Chris Carson and the Lock Button Plays for Week 8

by Alex Johnson ·

Week 7 was a mixed bag when it came to the Lock Button Plays. Tyler Boyd and Cooper Kupp struggled to take full advantage of their matchups, and the ultimate lock-button tight end play failed us. The Giants exploited the matchup with the Cardinals, but it was with Rhett Ellison scoring the touchdown rather than Evan Engram. David Johnson was active but only took three snaps. Talk about frustrating, but let’s get to the good stuff. We hit with our call on Leonard Fournette. He was a goal line stand away from an even better day, but still finished in the top-10. Dalvin Cook ran all over the Lions to finish as the RB3. Speaking of getting it done on the ground, our QB lock play, Lamar Jackson, ran for 116 yards and a touchdown to finish as the QB6. Turning the page to Week 8, we present 13 more lock-button players who are primed for success. These players should be in your lineups based on usage, opportunity, matchups, advanced stats and metrics. Let’s assume PPR scoring with four points per passing touchdown.

Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks

Matchup: Falcons

Russell Wilson is priced as the No. 1 quarterback on both FanDuel and DraftKings this week but is well-worth the cost. This is assuming Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is good to go. Wilson is averaging 6.2 more pass attempts per game than he did in 2018. As a result, he has finished as a top-five quarterback five times. Wilson is second in fantasy points per game and he leads the league in passing touchdowns. He’s No. 1 in red zone attempts and fantasy points per drop back. In addition to helping his passing numbers, the increased number of drop backs has naturally led to more scrambles. Wilson is top-five among quarterbacks in rush attempts, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.

Week 8 presents a mouth-watering matchup with a bad Falcons defense. Atlanta has surrendered the second most passing yards and the most passing touchdowns. They have allowed the third most rushing touchdowns by quarterbacks and the most fantasy points per game to the position. The Falcons have not recorded a sack since Week 3. That’s four consecutive games without sacking a quarterback. Lock in Wilson as this week’s best quarterback play, especially if Ryan plays, which would turn this into a shootout.

Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks

Matchup: Falcons

So much for Rashaad Penny overtaking Chris Carson for the lead job in the Seattle backfield this season. Not only has Carson held off the 2018 first rounder for the second year in a row, he has taken a complete stranglehold on the gig. He boasts a 74.8-percent (No. 7 among qualified running backs) Snap Share a 76.8-percent (No. 8) Opportunity Share. Even with Penny returning from a hamstring injury last week, Carson saw a season-high 91-percent of the snaps. He has carried the ball at least 21 times in four straight games. His 139 carries on the season trails only Leonard Fournette. He has been efficient with his carries, evidenced by a 29.8-percent (No. 11) Juke Rate and 48 (No. 4) evaded tackles. He is seventh among all running backs with 220 Yards Created.

Check out Chris Carson on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Weekly Rankings and Projections:

While the Falcons have been particularly bad against the pass, they have allowed the 12th-most rushing yards and the sixth most rushing touchdowns. No defense has allowed more points than the Falcons, so there should be plenty of opportunity for Carson to add to his 23 (No. 5) red zone touches and four total touchdowns.

Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars

Matchup: Jets

Leonard Fournette continues to dominate in just about every statistical category, except for touchdowns. Fournette has 715 rushing yards and leads the league in carries, but has only scored once. His touchdown rate seems impossible, especially when considering he has averaged 4.4 red zone touches per game. To put it into context, Dalvin Cook has 725 rushing yards and eight touchdowns while Christian McCaffrey has run for 618 yards and has scored nine times. Sooner or later, Fournette’s touchdown rate will positively revert to the mean. In the meantime, he is still the RB8 due to the volume of touches he is seeing. He’s top-three in both Snap Share and Opportunity Share. He has averaged 25.3 rush attempts and 161.3 total yards per game over the last four weeks. He’s seeing volume in the passing game too, with 38 targets (5.4 per game) on the season. That’s 2.2 more per game than his 2018 average.

Week 8’s matchup with the Jets will give Fournette a prime spot to find the end zone. The Jets have allowed the most rushing touchdowns to running backs this season. They have also surrendered the sixth most receiving yards to running backs and 29.1 fantasy points per game to the position. Fournette’s lack of scores has kept his price down in DFS, as he is $1,400 below McCaffrey on DraftKings and $1,900 cheaper on FanDuel. Lock him in as one of the best plays of Week 8.

Kenny Stills, WR, Texans

Matchup: Raiders

Not only is Kenny Stills among the best waiver wire pickups in traditional leagues this week, he is a lock-button play in DFS as well. Stills steps into the Will Fuller role as Houston’s No. 2 wide receiver opposite DeAndre Hopkins. With Fuller going down early in Week 7, Stills played on 98.3-percent of the snaps and ran 32 routes. He was targeted five times, catching four for 105 yards and finishing as the WR20 for the week. Though he’s been limited early in the season due to his arrival via trade just before Week 1, and a hamstring injury that kept him out Weeks 5 and 6, Stills has played well when given the opportunity. His sub-4.40 speed allows him to work the deep areas of the field much like Fuller, and he is efficient when doing so. In fact, Stills leads all wide receivers in yards per target and is top-three in yards per reception and yards per route.

Deshaun Watson’s 136.3 passer rating when targeting Stills is the fifth best among all quarterback-wide receiver combinations. Stills is fifth in fantasy points per target and averages 0.64 (No.9) fantasy points for every route run. Now in the role that saw Fuller average eight targets per game, Stills is in line to smash for fantasy gamers. He is a complete steal on both FanDuel ($5,700) and DraftKings ($4,700) despite a matchup with the Raiders, who have allowed 16 passing touchdowns and 43 fantasy points per game to wide receivers.

Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions

Matchup: Giants

In a game that saw Marvin Jones score four times, Kenny Golladay was a massive disappointment last week against the Vikings. Week 8 presents a prime bounce-back spot for the third-year receiver though, with the Giants surrendering the seventh most fantasy points per game to wideouts. They have allowed the second most pass plays of 20 yards or more, including seven passes of more than 40 yards. That plays right into Golladay’s wheelhouse, with him seeing 15 (No. 3) deep targets and 16.4 (No. 4) yards of average Target Distance.

Golladay has seen at least eight targets in all but one game. He is tied with Larry Fitzgerald for the most targets inside the 10-yard line with seven. Despite ranking as a top-10 wide receiver on PlayerProfiler for Week 8, Golladay is priced outside the top-15 on both DraftKings ($6,400) and FanDuel ($6,700).

Gerald Everett, TE, Rams

Matchup: Bengals

Gerald Everett may be the hottest tight end not named Austin Hooper in the league right now. After scoring as the TE34 in Weeks 1 through 3, Everett is the TE2 for Weeks 4 through 7. He has averaged 8.5 targets and 4.5 receptions per game over his last four. He scored in two of those contests and finished as the TE6 or better three times. In Week 7, Everett was fourth among all players with 147 Air Yards. He is among the top-five tight ends on the season in target distance and ranks first in red zone receptions. FanDuel and DraftKings have yet to properly adjust pricing for what is becoming Everett’s breakout campaign. He is the TE9 at just $4,300 on DraftKings this week. That’s $2,900 below Travis Kelce. FanDuel is a little better but still has him priced as TE8 at $6,100.

Other Locks:

Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans vs Raiders: An obvious call, but it doesn’t get much easier than this. A smash spot for Watson against a vulnerable Raiders defense.

Latavius Murray, RB, Saints vs Cardinals: This is contingent on Alvin Kamara’s status. If Kamara sits again, this is a smash spot for Murray against one of the NFL’s worst defenses.

Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants at Lions: Don’t forget about Barkley. He is back healthy and the Lions have allowed the second most fantasy points per game to running backs.

Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks at Falcons: Stack him with Russell Wilson against the league’s worst pass defense.

Tyler Boyd, WR, Bengals at Rams: Continue to follow the volume. Boyd is third among wide receivers in targets.

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans vs Raiders: Stack him with Watson against a Raiders defense that allows 43 fantasy points per game to wide receivers.

Austin Hooper, TE, Falcons vs Seahawks:  Why stop now? Hooper is still a bit undervalued on both DFS platforms considering he averages 17.5 fantasy points per game.