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Every week, I tell you guys about how the slates can’t possibly get any more gross, and every week it is worse. We have a few more teams on bye and some premium offenses on island games or at 7:30 AM MT, forcing me to set an early alarm to watch the Dolphins and Chiefs. We also have an epidemic of backup quarterbacks playing this week, making things extremely gross. Some of the guys who could be starting at quarterback this week include Clayton Tune, Tyson Bagent, Jaren Hall, Taylor Heinicke, Brett Rypien, Zach Wilson, Gardner Minshew, and Aidan O’Connell. On a 10-game slate like this one, that’s 40% of our quarterbacks, which is tough to stomach.
Week 8 Report Card
This Sunday had some potential, but a failure to recognize my need to late-swap in cash hurt my bankroll a bit. Some small field stuff helped me only take minimal losses, but it was not a great main slate for me. I could blame it on a case of COVID-19 that made life hard, but I also hit a +3026 anytime TD parlay, so I was capable of plus EV decisions. I just failed to do so in this case.
H2H ITM%: 14%
H2H ROI: (-75.17%)
DoubleUp Cash Line: 141.46
The ownership percentages are from the Double Up I played this lineup in. I should have been off Mahomes, but the projections I used had him as the optimal QB. The real thing that killed me was Tony Pollard somehow only scoring 6.5 DK points in a week the Cowboys dropped 43 points. At that point, I should have swapped off the chalk for the late window.
Cash Line: 151.66
Winning Lineup: 229.08
Early in the afternoon, I see Jonathan Taylor at 95 yards at halftime, Breece Hall has a 50-yard touchdown, and CeeDee Lamb has two touchdowns. I am convinced I will be in a new tax bracket after this Sunday. I’m on cloud nine. Unfortunately, Taylor did not get used in the 2nd half for some reason, Gallup never got there, and Cooper Kupp did not get there in garbage time. This lineup was a fine build, and I have no regrets, except it not getting me more money.
ITM %: 30%
Top Lineup Payout: 4x
Cash Line: 149.06
Winning Lineup: 234.92
I played a bunch of C.J. Stroud, so several of my lineups were dead money. That said, I’m happy to have at least won back some of my money, given my biggest stance was completely wrong. I did end up over the field on Gus Edwards trying to pivot from Lamar Jackson and Zay Flowers chalk.
The highest total will be by far the most fun game to stack this week, Cowboys @ Eagles with a total of 47. What is worse about this slate is not just the lack of high totals but the obscene number of low totals, thanks to all the backup quarterbacks on the slate. Seven of the ten games this week have totals below 41. I normally do a primary game stack of QB + 2(WR/TE) with a (RB/WR/TE) for the bringback, but then I do a secondary RB/WR with a WR/TE bringback. This week, I may do a bunch of one-offs instead of a secondary stack with how low-scoring most games are expected to be. If you have a read on one of these low-scoring games, this is a great week to attack it and get some great value.
Lamar Jackson (BAL): $8,200 vs. Seattle
Last week, Lamar let us down by repeatedly handing the ball to Gus Edwards near the goal line. Hopefully, this scares people off of playing Lamar Jackson. I will lock Lamar with Zay Flowers ($5.7K) and Mark Andrews ($6.8K) if I play him. You can technically play Odell Beckham ($3.8K), Rashod Bateman ($3.3K), or Nelson Agholor ($3.0K). I am not that brave.
Jalen Hurts (PHI): $8,000 vs. Dallas
The most exciting of game environments is this Cowboys and Eagles game. It’s the only game with a decent total to it, and it starts up top with the quarterbacks. Jalen has a huge ceiling thanks to his rushing ability, passing ability, and his weapons. We can get to more of those in a minute. Be aware this will be the most popular game on the slate, so if you stack it, make sure you find ways to get different elsewhere.
Dak Prescott (DAL): $6,500 @ Philadelphia
Dak provides a much cheaper path for stacking this game. He may end up the most popular quarterback on the slate by Sunday. I am not sure how much of this game I want to play. If everyone is stacking it, then it might be hard to gain leverage with it. It does present an uneasy Sunday, though, if this game is crushing and all my lineups are dead in the water by halftime of the late afternoon window.
A.J. Brown (PHI): $8,600 vs. Dallas
Even if I fade the quarterbacks, I will find a way to cram AJB into lineups. He is playing at an all-time alpha status. He is getting force-fed the ball and is just going up and getting it. Since the conversation with Jalen Hurts that had nothing to do with targets (according to AJB on Twitter), he has had over 125 yards each game and over 20 DK points each week. I’m sure the ride will end at some point, but I’m going to click his name until it does because he has been playing at such a high level lately.
Alvin Kamara (NO): $8,100 vs. Chicago
Every week, I look back and say to myself, I should have played more Alvin Kamara. Maybe this week, I will stick to the plan to play as much Kamara as possible. The rushing efficiency has been rough, but the targets and the total volume have been awesome. This could be a matchup where the efficiency spikes, so we could be in for a big Kamara game. He will be incredibly chalky, but I think he will fall into the realm of good chalk this week.
Devin Singletary (HOU): $4,300 vs. Tampa Bay
This price was set for a time-share with him and Dameon Pierce. Well, Pierce is not playing, so Singletary should get a majority of the workload. The matchup isn’t something to get excited about, but at $4.3K, you don’t need much. Singletary will find his way into many lineups because people will want to spend up on pieces from Dallas and Philadelphia.
Noah Brown (HOU): $3,100 vs. Tampa Bay
I did not mean to have two Houston Texans here, but they are both great values due to guys going down. Like Singletary, Brown will be popular to unlock some of the more expensive plays on the slate. If you want to play either of these guys in larger field GPPs, make sure you are finding a way to get different somewhere else. They do allow you a bunch of roster flexibility with all the extra salary you will have on the table.
Cash Game Core:
Josh Jacobs (LV): $6,900 vs. New York (N)
Let me start by saying that cash games have a lot of solid options. It means that any one of these plays may not be in my final cash game build on Sunday morning. It will just be a matter of which pieces fit together the best. Josh Jacobs is one of the guys I believe will be part of that final configuration. His pass-game involvement this season has kept his floor higher than in past seasons, and we like the matchup here.
Terry McLaurin (WAS): $5,600 vs. New England
McLaurin is the most tentative of the group at this stage, but seems to come up in every build I look at. He has had at least nine targets in four of the last five games and has produced over 14.1 DK points in those four games. Sam Howell is hardly lighting the world on fire, but he is willing to throw the ball around the yard enough for his pass catchers to be solid options in fantasy. I played him last week in cash, and he was just fine. He just seems to fall in this price range that makes all the other value plays fit how they should.
Demario Douglas (NE): $4,000 @ Washington
This is the one play I’m certain will be in my cash game lineup on Sunday. The injuries to Kendrick Bourne and DeVante Parker leave Douglas and JuJu Smith-Schuster as the top two pass catchers in the clubhouse. Douglas was getting a lot of praise in Patriots camp during the preseason and has had an uptick in target share over the past two weeks. The Commanders’ defense has also taken some hits at the trade deadline, so it may be easier for Mac Jones to find success than it has been in past weeks.
Baker Mayfield (TB): $5,200 @ Houston
This is my favorite thing to write in this article every week: to give you guys some “out there” QB that lets you squeeze in studs from all the other games. His cheap salary allows you to easily add both Mike Evans ($7.3K) and Chris Godwin ($7.0K), but I like picking one of them and taking a cheap Cade Otton ($3.0K) so I can squeeze in multiple high-end players outside of this game environment as well. You can even get a cheaper bring-back with Singletary or Noah Brown to stock up on other pieces.
Cooper Kupp (LAR): $8,500 @ Green Bay
If Stafford ($6.3K) is in, he may have a bit more ownership, but with no Stafford, people will be off of him entirely. I know things have not been great the last couple of weeks, but we know what his ceiling is. He also operates a lot in the slot, so even Brett Rypien ($4.7K) can complete those passes. Kupp also provides fantastic leverage on AJB and CeeDee Lamb ($8.2K), who will both be highly played in that $8K WR range.
Zach Moss (IND): $5,800 @ Carolina
The hypothesis behind this play is that the Colts get up by enough and just run the ball into the ground enough for both Jonathan Taylor ($6.4K) and Moss to get plenty of touches. People are clicking Jonathan Taylor like crazy this week, thinking this is for sure the week, and it might be. Playing DFS requires you to be willing to be wrong now and then if the upside of being right is high enough.
Gut Play of the Week:
A.J. Brown (PHI): $8,600 vs. Dallas
I already spoke about Brown earlier, so I won’t go on and on about it. Even in spots I am not playing either quarterback, I will see where I can fit Brown. He is just playing at another level right now, and I will let everyone else figure out where they will get 125 yards and multiple touchdown upside from.
Ownership will be a little condensed due to fewer games and low totals. Figuring out where you want to get different is going to be difficult. There is some reasonable value on the board if you are willing to eat some chalk that makes it easy to fit in some of the high plays, but that type of roster construction will be very popular this week. I like the idea of maybe going very mid-range in your build. Just make sure you plant some guys with some ceiling. Stacking anything but the top 3 quarterbacks is a great way to get different since ownership will gravitate to those guys. Good luck this week!
Thanks so much for reading! If you want to discuss more, reach out to me on Twitter. You can find me @DougHarrelson on there. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our Dynasty Football Factory Membership to get all things Dynasty, DFS, Sports Betting, Devy, and IDP. Annual Subscribers also get access to our discord server, where you can get access to our entire staff!