Top NFL DFS Leverage Plays: Cooper Kupp, Jaylen Waddle and Rookie QB Ehlinger Stand Out for Week 8 GPPs

DFS players get a full slate of 12 NFL games to attack this Sunday. Using Stokastic’s Boom Bust Tool, each player is given a leverage score that is based on that player’s ownership and ceiling. A low projected ownership combined with a high ceiling means a higher leverage score. This column will dive into some of the best NFL DFS leverage targets for the main slate on DraftKings and FanDuel.

Week 8 NFL DFS Leverage Picks

Cooper Kupp

Stokastic NFL Optimizer Leverage Score Ranks: DraftKings: 30th, FanDuel: 27th

Kupp is a great way to gain leverage this weekend in GPPs. Stokastic forecasts the receiver for low ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel. The reason for this is his matchup vs. the 49ers, who are the seventh highest graded defense on PFF. This might not be the best matchup on paper, but Kupp has been a monster vs. San Francisco ever since Matthew Stafford became a Ram, generating 31.3 DraftKings PPG across four matchups. That includes a 29.2 DraftKings point performance earlier this month.

Kupp leads the NFL in target share this season (32.6%), including eight redzone targets and six targets for greater than 20 yards. Kupp is guaranteed to see 10+ targets this Sunday with the Rams as 1.5 point underdogs. In the five times Kupp has played as an underdog with Stafford as his quarterback, he has destroyed his opponents for an absurd 32.8 DraftKings PPG. No skill player brings a higher ceiling than Kupp in Stokastic’s Boom Bust Tool this week. He needs to be one of your core GPP plays.

Sam Ehlinger

Stokastic NFL Optimizer Leverage Score Ranks: DraftKings: 16th, FanDuel: 20th

The Colts have decided to bench Matt Ryan and start Ehlinger for the rest of the season after starting the year with an underwhelming 3-3-1 record. Ehlinger is a dual threat quarterback who can make a major impact as a rusher. During his four-year college career at Texas, Ehlinger rushed for an eye popping 1,907 yards and 33 touchdowns on 554 carries in 46 games, including 16 performances with at least 50 rushing yards. During his sophomore year in 2018, he broke the single season record for rushing touchdowns by a University of Texas quarterback with 16 touchdowns in only 14 starts.

Ehlinger averaged 11.8 yards per carry in the preseason and found paydirt with his legs. Ehlinger was also efficient as a passer, completing 83% of his attempts and finished with a 4-0 touchdown to interception ratio across his 63 total snaps. It may have been the preseason, but Ehlinger still finished as the third highest graded quarterback on PFF.

Obviously, we need to temper our expectations for Ehlinger and we can’t expect a Lamar Jackson type of performance in his first career start. That doesn’t mean Ehlinger can’t easily out produce his bare minimum salaries on DraftKings and FanDuel this Sunday vs. the Commanders. The rookie gets the luxury of competing indoors at home and the Colts’ carry a decent implied team total of 21.25 points, which is higher than nine other teams on the slate. With the main slate lacking clear cut quarterback plays, and a plethora of appealing running backs and receivers to pay up for, rolling the dice on a minimum priced Ehlinger – who is slated to come with around 5% ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel – is a worthwhile gamble.

Jaylen Waddle

Stokastic NFL Optimizer Leverage Score Ranks: DraftKings: 11th, FanDuel: 7th

Waddle is rating as one of the best leverage play for Week 8 in Stokastic’s Boom Bust Tool, with the wideout slated for single-digit ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel. Tua Tagovailoa will be making his second straight start this Sunday after missing two contests with a concussion. In the four games the quarterback has played over 90% of the snaps this season, Waddle has been targeted on 29% of his routes, including four redzone targets and two targets over 20 yards. On the menu for this Sunday is fantasy football’s No.1 matchup to attack, the Lions.

Detroit is the second worst graded defense on PFF and they are giving up the second most yards per pass attempt (7.7). Not only do the Dolphins boast the highest implied team total on the slate (27.5 points), this game’s total is the highest on the board (51.5 points). Waddle brings huge upside in this dream spot and combining him with Tagovailoa – who was a featured pick the NFL DFS First Look from earlier this week – and possibly Tyreek Hill as well, is a strategy that could win GPPs this weekend.

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