Week 8 Contrarion Picks
October 27, 2017
By Craig Bengel
DFS Best Bets - Week 8
The Gainsayer – Week 8 Contrarian Picks for DraftKings GPP’s
gainsayer. Noun. (plural gainsayers) One who contradicts or denies what is alleged; an opposer.
Even though we have a smaller slate week 8 we doubled our picks to 2 per position. This 9 game slate features a few very attackable spots that should result in high scoring offensive games. I wanted to focus on those games with week defenses to lead us to GPP pay dirt. Let’s not waste any time this week...
Week 8 contrarian selections for DraftKings
(Complete Sunday slate)
Disclaimer: The players below should not necessarily be the centerpieces of your roster construction when scripting lineups. They should be used to compliment the core players you’ve selected for this week’s slate and as fill-ins when you find yourself gravitating to common chalky plays.
Cam Newton $6600
Somewhere inside Cam Newton lies a really good quarterback. We’ve seen it in years past but the 2017 version is far from the Super Bowl contender we are accustomed to. What’s the perfect remedy to bring out the old Cam? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I’m convinced the Bucs would be a good team if only their defense would get out of their own way. This is now Pro Football Focus’s 2nd worse defense in the NFL, trailing only the 49ers. 7 of 11 defenders are performing poorly according to PFF, and the 3 who are actually performing well are in the defensive line and linebacking unit. All Tampa Bay cornerbacks are burnable and have shown propensity to give up yardage in huge chunks. Newton, Benjamin, and Funchess should have a field day this Sunday and all are viable options to help take down a GPP week 8.
Josh McCown $5600
Sometimes you need to dig deep to win GPP’s… really deep. That’s where we find ourselves week 8 at the quarterback position. The 16th ranked quarterback Josh McCown has been more than serviceable in the last two weeks, posting back to back 25 fantasy point performances. I don't love the skill set, or even the pieces around him, but I do love the projected game flow against an underachieving Atlanta Falcons team. This should be a bounce back week in which the Falcons jump out to an early lead, giving rise to late game drives via the air rather than the ground for the New York Jets. The Falcons defense is slightly above average, but the Jets wide receivers and tight end are slightly underrated as well. Another 20 point performance would be acceptable at very low ownership to boot.
Melvin Gordon $8100
The running back position in week is going to be chalky and ugly (IMO). I want to target a good running back coming off and absolute dud week 7, enter Melvin Gordon and the San Diego Chargers. They make the long journey to a hostile New England Patriot team in Foxboro this week. The Patriots have had trouble defending the run this year (Kareem Hunt exploded week 1), and Gordon should be featured throughout most of the game even if they fall behind early. In 4 of 7 weeks he’s exceeded 5 targets, and also surpassed 15 points in 4 of 7 weeks as well. This should be a nice bounce back spot for Melvin, and I hope ownership is still suppressed due to recency bias.
James White $4900
The 2016 Super Bowl hero enters week 8 as a Gainsayer salary relief pick. Ownership will likely be top heavy with much of the field gravitating to LeSean McCoy and Ezekiel Elliot, and for good reason. James White is a fine pivot and should offer more consistency than that of Jalen Richard or even Joe Mixon (both are priced in the same range and should draw slightly more ownership too). White has exceeded 5 targets in all but one game so far this season and has become the safety blanket of Tom Brady on 3rd down plays. The San Diego defense is one of the most underrated defenses thus far and may be able to limit Tom Brady’s connections with wide outs and in turn allow for scripted outlet passes to James White. 15 fantasy points should be our expectation with hopes of hitting his 20 point upside.
Kelvin Benjamin $6400
I’m going to stick with the theme of attacking one of the worst defenses in the league via the air and consider Kelvin Benjamin and elite option week 8. An argument can be made to use Devin Funchess or even Christian McCaffrey, but only one or two of these players can have a difference making stat line when all is said and done. For me Kelvin Benjamin 79.6 fits the bill, primarily because he finally put in a full week of practice and looks to be 100% healthy. Tampa Bay defenders McClain 41.1, Hargreaves 45.9, and Grimes 69.2 are all considerably outmatched by Benjamin and have allowed big games to wide receivers the previous 5 of 6 weeks (Tampa is one game behind from the hurricane cancellation game 1). Benjamin’s targets are 6, 13, and 6 over the last 3 weeks and 6 targets should be enough to post a 20 point game this week as well.
Mike Evans $7900
On the other side of the ball we also have another elite option week 8, Mike Evans. He’s completely overmatched for the Carolina cornerbacks and is target beast thus far in 2017. For perspective, he’s exceeded 8 targets in every game, and hit double digit targets in 3 of 6 games. This game could be sneaky high scoring as Carolina’s defense has given up of 24 points in 4 of 7 games this year. Mike Evans 83.3 is currently PFF’s 10th ranked wide receiver but has the number 1 ranking potential, as was shown last year (he finished 1st according to PFF in 2016). This may the week were he climbs the rankings and has a breakout performance. Evans has 30 point upside and has a pretty safe floor as well in week 8.
Zach Miller $3200
The 11th ranked tight end according to PFF finds himself in a nice matchup week 8 against the New Orleans Saints on the road. 3 of 5 second level Saints defenders are rated below 60 and are currently performing poorly. On most passing downs Zach Miller will likely be facing one of these defenders and should have little trouble getting open looks this week. It’s highly likely the young quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will be looking his way early and often considering he’s facing the best young cornerback in the league, Marshon Lattimore 94.1. Opposite Lattimore is cornerback Ken Crawley 80.6, who has also shown stingy coverage in recent weeks. I don't believe Trubisky will be testing these cornerback more than is necessary, giving rise to more running plays and scripted tight end looks. Odds makers predict a come-from-behind game flow for the Bears, which should give rise to extra looks to our underrated tight end in the 2nd half.
Tyler Kroft $3000
With the absence of Tyler Eifert due to injury, Tyler Kroft has been a pleasant surprise for the Cincinnati Bengals. He has yet to put together a huge game but this week presents the best matchup and opportunity thus far against a week Indianapolis Colts defense. Both Colts linebackers are performing very poorly according to PFF, grading at 37.4 and 34.8 respectively. To put that in perspective, these are 2 of the worst 4 linebackers in the league and struggle mightily in coverage. I can’t say I expect more than 15 points at best, but if he does exceed 10 points this week, he’s easily paid off that near minimum pricing on Draft Kings.
Cincinnati Bengals $3600
The Bengals are quietly becoming one of the better defenses in 2017, boasting 5 above average performers and only 2 performing poorly. If those good performers can pick up the slack for the few underperforming players we could be in store for a huge week 8 stat line. They face the Indianapolis Colts in week 6, which is the only team that features 8-9 poor performers on offense (this is dictated by the types of formations the Colts use: some formations have a whopping 9 poor performers). Until Andrew luck is healthy, Jacoby Brissett should be targeted by opposing DFS defenses weekly. This is not to say that he is bad, he is just not Andrew Luck and still has a long way to go before becoming a serviceable quarterback. I will have plenty Cincinnati shares week 8.
New Orleans $3400
Facing a rookie quarterback, great cornerback play recently, and playing at home... we need to have a few shares of this Saints defense on the rise. They will be highly owned but I think other positions would be best suited for differentiating your lineups. Lock them in.
Good luck in Week 8!
Don’t forget to check out the Week 8 RotoQL NFL optimizer if you haven’t already.
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