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The Starting 5 – Expert NFL DFS Plays & Lineup Picks for FanDuel & DraftKings – Week 8

Expert NFL DFS Lineup Picks for FanDuel & DraftKings contests – Week 8, 2016.

Our best daily fantasy NFL lineup advice, picks and plays (Week 8 DFS Slate).

Welcome to the Starting Five – NFL edition.

In this post, we highlight five players we are looking at for our rosters this week.

For last week’s article, check it out here to see how we did.

QB – Jameis Winston, TB

This is shaping up to be a week where you may not need to spend up at QB to find success in DFS. While Andrew Luck was in our optimal lineup analysis for week 7 (check the weekly insights column for more on this topic), guys like Jameis Winston and Kirk Cousins found themselves as top value options on the slate.

The main slate for week 8 is only 10 games deep as we have a Sunday morning game once again and the bye weeks for certain clubs, too. On this slate, the TB/OAK game has one of the highest totals (49 points) with each team projected for at least 24 points (25 for TB; 24 for OAK).

Winston’s price tag of only $5,700 on DK makes him an automatic for exposure in all formats, and a rock solid cash game play in particular considering how well he showed last week in a very solid matchup against the 49ers (269 yards, 3 TD).

Look for him to have a productive week 8 at home against the Raiders who are a bottom half team defending the QB position based on slate strength.

RB – Spencer Ware, KC

I said this in last week’s column and I’m sticking with it for week 8 once again:

After watching Lamar Miller run wild on the Colts in week 6, I’m jumping on the DeMarco Murray bandwagon again this week. He continues to be a great running game option as a high-volume back in a nice matchup with a great floor/ceiling combination. He has 20+ touches in four straight games and is locked-in as the goal line workhorse as well.

Murray went on to have a very solid game for the Titans last week, and this is a matchup that I want to exploit on the ground once again. The status of Jamaal Charles is going to make this feel like a somewhat risky play heading in to Sunday, but at this point I think we all have to understand Charles is just not back to health and frankly, they don’t need to push him to return with the way that Ware is playing these days.

He’s had back-to-back weeks of over 21 DK points, averaging over 20 touches per game in that span – and Charles has been active in both of those contests. Yes, his price tag is up +$1,000 on DK but only +$400 on FD coming into this one, and the matchup really doesn’t get any better when you factor in strength of opponent and team tendencies (KC = pound the ground).

WR – Mike Evans, TB

Pretty simple formula here. Play the guy in a solid matchup, where you like the QB, knowing he is going to get the lion’s share of targets.

This should be a fairly straight forward “auto-play” this week as Evans is averaging close to 40% (yes, that number is accurate) of his team’s passing targets through the air over the last 4 games and has 37% of the receiving yards. It helps that he’s the top option in the red zone for Winston, who found him twice last game to help propel him to a top ROI play on the slate at the WR position.

He has 16 or more FD points in all games except for one (vs DEN) so far this year, showing exactly how high-target volume and consistency can pay off in DFS. Don’t overthink this one here – stack Winston and Evans with great confidence as they should be highly productive once again this week.

Note that this is likely to be one of the chalkiest and highest-owned stacks on the slate.

TE – Jimmy Graham, SEA

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really liking the way things are shaking out for the TE position once again this week.

We had Travis Kelce here for a couple weeks in a row thanks to some positive outlooks, but he wasn’t a very exciting play. Jack Doyle was a great mention as a value option and he turned out to be an excellent (and optimal) pick at the TE spot in week 7 (certainly in play once again based on price).

But as far as high ceiling goes, I want to talk about Graham here. He makes his return to the city of New Orleans for a week 8 tilt with the Saints, where he put up some massive numbers before leaving via trade for Seattle.

He battled injuries and a lack of consistent role in the Seahawks offense for much of last year, but has really come on strong the last few weeks. He has 8+ targets in 4 straight games and 89+ receiving yards in 3 of those 4 outings. While he’s only found the end zone once in that time, you have to like the way the targets are looking these days and he’s playing some pretty inspired football to make sure the football world knows “he’s back” in a big way.

The value is very digestible this week at $6,700 on FD and $6,100 on DK, and the Seahawks are projected for almost 26 points on the road in the “Coors Field” of the NFL (New Orleans). This is a great “revenge game” scenario to take advantage of, and Graham is one of the first guys that will be making an appearance in my lineup this week thanks to the floor/ceiling combo and very solid price point.

D/ST – Arizona

I wish the Titans were eligible this week for the main slate, but in fact they are only an option on Thursday contest locks.

That said, if you opt to avoid Denver against the Chargers (they’re a fine play, too) I would recommend going with the Cardinals even though the matchup may not appear to be entirely fruitful or attractive on paper.

They have the second-highest INT rate on the slate, coming in just behind Kansas City (who I much prefer in home matchups, frankly) and are top 5 on the slate in overall takeaway percentage.

Their price point on DK is excellent at only $2,700, and they have scored at least 8 points in all but 2 contests so far this year (3 contests in double-digits, too).

I like looking for a combination of floor and upside in this situation, and it feels to me like we should be able to see them put up at least a mildly productive game as a high-talent defense in a matchup that Cam Newton will be forced to air it out in. Wouldn’t surprise me if we see 1-2 turnovers by Newton as he tries to force the ball in to Greg Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin.

Like I said before, Tennessee is my other favorite play for week 8 at the DEF/ST spot should you choose to play Thursday contests. I’d prefer them over the Cardinals to be honest. I also think Detroit is an intriguing value option against the Texans who have to be the most mediocre offensive football team in the NFL right now.

 Best of luck in week 8, folks!

About Jared

Jared is an expert fantasy sports player for both DFS and season-long formats. Specializing in DFS Baseball, Football & Basketball, with tens of thousands of dollars in career DFS earnings. Active player on FanDuel, DraftKings & FantasyDraft. Annual NFBC high stakes league participant.

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