The 2018 NFL season rolls on, and we’re still on pace for a record-breaking campaign with an average of 24.0 points per game per team. We could be in for another week of high scoring with a 10-game main slate that kicks off on Sunday, Oct. 28, at 1 p.m. ET.
With four teams on bye, two in London and six in prime-time games, we are without the following quarterbacks:
- Thursday Night Football: Dolphins (Ryan Tannehill, Brock Osweiler) at Texans (Deshaun Watson)
- International Series (London): Eagles (Carson Wentz) and Jaguars (Blake Bortles, Cody Kessler)
- Sunday Night Football: Saints (Drew Brees) at Vikings (Kirk Cousins)
- Monday Night Football: Patriots (Tom Brady) at Bills (Derek Anderson)
- Byes: Falcons (Matt Ryan), Cowboys (Dak Prescott), Titans (Marcus Mariota) and Chargers (Philip Rivers)
For analysis on the smaller slates, consult Chris Raybon’s premium strategy guides (released throughout the week).
In writing this piece, I’ve relied primarily on the FantasyLabs Models. This breakdown is less of a comprehensive analysis of each quarterback and more of an introduction to this week’s players via our large suite of analytic DFS Tools. We’ll start with two high-priced quarterbacks, follow with five passers at the top of our individual Pro Models and finish with the rest of the slate’s starting quarterbacks.
For updates on Vegas spreads and over/unders, check out The Action Network Live Odds page.
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This week, there are two quarterbacks at the top of the positional salary scale on DraftKings and FanDuel.
- Patrick Mahomes: $7,000 DraftKings; $9,200 FanDuel
- Aaron Rodgers: $6,400 DraftKings; $8,600 FanDuel
Patrick Mahomes: Kansas City Chiefs (-10) vs. Denver Broncos, 53.5 Over/Under
UPDATE (10/27): Center Mitch Morse (concussion) will miss his second consecutive game. The interior depth of the Chiefs offensive line will be tested with backup center Jordan Devey (pectoral) and starting right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (fibula) both on injured reserve. With backups Austin Reiter and Andrew Wylie tentatively expected to start at center and right guard, the efficacy of the Chiefs offense could be diminished.
Mahomes had a league-high 36.8 DraftKings points in Week 7, throwing for 358 yards and four touchdowns and rushing for an additional 45 yards on four carries against the Bengals. Even though head coach Andy Reid screwed over bettors with his end-of-game decision not to kick a field goal inside the 10-yard line, the Chiefs helped public bettors crush sportsbooks in Week 7. With Mahomes leading the way, the Chiefs are 7-0 against the spread (ATS) this season, the league’s only remaining undefeated ATS team.
On a per-game basis, they have …
- Outscored their implied totals by 10.1 points (No. 1 in NFL)
- Surpassed their game total by 10.2 points (No. 1)
- Covered their spreads by 10.1 points (No. 1)
The Chiefs lead the league in scoring at 37.1 points per game, and Mahomes is the first quarterback in NFL history with 22 passing touchdowns in his first eight NFL starts (Hall of Fame member Kurt Warner is second on the list with 21 during the first half of the 1999 “Greatest Show on Turf” Super Bowl-winning season).
Mahomes not only leads the league with those 22 passing touchdowns, but he’s first with an 84.9 in ESPN’s Total QBR. Of all players to start more than a couple of games, Mahomes is the only quarterback with a 100% Consistency Rating this year. He has either 300 yards and/or four touchdowns passing in every game. Mahomes’ +11.79 Plus/Minus is an almost unprecedented mark this far into the season.
With his unrivaled ball velocity (60 mph), Mahomes has quickly made a habit of attacking defenses deep. He’s No. 1 in the league with 45 deep pass attempts (20-plus yards), 22 deep completions and 722 deep-passing yards. For a player with just eight career starts, he’s been incredibly poised in the pocket.
Mahomes has been pressured on 34.7% of his dropbacks but sacked at a league-low 8.5% rate on such plays. And with a clean pocket he’s No. 1 with a 131.5 QB Rating (Pro Football Focus).Reid has done a magnificent job scheming to Mahomes’ strengths, streamlining his reads and enabling him to get the ball out quickly.
When Mahomes can simply take the snap, focus immediately on his receivers and throw the ball, he’s maybe the best quarterback in the league. On passes with no play action, he’s No. 1 with a 119.6 QB Rating. When holding the ball for fewer than 2.5 seconds in the pocket, he’s again No. 1 with a 133.7 QB Rating (PFF).
Given how well he has played and been coached, it’s not a surprise that Mahomes is first among all starters with 0.72 fantasy points per dropback. Mahomes is currently in the lead for the MVP race with +270 odds to win.
Mahomes has twice faced the AFC West rival Broncos.
- 2017 (Week 17 at Denver): 11.4 DraftKings points, -2.60 Plus/Minus, 284-0-1 passing, 7-10-0 rushing
- 2018 (Week 4 at Denver): 25.9 DraftKings points, +6.29 Plus/Minus, 304-1-0 passing, 3-7-1 rushing
While his production against Denver hasn’t been overwhelming, he was still passable, and he should do better this week. Last year’s game marked Mahomes’ first career start, and he played primarily with backups as the Chiefs rested most of their starters for the playoffs. Additionally, both of the games were in Denver. Even though the Broncos have the clear edge in rest and preparation — they played last week on Thursday night, while the Chiefs played on Sunday night — Mahomes at home should be in peak form.
The Broncos have held quarterbacks this year to a bottom-five mark of 16.4 DraftKings points per game, but Mahomes’ matchup against the Broncos defense isn’t prohibitive. Other than All-Pro slot cornerback Chris Harris, the Broncos don’t have one defensive back or linebacker in their dime personnel with a PFF coverage grade of even 70.0. On top of that, while the Chiefs offense is entirely healthy, the Broncos secondary is dealing with injuries, as free safety Darian Stewart (neck) and cornerback Adam Jones (leg) are both questionable.
On Sunday morning, I will probably look to bet the over on Mahomes’ passing-yardage prop. He’s hit the over in all seven games this year. Plus, this is the only game on the slate with two top-10 teams in situation-neutral pace. To find the best bets in the props market, use our Player Props Tool, which is powered by our industry-leading projections. Since Week 1, the props with a bet quality of 10 have gone 150-71-5, good for a 66% win rate.
Without question, you should supplement your DFS action with player props.
Mahomes has position-high median, ceiling and floor projections on DraftKings, where he’s the No. 1 quarterback in the Bales Model.
Aaron Rodgers: Green Bay Packers (+9.5) at Los Angeles Rams, 56.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Wide receiver Randall Cobb (hamstring) is questionable and should be considered a game-time decision. Wide receiver Geronimo Allison (hamstring) will play.
Never before has Rodgers been this big of an underdog. The Rams are the only defeated team left in the league at 7-0, but the spread for this game is way off.
Rodgers sustained a first-half knee injury in the season opener, and although he was a diminished version of himself in Weeks 2-4, he was dominant in Weeks 5-6.
- Rodgers (Weeks 2-4): 17.7 DraftKings points, -1.92 Plus/Minus, 281.3 yards and 1.33 touchdowns passing
- Rodgers (Weeks 5-6): 32.5 DraftKings points, +14.1 Plus/Minus, 433.5 yards and 2.5 touchdowns passing
Coming off a bye, Rodgers should be rested and prepared, and wide receivers Davante Adams (calf), Randall Cobb (hamstring) and Geronimo Allison (hamstring) should all be much healthier than they were in Week 6, when Adams played through an injury and Cobb and Allison sat.
Given the pass-catching talent that Rodgers has with his wide receivers, tight end Jimmy Graham and running back Ty Montgomery, he’s in a decent spot even though he’s on the wrong side of his home/away splits (24.4 DraftKings points per game at home vs. 21.6 away since 2014). Rams cornerback Marcus Peters has been targeted just twice in the past two games, but since Week 3, when he suffered a lingering calf injury, Peters has given up five touchdowns in his coverage and an 84.2% catch rate.
With Peters hobbled and cornerback Aqib Talib (ankle, injured reserve) out, the Rams pass defense could be exploited in the game with the highest over/under on the slate.
On the Wednesday edition of The Action Network NFL Podcast, guest Pat Mayo mentioned Rodgers as his potential cash-game quarterback for the week.
Besides Mahomes and Rodgers, there are five quarterbacks atop the individual Pro Models that Jonathan Bales, Peter Jennings (CSURAM88), Adam Levitan, Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon, Kevin McClelland (SportsGeek) and I have constructed.
- Andrew Luck: $6,300 DraftKings; $8,300 FanDuel
- Andy Dalton: $6,200 DraftKings; $7,800 FanDuel
- Mitchell Trubisky: $6,100 DraftKings; $7,700 FanDuel
- Jared Goff: $6,000 DraftKings; $8,500 FanDuel
- Russell Wilson: $5,900 DraftKings; $7,400 FanDuel
Andrew Luck: Indianapolis Colts (-3) at Oakland Raiders, 49.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Wide receiver Ryan Grant (ankle) is out. Wide receiver Zach Pascal (head) is questionable. Tight end Jack Doyle (hip) will play after missing five games.
In his return from a shoulder injury that cost him the entire 2017 season, Luck leads the league with 44.4 pass attempts per game. Despite being without wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (chest, hamstring) and tight end Jack Doyle (hip) for much of the past month, Luck has averaged 29.7 DraftKings points with a +12.60 Plus/Minus over his past four games.
What’s notable about Luck is that, as the season has progressed, he’s shown more of a willingness to test his arm strength. In Weeks 1-3, he had a league-low 5.6-yard average depth of target (aDOT), but over the past four weeks, he’s had an 8.9 aDOT, just ahead of Mahomes (8.8).
It’s too early to say that Luck has regained his old form, but his recent downfield aggressiveness is in line with what we’ve seen out of him in the past.
- Luck’s 2016 aDOT: 8.9
- Luck’s 2015 aDOT: 10.2
- Luck’s 2014 aDOT: 9.2
- Luck’s 2013 aDOT: 8.4
While Luck hasn’t been efficient with his passes — he’s ahead of only rookie Josh Allen with his 6.3 yards per attempt — he’s produced in the red zone, leading the league with 52 attempts and 17 touchdowns inside the 20-yard line. When the Colts get close, they put the ball in his hands and trust him to make a play. He’s first in the league with 25 targets to the end zone and 311 yards and 13 touchdowns on such targets. Interceptions aside, Luck is making the most of his passes.
Organizationally, the opposing Raiders are in disarray. Offensively, wide receiver Amari Cooper has been traded away, running back Marshawn Lynch (groin, core muscle) has been placed on IR and quarterback Derek Carr has reportedly lost the locker room. The Raiders might struggle to sustain drives, which could result in more opportunities for the Colts offense. And defensively, the Raiders are poor, ranking 31st against the pass with a 36.3% mark in Football Outsiders’ DVOA.
Of any quarterback to play at least 16 games since 2004, Luck is first with 23.6 DraftKings points per game.
If you roster Luck in guaranteed prize pools, you might want to use our Lineup Builder to stack him with wide receiver Chester Rogers, who has nine targets per game over the past month. This year, Rogers has run 90.0% of his routes in the slot, where this week he’ll face 33-year-old cornerback Leon Hall, who has given up a completion rate of 85.0% in his coverage with an average of 14.1 receiving yards per game. In Week 7, Luck and Rogers were together in just 2.03% of Millionaire Maker lineups. Since 2014, NFL quarterbacks on average have had about a 0.50 correlation with their wide receivers. The sample is small, but with Rogers, Luck has a personal-high mark of 0.91.
Be sure to check out Anthony Amico’s analysis of how Luck matches up against the Raiders secondary. A high school football coach with a statistics background, Amico has a great perspective.
Luck is the No. 1 DraftKings quarterback in the Freedman Model.
Andy Dalton: Cincinnati Bengals (-4.5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 54 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Running back Giovani Bernard (knee), wide receiver John Ross (groin) and tight end Tyler Kroft (foot) are all out. Center Billy Price (ankle) is doubtful.
Dalton’s in the middle of another up-and-down, ho-hum, “Hi, I’m Andy Dalton” campaign. Last week, in an advantageous prime-time matchup against the Chiefs, he had his worst performance of the season, passing for just 148 yards and a touchdown with a 51.7% completion rate. This week, though, he’s in a bounce-back spot against the Buccaneers, who are dead last in the league in pass defense with a 44.1% DVOA and have allowed the second-most DraftKings points per game (30.0) to opposing passers.
While Dalton is one of the rare quarterbacks with reverse home/away splits (48.5% DraftKings Consistency Rating at home vs. 61.8% on the road), he’s in a good spot in Cincinnati: The Bucs are yet to allow fewer than 30 DraftKings points to a home quarterback.
- Drew Brees (Week 1): 34.6 DraftKings points, 439-3-0 passing, 0-0-0 rushing
- Mitchell Trubisky (Week 4): 46.5 DraftKings points, 354-6-0 passing, 3-53-0 rushing
- Matt Ryan (Week 6): 30.5 DraftKings points, 355-3-0 passing, 1-13-0 rushing
The Bengals are expected to be without a number of key offensive players this week.
- Running back Giovani Bernard: Knee, questionable (missed Weeks 5-7)
- Wide receiver John Ross: Groin, questionable (missed Weeks 5-6, exited Week 7)
- Tight end Tyler Kroft: Foot, questionable (missed Weeks 5-6)
- Center Billy Price: Ankle, questionable (missed Weeks 3-7)
But Dalton still has wide receivers A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd and running back Joe Mixon. He should be fine, especially since the Bucs defense will also be without some key players in cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (shoulder), strong safety Chris Conte (knee) and linebacker Kwon Alexander (knee), all of whom are on injured reserve. Additionally, Pro-Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (calf) and starting edge rusher Vinny Curry (ankle) sat out last week and are questionable for Week 8.
On top of that, it’s possible that the Bucs have the league’s worst trio of starting cornerbacks. Brent Grimes was a Pro Bowler with the Dolphins in the 2013-15 seasons, and in 2016-17 he had above-average PFF grades of 87.4 and 75.2. This year, though, in the four games he’s played, Grimes has been a massive liability, allowing a 15-222-1 passing line on 21 targets.
As for M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis, both are second-round rookies with potential but right now they have poor PFF coverage grades of 62.4 and 60.2, respectively. One day they might be good. But so far, they’ve combined to surrender 44-511-6 passing with no interceptions on 59 attempts.
Dalton is the No. 1 FanDuel passer in the Koerner Model.
Mitchell Trubisky: Chicago Bears (-7) vs. New York Jets, 45.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Wide receiver Allen Robinson (groin) is officially questionable but reportedly expected not to play.
Entering Week 4, Trubisky was primarily a game plan-dependent passer, relying heavily on early-game scripted plays for success: He had a mark of 8.8 adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A) in the first quarter and a 3.5 AY/A thereafter. Since then, however, Trubisky’s in-game splits have evened out. His production hasn’t always been pretty — in fact, at times he’s been downright Bortles-esque — but he’s been the highest-scoring fantasy quarterback for the past month.
- Week 4 (vs. Buccaneers): QB1, 46.5 DraftKings points, 354-6-0 passing, 3-53-0 rushing
- Week 5 (on bye)
- Week 6 (at Dolphins): QB4, 31.3 DraftKings points, 316-3-1 passing, 8-47-0 rushing
- Week 7 (vs. Patriots): QB2, 36.4 DraftKings points, 333-2-2 passing, 6-81-1 rushing
At least twice in each game, Trubisky makes some dumbfounding decisions, but he’s a second-year passer who’s still learning the professional game. That he’s been able to produce at this level while still exhibiting such rawness is impressive.
Trubisky doesn’t have a great matchup, as the Jets rank first in pass defense with an 86.0 PFF coverage grade, but they are likely to be without three starting defensive backs.
- Outside cornerback Trumaine Johnson: Quad, questionable (missed Weeks 4-7)
- Slot cornerback Buster Skrine: Concussion, questionable (missed Weeks 6-7)
- Free safety Marcus Maye: Hand, questionable (missed Week 7)
No. 1 Wide receiver Allen Robinson (groin) is questionable, but if he plays he should be able to avoid top cornerback Morris Claiborne for most of the game. Although Claiborne at times was used in shadow coverage last season, this season he’s played almost exclusively at right corner.
Replacing Johnson, Skrine and Maye are backups Darryl Roberts, Parry Nickerson and Terrence Brooks. Roberts is a third-year seventh-rounder allowing a 69.7% completion rate in his coverage this year. Nickerson is a rookie sixth-rounder with a 78.1% completion rate allowed. He’s been targeted 21 times over the past two weeks as a starter. And Brooks is a special-teams player who’s seen just 166 coverage snaps with three teams over the past four years.
Against this injured secondary, Trubisky has a position-high ceiling projection on FanDuel, where he’s the No. 1 quarterback in the Freedman Model.
Jared Goff: Los Angeles Rams (-9.5) vs. Green Bay Packers, 56.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Wide receiver Cooper Kupp (knee) is officially doubtful and fully expected not to play.
The Rams have hit their implied Vegas totals in an NFL-high 17-of-23 games under beard model and head coach Sean McVay since last season. Even though the Patriots are surging, the undefeated Rams are entrenched as the No. 1 team in The Action Network’s NFL Power Rankings, and Goff has at least 300 yards passing in nine of his 15 regular-season starts since last season’s Week 8 bye. He leads all quarterbacks on the slate with 10.0 AY/A. Deployed in a high-efficiency, fantasy-friendly way, Goff has used play action on a league-leading 39.1% of his attempts.
He’s one of only three quarterbacks this season to be at worst a league-average passer to each section of the field. The other two are Rodgers and Rivers.
Goff has done relatively little over the past two weeks, averaging just 201.5 yards and one touchdown passing per game as running back Todd Gurley has taken control of the offense, but this week he could be called upon to do more. The Packers are coming off their bye and should be able to put up points: This game has the slate’s highest over/under. The Rams lead all teams with their 33.0-point implied Vegas total, and it’s hard to imagine them keeping pace with the Packers if Goff doesn’t have a good game.
Although the Packers have held quarterbacks to a bottom-four mark of 18.2 DraftKings points per game, they’ve faced a soft schedule with inexperienced, inconsistent and/or inefficient opposing quarterbacks.
- Mitch Trubisky (Bears, Week 1): 15.0 DraftKings points, 171-0-0 passing, 7-32-1 rushing
- Alex Smith (Redskins, Week 3): 17.8 DraftKings points, 220-2-0 passing, 7-20-0 rushing
- Josh Allen (Bills, Week 4): 4.9 DraftKings points, 151-0-2 passing, 5-19-0 rushing
- Matthew Stafford (Lions, Week 5): 15.2 DraftKings points, 183-2-0 passing
- C.J. Beathard (49ers, Week 6): 18.9 DraftKings points, 245-2-1 passing, 3-21-0 rushing
The one high-end passer they’ve faced this season (Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins in Week 2) shredded them for 425 yards and four touchdowns.
Goff had a position-high 13.54% ownership rate in the DraftKings Millionaire Maker last week, and we’re expecting him to be popular again this week. Goff has a position-high 10 Pro Trends on DraftKings, where he leads all quarterbacks with his 99% Bargain Rating and is the No. 1 passer in the CSURAM88, Levitan, Koerner, Raybon and SportsGeek Models.
Russell Wilson: Seattle Seahawks (+3) at Detroit Lions, 49.5 O/U
In 2017, Wilson led all quarterbacks who played a full season with 23.2 DraftKings points per game. But DangeRuss has disappointed in 2018. He’s yet to attempt even 40 passes or hit 300 yards passing in any game. Despite being one of the league’s best rushing quarterbacks and having a run-focused offensive coordinator in Brian Schottenheimer, Wilson has a career-low 2.8 rushes and 10.3 rushing yards per game.
But Wilson is intriguing this week. The Seahawks are coming off their bye week, and they might be catching the Lions in a look-ahead spot: The Lions in Weeks 9-10 have divisional road games against the Vikings and Bears. Additionally, Wilson entered the bye on something of a hot streak.
Although he averaged just 22 pass attempts per game, Wilson in Weeks 5-6 had his best games of the season, throwing three touchdowns each week and averaging an 11.3 AY/A across that time.
It’s probably not happenstance that those games coincide with the emergence of second-year wide receiver David Moore, who has replaced Brandon Marshall in three-wide sets as the team’s big-bodied presence (6-foot-1, 219 pounds). Over the past two games, Moore has a 5-85-3 receiving line on seven targets.
Even with (or maybe because of?) first-year head coach Matt Patricia, the Lions defense has the league’s third-lowest PFF coverage grade (53.4) and third-worst overall DVOA (18.2%). Of any cornerback still seeing playing time, Teez Tabor has an NFL-low 37.3 PFF coverage grade. In his three games this year as a starter, he’s allowed 9-134-2 passing on 12 targets. In a weak chain, he’s the clear weakest link and likely to be exposed regardless of whichever wide receiver he’s pretending to cover.
A strong 15-6-2 ATS as an underdog, Wilson has a position-high two Pro Trends on FanDuel, where he’s the No. 1 quarterback in the Bales, CUSRAM88, Levitan, Raybon and SportsGeek Models.
Here’s a quick look at the remaining starters on the slate.
Ben Roethlisberger: Pittsburgh Steelers (-8) vs. Cleveland Browns, 51 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Right tackle Marcus Gilbert (knee) is out. Backup Matt Feiler is expected to start in his place.
- $6,100 DraftKings; $8,400 FanDuel
Coming off the bye, Roethlisberger leads all current starting quarterbacks with 338.8 passing yards per game, and now he gets to play at Heinz Field, where he’s been the league’s best home quarterback throughout the Antonio Brown era (since 2014), averaging 26.1 DraftKings points per game with a +6.97 Plus/Minus and 72.4% Consistency Rating.
Jameis Winston: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+4.5) at Cincinnati Bengals, 54 O/U
- $6,000 DraftKings; $7,800 FanDuel
Winston is hardly the paragon of on-the-field consistency and off-the-field respectability, but he has perhaps the league’s top collection of pass-catching talent in wide receivers Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin and Adam Humphries and tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate.
The Bengals have allowed a top-five mark of 25.9 DraftKings points per game to quarterbacks, and Winston has 30.9 DraftKings points and 380 yards passing per game in his two 2018 starts.
Cam Newton: Carolina Panthers (+2) vs. Baltimore Ravens, 43 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Wide receiver Torrey Smith (knee) is out.
- $5,800 DraftKings; $8,100 FanDuel
In his five healthy seasons, Newton’s been a top-four fantasy quarterback, and he’s pacing to accomplish that feat again with his 24.6 DraftKings points per game. But he has a tough matchup: The Ravens have held quarterbacks to a league-low 14.6 DraftKings points per game.
Baker Mayfield: Cleveland Browns (+8) at Pittsburgh Steelers, 51 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Wide receiver Rashard Higgins (knee) is out.
- $5,700 DraftKings; $7,200 FanDuel
Mayfield hasn’t had the smoothest first month as an NFL starter, but he’s averaged 41 attempts per game and kept the Browns competitive in 3-of-4 games. Since last season (including playoffs), the Steelers defense has been significantly worse without Pro Bowl linebacker Ryan Shazier, allowing 26.7 points and 366.6 scrimmage yards per game to opponents.
Mayfield offers some value on FanDuel, where he has a position-high 50% Bargain Rating.
Matthew Stafford: Detroit Lions (-3) vs. Seattle Seahawks, 49.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Pass-catching running back Theo Riddick (knee) is out.
- $5,600 DraftKings; $7,300 FanDuel
Stafford has been the best version of himself since 2014, when wide receiver Golden Tate and offensive coordinator (then-quarterbacks coach) Jim Bob Cooter joined the Lions, currently sporting 64.8% completion rate and 7.4 AY/A. But he has a tough matchup. Even though the Legion of Boom is no more, the Seahawks have held quarterbacks to a bottom-two mark of 15.2 DraftKings points per game.
Joe Flacco: Baltimore Ravens (-2) at Carolina Panthers, 43 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Left guard Alex Lewis (neck) is out. Rookie backup Bradley Bozeman is expected to start in his place.
- $5,300 DraftKings; $7,500 FanDuel
Regression will come for Flacco at some point, but right now he has a career-best 295.3 passing yards per game thanks primarily to new wide receivers John Brown, Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead. The Panthers have a quarterback-friendly funnel defense that ranks sixth against the run (-17.3% DVOA) but 26th against the pass (15.8% DVOA).
Derek Carr: Oakland Raiders (+3) vs. Indianapolis Colts, 49.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Left guard Kelechi Osemele (knee) is questionable.
- $5,200 DraftKings; $6,900 FanDuel
Carr is second in the league with a 71.7% completion rate, but he has more interceptions (eight) than touchdowns (seven) and is refusing to throw downfield: In Week 6, Carr had 31 pass attempts, just two of which were more than 10 yards past the line of scrimmage (Next Gen Stats).
Coming off the Week 7 bye, Carr is without running back Marshawn Lynch (groin, IR) and wide receiver Amari Cooper (trade). The departure of Cooper has moved this spread from a pick ’em, and the Raiders’ implied total has dropped a full two points to 23.5.
Case Keenum: Denver Broncos (+10) at Kansas City Chiefs, 53.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Right tackle Jared Veldheer (knee) will miss his fourth game in a row. Running back Royce Freeman (ankle) is also out.
- $5,100 DraftKings; $7,000 FanDuel
The Chiefs have allowed a top-eight mark of 24.5 DraftKings points per game to quarterbacks, and the Broncos will likely have a pass-heavy game script as big road dogs, but Keenum is an uncertain option. With the Vikings last season, Keenum had a +1.46 DraftKings Plus/Minus, but in all his other starts since 2014, he’s averaged a -1.66.
Alex Smith: Washington Redskins (-1) at New York Giants, 42 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Wide receiver Jamison Crowder (ankle) is out for Week 8. Wide receiver Paul Richardson (shoulder, knee) and pass-catching running back Chris Thompson (ribs) are questionable but tentatively expected to play.
- $5,000 DraftKings; $7,200 FanDuel
This year, 29 quarterbacks have at least one game with 300 or more yards passing — and Smith isn’t one of them. The Redskins have a top-five rush rate at 45.9%, and the team could be without wide receivers Paul Richardson (shoulder, knee) and Jamison Crowder (ankle), plus pass-catching running back Chris Thompson (ribs), all of whom are questionable and missed last week.
C.J. Beathard: San Francisco 49ers (PK) at Arizona Cardinals, 43 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Wide receiver Pierre Garcon (shoulder, knee) is out for Week 8. Running back Matt Breida (ankle) is questionable.
- $4,900 DraftKings; $7,300 FanDuel
Beathard has been serviceable in his month as a starter (18.9 DraftKings points per game). In Week 5, he had the best game of his career (349-2-2 passing, 2-7-1 rushing) against these same Cardinals, and that was without No. 1 wide receiver Marquise Goodwin.
Eli Manning: New York Giants (+1) vs. Washington Redskins, 42 O/U
- $4,900 DraftKings; $6,700 FanDuel
Manning impressively passed for 399 yards last week on Monday Night Football, but he’s now on the negative side of his favorite/underdog and non-division/division splits and playing on short rest. The Redskins have managed to hold each of Rodgers, Luck and Newton to fewer than 25 DraftKings points this year.
Josh Rosen: Arizona Cardinals (PK) vs. San Francisco 49ers, 43 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Left guard Mike Iupati (head) and right guard Justin Pugh (hand) are questionable but tentatively expected to play after practicing on a limited basis all week. Backup guard Jeremy Vujnovich (hamstring) is out, so the Cardinals will be thin at the position if either Iupati or Pugh misses the game.
- $4,800 DraftKings; $6,400 FanDuel
On Thursday Night Football last week, injury was added to insult as the immobile Rosen (toe) was forced from the game after giving up five turnovers (three interceptions, two fumbles). With extra time to rest and prepare, he might be able to exploit a 49ers defense that is dead last with a 37.6 PFF coverage grade — but that’s doubtful: These same 49ers held him to 10.5 DraftKings points, 170 yards passing and a 40% completion rate in Week 5.
Sam Darnold: New York Jets (+7) at Chicago Bears, 45.5 O/U
UPDATE (10/27): Running back Bilal Powell (neck) has been placed on injured reserve. Wide receivers Quincy Enunwa (ankle) and Terrelle Pryor (groin, released) are out. Wide receiver Robby Anderson (ankle) is doubtful and fully expected not to play. Left tackle Kelvin Beachum (back) is questionable but tentatively expected to play.
- $4,500 DraftKings; $6,700 FanDuel
Darnold is likely to be without wide receivers Quincy Enunwa (ankle, questionable) and Terrelle Pryor (groin, released) and maybe running back Bilal Powell (neck, questionable). He’s a big road underdog facing a defense that has a league-best DVOA (-15.8%) and is looking for redemption after allowing 30 or more points in each of the past two games.
Positional Breakdowns & News
Be sure to read the other Week 8 positional breakdowns.
For more in-depth NFL analysis information, check out The Action Network.
After this piece is published, FantasyLabs is likely to provide news updates on a number of players. Be sure to stay ahead of your competition with our industry-leading DFS-focused news blurbs.
Pictured above: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15).
Photo credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports.