Can you believe we’re already diving into the Week 8 rankings? Once the Broncos and Chiefs finish their game on Monday night, we’ll officially be past the halfway point of the Fantasy Football season. It’s also the most brutal part of the Fantasy season with six teams on bye each of the next two weeks. It’s time for you to get that second wind. Don’t flame out just yet.
These next two weeks can make or break your season. Unless you are 7-0, 6-1 or 5-2, you must take action during these byes. If you have to make trades where you lose a bit more value than you prefer just to avoid a loss, you might have to do it. If you have to make a tough cut… ahem, Terrelle Pryor… for a player that helps you win now instead of three weeks from now, you might have to do it. While this might sound like the beginning of a “you might be a redneck” segment, it’s just a reminder that in order to enjoy potential value in the playoffs, you have to make the playoffs.
TL;DR version – nearly halfway through the season, byes are brutal, you need to win now
As a reminder, if you missed this week’s Waiver Wire piece, click over to find help at every position, including Week 8 quarterback streamers.
Week 8 Rankings Reveal Shows
Week 8 QB Sleepers
Andy Dalton, CIN – Let’s start with Dalton’s opponent. Of all seven opposing quarterbacks, the lowest score put up against the Colts is 19.3 points. Some might point to two rushing touchdowns allowed, but even taking those away, the Colts still allow an average of 310.9 passing yards. Dalton put up 328 yards against the much stronger Bills defense in Week 5, and he’s averaging 22.0 FPPG over his last four starts. You could do much worse for your bye week replacement or Week 8 streamer.
Week 8 RB Sleepers
Theo Riddick, DET – With Golden Tate out, Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay (more on him shortly) take a step forward for the Lions passing game. They won’t completely fill the void left by Tate, but that’s where Riddick comes into play. Riddick is best suited to be that reliable receiver and middle-of-the-field weapon. The Steelers are weaker against running back than receivers, and they have also allowed 40 receptions and 301 yards to running backs already.
Wendell Smallwood, PHI – The good news is that Smallwood looked explosive and came out of Monday night healthy. The bad news is that LeGarrette Blount is still around… for now. While Blount won’t pull a disappearing act like in Week 2, he will cede work to Smallwood, who already was the answer in replacing Darren Sproles. No team has given up more receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns to running backs than the 49ers. Smallwood is a strong option for Week 8.
Bilal Powell, NYJ – Let’s get one thing straight; I don’t want to start any Jets running back, and you’d likely have to force me to use one.
In fact, I said all of them were droppable in the waiver piece, as it’s a committee mess and ineffective most weeks. Fortunately, if you’re desperate, the Falcons are a great matchup, especially when it comes to pass-catching running backs. This is a boom/bust play, as Powell could take a reception for 40-plus yards or end up with seven touches and 20 yards.
Week 8 WR Sleepers
Kenny Golladay, DET – Grab your hardhat because we’re digging deep at receiver. There are six teams on a bye, making owners a bit needier than normal. As mentioned with Tate out for the Lions, everyone needs to step up. Followers/readers of mine know that I railed against the hype with Golladay. People wanted to push him into the WR3 conversation off one preseason game and then again after Week 1. The following game each time saw Golladay finish with one reception. Well, the hype is more reasonable now with Golladay stepping into the No. 2 role. Yes, the Steelers secondary is dominant, but Golladay has shown the touchdown potential already, and that’s why he’s worth a gamble.
Jamison Crowder, WSH – Like Powell, Crowder has been droppable, but desperate times and all that. This is purely a matchup play and carries a ton of risk. The Cowboys are weak against the pass, but specifically, they struggle against slot receivers. Check out the chart of receivers lining up in the slot against the Cowboys (and yes, Jordy Nelson has actually been used there quite often this year).[table “2239” not found /]
Crowder is the Redskins slot receiver, which gives us a glimmer of hope… you might have to squint really hard to see it.
Deonte Thompson, BUF – You thought the first two were deep? Thompson came in off the street, being released by the Bears and immediately put up 107 yards, catching all four targets. Jordan Matthews is still learning to play with a messed up hand and Michael Jackson glove, and Thompson is at least a big play waiting to happen. We all know that the Raiders secondary is horrid, so why not take a flier on Thompson?
Week 8 TE Sleepers
Ryan Griffin, HOU – Tight end has been a minefield this year, and Week 8 is no different. While the Seahawks defense is strong yet again, they are still susceptible to tight ends. Griffin is getting the targets (23 in the last four games); he just needs to covert a few more for a big week. The Seahawks let Evan Engram have a nice game (6/60/1) last week and Tyler Higbee to put up 98 yards in Week 5. Before you turn that squint into a death stare at me for this, remember, it’s a deep week for sleepers.
Fantasy Football Week 8 Rankings | Week 8 Flex Rankings
Fantasy Football Week 8 Projections: QBs
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Main Image Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill