Well, we are just about halfway through the NFL season here in Week 8 and each game is becoming more and more critical to the league as we move in deeper. As starters begin to wear down and miss time due to injury, their backups slide in to pick up where they left off, and at the same time provide value in DFS. Our projection model is like the Holy Grail on Sunday mornings, it keeps us from needing a Hail Mary to cash in our tickets! Always remember to hop on our Discord chat and tag me @JDiCarlo78 or any of our staff for questions or advice, now let’s break down this Week 8 slate!
A quarterback competition has erupted in New England thanks to head coach Bill Bellichick losing faith in his 2021 first-round pick Mac Jones after only 3 series on Monday night. Backup QB Bailey Zappe then gets his number called only to end up playing poorly in the second half to lose at home. So what does this mean for DFS? Play it safe and stay clear of the New England pass offense. Stick with the Patriots’ golden goose, running back Rhamondre Stevenson, who has obliterated stat sheets averaging over 20 fantasy points a game in his last three starts. We always do like a defense that gets to pick on Zach Wilson too so that Pats DST is in full effect.
New York lost Breece Hall for the rest of the season last week to a torn ACL, which will have serious repercussions for this Jets’ run-heavy offense moving forward. The Jets did trade for Jaguars’ 1,000-yard rusher James Robinson this week, but talk has been to limit him until he gets up to speed in the offense. This leaves change-of-pace running back Michael Carter to inherit New York’s backfield against a Patriot’s run defense that forfeited over 200 yards rushing to Chicago on Monday night. And since the Patriots still can’t figure out who to hike the ball, start up the Jets DST too, why not?
Rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett will see the toughest defense he’s ever laid his young eyes on in Philly this weekend. The Eagles also added All-Pro defensive end Robert Quinn via trade from Chicago this week which should be should be even more pressure on Pickett. Avoid the Steelers like the plague for Week 8.
Returning from a bye week at 6-0, the Eagles should close this game out by halftime facing the woeful 2-5 Steelers. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has shown us to be a true leader on the field and his talent has been key to Phila’s success. Use him nude or pair him with an Eagle receiver, and running back Miles Sanders should have a positive game script being favored by double-digits. If you have enough salary left in your builds, the Eagles DST will also be in full effect seeing a rookie quarterback with an absent running game. But beware of a potential blowout, many Eagles may be on the bench in the fourth quarter if it does get out of hand, so don’t go too heavy on Philadelphia.
Fins up in Detroit! Tua and Tyreek will be busy in the Silverdome racking up fantasy points together. The Lions have ranked in the bottom of the barrel in pass coverage (31st in receiving DVOA) and stopping the run (30th in rushing DVOA), which also sets up Raheem Mostert nicely as did Zeke last weekend in Dallas.
Detroit will need to keep up the high pace of Miami, which shouldn’t be a big deal so long as Amon–Ra and D’Andre Swift are good to go. Quarterback Jared Goff being back at home should perform much better than the road QB imposter. And with his weapons back at full strength, we should see some fireworks against Miami, who also has struggled defensively this year (28th in receiving DVOA).
Kyler Murray will look to repeat his performance from the last time he played Minnesota throwing for 400 yards and 4 total touchdowns, 1 of them scurried in himself. Now with his main man DeAndre Hopkins back from suspension, anything is possible. The duo from the desert have not missed a beat over the lost time, hooking up on 10 of 14 targets for 103 yards last week. The Vikings are no stranger to getting beat by the pass, as they rank the fifth-worst in air yards allowed per game.
The Cardinals have been like a red-headed stepson when it comes to its secondary and our projection model, and this week their punching bag Marco Wilson gets to try and contain Justin Jefferson. Adam Thielen will get a sprinkle of Wilson’s coverage too, but the one position Arizona completely ignores is the tight end. Irv Smith is sitting pretty this weekend at $3,500 DraftKings/$5,000 FanDuel. Don’t forget about Cousins, as he will be the guy to get these fellas the pigskin.
Last week Carolina handed the Bucs and Tom Brady possibly the worst loss of his career, holding them to a single field goal. The team has been reborn since star running back Christian McCaffrey, guys like DJ Moore have finally resurfaced in DFS. Moore’s line of 7 REC/69 YDS/1 TD of last week can be even better in Atlanta (32nd DVOA to receivers). Even more, news broke on Friday as running back Chuba Hubbard will sit out with an ankle, leaving the backfield to D’Onta Foreman. The Panther lead back for Week 8 still has some pep in his step, rushing for 168 yards against Tampa.
The Falcons’ run-first, slow-pace offense has been grinding it out in the trenches all season, and at the same time destroying its roster in fantasy value. Kyle Pitts…who? The one shining star here is rookie Drake London, who also is beginning to feel the effects of the scheme. You can’t really trust any of Atlanta’s assets in cash, use them in tournaments only…which would only be London for me.
Chicago is flying high on a short week with their upset win in New England. If they want to keep the ball rolling, they must stick to the run game. The Bears will continue the one-two punch of Montgomery and Herbert in the run game, with quarterback Justin Fields too. The Cowboys will be looking to pounce on every snap, so Fields will need to make the right decisions. Chicago’s three-headed monster ran for 200 yards as a unit against the Patriots, they’ll keep that playbook this week.
After scoring two touchdowns hosting the Lions last week, Zeke’s knee will keep him sidelined this weekend. Tony Pollard is a lay-up, so sleep like a baby in one of your RB slots for Week 8. The Bears have been generous to opposing running backs, allowing a healthy double-digit fantasy score in 6 of 7 weeks.
The flu bug bit a bunch of players for Vegas this week including Davonte Adams, keeping them out of practice up until Friday. New Orleans once again is without shutdown corner Marshon Lattimore, so all of Vegas’ receivers will eat, especially Adams. For some value on this slate, Mack Hollins ($4,500 DraftKings/$5,600 FanDuel) has taken a liking to Derek Carr, seeing 366 total snaps, and could eat here also in the “Big Easy”.
Whether it’s Andy Dalton or Jameis Winston at quarterback, the ball has been funneled to rookie stud Chris Olave. Fellow receivers Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry are out again, so Olave is a lock once more, averaging close to 17 DK points per game. Keep in mind if Vegas does decide to put some pressure on Dalton, Kamara can also be effective as a PPR machine on Sunday.
I’ll keep writing this every week if I have to, this team goes where Derrick Henry goes…and in Houston, it could get ugly this weekend. The Texans are dead last against the run, so one of the best there is in Henry may be worth paying up for at running back.
If and when Houston can get the ball on offense, they will be throwing it at one of the weakest secondaries in the league (31st in DVOA). Pay attention to the injury news for Houston about Nico Collins. If he is out (has missed practice all week) slide in Phillip Dorsett ($3,200 DraftKings/$5,300 FanDuel) for huge savings at wideout.
At 6-1, New York keeps making the haters shake their heads every week in disbelief. A very sneaky solid defense and Saquon Barkley have been the key to success this year. In what looks to be a soggy afternoon in Seattle, use them both. Watch out but the Giants may have one decent receiver rookie Wandale Robinson, who will see a great matchup against Seattle’s Coby Bryant.
It looks like DK Metcalf is not suiting up this week, and if he does, we will still stay away. Mr. Lockett too, this Giants’ defense has been a problem to quarterbacks and receivers all year ( averaging 211 yards passing per game allowed) The run defense is a tale of two cities, ranked 28th and allowing 144 yards per game. Seahawks rookie first-round pick Kenneth Walker is in line for a huge day, and still way too cheap on DraftKings ($6,500).
The Colts will be rolling out quarterback Sam Ehlinger to make his first career start, which makes the Commander defense pretty enticing. Priced affordably ($2,600 DraftKings/$3,400 FanDuel), they’re worth a shot in order to save up and possibly smash if Ehlinger slips up.
The flip side of Ehlinger is how we can have a quarterback for minimum value ($4,000 DraftKings/$6,000 FanDuel) who has a great chance to pay off his salary and go nuts on a terrible Commanders secondary. Play him naked, since there is no real history of who he will favor. But from the buzz I’ve heard over the news sites, he will be a much more mobile quarterback than Matt Ryan.
Wide-back Deebo Samuel news broke Friday that he will sit this one out, which would beef up the target share for every other Niner. CMC is still way too expensive to trust yet in this new offense, especially against a stingy LA run defense. Jimmy G will have to go to battle with his new shoulder on the road, the next men up are Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle. The field will be elsewhere on the slate so these two will fit nicer in a GPP.
If you have to pay up, then your man is Cooper Kupp. He’s approaching $10,000 on both formats so it may be wise to avoid Kupp until he becomes a little cheaper. Other than Kupp, Matt Stafford looks to tight end, Tyler Higbee, a ton compared to the rest of the team (34 REC/50 TGTS). Lastly, Deebo out of the mix could spell trouble for Jimmy G and the Niners’ banged-up offensive line. The Rams DST would be an under-the-radar play considering the sacks and fumbles that may occur if the Niners can’t get open.
Thanks for reading my NFL DFS Game by Game Breakdown for Week 8. You can reach me on Twitter @JoeDiCarlo78 or in our Discord tag me Be sure to sign up for an ALL-ACCESS GOLD ACCOUNT here at Win Daily Sports. Gain access to our Projection Models and jump into our Discord where we will have our experts and me talking plays across every sport.
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