Welcome to Week 8. If I’m being honest with you and with myself, I have to wonder if chalk ever again going to not hit? … I don’t have any historical ownership-to-production correlation stats available, but I can guarantee there has never been a year in which chalk continuously smashes like it has to this point in 2016. It has to be an odd outlier, but it is lasting so long, it has taken its toll on most contrarian players’ bankrolls, including my own. With the exception of a couple strong weeks, 2016 has been a rough year to this point, but hoping for a return to normalcy soon, preferably with these Week 8 Fantasy Aces GPP picks.
To attack week 8 from both a contrarian and thrifty perspective, I only see two reasonable options:
Trevor Siemian - $6000, 1%
Denver played San Diego just two weeks ago. Siemian threw 50 passes in that game. Granted, they were trailing the whole game, and they were never down by more than two scores in the first three quarters. He’s going to be better in a home game in which they may (hot taek alert) feel the need to limit what is asked of Devontae Booker (who is an absurd 72% owned). When I say better, I mean a lot better. He’s averaged 6.88 yards per attempt on the year, but only mustered 4.6 yards per attempt two weeks ago. If (when) Denver puts up their points through the air, here’s where you take a leg up on three quarters of the field.
Stack with Demaryius Thomas and/or Emmanuel Sanders.
Tyrod Taylor - $6150, 2%
This is a puzzling fade for the community. New England’s defense has allowed some really nice garbage time lines to quarterbacks, and Tyrod has been quite a useful fantasy play. He hasn’t rushed for fewer than 25 yards since Week 1 and will likely need to be Buffalo’s source of play-making for the duration again this week.
No stack, rolling naked. If you insist on a stack, Charles Clay is the best option.
To be contrarian but open up the wallet, there are two other options:
Drew Brees ($7600, 3%) and Cam Newton ($6950, 6%) are both at home but not in ideal match-ups. These guys aren’t priced where they are accidentally. Either is a threat to be the week’s QB1 in any home match=up and need to be considered in daily fantasy.
Stack Brees with Fleener and/or Thomas, and roll Cam with Olsen or naked.
There is some epic running back chalk this week. Five running backs are at least 31% owned, including the aforementioned Booker at his absurd 72%. While the value on paper is amazing, you need a top three return on the position if you intend to win a tournament with this player. Here are some real contrarian options (some as cheap as Booker) to strongly consider:
Melvin Gordon - $5500, 0%
In the meeting with Denver two weeks ago, Melvin touched the ball 27 times. He had his lowest fantasy output of the year. It was the only game in which Gordon hasn’t scored this year. He also has only one game since Week 1 without at least 20 touches. I know the initial reaction is “Denver D,” but the reality is only their pass defense is elite. They are in the bottom half of the league in allowing fantasy points to running backs. Gordon has multiple touchdowns in three of seven games this year and is essentially unowned. He’s super contrarian gold.
Theo Riddick - $4600, 1%
Returning from missing two games due to injury, it’s quite apparent we’ve forgotten how useful Theo has been this year. He’s not seen fewer than five targets in any game and has scored multiple TDs in two of five games. The Houston match-up is very similar to the one Gordon faces against Denver — a defense far better against passing games than at containing running backs.
There are two pivots off of Booker in the price range I think you should take a look at:
Mike Gillislee ($3750, 7%) and Matt Asiata ($4300, 5%) are both values who project to handle a monster workload. Either could be your arbitrage Booker. The concern with each is the respective starter they are filling in for being ruled. Having the lead back officially ruled out will affect the contrarian nature of the play. Both worth a very long look.
DeAndre Hopkins - $5900, 5%
This is your contrarian wide receiver of the week, and I’m not sure there’s a close second place. He’s faced some disgustingly bad match-ups of late and is primed to explode. The arguably league-worst Detroit secondary is without it’s only capable player in Darius Slay, and the play on the road. Nuk has seen 27 targets the last two weeks, and this is the week his absurd volume turns into an absurd stat line. Lock it in.
Arizona outside WRs:
John Brown ($4350) and Michael Floyd ($4100) are each 1% owned. Both are questionable with Brown appearing more likely to play. If both go, they are okay contrarian/value plays. If one goes and the other doesn’t, the one playing could be in for an absolutely mammoth day against the hapless cornerback play of the Panthers.
Quincy Enunwa - $4800, 2%
An involved slot WR against the Browns should boast higher ownership.
Monday Night Bonus:
Stefon Diggs - $4500, 3%
The last time he played in a divisional game and/or prime time game Diggs dropped a 9/182/1 line. Cordarrelle Patterson is expected to miss this game with a concussion, so Diggs could see a nice dose of targets.
There’s once again quite a spread in ownership at tight end, so it’s seemingly best to chase value. Jordan Reed ($4900, 2%) could easily provide both. Coby Fleener ($4300, 3%) is averaging a 6.5/91.5/1 line in his last two home games. Greg Olsen ($4750, 9%) is seeing 10 targets per game on the season and is somewhat ludicrously priced as the TE4 despite a tough matchup.
Most of my Sunday only lineups will have either Philadelphia ($3000, 2%) or Cleveland ($2400, 6%). In slates that include the morning game, Cincinnati ($2900, 1%) is worth a look as well.
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