We had a really interesting Week 7 slate for many reasons. Not only was it a very high-scoring week with a lot of the chalk plays going off, but schedule changes added the TB/LV game to the main slate and we got to sweat SNF on the main slate. We’ll get back to normal (most likely) here in Week 8 with a more difficult slate in front of us. Here’s what jumps out in my first look at Week 8.
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Patrick Mahomes, KC vs. NYJ ($8,100) — Mahomes checks in as the highest-priced QB on the board at his most expensive price point of the season. There’s obviously upside here as nearly a three-touchdown favorite, but I think the chances of Mahomes not putting up big numbers is too high to pay this much. This could be a run-heavy second half for Kansas City and the Jets actually rank fourth in DKFP allowed to QB.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings ($7,600) — Rodgers is probably the only option I’d consider paying up for at QB. He’s only had one letdown this season and has been dominating when put in good matchups — like against this Vikings’ secondary that he scored 33.76 DKFP against in Week 1. Since then, the Vikings have gone into tank mode, so this one has the potential to get ugly. If I’m not playing Rodgers, it’s all about value this week.
Jimmy Garoppolo, SF at SEA ($5,400) — The 49ers easily got away with running the ball against an inept Patriots squad last week, but they’ll need to do much more than that to keep up with the Seahawks, especially with how thin the RB position is. Jimmy G finally looked healthy in Week 6 against the Rams, completing almost 70% of his passes while tossing three touchdowns. Seattle has allowed the most DKFP per game to the QB position, setting up a spot to roster Jimmy G for dirt cheap in one of his highest ceiling games of the season.
Other Options: Joe Burrow ($6,200), Cam Newton ($5,700)
Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears ($8,200) — Kamara is just a plug-and-play at this point until the Saints show us they won’t be relying on him for the bulk of the offense or his salary sees a massive spike. Kamara racked up 148 total yards on 22 touches against the Panthers, earning 22.8 DKFP without reaching the end zone. Good offenses have been able to run on the Bears, but even if the Saints struggle, Kamara caught all eight of his targets last week.
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals ($8,000) — It’s a week to spend up at RB and Henry is probably the first player I’m putting in my lineup. The Steelers haven’t given up a thing on the ground this season, and yet, Henry still managed a 20-75-1 line. Henry went for multiple touchdowns in his previous three games and has that type of upside in this game. Even at his most expensive salary of the season, I have no problem locking Henry in.
Le’Veon Bell, Kansas City Chiefs vs. New York Jets ($4,600) — Jerick McKinnon ($5,700) is really the only other value I’m confident in early in the week, showing us just how tough the RB value could wind up this week. Fortunately, there’s value at other positions, and we want to pay up at RB anyway. Let’s not look past this revenge spot for Lev Bell, though. He looked good in limited work against the Broncos, rushing for 39 yards on six carries in his debut with the Chiefs. He should see his workload grow against his former team and he also should have plenty of garbage time in this game to rack up touches — Bell only has 25 carries this season. The bottom line is that if the Chiefs want to get him into the end zone in this game, they will.
Other Options: Gio Bernard ($5,800 — If Joe Mixon is out), Jerick McKinnon ($5,700), Carlos Hyde ($5,300 — if he plays, otherwise whoever starts at RB for SEA)
Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings ($8,800) — If you believe in Rodgers this week, it’s tough not to love Adams. The pass-catchers on the Packers’ roster are just so thin and Rodgers has no problem focusing in on Adams, yet defenses still can’t stop it. Adams is coming off a massive 13-196-2 game (47.6 DKFP) on 16 targets against Houston and finished with 14-156-2 (44.6 DKFP) on 17 targets in this matchup against the Vikings in Week 1.
Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos ($6,200) — Adams is the clear stud on this slate and I expect his ownership to reflect that. After him, there’s no great WR play in a very strong matchup. I’d rather take some much-needed savings on a very fairly priced Allen. The matchup against Denver is just about average and Allen has seen a massive target share since Justin Herbert ($6,900) took over at QB. In four healthy games with Herbert as the starter, Allen is averaging 22.6 DKFP on 13.25 targets per game — he got hurt early in the Saints game, but still caught both his targets for 29 yards and a touchdown.
Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks ($5,800) — Aiyuk is pretty obvious chalk this week, but I think he’s good chalk. The situation and matchup make the rookie an obvious cash play, with Deebo Samuel (hamstring) going down and the Seahawks ranking dead last in DKFP allowed to WR. Coming off his first 100-yard game in the NFL (six grabs for 115 yards and 20.5 DKFP), this should be a high volume spot. The salary is somewhat adjusted, but he’s still underpriced. The injury to Odell Beckham Jr. (ACL) also opens up some other value options below that we can use to pay up for Adams and Henry.
Other Options: Tee Higgins ($5,600), Rashard Higgins ($4,200), Donovan Peoples-Jones ($3,800)
Darren Waller, Las Vegas at Cleveland Browns ($5,600) — I don’t think paying up for George Kittle ($7,000) or Travis Kelce ($6,600) is wrong, but I do think Waller is just as strong a play for significantly less salary. He’s the focal point of the passing game, averaging nearly 17 DKFP on nine targets per game in the past three contests. With the Bengals ranking 28th in DKFP allowed to TE, Waller shouldn’t see much resistance.
Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals ($4,100) — Harrison Bryant ($3,200) will probably be the more popular play after his performance last week and I may opt to take the savings and roster him too. But if I can find room for Smith, he’s in a great spot. Jonnu was just up at $5,200 and a pair of duds has dropped him to his lowest salary since Week 1. It’s the perfect spot to capitalize with the Bengals on deck, a team allowing the most DKFP to the position.
Other Options: Jared Cook ($4,400), Harrison Bryant ($3,200), Albert Okwuegbunam ($2,800)
Kansas City Chiefs D/ST ($4,500) vs. New York Jets — In reality, I’m not going to be able to spend up at defense, especially this much. But the Chiefs have been good defensively from a fantasy perspective, scoring touchdowns in two of their past four games for 20-plus DKFP against the Patriots and Broncos.
Miami Dolphins D/ST ($2,400) vs. Los Angeles Rams — I do really like the Rams in this game, but that’s more of a rookie QB fade. The offense might not be sharp coming east on a short week for an early game. With a lack of good value here, Miami has been solid defensively and has had time to scheme coming off of a bye. The Dolphins’ D/ST has scored 12-plus DKFP in three of the past four games.
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