FanDuel NFL GPP Lineup Advice: Week 8
A familiar face returns at quarterback with a familiar stack partner. They’re actually part of a three-man game stack this go-round, though. The backfield features a man who’s single-handedly scored more points than Bills this year as well as a back who stomped those same Bills last week. A big-play wideout with pronounced home/road splits that favor playing at home is in a home tilt this week, and he’s a potential game-changer in the receiving corps.
The receivers are rounded out by a guy who could see an uptick in volume in the wake of a trade. The flex is filled by a wide receiver who snuck onto my radar as a result of my weekly DFS text exchange with a close friend from college — thanks, Chris! The D/ST spot is filled by a much-maligned defense that’s flashed and is a commanding double-digit point favorite at home.
Baker Mayfield (CLE): $7,200 at Steelers
Mayfield cleared 20 FanDuel points for the first time last week. He’s had some rookie moments, but overall, he’s flashed enough upside to roll the dice on at a bargain price in a game he’ll likely be tasked with throwing a lot in due to Cleveland being an eight-point underdog in Pittsburgh, per Pinnacle. Football Outsiders (FO) ranks the Steelers 20th defending the pass. They’ve also been a fantasy-friendly matchup for quarterbacks surrendering the fourth-most FanDuel points per game, according to Pro-Football-Reference.
Todd Gurley (LAR): $11,000 vs. Packers
Gurley leads the NFL in carries (144), rushing yards (686), rushing touchdowns (11), rushing yards per game (98.0), yards from scrimmage (956), and rushing plus receiving touchdowns (14). How has he punched in so many scores? Well, he’s been a red zone usage monster. Lineups credits him with the most red zone touches with 50, a full dozen clear of second (Alvin Kamara with 38). All 14 of his touchdowns have been scored in the red zone.
Oh, and did I mention Gurley’s rather active in the passing attack with 3.6 receptions and 38.6 receiving yards per game? The do-it-all back has totaled 22 or more FanDuel points in every game this year and cleared 30 FanDuel points three times. Yes, he’s expensive. No, I’m not going to fade him based on sticker shock.
Marlon Mack (IND): $6,700 at Raiders
Mack’s a little banged up, and his status will warrant monitoring after following up a limited participation Wednesday with a non-participation Thursday. Perhaps the Colts are just exercising caution with the second-year back who’s pumped life into a running game that sorely needed a jolt. Mack’s bested 90 yards from scrimmage in back-to-back games and erupted for 126 yards, and a touchdown on 19 carries with two receptions on three targets for 33 yards and a touchdown last week versus the Bills. FO ranks the Raiders in the middle of the pack (14th, to be exact) defending the run. They’ve coughed up the ninth-most FanDuel points per game, and they’ve surrendered a juicy 4.88 yards per carry to running backs this season. As long as Mack’s healthy enough to play, he should continue his run of success and steamroll the Raiders.
Antonio Brown (PIT): $8,800 vs. Browns
How spoiled are we by Brown’s excellence? One might describe his year as down by his standards to date, yet he’s scored at least one touchdown in five of six games, has caught five or more passes in all six games, and has bested 60 yards receiving five times. He’s also ripped off back-to-back 100-plus yard receiving efforts with three receiving touchdowns.
Ben Roethlisberger’s massive home/road splits are no secret, and Big Ben’s excellence at home translates to bigger numbers for the game’s best receiver when games are played in Pittsburgh. In Cleveland in Week 1, he posted a 9-93-1 line on 16 targets. It seems crazy to suggest that’s closer to Brown’s floor than his ceiling, but it’s also probably accurate.
Kenny Golladay (DET): $6,600 vs. Seahawks
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. FO ranks the Seahawks third defending the pass, third defending No. 1 receivers, 19th defending No. 2 receivers, and ninth defending “other” receivers. Seattle does rank in the middle of the pack in FanDuel points allowed to the position, though. Golladay’s taken a step forward this year, and he has notable home/road splits that make sense when factoring in Matthew Stafford’s home/road splits. Stafford is responsible for more impressive net yards per pass by all measures at home, and Golladay’s a big-play wideout who thrives ripping off big gainers.
In eight road games, the second-year receiver averages 3.0 receptions and 43.6 receiving yards per game with 14.54 yards per reception and just one touchdown. In nine home games, he’s averaged 3.7 receptions and 65.9 receiving yards per game with 17.97 yards per reception and five touchdowns. Golladay doesn’t need big volume to provide a useful fantasy scoring output. Given his less-than-great matchup, I think there’s potential he’s very low owned. Sign me up for his upside at a low ownership rate if that proves to be the case.
Jordy Nelson (OAK): $5,300 vs. Colts
The Raiders traded Amari Cooper to the Cowboys earlier this week. The fourth-year pro has been wildly inconsistent, but he leaves behind 32 targets and 3.7 receptions per game. Nelson could be in line to soak up some of that work. The former Packer throttled the Dolphins for a 6-173-1 line in Week 3, but that’s very much an outlier relative to his work the rest of the year. I’m not here to suggest he can even sniff that type of output.
I do suspect he’ll bounce back from a terrible showing against the Seahawks in London prior to Oakland’s Week 7 bye. He had a three-game touchdown streak snapped before his poor outing across the pond. The game script should be in Nelson’s favor with the Raiders serving as three-point underdogs against the Colts at home. Furthermore, color me skeptical of a Doug Martin-led backfield generating production on the ground in the aftermath of Marshawn Lynch hitting IR. Also, say what you will about what Nelson has left in the tank at this point in his career, he’s not the plodder Kelvin Benjamin is, and Buffalo’s No. 1 receiver by default just posted a 4-71-0 line on five targets against the Colts.
David Njoku (CLE): $5,700 at Steelers
Here’s Mayfield’s stack partner. The second-year tight end has bested 50 yards receiving in four straight games (all of Mayfield’s starts), caught four or more passes in each of those contests, and scored touchdowns in back-to-back games. Now, he faces a Pittsburgh defense that’s coughed up the second-most FanDuel points per game to tight ends. Njoku is likely to be chalky, but you should eat the chalk in this case.
Adam Humphries (TB): $4,800 at Bengals
I teased Humphries in the intro, and here’s the tweet that my friend Chris sent me that put the slot wideout on my radar. The linked tweet is from Joe Goodberry of The Athletic Cincinnati, and it speaks for itself. In addition to having an intriguing matchup, Humphries has been targeted 12 times in Jameis Winston’s two starts and hauled in seven of them for 119 yards. The bar is low for Humphries to hit value, and he’s a nifty punt with upside who will allow you to squeeze in the likes of Gurley and AB84.
Chiefs D/ST (KC): $3,900 vs. Broncos
The Chiefs are 10-point favorites at home. Double-digit point favorites at home are outstanding targets for fantasy defenses. The Chiefs D/ST has sandwiched two big fantasy showings at home around a clunker in New England. They scored 14 fantasy points in a blowout win of the Bengals at home last week and befuddled Blake Bortles and the Jaguars while rolling up 22 fantasy points at home in Week 5. They totaled four sacks, an interception, and six fantasy points facing the Broncos in Denver in Week 4, and I think they’ll easily best that mark in front of their fired-up faithful fans.