Sink or Swim: Week 8
Last week was a bit of a step back after a positive week 6. That actually may be an understatement, as almost no one “swam” as they were supposed to. The streaming QB’s were all for the most part disastrous, on Sunday. Outside of Alvin Kamara, the RB’s were terrible as well, with Adrian Peterson being the biggest disappointment of the week. Not his fault since playing behind Drew Stanton will typically be a disaster, but still not a good enough excuse for fantasy owners. The WR group was fairly alright, with Allen Hurns even having a 100 yard day despite Marqise Lee being active. Austin Hooper and George Kittle were both basically invisible last week all the while Jason Witten is producing a 4-54-1 line. Better days are ahead for the second half of the season.
Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals):
This is Daltons best match up so far this year, at least on paper, and the Bengals offense has been better under new OC Bill Lazor.
Tyrod Taylor (Buffalo Bills):
Even with a severe lack of receiving options, Taylor has been a very solid fantasy QB at home this season. Add in the fact the Raiders are very much opposing QB friendly and this is the perfect match up to deploy Taylor.
Case Keenum (Minnesota Vikings):
Probably the best streaming option this week (unless Dalton is available still), he also gets a big boost this week with the return of Stefon Diggs to the lineup. In weeks 2-4 with Diggs in the lineup, Keenum averages 252 passing yards and had a 3/0 TD/INT ratio. In this plus match up, he is certainly in play as a low-end QB1.
Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons):
The Falcons offense has been in disarray of late and traveling to New York to play a surprisingly effective Jets pass defense probably won’t make things better.
Derek Carr (Oakland Raiders):
Carr was awesome last week, but travelling to Buffalo is never easy on visiting QB’s, especially when travelling across country. The Bills have been bleeding passing yards as of late but I still would prefer to look elsewhere at the position this weekend.
Trevor Siemian (Denver Broncos):
While the Chiefs have been gashed through the air this season, this still is a tough match up for this struggling Broncos offense on the road. I see this as a low scoring game with the Chiefs looking to run the ball plenty and control the clock, giving Siemian and co. not much to work with.
Jerick McKinnon (Minnesota Vikings):
If it wasn’t for Latavius Murray‘s breakout last week, McKinnon wouldn’t even need to be featured on this list. He still managed 17 touches against the Packers and should be in for another big workload in what figures to be a positive game script for the Vikings all day.
Dion Lewis (New England Patriots):
Lewis’s usage and fantasy stock are on the rise, with this being the potential big breakout game for him against a Chargers front 7 that struggles to contain opposing running games. If he can get 15-20 touches in this game, there’s a great chance he finishes in RB2, possibly back-end RB1 territory this weekend.
Joe Mixon (Cincinnati Bengals):
I’ve been waiting for Mixon to breakout all year. and we seem to be on the same page, as he questioned why the team continues to give up on the running game. This could lead to the Bengals teaching him a lesson and not feeding him the ball in this plus matchup, but I’m cautiously optimistic that won’t be the case. Then again, it is Marvin Lewis and the Bengals so a 25-60 day for Jeremy Hill could be on tap.
Deep Dives–Theo Riddick, Jalen Richard: Theo Riddick was playing well before the bye and with the Steelers being tough on opposing wideouts, expect him to be heavily involved in the passing game, especially if Golden Tate sits. Jalen Richard and Deandre Washington make for the best desperation/DFS punt plays this weekend, with Richard being a slightly better option given his passing game work.
Browns RB’s (Cleveland Browns):
The Vikings have been limiting RB’s most of the year, and it has already been tough to trust either Isiah Crowell or Duke Johnson (outside of PPR leagues) this season. Johnson has a safer PPR floor and in a tough bye week, makes for an OK flex play, with Crowell as a weaker standard flex option.
Seahawks RB’s (Seattle Seahawks):
There doesn’t seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel for this backfield. From the full-blown committee approach to the terrible offensive line, and the injuries, no one has been able to carve out any value of any sort here this season. It’s still a situation to avoid at all costs for now.
Alshon Jeffrey (Philadelphia Eagles):
He hasn’t been very useful for fantasy purposes since week 2, but this is the perfect get right matchup on paper for him, and as long as the Eagles are willing to fully unleash Carson Wentz in this game, Jeffrey has huge upside. The 49ers haven’t been able to cover any perimeter receiver this season, and Jeffrey will be among the more talented ones they will have seen.
Devin Funchess (Carolina Panthers):
Tampa Bay has arguably the worst pass defense going right now, so both Funchess and Kelvin Benjamin are must-plays this week. They are allowing the most yardage and catches to opposing wide receivers in the league to this point, and Funchess should be able to have his way with Vernon Hargreaves in this one.
Pierre Garcon (San Francisco 49ers):
In what’s become a tough year for finding consistent receiver play, Garcon has been an outlier, being a steady WR3 all year-long and that will continue this week in Philly.
Deep Dives–Brandon Lafell, JuJu Smith-Schuster: Brandon Lafell is still being targeted heavily (7.5 a game past two weeks), and often in the red zone so the plus matchup puts him on the radar as a desperation play. JuJu Smith-Schuster is finally all alone as the Steelers #2 wideout, and gets a solid matchup this week against a Lions team who struggles to defend slot receivers.
T.Y. Hilton (Indianapolis Colts):
The Bengals are tough on defense and the Colts offense is still the same. The Bengals will focus on taking him out of this game and I’d expect them to be successful in doing so. He is looking like a waste of a draft pick at this point, unfortunately.
Will Fuller (Houston Texans):
Fuller’s TD streak is likely to end this week, as he goes up against Richard Sherman and that tough Seahawks pass defense. There’s a legitimate chance he puts up 1 or 2 points or possibly a goose egg in this one.
Hunter Henry (San Diego Chargers):
With the Patriots struggling to cover tight ends much of the season, it was interesting to see the Falcons hide Austin Hooper last Sunday night. I don’t think the Chargers will be doing the same with Henry, who should be a big part of the offense once again this weekend. He’s averaging 4-68 over his past 3 games and is always a threat to score, making him one of the better upside plays this week and a TE1 play.
Zach Miller (Chicago Bears):
The Bears haven’t allowed Mitch Trubisky to throw the ball yet, but they will likely have to this weekend to keep up with the Saints. The biggest and maybe only real beneficiary of that is probably Miller, acting as Trubiskys safety valve as well as red zone target. With the position being so shallow, he makes for a decent streaming play.
Tyler Kroft (Cincinnati Bengals):
Sure he is TD dependent, but if there were a week for him to score, it would be this one. Given the TE landscape for this weekend, he is worth a shot as a streaming option or bye week fill.
Ed Dickson (Carolina Panthers):
Outside of that one game against the Lions, Dickson has done very little on the year. While the Bucs can’t contain opposing receivers, they are solid against tight ends, making Dickson someone to avoid for week 8.
Jack Doyle (Indianapolis Colts):
He continues to be the go-to option in the passing game, but I don’t see him or any Colt’s receiving options doing much of anything against the Bengals strong pass defense. He will get targets and some catches, giving him a higher floor in PPR formats, but I would look elsewhere in standard leagues.