Week 7’s bye-week bonanza was my best cash lineup slate of the season – go figure. Cashing in 90% of 50/50s is a massive boost as we head into Week 8.
There are zero teams on a bye, which means a plethora of choices for Sunday’s main slate. We also have a much more intriguing lid-lifter on Thursday night, especially compared to Week 8’s finale.
Reminder: Use the Table of Contents to the right to navigate each section of the weekly DFS article easily.
Thursday Night Football DFS: Buccaneers @ Bills
The NFL lines used for TNF are current as of Thursday, Oct. 26, at 10 a.m. ET., courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook:
- Spread: Bills -9
- Total: 43.5 Points
There are a few injuries to monitor ahead of kickoff. The Bills could be without DT Ed Oliver (toe) and are already without Dawson Knox (wrist) and depth TE Quintin Morris (ankle). LB Baylon Spector (hamstring) is not a household name, but the Bills LB room has been decimated by injuries.
Tampa Bay will be without OG Matt Feiler (knee). Baker Mayfield (knee, $9,200 on DraftKings) and Chris Godwin (neck, $7,800) are questionable, but both are expected to play. DT Vita Vea (groin) is a game-time decision, which would be good news for the Buffalo rushing game.
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It’d be nice to see the Bills’ offense play with urgency on a short week. The “Let Josh Allen ($11,800) run around and hope Stefon Diggs ($11,400) is open" offense has led to a couple of disappointing defeats and a loss of offensive identity. Buffalo is 23rd in pace, which is their lowest rank since offensive coordinator Brian Daboll left to become head coach of the Giants.
The absences of Knox and Morris are great for Dalton Kincaid ($5,000), as well as a trio of Bills wideouts. The rookie tight end saw his most targets (8), receptions (8), and receiving yards (75) with limited competition at the position last week. The Bills had been running a lot more two-TE sets, but Week 7 saw a boost in work for Khalil Shakir ($3,200), with Deonte Harty ($,1000) and Trent Sherfield ($400) slotting behind the second-year WR in snaps played.
The running game is a mess and part of why the offense has struggled. James Cook ($8,000) is basically out-touching Latavius Murray ($,4800) 2.5-1, but Murray is scoring 0.09 PPR points per game more than Cook. Murray has two more touches than Cook in the red zone, which is a choice. A Vita Vea-less Bucs defense ($3,600) might be a deciding factor in incorporating either Bills RB.
Tampa is going to have to protect Mayfield and his knee. The former Brown isn’t known for his breakaway speed, but he’s capable of scrambling to extend plays. His ability to do so is why the Buccaneers have a shot in this game.
Godwin and Mike Evans ($10,000) have ideal matchups against a Bills secondary without Tre’Davious White. Buffalo is 14th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to opposing WRs, according to 4for4. That middling number is largely because Buffalo has faced the Jets, Dolphins, Patriots, Raiders, Giants, Jaguars, and Commanders. Not a portfolio of QB supremacy.
Rachaad White ($8,000) may have Week 8 to show he’s the guy now that Chase Edmonds ($200) is active. A quarter of the running work went to Ke’Shawn Vaughn ($600) in Week 7, and he did as well as White.
Favorite Thursday Night DraftKings Showdown Plays
Captain Josh Allen with Two WR/TEs
If Allen continues to scramble and hope for the best, it could mean airing the ball out while running for his life. Picking the right pass catchers to pair with Allen is how you get unique.
Captain Stefon Diggs with Bills DST and Chris Godwin
Diggs is the only WR that has consistently produced, and he ranks in the top 10 for targets, receptions, receiving yards, and TDs. The Bills could fire up the blitz machine to make up for injuries, which would be good news for Godwin, whose aDOT hovers in the area of the Buffalo linebackers.
Captain Mike Evans with Baker Mayfield and Dalton Kincaid
In the words of Evan Silva, Mike Evans was put on this earth to score touchdowns. He is the boom-or-bust pass catcher in the game, but the matchup and his history suggest he could blow up and be the optimal CPT.
Dalton Kincaid with Tyler Bass and Cade Otton
Otton is not going to draw a lot of rostership, and he gets a crack at the Bills on the second level. Buffalo allowed 6/83/1 to New England’s TE trio in Week 7. Otton has the 4th-best PPR points per touch on the Bucs, but he only gets the ball on 4.8% of snaps entering the week.
* Dart Throws/Cheap Options
TE Payne Durham ($200)
In two games played (Weeks 6-7), he has two targets for eight yards. He’s a true dart throw as the Bucs play without a threat for WR3.
RBs Chase Edmonds ($200) and Ke’Shawn Vaughn ($600)
If you’re okay with a potential goose egg, Edmonds allows for better pay-up options without knowing what his role will be.
WR Deven Thompkins ($1,600)
Tampa’s answer for a WR3 has two or more catches in five of six games, but aside from his 4/45/1 and 11 rushing yards in Week 4, he has been a DFS afterthought. If he were priced below $1,000, I’d be a lot more interested.
WR Khalil Shakir ($3,200)
Week 7’s expanded workload could either be an aberration or a sign of his expected workload while the Bills are shorthanded at TE. Shakir has the best matchup if he remains playing in the slot. The Bucs’ slot corner at the moment is UDFA Christian Izien.
* TNF Captain Picks
Stefon Diggs ($17,100)
The $600 savings from having Allen as CPT makes a difference if you avoid a stars-and-scrubs lineup. No other player gets the workload that Diggs will have in this game.
Mike Evans ($15,000)
Evans is averaging seven targets per game, but the median is thrown off by a three-target output. He saw at least eight in every other game and has a receiving floor of 40 yards. That’s much better than his “bust" performance of the past. Wind should not be an issue, even with a breeze in the low double digits expected.
Josh Allen ($17,500)
Quarterbacks with a rushing floor remain in play, but as the top-priced player for this slate, I’m less likely than usual to force in Allen at CPT.
Dalton Kincaid ($7,500)
The rookie has been operating out of the slot, logging 45% of his 159 routes run there. Kincaid should push for some CPT rostership, but until it approaches/exceeds 10% in models, he should make at least one lineup if you play 10-plus.
DFS Sunday Main Slate Week 8
There’s a lot more to consider Week 8 with zero teams on bye.
That includes injuries, with numerous important players having questionable outlooks for this week. Brock Purdy (concussion), Kenneth Walker III (calf), Tyler Lockett (hamstring), Diontae Johnson (hamstring), and Luke Musgrave (ankle) remain the biggest injury concerns for Sunday.
The bye week reprieve will help smooth rostership, especially at QB.
Week 8 Quarterbacks to Target
Jalen Hurts (@ WAS), Lamar Jackson (@ ARI), and Trevor Lawrence (@ PIT)
Lawrence projects for lower rostership due to Pittsburgh’s relentless pass rush, but the signal caller has two top wide receivers, a do-it-all running back, and a tight end that has absorbed catches despite numerous difficult matchups.
Hurts is probably my favorite play since it’ll be contrarian to pay up at QB, and he has all of his offensive weapons at his disposal in a plus-game script.
Week 8 Quarterbacks to Consider
Sam Darnold (vs CIN), Joe Burrow (@ SF), and Sam Howell (vs PHI)
Darnold is the big talking point with Purdy in concussion protocol. Darnold gets to start at home against a Bengals defense that is bottom 10 in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to opposing QBs, WRs, and TEs, according to 4for4.
Howell is a low-cost pivot at home. He has double-digit rushing yards in six of seven games, which helps offset some of his questionable throws.
Week 8 Running Backs to Target
Breece Hall (@ NYG), Tony Pollard (vs LAR), and Travis Etienne Jr. (@ PIT)
Pollard’s workload will fluctuate based on game script, as he doesn’t play as much in blowout win/loss situations. It’s when games are within two scores that he sees 20 total touches in games.
L.A. is willing to let RBs catch the ball if it means slowing the run game (5.21 yards per reception, 4.22 yards per carry to RBs).
Week 8 Running Backs to Consider
Alvin Kamara (@ IND), Isiah Pacheco (@ DEN), and Jonathan Taylor (vs NO)
Despite only a 34/32 touch split lead over Zack Moss, Taylor has outscored his teammate by 7.4 PPR points over the past two games. Moss is going to be there as long as he plays well, but Taylor is going to separate from him, especially as he dominates yards per reception.
Week 8 Wide Receivers to Target
Ja’Marr Chase (@ SF), Terry McLaurin (vs PHI), and Kendrick Bourne (@MIA)
Positive TD regression is coming for McLaurin, as he only has one despite 52 targets. The Commanders WR1 has 60-plus receiving yards in nine of his last 10 games, and at least six catches in five of his last six.
The Eagles should be without Bradley Roby, and James Bradberry (ankle) will not be at 100% if he plays.
Week 8 Wide Receivers to Consider
Zay Flowers (@ ARI), Adam Thielen (vs HOU), and Tank Dell (@ CAR)
Attacking Carolina’s secondary has not worked out well for most teams, but its safety group is in dire times. Jeremy Chinn is on I.R., Vonn Bell has not practiced this week, and Xavier Woods has been limited.
Dell’s salary is right, especially with DFS talk around Nico Collins this week.
Week 8 Tight Ends to Target
Travis Kelce (@ DEN), Mark Andrews (@ ARI), and Jake Ferguson (vs LAR)
Only four other pass catchers have the same or as many red zone targets as Ferguson (11). There’s enough value at other positions to spend in the middle of the TE group for Ferguson.
Week 8 Tight Ends to Consider
Trey McBride (vs BAL), Dallas Goedert (@ WAS), and George Kittle (vs CIN)
The biggest concern with this trio is rostership. McBride is the dart throw chalk with Zach Ertz on I.R., and Goedert and Kittle are in excellent spots against bad defenses versus TEs.
Week 8 D/ST to Target
Bengals (@ SF), Jaguars (@ PIT), and Falcons (@ TEN)
Cincy is top 10 in blitz, hurry, and sack percentage, which matters with the 49ers playing without LT Trent Williams (ankle) and do-it-all Deebo Samuel (shoulder). And it is fitting that the QB that sees ghosts is starting for San Fran the Sunday before Halloween.
Week 8 D/ST to Consider
Browns (@ SEA), Ravens (@ ARI), and Titans (vs ATL)
All three have concerns with rostering: Cleveland may face an injured offense that could look to make quick throws and avoid the pass rush, Baltimore is the second-most expensive DST on DraftKings, and Tennessee just traded an All-Pro safety, and could be without starting CB Roger McCreary.
Favorite Week 8 Dart Throws
QB: Zach Wilson (@ NYG)
RB: Zach Charbonnet (vs CLE)
WR: Jamal Agnew (@ PIT)
TE: Hayden Hurst (vs HOU)
D/ST: Vikings (@ GB)
Week 8 Featured Main Slate DFS Showdown
DraftKings does not have a featured Showdown contest for any of the main slate games. Week 9 will change that as the NFL plays overseas in Germany.
Week 8 Sunday Night Football DFS Showdown: Bears @ Chargers
- Spread: Chargers -8.5
- Total: 46.5 Points
Despite the less-than-ideal matchup, the expected total has gone up since the number opened. Josh Palmer (knee, $7,000 on DraftKings) and Gerald Everett (hip, $5,000) are questionable. Palmer would be a much larger loss with Mike Williams on I.R. Everett had limited route participation Week 7 on top of injuries, so it may be easier to fade Everett.
Tyson Bagent ($9,000) became the fourth Division II signal caller to start an NFL game (stats for this kept since 2002). It’s an amazing story and the rookie deserves his flowers, but beyond the ‘W,’ there’s only so much to take from his Week 7 game. He had an aDOT of 3.72 yards, played against a zone defense that oddly chose not to put pressure on him, and was buoyed by D’Onta Foreman‘s ($8,000) 3 TD game.
The Chargers defense ($5,800) blitz 2.9% more than Vegas, but after watching the tape and knowing the Bears are missing offensive linemen, it is not difficult to see L.A. bump their blitz percentage higher than their 27.5% rate. It’s also a Khalil Mack revenge game, if you want to call it that.
I have some concerns with Austin Ekeler ($11,200) after looking sluggish coming back from his ankle injury. The slow game and lack of pass work can be accredited to the Chiefs locking in on the multi-talented back, as well as getting his feet under him.
The Bears are a top 10 defensive rush unit, which could signal more work for Joshua Kelley ($5,400) between the tackles and allowing Ekeler to operate in space. Ekeler is arguably the best pass-catching RB in the league and is vital to the Chargers moving the ball, an issue for the offense despite having a new offensive coordinator.
Favorite Sunday Night DraftKings Showdown Plays
Captain Keenan Allen with Justin Herbert and Roschon Johnson
The easiest outcome to imagine is the Charges curb-stomping an inferior opponent. That means Allen would have his say, and Herbert would be a necessity in the stack. Johnson is back after missing two games with a concussion. The rookie is the pass catching back between he and Foreman, with maybe a sprinkle of Darrynton Evans.
Captain D’Onta Foreman with Austin Ekeler and Keenan Allen
The complete opposite game script is the one we just saw with Foreman and the Bears. Control the ball and tempo, let Foreman cook with carry after carry, and find paydirt. In four consecutive one-score contests this season, the Bolts allowed 25, 20, 17, and 15 carries.
Austin Ekeler with Justin Herbert and Josh Palmer
This is a chance that Ekeler adds targets to his workload, which is within the same aDOT as Allen. It would behoove Herbert to test Chicago’s safeties with longer passes to Palmer, or Quentin Johnson if Palmer is out.
Captain Austin Ekeler with Chargers DST and Tyler Scott
Chargers onslaughts are going to be more popular than in other Showdown slates, which means the RB-DST stack. It should not be lost that Bagent has not faced pressure and the Bears coaching staff has difficulty putting their QB in a good position.
* Dart Throws/Cheap Options
TE Robert Tonyan ($200)
Week 7 ended a three-game catch streak (five total). The former Packer could see more snaps out of necessity to protect Bagent, which could mean more chip and catch throws to the tight end.
WR Derius Davis ($800)
The rookie has a touch in all but one game, and a catch and rush attempt in two of the past three Chargers games. It is not often you see a rookie get designed plays as often as Davis has, but his explosiveness is unquestioned. Davis also returns punts and had a return TD in the preseason.
WR Tyler Scott ($1,200)
Another rookie, Scott has at least a 60% snap rate in two straight and had a career-high four total touches and 33 yards Week 7.
RB Darrynton Evans ($2,000)
It is realistic that Roschon Johnson has his work limited, especially if the game goes sideways early. That would put Evans in the spotlight on passing downs. He also had 17 total touches Week 7.
Bears DST ($3,400)
The pass rush is a rush by name only, but if the defense continues to limit the run, the rest of the defense has rounded into form the past few weeks. A healthier secondary has mattered, especially with the front four not getting to the QB.
Keenan Allen ($17,700)
Few receivers have their QB’s attention like Allen. He could be the optimal CPT without getting into the end zone just by getting 10-plus catches (8, 18-catch games in 2023).
Austin Ekeler ($16,800)
The sluggishness from Week 7 may temper expectations for some DFS players, which would be great for Ekeler CPT on DK.
D.J. Moore ($13,800)
The Chargers rank 31st in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to opposing WRs, according to 4for4. Moore is a threat to take it to the house on a screen play - very much in Bagent’s throwing wheelhouse.
Josh Palmer ($10,500)
A healthy Palmer gives the Chargers a field-stretcher the offense desperately needs, and opens roster construction.
Week 8 Monday Night Football DFS Showdown: Raiders @ Lions
- Spread: Lions -7
- Total: 47 Points
Injuries are a major factor in the spread only being seven. The Lions will be without guard Jonah Jackson (ankle), and center Frank Ragnow (toe/calf) is doubtful. A third starting offensive lineman, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, is questionable with a back ailment.
Detroit will also be without David Montgomery (ribs), and could be without two defensive linemen.
The injury outlook is much better for the Raiders, despite the roster not being very good. Divine Deablo (ankle) is a big loss for the linebacking unit. CB Nate Hobbs (ankle) and Daniel Carlson (right groin, $4,200 on DraftKings) are questionable. If Carlson were to sit out, James McCourt ($4,200) would be called up from the practice squad.
The offensive talent on both squads is high. The Raiders just don’t have much talent on defense and have holes along the o-line.
Las Vegas is passing the ball 55% of the time in neutral game scripts and are expected to get Jimmy Garoppolo ($9,400) from a one-week absence with a nagging back issue.
Regardless of the QB, Davante Adams ($10,800) is going to be the main focal point of the passing game come hell or high water. That mentality, at least from a defensive standpoint, has made Jakobi Meyers ($8,200) indispensable.
The former Patriot has essentially been Adams, playing a similar snap count, averaging the same PPR point total, all while only seeing 0.8 fewer targets per game than his WR teammate.
Injuries have decimated the Lions secondary, which makes a pass-heavy game script likely in a non-blowout. Josh Jacobs ($8,400) may not have as good of fortune, as Detroit ranks third in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA) to the RB position.
That stinginess extends to the passing game for RBs, too. No back has more than four catches against Detroit, and aside from Gus Edwards‘ 80-yard catch Week 7, no back topped 31 receiving yards.
The opposite is true for Jahmyr Gibbs ($8,600). The rookie is the top RB with Montgomery out and gets the fourth-best RB matchup of the week using aFPA. That also means useful carries from Craig Reynolds ($3,200) as a touchdown favorite.
Detroit has been run-heavy despite the emergence of Amon-Ra St. Brown ($11,200) as a top wideout. Part of it may be because of a talent drop-off from St. Brown and Sam LaPorta ($7,400) to Josh Reynolds ($6,200), Jameson Williams ($5,200), and Kalif Raymond ($2,800).
It could also be because Detroit has talent that deserves work in the backfield when healthy. It’s a good problem to have.
It’s the best “problem" for Jared Goff ($10,400), who is 24.5 DraftKings points at home this season, and over 20 for his career at Ford Field. If he succeeds through the air, it’ll be one of the few times the Raiders would have allowed a good passing performance as they rank seventh in QB aFPA and are allowing 199 passing yards per game in 2023.
Favorite Monday Night DraftKings Showdown Plays
Captain Jahmyr Gibbs with Amon-Ra St. Brown and Lions DST
In a blowout game script, I like the idea of Gibbs and ARSB without Goff. Both have enough talent to be together in the optimal lineup, especially if Goff only connects for one passing TD.
Captain Amon-Ra St. Brown with Jared Goff and Jakobi Meyers or Michael Mayer
There’s a way to build with both Raiders in one lineup, but a lot of DFS players could aim to use both as a pivot off Adams.
Captain Davante Adams with Jimmy Garoppolo and Sam LaPorta
This is a heavy target stack that saves salary and can still get there in a matchup of two different secondaries.
Captain Jakobi Meyers with Jimmy Garoppolo and Josh Reynolds
A WR2 stack is another way to save salary, especially with Meyers being $2,800 less than Adams and seeing similar work. Reynolds could be swapped with Jameson Williams because of his consistent inclusion in the offense coming off of his suspension.
* Dart Throws/Cheap Options
WR Tre Tucker ($600)
It’s a slate to pay down, but Tucker is the best value with the most upside. He has supplanted Hunter Renfrow as LV’s WR3.
TE Austin Hooper ($800)
The veteran has a catch in all but one game and has two in three straight. It’s not nothing.
WR Hunter Renfrow ($1,200)
No idea why he was phased out of the offense, but he is a former 100-catch receiver.
RB Zamir White ($1,600)
White has five targets the past two weeks, four fewer than Jacobs. He’s a player you put in a few lineups if you max out your entries in larger contests.
WR Kalif Raymond ($2,800)
Most teams would love to have Raymond as a WR3, let alone their WR4. He has had multiple weeks averaging over 20 yards per catch, and has two rushes on the season, one for 11 yards, and one for 40.
Davante Adams ($16,200)
Adams has the best matchup among LV receivers and is $600 less than ARSB. Top tier talent win out more often than not.
Amon-Ra St. Brown ($16,800)
Adams is going to absorb some of ARSB’s CPT rostership, which keeps the top-priced receiver in play, especially as TD home favorites.
Jahmyr Gibbs ($12,900)
Gibbs had a big game Week 7 because of his receiving work, but an added boost in carries in a positive game script make him a strong secondary CPT choice to avoid chalk CPT WRs.
Jakobi Meyers ($12,300)
The discount from Adams is large, and the $600 savings from Gibbs at CPT may be skipped over, especially with LaPorta priced just below the Raider.