NFL Week 8 Fantasy QB Breakdown: Is Patrick Mahomes Too Expensive for Cash Games?
Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15).
- Matthew Freedman breaks down every starting quarterback's daily fantasy value for Week 8 of the NFL season
- Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff are two potential plays for Sunday. Below is a deep dive on both QBs.
The 2018 NFL season rolls on, and we’re still on pace for a record-breaking campaign with an average of 24.0 points per game per team. We could be in for another week of high scoring with a 10-game main slate that kicks off on Sunday, Oct. 28, at 1 p.m. ET.
With four teams on bye, two in London and six in prime-time games, we are without the following quarterbacks:
- Thursday Night Football: Dolphins (Ryan Tannehill, Brock Osweiler) at Texans (Deshaun Watson)
- International Series (London): Eagles (Carson Wentz) and Jaguars (Blake Bortles, Cody Kessler)
- Sunday Night Football: Saints (Drew Brees) at Vikings (Kirk Cousins)
- Monday Night Football: Patriots (Tom Brady) at Bills (Derek Anderson)
- Byes: Falcons (Matt Ryan), Cowboys (Dak Prescott), Titans (Marcus Mariota) and Chargers (Philip Rivers)
For analysis on the smaller slates, consult Chris Raybon’s premium strategy guides (released throughout the week).
In writing this piece, I’ve relied primarily on the FantasyLabs Models. This breakdown is less of a comprehensive analysis of each quarterback and more of an introduction to this week’s players via our large suite of analytic DFS Tools.
We’ll start with two high-priced quarterbacks, follow with five passers at the top of our individual Pro Models and finish with the rest of the slate’s starting quarterbacks.
For updates on Vegas spreads and over/unders, check out The Action Network Live Odds page.
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This week, there are two quarterbacks at the top of the positional salary scale on DraftKings and FanDuel. Of the two, Patrick Mahomes deserves the most consideration.
Patrick Mahomes: Kansas City Chiefs (-10) vs. Denver Broncos, 55.5 Over/Under
UPDATE (10/27): Center Mitch Morse (concussion) will miss his second consecutive game. The interior depth of the Chiefs offensive line will be tested with backup center Jordan Devey (pectoral) and starting right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (fibula) both on injured reserve. With backups Austin Reiter and Andrew Wylie tentatively expected to start at center and right guard, the efficacy of the Chiefs offense could be diminished.
- $7,000 DraftKings; $9,200 FanDuel
Mahomes had a league-high 36.8 DraftKings points in Week 7, throwing for 358 yards and four touchdowns and rushing for an additional 45 yards on four carries against the Bengals.
Even though head coach Andy Reid screwed over bettors with his end-of-game decision not to kick a field goal inside the 10-yard line, the Chiefs helped public bettors crush sportsbooks in Week 7. With Mahomes leading the way, the Chiefs are 7-0 against the spread (ATS) this season, the league’s only remaining undefeated ATS team.
On a per-game basis, they have …
- Outscored their implied totals by 10.1 points (No. 1 in NFL)
- Surpassed their game total by 10.2 points (No. 1)
- Covered their spreads by 10.1 points (No. 1)
The Chiefs lead the league in scoring at 37.1 points per game, and Mahomes is the first quarterback in NFL history with 22 passing touchdowns in his first eight NFL starts (Hall of Fame member Kurt Warner is second on the list with 21 during the first half of the 1999 “Greatest Show on Turf” Super Bowl-winning season).
Mahomes not only leads the league with those 22 passing touchdowns, but he’s first with an 84.9 in ESPN’s Total QBR. Of all players to start more than a couple of games, Mahomes is the only quarterback with a 100% Consistency Rating this year.
He has either 300 yards and/or four touchdowns passing in every game. Mahomes’ +11.79 Plus/Minus is an almost unprecedented mark this far into the season.
With his unrivaled ball velocity (60 mph), Mahomes has quickly made a habit of attacking defenses deep. He’s No. 1 in the league with 45 deep pass attempts (20-plus yards), 22 deep completions and 722 deep-passing yards. For a player with just eight career starts, he’s been incredibly poised in the pocket.
Mahomes has been pressured on 34.7% of his dropbacks but sacked at a league-low 8.5% rate on such plays. And with a clean pocket he’s No. 1 with a 131.5 QB Rating (Pro Football Focus). Reid has done a magnificent job scheming to Mahomes’ strengths, streamlining his reads and enabling him to get the ball out quickly.
When Mahomes can simply take the snap, focus immediately on his receivers and throw the ball, he’s maybe the best quarterback in the league. On passes with no play action, he’s No. 1 with a 119.6 QB Rating. When holding the ball for fewer than 2.5 seconds in the pocket, he’s again No. 1 with a 133.7 QB Rating (PFF).
Given how well he has played and been coached, it’s not a surprise that Mahomes is first among all starters with 0.72 fantasy points per dropback. Mahomes is currently in the lead for the MVP race with +270 odds to win.
Mahomes has twice faced the AFC West rival Broncos.
- 2017 (Week 17 at Denver): 11.4 DraftKings points, -2.60 Plus/Minus, 284-0-1 passing, 7-10-0 rushing
- 2018 (Week 4 at Denver): 25.9 DraftKings points, +6.29 Plus/Minus, 304-1-0 passing, 3-7-1 rushing
While his production against Denver hasn’t been overwhelming, he was still passable, and he should do better this week. Last year’s game marked Mahomes’ first career start, and he played primarily with backups as the Chiefs rested most of their starters for the playoffs.
Additionally, both of the games were in Denver. Even though the Broncos have the clear edge in rest and preparation — they played last week on Thursday night, while the Chiefs played on Sunday night — Mahomes at home should be in peak form.
The Broncos have held quarterbacks this year to a bottom-five mark of 16.4 DraftKings points per game, but Mahomes’ matchup against the Broncos defense isn’t prohibitive. Other than All-Pro slot cornerback Chris Harris, the Broncos don’t have one defensive back or linebacker in their dime personnel with a PFF coverage grade of even 70.0.
On top of that, while the Chiefs offense is entirely healthy, the Broncos secondary is dealing with injuries, as free safety Darian Stewart (neck) and cornerback Adam Jones (leg) are both questionable.
On Sunday morning, I will probably look to bet the over on Mahomes’ passing-yardage prop. He’s hit the over in all seven games this year. Plus, this is the only game on the slate with two top-10 teams in situation-neutral pace. To find the best bets in the props market, use our Player Props Tool, which is powered by our industry-leading projections. Since Week 1, the props with a bet quality of 10 have gone 150-71-5, good for a 66% win rate.
Without question, you should supplement your DFS action with player props.
Mahomes has position-high median, ceiling and floor projections on DraftKings, where he’s the No. 1 quarterback in the Bales Model.
Positional Breakdowns & News
Be sure to read the other Week 8 positional breakdowns.
For more in-depth NFL analysis information, check out The Action Network.
After this piece is published, FantasyLabs is likely to provide news updates on a number of players. Be sure to stay ahead of your competition with our industry-leading DFS-focused news blurbs.