Week 8 of the fantasy football season is upon us, which means another week with a fresh start for daily fantasy football players.
Daily fantasy football uses a salary cap system for picking teams for its most popular games, and that means looking for the best values will help you win every week. Saving in some areas while spending big in other areas will lead to the best team which scores the most points.
So who are the best players to play this week? Which have the best prices for their potential scoring performances? Which players are overpriced, and worth avoiding completely? Check out my picks, and leave yours in the comment section below.
(Statistics obtained from ESPN Fantasy Football unless otherwise noted.)
Terrelle Pryor, Oakland Raiders ($6,000 on DraftKings)
The Raiders face the Pittsburgh Steelers this week, and the Steelers are quite stingy against the pass. They’re one of only four teams allowing fewer than 200 yards per game through the air.
But Pryor has two things going for him despite that seemingly depressing statistic.
First, the Steelers are league average at defending the run, which is something Pryor does well.
Second, the Steelers gave up a season high in fantasy points to a quarterback when they faced the Vikings in London, meaning they’re still prone to allowing a good fantasy day to less-than-elite quarterbacks, especially on the road.
Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers ($6,100 on DraftKings)
The Green Bay Packers earn the sixth-most rushing yards per game in the NFL, and their leading rusher is cheap in daily fantasy this week. This choice is obvious.
Add in the fact that Minnesota, the Packers’ opponent this weekend, are allowing the fourth-most points per game, and you can reasonably expect Lacy to score a touchdown or two while posting a solid day on the ground.
Lacy should be in your lineup in daily fantasy every week until his price reaches his production.
Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons ($5,600 on FanDuel)
Most daily fantasy websites use a point-per-reception format. In a PPR format, the Arizona Cardinals have given up the most points to tight ends this season.
That makes it an absolute no-brainer to use Gonzalez in daily fantasy, because he’s priced as an average tight end despite being one of the best in the league.
His recent performances have been a bit disappointing, but he has the perfect opportunity to bounce back against Arizona. He’s well worth the price, so he doesn’t have to dominate to give a return on his value.
Worth the Price
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers ($9,700 on FanDuel)
The Vikings allow a lot of points to opposing offenses, as mentioned earlier.
Aaron Rodgers scores lots of points, as proven by his career of being a top-flight fantasy quarterback.
This one requires no introduction. It’s a bad defense against an elite quarterback, and the price is good enough considering the crazy cost assigned to Peyton Manning.
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks ($8,600 on FanDuel)
The St. Louis Rams are on the schedule this week for Seattle, and the last time they played a dominant NFC West team (the San Francisco 49ers) they allowed a massive day to the Niners’ running backs.
Enter Marshawn Lynch, who should find similar opportunities against a weak defense. Add in the fact that St. Louis will be starting a backup quarterback and are unlikely to keep the game competitive, and you can see plenty of reasons why Lynch will be working his way through the St. Louis defense for a big day on the ground.
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers ($6,800 on DraftKings)
Brown isn’t the highest priced receiver in daily fantasy sports, but he has the potential to break out and be a high-scorer in any given week. And just like he did in Week 3 against the Bears, Brown could be in line for another huge game against the Oakland Raiders.
Oakland have allowed 28 PPR points or more to wide receivers in every game this season except one, and that was against Alex Smith’s weak arm and inconsistent receiving corps of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Steelers have a better passing attack than Kansas City, and Brown will be the beneficiary of their excellent opportunity against Oakland.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions ($8,800 on DraftKings)
For Stafford this week, he’s a “must avoid” simply because there are so many great options that Stafford’s high price just isn’t a worthwhile investment.
Yes, the Cowboys seem like a good defense to start a quarterback against. But take away Peyton Manning’s incredible day against them, and Dallas has allowed just over 18 points per game to quarterbacks, which is close to league average.
And while Stafford is a good quarterback, he’s not Peyton Manning, and he won’t post ridiculous numbers this week.
Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns ($6,300 on FanDuel)
The Browns are facing the Chiefs. The Browns are starting Jason Campbell at quarterback. These two things spell absolute disaster for Gordon’s fantasy production this week.
Kansas City is too good of a defense to justify spending any decent amount of salary cap on a Cleveland receiver.
Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers ($7,000 on FanDuel)
Similar to Stafford, Vernon Davis isn’t a great play this week just because there are better options. The proven performance of Rob Gronkowski is not much more expensive, while Julius Thomas and Tony Gonzalez are much cheaper.
And despite a great matchup for Davis against the Jaguars, the matchup may be too good. If the 49ers get up early thanks to Frank Gore runs or Anquan Boldin catches, Davis may not see the ball late in the game as the Niners run down the clock.
Davis is a roller coaster, and is a huge risk this week. So with better options at better prices, skip on him this week.
Topics: Aaron Rodgers, Antonio Brown, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers, Josh Gordon, Marshawn Lynch, Matthew Stafford, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Terrelle Pryor, Tony Gonzalez, Vernon Davis