Winning in daily fantasy isn't always about outsmarting everyone through contrarian picks. Yes, you want to differentiate your lineup to increase your odds at winning in tournaments, but you can't ignore the studs that are still worth their high price tags.
Here are the top players to consider during Week 8:
KIRK COUSINS, QB, Washington ($6,400 DraftKings/$7,800 FanDuel)
Cousins started the season slow, but he's back to his old self during the last four games. Cousins is playing at his 2016 level in those games, even with Jamison Crowder and Terrelle Pryor being disappointments. He's scored at least 22 points in each game and has multiple touchdowns per game, 10 total. The road game against the Chiefs is the only one where Cousins failed to top 300 yards passing. The Cowboys are weak against the pass with each quarterback topping 20 points since Week 2 (Eli Manning was terrible in Week 1). That includes 20-point games from Jared Goff and C.J. Beathard. Cousins is better than both, and he's a steal at this price given the fact that he's a top-end play.
MARK INGRAM, RB, New Orleans ($7,400/$7,200)
Ingram has been terrific since the Adrian Peterson trade. Ingram has 219 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the two games since Peterson went to Arizona. Despite the Bears having an underrated defense, they're traveling to New Orleans where the Saints put up points in bunches. It will be hard for the Bears to keep up, even in the first half. With the game in control, Ingram should see plenty of touches in the second half and is a good bet to score for the third straight game. He's a lock for 2X-plus value.
DOUG BALDWIN, WR, Seattle ($6,900/$7,700)
Baldwin only has two good games to his season r?sum?, but he can make it three in Week 8. Something clicks for the Seahawks and Baldwin in the second half, near the midway point. Baldwin already bounced back after two quiet games with a nice outing against a tough Giants secondary. Baldwin put up 92 yards and a touchdown on nine catches against New York, and the Texans defense is good, not great. While A.J. Green and Tyreek Hill had 67 and 68 yards, respectively, Brandon Cooks and Chris Hogan scored two touchdowns each in Week 3. Baldwin has the advantage of playing the slot, where Kareem Jackson is the Texans' weakest corner. As said, this game sets Baldwin up for his third good game.
JORDAN REED, TE, Washington ($4,700/$6,100)
Recent bias often affects ownership, but while Reed will likely see more use than any other week this season, the price makes it warranted. Reed scored twice last week, proving once again that when healthy, Reed is one of the few tight ends that can rival Rob Gronkowski. Reed is healthy-ish now, and the Cowboys haven't faced any real tight end threat this season, as Evan Engram hadn't emerged in Week 1 and Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall weren't done for the year. The Cowboys will struggle to stop Reed, as most teams do, and Reed can reach 2X value by halftime.
BENGALS DEFENSE ($3,600/$4,800)
While many of the Bengals offensive weapons are worth using against the Colts, don't forget their defense. Only the Lions are allowing more fantasy points to opposing defenses, as the Colts have allowed 28 sacks, four fumble recoveries and five interceptions already. With all of those turnovers, defenses have been able to turn them into four touchdowns, and a DST touchdown. Even if the Bengals don't score defensively, the sacks and turnover potential alone make their unit a great play.