Plays for Week 8
Andy Dalton – “But, but, but Big Travy! Andy Dalton had a great matchup last week and laid a complete stinker!” Trust me, I am aware. Andy Dalton has frequented this list many times this season already and up until last week had cashed in each time. Dalton was rather forgettable last week against the Chiefs on Sunday night completing 15 of 29 passing attempts for only 159 yards and a TD. So why should you trust Dalton this week? Similar to last week, Andy Dalton is facing one of the best matchups in all of fantasy football. If you thought the Chiefs were bad, the Buccs are worse as they allow on average and NFL high 26.7 points per game. It may be hard to trust Dalton but you would be passing on a shot at monster production against Tampa Bay.
Deshaun Watson – Last week I pegged Watson as a “Stay Away” in a divisional battle on the road in Jacksonville. He landed squarely at QB22 after that contest and now many with Watson in their lineups are beginning to panic. He has not posted a top 10 Fantasy QB finish in the last two weeks and owners are wondering if they need to look elsewhere for a fantasy signal caller. I am here to say you can trust in Watson once again. I believe his worst is behind him and with the emergence of a solid run game and after getting explosive wide receiver Will Fuller more involved last week, Watson is poised to do some damage on Thursday night against a slumping Dolphins defense that has allowed the 3rd most passing touchdowns in the last month.
Mitch Trubisky –If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! That saying absolutely applies here with Trubisky as over the last month only Andrew Luck has had more points at the QB position. Trubisky continues to put up points behind his arm and with his feet as he has racked up 181 rushing yards over his last 3 games! This week Mitch will see a tough Jets defense that is no slouch and has allowed only 16.4 ppg to the QB position on average this year. This has a week that spells trouble for Trubisky, but I ain’t scared and you should not be either. As stingy as the Jets have looked as a season long unit, over the last four weeks only three teams have allowed more passing yards and only two teams have allowed more passing touchdowns. The Jets are showing some holes in their armor that Mitch will look to expose.
Lamar Miller – On our most recent podcast I explained to the Whisper Nation that not Arizona, not Denver, not Oakland, but Miami allows the most points per game to the running back position in fantasy per week on average with 31.6! If Lamar Miller can’t get it done in this spot than you should not be rostering him. Miller is coming off his best game of the year against a tough Jags defense rushing 22 times for 100 yards and a TD. Couple that with the fact that the Texans are favored by nearly 8 points at home and you can fire up Miller here with supreme confidence in what could be his best matchup of the season.
Marlon Mack – The return of the MACK was in full swing last week! Marlon Mack came out like a bat out of hell in week 7 as he ran the ball 19 times for 126 yards, scoring both a rushing and a receiving touchdown. Questions came in a flurry from Whisper Nation this week. Do I start Mack? Do I sell high? Do I package him with another player and upgrade my lineup? Those who have been patient enough to wait on Mack need to roll this dude out at least one more week. He is the featured back on a high volume offense that is facing for another soft defensive opponent this week in the Oakland Raiders. If you haven’t been watching Jon Gruden pretend that he is Thanos this season, you have missed him essentially vaporizing his roster by trading away all of his good players. The Raiders are suffering defensively for this, especially against the run as no team has allowed more points per game on average to the running back position over the last month. The Mack Attack should rage on this week.
Adrian Peterson – Adrian Peterson, much like a bad penny, he just won’t go away. When the Redskins signed him as a desperation move after Derrius Guice went down early in preseason, I thought he was going to be a fantasy rental. You would add him he would give you a few good games and either get injured or fade into the darkness. Boy, was I wrong! AP has been an RB1 this year as he is the owner of the RB12 numbers on the season. He is averaging 15 carries over the last 3 weeks and that includes the terrible Saints Monday night game. AP is set for even more success this week as the Giants recently traded their best interior lineman, Snacks Harrison over to the Lions. As the Giants rebuild their defense, AP and the Skins rushing attack should feast.
Stefon Diggs – Stefon Diggs has taken his fantasy owners for quite the ride this year. Over the first three weeks in many standard scoring formats Diggs was the WR10, but since then Diggs has only been WR29 and barely in lineups. He has been as frustrating a play as there has been in fantasy now with back to back weeks fo 33 yards. The encouraging takeaway from last week was that he had 14 targets. Let me reassure you that Diggs is talented and in an offense that loves to throw the football. He looks poised to torch a Saints secondary that just let up 134 yards and a touchdown to John Brown. Diggs can and should get it done here for you.
Tyler Boyd – Similar to the back to back Dalton pick, I will likely take a lot of heat from the Whisper Nation for backing Boyd yet again this week, but I can’t help it! The matchup is too good here. The Buccaneers, who have had their bye mind you, have allowed the second most touchdowns to wide receivers this year with 11! Playin one less game hasn’t stopped this unit from being one of the most generous in the league to opposing wide receivers and Boyd is an excellent bounce back spot here.
TY Hilton – Normally, Hilton with Luck throwing him the ball is a no brainer. This should especially be the case against an Oakland secondary that has allowed the fifth most points per game on average to the WR position. If you are worried about the lack of targets and yardage last week out of Hilton, remember that he was being shadowed by Tre’Davious White in that game and White has been excellent in coverage against the league’s best this year. Hilton should do damage against the Raiders in Oakland.
Stay Away for Week 8
Cam Newton – Sound the alarm! I am prepared for the uproar. How, in God’s green earth, could I have Cam Newton as a “Stay Away?” Cameron Newton is QB9 for fantasy purposes on the year. Cam Newton averages 42 rushing yards a game. Cam Newton has scored less than 20 fantasy points in six point per touchdown leagues only once this year and that was week one! Cam Newton has not played the Baltimore Ravens this season yet. He will play them Sunday. The Ravens have been a suffocating defense for real and fantasy football this year. Baltimore is the second best team against the fantasy quarterback only allowing 12.7 points per game on average and they have yet to allow a rushing TD by a quarterback this season.
Matthew Stafford – Earlier in the year, I had joked and taken jabs at the Seattle Seahawks secondary as they lost key pieces of their Legion of Boom including having the final piece fall when Earl Thomas was carted off against Arizona. I may need to take back some of those hurtful things I said such as “Legion of Whom?” The Seahawks are quietly, at least for fantasy purposes, one of the stingiest defenses to face opposing quarterbacks. Seattle has allowed the fewest yards this season to enemy QBs, and the third fewest touchdowns. On average they only allow 12.3 fantasy points per game to the position which is the league’s best! You may have already looked elsewhere but if not, stay away from Stafford this week.
Carlos Hyde – What a whirlwind this past week has been for Carlos Hyde owners. Although he had been quite inefficient, he went from a featured back in Cleveland to likely second and maybe even third fiddle with the Jaguars. My argument to avoid Hyde is twofold. Firstly he has been incredibly inefficient as noted before. Hyde is averaging a measly 3.3 yards per carry this season on 114 carries. Secondly the Jaguars already have T.J. Yeldon who has filled in admirably for Fournette while he nurses his hamstring injury. The shared usage here will cap an already dismal outlook for Hyde in this week’s game against a suffocating Eagles defense.
TJ Yeldon – On to Yeldon, who will likely have the higher floor than Hyde due to his ability as a receiver out of the backfield. That is all fine and good, until you realize the Eagles have allowed only 19.0 points per game to opposing running backs and that figure will need to be shared with Hyde. I am avoiding the Jags backs at all costs.
Alex Collins – Few players have provided more fantasy headaches than Alex Collins. The Ravens have finally made him their “guy” and given him plenty of work as he is averaging over 13 carries per game over his last four games. The problem is that he has become incredibly touchdown dependant only averaging 48.25 yards per game. His inefficiency is not likely to turn around against a Carolina squad that is only yielding 83.6 yards per game to enemy tailbacks. If you can, you need to consider benching Collins who will need a TD to salvage his day and the Panthers have only surrendered 2 total in 6 games.
Marquise Goodwin – We may be waiting until the end of this season for Marquise Goodwin to be the hyped wide receiver that the Fantasy Football community wanted him to be. I am not confident he will be a reliable fantasy option and now he is nursing a lower leg injury. The biggest factor to me suggesting that you avoid him, however is that he is set to square off against Patrick Peterson and the Cardinals on 10 days rest. You can and should do better than Goodwin this week.
Devin Funchess – The theme this week: avoid the Baltimore Ravens defense if you can manage it. With depth at the WR position, you are likely able to manage a much better option than Funchess and should look to do so. Baltimore has allowed the fewest points per game to the wide receiver position with only 14.3! What’s worse is they have only allowed 928 receiving yards to the position all year. Look away from Funchess’ direction this week.
Marvin Jones – See Stafford, Matt. No but seriously, Jones has slowly slipped into irrelevance each week this season. His one calling card last week was that he led the team in RZ targets through 6 weeks. Then, out of nowhere, Michael Roberts came in and stole two touchdowns! If Roberts takes any red zone love away from Jones, his already diminishing value will plummet. Jones’ opponent this week is Seattle, a team who has allowed the 3rd fewest red zone targets to date this season with 10. I am not predicting a big day for Jones in this one.