The 2020-21 NFL season is in full swing and there are huge Week 8 DFS contests being offered on DraftKings with big prize money up for grabs.
In this weekly column, we will identify the best plays, values, and tournament options for your NFL DFS lineups. We’ll also offer the best “fades” at each position, indicating which players to avoid when building your lineups.
Keep in mind that some of the plays offered are better for “Cash” games, i.e. 50/50, H2H, and Double-Up formats that require a more conservative approach. Some plays are recommended for GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) tournaments where it’s necessary to take more risk in the hopes of separating from a large field. Those GPP plays can also be ideal for Best Ball formats where players with higher upside are valuable.
For those interested in the DFS Single-Game Slate contests, here’s a quick recap:
In the “Showdown” mode on DraftKings, there are five utility spots and a “Captain” slot, who receives 1.5x multiplier for all DK points accrued. Pricing differs for players when selected in the Captain spot versus the FLEX spots, with all players required to fit under a $50k salary cap. All options are in play from QBs, RBs and WRs, to kickers and D/ST from each team.
Keep an eye on injury news right up until kickoff since things can change quickly in the NFL. Please note any player listed as questionable may see limited action or not suit up at all if he doesn’t respond well in warm-ups.
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Best Play: Russell Wilson ($8.7k)
Wilson has been the most accurate, most efficient, and most dangerous QB in the NFL this year. The Seahawks coaches have let him cook and he’ll be allowed to dictate the action again with Chris Carson (foot), Carlos Hyde (hamstring), and Travis Homer (knee) all questionable to face the 49ers. The Niners held Wilson to 3 TDs and 6.3 yards per attempt over 2 meetings last season, but their pressure rate is way down and they rank 24th in adjusted sack rate (5.4%) with Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas out for the year.
Value Play: Derek Carr ($5.5k)
Aside from their blowout losses to the Ravens and Steelers, the Browns have produced very favorable game scripts for DFS this season. Cleveland ranks 9th in Drive Success Rate, the Raiders are 8th in DSR, the Browns rank 8th in DVOA rush defense, and the Raiders rank 6th in DVOA pass offense. Carr ranks third with a 72% completion rate and has multiple TD passes in 5 straight outings. So why is he this cheap in a game that opened with an implied 55-point total?
GPP Play: Lamar Jackson ($7.4k)
While he hasn’t flashed his MVP-caliber upside much this season, Jackson is capable of producing a huge line in this battle for AFC North supremacy. Pittsburgh’s elite pass rush sacked him 5 times in Week 5 last season, but Jackson escaped for 70 rushing yards. He was picked 3 times in that game, but completed 68% of his passes. The Steelers are almost invulnerable to traditional handoffs, so everything will be on Jackson’s shoulders this week, and we’ll see if he picks up some momentum coming out of a bye week.
Fade: Josh Allen ($7.0k)
The Patriots looked terrible for a second straight week last Sunday and were steamrolled by a powerful 49ers rushing attack. Yet the Bills rank dead last in DVOA rush offense, and their offense has dropped off a cliff with defenses selling out to contain Stefon Diggs and a one-dimensional attack. Allen has put mistakes on film during that span and Bill Belichick will find ways to exploit those deficiencies with the Pats bound to bounce back in an all-important divisional tilt.
Best Play: Kareem Hunt ($6.9k)
As mentioned above, the Browns are a stellar rushing team and the Raiders have a great passing attack, so pairing Hunt with Derek Carr is a great starting point for GPP lineups. Hunt is dominating usage with Nick Chubb (knee) on I.R. and he played on 90.4% of offensive snaps last week. Hunt has handled the fourth-most red zone touches (28) among RBs, including 5 red zone carries last week, and the Raiders have allowed 9 total TDs to RBs through 6 games.
Value Play: D’Andre Swift ($5.3k)
The Colts are a tough matchup for traditional RBs since they allow the third-fewest rushing YPG (88.3) and just 3 rushing TDs to the position this season. Yet that almost makes Swift a more appealing play since Adrian Peterson will likely be ineffective in this matchup. Swift is averaging 12.8 routes run per game and has 10 red zone targets or carries over his last 3 games. He’s produced double-digit DK points in all but one appearance this season and is a solid Cash play at this price regardless of matchup.
GPP Play: Le’Veon Bell ($4.6k)
After Andy Reid said he wasn’t sure if Bell was ready to play in Week 7, he schemed 6 touches to his new back and watched Bell manufacture 39 yards on those carries. He played on 17 offensive snaps (33.3%) and could eat into Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s workload more after the Chiefs (-19.5) presumably build a huge lead. Everyone loves the “former team” narrative and the Chiefs coaching staff could make Bell very happy by feeding him red zone touches against the Jets.
Fade: Aaron Jones ($7.3k)
The Packers weren’t “expected to push” Jones to play last week and they could ease his workload this Sunday even if he’s active since Jamaal Williams filled in quite capably against Houston. The Vikings have allowed the seventh-fewest receiving yards (189) to RBs and zero receiving TDs to the position. Minnesota’s improving D allowed just 83.7 rushing YPG to opposing backs over their last 3 games before the bye.
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Best Play: Davante Adams ($8.8k)
Fading Adams in GPP formats makes sense because this is a classic “chase” spot after he blew up for 13-196-2TD last week. Adams posted a similarly dominant line (14-156-2TD) against Minnesota in Week 1, but that means the Vikings will have spent their bye week creating a scheme to slow down Green Bay’s undisputed top target. Another multi-TD game is therefore unlikely, but Adams is a good bet to hit the DK bonuses with 10-plus receptions and 100-plus yards considering he commands a league-high 33.8% target share and creates a league-best 2.9 yards of separation per route.
Value Play: Tee Higgins ($5.6k)
The Bengals have the second-highest pass play rate in the NFL this season and Joe Burrow should keep throwing with Joe Mixon (foot) iffy to face the Titans this week. While Tennessee has great safeties and CB Malcolm Butler is becoming a shutdown force on the outside, the Titans remain vulnerable in the slot. Higgins is playing on 83.2% of offensive snaps with 21 targets and 230 air yards over his last 3 appearances. Tyler Boyd ($6.6k) and Higgins are both advisable Cash plays in this matchup.
GPP Play: Henry Ruggs III ($4.9k)
Derek Carr has quietly posted some of the best deep ball efficiency numbers in the NFL over the past couple years, and Ruggs finally gives him a dangerous downfield threat. While he’s only drawn 3 targets in each of his last 3 outings, Ruggs has excellent upside against a Browns team that’s allowed the fifth-most receptions (24) of 20-plus yards and a league-high 116 receptions for first downs.
Fade: Kenny Golladay ($6.6k)
While Golladay continues to provide solid box score production, the degree of difficulty on many of his receptions doesn’t seem sustainable. The Colts fourth-ranked DVOA pass defense should make life even more difficult after Golladay barely topped 100 yards in juicy matchups at Jacksonville and Atlanta. The Colts allow the sixth-fewest receptions per game (12.6) to WRs and have given up the fifth-fewest receptions (17) of 20-plus yards.
Best Play: Darren Waller ($5.6k)
Waller is the obvious stacking partner with Carr. The athletic 6-foot-6 TE leads his position with a 27.6% target share and a notable 35.7% target share in the red zone. He’s facing a Browns team that’s allowed the sixth-most receptions (40) to TEs this year and gave up the second-most TDs (10) to TEs last season. Aside from an injury-diminished performance at the Patriots, Waller has been extremely reliable this season.
Value Play: Harrison Bryant ($3.2k)
With Austin Hooper (appendectomy) unlikely to practice much this week or play Sunday, Bryant and David Njoku ($3.8k) should continue to see expanded roles. As the better blocking TE, Bryant played on 76.9% of offensive snaps in Week 7, and broke loose for 2 TDs in the red zone. The Raiders weak run defense ensures they’ll have to sell out to stop the Browns rushing attack near the goal line, which could open up more scoring opportunities off play action.
GPP Play: Mike Gesicki ($4.9k)
It’s been proven over a large sample size that rookie QBs tend to pepper their TEs with targets. Tua Tagovailoa should lean on Gesicki in his first NFL start, especially after watching Jalen Ramsey and the Rams excellent CBs dominate the Bears WRs on Monday. The Rams have allowed the fifth-most receptions (41) to TEs this season and Gesicki is a weapon out of the slot with the third-most air yards at his position.
Fade: George Kittle ($7.0k)
The Niners should be able to shred Seattle’s brutal secondary just like every other Seahawks opponent this season. But Kittle draws the toughest individual matchup of their receivers, since LBs Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright are the only top-10 rated performers on Seattle’s defense. If Jamal Adams (groin) returns from a 3-game absence, the Seahawks could definitely contain Kittle, who needs a big game to pay off this price tag.