For many fantasy football players, season long fantasy is the main focus of their football season. However, over the past few years, daily fantasy sports (DFS) have become more and more popular. The biggest difference between season long fantasy and DFS is the players value. In season long fantasy owners have to determine the player’s value for the whole season and how high to draft them. In DFS fantasy owners have to find the best “values” based on the players cost that fit under the salary cap for that week.
With six teams on a bye in week eight, fantasy owners have fewer options to build their line ups with. In DFS, an important factor to remember is to not spend big money for big name players when they have a bad match up. Below, I will give five players DFS owners should avoid this week on DraftKings.com and a player I rather play for less money. Remember, Draft Kings is PPR scoring.
Deshaun Watson at Seattle ($6,400)
Play instead: Philip Rivers at New England ($6,300)
Watson has been the fantasy MVP so far this season but now faces his toughest match up of the season Sunday against the Seahawks. Since taking over as a starter in week two, Watson has only faced one defense in the top 18 against opposing quarterbacks; week two at Cincinnati. The Seahawks rank fourth against opposing quarterbacks giving up just 10.5 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, opposing quarterbacks are averaging just 5.8 fantasy points per game in Seattle.
While Watson’s match up is very bad, Rivers may have the best match up this week. The Patriots rank last in the league against opposing quarterbacks, giving up 23.2 fantasy points per game. Every quarterback that has faced the Patriots defense this season have scored at least 17 fantasy points and five of seven opposing quarterbacks have score 20 or more. Over the last four game Rivers is averaging 17.6 fantasy points per game.
Carlos Hyde at Philadelphia ($6,000)
Play instead: Chris Thompson vs Dallas ($5,800)
While Hyde has been good for fantasy owners this season, averaging 15.7 fantasy points per game. However, his two highest scoring games have come when he gets in the end zone. In the games when Hyde gets in the end zone he is averaging 24.5 fantasy points per game, but in all other games he is averaging just 12.2 fantasy points per game. The Eagles defense ranks first against the run, giving up just 67 rushing yards per game. The Eagles are great against the run but struggle against the pass. With the 49ers expected to get behind early, the team will have to pass more as the game goes on.
Thompson has been the only consistent threat for the Redskins offense this season. Thompson is averaging a career high 18.2 fantasy points per game; currently RB8 this season. Aside from week four against the Chiefs, Thompson has scored 15.5 or more fantasy points in every game this season. The Cowboys rank 19th in the league against opposing running backs, giving up 24.1 fantasy points per game. With both defenses banged up and struggling, this game is expected to be high scoring giving Thompson plenty of opportunity this week.
Golden Tate vs Pittsburgh ($6,500)
Play instead: Pierre Garcon at Philadelphia ($6,100)
Currently Tate is dealing with a shoulder injury and is listed as questionable for Sunday nights game. However, Tate participated in Friday’s practice and the belief is he will try to play verse the Steelers. Even if he does play, Tate will be slowed by the injury and the Steelers secondary. The Steelers rank first in the league against opposing wide receivers, giving up just 20.2 fantasy points per game. Between Tate’s questionable injury designation and the Steelers dominate secondary, I’m not trusting him this week.
The biggest reason why I don’t like Carlos Hyde this week is the same reason why I love Garcon. The Eagles give up the 28th most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, giving up 36.9 per game. The Eagles have given up 40 or more fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in three games this season. Garcon has been a solid option in PPR scoring, averaging 12.3 fantasy points per game; currently ranked as WR19. Garcon has yet to get in the end zone this season but that could change this week as the Eagles have given up five touchdowns to wide receivers this season.
Rob Gronkowski vs Los Angeles ($7,100)
Play instead: Jason Witten at Washington ($4,200)
Now I love Gronkowski in season long fantasy, for me he is still the tight end fantasy owners want. However, this week I hate him in DFS. At a cost of $7,100 Gronkowski doesn’t have the upside to match his cost. For about the same cost ($7,300) I rather play Keenan Allen in my FLEX spot. The Chargers rank second in the league against opposing tight ends, giving up just 7.8 fantasy points per game. Gronkowski is great and should be started every week in season long league but in DFS, tight ends is where fantasy owners save money.
Witten has four games this season with 12 plus fantasy points including the last two. On the season Witten is TE6, averaging 12.5 fantasy points per game. Yet somehow he is only the 10th most expensive tight end this week; with players like Greg Olsen more expensive. Witten is a great value this week against the Redskins, who rank 30th against opposing tight ends, giving up 17.9 fantasy points per game. The Redskins have given up three touchdowns to opposing tight ends this season and just gave up 19.9 fantasy points to Zach Ertz last week. Witten averages 5.2 catches per game this season, giving fantasy owners a safe floor while providing upside if he get in the end zone.
Vikings D/ST at Cleveland (in London) ($4,000)
Play instead: Saints vs Chicago ($3,400)
The Vikings D/ST currently ranks 10th in the league, scoring an average of 7.4 fantasy points per game this season. After two shaky games to start the season, the Vikings D/ST has averaged 9.8 fantasy points per game over the last five games. However, at a week high $4,000 I rather put my money elsewhere even though opposing D/STs are scoring an average of 12.9 fantasy points per game when facing the Browns offense.
The Saints D/ST have been fantasy poison over the past several years but this season that has all changed. On the season, the Saints D/ST ranks eighth in the league, scoring nine fantasy points per game. But, what I like most about the Saint D/ST this week is their opponent; the Bears. Opposing D/STs this season are averaging 11.4 fantasy points per game when facing the Bears; ranking third best in the league. Furthermore, since Mitchell Trubisky has taken over as the starter, opposing D/STs are averaging 13.7 fantasy points per game. The Bears are trying to protect Trubisky, having him throw just 16 times per game as the starter, but if the Saints offense can get going early it will force the Bears to throw the ball leading to turnovers for the defense.