Targets and Touches: Week Eight is Not Jets Isaiah Crowell’s Week
Your Targets and Touches Report for Week Eight
We will see at least one trade before next week’s deadline that will have a major impact among Fantasy leagues; I’m not counting Amari Cooper to the Cowboys. A move could heavily impact a player’s Fantasy fortunes; whether good or bad remains to be seen.
If you like to touch, then I love to target.
Music by Mostert
I wouldn’t put much trust in 49ers running back Matt Breida (ankle) going against the Cardinals on Sunday, as he did miss practice on Wednesday and struggled through five carries in last week’s loss to the Rams. Enter Raheem Mostert, who has rushed for 146 yards on 19 totes in the last two games (that’s 7.6 yards per carry, kids). Mostert also caught four passes last week and gets a solid matchup against a Cardinals defense that has allowed the most Fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. On average, Arizona is giving up 187 yards per game from scrimmage to backs, and I’d venture Mostert would get at least 15 touches if he gets the start. To me, he’s a mid-tiered RB2 with a high upside. Grab him if he’s available in your league and if you can still make waiver wire moves.
Thou Shalt Run with Isaiah (Just Not This Week)
Major thoughts and prayers to Jets running back Bilal Powell, whose neck injury could end a career that was finally gaining some traction. Powell averaged 13 touches per game, which means Isaiah Crowell will see an uptick in touches beginning with Sunday’s game at the Bears. However, this might not be the week to discover if the extra touches will make Crowell a stronger RB2 than he has been this season. Chicago is fifth in fewest Fantasy points allowed per game to opposing running backs and Crowell has been anything but effective as of late, managing only 69 yards on 24 carries in the two games since he carved the Broncos for 219 yards and a score. He’s not attractive in PPR formats, and while I think he’ll thrive with a bigger workload, his owners are best off leaving on the bench this week.
Bengal With Bite
Yes, C.J. Uzomah caught just two passes on Sunday night, but one was a touchdown, saving my bacon and those who followed along with my suggestion to start him. Guess what? We had so much fun doing that, so we thought we’d try it again. Uzomah should be good for more than two targets on Sunday. After all, he is facing a Buccaneers defense that allows a league-high 89.7 yards per game to opposing tight ends, and his 89.4 percent catch rate screams throw him the damn ball more often, Andy Dalton. Live on the edge with me at least one more week and run with Uzomah, especially in deeper leagues. There’s strong appeal in DFS formats, as well.
A New High for Martavis (No, Not THAT Kind of High...)
With a host of targets available in the Raiders passing game, Martavis Bryant might have some Fantasy value in Sunday’s game against the Colts. Bryant has just 22 targets this season but should eclipse his season high of seven targets as he’ll go against a Colts defense that is 22nd in passing yards allowed. Let the record reflect that I don’t see Bryant as more than a WR3/Flex option, but in an Oakland offense that’s without Marshawn Lynch and little to lose, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bryant finally show why the Raiders acquired him.
Saintly Acts of Silent Production
Rookie receiver Tre’Quan Smith wasn’t as prolific last week as he was in his breakout effort against the Redskins, but he should still be worth some WR3 love on Monday against a Vikings pass defense that is giving up 280 yards per game. In fact, that might be downplaying Smith a bit when you consider Minnesota allows 13.2 yards per catch, a total exceeded only by the Raiders (14.4). This will be a game where Drew Brees and Kirk Cousins trade shots all night; if so, expect Smith to be on the receiving end of some long-range body blows on the Minnesota D.
Yes, No, Maybe (Subtitled: At Least I’ll Get My Sleep Back)
Yes: Colts running back Marlon Mack has amassed 252 yards from scrimmage the past two weeks, and the budding PPR threat gets a yummy matchup against the Raiders and their 22nd-ranked run defense. Oakland has allowed five runs of better than 20 yards this season, part of the reason why they’re allowing a robust 4.7 yards per carry. Mack has some ankle worries but should still be a go on Sunday.
No: Aside from his huge outing against the Packers, Marquise Goodwin has been below average in each of the four other games he has played this season. The Cardinals allow a modest 233.9 Passing Yards Per Game and will likely have Patrick Peterson shadowing him much of the afternoon.
Maybe: If Blake Bortles doesn’t require a GPS for targeting purposes, then Jaguars wideout Donte Moncrief has a good chance to puncture an Eagles secondary that is 28th in yards allowed to opposing wide receivers. I like the upside here, but the phrase “trust in Blake Bortles” is one that will have Fantasy owners either praising me or cursing the moment I typed it.
Come On, Come On, Come On, Come On Now Touch (and Target) Me, Baby
Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos: The rookie is averaging better than 21 yards per catch the last two games. Now he gets a Chiefs defense that is dead last in passing yards allowed per game (332.7) and could put up a massive afternoon if Case Keenum can give him more targets.
David Njoku, TE, Browns: It’s about time to start calling him what he is: a TE1. Njoku has touchdowns in each of his last two games and draws a matchup against a Steelers defense that is 30th in Fantasy points allowed per game to opposing TEs. Pittsburgh gives up an average of 10.5 targets per game to tight ends, the only team in the league to give up double digits.
Marcus Murphy, RB, Bills: If LeSean McCoy can’t play, the unheralded Murphy and his 5.9 yards per carry will see considerable work against the Patriots and their 24th-ranked run defense. He’s got sleeper potential in PPR formats, as it is likely the Bills will be playing from behind much of the night.
John Brown, WR, Ravens: Only six teams have allowed more completions of better than 20 yards than the Panthers. That should make Fantasy owners of Brown smile, as he has recorded eight catches of 20-plus yards. Trust that Joe Flacco will take more than a few shots downfield to B-More’s home run hitter.
O.J. Howard, TE, Buccaneers: Cincinnati is 29th in Fantasy points allowed per game to opposing tight ends, making Howard a potential monster play. He’s averaging a healthy 17.5 yards per catch and has put up better than 62 receiving yards in each of his last four games. He will have a say in what should be a high-scoring affair.
Chris Carson, RB, Seahawks: Carson has rushed for 277 yards in his last three games and is in good position to record his third 100-yard game in the last four weeks, this one at the expense of a Lions run defense that has given 100-yard outings to three different backs this season. He’s averaging nearly 22 carries per game over the past three games, so count on him continuing to get a heavy workload.
Geronimo Allison, WR, Packers: Don’t be deterred because it’s the Rams; this is the same LA secondary that has given up 10 passing touchdowns, and Aaron Rodgers isn’t C.J. Beathard. Allison had 11 targets in his last game and his size will make him a factor in the red zone.
Gimme A Sleeper!
Vikings receiver Laquon Treadwell is the forgotten man in the Minnesota passing game but gets to face a Saints pass defense that is the worst in Fantasy football when it comes to stopping opposing receivers. Treadwell will spend much of Monday night in single coverage and has a great chance to put up impressive numbers.
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