DraftKings Starts of the Week – Week 8

I’ve analyzed each of the matchups in Week 8 and come up with the best starts at each position (by salary tier) for your daily fantasy football lineups… Feel free to share your winnings.

Quarterback

*Tier 1: $7,000+, Tier 2: $7,000-$6,000, Tier 3: $6,000-$5,000, Tier 4: Under $5,000

Tier 1: Carson Wentz – PHI vs. SF ($7,200)

He’s the #2 fantasy QB on the season, and the 49ers D has allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing QBs… There’s really no need to break it down any further.

Tier 2: Kirk Cousins – WAS vs. DAL ($6,400)

In five career starts against the Boys, Cousins is averaging 281 yards with 9 TDs and just 2 INTs. Since Eli Manning‘s Week 1 dud, QBs have averaged 20.2 fantasy points against Dallas, and the Boys have allowed multiple TD passes in four of the five while not intercepting a pass since Week 2.

At 50.5, this game had the highest opening point total of the week. And, while there are reasons to believe this won’t turn out to be the shootout many expect, there aren’t many to suggest Cousins doesn’t ball out.

Tier 3: Andy Dalton – CIN vs. IND ($5,700)

Despite facing Brian Hoyer, a clearly limited Marcus Mariota, and Blake Bortles, the Colts have allowed an average of 330 yards passing – to go with 4 TDs – over the last 3 games. They also lost FS Malik Hooker for the season; who if it wasn’t for Deshaun Watson (and the injury), probably would’ve been a ROY candidate.

Yes, Dalton struggled a bit out the gates, but the Red Rifle has averaged 242 passing yards and 2.25 passing TDs over his last 4. He’s also proven to be a quality QB when given time in the pocket, and seeing how the Colts 29.5% pressure rate ranks a less than impressive 21st, he shouldn’t find himself under duress very often in this one.

Tier 4: Jacoby Brissett – IND at CIN ($4,900)

It’s him, or Mitch Trubisky… Don’t do it.

Running Back

*Tier 1: $7,000+, Tier 2: $7,000-$6,000, Tier 3: $6,000-$5,000, Tier 4: Under $5,000

Tier 1: Melvin Gordon – LAC at NE ($8,100)

The Chargers have averaged 25 rushing attempts over their last three after averaging 18.25 through four. They’ve also won those three games, so expect LA to continue to lean on the run here. Especially since the Pats have also allowed 4.8 yards per carry; the 4th highest average.

New England has also allowed the 2nd most receiving yards to opposing RBs and Gordon has more receiving yards than all but seven RBs this season.

Tier 2: Jordan Howard – CHI at NO ($6,800)

The Saints have allowed 4.6 yards per carry, and 60.7 receiving yards per game to opposing backs. Only Le’Veon Bell and Todd Gurley have more rushing attempts on the season than Howard, so while the Saints have no reason not to put 11 in the box, Howard should see enough volume to make him a Top-10 play this week.

Tier 3: Chris Thompson – WAS vs. DAL ($5,800)

Not only have the Boys allowed three 100+ yard rushers over their last five games, but they’ve allowed an average of 50 receiving yards to opposing backs. Thompson might not see many carries, but he’ll make up for it in the passing game. There’s a reason he has more fantasy points than all but seven RBs (PPR).

Tier 4: Joe Mixon – CIN vs. IND ($4,700)

Maybe I’m wildin’, but I have Mixon ranked as the #8 PPR running back this week. Even if that’s a bit too bullish, it’s hard to imagine him not finishing in the Top-15 with six teams on a bye this week.

The Colts have allowed four rushing TDs, and two 100+ yard backs over their last two games. And on the season, only the 49ers have allowed more fantasy points per game to opposing backs than Indy. Add that the Bengals are heavy favorites at home, and that both Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard have been damn near useless, and you have a deal you just can’t pass up here.

Wide Receiver

*Tier 1: $7,000+, Tier 2: $7,000-$6,000, Tier 3: $6,000-$5,000, Tier 4: Under $5,000

Tier 1: Julio Jones – ATL at NYJ ($8,400)

The Jets have been decent at defending the pass this season. They also haven’t faced Julio Jones, and will be without Buster Skrine.

Tier 2: Doug Baldwin – SEA vs. HOU ($6,900)

Houston has also been decent when it comes to defending opposing WRs, but I feel that has more to do with their opposition than their actual performance.

On the year, the Texans are allowing 14.4 yards per reception; which is the 5th highest rate in the NFL. True, this may speak more to Paul Richardson – who ranks 8th in yards per reception at 16.8 – but Baldwin has seen 20 targets over his last two weeks, and is averaging a healthy 6 catches per game. So, his floor is relatively high, and his ceiling? Well, his ceiling is the roof.

Tier 3: Nelson Agholor – PHI vs. SF ($5,500)

Believe it or not, Agholor has more fantasy points than all but eight receivers this season. Crazy, I know.

The 49ers have allowed a receiver to find the end zone in six of their seven games this season, and Agholor has a TD reception in five of seven for the Eagles.

Tier 4: Brandon LaFell – CIN vs. IND ($3,700)

LaFell has seen 15 targets over the past two weeks, and seeing how Vontae Davis has been balling out, it’s likely he’ll see quite a few in this one as well. Opposing #1 receivers are averaging just 61.7 yards per game against the Colts and have a grand total of 1 TD catch (Davis missed the 1st 3 games, and with him, the TD number is 0). Thing is, they’ve still managed to allow the 2nd most yards per game to opposing WRs, and Davis is likely to be shadowing A.J. Green.

LaFell is a steal at $3,700.

Tight End

*Tier 1: $5,000+, Tier 2: $5,000-$4,000, Tier 3: $4,000-$3,000, Tier 4: Under $3,000

Tier 1: Zach Ertz – PHI vs. SF ($7,000)

Ertz leads all tight ends in fantasy points, and his 58 targets represent 25% of Wentz’ passing attempts on the season. The 49ers have allowed the 3rd fewest fantasy points to opposing TEs, but they also allowed Jason Witten to put up 54 yards and a TD in their 1st game without NaVorro Bowman.

Tier 2: Hunter Henry – LAC at NE ($4,800)

Henry has seen 20 targets over the last 3 games to just 5 for Gates. I think the torch has been passed. Meanwhile, the Patriots have allowed 5 TD passes to TEs on the season, and an average of 52.6 yards per game to the position.

Tier 3: Tyler Kroft – CIN vs. IND ($3,000)

Remember all that stuff about Dalton, Mixon, and LaFell? Well, I’m all in on the Bengals this week. Indianapolis has allowed a TD to a TE in four of their last five games, and Kroft has caught 3 TDs in the four games since Eifert’s injury.

Tier 4: Stephen Anderson – HOU at SEA ($2,800)

It’s a shot in the dark, but Watson won’t be able to do it all with his legs.

Defense/Special Teams

*Tier 1: $3,500+, Tier 2: $3,500-$3,000, Tier 3: Under $3,000

Tier 1: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Colts ($3,600)

The Colts implied point total is set at 14.5; the 2nd lowest of the week. They’ve averaged the 4th fewest yards per game, the 7th fewest points per game, and have given up the most sacks on the year.

Like I said, all in on the Bengals this week.

Tier 2: New Orleans Saints vs. Bears ($3,400)

Mitch Trubisky threw all of seven passes on Sunday, and given the Saints struggles with the run last week, I wouldn’t be surprised if he attempts zero passes here. Thing is, the Saints D was impressive against the run in their four games prior to Week 7, and they have negative twelve reasons why they shouldn’t throw eight in the box on every single snap.

That said, don’t expect many sacks or interceptions if you roll with New Orleans. But, given the fact that Chicago’s offense doesn’t gain many yards, they also don’t score many points.

Tier 3: New York Jets vs. Falcons ($2,200)

The Jets have allowed just 239.7 passing yards per game, and no QB (not even Brady) has gone for 300 on them this season. Over the Falcons last three games, Ryan is averaging just 241 yards and has a 1:1 TD/INT ratio. The Falcons offense is in a funk, so if you’re looking to go cheap on D, the Jets aren’t the worst option.

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