It is always important to find value for DFS lineups. What is also important is finding value with a reasonable upside, especially for tournaments. This article digs into the cheap players in the Awesemo NFL DFS projections that have the best points-per-dollar ratings. Using those projections, here are the top Week 8 NFL DFS picks for DraftKings and FanDuel lineups.
Best Low-Priced NFL DFS Value Picks for Week 8
FanDuel Value Quarterback: Geno Smith — $7,000
Smith is the top value $7,000 or less in Awesemo’s FanDuel projections. Smith has not done much in his first two games as a starter for the Seahawks. He only threw one touchdown in each of the first two games and averaged under 200 yards. Unfortunately for Smith, his first two games happened to come against top-10 defenses in the Steelers and Saints. However, this week is a different story.
This week’s opponent, Jacksonville, is the worst defense in the league, both overall and in pass defense, and they are last in pass DVOA by a wide margin. They boost average opponent’s production by more than 50% — the next worst defense (Kansas City) is less than 35%. While a monster game form Smith is unlikely, he should be far better than his first two performances would indicate. He also still has Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf to throw to. Metcalf showed his ability to score from nothing last week, taking a short pass to the house for an 84-yard touchdown. Do not target Smith every week, but this week may be the exception.
DraftKings Value Quarterback: Taylor Heinicke — $5,300
Heinicke stands out on DraftKings, where he is fourth in value Awesemo’s projections this week. Heinicke is taking on a Denver defense that is the shell of its former self. They rank 26th in overall defensive DVOA and 21st in adjusted sack rate. Heinicke has been an underrated fantasy option since becoming the starter in Washington, scoring over 20 DraftKings points in four of his six full games.
Heinicke brings some sneaky rushing upside to his game. He has averaged almost 35 yards rushing per game, to go with his 250 yards and 1.5 touchdowns passing per game. With Denver being one of the easier matchups he has faced this year, there is no reason to expect that to change much. Heinicke is unlikely to be one of the top scorers on the slate, but pricing is tight this week on DraftKings. He gives lineups a lot of flexibility at other positions while providing a solid floor.
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FanDuel Value Running Back: Elijah Mitchell — $5,800
Awesemo’s projections expect Mitchell to be the leader in San Francisco’s crowded backfield. Despite being drafted three rounds after fellow rookie back Trey Sermon, Mitchell has been the 49ers’ nominal starter after losing Raheem Mostert for the season. Mitchell has played four games and has seen at least 17 carries in three of them. He is used sparingly in the pass game — only four targets on the season — but that is tolerable with FanDuel’s half-PPR scoring. This week against the Bears he should be able to do plenty of damage on the ground. San Francisco is favored, and the Bears rank 28th in adjusted line yards on defense. Besides leading the 49ers backfield in points, Mitchell leads all backs in value projection for Week 8.
DraftKings Value Running Back: Kenneth Gainwell — $5,000
DraftKings has been aggressive in pricing backup running backs the past few years. However, they missed the mark with Gainwell this week. Miles Sanders is expected to miss at least this week, and Gainwell should fill in as the starter. With Philadelphia taking on a Lions team allowing 120 yards rushing per game, that could be a valuable role this week.
The spread is close (-3 Eagles), so do not expect Philadelphia to keep the ball on the ground all game. However, Gainwell has some pass game upside as well. He has 17 targets on the season and should inherit much of Sanders’ share (19 targets on the season.) Gainwell easily leads all running backs in Awesemo’s projections for value. Gainwell is not without risk this week. There is a chance the Eagles will have Boston Scott assume most of Sanders’ role, with Gainwell functioning as the third-down back. Still, he represents a strong value for his price, even in that role. particularly with DraftKings’ full-PPR scoring.
FanDuel Value Wide Receiver: Jakobi Meyers — $5,700
Meyers has the best value projection of any receiver priced under $7,300 on FanDuel for Week 8. Meyers is the clear leader of the Patriots passing attack, averaging over eight targets and a team-leading 55 yards per game. The fantasy production has not been what gamers would hope (roughly 9 FanDuel points per game), but the underlying usage is there.
Most of the lack of fantasy production can be explained by Meyers’ record-breaking inability to score touchdowns. Receivers score a touchdown on average every 155 yards or so. Meyers has accumulated 1,478 yards across parts of three seasons and still no touchdowns. However, touchdowns tend to regress to the mean. Some players are outliers (Julio Jones comes to mind), but Meyers will eventually get his. When that happens, his price will rise dramatically. Now is the time to get him while he is still a value.
DraftKings Value Wide Receiver: Tee Higgins — $5,200
Higgins’ performance has lagged behind his target share this season. He leads the Bengals in target share in his healthy games this season, while averaging over eight per game. Based on opportunity alone, he is the Bengals’ top wideout. He has been overshadowed by teammate Ja’Marr Chase, who is scoring almost three times as many fantasy points per target (3.14 vs. Higgins’ 1.1). It is generally a good idea to target opportunities and volume for fantasy, though. Efficiency is noisy, but volume tends to hold week over week, especially for wide receivers. Coaches could change their play calling based on running back inefficiencies, but it is unlikely wide receivers simply stop getting open. Higgins is fifth in value score in Awesemo’s projections this week.
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