NFL Week 8 DFS Cheat Sheet: Five recommended plays for all contests

2T338TT New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara carries the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of a football game, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2023, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/ Butch Dill )

• RB Alvin Kamara (69.5 PFF offense grade), New Orleans Saints @ Indianapolis Colts: Kamara will contend for the overall RB1 finish thanks to a high-volume workload and Indianapolis’ vulnerable defensive interior.

• D/ST Kansas City Chiefs Defense/Special Teams @ Denver Broncos: Denver quarterback Russell Wilson (71.0 PFF passing grade) has totaled 14 sacks and four interceptions in his last three games against Kansas City.

• Dominate your fantasy league in 2023: For up-to-date fantasy draft rankings and projections, check out PFF’s fantasy rankings tool!

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) lineups require smart matchups analysis and rostership leverage opportunities to succeed. The analysis below details five fantasy assets capable of gaining significant leverage on the field. 

WR:CB Matchup Chart

RB Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints @ Indianapolis Colts – $8,300 on FanDuel

Week 8 offers FanDuel users the rare opportunity to deploy Kamara (69.5 PFF offense grade) as a cash-game and GPP-tournament leverage play. PFF’s ownership projections give Kamara a 6.4% expected rostership rate, just the 17th highest among FanDuel running backs. Indianapolis’ (69.4 PFF run-defense grade) notorious run defense is one of the league’s best units but key interior defender absences create vulnerability. Kamara is an elite, high-volume RB1 in a quietly advantageous matchup.

Kamara’s $8,300 FanDuel salary is $1,900 short of the positional maximum, allowing for increased roster diversification against teams opting for the chalky San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey (80.5 PFF offense grade). 

FanDuel implies New Orleans to score 22.25 points.

Indianapolis No. 1 nose tackle Grover Stewart’s 77.2 PFF run-defense grade ranks No. 4 among 36 interior defenders with at least 105 run-defense snaps. His 1.00-yard average depth of tackle ranks No. 3, and his five tackles for loss or no gain both rank No. 5. Stewart is one of just seven qualifying interior defenders who has yet to miss a tackle. Stewart was recently suspended for a performance-enhancing drugs violation and remains sidelined through Week 13. No. 2 interior defender Eric Johnson (47.2 PFF run-defense grade) required crutches and a walking boot following his Week 7 ankle sprain and is highly unlikely to suit up in Week 8. 

Prior to signing 25-year-old Houston Texans interior defender Ross Blacklock (60.0 PFF run-defense grade, 307 pounds) on Tuesday, Stewart (314 pounds) was the only Indianapolis defensive lineman weighing at least 300 pounds. The unit will struggle to hold the point against New Orleans guards Cesar Ruiz (46.3 PFF run-blocking grade, 316 pounds) and Max Garcia (58.1 PFF run-blocking grade, 309 pounds) and center Erik McCoy (83.2 PFF run-blocking grade, 303 pounds). 

Kamara’s (69.0 PFF rushing grade) 69 rushing attempts since returning from suspension in Week 4 rank No. 3 among NFL running backs during that span. His high-volume role provides frequent access to touchdown-scoring opportunities. Among 16 NFL running backs with at least six green zone rushing attempts in Weeks 4-7, his nine green zone rushing attempts tie for No. 3 and his 22.2% first-downs gained or touchdowns-scored rate tie for No. 8. Stewart and Johnson’s absences will be significant factors in scoring position.

Among 28 NFL running backs with at least 15 targets in Weeks 1-7, Kamara’s (74.3 PFF receiving grade) 39 targets rank No. 1 and he remains marvelously efficient at 28 years old; Kamara’s 1.62 yards per route run (1.62) rank No. 3. His eight missed tackles forced receiving and three explosive pass plays both rank top seven. 

Kamara is one of just nine NFL running backs to earn double-digit first-read targets and one of just seven to earn at least five red zone targets. Kamara’s three missed tackles forced on the latter such targets rank No. 1 among qualifying NFL running backs

As mentioned in Week 7’s WR/CB Matchups to Target and Avoid, “Indianapolis’ opponents average 72.6 offensive plays per game against them, the second-most in the NFL.” The trend reinforces Kamara’s high-volume role. He will contend for an overall RB1 Week 8 finish.

D/ST Kansas City Chiefs Defense/Special Teams @ Denver Broncos – $4,500 on FanDuel

Kansas City’s defense/special teams (D/ST) unit turned in its most lucrative 2023 performance against Denver in Week 6, finishing with the week’s second-highest sum (14.0 fantasy points). The unit totaled 3.0 NFL sacks, two interceptions, a 34.5 pass-rush productivity (tying for No. 6) and a No. 3-ranked 15.8% forced incompletion rate. Kansas City’s D/ST should turn in another elite performance against their generous division rival,  led by quarterback Russell Wilson (71.0 PFF passing grade).

PFF’s ownership projections give the D/ST just a 2.0% expected rostership rate, No. 20 on the week, despite a $4,500 FanDuel salary that falls $500 short of the positional maximum. Kansas City’s D/ST is a high-quality leverage play in both cash games and GPP tournaments.

Kansas City is a 7.5-point road favorite, signaling a high-volume day for the defense’s pass-rush unit.

PFF’s OL/DL matchup chart gives Denver a -7.0% pass-blocking matchup advantage rating, tying for the ninth worst on the week. Interior defender Chris Jones (89.6 PFF pass-rush grade) and edge rusher George Karlaftis (69.5 PFF pass-rush grade) will take turns pulverizing Denver right tackle Mike McGlinchey (53.7 PFF pass-blocking grade). 

Denver also received a 1.0% run-blocking matchup advantage rating. Kansas City is one of just two teams to produce a perfect 0.0% rushing touchdowns allowed rate on rushing attempts inside their own five-yard line. 

As detailed in Week 8’s QB Matchups, Streamer of the Week, Rankings and More and WR/CB Matchups to Target and Avoid, 18.7% of Wilson’s 75 sacks in both 2022 and 2023 occurred in his three games against Kansas City. The same can be said for 26.7% of Wilson’s 15 interceptions during the same time span. 

Denver slot receiver Jerry Jeudy (62.7 PFF slot-receiving grade) also faces an unwinnable matchup against Kansas City’s elite secondary (76.7 PFF coverage grade). 

Kansas City’s D/ST will push for the overall D/ST1 finish.

RB Isiah Pacheco, Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos – $7,400 on FanDuel

Pacheco (80.1 PFF offense grade) makes for a sharp FanDuel stacking partner with Kansas City’s D/ST unit. Pacheco’s newfound dual-threat role and running back-friendly expected game environment give him a multi-faceted path to an elite RB1 finish against Denver’s bottom-barrel defense (52.6 PFF defense grade). 

Pacheco’s affordable FanDuel salary is $2,800 short of the positional maximum and PFF’s ownership projections give him an expected 11.8% rostership rate, just the eighth-highest on the week. Pacheco can be deployed as a contrarian RB1, allowing FanDuel users to spend up at other positions. 

The game’s 45.5-point FanDuel over/under ties for the second-highest on the week. FanDuel implies Kansas City to score 26.5 points as 7.5-point road favorites. All signs point to a high-volume workload for Pacheco.

Pacheco’s rushing data among 33 NFL running backs with at least 60 rushing attempts and his receiving data among 32 NFL running backs with at least 85 receiving snaps. 
NFL RB Rushing & Receiving Isiah Pacheco
PFF Rushing Grade 80.0 (No. 5)
YPC  4.2 (No. 14)
Missed Tackles Forced/Rush Att. 0.23 (T-No. 7)
Yards After Contact/Rush Att. 3.1 (No. 11)
15+-Yard Run Plays 10 (T-No. 6)
PFF Receiving Grade 73.3 (No. 5)
Target % – YPRR 19.8% – (No. 7) – 1.41 (No. 5)
Catch % 91.3% (No. 8)
Missed Tackles Forced Receiving 6 (T-No. 9)
YAC/Rec. 10.1 (No. 4)

Among 12 NFL running backs with at least 10 green zone rushing attempts, Pacheco ranks top three in both missed tackles forced per rushing attempt (0.3) and first-downs gained or touchdowns-scored rate (40.0%). 

Pacheco joins Kamara as one of just seven NFL running backs to earn at least five red zone targets and his 8.0 yards after the catch per reception (YAC/Rec.) on such targets rank No. 3 among qualifying NFL running backs

Denver’s (50.0 PFF run-defense grade) 4.72 average depth of tackle, ranks No. 29 among NFL teams and their 58 missed tackles are the most in the NFL. 

Denver’s (61.1 PFF running back-coverage grade) defense ranks bottom 12 among NFL teams in all major running back coverage metrics, allowing an 86.8% catch rate (No. 26), 6.74 yards allowed per coverage snap (No. 26) and an 11.1% explosive pass plays allowed rate (tying for No. 21). 

Pacheco offers FanDuel users week-winning potential against Denver’s sorry defense.

WR Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals @ San Francisco 49ers – $8,500 on FanDuel

PFF’s ownership projections give Chase (86.1 PFF receiving grade) a deservedly chalky 16.4% expected rostership rate against San Francisco’s welcoming cornerback unit. He is a high-volume WR1. 

Cincinnati No. 2 wide receiver Tee Higgins (56.2 PFF receiving grade) returns from a multi-week ribs cartilage injury this week, helpfully pulling safety coverage away from Chase.

Chase’s diverse pre-snap alignment rates unlock access to San Francisco’s complete three-man cornerback corps. San Francisco slot cornerback Isaiah Oliver’s (66.2 PFF slot-coverage grade) 90.5% catch rate allowed, No. 29 among 30 NFL slot cornerbacks with at least 35 slot receiver-coverage snaps, casts shades of Chase’s Week 5 15-catch performance against the Arizona Cardinals (46.0 PFF coverage grade). 

Among 67 NFL perimeter cornerbacks with at least 55 perimeter wide receiver-coverage snaps, San Francisco perimeter cornerbacks Charvarius Ward (75.5 PFF perimeter coverage grade) and Deommodore Lenoir (64.3 PFF perimeter coverage grade) both rank No. 30 or worse in catch rate allowed catch rate allowed (60.6% and 64.1%, respectively) and yards allowed per coverage snap (2.04 and 2.63, respectively).

Chase impressively owns 54 first-read targets, tying for No. 4 among NFL wide receivers, despite only playing in six games thanks to Cincinnati’s Week 7 bye.

Among 28 NFL wide receivers with at least 215 receiving snaps, Chase ranks top five in target rate (28.5%), missed tackles forced (nine) and YAC/Rec. (5.7). His 2.23 YPRR ranks No. 7. 

Chase’s elite talent profile is far too strong for San Francisco’s below-average cornerback corps to stymie. He is in play as a top-three FanDuel wide receiver.

TE Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Commanders – $6,200

Goedert (65.6 PFF receiving grade) offers FanDuel users mid-to-high usage in an advantageous matchup. The profile is better suited to GPP tournaments though certainly viable in cash games. Quarterback Jalen Hurts’ (76.9 PFF passing grade) knee injury could yield a significant uptick in Goedert’s targets.

PFF’s ownership projections give Goedert an 8.5% expected rostership rate, No. 4 on the week. His $6,200 FanDuel salary is $2,800 short of the positional maximum. 

FanDuel implies Philadelphia to score 25.25 points.

PFF’s OL/DL chart gives a 2.0% pass-blocking matchup advantage rating.

Goedert earned just one target in Week 1, which the team quickly addressed by making him a featured passing-game component from Week 2 and on. Goedert’s ensuing 27 first-read targets rank No. 2 among Philadelphia pass-catchers in Weeks 2-7. Among 29 NFL tight ends with at least 70 first-read receiving snaps and 10 first-read targets during that span, Goedert’s 27-target total and 11.3 yards per first-read-target reception both rank No. 9. 

Hurts suffered a left knee injury in the first half of Philadelphia’s 31-17 win over the Miami Dolphins (79.1 PFF defense grade), resulting in an 8.7% past-the-sticks throwing rate decrease from the first half (40.0%) to the second (31.3%) and was 7.2% below his Weeks 1-6 average (38.5%). Among Philadelphia's five pass catchers with at least 10 targets, Goedert’s 5.5-yard average depth of target (aDot) best suits Hurts’ injury-limited target depth.

Washington’s defense struggles in tight end coverage. Among NFL linebacker corps, the unit’s 3.60 yards allowed per coverage snap and 10.4% explosive pass plays allowed rate both rank No. 28. Washington’s No. 1 linebacker Cody Barton (33.7 PFF tight end-coverage grade) suffered a Week 7 ankle sprain and is unlikely to play. The loss is significant; Barton wears the green dot in Washington’s defense, granting him coach-to-player radio access on-field. 

Washington strong safety Kamren Curl’s (56.9 PFF tight end-coverage grade) 51 tight end-coverage snaps tie for the team high, yet he offers little reinforcement. Among 35 NFL safeties with at least 35 tight end-coverage snaps, Curl ranks outside the top 25 in both catch rate allowed (75.0%) and yards allowed per coverage snap (1.60). 

Goedert is a high-end TE1 against Washignton.


Unlock the 2023 Fantasy Draft Kit, with League Sync, Live Draft Assistant, PFF Grades & Data Platform that powers all 32 Pro Teams

$31 Draft Kit Fee + $8.99/mo
$89.88/yr + FREE Draft Kit