Targeting Games for DFS Week 8 Matchups

by Chase Vernon · Strategy
mike-gesicki-fantasy-football

Week 7 was an adventure. The DFS Matchups for Week 8 shouldn’t be short of similar opportunities to cash in on tournaments. There are plenty of injuries to create opportunities, limited games with a 50-point over/under, and great weather across the slate. 

As for the result from Week 7; We nailed it. Faded Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill while touting A.J. Brown as the play of the week. And while Brown fell short of a 200-yard, two-touchdown performance, he finished as WR4 on the week.

Fading Derrick Henry was an obvious leverage play. However, if you didn’t fade him, stacking Brown and Ryan Tannehill with him should have been the ideal route. Well, this game was not as high-scoring as anticipated; the result was Henry not seeing volume in the passing game. So rolling out Brown solo was the correct call.

As for the Lions and Rams, D’Andre Swift was the choice for RB1 on the slate, thanks to the DOCE Score. He demolished the Rams and would have finished RB1 on the entire week if not for Alvin Kamara on Monday night. Darrell Henderson left you wanting, but you were more than satisfied if you stacked Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp. The biggest disappointment came with T.J. Hockenson. He ran the second-most routes and saw the second-most targets, but his 6.5 ADOT was his second-lowest on the season. 

Stacking Tua Tagovailoa, Myles Gaskin, and Jaylen Waddle while running it back with Kyle Pitts was a smash play. I wish I would have included Mike Gesicki in my piece as well. Those four could be one of the largest and deepest ROI’s in 2021, but there were probably very few who played four players from the Dolphins in one lineup—I’m satisfied with three.

The only arguable bust I had was taking Joe Mixon and Lamar Jackson. However, Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and Marquise Brown were smash plays. 

Games to Target in DFS Week 8 Matchups 

Titans @ Colts

Weather: Dome

Over/Under: 51

Fact to Know: Jonathan Taylor is the ideal DFS play as he has 11.8 (No. 1 among qualified running backs) yards per reception, seven (No. 3) Breakaway Tuns, 77 (No. 2) Evaded Tackles, 10 (No. 1) Goal Line Carries, a 62.6-percent (No. 1) Juke Rate, and 5.02 (No. 1) Yards Created per Touch

Players to Attack in DFS Week 8 Matchup

A.J. Brown $6,900

Jonathan Taylor $7,200

Michael Pittman $5,300

Derrick Henry $8,900

Carson Wentz $5,700

Ryan Tannehill $6,600

T.Y. Hilton $4,900

The Titans-Colts matchup is always the highest scoring. However, two of the past three have hit at least 51 points. Aside from Jonathan Taylor, it’s typically the studs from each team who garner the points. Derrick Henry, A.J. Brown, Michael Pittman, and T.Y. Hilton generally are the players who succeed in these matchups. However, with all the injuries to both teams, it’s tough to predict who will be successful on either side. 

With Julio Jones out, I’m locking in Brown and Ryan Tannehill into most of my lineups. However, we have seen four of the past five games with Tannehill under 30 passing attempts. Part could be due to the lack of receivers, but the other part is the play-calling and game plan. I like the concept of using Brown, Jones, and Henry as one-offs or run-backs over trying to stack this team. 

On the other side of the ball, we have Carson Wentz. Over his past two games, one came in a monsoon, and the other they won by four touchdowns. Sure, Taylor has had a massive uptick in production, but each of the previous contests have resulted in over 30 attempts. Pittman and Hilton (if he plays) should have no problem producing against the Titans beat-up secondary. Pittman needs to improve his catch rate on his six (No. 20) red zone targets. If he does, he will blow up the slate.

Dolphins @ Bills

Weather: 49f Possible Chance of Light Showers

Over/Under: 49.5

Fact to Know: The Bills get pressure on the quarterback on 28.5-percent (No.4) of the snaps while only blitzing 18.7-percent (No. 27) of the time. 

Players to Target in DFS Week 8 Matchup

DeVante Parker $4,900
Stefon Diggs $8,100
Jaylen Waddle $5,600
Josh Allen $8,100
Tua Tagovailoa $5,500
Emmanuel Sanders $5,400
Mike Gesicki $5,000
Zack Moss $5,200

It’s no secret Tre’Davious White struggles against bigger, physically imposing receivers. However, across 2021 White hasn’t faced many outside of DeVante Parker with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback. Even through the early years in Parker’s career, he’s been able to take advantage of the matchups against the Bills scoring double digits in nearly every contest. 

Parker’s performances haven’t been DFS lineup breakers, but at $4,900 you don’t need them to crush 30 points. In a game where Tua Tagovailoa could see over 40 passing attempts, Parker’s 21.9-percent (No. 31) Target Share with 18.2-percent in the red zone should net more than enough opportunities to obtain over 20 fantasy points. 

The Bills allow a 7.26 (No.7) DOCE Score, so I don’t expect Myles Gaskin to be involved as much, but Jaylen Waddle makes for an enticing volume play against Taron Johnson in the slot. Meanwhile, Mike Gesicki continues to gain popularity, and the Bills have held up against tight ends. So if Parker plays, I’ll likely fade Gesicki in more contests.

As for the Bills side, Zack Moss is intriguing if the Bills blow the Dolphins out of the water. Even so, his upside is limited. I could make a case to play him in cash while taking a dart throw in tournaments. However, you’d have to make a conscious decision to play him over Kenny Gainwell and Javonte Williams, which shouldn’t feel great.

Stefon Diggs is an automatic start if you’re attacking this matchup, but it makes sense if you’d like to pivot down to Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders is $2,700 cheaper, has run more routes than Diggs on the season, and has a sexy 17.3 (No. 4) Average Target Distance. No player under $5,500 has more fantasy points per game, and you have to pay $1,000 more to find the next eligible player on the slate who does. 

fantasy-football-dynasty-league-rankings

Other Sneaky Game Stacks

Jalen Hurts $7,200

Kenny Gainwell $5,000

D’Andre Swift $7,100

T.J. Hockenson $5,400

Devonta Smith $5,500

Quez Watkins $4,000

Dallas Goedert $4,700

The Eagles are allowed 12.4 fantasy points in the air to pass-catching running backs, but they have played some great ones thus far. D’Andre Swift feels like another autostart this week as he continues to solidify himself as the focal point in this passing game. Philadelphia’s 10.14 (No. 22) DOCE Score makes for a solid DFS play as he finally cracks the $7,000 pricing threshold.

Both secondaries are struggling with injuries. T.J. Hockenson should find his way back to fantasy relevance if Anthony Harris misses this Week 8 matchup; meanwhile, A.J. Parker is questionable, opening up another gap in the slot for the Lions. Quez Watkins is the primary slot receiver, and Devonta Smith also sees opportunities. I’ll be sneaking both into lineups with Jalen Hurts

The tough decision has to be made about Dallas Goedert, who can still give you a solid output but might not have enough volume to make it worth the play. The Lions are No. 12 against the tight end but have seen the second-least amount of targets as teams haven’t had to pass. 

Chris Godwin $6,400

Alvin Kamara $8,700

Marquez Callaway $5,400 

Tom Brady $7,400

Jameis Winston $6,000

Alvin Kamara‘s price and the matchup could scare people away, but the buccaneers allowing a 12.92 (No. 30) DOCE Score is too sexy to pass up. Meanwhile, this game has Jameis Winston‘s name all over it. Whether that is good or bad remains to be seen, but Kamara could easily eclipse 100 yards receiving, and the Buccaneers have allowed 31 (No. 4) explosive passing plays thus far. I would love to go Tre’Quan Smith, but the sideline spat in Week 7 has me staying away. 

Chris Godwin could smash against Chauncey Gardner-Johnson while Mike Evans struggles against Marshon Lattimore like he typically does. Tom Brady is in play primarily because the Saints run defense is elite. There aren’t too many situations where Brady doesn’t rack up fantasy points. If Winston turns the ball over a ton, Brady could have five touchdowns. If this DFS Week 8 matchup becomes a shootout, Brady could have five touchdowns. The only way he doesn’t is if the Saints run defense falters. 

A Couple of Dart Throws

David Johnson $4,200

David Johnson has 58 (No. 11) routes run and 11 (No. 8) receptions over the past three weeks. With Mark Ingram gone, Phillip Lindsay could see more first and second down touches, leaving the Texans in more third and longs. Perfect opportunity for Johnson to maximize his pass-catching ability. He faces the Rams, who were just torched by Swift and have allowed an 11.82 (No. 27) DOCE Score against pass-catching running backs. 

Tee Higgins $5,200

Ja’Marr Chase is scorching hot, and rightfully so. He’s dominated his competition and should do so again in Week 8. However, he hasn’t faced near enough double coverage as he should, which could change in this DFS Week 8 matchup. The Jets might as well mail in a win if they match rookie sixth-round pick Brandin Echols up one on one. He has struggled significantly so far and will continue.

Doubling Chase should result in one-on-one coverage for Tee Higgins. If the Jets can remain respectable and keep the Bengals passing, Higgins could easily have a ten-catch, two-touchdown performance.