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DraftKings Fantasy Football Tournament Picks: NFL Week 8 Top High-Upside DFS Targets

Geoff Ulrich shares his top high-upside targets, stacks and contrarian options for this week’s main fantasy football slate on DraftKings.

Welcome to the weekly tournament plays article for Sunday’s main DraftKings fantasy football slate. I’m going to be focusing purely on high-upside plays and stacks that are likely to be lower-owned in the largest tournaments on the slate. There will be a lot of bust potential found here most weeks too, but big GPPs are generally not won by making the popular moves.

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Cincinnati Bengals vs. Tennessee Titans

Joe Burrow ($6,200) –Tyler Boyd ($6,600) –A.J. Green ($4,500) –Derrick Henry ($8,000)

The Bengals passing game produced 406 yards and three TDs in Week 7 and could be primed to go off again in Week 8. Teams facing the Titans are averaging 39.7 pass attempts per game (the third-highest mark in the league), while the Bengals themselves are attempting 42 passes per game (the second-highest mark in the league). Joe Burrow has done what Andy Dalton could not last year and made the Bengals QB position relevant for fantasy purposes, producing four 300-plus yard games on the season through just seven starts. Cincy doesn’t necessarily have a dominant No. 1 receiver, but slot receiver Tyler Boyd gas been Burrow’s favorite and he’s converted 78% of the 61 targets he’s seen thus far into catches. Slot receivers have torched the Titans thus far, with both Diontae Johnson ($5,500) and Juju Smith Schuster ($5,400) going for massive days against Tennessee last week while playing form that area of the field.

The Titans secondary has been terrible overall, allowing nine TDs to WRs so far and the fourth-most DKFP to the position this season. WR AJ Green could finally find pay-dirt this week and his price-tag looks exceedingly cheap for a player who has seen 24 targets the last two games — and has looked more like his old self of late than he did in the first four weeks of the year. If CB Adore Jackson returns for Tennessee, using Drew Sample ($3,400) could be an option to consider, too, as a way to pivot away from one of the receivers.

On the Titans side, the matchup here screams bounce-back for Derrick Henry. The Bengals have improved against the run this year, but have still allowed 4.9 yards per carry, the sixth-worst mark in the league. If the price is too expensive for your tastes, though, or you just want an extra piece of this game for a monster stack, TE Jonnu Smith ($4,100) also fits in here well and should be primed for a bounce-back of his own. The Titans have a 30.25 implied team total, so using more than just Henry from their squad is completely justified in any lineup this week.

Cleveland Browns vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Baker Mayfield ($6,100) – Kareem Hunt ($6,900) – Rashard Higgins ($4,200) – Nelson Agholor ($4,700)

The Raiders-Browns matchup will feature some heavily owned pieces, but with both defenses showing big deficiencies in specific areas, there are opportunities abound when it comes to stacking this game. Kareem Hunt isn’t a play we need to discuss much. He played on 90% of the snaps last week and will be heavily targeted here in DFS against a rush defense that has allowed the second-most DKFP per game to the RB position thus far.

One way to differentiate your Hunt lineups though will be to pair him with his QB, Baker Mayfield. The Raiders have allowed 6.81 receptions to the RB position per game and with the Browns defense also a liability, it feels like a perfect spot for them to combine for a TD through the air. Mayfield himself should be in position for a good day, as the Raiders continue to feature one of the worst pass rushes in the league, ranking just seventh in adjusted sack rate. Rashard Higgins at 4.2K also has a great matchup against the Raiders secondary who have now allowed six TDs to the WR position over their last three games. With Odell Beckham out last week Higgins played 85% of the snaps and converted all six of his targets into receptions.

The Raiders offense will also be favorite targets for many, as Cleveland have now allowed 72 points against the last two weeks. Darren Waller ($6,100) is likely to be heavy chalk, but its worth noting that WR Nelson Agholor tied him in targets in Week 7 — while playing 78% of the snaps to lead all Raiders WRs. Given that Agholor should be available at far lower ownership numbers than his teammate, and that he is a lot cheaper, he’s a good way to finish off any game stack in a matchup of two teams with implied team totals well over 25-points.

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Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks ($5,400)

The Seahawks come into this week having allowed opposing QBs to throw for over 350 yards passing in four of their six games thus far. The Hawks made a move to acquire DE Carlos Dunlap this week, which should help their pass rush, but they’re currently ranked fifth from the bottom in adjusted sack rate and make for a great matchup for an immobile pocket passer like Garoppolo. Since coming off an ankle injury in Week 5, the San Fran QB has completed 74% of his passes over his last two games, despite facing high-end defenses in the Patriots and Rams.

While the 49ers remain one of the more rush-heavy teams in the league, the Hawks funnel defense has forced teams into passing at absurd rates, with Seattle opponents attempting 47.8 passes per game so far in 2020. Deebo Samuel’s absence in Week 8 means Brandon Aiyuk ($5,800) and George Kittle ($7,000) should see the majority of the targets. While he won’t make this column most weeks, the matchup here dictates Garoppolo and the 49ers passing offense shouldn’t be ignored in a game with a 53.5 O/U total, as of writing.

Just Missed: Cam Newton ($5,700)

Running Back

Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts at Detroit Lions ($6,600)

It does feel like people are getting fatigued while waiting for the breakout game from Taylor. The rookie continues to showcase strong running and an ability to work in the pass game each week, but he’s also only totalled over 100 yards only twice this season and has just one TD in his last three games. With the Colts coming off a bye, though, and a great matchup with Detroit on tap, now might be the time that Indianapolis takes the training wheels off and really lets Taylor carry the load.

Detroit comes in having allowed nine TDs to the RB position over their last five games and ranks 11th in rushing yards allowed per game. Overall, they’ve also ceded the fifth-most DKFP per game to the RB position. In short, this is a bad run defense that Taylor should be able to run circles around if he’s given the opportunity. QB Philip Rivers ($5,900) has started to look his way more in the passing game of late, too, as Taylor comes in with seven targets in his last two games. With the Colts sporting a healthy 26.5 implied team total against a bad run D, Taylor profiles as someone who could theoretically break the slate for you at RB this week.

Just Missed: Melvin Gordon ($5,600)

Wide Receiver

Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks (5,800)

If Aiyuk was a stock, he’d likely be getting multiple price upgrades this week. The 49ers were pretty thin at WR to begin with and will now be without second-year player Deebo Samuel (knee) for at least two games after he left last week’s contest vs. New England. On top of the increased opportunity that Samuel’s absence will almost assuredly bring for Aiyuk, he’ll also get the gift of facing the Seahawks this week, the team who has given up the most targets, yards, receptions and DKFP to opposing WRs by a wide margin this year.

The rookie comes in averaging a healthy 14.0 yards per reception and 17.3 yards per rush on the four carries he’s received in 2020. Considering the 49ers injury issues at RB, seeing Aiyuk gain a couple extra touches on the ground this week should almost be assumed given how well he’s excelled in that role thus far. Regardless of the specifics, the rookie projects to push toward season-high totals in targets — he’s seen seven or more twice this year — against a Seattle defense that allows 47.8 pass attempts per game, the most in the NFL. It’s a great situation for an emerging player who isn’t priced up to fit the matchup he’s in.

Just Missed: Marcus Johnson ($3,000)

Tight End

Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals ($4,100)

The TE position in 2020 continues to be a barren wasteland with every week seeming to bring out a new min-priced punt play that breaks the slate. If you’re looking to go cheap, then definitely check out the Broncos’ Albert Okwuegbunam ($2,800), who leads the team in targets over their last two games. However, while we all know saving cash is good, spending up for the Titans’ Jonnu Smith at this position does feel like it could bear some serious fruit in Week 8 and potentially break us out of this TE slump we’re in.

The going has been tough for Smith of late, who dealt with a knee injury against Houston and then had a terrible matchup in Week 7 against Pittsburgh, who limited him to just one catch on four targets. However, Smith’s shown a great connection with QB Ryan Tannehill ($6,800), as the two have combined for multi-TD games against both the Jags (Week 2) and Bills (Week 4). Like those teams, Cincinnati is terrible at defending TEs, having allowed the fourth-most receptions and third-most yards to the position this season. The Titans massive 30.25 implied team total means all their offensive pieces are in play here and with Smith projected for pretty flat ownership, he looks like a great mid-tier option to spend up on and a good way to get a piece of what should be a bountiful game for DFS purposes.

Just Missed: Albert Okwuegbunam ($2,800)


Miami Dolphins ($2,400) vs. Los Angeles Rams

Plenty of people may be looking to target the Rams D/ST ($3,800) this week after a great showing on MNF, but what about their opponent, the exceedingly cheaper Dolphins? Since getting cornerback Byron Jones back in their lineup, Miami has allowed an average of just 178 passing yards per game and averaged 13.5 DKFP in those two contests, as well. While playing the Jets certainly helped inflate those numbers, Miami’s defense has been sound in other areas of late, too, and come in ranked 10th in adjusted sack rate, with eight sacks in their last two games.

People may be hyped to play the L.A. side because of a rookie QB in play — Tua Tagovailoa ($5,600) is making his debut — but the Rams are flying cross country here and facing a Miami team who has played tough games against two NFC West opponents already and are coming off a bye. Taking advantage of the cheap price gives you exposure to a group with emerging upside and lets you maintain a lot more flexibility at other positions in GPP lineups this week.

Just missed: Chicago Bears ($2,800)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.