  • Julian Edelman (NE): 12
  • Tarik Cohen (CHI): 12
  • Danny Amendola (DET): 11
  • Golden Tate (NYG): 11
  • Keenan Allen (LAC): 11
  • Michael Thomas (NO): 11
  • T.Y. Hilton (IND): 11

Target Leaders (Season Avg.)

  • Michael Thomas (NO): 11.1
  • Cooper Kupp (LAR): 11.0
  • Tyler Boyd (CIN): 10.4
  • Keenan Allen (LAC): 10.0
  • Allen Robinson (CHI): 9.8
  • Julian Edelman (NE): 9.7
  • DeAndre Hopkins (HOU): 9.7
  • Mike Evans (TB): 9.2
  • Christian Kirk (ARI): 9.0
  • Davante Adams (GB): 9.0
  • Odell Beckham (CLE): 9.0
  • Chris Godwin (TB): 9.0

RB Red Zone Target Leaders (Season Totals)

  • James White (NE): 12
  • Austin Ekeler (LAC): 7
  • Aaron Jones (GB): 6
  • Damien Williams (KC): 6
  • Le’Veon Bell (NYJ): 6
  • Alvin Kamara (NO): 5
  • Duke Johnson (HOU): 5
  • Leonard Fournette (JAC): 5

Red Zone Touches (Season Totals)

  • Ezekiel Elliott (DAL): 38
  • Leonard Fournette (JAC): 31
  • Christian McCaffrey (CAR): 26
  • Sony Michel (NE): 25
  • Dalvin Cook (MIN): 23
  • Chris Carson (SEA): 23
  • Josh Jacobs (OAK): 22
  • Todd Gurley (LAR): 22
  • Aaron Jones (GB): 22
  • Mark Ingram (BAL): 21

Week 7 DFS DK Milly Maker Lineup

Week 7 DFS FD Sunday Millions Lineup

Highest Projected Scoring Game

  • Seattle Seahawks @ Atlanta FAlacons (53.0 o/u)
  • Oakland Raiders @ Houston Texans (51.5 o/u)
  • New York Giants @ Detroit Lions (50.0 o/u)

Lowest Projected Scoring Games

  • New York Jets @ Jacksonville Jaguars (40.5 o/u)
  • Los Angeles Chargers @ Chicago Bears (41.0 o/u)
  • Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts (42.0 o/u)

Home Favorite (4 points or more) Workhorse Running Backs

  • Todd Gurley (LAR): $7,400 vs. CIN (13 points)
  • Sony Michel (NE): $5,200 vs. CLE (13 points)
  • Leonard Fournette (JAC): $7,800 vs. NYJ (6 points)
  • Marlon Mack (IND): $6,100 vs. DEN (6 points)

Quarterbacks w/Implied Team Totals of 26+

  • Jared Goff (LAR): $6,800 vs. CIN (30.5 points)
  • Russell Wilson (SEA): $7,200 @ ATL (30.0 points)
  • Tom Brady (NE): $6,600 vs. CLE (29.25 points)
  • Deshaun Watson (HOU): $7,100 vs. OAK (29.25 points)
  • Drew Brees (NO): $6,200 vs. ARI (29.0 points)
  • Matthew Stafford (DET): $6,100 vs. NYG (28.5 points)

Highest Projected DFS Ownership (by position)

  • Deshaun Watson, QB (HOU): $7,100 vs. OAK (14-17%)
  • Ty Johnson, RB (DET): $4,900 vs. NYG (28-31%)
  • Chase Edmonds, RB (ARI): $6,200 @ NO (26-29%)
  • Kenny Stills, WR (HOU): $4,700 vs. OAK (24-27%)
  • Michael Thomas, WR (NO): $8,000 vs. ARI (20-23%)
  • DeAndre Hopkins, WR (HOU): $8,100 vs. OAK (18-21%)
  • Darren Waller, TE (OAK): $5,900 @ HOU (17-19%)
  • Chris Carson, RB-FLEX (SEA): $6,200 @ ATL (24-27%)
  • New England Patriots DST: $4,300 vs. CLE (16-19%)

Over-Priced DK Plays (price vs. DKFP average)

  • Jared Goff 18th scoring (17.8) vs. 3rd price ($6,800)
  • Josh Allen 16th scoring (18.8) vs. 5th price ($6,500)
  • Todd Gurley 17th scoring (14.9) vs. 5th price ($7,400)
  • Melvin Gordon 45th scoring (8.5) vs. 20th price ($5,400)
  • Joe Mixon 42nd scoring (8.9) vs. 31st price ($4,600)
  • Tyler Lockett 18th scoring (16.8) vs. 6th price ($7,000)
  • Julian Edelman 19th scoring (16.7) vs. 7th price ($6,900)
  • Odell Beckham 33rd scoring (14.3) vs. 9th price ($6,500)
  • Kenny Golladay 25th scoring (16.6) vs. 11th price ($6,400)
  • Robert Woods 38th scoring (13.6) vs. 12th price ($6,300)
  • D.K. Metcalf 58th scoring (10.0) vs. 31st price ($5,000)
  • DeAndre Hopkins 11th scoring (17.8) vs. 1st price ($8,100)

Under-Priced DK Plays (price vs. DKFP average)

  • Matt Ryan 9th price ($6,000) vs. 4th scoring (24.2)
  • Austin Ekeler 13th price ($5,900) vs. 3rd scoring (23.7)
  • Frank Gore 43rd price ($4,000) vs. 30th scoring (10.9)
  • Chris Godwin 5thprice ($7,100) vs. 1st scoring (26.2)
  • Hunter Henry 6th price scoring ($4,900) vs. 1st scoring (19.6)
  • Allen Robinson 16th price ($6,000) vs. 8th scoring (18.1)
  • Carolina Panthers 16th price ($2,400) vs. 3rd scoring (12.0)

DraftKings Values (vs. FD price)

  • Alex Erickson, WR (CIN): 62nd DK ($3,700) vs. 42nd FD ($5,500)
  • Danny Amendola, WR (DET): 47th DK ($4,100) vs. 30th FD ($5,800)
  • Mike Williams, WR (LAC): 52nd DK ($4,000) vs. 35th FD ($5,700)
  • D.K. Metcalf, WR (SEA): 31st DK ($5,000) vs. 18th FD ($6,600)
  • Jarvis Landry, WR (CLE): 34th DK ($4,800) vs. 20th FD ($6,400)
  • Frank Gore, RB (BUF): 43rd DK ($4,000) vs. 30th FD ($5,600)
  • Alshon Jeffery, WR (PHI): 29th DK ($5,200) vs. 17th FD ($6,600)
  • T.Y. Hilton, WR (IND): 14th DK ($6,100) vs. 6th FD ($7,600)
  • Sony Michel, RB (NE): 22nd DK ($5,200) vs. 15th FD ($6,500)
  • Josh Jacobs, RB (OAK): 15th DK ($5,800) vs. 8th FD ($7,200)
  • Hunter Henry, TE (LAC): 6th DK ($4,900) vs. 3rd FD ($6,700)

FanDuel Values (vs. DK price)

  • Calvin Ridley, WR (ATL): 48th FD ($5,400) vs. 22nd DK ($5,600)
  • Larry Fitzgerald, WR (ARI): 46th FD ($5,400) vs. 24th DK ($5,400)
  • Ty Johnson, RB (DET): 41st FD ($5,200) vs. 25th DK ($4,900)
  • John Brown, WR (BUF): 28th FD ($5,900) vs. 18th DK ($5,900)
  • Matt Breida, RB (SF): 40th FD ($5,300) vs. 26th DK ($4,800)
  • Chase Freeman, RB (ATL): 23rd FD ($6,100) vs. 10th DK ($6,200)
  • D.J. Moore, WR (CAR): 44th FD ($5,500) vs. 33rd DK ($4,900)
  • Julian Edelman, WR (NE): 16th FD ($6,600) vs. 7th DK ($6,900)
  • Golden Tate, WR (NYG): 26th FD ($6,100) vs. 19th DK ($5,800)
  • Tyler Boyd, WR (CIN): 40th FD ($5,600) vs. 30th DK ($5,100)
  • Daniel Jones, QB (NYG): 20th FD ($7,000) vs. 12th DK ($5,800)
  • Gardner Minshew, QB (JAC): 24th FD ($6,900) vs. 17th DK ($5,500)

Notable DK Salary Increases

  • Chase Edmonds, RB (ARI): $6,200 @ NO (+1,500)
  • Darren Waller, TE (OAK): $5,900 @ HOU (+1,200)
  • Ty Johnson, RB (DET): $4,900 vs. NYG (+1,100)
  • Todd Gurley, RB (LAR): $7,400 vs. CIN (+1,000)
  • Le’Veon Bell, RB (NYJ): $6,900 @ JAC (+900)
  • Hunter Henry, TE (LAC): $4,900 @ CHI (+900)
  • Matthew Stafford, QB (DET): $6,100 vs. NYG (+900)
  • Leonard Fournette, RB (JAC): $7,800 vs. NYJ (+800)
  • Josh Jacobs, RB (OAK): $5,800 @ HOU (+800)
  • Marvin Jones, WR (DET): $5,800 vs. NYG (+800)

Notable DK Salary Decreases

  • David Johnson, RB (ARI): $6,400 @ NO (-1,400)
  • Frank Gore, RB (BUF): $4,000 vs. PHI (-1,200)
  • Evan Engram, TE (NYG): $5,300 @ DET (-1,200)
  • Devin Singletary, RB (BUF): $4,400 vs. PHI (-1,000)
  • Larry Fitzgerald, WR (ARI): $5,400 @ NO (-700)
  • Alshon Jeffery, WR (PHI): $5,200 @ BUF (-700)

Favorite DFS Plays 4.5K and Under

  • Corey Davis, WR (TEN): $4,400 vs. TB
  • Devin Singletary, RB (BUF): $4,400 vs. PHI
  • Zach Pascal, WR (IND): $4,300 vs. IND
  • A.J. Brown, WR (TEN): $4,100 vs. TB
  • Mike Williams, WR (LAC): $4,000 @ CHI
  • Alex Erickson, WR (CIN): $3,700 @ LAR
  • DaeSean Hamilton, WR (DEN): $3,300 @ IND
  • Jacob Hollister, TE (SEA): $2,900 @ ATL

Princess Leia DFS Lineup of the Week

I was 7 years old and Leia was not only a Princess but a goddess. She was my first crush. I fell madly in love with her at first sight. She was beautiful and could work a laser blaster as well as anyone in the galaxy. I was in love with Princess Leia BUT I didn’t end up marrying her. On first look, she was the love of my life but later I realized someone else was the real love of my life.

On Sunday nights, I always make out an early cash game lineup that is based on finding the best balance of players that give the lineup a solid floor but with upside. This lineup is usually put together without doing extensive research. Typically, I love my first lineup that I create but don’t end up using it completely in my cash games (which I won at a 60% clip last year and at an 79% clip so far this year after four weeks, btw, #humblebrag).  Here was my early lineup this week that I also probably won’t end up marrying.

  • Matt Stafford, QB  (DET): $6,100 vs. NYG
  • Austin Ekeler, RB (LAC): $5,900 @ CHI
  • Latavius Murray, RB (NO): $5,800 vs. ARI
  • Mike Evans, WR (TB): $6,600 @ TEN
  • Kenny Golladay, WR (DET): $6,400 vs. NYG
  • Allen Robinson, WR (CHI): $6,000 vs. LAC
  • Hunter Hentry, TE (LAC): $4,900 @ CHI
  • Josh Jacobs, RB (OAK): $5,800 @ HOU
  • Carolina Panthers DST: $2,400 @ SF

Jamy Bechler writes a weekly article for Couch Potato GM and is a regular contributor to FantasyPros for NBA, NFL, and PGA. You can follow him on his DFS twitter @WinningDFS101. When he is not playing DFS, Jamy is an author, host of the “Success is a Choice” podcast, and a leadership consultant, working with businesses and teams across the country (including the NBA). Even though he offers his advice on players and contests, after additional information and consideration, he may end up using different players and strategies than what he recommended in this article.