Before we begin with the picks, I think some player’s performances from week 7 deserve a little recognition for helping us fantasy players pick up some W’s. Shoutout to Melvin Gordon, AJ Green, Jay Ajayi, Mike Evans, Matt Forte, Le’Veon Bell, Jeremy Hill, Andrew Luck, and all the other breakout performers of the prior week.
With 6 teams receiving a bye week in week 8, there are a lot of great fantasy players that you will not be able to use in your lineup. Hopefully this does not impede you from victory, and that you can grind through this week. Now, let’s begin the picks.
Quarterbacks I Love for Week 8
Jameis has lowkey been a fantasy beast in favorable matchups. Winston has had 3 games against weak defenses this season (Atlanta, Los Angeles, and San Francisco). In these games he has averaged 23.3 fantasy points, definitely deserving of QB1 status. Winston’s favorable matchup this week is against the Oakland Raiders, who allow 18.2 fantasy points per game, and have let up less than 20 only twice. The only problem with Winston are the turnovers. He has thrown an interception in every game except for one. If Winston limits the turnovers and continues to hook up with his top target, Mike Evans, he will have a solid game and produce good fantasy numbers.
Matt Ryan has been the best quarterback in fantasy this season, but there hasn’t been as much talk about him and his performance as you would think. Ryan wasn’t a top pick in fantasy, and probably wasn’t even drafted in a good amount of leagues. This meant that people who drafted him as a backup, or picked him up, paired him with a bigger name like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Carson Palmer, etc. who they drafted earlier. People who were struggling finding a trustworthy QB and picked up Ryan really hit the gold mine. If you own Ryan, you should be more than happy putting him in your lineup against a weak Green Bay secondary. Both these teams are offensive powerhouses, and I expect a lot of points to be scored.
Quarterbacks I Hate for Week 8
Brees plays the Seattle Seahawks in week 8. That’s all you really have to know to be hesitant to start him this week. We all know that the Seahawks are arguably the best pass defense in the NFL, with the Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings being their only competition. The Seahawks let up 11.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, a very impressive low number. They are also coming off an impressive performance in which they tied the Arizona Cardinals, a high powered offense, and held them to only six points from two field goals. Brees is at home though, which slightly boosts his value since he is a much better performer in home games. You should try to find better options to play at quarterback this week.
Palmer has been quite overrated this season, in my opinion. He was drafted in the earlier rounds to be a solid QB1, but has not returned that value. He was viewed as a top 10 fantasy quarterback to almost everybody, but is currently ranked as quarterback 22 in ESPN standard scoring format. Has has averaged a mere 13.5 fantasy points per game in the 6 games he has played. He does have an inviting matchup this week against a struggling Carolina defense, but it’s evident that Arizona’s offense is centered around star running back David Johnson. I expect another mediocre performance from Palmer this Sunday.
Running Backs I Love for Week 8
Rodgers has proven to be a great waiver wire pick up in the past 3 weeks. Rodgers has been given over 25 rushes in both games he has started for the Buccaneers, and turned them into a 101 and 154 yard game. He has also caught 5 passes. Doug Martin was expected to be recovered from his injury last week, but unfortunately he suffered a setback and there is no timetable for his return. Jacquizz will continue to lead Tampa Bay’s backfield duties in week 8 against Oakland. And as I liked Jameis Winston and his matchup versus a vulnerable Oakland defense, I love Jacquizz’s opportunity to have a huge workload and continue to be productive. Oakland has given up 16.1 points to opposing backfields, certainly an inviting number.
Forte was on the hate list last week, and I couldn’t have been more wrong about that one. I even went to the extent to tell two of my friends to bench him for Mike Gillislee, who was supposed to head the Bills backfield due to star running back LeSean McCoy’s injury. For comparison, Forte finished with 25 points while Gillislee had 2 (sorry Brian and Dave). It was a big gamble to start him after three straight weeks of dismal performances and getting out snapped by backup running back Bilal Powell. Not to mention he had a matchup against the Baltimore Ravens, who had allowed the second fewest rushing yards in the past 4 weeks. Overall, there were too many factors that made benching Forte seem like a good decision. I specifically said that I would not put Forte into the starting lineup again until the offense as a whole shows it can function. Well, that only took a week to happen. There shouldn’t be a question about starting Forte this week, he’s playing the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are easily the worst team in the league, and you should always play your guys against them. Just for some statistical backup, the Browns let up 17.9 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields, and have allowed a touchdown in 5 out of 7 games. They were also torched for 38 total fantasy points against the Bengals running backs last week. The Jets will rely on Forte heavily and he will have another big game. Hopefully I’m not wrong this time.
Running Backs I Hate for Week 8
It’s pretty evident that Melvin isn’t the best running back out there, but with all the goal line carries and touchdowns he’s gotten, he’s one of the best fantasy running backs. However, his worst game of the season came 2 weeks ago against the Denver Broncos, who he faces again this Sunday. In their first meeting, Gordon had 27 rushes for 94 yards. Not bad, but when you realize that 48 of those yards came from one run, and he had 46 yards total from the other 26 carries, it’s atrocious. That’s less than 2 yards per carry. Melvin will struggle again against Denver this week, but won’t put up any glaring numbers unless he gets a couple goalline plunges.
Ingram finds himself in the hate section for the second week in a row. My reasoning is the same as why Saints quarterback, Drew Brees, is listed in the hate section, as well. The Seahawks defense that they are set to play on Sunday is just so talented defending the run and pass. Opposing running backs average only 67.5 rushing yards per game, and 11.3 fantasy points per game. Arizona running back David Johnson did tally over 170 all purpose yards against Seattle last Sunday night, but Mark Ingram is no David Johnson.
Wide Receivers I Love for Week 8
Other than week 2 where Nelson had 6 catches for 101 yards and 2 touchdowns, Nelson hasn’t produced WR1 numbers like he has in his past. Nelson let tons of fantasy owners down last week, putting up a goose egg against the Chicago Bears. Fantasy owners should not worry, the usage that Nelson had last week will not be a trend for the rest of the season. He is still Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target and is poised for a breakout game against a weak Atlanta secondary.
Every fantasy owner loves when they have a player going up against New Orleans. The Saints have a bottom 3 defense in the NFL, and more than frequently let up big games to opposing receivers. With Doug Baldwin being Russell Wilson’s favorite target, he will see plenty of looks and have plenty of opportunities to find the end zone. Baldwin is due for another big game.
Wide Receivers I Hate for Week 8
Jones is on here for the second straight week. It is basically for the same reasons as last week’s love/hate edition. He just really isn’t that good. He had one monster game that propelled his ranking to where he is now. He is pretty consistent game to game, but if you’re only looking for 10 points (at most) then he’s your guy. With the possibility of pass catching running back Theo Riddick returning from injury, and the reemergence of Golden Tate, Jones’ volume will decrease.
Alshon is another name added to the list of disappointing early round picks. He was drafted to be a WR1, but hasn’t performed anywhere near that value. Part of the reason behind his struggles has been because of the injury that Bears starting quarterback, Jay Cutler, suffered in week 2. I believe Jeffery will continue his streak of bad games as he faces a very stout Vikings defense, who allow an average of 5.6 fantasy points per game to the opposing team’s top receiver, and limited star wideouts Odell Beckham Jr. and Kelvin Benjamin to 2 and 0 points respectively. Jeffery will see an uptick in his production whenever Jay Cutler returns though.
Tight Ends I Love for Week 8
Doyle has surprisingly been one of Andrew Luck’s favorite targets this season. After being undrafted in almost every fantasy league, Doyle is the 4th best fantasy tight end halfway through the season. The tight end position is a very important part of the Colts offense, as we have seen over the past few years with Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen. The Colts really value their young tight end Jack Doyle, and that’s why they were comfortable letting Fleener go in the offseason. Doyle will flourish while Dwayne Allen is sidelined for a few more weeks. He has hauled in 13 passes for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns over the past 2 weeks. The matchup against the Texans this Sunday isn’t the most exciting, but he still brings a lot of value to the table.
Tight Ends I Hate for Week 8
Jordan Reed/Vernon Davis
Star tight end Jordan Reed’s status for the week 8 tilt in London is in question. After suffering a concussion a few weeks prior, Reed has been absent the past 2 weeks. Even if he plays, there is more than likely the possibility that he will be on a snap count, which is not suitable to be in the starting lineup of your roster. And if Reed sits out, and Davis receives the majority of the snaps at tight end, I think that the Cincinnati defense is quite stingy and will limit his production.
by Nick Rufo