Another week in the books, and now London games and bye weeks start to become more of a factor entering Week 8. The Early Look will highlight salaries that jump out on this 10-game main fantasy football slate.
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Patrick Mahomes, KC vs, DEN ($7,000) – After two weeks on SNF, we welcome Mahomes back to the Week 8 main slate. So what’s he been up to over the last two games? Just another 710 passing yards and eight touchdowns. Mahomes already roasted Denver for nearly 26 DKFP on the road earlier this season, so look for him to maintain this insane pace at home. He’s worth the top QB salary if you can afford him.
Andy Dalton, CIN vs. TB ($6,200) – While more expensive options Aaron Rodgers ($6,400) and Andrew Luck ($6,300) both make for good plays this week, it’s Dalton who happens to be in the best spot. Facing Tampa Bay has just been a position that hasn’t let down this season, and even after a rough Week 7 start for the Browns, Baker Mayfield ($5,700) still managed to squeeze out 20.9 DKFP vs. the Bucs. Ranked 30th versus the QB position, this is a spot worth paying up for Dalton in.
Matthew Stafford, DET vs. SEA ($5,600) – There are some big-name QB plays for $6,000 or less this week, and pricing at this position has become very bunched up. Stafford is probably as cheap as I’m willing to go in Week 8, barring any news. Stafford’s been extremely consistent this season, and is averaging over 20 DKFP since a Week 1 implosion against the Jets. Meanwhile, Seattle’s defense no longer scares anyone, especially on the road.
Other value options: Jared Goff ($6,000), Russell Wilson ($5,900), Cam Newton ($5,800)
Todd Gurley, LAR vs. GB ($9,800) – Gurley remains the safest fantasy option on the board. You’re essentially buying yourself 25-plus DKFP here each week, a number Gurley’s exceeded in all seven games this season. He brings 40-DKFP upside along with that safe floor, proving to be as matchup proof as they come.
Kareem Hunt, KC vs. DEN ($7,100) – Hunt’s now broken out in the passing game on consecutive weeks off the main slate. After seeing nine total targets in his first five games of the season, Hunt’s brought in 10-of-12 targets in the last two games along for a whopping 160 yards and three touchdowns. While that pace doesn’t seem realistic to hang onto, Hunt’s role on passing downs shouldn’t go back to what it was to start the season. Denver’s defense ranks 25th vs. RB this season, and Hunt shredded them for 29.5 DKFP in a meeting between these teams earlier in the season.
Nick Chubb, CLE at PIT ($4,700) – Chubb was the chalk play of Week 7 after being thrust into the lead role with Carlos Hyde shipped off to Jacksonville. The rookie RB wound up being a terrific value, going for 18-80-1 — 14 DKFP despite failing to catch either of his two targets. This is clearly Chubb’s backfield the rest of the way, as Duke Johnson ($3,900) carried the ball one time against the Bucs, sticking strictly to a pass-catching role. The Browns ran the ball 30 times against Pittsburgh in Week 1 — Hyde: 22, Johnson: 5, Chubb: 3. This should be another spot for 20-plus touches for Chubb, meaning he’s still far too underpriced for his role.
Other value options: Tarik Cohen ($5,800), Doug Martin ($4,400), Jalen Richard ($4,200)
Antonio Brown, PIT vs. CLE ($8,500) – AB finally found his stride in the last two games before the Steelers’ bye week, topping 100 yards in each while scoring three total touchdowns. The 31.1 and 24.5 DKFP were his two best games of the season. The Browns rank 23rd against the WR position this season, and we’ve seen AB torch them countless times. He’s very affordable for this spot.
A.J. Green, CIN vs. TB ($8,000) – As was the case for Dalton, hammering targets against Tampa’s defense has been relatively foolproof. Tampa Bay ranks 31st against WRs this season, and Green’s been tremendously consistent — averaging 19.4 DKFP and yet to score fewer than 10 DKFP in a game. Green has exceeded his season high in targets three straight weeks now, totaling 36 over the last three games. He’s also averaging just under 105 yards per game during the streak, and could be due to find the end zone for the first time since Week 4.
Taylor Gabriel, CHI vs. NYJ ($5,100) – We had some really bad chalk in terms of cheap WR plays in Week 7. Gabriel was one of them with just 5.6 DKFP, and Jermaine Kearse ($4,300) somehow gave us a goose egg. I think both are great bounce-back plays in Week 7. Hopefully some better value opens up at the position, but for now, Gabriel should see the type of looks he did in Weeks 4 and 6 against a terrible Jets defense.
Other value options: Jordy Nelson ($4,700), Chris Godwin ($4,500), Jermaine Kearse ($4,300)
Travis Kelce, KC vs. DEN ($6,800) – No Rob Gronkowski or Zach Ertz on this slate, so Kelce is the lone stud. He’s not being featured here completely by default with a strong matchup against Denver, though. The Broncos rank 19th against TE, and surrendered a 7-78-1 line to Kelce earlier this season — scoring 20.8 DKFP on an encouraging 12 targets. We’ll have to see how the value shakes out on this slate, but for now paying up for Kelce could be a play.
David Njoku, CLE at PIT ($4,600) – Njoku was last week’s chalk play at TE and I have no problem going right back to him in Week 8. Pittsburgh ranks 28th against the TE position, and Njoku’s been on a tear the last four weeks — averaging 14.2 DKFP (16.9 the last two games).
Other value options: O.J. Howard ($3,900), Vance McDonald ($3,700), C.J. Uzomah ($3,500)
Bears D/ST vs. NYJ ($4,100) – The NFL really lacks any true dominant defense this season — telling of the era football is in. But with the Bills on MNF, we can’t simply plug and play their opponent on the main slate. The Bears feel like the best defensive team on the slate, and they’re in a solid spot playing host to the Jets.
Panthers D/ST vs. BAL ($2,500) – The Panthers are a very solid defense with a home matchup against an offense that shouldn’t scare you away much. Carolina is generally right around its 7.5-DKFP average, at least making for a solid cash-game defense on this slate.
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