Cost Efficiency Breakdown: DraftKings Week 8

A look into the smart DraftKings Week 8 plays in terms of cost efficiency. Who provides the most bang for your buck?

Week 7 was a successful cash game enterprise for Week 7’s ideal cash-game lineup. DeAndre Hopkins disappointed and Devonta Freeman failed to find the end zone, but overall, that lineup landed well beyond the 150-point threshold we aim for:

Pos

Player

Sal

DK Pt

Pt/$1K

QB

Philip Rivers

$6,500

30.44

4.68

RB

Devonta Freeman

$7,900

18.00

2.28

RB

Todd Gurley

$5,000

35.30

7.06

WR

Steve Smith

$6,200

12.80

2.06

WR

Allen Hurns

$5,300

13.30

2.51

WR

Donte Moncrief

$5,200

13.40

2.58

TE

Ladarius Green

$2,900

18.50

6.38

Flex

DeAndre Hopkins

$8,600

11.00

1.28

D/ST

Rams

$2,400

25.00

10.42

   

$50,000

177.74

3.55

For Week 8, I’ll again lead you through my top cash lineup (as of Friday morning), which projects to 174.62 points. Along the way, I’ll include and discuss a few more options – for both cash and GPP games – at each position, based as always on my weekly projections and our h-value calculations. This way, you’ll get a comprehensive feel for the Week 8 slate in terms of value and lineup fit, as opposed to just my most educated stab at a guy’s final scoring line.

QUARTERBACK


QBs projected to score 20+ points

 

Sal

DKPts

H-Val

B. Hoyer

5300

20.47

34.960

A. Dalton

6000

22.06

34.539

P. Rivers

6600

21.61

30.444

A. Rodgers

7500

21.82

27.186

The cash play: Philip Rivers ($6,600)

It’s hard to shake Rivers’ value; he’s consistently underpriced despite some staggering numbers. Over his last four games, he’s thrown for 262 yards more than anyone, and only Tom Brady has thrown more passes in the red zone. He heads a thoroughly one-dimensional offense whose only real running game is the screen/dumpoff attack with Danny Woodhead. And his receivers are a complementary blend of short-to-intermediate vacuums (Keenan Allen, Stevie Johnson, Woodhead) and mismatch dominators (Ladarius Green, Malcom Floyd). His always-awesome volume outlook gets a further boost as a road underdog against a poor pass defense. There’s nothing not to like.

Cash Considerations

Speaking of underpriced: Andy Dalton ($6,000) is again a laughably cheap. He’s been an All Pro-caliber passer thus far, and the bulk of that success has come from big-play connections with his talented, diverse stable of targets. That downfield productivity gives him a high ceiling in negative scripts and a solid floor in others; the passing game has been the root cause of the Bengals’ early leads… I’m expecting a lot of DFSers to shy away from Ben Roethlisberger’s ($6,700) return, but really: why? He boasts a decidedly high-volume scheme, dominant receivers on all levels of the field, and the league’s best receiving back to bail him out. This isn’t his first return from injury, and it’ll come at home with his full offensive stable… Cam Newton ($6,800) has been maximizing a maxed-out passing game all year – he’s actually thrown more touchdowns through these six games than his first six from last year, with Kelvin Benjamin in the lineup. But regardless, he always supplements his passing floor with great rushing production. He’s averaged 40 ground yards and taken a carry from inside the 10 in all six games.

GPP plays

Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,200) has gifted receivers – one of them a sheer red zone dominator – and yet another low salary. He always carries a higher ceiling than he’s given credit for, and it expands against the Raiders, who have allowed 18+ points to five of the six QBs they’ve faced. Anything less than 4x value would be a bit of an upset… I’m still driving the Brian Hoyer ($5,300) van. I love his garbage-time outlook as always, but I’m also spurred on by the toothless run game the Texans now sport. Already the league’s most pass-happy offense, Hoyer will now throw the ball at a chaotic pace, and without a true backup to threaten his job.

 

RUNNING BACKS


RBs projected to score 16+ points

 

Sal

DKPts

H-Val

Devonta Freeman

7900

30.81

43.305

Danny Woodhead

4500

18.55

31.968

Mark Ingram

6400

20.08

28.112

Chris Johnson

4600

22.36

27.818

Doug Martin

5500

18.00

27.780

Charcandrick West

4700

16.10

27.488

Justin Forsett

6100

14.87

27.297

Frank Gore

4800

16.14

27.005

Todd Gurley

6300

16.14

26.467

Matt Forte

7300

17.07

19.321

Marshawn Lynch

7100

16.21

18.381

Le'Veon Bell

8300

17.60

17.799 

The cash plays: Devonta Freeman ($8,000), Todd Gurley ($6,300), Darren McFadden ($3,800)

Freeman has definitively topped the RB field, if only temporarily. He’s a dual threat (6.4 targets per game as starter) who hasn’t totaled fewer than 130 scrimmage yards since Week 2. And he has the week’s second-best touchdown outlook thanks to a high-tempo offense and a date with a defense that welcomes offenses into the red zone. I prefer him by a hair to Le’Veon Bell, who costs a bit more and tends to watch his quarterback throw near the goal line.

Gurley remains entrenched as a RB1 value; he’s now dazzled with and without touchdowns in his stat line. It seems the only thing holding him out of the top tier is his lack of pass game involvement, though he’s dynamic enough to maximize that in any given week. He enjoys another cupcake matchup this week, hosting a 49ers defense that’s been absolutely shredded by four running games thus far. Game flow should be squarely on his side, and 130ish total yards looks like his floor. And you’ll be facing a ton of him in any cash contest you play.

McFadden isn’t a talent I like, and I don’t think he’ll hold up as anything close to a lead back down the stretch. But opportunity is opportunity, and he’ll get all he can handle with only Christine Michael to stave off. The matchup with Seattle is brutal – he’ll likely be inefficient and fail to notch more than 12-15 carries. But he’ll also see the overwhelming majority of pass game work, which boosts his floor easily into the 11-13 point range to provide cash value.

Cash Considerations

What a turnaround it’s been for Chris Johnson ($4,600). He comfortably owns the lead job and has erupted with it, topping 5.0 yards per rush in four of his six starts. More importantly, he’s seen gobs of work near the goal line; his relatively modest touchdown totals could spike soon. What better opponent that than the Browns, and their turnstile run defense, to the roll dice against… No longer a mere GPP dice roll, Danny Woodhead ($4,500) has carved out a great cash game floor for a part-timer. Melvin Gordon has yet to get off the ground, and the Chargers’ traditional run blocking is horrible, leaving Woodhead as the linchpin back in a high-volume offense. When the Chargers are throwing – that’s pretty much always – Woodhead is typically on the field and woven into the play somehow.

GPP plays

Charcandrick West ($4,700) is a fairly gifted back – his unofficial 4.27 pro day 40-yard dash comes to mind – who’s been anointed as the lead player in a high-usage backfield. It was just one impressive game, but it’s easy to love his 4x outlook against a leaky Lions run defense… You won’t often see Adrian Peterson ($7,400) owned so lightly that he makes for a strong contrarian play, but I figure he’ll be widely ignored this week. Obviously, he’s the type of talent that can drastically swing a GPP for the less-than-5% that will own him… Duke Johnson ($4,200) is the Browns’ most dynamic back, but when they trail – and that’s not a rare circumstance – he’s the lead dog. He’s caught 6+ balls in four of his last five games, topping 77 total yards in three of those. That’s decent upside for this much salary relief.

 

WIDE RECEIVERS


WRs projected to score 18+ points

 

Sal

DKPts

H-Val

Martavis Bryant

5300

28.55

57.562

Antonio Brown

7800

31.06

44.387

Eric Decker

5300

22.64

40.655

Mike Evans

6800

25.90

38.766

Stefon Diggs

4800

19.28

35.277

Brandon Marshall

7600

25.53

33.940

John Brown

5800

19.51

29.726

A.J. Green

7600

21.11

25.521

Alshon Jeffery

6400

18.48

24.831

Demaryius Thomas

7700

20.14

23.472

Amari Cooper

6700

18.27

23.302

The cash plays: Antonio Brown ($7,800), Brandon Marshall ($7,600), Nate Washington ($3,600)

Brown’s projections based upon two games with Ben Roethlisberger – 18 for 328 and two touchdowns – are almost too absurd to pay attention to. But we’re familiar with what that duo is capable of. They make for a devastating stack, as Brown carries a floor squarely in the 3x-value range. It’s a blast from the past, but as safe and dynamic as you could ask for.

Marshall was predictably phased down the totem pole against New England, as No. 2 Eric Decker dominated targets against the weaker cover men. But Marshall should get back on track against Oakland’s horrendous pass defense. He’s held a small but noticeable lead on Decker in usage all year, catching 6+ balls in four of their five games together and 100 yards in three of them. Decker may have the red zone edge, but Marshall’s TD outlook is plenty sufficient for an easy 3x projection.

The Texans’ No. 2 WR spot has provided cheap fantasy gold all year; Washington and Cecil Shorts have virtually traded 4x-value lines since Week 1. With Shorts out, Washington is embedded in the starting lineup, and poised to dominate the 15-25% target share the slot is expected to see this week. In such a high-volume passing game, that’s easily enough to justify 3x-4x value (just 10.8-14.4 points).

Cash Considerations

With Vincent Jackson out and Jameis Winston showing life last week, Mike Evans ($6,800) looks too good to pass up. The Buccaneers’ next healthy wideout is Russell Shepard, and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins is iffy to return, so Evans is probably looking at a floor of 30-35% of Winston’s attention. Combine that with his dynamic playmaking ability and the Falcons’ likelihood to throw out of necessity this week, and Evans’ value can hardly be calculated… Alshon Jeffery ($6,400) is a legitimate WR1; he’s seen 11 targets in each of his two 2015 games, flashing his oodles of downfield and red zone ability. With his hamstring injury in the past, Jeffery’s outlook rivals those of the top WR tier, but he’ll come at a dazzling discount for one more week… Steve Smith ($6,100) remains the Ravens’ only dominant target, and he’s used as such (11 targets per game thus far). So forecasting his fantasy value is typically as simple as identifying the type of game Baltimore will be playing. Hosting the underwhelming Chargers in a game that Vegas projects to 50 points, Smith should see gobs of opportunity and easily meet his 3x cash goal.

GPP plays

Emerging star John Brown will be hobbled or out Sunday, so Michael Floyd ($3,500), whose value has been repairing of late, is suddenly very relevant. He’s seen 7+ targets twice in the last four weeks – four overall in the red zone – and will likely approach 10 if Brown is limited or can’t go. He’d need just 14 points to provide 4x value, and he’s topped that in each of the last two weeks alongside Brown… Eric Decker ($5,300) has found the end zone in four of his five games – and in the fifth, he led the team in targets, catches, and yardage. Both Decker and Marshall should feast upon the Raiders secondary, provided the Jets’ game script stays neutral or negative. And TD specialists like Decker carry usable upside even in run-heavy attacks… The 49ers are stuck in neutral (reverse?), but Anquan Boldin’s ($4,400) role remains the same. He’s the safety valve in a pass game that often goes ultra-conservative, giving him a respectable floor in terms of receptions. But most importantly, he’s seen more red zone looks (10) than anyone on this slate over the last four games… The Bengals passing game has been lights-out all year, while the Steelers secondary continues to get by on talentless fumes. That gives A.J. Green a lot of value, but even more to Marvin Jones ($4,200), who’s become an elite playmaker in spots. He’s already tallied three catches of 40+ yards (one a touchdown), and turned seven red zone targets into two more scores.

 

Tight Ends


TEs projected to score 13+ points

 

Sal

DKPts

H-Val

Greg Olsen

6500

23.68

35.452

Ladarius Green

3000

13.35

32.524

Gary Barnidge

4700

17.66

31.571

Benjamin Watson

3500

13.06

30.513

Delanie Walker

4100

14.61

28.628

Tyler Eifert

5300

13.99

19.737

The cash play: Ladarius Green ($3,000)

I’ve touted Green in roughly 93.1% of my pieces for Footballguys. He’s a transcendent athlete who compares favorably in many ways to the Hall of Famer he’ll eventually replace. In the league’s most voluminous passing game, he’s shoehorned into each week’s gameplan with or without Antonio Gates in the lineup. But without him, as will likely be the case for at least another week or so, he’s a weekly TE1 lock, despite absurdly low pricing that all but guarantees a 3x finish.

Cash Considerations

Gary Barnidge’s ($4,700) must be the first player in history whose DraftKings value is tied to Josh McCown’s health. The early-season revelation’s price tag dropped $200 despite a 19.1-point Week 7, ostensibly due to McCown’s uncertainty for Week 8. He’d obviously be less attractive with Austin Davis throwing the ball, but under normal circumstances, he’s a no-brainer in what should be a very negative Browns game script… Greg Olsen ($6,500) has been hit-or-miss as the Panthers’ lack of surrounding talent has placed a bullseye on his back for defenses. But with his downfield chops on display (16.3 yards per catch) and nearly 30% of the target share, he’s a solid bet to return on the high investment.

GPP plays

There’s a lot of ambiguity around the availability of Austin Seferian-Jenkins ($2,800), but if he’s cleared, he’ll likely step into heavy volume. Both Vincent Jackson and Louis Murphy are out, leaving Jameis Winston very few options. The massive Seferian-Jenkins was an absolute touchdown machine at Washington, and given his (unofficial) measurables, that explosive Week 1 wasn’t exactly fluky.

 

Defense/Special Teams

D/STs projected to score 7+ points

 

Sal

DKPts

H-Val

Rams

3200

8.43

15.298

Panthers

3200

8.17

14.582

Broncos

2900

7.44

13.981

Vikings

3100

7.39

12.954

Packers

3300

7.43

12.262

 

the cash play: rams ($3,200)

For the second straight week, the Rams host a shaky offense prone to sacks, turnovers, and dead-end possessions. They’ve notched 9+ points in five of their six games, while the 49ers have allowed 9+ to four of their six opponents. This one looks close to a mortal lock.

Cash Considerations

Since their Week 1 explosion, the Titans have allowed every opposing defense to rack up 8+ points. They’re hemorrhaging sacks and turnovers, and while the Texans ($3,100) defense isn’t dominant, neither were a few of the other units that stymied Tennessee… With or without Josh McCown under opposing center, the Cardinals ($4,000) look poised for an embarrassingly dominant day. The Browns offense may be turning around, McCown has enjoyed a nice stretch, but he was visibly limited last Sunday by his shoulder injury. Expect conservatism while that matchup is close, and pass-heavy panic once it’s out of hand… The Seahawks ($3,700) don’t project to the seven-point threshold, but these projections don’t account for their monstrous upside. Matt Cassell should hand over plenty of turnover opportunity for Seattle to threaten double-digits.

GPP plays

It seems bizarre to project the Packers ($3,300) and Broncos ($2,900) to play well defensively against each other, but here we are. Peyton Manning looks cooked, soft-tossing interceptions and struggling to find the end zone, while the Denver defense has been suffocating in every fashion. Vegas doesn’t foresee an offensive eruption, either, so feel free to toss one into a GPP.