We’re a third of the way through the NFL season, and we’re well into the grind. As usual, DraftKings is opening contests and releasing salaries for the week ahead on Sunday evening. In the fast-changing landscape of the NFL, that leaves plenty of time for obvious value to appear.
Let’s take a look at a few players who stand out for Week 8, using the early projections in our NFL Player Models. Of course, these models update frequently. Things will likely change between now and Sunday, but it’s still good to have a plan of attack.
If there’s news between now and lock — and there will be — the models will update to reflect that.
As always, they’re powered by Sean Koerner — the most accurate fantasy ranker in the industry from 2019-2021.
For full access to our models, you’ll need to sign up for a FantasyLabs subscription:
NFL DFS Quarterback Values
Sam Ehlinger ($4,000) Indianapolis Colts (-3) vs. Washington Commanders (40 total)
In recent years, DraftKings has made sure to price backup players high enough to make it a true decision on whether to play them or not if they get elevated to a starting role. Gone are the days when a mid-week running back or quarterback injury leads to a player with a starting role and a minimum salary.
Or so we thought. Sam Ehlinger has been named the starter moving forward for the Colts, regardless of Matt Ryan’s injury status. He was so far off the radar that DraftKings left him at the stone minimum price tag — it was presumed that Nick Foles was the direct backup for the Colts.
It’s telling that the Colts are still favored by three in this one, though the extremely low total is a bit concerning. Still, the Commanders rank 29th in DVOA against the pass. They’re also fourth against the run, so the Colts might have to get something done through the air tonight.
The decision to play Ehlinger is a tricky one since this slate includes Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, and other top quarterbacks. There’s a risk that Foles takes over if Ehlinger plays poorly. Still, if you’re able to utilize the massive salary savings to find production elsewhere, he’s an excellent option — especially in cash games.
He leads all players in Pts/Sal projection by a wide margin.
NFL DFS Wide Receiver Values
Amon-Ra St. Brown ($6,900) Detroit Lions (+8) vs. Miami Dolphins (50.5 total)
The sun god has seen his salary dip every week since he missed Week 4’s contest against the Seahawks. He was very limited thanks to an ankle injury in Week 5 against New England, the Lions had a Week 6 bye, then he was forced out of Week 7 against Dallas with a concussion scare.
He was eventually determined to have not suffered a concussion, though, so he should be a full go in Week 8. He’s had the better part of four weeks to recover from his ankle injury and missing (most of) Week 7 against a tough Cowboys defense may have been a blessing in disguise from a fantasy perspective.
Week 8 is a much better situation in an expected shootout against a Dolphins team that ranks 24th in DVOA against the pass. This one is also inside on turf, and the Lions are missing DJ Chark, one of St. Brown’s primary target competitors.
The last time he was fully healthy, he saw 12 targets in consecutive games. Jared Goff is locked in on St. Brown when he’s out there, and Week 8 should be no different. This is a perfect buy-low opportunity.
He’s tied for the positional lead in Pts/Sal in Week 8.
NFL DFS Running Back Values
Alvin Kamara ($7,100) New Orleans Saints (+2) and Josh Jacobs ($7,500) Las Vegas Raiders (-2) (48 total)
Two backs from the same game lead our Pts/Sal projections for Week 8. Generally, running backs on opposing teams are negatively correlated, so picking just one for GPPs is the preferred strategy.
However, that might not be the case in Week 8. While Jacobs has been more involved in the passing game as of late, he’s still scoring the bulk of his points on the ground, with 20+ carries in three straight games. He also has multiple rushing touchdowns in every Raiders win this season.
Kamaras cedes some rushing work to Mark Ingram, Taysom Hill, and others but is the primary passing-down back for the Saints. He has 19 catches over the past three games.
Therefore, the same game script would benefit both backs here, and that’s the favored Raiders playing from in front. Of course, the injury status of Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, and Jameis Winston could have a big impact on Kamara’s performance. He’s seen far more targets with the leading receivers off the field, and Andy Dalton checks down to running backs more often.
I’d be comfortable pairing both Jacobs and Kamara in tournaments only if at least one of the aforementioned trio is out, and ideally two or three. Both are strong plays in cash games regardless, though, as both are likely to have solid days in the same game script.
NFL DFS Tight End Values
Harrison Bryant ($2,500) Cleveland Browns (+3.5) at Cincinnati Bengals (47.5 total)
With David Njoku set to miss the next few weeks, Bryant is now the TE1 for the Browns. Njoku had been a top-five tight end in PPR scoring heading into Week 7, making Bryant an exciting option as his replacement.
Still, it’s not fair to assume Bryant steps in as a one-to-one replacement for Njoku. He’s not nearly as talented or athletic, so some of the vacated targets could go elsewhere. Even if he sees a similar workload, it’s unreasonable to expect the same production.
On the other hand, at the minimum tight end price on DraftKings, he doesn’t need to offer the same production. A three or four-catch day pays off his salary, and if one of those happens to occur in the end zone, that would be a huge day relative to his price point.
Bryant is an excellent cash game option who leads our projections in Pts/Sal with some sneaky GPP appeal.