Week 8 Fantasy Football Matchups

Looking at every fantasy-relevant player of Week 8.

Washington Redskins @ Cincinnati Bengals (Game played on London)

Bengals -3; O/U 46.5

Redskins – Kirk Cousins played as well as expected against the awful Lions secondary. This week Captain Kirk takes his crew across the pond in the SS Enterprise to London against the Bengals. The Bengals made Kevin Hogan look somewhat decent after scrambling for a big time touchdown. With Matt Jones out, the emergence of Chris Thompson and his presence in the passing game is good for Washington. The Bengals secondary though, is no soft kitten. With Jordan Reed still working off his concussion, there are no receivers I feel strongly about playing. If Reed is out, Vernon Davis becomes a good play, while Jamison Crowder has been VERY consistent with 10+ point games in PPR.

Bengals – The Red Rifle heads over to Red Coat territory as Andy Dalton faces a tough Redskins secondary led by Josh Norman. Norman is battling a concussion and is making the trip, but is currently questionable. Washington also has a leaky run defense, meaning big days could be in line for Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard. Hill exploded last game before leaving with injury and this could be the game that gets him rolling for the remainder of the season. Norman shadowing AJ Green wouldn’t be good for his ceiling projection, but Green is still a beast who can outplay anybody. If Norman is out, Green has big potential. Brandon Lafell has started to emerge in the passing game, while the Bengals are looking to involve Tyler Eifert more in the offense.

Arizona Cardinals @ Carolina Panthers

Panthers -3; O/U 48

Cardinals – Carson Palmer really struggled to move the ball against Seattle on Sunday night’s snooze-fest. He has a chance to shred the Panthers defense, but didn’t capitalize when he played the Jets earlier this season. It’s tough to trust Palmer any week going forward now but he’s worth a flier. David Johnson is just crazy good. He’s the undisputed top running back in the league (Editor’s note: nah, Zeke) and is completely matchup proof. Squeaky clean. Larry Fitzgerald has been a great source of consistency as he’s still drawing tons of targets and receptions. Both Michael Floyd (hamstring) and John Brown (leg) are dealing with injuries, while Jaron Brown was placed on the IR. Even better news for Fitz.

Panthers – We all know how good Cam Newton is in fantasy. He should do fine against Arizona, but his ceiling is way lower than normal. The Cardinals secondary is very, very good as you all basically know. It’s also a weak matchup for Jonathan Stewart as Arizona has given up the second fewest points to fantasy quarterbacks. Same can be said for Kelvin Benjamin, who’s likely to take on elite corner Patrick Peterson. The only reliable option comes from Greg Olsen at the tight end spot. He’s an elite TE1 and is in the conversation for best fantasy tight player. I’ll leave that debate up to you all because I’m pretty set on mine. *cough* Gronk *cough*.

Detroit Lions @ Houston Texans

Texans -2.5; O/U 45

Lions – Matthew Stafford has really surprised folks this year and is playing at an MVP level. Unfortunately, he has to travel to Houston to face the Texans D. It’s a very less than ideal spot for Stafford and Lions receivers. Golden Tate has come out from the rock he had been living under to become fantasy relevant again. Unfortunately, that meant Marvin Jones started to lose value after he skyrocketed early on. Eric Ebron will also return from an ankle injury this week. The Lions are hoping to get Theo Riddick back this week, but if he can’t go again, it will be Justin Forsett and Zach Zenner once again. Detroit, your running backs. Woof.

Texans – Luckily for Houston, the Lions rank as the worst team in defending the pass. Unluckily for Houston, their QB is Brock Osweiler. Seriously, this dude is making north of 70 million?! He looks like such dogshit I’m convinced Johnny Manziel (Heil Manziel!) could do a better job. The Brocketship has turned out to be more like The Challenger (RIP) than the next great space mission. Brockstar has murdered DeAndre Hopkins’ massive fantasy potential and has made owners like myself turn heel on him. Houston does have Lamar Miller to lean on and feed carries to, however Miller has been banged up with a shoulder injury. That’s why Alfred Blue was starting to get carries last game. Both struggled against Denver, but then again, who doesn’t? One sneaky play I really like is CJ Fiedorowicz at tight end. When he’s not shucking corn up in Iowa, he’s drawing more and more looks from Brocketscience while becoming a viable fantasy option. We all know Detroit sucks against tight ends, so here’s a solid fill in play if you need it.

Seattle Seahawks @ New Orleans Saints

Seahawks -2.5; O/U 48

Seahawks – Winner winner chicken dinner! The Seahawks have drawn a matchup with the Saints IN THE DOME. There will be plenty of offense here despite Russell Wilson completely choking the past couple weeks. Speaking of choking and chickens, Russ is gonna be a dad! Congrats on the sex buddy! Maybe you can focus a little less on performing in the bedroom and a little more on the field. Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham are eagerly awaiting fantasy relevance again. This game should be extra motivational for Graham as he returns back to New Orleans — the team that drafted and traded him away for practically nothing. Preseason favorite Christine Michael should be licking his chops at the thought of running on the Saints defense. They have given up the most points to fantasy RBs. With Thomas Rawls still on the sidelines, CMike is ready for another big day.

Saints – If Drew Brees and the Saints have proven anything, it’s that they are unstoppable at home. Even with Seattle coming into town, there’s no fear for Brees owners. Brees’ success means great things for his receiving core, it’s just a matter of who will get the love this week. The big surprise of the New Orleans offense is that Michael Thomas (#shhh) has arguable been the best fantasy receiver for the Saints. With Brandin Cooks drawing the most attention from defenses, Thomas has been seeing tons of targets from Brees. He’s been the most consistent WR. Have confidence playing all Saints offensive players despite the rough matchup. Brees is just that good at home. The high over/under line suggests plenty of points to go around.

Oakland Raiders @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs -1.5; O/U 50

Raiders – Despite leading the division at 5-2, Derek Carr has had a rough last two games. A matchup at Tampa isn’t anything to write home about, but he’s got a good chance to bust out of his funk. Amari Cooper has been one of the most frustrating receivers to own this year. He has such a high ceiling, but hasn’t consistently hit it big. He followed up two straight weeks of big games with a dud against Jacksonville. You read that right, Jacksonville. Instead, it’s Michael Crabtree that’s been the most dependable Raiders receiver. Him and Carr have the connection, especially in the red zone. Latavius Murray returned from injury last week and had a solid game. With Murray back, all other Raiders backs are worthless. The Bucs are a good defense to run on for Murray — who could be back in the AAARRRRR-B 2 discussion.

Buccaneers – Hopefully Famous Jameis hit up his local Publix for some crab legs because he’s gonna be eating like a king on Sunday. After a very good showing against the 49ers, Jameis Winston gets the lowly Raiders defense who rank 27th in pass defense. As long as he has stud receiver Mike Evans on the outside, Winston should have no problem moving the ball through the air. Evans should be in line for another big game. Jacquizz Rodgers has been playing at a very high level in Doug Martin’s absence. He’s been featured in the offense and gotten 25+ carries in each game. He is still good to use in lineups with Martin on the shelf. We’re all waiting for Cameron Brate to break out in the wake of Vincent Jackson‘s injury, but our patience is running thin.

New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills

Patriots -6.5; O/U 47

Patriots – We all joked about how beating the Patriots in Week 4 was Rex Ryan’s Super Bowl. No joke here, this week is his actual Super Bowl. Give him the chance to beat Brady and sweep New England, and Rex is stiffing up like The Wolf talking about Jack Doyle. I expect the Bills to bring a lot of pressure on Brady to try and disrupt his rhythm. I would never predict for the greatest QB of all time Tom Brady to have a down game, but if I would not be shocked if he struggled Sunday. Rex will probably want to take Rob Gronkowski out of the game, forcing the other Patriot weapons to step up. This means either Julian Edelman, or Martellus Bennett could be looked at for Tom’s go to guy on Sunday. Buffalo has struggled with the run slightly, so LeGarrette Blount can be used if need be. Pats RB’s are sketch though, so beware. Chris Hogan is a good bet to be used in some revenge factor against his old team. I could see Bill drawing up a few plays to make sure he gets in the end zone.

Bills – Continuing on the Rex Ryan theme, how goddamn moronic was he to dress and use LeSean McCoy last week. He was ruled out for about 1-3 weeks in the middle of last week, and then at the end was deemed ready to go for a full workload. Sure enough, McCoy owners immediately reinserted him into their lineup hoping for a big day against Miami, only to have Shady re-injure his hammy after totaling 1 point. Fuck you, Rex. Now going against New England, his eyes will turn red and Shady will be thrown out there again only to have limited action. Don’t make the same mistake as last week. DONT PLAY MCCOY. That means Mike Gillislee will be the running back for Buffalo, who I’m more down on this week compared to last year when I thought he would be a point machine sans-McCoy. So now with little running game, look for Tyrod Taylor to have an impactful day. His scrambling ability and accuracy allowed him to have a solid game back in Week 4. As for receivers, Robert Woods is looking to get back to practice this week, and would be the #1 guy if healthy. Marquise Goodwin looks like he’ll be out with a concussion, meaning Justin Hunter could see some work in the passing game. These guys make for decent stream options if healthy, but that’s about it. Low ceilings, low floors.

New York Jets @ Cleveland Browns

Jets -3; O/U 43.5

Jets – The Jets have been such an abortion this year rotating at QB between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith. It has hurt the stock Brandon Marshall this year compared to his stellar performance in 2015. With a contest against the Browns though, there’s a glimmer of hope that Fitzpatrick is able to work the ball to Marshall facing a beatable secondary. Quincy Enunwa has not taken the leap we all expected, meaning you should have no issue leaving him out of your lineup. The big play I like here is Matt Forte. Forte has had a couple of 30 carry games where he’s exploded for over 30 fantasy points. Facing the Brows, Forte has the chance to run wild and really dictate the game with the offense struggling to throw the ball.

Browns – If the Jets have been an abortion, then the Browns have been a mass genocide. Josh McCown was named the starter, which will be a welcomed sight to the rest of the offense. Gary Barnidge always plays well with McCown under center, so he should get back to his old ways. Terrelle Pryor would also get a boost in an already plus matchup against the Jets corners. We know the Jets have a good run defense, so playing Isaiah Crowell is a stretch this week. If the Browns are able to get anything done on offense, it’s this week against the Jets.

Kansas City Chiefs @ Indianapolis Colts

Chiefs -2.5; O/U 50

Chiefs – The big news for the Chiefs here is the emergence of Spencer Ware with the presence of Jamaal Charles. Charles was ruled healthy and available, but Ware was the guy that came in and did all the damage. Now facing the Colts defense, Ware finds himself in an ultra juicy matchup for running backs. The other weapons on the Chiefs offense have done little to nothing fantasy wise, making them very difficult to use. Alex Smith should be a bye-week waiver fill in QB only, and I just don’t trust Jeremy Maclin to be a steady fantasy receiver. We all know how much The Wolf loves Travis Kelce, and if there’s ever a spot you may want to use him, it could be this week. Sure enough though, the only Chief I really trust is Ware.

Colts – This is a great spot for Indianapolis fantasy options all starting with Andrew Luck. Luck performs great at home, and should have no problem putting up a big game against the Chiefs. For that reason, I LOVE LOVE LOVE TY Hilton in this spot, he’s my DFS WR pick of the week. There’s endless opportunity here for Hilton to do some work. News has come out that Donte Moncrief is returning this Sunday from injury. He would be a sneaky good play if you still have him on your roster. If for some reason he’s still available go pick him up NOW. Seriously, open a new tab right now and go add him. Jack Doyle has been tearing it up lately, not just on the field but also in the bedroom with smokes. The Beanstalk has been a great red zone weapon for Luck and has thrived in his role as the sole tight end. Frank Gore has been consistently good this season. He’s got the weird combination of low ceiling but high floor. You know he’s good to be in the 10-15 range every week.

San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos

Broncos -5.5; O/U 43.5

Chargers – Poor San Diego, they’ve run into the buzz saw that is the Broncos defense. It makes Philip Rivers an extremely tough play this week, with his receivers likely to be swallowed up in coverage. The last time these teams played, the only viable fantasy options were Melvin Gordon and Hunter Henry. Gordon gets his immense workload use and has shown the ability to run on Denver. The Broncos are much better defending the pass than the run so feel good rolling out Gordon. Henry is coming off a concussion against Atlanta, but had 6 catches for 83 yards and a score. That’s pretty damn good. You can bench Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin against that secondary.

Broncos – The big news in this game is the injury to CJ Anderson that will sideline him for a couple weeks. This makes Devontae Booker an elite play, after I successfully predicted Booker to see an upswing in his performance. He should be a three-down guy against a bad Chargers run defense. Trevor Siemian had just come back from injury in the last matchup on Thursday night, but now more healthy than before it gives better value to his receivers. We know the Chargers secondary is pretty depleted by injuries, so both Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are good plays. There’s a lot to like in Denver this week.

Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons

Falcons -3; O/U 52

Packers – The highest over/under total game pits two big time QBs against one another. Aaron Rodgers came out last Thursday and basically told everyone to shut the hell up in the second half as he shredded the Bears defense. The Packers have no running game and often used Ty Montgomery out of the backfield. Nevertheless, Rodgers ended up throwing 56 times which was great for every receiver not named Jordy Nelson. Once again, I like every receiver other an Nelson, who will see Desmond Trufant in coverage. Randall Cobb, Ty Montgomery, and Devante Adams are GREAT plays that I love this week.

Falcons – JULIOOOOOOOOOOO. Does anyone remember what Julio Jones did to the Packers back in 2014? 11 catches on 17 targets for 259 yards and a touchdown. *shivers*. Julio is in an ultimate green light spot and the light is so bright it resembles those obnoxious neon colors you see all over high school athletics now. The Packers secondary stinks and giving Matt Ryan that opportunity at home is just too good. Those two should put up absurd numbers this week, especially with the Packers being very good against the run. Tevin Coleman is expected to be out this week, so owners of Devonta Freeman are likely chomping at the bit for a full workload. Keep your expectations in check though, Freeman had been limited in practice earlier this week, and this Packers run defense is no joke.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys -4; O/U 43

Eagles – Tough spot here for Philly, the Cowboys have a very underrated defense especially against primary outside receivers. Bad news for Jordan Matthews as it could be a long day for him. This is a huge game for both teams as they fight for first in the division on national television. I could see rookie Carson Wentz get swallowed up by the pressure and really struggle to get things going. The running back situation for the Eagles is a straight up mess. Ryan Mathews is seeing 12-15 touches maximum in that offense while sharing the load with Darren Sproles and others. I don’t like a lot from the Eagles in fantasy purposes other than their defense who somehow seems to score a defensive/special teams touchdown every week. Zach Ertz also sucks. S/o to The Truth.

Cowboys – All Dallas fantasy relevance runs through the beast that is Ezekiel Elliott. You know he’s getting 20+ carries and will probably rush for 100+ and a score despite the Eagles saying they want to take him out of the game. Much easier said than done. Philly also brings a solid defense to the table that shut down the Vikings in the prior week. The return of Dez Bryant should help out Dak Prescott immensely giving him a big time receiver to throw to. Cole Beasley has been putting up double digit PPR performances left and right this year and has built great chemistry with Dak. He can be a real threat from the slot.

Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears

Vikings -5; O/U 41

Vikings – The Vikings aren’t very polished on the offensive end, making it difficult to trust any of their fantasy players. The Bears however are very terrible in defending the pass as we saw Aaron Rodgers promptly eviscerate the defense. It could be a nice bounce back game for Stefon Diggs who once again has cooled off after a very hot start to his season. The sneaky good play for receivers is once big-time hype man Cordarrelle Patterson. I unfortunately once made that grave mistake of spending a fourth/fifth (I cant remember which) on Patterson that year he was supposed to blow up. Guy did nothing and I’ve hated him ever since (almost as much as Steve Slaton). Don’t look now but he’s gotten 6-6-7 for targets in his last three games while pulling in a touchdown in two straight. Use him at your own risk. Kyle Rudolph has also been slowing down, and Chicago has been relatively good at holding tight ends in check. The same can be said for running backs making Jerick McKinnon someone to take caution in using, especially due to his injury. It doesn’t help having the vulture that is Matt Asiata lurking around in the shadows. Go away Matt, you aren’t welcome here.

Bears – So it looks like Jay Cutler will get his job back after Hoyer broke his left arm last game. Cutler should not be started in any circumstance against the Vikings, but his presence should give Alshon Jeffery owners some life. Jeffery has historically been much better with Cutler playing. The running back trio of Jordan Howard, KaDeem Carey and Jeremy Langford is such a mess, you should avoid it completely. Goddamnit John Fox, can’t you do anything right? There’s really no good plays to be had here, except for maybe Zach Miller. He’s at least serviceable.


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