Rotowire & FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship – Week 8

Week 8 of the RotoWire & FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship has arrived meaning that I will personally be spared from a painfully frustrating performance from my Philadelphia Eagles and, more importantly, you have just three weeks left to top our crew of experts and qualify for the $20,000 Championship Contest in Week 11. There is still time to jump into this week’s contest and earn your shot at the grand prize.

Week 7 Recap

Congrats to Fandeul user jimmies05 for putting up a massive 197.88 points in Week 7 on the backs of Todd Gurley, Stefon Diggs and and T.Y. Hilton. He also took advantage of Ryan Tannehill’s first half outburst and a 25-point effort from the St. Louis defense to pace the field. With Rotowire’s crew of experts putting together a very strong week, headed by Chris Liss’ 181.82 point performance, just three competitors (jimmie05, dubkin and scorpio75) were able to top all five of the featured experts.

Expert Leaderboard

Josh Fathollahi, who recommended studs Kirk Cousins, Todd Gurley, Lamar Miller and Stefon Diggs in this space last week, rode his value picks to a dominating 184.58 point performance to take the Week 7 victory, but was unable to crack the top-10 for the season. There was, however, some movement at the top with Josh Collacchi grabbing the poll position. Here’s how the top-10 shakes out after seven weeks, and you can also check out the full leaderboard.

  1. Josh Collacchi (JCollacchi) – 912.3
  2. Tate McIntyre (tamc10) – 903.56
  3. Peter Merrill (black26) – 883.58
  4. Adam Wolf (rotosomething) – 882.9
  5. Jake Letarski (rotojakeski) – 873.16
  6. Brian Pelowski (brianp) – 870.08
  7. Jeff Erickson (jefferickson) – 869.24
  8. Ed Kensik (chicagoed) – 865.66
  9. Peter Schoenke (rotopeter) – 857.96
  10. Nathan Lutterman (luttermanf28) – 847.7

Week 8 Value Picks

QB Eli Manning: New York Giants @ New Orleans Saints

Fanduel Price: $7,300

Back to back stinkers have sent Eli’s price tag plummeting as he followed up a four-week run of multi-touchdown efforts with two sub-200 yard performances. It is a convenient narrative to link Eli’s downright pathetic play to the health of his number one target, but it’s also hard to ignore the correlation. More likely, Eli’s struggles can be blamed on a couple of difficult matchups against divisional opponents who simply dominated the line of scrimmage. The Saints have shown improvement as a team in recent weeks, but they have also been giving it up through the air all year long, allowing four 300-yard passing efforts and five multi-touchdown games to opposing quarterback through seven weeks this season. It’s bounce-back time for Eli as he returns home to New Orleans.

RB Doug Martin: Tampa Bay vs. Atlanta Falcons

Fanduel Price: $7,500

Doug Martin rolls into the divisional matchup Sunday ripping off three-straight 100-yard performances and reminding us all of all of the dominant days of yesteryear. Back to back turnover-free games from Jameis Winston have certainly helped the Bucs offense get moving in the right direction and a healthy Muscle Hamster has finally emerged as a workhorse. Atlanta’s run defense has been stingy from a yardage standpoint (allowing 3.7 yards/carry), but the team has also surrendered a league-worst 10 touchdowns on the ground. While Martin has quietly transformed himself back into a fantasy force over the last several weeks, his price point remains among the second tier of running backs.

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RB Jonathan Stewart: Carolina Panthers vs. Indianapolis Colts

Fanduel Price: $6,800

There is not a thing in this world more equally frustrating and satisfying than watching Tubby Mikey Tolbert rumble into the end zone and vulture yet another J-Stew score, but thus is life when you invest in the Panthers’ backfield. We know Cam and Tolbert will continue to punch in the short scores with efficiency but that has not stopped Stewart from producing a 44-203-2 line over the past two weeks against a pair of top-flight defensive units (@SEA and vs. PHI). The Colts do not represent such a stiff test in Week 8 after getting lit up for 187 yards and three scores by Saint’s backs last week and you should expect more of the same from the Carolina offense this weekend.

Bonus Back (how lucky do you feel?)

RB Alfred Blue: Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans

Fanduel Price: $6,500

Blue had mixed results when filling in for Arian Foster to start the season, putting up a monstrous 31-139-1 line in Week 3 against Tampa Bay. He steps into a prime matchup against a reeling Titan’s rush D that has given up 272 yards on the ground over the past two weeks. Blue is difficult to trust, but the matchup, role and price tag should all work in your favor Sunday.

WR Alshon Jeffery: Chicago Bear vs. Minnesota Vikings

Fanduel Price: $7,700

After proving healthy enough to dominate in his Week 6 return from a nagging calf injury, Alshon is most certainly ready to rock coming out of the Bears’ bye week. He’s seen exactly 11 targets in each of his two starts this season and remains a mortal lock for double digit looks again in Week 8. If there is one thing in this world that Jay Cutler knows how to do, it is to feed his No.1. Whenever Alshon is priced outside of the elite tier, you start him.

WR Marvin Jones: Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Fanduel Price: $5,400

It is simply impossible to expect Marvin Jones to lead the Bengals in targets as he did in Week 6 with any kind of regularity while playing opposite AJ Green, but he continues to be an efficient and effective option for Andy Dalton in the passing game. Jones has shown ability to both get down the field with three catches of 40+ yards this season and find the end zone with three scores on the year. He’s seen at least one red zone in five of six games this season and is a difficult play to ignore with the bargain basement price tag this week.

WR Michael Floyd: Arizona Cardinals @ Cleveland Browns

At worst Michael Floyd represents a solid upside flier who will save you some budget space for the week and if John Brown’s balky hamstrings keep him sidelined he becomes a near must-start. Floyd has looked more comfortable on the field in recent weeks as he gets further away from a nasty preseason finger injury and it showing up in the box score. Floyd has posted back-to-back games with 50+ yards and a touchdown while garnering four red zone targets over the past two weeks.

TE Jason Witten: Dallas Cowboy vs. Seattle Seahawks

Fanduel Price: $5,500

If there is one area where the Seahawks defense struggles, it’s defending the tight end. Seattle has shockingly yielded a league-worst 549 yards to opposing tight ends. The Dallas passing offense should get a boost with the return of Dez Bryant but there will be plenty of short work for Witten while working in his second game with Matt Cassel.

High-Risk/High-Reward

QB Philip Rivers: San Diego @ Baltimore Ravens

Fanduel Price: $8,500

When fantasy’s No. 2 quarterback comes in to face a 2-5 team that is yielding a league-worst 21.1 points per game to opposing quarterbacks, it shouldn’t feel like a high-risk start. Still, playing the streaky Philip Rivers as leads his Chargers across the country for a 1 o’clock game is a gamble. Ultimately, I’ll side with production and a league dominating 311 passing attempts through seven games when ponying up the big bucks for Rivers this week.

RB Todd Gurley: St. Lous Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers

Fanduel Price: $8,100

Three starts, three 100-yard rushing efforts. Gurley quite fit the mold as a risky play here, but his rookie discount is vanishing as he pushes his way north of $8K this week. Experience aside, he’s a premium talent in a plus matchup. I’ll take the plunge.

WR Antonio Brown: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Fanduel Price: $8,400

You are betting on Big Ben’s health here and fortunately you’ll have his status available well ahead of the 1 PM lineup lock. Even if he’s back in there, however, it’s impossible to know what kind of rhythm Ben will have after a couple of weeks on the sideline. That said, the Roethlisberger-Brown connection has become the most unstoppable tandem in the NFL and you’ll be able to get in on the action at a slight discount this weekend.

Good luck to everyone participating in the Week 8 Rotowire & FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship! Feel free to hit me up on twitter @BretskyBall to thank me for convincing you to let Alshon lead you to victory.