Week 8 of the 2021 NFL season is here, and whether you’re reading this when it’s originally published on Tuesday or an hour before kickoff on Sunday, there’s no better time than the present to find some DFS sleepers and value picks! Hopefully you are reading it early because there’s no identifying early value in DraftKings and FanDuel tournaments is a great way to set yourself up for daily fantasy success in a given week.
If you regularly play DFS or you just like to find an edge or angle with all your football-related bets, this column will be up your alley all season. Each week, we compile a list of FanDuel and DraftKings sleepers and/or dark horse picks to help you win some cold, hard cash. The more value players you add, the more money you’ll have left for proven weekly studs at other roster spots.
MORE WEEK 8 DFS: Best stacks | Lineup Builder
If you read this column ahead of Week 7, you would have benefited from our advice to plug a plethora of low-cost, high-value players into your DFS lineups. Here’s a list of some of our hits from last week, including each player’s DraftKings cost and final PPR output:
- Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins vs. Falcons (DK: $5,500 | FD: $7,100): 34.54 fantasy points
- Mac Jones, Patriots vs. Jets (DK: $5,300 | FD: $6,800): 26.18
- Derek Carr, Raiders vs. Eagles (DK: $6,000 | FD: $7,400): 23.02
- Damien Harris, Patriots vs. Jets (DK: $5,700 | FD: $6,800): 25.3
- J.D. McKissic, Washington at Packers (DK: $5,000 | FD: $5,700): 9.6
- Chuba Hubbard, Panthers at Giants (DK: $6,100 | FD: $7,300): 9.6
- Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins vs. Falcons (DK: $5,600 | FD: $5,900): 15.3
- Jakobi Meyers, Patriots vs. Jets (DK: $5,300 | FD: $5,700): 9.4
- Kyle Pitts, Falcons at Dolphins (DK: $5,900 | FD: $6,100): 23.3
- Zach Ertz, Cardinals vs. Texans (DK: $3,900 | FD: $5,300): 16
- Arizona Cardinals D/ST vs. Houston Texans (DK: $3,100 | FD: $5,000): 10
That’s another lengthy list — and a ton of points at very affordable prices. By mixing in some of these low-cost, high-production plays, you likely afforded yourself two or three more studs at other roster spots. Getting the most bang for your buck has always been the name of the game in DFS, so it’s important to do your due diligence before constructing lineups.
Leave the deep-diving to us. We’re here for you, from the first kickoff through the last play of the 2021 NFL season. Let’s jump right into Week 8!
All player values are from DraftKings and FanDuel. All stats are from NFL.com and Pro Football Reference.
WEEK 8 DFS LINEUPS: FanDuel | DraftKings | Yahoo
NFL DFS Picks Week 8: QB sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
Carson Wentz, Colts vs. Titans (DK: $5,700 | FD: $7,200)
Wentz looks like a new man over the past four weeks — he has gone from an 85.03 QB rating through Indy’s first three games to a 119.5 rating over the past four (only Dak Prescott and Kyler Murray have better ratings over that four-week span). Now the veteran signal-caller gets a home game against the Titans, who rank 25th in the NFL in fantasy points allowed to QBs. That’s a much easier draw than an away game against the 49ers, who Wentz just led the Colts past 30-18 on Sunday Night Football. Wentz surpassed 21 fantasy points in that one despite awful weather conditions, and he might reach 26 this time around like he did a few weeks ago in Baltimore.
Sam Darnold, Panthers at Falcons (DK: $5,600 | FD: $7,300)
After a strong 3-0 start to his Panthers tenure, Darnold has endured some tough sledding over the past four weeks. But have no fear, Carolina faithful, because the Falcons make a living on coughing up chunk passing yardage. Atlanta has surrendered the sixth-most fantasy points to QBs this season and just allowed Tua Tagovailoa to put up 28.5 points last week. Get Darnold back into your lineups, and maybe he’ll get back into the end zone.
Geno Smith, Seahawks vs. Jaguars (DK: $5,300 | FD: $7,000)
Extreme value alert! Smith will be making his third official start for the Seahawks since Russell Wilson hurt his finger, and it will likely also be his list if Russ continues healing quickly. I think the replacement stint will end on a high note for the veteran QB, as the Jaguars rank 24th in fantasy points allowed to QBs this season. Two of the past three QBs Jacksonville has faced have recorded at least 329 passing yards and two touchdowns (Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa). It’s Papa Geno time!
WEEK 8 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
NFL DFS Picks Week 8: RB sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
Damien Harris, Patriots at Chargers (DK: $6,100 | FD: $6,900)
Well, so much for Rhamondre Stevenson eating into Harris’s volume. Harris feasted last weekend in New England’s romp of the Jets, collecting 106 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries (and adding two catches for seven yards). Stevenson, meanwhile, was a healthy scratch — presumably in the Bill Belichick doghouse for struggling in pass-protection and route-running the previous week. That works for Harris, who should get plenty more opportunities against a soft Chargers run defense. I don’t expect another 28.3-point outing, but 15-20 points would be just fine at $6,100. Make me look good two weeks in a row, Damien!
Alex Collins, Seahawks vs. Jaguars (DK: $5,300 | FD: $7,000)
Collins struggled a bit against a solid Saints defense on Monday Night Football, managing just 35 yards on 16 carries. He should find more luck against a Jacksonville unit that yields 114.3 rushing yards and 1.5 TDs on the ground per game. He’s just two weeks removed from a 20-101-1 line in Pittsburgh, so I think Collins’ upside still exists.
Javonte Williams, Broncos vs. WFT (DK: $5,300 | FD: $5,900)
I’ve been calling for this guy’s breakout all season, but Denver keeps forcing him into an even volume split with veteran Melvin Gordon III. Well, Williams found the end zone in Cleveland last week, doing it via the pass on one of his six catches on seven targets. He may still be limited in the running game — he has never topped 14 carries in a game — but he’s plenty involved in the Broncos’ offense. Don’t be surprised if Williams has a healthy target share again with WFT in town and sniffs out the end zone for his third score of the season.
WEEK 8 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
NFL DFS Picks Week 8: WR sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
Courtland Sutton, Broncos vs. WFT (DK: $6,400 | FD: $7,100)
Sutton has been an absolute stud this season, and he’s easily Teddy Bridgewater’s favorite target in Denver. Since Week 2, Sutton has 37 catches on 55 targets. That’s good for an average of over six catches on nine targets per game. Now he gets to face a shaky Washington secondary at home, which should present more juicy stats. In Sutton’s last home game against Vegas, he hauled in eight catches for 94 yards and a score. He may be priced above most “sleepers,” but Sutton remains a huge value at these costs. A.J. Brown also looks good against the Colts this week as long as his PPR cost is below $7,000.
Emmanuel Sanders, Bills vs. Dolphins (DK: $5,400 | FD: $6,700)
Sanders has found a fantastic home in Buffalo, becoming fast friends with QB Josh Allen. The veteran averages 15 PPR points per game since becoming a Bill, and now he gets to fish-fry the Dolphins and their terrible secondary. Miami ranks 30th in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers and just allowed massive downfield days to Atlanta tight end Kyle Pitts (7-163) and wideout Russell Gage (4-67-1). Start Manny with confidence.
Michael Pittman Jr., Colts vs. Titans (DK: $5,300 | FD: $6,600)
The second-year Indy wideout has been Carson Wentz’s most reliable and consistent pass-catcher all season, and he’s quietly averaging 14.9 fantasy points per game. Now he and the Colts welcome a Titans defense that ranks dead last in PPR points surrendered to receivers. I think this game should be a high-scoring one (oddsmakers set the implied score at 25-24), so I expect another volume-heavy day for Pittman.
NFL DFS Picks Week 8: TE sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
Tyler Higbee, Rams at Texans (DK: $4,500 | FD: $5,300)
This pick comes from my gut, as Higbee hasn’t reached double-digit fantasy points since Week 3, but the Texans are bad all around defensively, so I’m predicting a get-right game for the big tight end. Houston has allowed the most fantasy points in the NFL to the tight end position this season.
Hunter Henry, Patriots at Chargers (DK: $4,200 | FD: $5,300)
Henry has developed great chemistry with rookie QB Mac Jones, and he now averages almost 11 PPR points per game. This game should be a shootout, and you have the age-old “revenge narrative” for Henry, as he’s a former Charger. Five catches for 50 yards and a TD sounds right. We were all over Zach Ertz’s touchdown in his Cardinals’ debut last week, so doubling down on the predictions!
NFL DFS Picks Week 8: D/ST sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel
Chicago Bears vs. San Francisco 49ers (DK: $2,700 | FD: $3,700)
It’s been a rough go for the Bears D over the past couple weeks. Chicago’s D/ST put up three points against Green Bay in Week 6 and then minus-two in Tampa Bay last weekend. Of course, it doesn’t help that Chicago ranks as the second-worst third-down offense in football and only scored three points last week while turning the ball over five times. The Bears will be playing for their season this week and probably for the job security of coach Matt Nagy. I expect Chicago’s front seven to get after Jimmy G, and think this D/ST can return to its level of productivity from Weeks 4 and 5 (vs. Detroit, at Las Vegas — both nine-point fantasy days). It’s a risk, but at home against another struggling offense, the potential reward seems worth it.