Week 8 DK Building Blocks
Quarterbacks- Last week I had a clear three plays that I felt were elite. They were the only ones that I played in any of my “main” lineups and they delivered. This week is a bit different as there are a couple of guys at different price points that I think need looking into. I’ve broken them into three different salary categories.
Expensive- 7k and up
Russell Wilson-($7800) What is there really to say here? Russ has been fantastic all year and the Seahawks have completely changed their offensive philosophy from last year. They now lead the league in passes attempted from 2nd and long. Not that he’s needed it but what has helped his value is the banged-up backfield. Carson and Hyde both didn’t practice at all this week leaving a possible start for Travis Homer. At this point it doesn’t matter to me, this is just another reason to target Russ.
Aaron Rodgers-($7600)I look back on Week 1 fondly for reasons that don’t have anything to do with Aaron Rodgers. That being said both Rodgers and I had a fantastic September 13th. For me, it was because I somehow avoided both Kittle and Michael Thomas. For Rodgers, because he got to play against one of the worst Viking’s secondaries of recent memory. After a really forgettable game against Tampa, Rodgers and Adams came out and scorched the Texans. I’m looking for the Duo to come back and do the same thing again this week with shades of week 1. They’re an expensive stack and to complicate things the weather looks like it’s not going to be an ideal situation for high-scoring football. It’s imperative that we monitor ownership of this game. If we can get them at a discount then the reduced point implication is paid for through that leverage.
Mid- 6000 to 6900
Justin Herbert-($6900) It just seems to be getting better and better. I keep looking to Herbert week after week with the thought in the back of my mind that this is going to be the day that it falls apart. It still hasn’t and I know it’s coming. The question we have to ask ourselves is this the week? Well to that end the Broncos have been middle of the pack in surrendering points to passing attacks so far this year. Their DVOA is pretty good. So let’s take a look at some of the teams they’ve played… you know, for context. Post-Covid Cam, Snow Game Mahomes, Sam Darnold with a bum shoulder, and a few others. They’ve played some good quarterbacks in some weird games so far and that does give me pause as the price for Herbert has come up as it should have. We need that ceiling game again and while I’m not sure this will be one of those weeks it’s certainly worth considering given the wind situation other teams are dealing with.
Cheap- Sub 6k
Joe Burrow-($6200)The Bengals haven’t been very good. The defense specifically has looked terrible. That has lead us to some ideal game scripts for this passing attack. Fresh off a trade of one of their better defensive linemen (Dunlap) the Bengals host the Titans. If I told you everything didn’t line up exactly how we’d want for Burrow I’d be lying. The Titans are significantly better defensively against the run, they have a high powered offense, and AJ Green seems to have finally found his footing on the year. I like Burrow, I like that his skill players are cheap, and I’m going to go here once again for some of my exposure.
David Carr-($5500)There really is nothing worse than thinking you found a player other people might not be on. Looking at it, digging into the metrics, and finally deciding yes this is going to work. Then you look and see that player is not in fact contrarian at all. Instead, they look to be one of the higher owned players at their position. While you struggle to deal with that and tell yourself, 10% isn’t bad though. You then look at the weather report and see that there could be 45mph wind gusts….. fuck. Wind aside, the ownership part of this equation doesn’t bother me. There isn’t a QB that will likely be over 10% and if I’m getting Carr at 9% I can deal with that. The Browns pass defense has been close to league worse and Carr is dirt cheap. The problem is what we set aside…. the wind. Again this is something we’ll have to watch closer to game time and see what it looks like. It shouldn’t have an impact on his passes to Waller. Guys that stretch the field like Ruggs on the other hand will take a huge hit. If it’s any consolation though Carr doesn’t seem to like to throw deep in the first place. He hasn’t been as bad as in past years, but he hasn’t attempted a lot to be judged. Take that all for what it’s worth.
**Note Ownership now under 5% as of Saturday**
Running Backs- There are going to be some notable guys that I’m leaving off this list. Every week it seems like there is a position group that I look at and I feel uber confident in. This isn’t it. The weather certainly leads to some uncertainty as there are guys in this group that benefit from it. The others are less following the stats and being more speculative on game flow.
Kareem Hunt-($6900) For all the potential that the weather negatively impacts it’s drawn people towards Hunt more than he was already being considered. In his price range, he looks to be the best play, even more so now that the team is missing OBJ for the rest of the season. Vegas has been gashed by running backs this season allowing the second-most points and sporting a solid 29 ranking in DVOA. 8 Multiple touchdown games allowed so far this season on top of that. The only problem? 40% owned. We’d be looking for a complete ceiling game from Hunt in this situation, I’ll have some but will be underexposed for sure.
Jonathan Taylor-($6600) It’s super super early in the morning as I’m writing this. I’m not even sure if I’m still dreaming because I’m writing up a play that I’ve been super against most of the year. Look, there are reasons to hate this play. It isn’t exactly cheap, and the Colts haven’t yet featured Taylor. You might look at their red zone offense and realize that they throw it 65% of the time… and then say why Taylor? Great questions, the Lions have given up the 5th most points to running backs this season and when they’ve faced elite runners they’ve really given it up. I don’t characterize Taylor as that yet, but he certainly fits the mold of the guys that have done well as opposed to the ones that have struggled. The hope is they get ahead and play conservatively with Taylor runs and hopefully he breaks a few. I won’t be highly exposed but I’ll have some shares for sure.
Dalvin Cook-($7500) Cook is questionable at the time of me writing this. I fully expect him to play and think that he may have played last week if they weren’t on a buy. The let down we saw with Mattison almost makes me wish he wasn’t playing so we could go back to that well. Alas here we are and here we will be. I expressed my skepticism of this Green Bay defense for the last two weeks and they didn’t make a liar of me, allowing 2 scores to Ronald Jones, and then 1 to David Johnson last week. Cook found the endzone twice in week 1 but didn’t put up a huge rushing total. Like Hunt, Cook will benefit from high winds as I don’t expect the Vikings coaching staff to look as much to Cousins in this situation. I expect a large role for the rushing game and the downside at his price is I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mattison rotate in more than usual.
Melvin Gordon-($5600) More a situation of opportunity over talent. If you’ve followed me for any amount of time you’ll know I’ve always thought Gordon looked awful. I was shouting this even during his great seasons saying that he just got the ball in the green zone, got the touchdown, and boosted his fantasy value. The guy runs well for someone his size inside the 10, but aside from that, he looks awful. He’s again one of those guys we use this week to pay for some of the other studs. His floor has been pretty safe given the workload they’ve been giving him. It isn’t an easy matchup, and there’s still risk at this price. I’m going to roster Gordon on a non-showdown slate for the first time in YEARS. 2.5% ownership projection
James White-($4500)Looking for that cheap RB play this week there aren’t many. There is the Le’Veon Bell revenge game, which is fine. The other spot I’m looking to is White. Julian Edleman is going to be out for a few weeks after having surgery the other day and we find James White in the middle of an offense that has struggled to get going. One of the ways they can try and jump-start that is by using the short passing game and that’s a place White excels. In addition, this game is supposed to have High winds as well, I can see White getting 10-12 targets in a ceiling game, catching 10 of those for 70 yards, and hopefully an End Zone trip.
Wide Receivers-The key to most weeks lies here. These are the guys that can get those 40 and 50 point games. Sure we’ve seen Derrick Henry do that already as well this year. However, last week you needed Locket and Adams if you wanted those big money scores. Who could those guys be this week? There are SO many great plays. It’s very different than RB, I could make cases for like 30 guys. I don’t think there are a lot of bad decisions here. I think you start your roster elsewhere and then use those decisions to guide you.
Keenan Allen-($6200) Double-Digit targets in every full game he’s played except one (week 1 and 8) He’s still 6200 and that’s way too cheap. This happens to Allen every year and every year he works his salary back up to the mid to high 7’s where it belongs. Ride it while you can.
Tyreek Hill-($6700) Really just a gut call here. Someone has to score all the points they are favored by, then you need some pieces of the offense to score. We haven’t had that Tyreek game yet, so I’m good going here.
Davante Adams-($8800)- Roasted the Vikings in week 1. His price is what it should be and he has a ceiling that is still leaps and bounds above this. You have to get creative elsewhere if you’re paying up here. I’m very much into the Rodgers/Adams stack.
AJ Green/Tyler Boyd($4500/$6600) As mentioned earlier AJ Green has come alive in recent weeks. The connection with Burrow is there and the price still hasn’t caught up. On the other side, Boyd will be in the slot and this game is one of those that will have bad winds. It’s not one of the worst, but the short throws may end up being more accurate and required to move the ball. That’s where Boyd excels. There are plenty of points allowed to go around when we’re talking about the titans. I don’t hate Higgins at all, these are my two favorites.
Marcus Johnson($3000) The Colts pass the ball 65% of the time in the red zone. Marcus Johnson is the minimum price on DK. 8 targets in their last game, sign me up. I don’t mind Pascal at 1500 more here, but this is a salary saving spot you can look at if you go to the above mentioned Rodgers/Adams stack. Even more needed if you run that back with Cook.
Cole Beasley($5300)-The floor with Beasley is a bit lower than I’d like with this price. It isn’t crazy though. Averaging 7 targets a game with 4/12 being the low/high. The Bills take on a pass defense from the Patriots that’s a shell of its former self. This is another game that should have a significant wind impact that limits deep passes. That plays into the role that Beasley plays. If we can see a ceiling game for targets we can see what he did last week when he put up 25 fantasy points without scoring a TD.
Late Addition- DK Metcalf($7500) at 14% ownership versus Lockett($7100) 22% is a crazy discount that isn’t justified in price. I love Metcalf over Lockett this week as a result.
Tight Ends- Always fun to write up the Tight Ends! Another position that in the past was priced so poorly that it’s surprising this year that they’ve adjusted that. On our end, it’s difficult to adjust as well. This position has had the largest bust potential all year and I don’t think that changes this week. **Note** I like Gesicki but I will not write him up yet again. **
Darren Waller-($5600) Wind or not Waller was going to be on this list. I love this matchup for the entire offense and with the wind limiting the ability to throw the ball deeper that opens up the potential of a double-digit target game for Waller. How the defense adjusts to this remains to be seen, we DFS players aren’t the only ones that know he’s going to be the primary target. When Drew Sample puts up 12 catches on 15 targets and 97 yards over two games, I think Waller can best that in one.
Jonnu Smith-($4100)-Well if I like the Bengals because I think they’ll be behind. Then I don’t mention AJ Brown or Derrick Henry I logically need someone from the Titans side that’s going to score some points. Don’t misunderstand, both of those guys are fine, and I love Corey Davis as well. It’s just Jonnu gives you a price break over my other two guys, small and large. Additionally, the Bengals give up the 3rd most points to tight ends in the league. Allowing touchdowns in their last three, and triple score games in their last two. They’ve shown an inability to defend the position. Twice now we’ve seen multiple tight ends from the same team abuse this defense. This was the only team that made Zach Ertz look decent this year.
Hunter Henry($4200)-Leverage play right here. I love Herbert, and I think Allen is the best viable stack target. If you’re going to go with a game stack then Henry makes a lot of sense. He makes even more sense as a pivot off of Allen as the other big body in the end zone. Denver hasn’t really seen many top-level tight ends this year. They gave up two touchdowns in week one and were able to limit Kelce last week. The latter of those two was a game we can throw out as it was a very unusual game flow. The defense took over, got them to a lead, and Kansas City didn’t need to use their best weapons. Coming off a bad week 7 you’ll get Henry and he’s relatively safe floor at sub 10% ownership.
Defense- Most weeks there are two premier units that we’re looking to target. They’re typically priced up quite a bit and that helps curb their ownership. Those two are the Steelers and the Ravens. This week they play against each other and thus have tough offensive matchups. We’re aren’t going to be looking to either of them this week although I think they’re both playable given they’re priced a bit down.
Buffalo-($3300) This defense is highly overrated in general. They aren’t the same unit that they’ve been in past years. That said they are playing a team that has been woeful offensively and are will be missing their best receiver. On the slate, the Buffalo defense is in the bottom half of turnover % but they’re #4 in sack percentage and the cheapest of those 4. Those numbers could see a dip as the Pats have more designed runs for Cam and he’s just hard to bring down. Nevertheless when you’re playing an offense that doesn’t seem to be clicking there’s upside at this price.
New Orleans-($3400) Found it a nice spot price-wise, they’re not so cheap that everyone will be on them. They’re also not so expensive that they challenge your build. In terms of DVOA, the Saints have been very good. 10th overall, while 4th against the rush. The Bears team has had its challenges throwing the ball. In a game that’s expected to have high winds and a team possibly missing their best pass-catching option in Robinson I’ll take the New Orleans 5th ranked in Adj Line Yards and 7th in Sack Rate. Most of my ownership will be here as of now. This certainly could change, but it’s where I’m at.