In an effort to aid you in your lineup-setting endeavors, I’ll be providing a weekly glimpse into my rankings; meaning, I’ll be highlighting players I like or dislike more compared to the expert consensus rankings as listed on FantasyPros.com or who I simply like or dislike for that given week. My ranking at the time of the writing will be alongside the player’s name. Needless to say, that ranking will likely change as the week progresses.
Bear in mind that I start this writing earlier in the week, so Expert Consensus Rankings will likely be different by the time of publication. These cannot be held against me – only used for credit.
While I do acknowledge that kickers are people too, neither they nor D/STs will be included.
Finally, these cannot be held against me – only used to give credit when credit is due.
As always, feel free to reach me on Twitter for any queries before the slate and I’ll try to get back to you.
*Note that half PPR scoring applies.
Week 8 Likes
Teddy Bridgewater (Thursday night)
CAR vs. ATL – QB8
You bet your bottom dollar I’m including Theodore Bridgewater as a “like” for the second time in as many weeks. I can’t help myself. The schedule has been favorable and he continues to come through for fantasy owners.
Admittedly, the lack of touchdowns leaves something to be desired as he’s only thrown eight. Even so, the rule of thumb in fantasy football this year is to start your quarterback when they face the Atlanta Falcons. And with names like Kyler Murray, Deshaun Watson, and even Gardner Minshew on bye, Bridgewater possesses QB1 upside and should be at the top of the list for bye-week replacements and streamer starts.
TEN @ CIN – QB4
What a game that was between the Titans and Steelers last week. Tannehill and company clawed their way back but fell short 27-24 to their division rival for their first defeat of this season. Another divisional opponent waits in the Bengals, who don’t pose nearly as great a defensive threat as Pittsburgh. There is an obvious risk in that Derrick Henry could take over this game, but Tannehill possesses Top 5 QB potential in my opinion.
PHI vs. DAL – RB11
This is, of course, assuming that Miles Sanders remains sidelined with his knee injury. A late touchdown grab – and it was a heck of a grab – somewhat saved Boston Scott’s fantasy night last Thursday. Encouragingly, Scott received 15 touches while tallying 46 yards on the ground and via aerial fashion. The Eagles trust Scott as their primary running back as Corey Clement was hardly involved in the game plan.
The state of professional football in Dallas is one in shambles. It doesn’t hurt Scott and the Eagles that Everson Griffen was just traded. Even with Griffen, the Cowboys are one of two teams to surrender more than 1,000 rushing yards this season. I’m fine with deploying Scott as a half-PPR and PPR RB1.
KC vs. NYJ – RB21
It didn’t take long for Bell to get his revenge game; it is upon us. I’d like to see him be more involved in the passing game in his second game with the red and gold. Bell gained a respectable 39 yards on six carries but was not targeted. He and Clyde Edwards-Helaire weren’t needed much, however, in a blowout win in which they played just 17 and 27 snaps, respectively, per Lineups.com.
This might be a dose of déjà vu. As of now, the Chiefs are 19.5-point favorites. That is unheard of in the modern NFL and goes to show you just how good Kansas City is and how bad New York is. Nonetheless, I’m willing to start Bell as a flex in hopes that he puts it to Adam Gase and his former club.
PHI vs. DAL – WR16
Over his last three games, Fulgham has been targeted 13, 10 and 11 times, respectively. He has taken the league by storm while scoring three times in the four games in which he’s played. Importantly, he and Carson Wentz have expediently developed a rapport. With DeSean Jackson hurt again, Alshon Jeffery’s status still in limbo and Jalen Reagor still sidelined, Fulgham has to be A WR2 or at worst a weekly flex consideration with the volume he’s seeing.
These aren’t cookie-cutter defenses against which he’s excelling either as he found the end zone versus the 49ers, Steelers and Ravens. The kid is here to stay.
SF@ SEA – WR18
I would have gladly plugged in Aiyuk as a WR2 or flex even before Deebo Samuel’s strained hamstring. The running back group is hurting too as Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson – and maybe even Tevin Coleman – are out of commission.
George Kittle will always be the first option in the passing game, but Aiyuk paced San Francisco in catches and yards in their blowout win over the New England Patriots a week ago. Coincidentally, the Seahawks have surrendered 80 or more yards and/or at least one touchdown to the opposing No. 1 wide receiver in each game so far in 2020.
Considering Samuel’s ailment and the fact that the Seahawks are a red carpet for opposing wide receivers, I will gladly include Aiyuk among my WR2s. With the high expected total, he even has a low-key chance at reaching WR1 territory.
TEN @ CIN – TE5
Guys, I know. We expected much more from Smith in Week 7. Tennessee did have all of their wide receivers healthy and A.J. Brown stole the show later on. This matchup has bounce-back written all over it as the Bengals represent one of the worst tight end defenses in football. In fact, there’s sneaky shootout potential in this game. Look for Smith to return to TE1 status after a dismal one-catch effort.
GB vs. MIN – TE13
Again, more was expected from a tight end last week. Tonyan hauled in both of his targets for 32 yards while Davante Adams hogged nearly 50% of Green Bay’s targets. The Vikings could be the medicine Tonyan needs for a make-up outing. He, Adams, and Aaron Jones (if he returns) are really the only reliable pass-catchers with Marquez Valdes-Scantling dealing with a perpetual case of butterfingers. Tonyan’s counterpart in this match – Irv Smith Jr. – is also someone who intrigues me.
Week 8 Dislikes
CAR @ BUF – QB16
Yuck. Newton put together what was subjectively and objectively the worst quarterback performance of Week 7. So bad, in fact, that media were forced to ask head coach Bill Belichick if Newton will remain the starter – to which Belichick responded that Newton is “absolutely” still the starter.
I don’t like the way Newton matches up with this Bills defense. At least one turnover is inevitable. This isn’t the contest in which you want to bank on a Newton rebound on the road in the cold versus what is arguably the NFL’s stoutest defense.
DET vs. IND – QB17
Stafford had his fun in a big comeback road victory against the Atlanta Falcons. Now he essentially faces the polar opposite as far as pass defenses are concerned. As it stands, the Colts defense is the only one with more interceptions than touchdown passes allowed. indy will be well-rested coming off their bye. I’ll gladly start someone like Derek Carr over Stafford in Week 8.
BAL vs. PIT – Outside Top 50
I’ll be short and sweet here: I’m done with Mark Ingram. He’s averaging 37.5 rushing yards per game, he’s not used in the passing game and the matchup is horrendous. He may not even play; he’s battling an ankle sprain right now. Even if he’s active, he’ll be on my bench.
LAC @ DEN – RB30
The Kelley fever has almost completely tapered off. Over the last two weeks, he has turned 23 carries into 58 rushing yards. No thank you. As long as Justin Jackson is healthy we cannot trust Kelley. At best he’s a flex in deeper leagues.
DET @ IND – WR47
Just when we were done with Jones and started dropping him from our fantasy rosters he jumps back on to the fantasy radar to the tune of a season-high 80 yards on five catches. I don’t want to release him just yet after this performance, especially if he’ll primarily be covered by Xavier Rhodes this week. Nonetheless, we must always temper our expectations with Jones. By now we know very well that he is capable of letting us down any given Thursday, Sunday or Monday.
DAL @ PHI – WR41
I don’t know if it’s even worth it to include Gallup as a dislike. We have no choice but to keep him on our benches; yes – even if third-string quarterback Ben DiNucci suddenly decides that Gallup is his go-to guy. The Dallas offense has been in shambles since Dak Prescott went down and I don’t see a revival sparking any time soon. For those in more shallow leagues – as much as it pains me to say – Gallup can be dropped.
LAR @ MIA – TE18
Higbee was inactive with a hand issue last week so we’ll see if he’s back in the fold in Week 8. I’m still benching him, though. Say what you will about the Dolphins, but they’ve defended opposing tight ends well to date. So well, in fact, that they rank fourth in fewest fantasy points per game allowed to the position. One under-the-radar tight end I’ll start over Higbee is Richard Rodgers. Pick him up if he’s available, which he shouldn’t be after his last output.
IND @ DET – Outside Top 25
Trey Burton has evidently become Philip Rivers’ favorite tight end within Indy’s trio of tight ends. The Mo Alie-Cox run was fun while it lasted. It feels odd to dislike Doyle after he found the end zone for the first time this season in their win over the Bengals. Still, Burton is the No. 1 tight end for the Colts when all three tight ends are healthy. Doyle isn’t receiving the volume we need (averaging 2.5 targets per game) to start him.