We are past bye-mageddon and it’s on to Week 8 of the NFL season with fantasy and gambling advice.
Start: Kenny Gainwell and Boston Scott, Eagles (vs. DET)
Miles Sanders breakout szn was upon us. The Eagles said they would get him more involved, and they did – he touched the ball on six of Philly’s first twelve plays on Sunday. And then, he went down with an ankle injury. Just in time for the Eagles to face the Lions. Sigh. Anyway, Gainwell already had fringe fantasy appeal as a pass-catcher, and had eight targets Sunday after Sanders left the field. Scott might be more of a desperation play, but he out-carried Gainwell (7 to 5) after Sanders went down. In a game where the Eagles are favored, they should run the ball enough to give Scott some viability.
Other starts: Daniel Jones, Kadarius Toney and Kenny Golladay (NYG), Adam Thielen (MIN), Khalil Herbert (CHI), Cole Beasley (BUF)
Sit: Tyler Boyd, Bengals (@ Jets)
Boyd caught nine passes for 118 yards during Week 4 against the Jaguars. Since then, he has caught nine passes… for 70 yards… in three games. Coincidentally, that was the same week Tee Higgins – who had 15 targets last week – returned to the lineup. You may be tempted by the Jets matchup, but they are actually giving up the third-fewest points per game to wide receivers in fantasy. The Bengals are also 10.5-point favorites and rising, meaning they may turn to the ground game in the second half if they’re nursing a lead. Not a recipe for fantasy success.
Other sits: Mike Davis (ATL), Odell Beckham (CLE), Corey Davis (NYJ), Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon (DEN)
DFS play: Michael Pittman, IND ($5,300)
It’s kind of weird that a game involving the Colts has the highest point total of the Sunday afternoon slate (O/U 51), but there should be plenty of offense in this game. Tennessee’s defense is towards the bottom of the league in most metrics, and Carson Wentz has been cooking of late – eight touchdowns to zero picks in his last four games. Pittman was targeted 12 times the last time these two teams faced off, and has found the end zone in two of the past three games. The USC product offers top-WR upside in the same price range as Marquez Callaway and Kalif Raymond.
Bet: Cowboys -2.5 @ Vikings
I don’t know how much I’m still buying into the whole “Kirk Cousins can’t play in primetime” narrative (though it is notable). What I am buying into is this Dallas team, which is the league’s most efficient offense (6.6 yards per play is tops in the NFL). Minnesota has been solid defensively, ranking sixth in DVOA, but the Cowboys faced the seventh-best team in Tampa – and racked up 450 yards in offense. They haven’t scored less than 35 points since an odd Week 2 game, and they may get Michael Gallup back. The number is the important thing here – the Cowboys are a road favorite, but as long as this stays under 3, they’re still the play.
Other bets: Bears +4 vs. SF, Saints +5.5 vs. TB, Bills -14 vs. MIA