Top Draftstreet Football Values for Week 8
It’s hard to believe that we have surpassed the midway point of the 2013 fantasy football season. Last week was pretty much Mutiny on the Bounty for many who were relying on the likes of Doug Martin and Reggie Wayne to provide solid production down the stretch. Both top-tier fantasy options were lost for the season, which has forced many of us to scramble to find replacements.
Sam Bradford, who was a legit QB1 option over the first six weeks of the season, tore his ACL in the St. Louis Rams loss to the Carolina Panthers. Meanwhile, Jay Cutler went down with a groin injury and will be out for at least a month.
With all these injuries, it’s more important than ever to find value in Draftstreet leagues.
In what has been a weekly article here at Pro Football Focus, we will be providing readers with the top Draftstreet football values in weekly leagues.
For the purposes of these articles, I will utilize Draftstreet cap numbers and base them off total cap numbers of $100,000 per team.
If you want a chance to win $2.5 million in guaranteed prizes on Draftstreet this year, you are going to have to get creative. The idea here is to find values up and down the board to fill out your weekly rosters so that you are able to actually pick up a couple of the elite fantasy options that remain in Week 8.
As a reminder, check out their qualifier league that enables 40 Players qualify for the Championship Event.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, San Francisco 49ers ($12,693)
As the 12th-most expensive fantasy quarterback in Draftstreet leagues this week, Kaepernick offers a tremendous amount of value. After struggling through a two-week stretch against Seattle and Indianapolis that saw him tally zero touchdowns and six turnovers, Kaepernick has been on spot recently. Over the course of his last two games, the young signal caller has put up 537 total yards and is the eighth-ranked fantasy quarterback. He also ranks third in the NFL in points per drop back during that span.
This is a mighty fine indication that Kaepernick is fully prepared to live up to preseason expectations against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 8. Jacksonville has yielded the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season and has intercepted a total of just three passes in seven games. Kaepernick represents tremendous value, as he’s priced just ahead of Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning. Take the upside here and run with it.
Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals ($11,049)
I have to be completely out of my mind, right? Maybe Jim Harbaugh temper-tantrum throwing out of my mind. Either way, Palmer represents great value against a lackluster Atlanta Falcons defense at home this week. Despite throwing 11 interceptions in just 231 pass attempts this year, Palmer possesses a higher fantasy ranking than Tom Brady. That’s just plain dumb. The interesting dynamic here is that Atlanta’s defense grades out in the bottom 10 of the NFL in pass coverage and is yielding the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
He’s currently priced as a mid-tier QB2 in Draftstreet leagues and could possibly give you top-10 production from that position.
Take into account the fact that Atlanta ranks in the top half of the NFL against fantasy running backs and it’s reasonable to believe that Palmer will get the necessary pass attempts to put up 300-plus yards and multiple scores (to go along with his obvious interception or two).
Draftreet guarantees 2-3 qualifiers per week. Week 1 through Week 14 of the NFL season. Imagine the bragging rights you will earn if the enigmatic Palmer helps you obtain that goal.
Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins ($10,003)
Common logic seems to suggest that Washington will be playing from behind against Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Denver this week. While that may very well be true, the only way Washington stands a chance against that high-powered offense is by controlling the clock, sustaining long drives and keeping its disastrous defense off the field against the best offense in the game.
This is where Morris comes into play. Despite averaging just 15 rush attempts per game, the second-year running back is on pace for nearly 1,300 yards on the ground. In order for the talented youngster to make even more of an impact, especially with his 5.2 yards per attempt average, Washington will have to feed him the ball. The good news here is that Denver’s defense is yielding the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. For his part, Morris is still the 14th-ranked running back through seven weeks despite a lack of touches. Expect top-five numbers from someone Draftstreet values as a bottom-tier starter this week.
The cost for Draftstreet Qualifiers range from $22 to $420. I’d be willing to put that up on Morris placing among the top-five in running back production this week.
Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans Saints ($6,821)
Where Thomas is averaging just over three yards per rush this season, he’s still a legitimate candidate to make a strong impact any given week. He’s averaging over 64 total yards per game and has actually caught 29 passes thus far this season. For comparison’s sake, Thomas’ career high in receptions is 50, which was set in 2011, the last time he was a legit fantasy option. As you already know, Draftstreet utilizes a PPR format, which may come in handy for those looking at a cheap RB2 or top-tier FLEX option this week. The Buffalo Bills may be allowing the 11th-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season, but they are yielding 134.6 total yards per game on to running backs through seven games.
Peyton Hillis, RB, New York Giants ($6,168)
Why not? Hillis is valued as the 26th-most expensive running back this week. He’s also going up against a Philadelphia Eagles defense that is yielding an average of over 125 total yards to opposing running backs. Even if Hillis is handcuffed a tad by Brandon Jacobs, who is likely returning to action this week, he’s going to get enough touches to make an impact against an anemic Eagles’ defense. This doesn’t even take into account short-yardage and goal line situations, where Hillis can excel against a smaller defensive front in Philadelphia.
The veteran put up 81 total yards and a score in his debut against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him duplicate those numbers.
Robert Turbin, RB, Seattle Seahawks ($2,199)
This second-year pro is a true wildcard. With Seattle going up against a St. Louis Rams team that lost Sam Bradford for the Season to a torn ACL, there is no reason to believe that Seattle won’t be able to take a stranglehold over the outcome of this game relatively early. Heck, just imagine Kellen Clemens throwing passes against Seattle’s defense. It’s going to get ugly relatively quickly.
If so, Marshawn Lynch will be riding the pine with Skittles in his mouth while the Seahawks attempt to run the clock and pound the ball. This is going to give Turbin a ton of rush attempts and multiple opportunities to punch the ball in the end zone. As one of the least-expensive fantasy running backs this week, you can afford to spend little-to-nothing on Turbin as a FLEX-2 in Draftstreet leagues and hope for the best. At the very least, he’ll provide a few points from a less-than-important position. Oh, and St. Louis is yielding the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season.
Rueben Randle, WR, New York Giants ($8,173)
This is the second time that I have included Randle in Draftstreet articles through eight weeks. He put up 96 yards and two scores against the Philadelphia Eagles the first time. You’re welcome. New York goes up against that very same Eagles team and there is no reason to believe that he can’t put up similar numbers. Outside of last week, Philadelphia’s defense has been downright atrocious this season. Opposing receiving groups are averaging 226 yards and two scores against that unit this season.
For his part, Randle has brought in 12 catches for 211 yards and four scores over the past three weeks. In addition, he was simply the best receiver on the field for New York against the Minnesota Vikings last week. Expect Manning to increase his targets to Randle this week, which will lead to solid fantasy production. As it is, Randle is Draftstreet’s 28th-most expensive wide receiver this week. Do you really envision him providing mid-tier FLEX numbers against the Eagles? I didn’t think so. Start Randle as a WR2 and look for possible top-12 production.
Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals ($6,530)
I am not entirely sure why Floyd is valued so low here. The second-year pro has put up a minimum of five receptions in each of his last four games and is averaging 66 yards per outing during that span. He’s also going up against an Atlanta Falcons defense that is yielding the fourth-most fantasy points to receivers this season. As Palmer’s No. 2 target, don’t expect Floyd to draw double coverage from the Falcons either. This seems to indicate he will be able to do what he wants against single coverage.
An interesting dynamic here is that Floyd possesses the best catch percentage of any Cardinals’ receivers and will be going up against a rookie in Desmond Trufant who is allowing the highest completion percentage of any regular Falcons’ cornerback.
Kenny Stills, WR, New Orleans Saints ($4,253)
It will be interesting to see if Stills can continue what has been a strong rookie campaign for the Saints. Pretty much taking over for Lance Moore and Joseph Morgan, who have both been banged up this season, Stills is quickly building a strong relationship with quarterback Drew Brees. He’s coming off a career-best performance that saw him tally 64 yards and a score on three catches against the New England Patriots in Week 6.
New Orleans now goes up against a Buffalo Bills defense that is giving up the second-most fantasy points to receivers this season. With Jimmy Graham questionable to go in this one, Stills will get his shot against a poor pass defense. He represents top-tier FLEX upside as Draftstreet’s 59th-most expensive wide receiver.
Tyler Eifert, WR, Cincinnati Bengals ($4,836)
Just when I decided to bench Eifert in one of my leagues, he scores a touchdown and finishes as a solid TE1 option against the Detroit Lions last week. What’s the old saying? “Fool me one, shame on you, fool me twice…” That isn’t going to happen again and I am going to take you a long for the ride. Eifert is catching 73 percent of the passes thrown in his direction this season and will be going up against a New York Jets defense that ranks in the middle of the pack against fantasy tight ends and is yielding nearly 60 yards per game to that position in 2013. As the 14th-most expensive tight end this season, Eifert provides top-seven upside.
Joseph Fauria, TE, Detroit Lions ($3,515)
Detroit released veteran tight end Tony Scheffler on Tuesday, which could be an indication that it really is ready to feature Fauria in the passing game with fellow tight end Brandon Pettigrew. Despite playing an average of just 15 snaps per game, Fauria has recorded a ridiculous five touchdowns on 13 targets this season. Even if he just takes Scheffler’s 10-plus snaps per game, the massive rookie will be a threat to put up six on a weekly basis. This is only magnified with Detroit going up against a Dallas Cowboys defense that has yielded the third-most fantasy points to tight ends this season.
– Qualifier winners receive flight and accommodations to Las Vegas on December 15th for Championship Event
– December 15th is Championship Sunday where players draft for $1,750,000 in prizes.