This week, some of the higher end running backs have tougher matchups while some of the higher end and higher priced wide receivers have friendlier matchups. Moreover, some of the higher end wide receivers are in games that are likely to shoot out. Given the week 8 schedule, I am going to pay up for wide receivers this week in DFS and go with some lower end running backs.
Adam Thielen vs NO Saints – $8,700 DK/$8,800 FD – Thielen has been getting it done in every game so far this season and he figures to see a lot of PJ Williams this week who has been bad in pass coverage. What makes playing Thielen a bit concerning, however, is that Marshon Lattimore has shadowed opposing wide receivers in 3 of the Saints 6 games so far this season. In week 1 Lattimore shadowed Mike Evans and Evans lit him up, in week 4 Lattimore shadowed Odell Beckham Jr. and in week 7 Lattimore was primarily on Michael Crabtree. Lattimore didn’t cover DeSean Jackson or John Brown. It seems likely that Lattimore may travel with Thielen, but it isn’t entirely certain. At this point, you almost have to start Thielen until he gets shut down. Last year in the playoffs, Thielen was able to go off for 6 catches and 74 yards off 9 targets against Lattimore which is hardly a shutdown performance. In week 1 of 2017, Lattimore didn’t shadow Thielen and he went 9 for 157 yards.
AJ Green vs TB Bucs – $8,000 DK/$8,800 FD – The Bucs give up the most yards through the air in the league (327.5). The Bucs have also surrendered 26 plays of 20+ yards through the air and 4 plays for 40+ yards. The Bengals got embarrassed by the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football and should bounce back strong this weekend. Moreover, AJ Green figures to see a lot of Carlton Davis this weekend because the Bucs are so banged up. The only way they will slow down AJ Green is if they dedicate so many resources to stop him, that they allow Joe Mixon and Tyler Boyd to run down the field freely.
Michael Thomas @ Minnesota Vikings – $7,300 DK/$8,600 FD – Xavier Rhodes isn’t likely to play and this game might be a shootout. The game isn’t in New Orleans but it’s indoors which bodes well for the Saints. The Vikings only give up 89.7 yards per game on the ground and a low 3.7 yards per carry, so if the Saints are going to move the ball, they will need to do it through the air.
TY Hilton @ Oakland Raiders – $6,300 DK/$7,400 FD – Daryl Worley has been struggling this year and TY Hilton figures to see a lot of him this weekend. The Raiders are a shell of what they were just a few weeks ago and things are just plain toxic in the locker room from the sounds of things. Players have no trust in their head coach because Gruden told players that Amari Cooper wasn’t going anywhere, and now he’s gone. The team is deficient in talent on both sides of the ball, their high end first round talent in the defensive backfield isn’t getting playing time, and this is shaping up for a game where TY Hilton can get behind the defense for a few big ones. Marlon Mack hurt his ankle in practice this week which hurts the Colts running game and could call for more passing which bodes well for Hilton.
Brandin Cooks vs GB Packers – $6,900 DK/$7,500 FD – The Packers have surrendered 5 passing plays of 40+ yards and 19 passing plays of 20+ yards. Cooks is the Rams big play guy and the Packers are likely to keep pace with the Rams and force the Rams to pass it more than they have been recently. Cooks figures to see a lot of Tramon Williams this weekend, and I want the Cooks end of that deal.
Geronimo Allison @ LA Rams – $5,000 DK/$5,700 FD – The analysis here is simple. Geronimo Allison is now healthy. Before going down with a hamstring injury, Allison was targeted a healthy 7.25 times per game. Due to injury and poor play from Marcus Peters, the Rams secondary has actually been somewhat of a liability this year. The Rams figure to score a lot of points in this one, and the Packers should need to throw a lot to keep up. Troy Hill figures to line up on Allison most of the time with Peters likely to be on Adams, so this is setting up well for a 100+ yard game from Allison.
Christian Kirk vs 49ers – $4,500 DK/$5,400 FD – There has been speculation that the new Cardinals OC Byron Leftwich is going to make a significant effort to get Larry Fitzgerald more involved in the offense. Regardless of that, Josh Rosen has a clear connection with Christian Kirk, especially on deeper passes, and that connection is likely to continue. Greg Mabin figures to guard Kirk most of the time and the 49ers are only giving up 4.0 yards per carry, and given the Cardinals struggles on the offensive line, they should need to throw it a lot in a game that figures to stay close.
Courtland Sutton @ KC Chiefs – $3,800 DK/$5,300 FD – The Chiefs give up 316.6 yards per game through the air which is 2nd worst in the NFL. When Sutton does play he figures to see a lot of Steven Nelson, but Sutton who stands 6’3″ has a size advantage on the 5’11” Nelson, and he can get up to make some plays. The Chiefs will score early and often on the Broncos and with Royce Freeman out, the Broncos will need to rely on the pass more than ever. Moreover, Emmanuel Sanders emerged from the Broncos week 7 game with a banged up ankle, which may open up more snaps for Sutton. Sutton is an emerging player, the arrow is pointing up and given the matchup and likely game script, it makes sense to give him a shot.
Phillip Lindsay @ KC Chiefs – $5,200 DK/$6,500 FD – The Chiefs have been giving up 5.2 yards a pop and with Royce Freeman out, Lindsay should get a bigger workload. Moreover, the Chiefs will put up a lot of points, so the Broncos will need to throw a lot in the 2nd half which benefits Lindsay as the Broncos primary pass catching back.
Chris Carson @ Detroit Lions – $4,300 DK/$6,300 FD – The Lions have been giving up 5.3 yards per carry and 139.3 yards per game. Mike Davis only plays when Carson is hurt and Rashaad Penny hasn’t yet carved out a significant role in this offense. The Seahawks have seemed extremely committed to run the ball this year and with Russell Wilson’s balky hamstring, it only makes sense that they continue to lean on the run.
David Johnson vs SF 49ers – $6,700 DK/$7,300 FD – The 49ers haven’t gotten gashed in the running game this year but they have given up a healthy number of rushing touchdowns, including two to David Johnson earlier this season. With a new OC, the Cardinals are likely to get Johnson going more in the passing game and he’s a good bet to score as he did earlier in the year.
Ronald Jones @ Cincinnati Bengals – $3,700 DK/$5,200 FD – The Bengals surrender 5.0 yards per carry and give up one run over 20+ yards per game which bodes well for Jones who is explosive. Except for the Panthers game, the Bengals have given up at least 6 catches to opposing running backs each week.
Doug Martin vs Indianapolis Colts – $4,400 DK/$6,000 FD – The Colts only give up 4.0 yards per carry but opposing teams have been running on them 27.6 times per game which is the 7th most in the league. The Raiders will need to run the ball early and often in an effort to keep the ball out of Andrew Luck’s hands and keep the game close. Martin is not the Raiders hurry up back, but he does have ability to catch the ball in the passing game so he should stay relevant regardless of game flow.
Ty Montgomery @ LA Rams – $3,600 DK/$5,000 FD – The Rams give up a healthy 4.7 yards per carry but opposing teams only run on them 21.1 times per game because they are usually trying to keep pace with the Rams offense. On a per play basis, the Rams are susceptible to giving up big numbers to opposing running backs, and given the probability that this game shoots out, Montgomery is a sneaky play given his ability in the passing game as a former receiver.
Jordan Howard take for Week 8 – The Jets are ok against the run, giving up 4.2 yards per carry and 105.7 yards per game. The only way Howard comes through in this one is if the Bears go up early and they grind it out with Howard deep into the 4th quarter. The Jets have, however, given up 10 runs of 20+ yards which is tied for worst in the league, so if Howard can pop one, he could come through.