Welcome in to a new year of Ben’s NFL DFS Building Blocks for DraftKings and FanDuel! In this article, I will highlight my favorite NFL DFS plays at each position for small-field tournament formats. If you’re interested in signing up for premium access, which grants you Core Plays for every slate, projections, Final Thoughts player pool + expert picks and our premium Discord click HERE. You can also sign up for our plethora of AI-driven sports betting tools and access to my weekly betting card by clicking HERE. Let’s get into the plays…
It was an amazing start to the NFL season with my premium Core Plays taking down tournaments on the first slate of the season!
This is an interesting week at QB, with everyone seemingly wanting to pay up after everyone wanted to pay down the last few weeks. I nailed the Lamar Jackson stack call last week, which was my best tournament team as well so hopefully you all stacked the Ravens on a team and made some money. This week, it looks like Jackson and Jalen Hurts will be the chalkier builds for cash games/single entry contests. I like both of them, and can’t poke too many holes in the match-ups. Arizona has been horrific defensively over the last few weeks, while Washington is essentially the number one match-up for a QB in DFS right now. Right now, I’m planning on using one of them on my cash game / main team but will likely look at some lower-owned stacks for my three-max entry contests.
Right now my stack pool consists of the two listed above, as well as Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Dak Prescott and CJ Stroud.
I talked about Burrow on this weeks video, and I think that bye week couldn’t have come at a better time. This should be the healthies he’s been all season coming off the rest week, and I could certainly see a shoot out in this game against San Francisco. Brock Purdy has been very good at home, so I think SF will certainly put up points here while their defense has been vulnerable to big QB games in recent weeks. See Kirk Cousins on Monday Night.
Prescott has a pretty neutral match-up against the Rams, but it’s very easy to stack this game with some attractive pieces on the Rams side.
Stroud looks to be one of the best stacks this weekend to me, matching up with what has been a hapless Panthers defense. Robert Woods is out, which makes both Tank Dell and Nico Collins easy stacking partners with the clear run-back of Adam Thielen on the other side. This seems like it could be the popular cheap stack this week – but it’s worth noting that the game is up two points since opening at 41.5. Houston has a solid team total, and I will have some exposure to the Texans passing attack in Week 8.
As for Mahomes, this is fairly obvious. He looks to be hitting his stride, and should have much more success in this go around against the Broncos. I likely won’t have much KC exposure on my main team, so grabbing a KC stacks in three-max only makes sense with them featuring the second-highest team total on the slate at 27 points. I prefer a KC stack to Miami this week, who has a worse match-up in my opinion against the Patriots.
Once again, the running back pool is extremely clear to me in Week 8. For cash games, I think people will be considering the list of: Tony Pollard, Alvin Kamara, Breece Hall, Isaiah Pacheco and Jonathan Taylor. All of these guys are strong options and can be used in all formats. Hall is probably my least favorite, given that I think he will be the highest-owned due to his price. Zack Moss is currently listed as questionable for the Colts. If he were to miss, Taylor would be elevated to the top-overall play for me and I would likely be close to locking him in all lineups.
For tourneys, there are a few guys that I want to get exposure to as pivots. Darrell Henderson is sub-$5K on DraftKings and I expect him to continue to be the Rams lead back without Kyren Williams. This is a very cheap price-tag with what seems like minimal ownership…count me in.
Dameon Pierce has one of the best match-ups on the board against a Panthers defense that is bottom-three against the run. He still has a strong red-zone role with 16 carries inside the 20 this year, and provides a natural pivot of the Texans passing stack gets chalky.
D’Andre Swift + PHI DST is a great correlation in GPPs this week. Nobody is paying up for PHI defense despite Sam Howell on pace for a record number of sacks.
Christian McCaffrey will be used as my run-back on my Joe Burrow stack.
Kareem Hunt also makes my pool with no Jerome Ford. Nobody will be playing any Browns this week, and he has three red-zone touchdowns over his last two games.
This week, we have a fairly interesting pool of chalky receivers. There is a pretty severe lack of value, which should decrease ownership on the expensive WR’s, especially if users are wanting to spend up at QB in single entry contests. As of now, here are the highest projected owned players: Zay Flowers, Ja’Marr Chase, Terry McLaurin, Tank Dell, Brandon Aiyuk, Diontae Johnson, Josh Downs and Adam Thielen. I personally think AJ Brown could end up higher-owned than Chase depending on how news breaks this weekend. For me, Brown is the top spend-up on the slate given his current role and match-up with the Commanders. I would choose Brown over Chase on any non-Burrow team with conviction, and mini-stacking him with either McLaurin or Curtis Samuel is my preferred move.
Flowers is popping as the chalkiest WR slate but I love the spot. He has been featured heavier weekly, and feels due for positive TD regression with just one end zone trip on the season. Most will correlate him with Trey McBride, so you could look at Hollywood Brown in a REVENGE game opposite your Lamar stack, or Flowers.
Thielen is someone I’ve played a ton this season, and will continue to do so this week. He always pops as a top option, but hand-builders don’t want to click old Adam Thielen so he always comes in low-owned. You can easily play him opposite a Stroud stack or Dameon Pierce in tournaments.
Michael Gallup is my preferred punt, and he can be used opposite Darrell Henderson. If stacking Dak Prescott, I would prefer CeeDee Lamb.
Two more mid-tier plays I like are Chris Olave and Jordan Addison. Addison has been smashing post-Justin Jefferson and looks to be flying a bit under the radar this weekend. Nobody wants to click Olave despite the strong match-up against Indy – and he is natural leverage off Alvin Kamara. Derek Carr was visibly upset with Olave a few times last Thursday, so maybe they look to get them on the same page in a soft match-up.
We have some extreme cheap chalk at TE this week, with Trey McBride popping for over 20% projected ownership. This is helped by Zach Ertz being placed on IR, making room for McBride to step into a more full-time role. He’s been running a lot of routes, especially after Ertz left last week and I have no issues with him in cash games or small-field. Typically, I like to avoid cheap TE chalk in larger-field contests so if you’re playing anything over 500-600 people I would likely try to be underweight.
Part of what makes McBride tough to fade this week is he makes for an easy mini-correlation with a Ravens stack or a Zay Flowers one-off.
Outside of McBride, I would be looking to fill my stacks out at TE this week. Dallas Goedert and Logan Thomas are both viable in the PHI games, while Jake Ferguson is my preferred pivot off McBride. He still has an elite red-zone role this season, and can be used as a one-off or in a mini-stack with any of Puka Nacua, Cooper Kupp or Darrell Henderson.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)