Welcome to King for a Day - Our new weekly feature focusing on DraftKings' Fantasy Football contests.
For the uninitiated, DraftKings runs fantasy salary-based football contests where users can take home cash each week instead of waiting for the end of the season. It's a great time to start playing fantasy football contests on DraftKings, as new depositors receive a free qualifier ticket into the Millionaire Grand Finale.
Like most fantasy football formats, it's all about value on DraftKings. Don't be afraid to scroll down a bit when picking players, as the beginning of the season is the best time to cash in on some of your "sleepers". Is there a rookie who you believe is headed for instant stardom? If so, now would be the best time to pick him on DraftKings. If he breaks out like you think he will, the player's cost will rise over the course of the season. He may be one of the cheapest options at his position this week, but that won't be the case after a string of 100-yard games.
Now, on to some of the best values in Week 8:
Robert Griffin III, WAS, $8000 vs. DEN – Coming off his best game of the season, RG3 looks healthy and ready to take on a shaky Denver defense. The price is an absolute steal, as Griffin compiled 161 rushing yards in his last two games, and is on pace to top 4,600 passing yards. This may be your last chance to get Griffin at a bargain price, because he’s probably just one good day away from fully restoring his value.
Carson Palmer, ARZ, $5500 vs. ATL – It’s been pretty ugly for Palmer lately, but he still has a solid array of weapons, and the Falcons have been downright awful on defense. Atlanta probably doesn’t have enough talent to truly take advantage of the soft Arizona offensive line, as the Falcons have allowed opposing quarterbacks to post a 14:3 TD:INT ratio. Sure, the Falcons struggled against Drew Brees and Tom Brady, but they also surrendered big days to the likes of Geno Smith, Mike Glennon, and Sam Bradford. While Palmer is obviously difficult to trust, he makes for a nice bargain against one of the worst passing defenses in the league.
Marshawn Lynch, SEA, $7300 vs. STL – Lynch is often overlooked on DraftKings, as he doesn’t catch many passes, and isn’t viewed as a high-upside play. True, the dearth of receptions hurts, but don’t mistake Lynch’s consistency with a lack of upside. He’s always a threat to score multiple touchdowns, particularly against a defense as weak as the Rams’. With Sam Bradford (knee) out, the Seahawks should be able to build up a lead and rely on the running game. Slowing Lynch down is a tall task for any team, and I don’t think the Rams’ 30th-ranked run defense will be up to the challenge.
Frank Gore, SF, $7200 vs. JAX – Gore has topped 80 rushing yards in each of the last four weeks, and now he’s staring at one of the juiciest matchups a running back can get. While his lack of activity in the passing game (five receptions) is a disappointing development, Gore probably won’t need any receptions to have a big day against the Jaguars. Jacksonville has allowed seven rushing touchdowns in six games, while surrendering a whopping 4.8 rushing yards per carry. It won’t be surprising if QB Colin Kaepernick emerges from Week 8 with fewer than 25 pass attempts, as we know that the 49ers want to run, and they won’t have a better opportunity all season.
Eddie Lacy, GB $6100 vs. MIN – If you saw the Vikings play in the Monday Night game, it’s hard not to feel good about the Packers’ chances this week. Lacy looked excellent in the last two games, and his team will likely be playing with a lead. Minnesota actually has a respectable run defense, but I doubt it will be enough to break Lacy’s momentum. I’m fully expecting 20+ carries and a score.
Antonio Brown, PIT, $6800 vs. OAK – Brown is quietly on pace for 125 receptions and 1,461 receiving yards as the clear top option in Pittsburgh’s passing game. His 60 targets lead the team by a comfortable margin, and Brown’s been one of the more efficient receivers in the league, with a 78 percent catch rate and 9.1 yards per target. Though the Oakland defense has been surprisingly decent this year, the Raiders still struggle on the back end. Simply put, the team doesn’t have a defensive back capable of handling Brown’s quickness. Look for both Brown and QB Ben Roethlisberger to have big games.
Jarrett Boykin, GB, $4500 vs. MIN – Now that Jermichael Finley (neck) has been added to the injury list, the Packers are truly desperate for receivers. Boykin takes a step back if James Jones (knee) plays this week, though it seems likely that Jones will sit. As the likely No. 2 receiving option in the Green Bay passing game, Boykin would be a steal at $4500, even if he were only allowed to use one hand. The Packers figure to do plenty of running, but Rodgers and the passing attack should still provide some productive numbers. Given the lack of other options, both Boykin and Jordy Nelson ($7300) look like solid plays this week.
Jordan Reed, WAS, $4300 vs. DEN – I figured Reed would be my choice this week, and after looking at the prices my suspicion was confirmed. He’s getting some recognition with the ninth-highest price among tight ends, but Reed still comes in $700 below the eighth-ranked tight end, Carolina’s Greg Olsen. All indications point to Reed having a major role in the Washington offense, after he broke out for nine receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown in Week 7. The rookie is clearly the Redskins’ No. 1 tight end, and he seems to be the No. 2 option in the passing game behind WR Pierre Garcon. With the Redskins facing the Broncos this week, Robert Griffin figures to do plenty of throwing. Look for Reed and Garcon ($6200) to benefit.
Seattle, $5100 vs. STL – As much as I hate spending big on a defense…the Seahawks are facing Kellen Clemens. Say that three times out loud, and then see if you’re even capable of choosing another defense. In the bargain basement where I normally reside, the Steelers ($2500) make for a solid choice against Oakland.
Caleb Sturgis, MIA, $3000 vs. NE – Sturgis is a solid kicker attached to a decent offense, and he won’t be facing an elite defense this week. What more can you ask for at $3000?