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Week 8 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups & Best NFL Player Props Picks

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The Fantasy Football Matchups Column returns for Week 8 of the 2021 NFL season. The column will break down key matchups for the most important players each week to provide tips for NFL DFS, player prop bettors and season-long fantasy football setting lineups on Yahoo, ESPN, Sleeper and CBS. Let’s dive into the all the NFL DFS tips matchups and fantasy football lineup decisions.

Week 8 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups & Player Props

Jalen Hurts vs. Detroit Lions

The Lions have a legitimate chance to steal a win against the Eagles. With how Jalen Hurts has played in recent weeks, the Eagles may be given no choice but to bench him. Hurts has been excellent from a fantasy perspective, finishing among the top 10 quarterbacks in fantasy points in every game, but he has failed to hit 7 yards per attempt in three straight contests, and he is accumulating a massive percentage of his total production when the game is completely out of reach. Hurts has a 72% chance of going over 252.5 yards passing and has nearly 50% probability of reaching the over on passing, along with the over on his rushing line of 44.5 yards.

Matthew Stafford vs. Houston Texans

Stafford is in the midst of one of his finest seasons as a pro, ranking top 10 in the NFL in attempts and top five in air yards, red-zone attempts, passes 20 yards downfield, adjusted yards per attempt and fantasy points per dropback. Now he is facing the Texans, who allow the fourth-most yards per pass attempt and points per play. The over on 24.5 completions has an 80% win probability in Awesemo’s player props tool, and over 295.5 yards passing has a 78% chance of hitting this weekend.

Jonathan Taylor vs. Tennessee Titans

After an abysmal first three weeks, Taylor has been completely matchup-proof since his 114-yard Week 4. He has been a top-10 back in fantasy football every week during that span, and he has averaged a sustainable 18.8 opportunities. Against the Titans this week, the Colts should be able to exploit Tennessee’s bottom-10 run defense. Over the last three weeks Tennessee ranks 31st in the NFL in run defense and bottom 10 in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to opposing offenses. With Indianapolis dealing with a multitude of injuries at receiver, expect Carson Wentz and company to dial up at least 20 looks for Taylor in what should be a competitive game throughout. While Taylor’s yards line of 75.5 yards rushing is steep, it is still a decent play. The overs look great on 2.5 receptions and 14.5 yards receiving, however.

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Joe Mixon vs. New York Jets

The Bengals are an easy play against the miserable Jets. Mixon still is not quite 100% healthy, but he has made it through the last two weeks relatively unscathed. And he was productive during that span, averaging 18 opportunities per game and a healthy 58% snap share. That number should climb considerably this weekend, likely back above 70%. With that in mind, take the over on his yards rushing prop of 70.5, which has a solid 72% chance of success, as well as the over on Mixon’s receiving line of 10.5 yards. Mixon is just one game removed from a six-target outing against the Lions.

Keenan Allen vs. New England Patriots

It has been a strangely frustrating season for those who have bet on Allen this season. He is on one of the most prolific offenses of his career, Justin Herbert is turning into a superstar, and virtually every other player on his offense is in the midst of career seasons. But the opportunity for a monster season has been there for Allen, who ranks 11th in the NFL in targets and receptions, and eight in red-zone targets. The fact that he is the WR25 in fantasy points per game indicates he has under-performed compared to his elite level of opportunity. The blame also cannot be placed on Herbert either, as Allen’s 87.9% catchable target rate ranks sixth. Allen leads the league in drops, which is highly uncharacteristic. But that is far from a sticky stat week to week. The best Allen bet here is the over on 5.5 receptions, which has over a 60% chance of hitting. The Patriots are giving up the fourth-most receptions per game over the last three weeks.


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Cole Beasley, Stefon Diggs and Emmanuel Sanders vs. Miami Dolphins

Miami is an absolute mess on defense. Over their past three games they rank third worst in the NFL in yards allowed per pass attempt and 31st in points allowed per play. They are fourth worst in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to opposing offenses, and they are easier to beat through the air than on the ground. That sets up disastrously for Josh Allen and the Bills offense, who are coming-off of a gut-wrenching loss to Tennessee in Week 6 and looking to reestablish themselves as the team to beat in the AFC. Miami has almost no chance of slowing down this passing attack that ranks second in the NFL in points scored per play. And while all three of the Bills’ receivers are great in fantasy and DFS, the best prop lines are set for Beasley, who already has three games this season with nine-plus targets. The player props tool has identified the over on 48.5 yards receiving as one of the highest-probability over props of the weekend. Sanders’ modest 52.5 yards receiving is good as well.

Dallas Goedert vs. Detroit Lions

With DeVonta Smith dealing with headaches this week, Goedert is the only decent player within the Eagles passing game, even against the Lions, considering Hurts’ poor play. He will pepper Goedert with targets, especially with Goedert finally getting a chance to play the every-down tight end role with Zach Ertz out of the picture. Last week against Las Vegas Goedert played on 94.2% snaps, smashing his previous season high by over 20 percentage points. Taking that into consideration, his three catches on a measly five targets are simply inexcusable. Simply put, Philadelphia needs to dial up a ton of looks for Goedert against the highly exploitable Lions secondary that ranks dead last in the NFL in yards allowed per pass attempt and in points allowed per play. Take the over on 3.5 receptions because that is simply way too low.

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Kyle Pitts vs. Carolina Panthers

Living up to his draft capital and the preseason hype, Pitts has now seen eight-plus targets in four of six career games, and over the last three weeks he has bumped his target average to nine. And Pitts’ role still has room to grow; he is only participating on 80.6% of the team’s routes and is the TE6 in slot snaps when he should be competing for first. He can get open deep downfield better than anyone at his position, and he leads the league in air yards share, second in average depth of target and top five in end-zone targets. But the prop lines are catching up, and the Panthers will almost certainly be throwing everything they have at Pitts after he had two straight games with 115-plus yards receiving. Side with the props tool and taking the under on Pitts’ 62.5 yards receiving prop line, which has a 71% win probability this weekend.


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Take a look at our depth charts for NFL games, inactive player list and NFL starting line-ups. We also have showdown projections and NFL showdown ownership projections. View our FanDuel DFS NFL ownership rankings and our DraftKings NFL DFS ownership rankings. If you’re interested in other NFL DFS news for multiple game slates, head over to NFL DFS ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL daily fantasy football rankings, and NFL stacks.

A middling athlete who was offered his first sports analytics position at age 14, I've been working on NFL and fantasy football data science since 2017. With a particular passion for data visualization and dashboard building, I love to make data accessible by using graphs and charts to communicate ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone. You can contact me by e-mailing [email protected]

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