Updated Week 8 Rankings, FLEX Ranks, Sleepers, DraftKings Picks, FanDuel Plays
Updated Week 8 Rankings for the Lions and Chiefs game (9:00 AM). Another update for the rest of the games coming between 11:00 AM - Noon.
Sometimes things don't work out like you thought they would. That balance of expectation and reality can affect your Fantasy success. As with last week and the "trust issue," knowing when to accept the way things are and not the way you want them to be is an important aspect of Fantasy Football.
A perfect example of things not working out as expected came during my move this past week. By the way, that's why I was semi-M.I.A. Friday and Saturday… thanks to all who noticed/cared, and if you didn't, it's okay; I still love you guys.
While packing – which happens to be one of the circles of Hell, I'm convinced – I found a book that a friend gave to me five years ago. It held meaning then and actually helped put things into perspective about expecting things and dealing with the let down. The book? It's called, "I Thought for Sure I'd be Married by Now."
Well, it's five years later, I'm thirty shmermishmanahum and still not married, even though I expected to be married by 30 and certainly five years after reading said book. Life isn't always what you expect, but I'm still happy, have a job I love, a nice home, friends, family, etc. – enough blessings to be happy in life.
Things just didn't go as expected, but I've adapted. So should you.
Peyton Manning's arm is toast. He's not even startable right now, and if I own Andy Dalton and need bye week help, I'd likely drop Manning. If anyone suggested such a thing in the preseason, he would have been banned from the Fantasy community. Ronnie Hillman is outplaying C.J. Anderson, Andre Ellington can barely sniff the field with Chris Johnson rejuvenated, Brandin Cooks isn't even a WR2 and the list goes on. Heck, Christine Michael's wing in the Hall of Fame is being repurposed into storing the piles of balls Jordan Matthews has dropped.
Every year we witness surprises in Fantasy Football, but the ones who accept the changes and adapt quicker are the ones who win. Why are owners still holding on to Michael with Theo Riddick (owned in 31 percent of ESPN leagues) sitting at RB17 in PPR leagues with at least 7.8 points in every game? How much longer can Devante Parker put up zeroes before his ownership equals that production… or at least drops into the single digits? When will people stop blindly starting Sam Bradford?
We always see outcomes that surprise us...
Instead of fighting the truth, it's time to adapt.
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein
Todd Gurley Trade Line
Odell Beckham Jr.
Three more players bite the dust from the Todd Gurley Trade Line. We're down to the Gurley 6. Yes, there are only six players I'd trade Gurley for, and Antonio Brown is on notice. The injury to Arian Foster knocked him out, but Odell Beckham and Adrian Peterson just aren't putting up the numbers to warrant a higher ranking. Yes, the amazing ADP is now below Gurley for the rest of the season.
As a reminder, these waiver wire players and sleepers are good for DFS too. If you want a free ticket into the Millionaire Maker and haven't signed up yet, just use these links for DraftKings or FanDuel and enjoy!
Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups: QBs
Jay Cutler, CHI – A reminder from last week. Those needing a bye week fill-in could do worse than Cutler. Over his last three games, Cutler has 886 yards, five touchdowns and averaged 18.7 points. You may hate him or hate that he just doesn't care, but he is good at putting up points.
Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups: RBs
Darren McFadden, DAL – Even if Joseph Randle is playing next week, DMC earned his share of more touches after a great performance against a strong Giants rush defense. In fact, I would rather start McFadden over Randle if both are active with how he's looked this year (averaging 4.3 YPC, highest since 2011).
Alfred Blue and Chris Polk, HOU – I'd rather stay away, but if you have an empty spot or are RB needy, you have to take a chance. You can go for Blue first, since he'll likely get the first crack again, but I'd rather spend less to get Polk. Either way, the entire backfield will be a roller coaster (don't forget about Jonathan Grimes too).
Antonio Andrews, TEN – I still think David Cobb returns and takes the lead job, but until then, it's Andrews providing the best some value.
Orleans Darkwa, NYG – If three running backs sharing touches will frustrate us, what do you think a four-headed RBBC will do? Nevertheless, Darkwa is worth a deep flier in case he continues to be the best performer of the quartet.
Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups: WRs
Michael Crabtree, OAK – As with Allen Hurns a few weeks ago, this is your last warning. Crabtree needs to be owned in all leagues… or do you not think a WR3 is worth your time?
Stefon Diggs, MIN – Remember when we talked about Charles Johnson just not being that good and Diggs being the most talented receiver in Minnesota? Well, hope you listened or you still have a chance to listen now.
Brandon LaFell, NE – If you drop every pass and Bill Belichick doesn't permanently bench you, are you the best Patriots receiver ever? Okay, not even close, but LaFell should not be on any waivers.
Nate Washington, HOU – No Arian Foster. Texans are down a lot and in garbage time. Washington is a decent big-play receiver. It all adds up to a decent bench/bye week option.
Ted Ginn, CAR – Ignore the pre-2015 Ted Ginn. Just wipe the name away and look at the numbers. One bad game and the leading receiver for his team. Ginn is currently a WR3… yes, a Top 35 receiver. I know, I know.
Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups: TEs
Eric Ebron, DET – Even with a missed game, Ebron is a TE1 on the year, which also shows how week the position is this year. Ebron also has three double-digit games, and the Lions finally gave the most uninventive OC ever, Joe Lombardi, the boot. Jim Bob Cooter – yes, that's his real name – takes over and has to help this offense.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB – Another reminder from last week. ASJ is likely to return this week and destroyed the Titans in Week 1.
Week 8 team byes: Bills, Eagles, Jaguars, Redskins
Week 8 Sleepers: QB
Matthew Stafford, DET – Let's hope Stafford does as well as last week's Ryan Tannehill pick! As mentioned, Lombardi is gone (adapting/stopping the insanity). Maybe Jim Bob will let Stafford go downfield to Calvin Johnson more often than the first quarter and last five minutes. Well, that and the fact that the Chiefs can't stop any team's passing game with nearly 2,000 yards and 15 TDs allowed already.
Week 8 Sleepers: RB
Charles Sims, TB – Doug Martin is overshadowing the fact that Sims has actually been valuable as a deeper play/fill-in. He's a RB3 on the season with already having a bye week, and he's nearly a RB2 in PPR formats. Sims is averaging 11.2 FPPG in PPR, had at least two catches in every game and the Falcons have given up 64 receptions and 514 yards to running backs already. By far the worst team against pass-catching backs.
Antonio Andrews, TEN – Sure, last week was a snoozer, but Andrews had 10 carries with no other running back get any except for Dexter McCluster and his five. Lamar Miller is much more talented than Andrews, but he needed just 14 carries to shred the Texans defense for 175 yards and a score.
Week 8 Sleepers: WR
Stevie Johnson, SD – Johnson returned to put up 50 yards on four catches last week, and the Chargers will need him to step up again this week, as it sounds as if Antonio Gates could be out a few weeks. Even if Gates plays, Stevie had eight targets, as Philip Rivers continues to rake. In addition, only the Chiefs allow more points to receivers than the Ravens.
Tavon Austin, STL – As with Ginn, just push the rage down and pretend all those years of disappointment didn't happen.
Austin is a WR3 and averaging 12.5 FPPG. As you know, he's involved in gadget plays, putting up 120 rushing yards and a touchdown so far. He also leads the team in targets and receptions, so while he's as risky as always, Todd Gurley will be the defense's main focus and the 49ers already struggle to stop receivers.
Nate Washington, TEN – Back to Nasty Nate, as you can plug him right in your lineup. The Titans have actually been quite good against team's No. 1 options but they are the worst in the league at stopping the No. 2 receiver. The Titans corners are just awful, which means DeAndre Hopkins (matchups don't matter with him) and Washington will have a nice game.
Week 8 Sleepers: TE
Larry Donnell, NYG – Donnell has been rather quiet this year, but he's scored twice, providing two usable Fantasy days. It's simply picking your spots with Donnell, and both scores were against forgiving pass defenses (ATL and SF). Tight ends average over 11 FPPG with 543 yards and four TDs put up against the Saints so far.
Week 8 Blind Spot Players
In case you're new to this, the Fantasy Blind Spot refers to players that 1) have been performing well but haven't had a breakout game or big enough numbers to get Fantasy players talking, and/or 2) are in a price range of other more popular option, and/or 3) have frustrated with disappointing performances but have a great matchup to finally break through. These are the players you want to target in tournaments, such as Millionaire Makers. You want a contrarian lineup, and there are few better ways to build one than by grabbing some Fantasy Blind Spot players.
DraftKings Week 8 Lineup Sleepers: QB
Drew Brees, NO ($6,700) – Nestled below the big boys and even Cam Newton and Matt Ryan, we find good ol' Drew Brees. He's far from the Brees we knew, but the Giants secondary is extremely weak against the pass. But Jake… they only allow 15.33 FPPG to quarterbacks. Ah, but it's because of the interceptions. Of course, you don't want your quarterback throwing 2-3 picks, but Brees is a smart cookie, and the Giants have given up 2,078 passing yards and 10 touchdowns so far. I'd be surprised if Brees doesn't have 300-plus and multiple scores this week. He's also a huge blind spot contrarian play, as Philip Rivers, Russel Wilson and Andy Dalton are cheaper.
DraftKings Week 8 Lineup Sleepers: RB
Justin Forsett, BAL ($6,100) – Can you call a RB1 a sleeper? Well, I guess so if DraftKings is going to price him this low! In case you haven't noticed, the Chargers just can't stop the run, having allowed at least 100 yards or a touchdown in every game so far. They've given up 20-plus points in five games with Latavius Murray going for 85 on only 15 carries last week. Imagine what Forsett can do with a likely 20 touches coming.
Dexter McCluster, TEN ($3,400) – The Texans defense blows. I don't know what happened; I'm not sure anyone does. So why is this pick not Antonio Andrews? Well, the Texans defense rates dead last against pass-catching running backs (Football Outsiders) and McCluster was actually on the field for 72 percent of the snaps last week, as opposed to 31 for Andrews. Now watch Ken Whisenhunt screw with all of us and give Dex five snaps.
DraftKings Week 8 Lineup Sleepers: WR
Keenan Allen, SD ($7,700) – Rightfully priced among some of the best, Allen has shown us the potential he brings to help win you a ton of money with three weeks of 30-plus points, including 40.3 in Week 3. The Ravens have allowed at least 10 receiver catches in every game, good for the third most of any team with 1,498 yards and 11 TDs given up as well. Rivers and Allen might be a semi-popular pairing this week, but it's easy to see why.
DraftKings Week 8 Lineup Sleepers: TE
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB ($2,800) – Look at that price! In case you don't remember, ASJ had 31.0 DK points in Week 1, and in case you haven't heard, Vincent Jackson is out for a few weeks. The Falcons let Ben Watson go bananas two weeks ago and gave up 10 catches and 76 yards to Delanie Walker and Anthony Fasano last week.
FanDuel Week 8 Lineup Sleepers: QB
Eli Manning, NYG ($7,300) – He's actually a decent blind spot player on DraftKings too, but on FanDuel, he's near the tail end of usable quarterbacks where players usually don't look. They either go value of a hot pick (Carson Palmer, even Brees) or dig deep. The Saints are even worse than the Giants on defense, and Manning's back-to-back quiet weeks – plus Odell Beckham's hammy concerns – will have people looking elsewhere. This is the same quarterback who had four straight games of two-plus touchdowns and 19-plus FD points.
FanDuel Week 8 Lineup Sleepers: RB
Doug Martin, TB ($7,500) – This could swing either way, so I'll be checking the ownership percentages after TNF. I currently expect a modest ownership with more people trending to Todd Gurley at just $600 more, Forsett at $600 less, who I mentioned above or cheaper value picks. With no VJax, the Bucs should run more and no team has given up more rushing touchdowns than the Falcons (10), which are key on FanDuel.
FanDuel Week 8 Lineup Sleepers: WR
Kendall Wright, TEN ($5,900) – McCluster is a good play on FanDuel too, but if you want the receiver play in Tennessee, it's Wright. He's down in the Stevie Johnson, Willie Snead, Torrey Smith range, which is the flier grouping, but he has a terrific ceiling. The Texans can't stop the pass either, Wright doubled any other Titans receiver in targets last week and Zach Mettenberger found Wright for seven catches, 132 yards and score last year against the Texans.
FanDuel Week 8 Lineup Sleepers: TE
Ben Watson, NO ($5,400) – You've seen the potential Watson has when he lit up the Falcons two weeks ago. Well, there are six teams worse than the Falcons at stopping tight ends, and the Giants are one of them. Even with Matt Cassel at quarterback, the Giants let Jason Witten lead the Cowboys in receiving with 73 yards on six catches. They also let Witten score twice in their first matchup and Charles Clay go for 111 on nine catches. Watson has plenty of potential this week.
Week 8 Rankings | Week 8 Flex Rankings
Photo Credit: MGoBlog
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