I have found that in DFS, especially GPP tournaments, that there are always players who just have to be in your lineup in order to win. By this I mean that certain studs with great matchups tend to be almost must-plays in these types of tournaments. I’m going to list three guys I think are essentially must-plays in GPP play. Note: All prices used in this analysis are for the site FanDuel but players are priced similarly on most sites relative to each other.
To be honest, this year’s star WRs have been solid. None of them are yet to have that ridiculous 150 yarder two touchdown game. That’s why WR is not a position to necessarily spend a lot of money on. There are a lot of values guys who can produce very similar stats in a given week with a good matchup. With this in mind, let’s get into this week’s must-starts
Must-Starts for Week Eight:
Deshaun Watson $8400
Watson hasn’t necessary played great the last couple of weeks as he has failed to throw for more than one touchdown in a game and has thrown four interceptions to just two touchdowns. However, he now faces the 31st ranked defense in terms of yards per game this week in the Oakland Raiders. Most importantly, he is back at home where he threw five touchdowns three weeks ago. Watson needs to take care of the football better, but that should not be much of an issue against the Raiders’ struggling secondary.
Saquon Barkley $8600
This is his second week back after his high-ankle sprain injury and is coming off a very solid 21 touch 80 yard and one touchdown performance. He now goes to face the 28th ranked run defense in yards allowed per game in the Detroit Lions. What especially makes him a must-start in the fact that the Giants are on the road and should be relying on Barkley quite a bit with a rookie at QB. The talent is obviously there and let’s not forget that going into the season Barkley was the unanimous best running back in the game. He’s got talent and matchup on his side this week.
Le’Veon Bell $7700
Maybe I’m an optimistic Jets fan. But in truth I believe that not having to face the best defense in the league (in a game he did fantastic in all things considered) with a useless quarterback will help Bell significantly. Gase will want to get Sam Darnold back on track by allowing him to complete shorter passes to guys like Bell and Crowder. He’s due for a big game and now faces the eight-worst ranked defense in yards allowed per carry (4.8). The Jets are desperate for a win and Bell will get the volume to produce.
DeAndre Hopkins $8200
This basically contradicts everything I said before but it’s hard not to start a guy with 12+ targets in each of his last two games with nine receptions in both. He finally got back in the endzone for the first time since week one as well as having 100+ receiving yards for the first time since week one. I expect Watson to have a big game and with Fuller out Hopkins should have plenty of opportunity and a great matchup.
Darren Waller $6800
The guy is a target machine and has been very consistent this entire season with 5.9+ points in every game this season as well as four receptions or more in every game this season. Waller finally hit the endzone last week (twice!) for the first time this season. In a game that Houston should score a lot early, expect Carr to have to throw quite a bit to his stud tight end.
Value Plays for Week Eight:
James White $6000
He’s not a player you take with expectations of potentially getting 20+ points. However he has over 9.4 points in every single game this season. His target share has been quite high with 8+ targets in each of the last four games. His usage in the run game has been virtually non-existent this year but he is still clearly Brady’s outlet WR and should continue to produce in a matchup with Cleveland this week.
Sony Michel $6500
This is just painful now as a Jets fan. Yet, you can’t argue with 20 touches last week. Albeit on atrocious efficiency (19 carries for 42 yards), the volume alone plus the red zone usage and success of Michel makes him a very solid play in fantasy ever week. Now factor in the 23rd ranked Browns run defense and you have a guy with a ton of value at a very fair and reasonable price.
Ty Johnson $6200
Kerryon Johnson’s near season-ending injury has provided a pathway for Johnson to get carries in the offense. We already knew he was a great pass catcher so these additional carries will help make Johnson very relevant in fantasy. His matchup against the 25th ranked run defense gives him the matchup plus opportunity combination that is so vital in DFS.
Jamison Crowder $5800
Even with Darnold having the worst game of his career, he still had four receptions and 26 receiving yards. Prior to this game, Crowder was averaging 98.5 receiving yards and 13 targets with Darnold at quarterback. This is a high-floor guy who is due for a touchdown on this Jets offense. I fully expect Darnold to bounce back this week.
Kenny Stills $5700
Hopkins too expensive? Take Stills who had four receptions for 105 yards last week. Will Fuller is now out and Stills should take his place as the downfield threat for this team. This Oakland secondary should be easily exploited by Stills who has the potentially for long touchdowns. Expect him to have a big game this weekend.
AJ Brown $5500
This is kind of my flyer for the week. He led his team with eight targets and six receptions against a respectable Chargers secondary. He now faces the worst secondary in the NFL in yards allowed per game. He’s got big play potential and Tannehill seems to like the rookie quite a bit based on last week’s performance. He’s got a ton of upside but comes with significant risk.