Matt Moore QB, MIA
The Dolphins finally turned to Matt Moore, this time out of necessity with Jay Cutler going down. Cutler suffered multiple broken ribs and is expected to be out at least two weeks. After Cutler went down, Moore played lights out, leading the Dolphins back from a two-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter. Now that he gets his chance to start for a couple of weeks, it’s possible that Moore puts a stranglehold on the starting job, especially with how poor Cutler has looked this season. This week is a tough spot for him against the Ravens but if he gets an extended opportunity, he should put up numbers close to his surprisingly solid effort of last year, when he got to start after Ryan Tannehill went down. He’s an interesting option in deeper leagues.
DeAndre Washington RB, OAK
Oakland will be without Marshawn Lynch this week, who is suspended for the altercation he had with an official last Thursday night. Washington played fewer snaps than Jalen Richard, but he looks like the preferred option out of the Oakland backfield this week, as he got the goal line opportunities and should take much of the early-down touches. With plenty of key backs banged up or on bye, Washington could be a nice one-week fill in. With Oakland struggling on the ground, a big game by Washington could also earn him an increased workload, especially since Oakland wants to take it easy on Lynch’s body early in the season. So, there is some longer-term upside as well. He’s worth a look in most formats.
Theo Riddick RB, DET
Riddick has been a massive disappointment this year from a Fantasy perspective, as his role has been heavily diminished in the Lions’ offense. This week, however, could be a bit different. The Lions don’t expect to have Golden Tate back, as his arm was still in a sling as of Saturday due to his injured shoulder. Tate is a High Injury Risk according to Inside Injuries, and it seems likely that he’ll be out for a couple more weeks at least.
Without Tate, there will be plenty of extra targets to go around in the Detroit offense. With the receiver options largely underwhelming, look for Matthew Stafford to dink and dunk the ball more to Riddick. The Lions are a good bet to fall behind the Steelers early, and the Pittsburgh defense is stout up front, all things that should lead to more opportunities for Riddick out of the backfield. He’s worth a look for Week 8, especially in PPR.
Josh Doctson WR, WAS
Doctson didn’t put up a huge stat line Monday night (5 targets, 3 catches for 39 yards), but he played a career-high 54 snaps (out of 64) and looks to have supplanted Terrelle Pryor as the top outside receiver in Washington. Pryor has struggled with his hands and overall consistency, and it looks like he could be on the outs with the Washington coaching staff.
On the other hand, it looks like Jay Gruden and his staff could finally be coming around on Doctson, who has struggled with nagging injuries since being drafted out of TCU in 2016. He has shown flashes this season, including a long touchdown in Week 3, and a red zone score in Week 6. This huge uptick in snaps and involvement now has him looking like a legitimate option moving forward, not just a deep stash. He should be the Redskins’ top red zone option on the outside, and that is an area where they certainly need help. Doctson is a high end add this week, based on his tremendous upside.
Jordan Matthews WR, BUF
Matthews returned quicker than expected from his thumb injury to play Week 7 against Tampa, missing just one game. He didn’t do much at all in that one, but it’s possible he could be in for a big breakout soon. He has a favorable schedule coming up, and he is the only established target Tyrod Taylor has left with Charles Clay sidelined. Rookie Zay Jones has struggled, and the Bills are thin at receiver otherwise. With Buffalo piecing things together on offense, look for Matthews to factor in more and more. The thumb injury is worth keeping an eye on (he remains an Elevated Injury Risk according to Inside Injuries), but if he can stay healthy, he should become a usable option in deeper PPR leagues.
Tyler Kroft TE, CIN
Kroft continues to excel in the red zone, just like his predecessor Tyler Eifert. Kroft has three touchdowns in his last three games, establishing himself as one of Andy Dalton’s favorite end zone targets. With Eifert down for the season, Kroft should be owned in most leagues. He’s certainly touchdown dependent, but so are most tight ends outside of that upper echelon. Kroft has caught at least four passes in each of his last three games, so he’s not completely touchdown or bust. He is a great plug-in option for those struggling at tight end or dealing with bye week troubles.
Jordan Reed WAS – SELL HIGH
Jordan Reed finally broke out on Monday night, catching eight passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns. It was by far his best game of the season, but how it played out raises question marks about whether or not this is a sign of what’s to come. Both touchdowns, and the vast majority of his targets, came with the Redskins trailing by two or more scores in the second half. In a normal game script, Reed hasn’t been as much of a part of the Redskins offense this year as he has in the past.
With Washington running the ball more, Reed’s snaps have been limited on early downs due to his injury issues and lack of blocking ability. If he is not going to be involved in all assets of the offense like he used to, his value still suffers. Also, Reed remains an injury question mark as always. He remains a High Injury Risk due to the chest and toe injuries he has been battling, and he is always a good bet to go down with a different ailment at any moment. Selling high on Reed after one good game looks like the smart move.
Derrick Henry TEN – BUY LOW
Henry backed up his big performance of Week 6 with a stinker in Week 7. For now, he remains a bang or bust entity on a week-to-week basis due to DeMarco Murray’s presence in Tennessee. However, Henry still has huge upside due to Murray’s continuous struggles with different injuries.
Murray has had a bulky hamstring all year and now has a bruised shoulder. According to Inside Injuries, Murray is a High Injury Risk due to these ailments. Murray struggled with injuries early in his career with Dallas, and it’s possible that he breaks down here after three straight years with a big workload. If Murray is sidelined for any decent stretch, Henry instantly becomes a hot commodity. Even if he doesn’t, it’s still possible that Henry takes the lead role from Murray over time if Murray continues to be hobbled. Henry’s value is through the floor this week after being on the ups last week. He’s still a lottery ticket, but if you can get him cheap, it’s a worthy roll of the dice.
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