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Fantasy Football Week 8: DFS picks and strategy for Yahoo Sunday Baller

A.J. Brown #11. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

By Sasha Yodashkin, Rotowire

The Week 8 NFL main slate begins Sunday at 1 p.m. EDT and features 13 games. The entire league will be in action in Week 8, but the Thursday Night Football (Buccaneers-Bills), Sunday Night Football (Bears-Chargers) and Monday Night Football (Raiders-Lions) participants all play outside the main slate. Yahoo will be running plenty of NFL DFS contests for Week 8, but the biggest is the Sunday Baller, which pays out a guaranteed prize pool of $175,000 to the top 2,252 finishers, including $25,000 to the winner. You can submit up to 150 entries into this contest, which has a maximum total capacity of 10,300 entries but will still run if it doesn't fill, potentially providing you with enhanced odds of winning, also known as overlay.

Playing in guaranteed prize pool (GPP) contests is about chasing upside, while lineups geared toward head-to-head, 50/50 or double-up formats should prioritize high floors. The players you want to target for these different contest types aren't mutually exclusive, but winning a GPP tournament usually requires finding a hidden gem or going against the grain in a spot or two, while building a solid base of the same chalk plays you would use anywhere. Against-the-grain plays typically consist of big-name players in tough matchups or boom-or-bust types with uncertain roles.

[Play in Yahoo's Week 8 Sunday Baller — guaranteed prize pool of $175K]

Keep in mind that Yahoo DFS contests use 0.5 PPR scoring rather than full PPR, which lowers the comparative value of wide receivers and running backs (in that order) while especially affecting high-volume pass-catchers. Your NFL $175k Sunday Baller lineup will consist of one QB, two RBs, three WRs, one TE, one FLEX (RB/WR/TE) and one D/ST unit.

Suggested Week 8 options include a QB that excels coming out of a bye, a pair of players looking to build on recent success against division rivals, and an affordable defense likely to thrive against a team that's missing its starting QB.

QUARTERBACK

Dak Prescott, DAL vs. LAR ($26)

Dak Prescott headshot
Dak Prescott
QB - DAL - #4
2023 - 2024 season
4,516
Yds
265.6
Y/G
69.5
Comp Pct
36
TD
105.9
QBRat

Prescott is coming off a bye week, which is good news for his fantasy prospects, as he has a career average of 26.9 fantasy points in six previous games coming out of a bye. He also has a 3:0 TD:INT in two home games this season compared to a 3:4 mark in four road games, and Prescott should get the most out of his dual-threat skill set against a Rams defense that has allowed the third-most rushing yards (184) and the most rushing TDs (four) to quarterbacks this season. Prescott doesn't run as much as he did earlier in his career, but he has scored at least three rushing touchdowns in five of seven previous seasons and already has one in 2023.

Honorable Mentions:

Patrick Mahomes, KC at DEN ($41); Lamar Jackson, BAL at ARI ($34); Derek Carr, NO at IND ($22)

Against the Grainers:

Tua Tagovailoa, MIA vs. NE ($33); Kirk Cousins, MIN at GB ($26); Gardner Minshew, IND vs. NO ($25)

RUNNING BACK

Alvin Kamara, NO at IND ($28)

Alvin Kamara headshot
Alvin Kamara
RB - NO - #41
2023 - 2024 season
694
Yds
53.4
Y/G
3.9
YPC
5
TD
17
Long

Kamara's value is even higher in full PPR formats, but his heavy usage as both a rusher and a pass catcher makes him a strong play in all situations, especially against a Colts defense that has allowed 27.3 PPG overall (third most in the NFL) and 10 rushing TDs to RBs (second most). After serving a three-game suspension to open the season, Kamara has notched at least 24 touches in all four games since his return. Jamaal Williams' return from a hamstring injury last week didn't negatively impact Kamara at all, as he actually set season highs in touches (29) and scrimmage yards (153) in Week 7 against Jacksonville while notching at least 12 catches for the second time in four games. That game was on Thursday Night Football, so Kamara will be well rested heading into what's likely to be another busy outing on the gridiron.

Isiah Pacheco, KC at DEN ($25)

Isiah Pacheco headshot
Isiah Pacheco
RB - KC - #10
2023 - 2024 season
935
Yds
66.8
Y/G
4.6
YPC
7
TD
48
Long

Denver's actually the only team that has managed to keep Pacheco out of the end zone over his last five games, but he still found plenty of success against the Broncos' porous defense when these AFC West rivals faced off in Week 6, racking up his second-highest scrimmage yardage total of the season with 98. Considering Kansas City has won its last 16 meetings with Denver and is favored by a touchdown Sunday, the lead back is poised for another heavy workload after logging at least 17 touches in each of the past five games. Denver has surrendered the most scrimmage yards (1,380) and second-most scrimmage touchdowns (12) to running backs, so the 12.8 fantasy points Pacheco mustered two weeks ago against this defense should be closer to his floor than his ceiling.

Honorable Mentions:

Travis Etienne, JAC at PIT ($30); D'Andre Swift, PHI at WAS ($24); Dameon Pierce, HOU at CAR ($20)

Against the Grainers:

Saquon Barkley, NYG vs. NYJ ($27); Kareem Hunt, CLE at SEA ($18); Jonathan Taylor, IND at NO ($15)

WIDE RECEIVER

A.J. Brown, PHI at WAS ($32)

A.J. Brown headshot
A.J. Brown
WR - PHI - #11
2023 - 2024 season
1,456
Yds
85.6
Y/G
158
Targets
106
Rec
7
TD

Brown has at least 127 receiving yards in each of his last five games, and his most impressive performance during that dominant stretch came in Week 4 against Washington, when he compiled 175 yards and two touchdowns. Jalen Hurts' favorite target is unlikely to slow down against a Commanders secondary that has allowed the second-most yards (1,337) to wide receivers and is tied for the most touchdowns allowed to the position with nine. Buying low on DeVonta Smith ($20) is also an option if you're looking to go with an Eagles stack in this favorable matchup, but Brown is the can't-miss play in Philadelphia's passing game.

Christian Kirk, JAC at PIT ($23)

Christian Kirk headshot
Christian Kirk
WR - JAX - #13
2023 - 2024 season
787
Yds
65.6
Y/G
85
Targets
57
Rec
3
TD

Seven games into the season, it's safe to say that Kirk is still the No. 1 option for QB Trevor Lawrence, ahead of Calvin Ridley. Kirk leads the Jaguars in targets (55), receiving yards (474) and receiving TDs (three) after posting team-high marks of 133 targets, 1,108 yards and eight receiving TDs last season. He had just nine yards on three targets in Week 1 as Jacksonville welcomed Ridley into the fold by peppering him with targets, but in six subsequent games, Kirk's averaging 8.7 targets and 77.5 receiving yards — a 1,318-yard full-season pace. Pittsburgh's porous secondary is unlikely to slow down Kirk, as the Steelers' 206.3 yards allowed per game to WRs are second-most in the NFL.

Garrett Wilson, NYJ at NYG ($19)

Garrett Wilson headshot
Garrett Wilson
WR - NYJ - #5
2023 - 2024 season
1,042
Yds
61.3
Y/G
168
Targets
95
Rec
3
TD

Even with Zach Wilson throwing him the ball, Garrett has found a way to stay productive. The 2022 first-round draft pick opened the season on a two-game TD streak, and while he hasn't found the end zone since, Wilson could be poised for a breakout game coming out of the Jets' bye. New York's QB has looked markedly better in the team's last three games, and that improvement from Zach has coincided with an uptick in volume for Garrett, who has been targeted 33 times in those three games. After racking up a season-high 90 receiving yards in the Jets' previous game, Wilson should feast on an inexperienced Giants secondary that has been among the 10 most generous in both yards (1,132) and TDs (seven) allowed to WRs this season.

Honorable Mentions:

George Pickens, PIT vs. JAC ($20); Chris Olave, NO at IND ($18); Zay Flowers, BAL at ARI ($18)

Against the Grainers:

CeeDee Lamb, DAL vs. LAR ($24); Puka Nacua, LAR at DAL ($21); Jordan Addison, MIN at GB ($17)

TIGHT END

Darren Waller, NYG vs. NYJ ($18)

Darren Waller headshot
Darren Waller
TE - NYG
2023 - 2024 season
552
Yds
46
Y/G
52
Rec
1
TD
74
Targets

Surprisingly, the Jets-Giants game could produce multiple players worth deploying in your Week 8 Sunday Baller lineup. The Jets' defense has been stingy overall, but the tight end position has been this unit's Achilles heel. Despite having already had their bye, the Jets have allowed five TDs to TEs, giving them sole possession of the highest such total in the league. Waller's Giants tenure got off to a slow start as he played through a hamstring injury, but he's picked up the pace over the past three games, turning 26 targets into 20 catches for 227 yards and one TD. That hamstring injury had Waller listed as limited in practice to begin the week, but as long as the two-time 1,100-yard producer hasn't suffered a setback, he'll have a golden opportunity to build on his recent success as the top pass catcher for either Daniel Jones or Tyrod Taylor.

Honorable Mentions:

Travis Kelce, KC at DEN ($34); Mark Andrews, BAL at ARI ($18); Jake Ferguson, DAL vs. LAR ($15)

Against the Grainers:

T.J. Hockenson, MIN at GB ($20); Dalton Schultz, HOU at CAR ($18); Juwan Johnson, NO at IND ($10)

DEFENSE

Atlanta Falcons at TEN ($10)

Even when starting QB Ryan Tannehill (ankle) was healthy, the Titans struggled mightily on offense, averaging the fifth-fewest scrimmage yards (283.5) and eighth-fewest points (17.3). Tennessee has also allowed the fourth-most sacks (23) despite having already had its bye. Rookie second-round pick Will Levis is expected to make his NFL debut and work as Tennessee's primary QB, while Malik Willis — who averaged 78.0 passing yards per game in three starts last season — will be asked to utilize his superior mobility in certain packages. Given that young QBs tend to hold the ball longer, Atlanta's pass rushers are poised to feast in a game that will likely see both teams utilize run-heavy game plans, thus keeping the clock running and leading to fewer points. Considering the Falcons are already allowing just 19.0 PPG (ninth fewest in the NFL), this unit is a low-risk, high-reward play at the minimum valuation.

Honorable Mentions:

Philadelphia Eagles vs. WAS ($17); Baltimore Ravens at ARI ($17); Miami Dolphins vs. NE ($15)

Against the Grainers:

Houston Texans at CAR ($15); Cleveland Browns at SEA ($12); New York Giants vs. NYJ ($10)