The NFL season keeps rolling with another week of action this Sunday, providing an 11-game main slate this Sunday afternoon on DraftKings. In Week 8, the Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington Football Team and Houston Texans will have their scheduled bye weeks. The Atlanta Falcons and the Dallas Cowboys, two of the best teams to stack against, will be playing in primetime, so players may have to dig a little deeper as they assemble their DraftKings team for the week. Eight of the 11 games kick off at 1:00 p.m. ET with just three games in the late window, highlighted by the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers clashing in an NFC West showdown. That is one of five divisional games on the main slate as teams jockey for position, approaching the halfway point of the season.
As you get your DraftKings squad together for Week 8’s main slate, make sure to take a look at the affordable plays listed below that come loaded with upside. Each week, I dive into the bargain bin and give you my favorite cheap plays based on recent form, matchup and expected opportunity. Here are the plays I like the most this Sunday.
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($6,000 and under)
Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns, $5,500 – The Raiders are on the road to take on the Browns this week after losing at home to the Bucs in Week 7. Carr threw for 284 yards and a pair of touchdowns in that loss, posting 20.26 DKFP against an excellent defense that limited Aaron Rodgers ($7,600) the week before. Much of that production was as the Raiders tried to play catch-up, but Carr still managed to get over 20 DKFP for the third week in a row. He continues to take deep shots and utilize all parts of the field in Jon Gruden’s offense. So far this season, he has averaged a solid 21.1 DKFP in his six games, throwing 13 touchdowns with just two picks and an average of 287.7 yards per game. Carr is the only QB available for under $6K who is averaging more than 20 DKFP per contest except for Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,600) who has been benched.
The Raiders’ offense should be a good source of value against Cleveland, who has given up 31.6 points per game, the fourth-most in the NFL. They have allowed an average of over 300 passing yards per game and a total of 16 passing touchdowns in seven games. They gave a monster game to Joe Burrow ($6,200) last week that resulted in 38.6 DKFP for the rookie, and I’m back to attack that same matchup with my top value QB for the second week in a row.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks, $5,400 – Jimmy G didn’t need to have a big game against his former team, as the Patriots’ run defense leaked like a sieve and allowed San Francisco to open a big lead early. When he did throw, Garoppolo was efficient, completing 20-of-25 passes for 277 yards. He didn’t throw a touchdown but did have a pair of picks (one of which came on a last-second heave at the end of the first half). Most importantly, Garoppolo looked healthy and seems to be recovering his form after his ankle injury that hobbled him in his first game back against Miami in Week 5, but he started to get past with 23.52 DKFP against the Rams in Week 6. Garoppolo seems to be establishing a strong connection with rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk ($5,800), who had over 100 yards for the first time in his career, which is a good thing since Deebo Samuel (hamstring) is expected to miss a couple of weeks. Jimmy G was pressured on only 18.5% of his dropbacks last week and was able to average 11.1 yards per attempt, which should give him plenty of upside in a favorable matchup this week.
Garoppolo and the 49ers have a big game this week against the Seahawks, who are leading the NFC West, which is one of the best divisions in the NFL. Seattle’s success has been in spite of its dreadful pass defense which has given up the most DKFP to opposing QBs in the NFL. Coming off the bye, they were demolished by Kyler Murray and the Cardinals, and they have allowed 300-plus passing yards in five of their six games and an average of 373.8 passing yards per contest. The Seahawks’ offense should bounce back with a better day from Russell Wilson ($7,800), but that just means that Garoppolo will need to air it out in order to keep up in an entertaining, high-scoring game in the late window.
($5,000 and under)
Le’Veon Bell, Kansas City Chiefs vs. New York Jets, $4,600 – Revenge games are much more a fantasy basketball narrative than a fantasy football thing, but this one couldn’t have been scripted any better for Bell. He had an acrimonious parting with the Jets just a few weeks ago and signed with the Chiefs in time to make his debut last week against the Broncos. He played 17 snaps (33%) in the snow and took six carries for 39 yards. He only averaged 3.3 yards per carry in his time with the Jets but looked much better instantly with a better offense around him, ripping off a pair of 16-yard runs and averaging over 6.0 yards per carry.
Bell should be even more plugged into the offense after another week of practice, and coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy like to rotate RBs. That situation should give Bell some work behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire ($6,500) moving forward, and they may have something special schemed up to get him more involved against his former team. Even though Bell isn’t an every down back, he does have good upside in what should be a blowout win for the Chiefs, giving them plenty of time to run the ball late with Bell.
Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots, $4,400 – As mentioned above, the Patriots’ run defense was abysmal last week, allowing Jeff Wilson Jr. ($6,000; ankle) to go off for 112 yards, three touchdowns and 35 DKFP. The Patriots have allowed an average of 113 rushing yards per game to opposing RBs this season, and Buffalo will likely try to take advantage of that matchup as they try to show they’re the team to beat in the AFC East.
Buffalo’s ground game has struggled, though, with Devin Singletary ($5,100) averaging just 3.8 yards per carry on the season with just a single rushing touchdown. Last week, Singletary was out-produced by the rookie Moss, who is still getting back to full strength following a three-week absence due to a toe injury. Moss played 47% of the snaps in Week 7 and seems likely going to get a larger workload moving forward. It’s also encouraging that he got 10-of-12 red zone chances in Week 1, although all three red zone touches this past week went to Singletary. If Singletary continues to struggle, Moss could emerge as the team’s primary option just in time for this tasty matchup against New England.
Other Options: Malcolm Brown ($4,700), La’Mical Perine ($4,300), Damien Harris ($4,200), DeeJay Dallas ($4,000)
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($5,000 and under)
Nelson Agholor, Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns, $4,700 – Without Tyrell Williams (shoulder) for the season, the Raiders have had opportunities for other WRs to step up. While Henry Ruggs III ($4,900) has shown a very high ceiling, Agholor has been more involved on a regular basis and has found the end zone in each of the past three weeks. He was targeted a season-high nine times against the Chiefs in Week 7 and hit 100 yards for the first time this year. Ruggs has not drawn more than three targets in any game since Week 1. Ruggs is drawing a crazy 20-yard average depth of target, but Agholor is also in the top-25 in the NFL with a 14.0 yard average depth of target.
In addition to their struggles against QBs, the Browns have also given up the sixth-most DKFP to WR. Last week, they gave up big games to both Tyler Boyd ($6,600) and Tee Higgins ($5,600), and they have given up a total of 12 WR touchdowns already this season, second only to the Cowboys, who have given up 13.
Rashard Higgins, Cleveland Browns vs. Las Vegas Raiders, $4,200 – On the other side of that Browns-Raiders matchup, Higgins is poised to step into a larger role with Odell Beckham Jr. (knee) out for the season. Higgins hauled in all six of his targets for 110 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals in Week 7, filling in after Beckham’s injury. Higgins will have some competition with KhaDarel Hodge ($3,000) working his way back off IR and Jarvis Landry ($5,600) healthier as he plays through his own injuries. Last week, though, Higgins was clearly the top WR option, playing a team-high 85% of the offensive snaps.
The Raiders haven’t been quite as bad as the Browns against WR, but they did allow three WR touchdowns last week to the Bucs and have given up six TDs to WRs in their past three games. I think both teams will be able to move the ball through the air, making WRs from both teams good value plays.
Denzel Mims, New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs, $3,200 – The Jets have battled injuries at WR all season long, and that could open the door for them to get a long look at rookie second-round pick Mims. Mims was on IR himself until last week with a hamstring injury but stepped right in and played 79% of the team’s offensive snaps. He tied for the team lead in targets and receptions catching 4-of-7 passes thrown his way and led the team with 42 receiving yards against a solid Bills secondary. With Breshad Perriman ($3,600) in the concussion protocol and Jamison Crowder ($5,800; groin) possibly suffering a setback, Mims could be the top target for Sam Darnold ($4,800) this week against the Chiefs.
While the Jets’ offense has been a total mess, they could have plenty of garbage time this week against the Chiefs. If they have to air it out or they get a chance to give a look at players for the future, Mims should get lots of work either way. He does come with some risk due to his offensive unit’s moribund production but also has plenty of upside to consider on what could be a busy Sunday for him.
Josh Reynolds, Los Angeles Rams at Miami Dolphins, $3,100 – The Rams’ win on Monday Night came after salaries were released, so Reynolds’ salary does not account for his big game against Chicago. He hauled in 4-of-8 targets for 52 yards and a touchdown, giving him scores in back-to-back weeks from Jared Goff ($6,500). Even though he’s the third WR, he still played 74% of the offensive snaps, which is right in line with his season average and a clear advantage over the options further down the depth chart. He is also becoming more of an option in the red zone and was the only WR to get a red zone target this week against Chicago.
While Cooper Kupp ($6,500) and Robert Woods ($6,300) are priced up for a matchup with Miami, Reynolds is still amazingly cheap. He has at least four targets in five straight games and will be looking for his third straight game with over a dozen DFKP.
Other Options: Tre’Quan Smith ($4,700), Marvin Jones Jr. ($4,200), Jalen Guyton ($3,600), Trent Taylor ($3,000)
($4,000 and under)
Eric Ebron, Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens, $3,900 – Ebron has been a consistent part of the Steelers’ offense in his first year in Pittsburgh, averaging 6.0 targets per game since the Week 4 bye week. He hauled in 6-of-8 targets for 50 yards and 11.0 DKFP against the Titans and got four looks in the red zone, one of which resulted in him being stopped at the two-yard line.
The fact that Ebron is so involved, especially in the red zone, makes him a solid option in this AFC North contest against the Ravens, who rank in the middle of the pack against TEs but did allow eight catches for 67 yards and a touchdown to the Eagles’ TEs in their most recent game.
Harrison Bryant, Cleveland Browns vs. Las Vegas Raiders, $3,200 – In addition to losing Beckham for the season, the Browns are without TE Austin Hooper, who is recovering from an appendectomy and is expected to be out through Cleveland’s Week 9 bye week. Without Beckham and Hooper in Week 7, Bryant got a chance to step up and delivered 56 yards on his four catches while scoring a pair of touchdowns and finishing with 21.6 DKFP.
The rookie fourth-round pick had been good in limited work so far this season and looks ready to be a regular part of the Browns’ offense moving forward. David Njoku ($3,800) is still around but has reportedly wanted a trade for a while and could be on the move even with Hooper out. Bryant played 77% of snaps in Week 7 compared to 60% for Njoku and got two red zone opportunities compared to just one for Njoku. The Raiders haven’t been awful against TEs all season but they have given up over 50 yards and a touchdown to the opposing TE in each of their past two games, so Bryant should be set up for more success.
Other Options: Gerald Everett ($3,700), Drew Sample ($3,400)
($2,800 and under)
Dolphins DST, Miami Dolphins vs. Los Angeles Rams, $2,400 – The Dolphins catch the Rams on a short week after Monday Night Football, and Los Angeles will also have to travel cross-country and play in the early game, which has sometimes resulted in sub-par performances for West Coast teams in the past. Miami’s defense is also a little bit underrated and has averaged a solid 8.0 DKFP per contest, which is fifth-best of the teams on the main slate.
The Dolphins have at least 12 DKFP in three of their past four contests and have piled up 17 sacks and nine takeaways in their six games this season. They have also been able to hold their opponents 21 points or fewer in four of those six contests and had a shutout against the Jets in Week 6. Coming off a bye week, they should be rested and ready to take on the Rams.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.