Fantasy Football Sleepers Week 8
I can’t believe we are already in Week 8. It has been an incredible ride. Yes, it has been a pain dealing with an excess of injuries and COVID-19, but I will admit, I enjoy the unprecedentedly challenging roster management of 2020.
Here are the news and injuries you need to know about that could impact your fantasy football team for Week 8.
- Jets HC Adam Gase told the press WR Jamison Crowder (groin) is “not looking good” for Week 8
- Jets WR Breshad Perriman (concussion) has been ruled out for Week 8
- NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting Patriots WR Julian Edelman (knee) is likely to be placed on injured reserve
- Seahawks DB Jamal Adams (groin) remained sidelined at practice Thursday
- Seahawks RB Travis Homer (knee) remained sidelined on Thursday and is a game-time decision for Week 8
- Seahawks RB Chris Carson (foot) remained “DNP” on Thursday and is a game-time decision for Week 8
- Seahawks RB Carlos Hyde is a game-time decision for Week 8
- Steelers TE Eric Ebron (elbow) returned to Steelers practice on Thursday
- Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) returned to Steelers practice Thursday
- Steelers WR Diontae Johnson (toe) returned to Steelers practice on Thursday
- Dolphins WR DeVante Parker (groin) was “limited” at Thursday’s practice
- Bears WR Allen Robinson (concussion) doubtful for Week 8
- Ravens RB Mark Ingram (ankle) is doubtful for Week 8
- Bengals RB Joe Mixon is ruled out for Week 8
- Packers RB Aaron Jones is out for Week 8
- Eagles RB Miles Sanders is out for Week 8
- Cowboys QB Andy Dalton is doubtful for Week 8
- Saints WR Michael Thomas will not play in Week 8
Fantasy Sleepers Week 7: Full-Disclosure
|Player||Position||PPR Rank||PPR Points|
QB Fantasy Football Sleepers Week 8
ESPN Start-Percentage: 13.1
While Baker Mayfield was reportedly on the proverbial hot seat entering last week’s win over the Bengals, the erratic signal-caller had one of the best games of his young career. He threw for 294 yards with five touchdowns and an interception and finish as the QB7 with 20.1 fantasy points. That, sans Odell Beckham Jr. for most of the game and now for the rest of the year.
Without Beckham Jr., Mayfield could actually play at a higher level. Although OBJ is an elite player, not all quarterback [peronsalites are built to handle him and the pressure that comes along with being his passer. Mayfield could now spread the ball around to his talented cast of skill position players without forcing passes in Beckham Jr.’s direction.
In his upcoming matchup with the Raiders, Mayfield will get a Las Vegas defense allowing the fourth-most FPPG to QBs (23.5). The Raiders have surrendered at least 340 passing yards with three total touchdowns to Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady in each of the past two games including one rushing score apiece. Mayfield, who likes to pull the ball down and run from time to time, could also bring a high floor in Week 8 due to his rushing ability.
Mayfield has yet to throw for 300 yards in a single game this season, going for fewer than 294 yards in all seven games played with four outings in the 100s.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 3.4
Call me crazy, but I am buying into Nick Foles this week. Sure, he may be better-suited for DFS, but he has a matchup that he can exploit despite the fact that stud wideout Allen Robinson may sit with a concussion.
Foles will face a Saints defense yielding the sixth-most FPPG to QBs (23.1). Although the Saints have yet to allow a 300-yard passer, they have given up at least three total TDs to QBs in 6-of-7 games played this season, including in six straight games leading up to last week’s win over the Panthers. The New Orleans defense held Teddy Bridgewater to 254 yards and a pair of TDs.
While Foles is not the answer to Mitchell Trubiksy or Chicago’s long-lasting quarterback woes, he is at least competent and capable of popping under adversity. I’d say if Robinson sits and Foles is left with Darnell Mooney, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Anthony Miller as his top receiving threats not named Jimmy Graham, I’d say it was an adverse situation if I ever saw one.
Speaking of Graham, it is a Jimmy Graham revenge game against his former team, the Saints, who are surrendering the second most FPPG to enemy TEs (12.6). The Saints are in the top 10 in receptions, yards, and TDs allowed to TEs in 2020. The New Orleans defense has also allowed at least one tight end to score in 5-of-6 games this season, including in five straight leading up to last week’s win over the panthers whose tight end position is as insignificant as they come.
I’m rolling the dice on Foles in Week 8 on a hunch and on the matchup.
RB Fantasy Football Sleepers Week 8
ESPN Start-Percentage: 39.2
It is a Le’Veon Bell revenge game. While many fantasy managers wonder about how to employ the Kansas City backfield, which has become crowded since acquiring Bell, I believe both Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the newly signed veteran are weekly fantasy assets — see Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette.
Sure, Bell and Helaire will eat into each other’s ceilings, but they will both see enough action bring quality floors. After-all, Andy Reid is historically known for simultaneously operating his offense with multiple running backs that both produce in fantasy dating back to his early years with the Eagles — remember Correll Buckhalter?
In his upcoming matchup with the Jets, Bell will have a tremendous opportunity to show his former team and his inept former head coach who made it public that he never wanted to sign him, that he can still bring the juice. The Jets defense is allowing the ninth-most FPPG (21.8) to RBs while surrendering at least nine PPR points to eleven different backs in seven games.
In last week’s win over the Broncos, Bell drew six carries for 36 yards while Helaire carried the ball eight times for 46 yards and a TD. While Bell was not targeted in the passing game, Helaire saw four targets but only hauled in one of them for 17 yards.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 25.0
Aaron Jones will miss his second consecutive game this week with a calf injury, which means it is time to fire up Jamaal Williams. While the fantasy football community’s rookie savants clambered for A.J. Dillon, realists knew Williams would be the guy. Williams touched the ball 23 times (four receptions) for 114 total yards in last week’s thrashing of the Texans. Meanwhile, Dillon managed 11 yards on five carries and was not targeted as a receiver. Williams also out-snapped Dillon 88.5-to-23.0.
Williams will have an opportunity to build on last week’s RB6 outing facing a Vikings defense allowing the 17th most FPPG to RBs (18.6). Minnesota’s defense has also allowed five different backs to accumulate double-digit PPR points against them in six games. If Williams gets the lion’s share of the touches this week, he should once again finish around the RB1 tier at the conclusion of Week 8. Dillon is merely a touchdown vulture if he even gets the opportunity to do that.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 6.0
J.K. Dobbins’ fantasy owners are finally getting what they have patiently waited for, the opportunity to showcase that he is the most talented rusher on the Ravens. However, it, unfortunately, some that the expense of Mark Ingram, who is doubtful to play with an ankle injury.
While Gus Edwards has more carries(48), rushing yards (218) than Dobbins, the rookie is being out the veteran backup in the TD department 2-to-1. nd while Edwards is the nearly doubling DFobbins in carries, the former is an absolute empty in the passing game. Edwards has zero targets on the year while Dobbins leads all Ravens RBs in targets (14), receptions (11), and receiving yards (74).
Dobbins has seen at least three targets in three of his past four games with four in two of those outings and will look to expand his overall workload in a tough Sunday matchup against Pittsburgh. The Steelers are not the ideal matchup, however, as their defense is giving up the third-fewest FPPG (13.4) to enemy RBs.
The Steelers have allowed a running back to find the end zone in four of their past five games, but have surrendered fewer than 84 total yards to every back they’ve faced this season.
WR Fantasy Football Sleepers Week 8
ESPN Start-Percentage: 33.5
With Deebo Samuel sidelined, Brandon Aiyuk once again will act as the 49ers WR1 — we all know that is George Kittle’s role anyway. Although Aiyuk got off to a slow start, he was thrust into a significant role early as Samuel did not play in the first four games of the year with a foot injury. However, Aiyuk has flashed at times. He has at least 13.4 PPR points in three of his past five games, including a WR20 (17.5) finish in last week’s win over the Patriots on a 6/115/0 line (seven targets).
In his upcoming matchup with the Seahawks, the 49ers rookie could pop. Seattle’s defense is allowing a league-high 38.1 FPPG to wide receivers, a prime matchup for Aiyuk to showcase why the 49ers took him with the 25th overall pick in April’s draft. The Seahawks have allowed at least 13 PPR points to 14 different WRs in six games. I’d call that atrocious but that is being nice. Seattle has also given up 100-yard receiving games to eight different wideouts in those six games.
Henry Ruggs | Nelson Agholor
ESPN Start-Percentage: 13.2 | 12.3
Henry Ruggs is as boom or bust as they come. However, I am in on the rookie on Sunday. While Nelson Agholor is the flavor of the month, putting up at least 14 PPR points in each of the past three games, he is similar to Ruggs in what he does best on the field and what he brings for fantasy. Don’t get me wrong, I am not completely out on Agholor this week, but I think this is a game in which Ruggs once again pops.
Back in Week 5, Ruggs exploded with 118 yards and a touchdown on 2-of-3 targets. He is a special player. In a projected shootout with the Browns, there will be ample opportunity for both Ruggs and Agohlor to be productive for your fantasy teams. Cleveland is giving up the fourth most FPPG (32.4) to the wide receiver position. They have also yielded at least 82 yards or a TD to 13 different wideouts in seven games.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 6.7
Odell Beckham Jr. is out for the rest of the year, and the next man up is Rashard Higgins. While Higgins missed time earlier in the year with a knee injury, he has played well since his return. In three games since his Week 5 comeback, Higgins had at least 12.1 PPR points in 2-of-3 games. Higgins has also had six receptions for 110 yards or a TD in each of those three outings — in Week 6, Higgins scored a 13-yard TD on his lone receptions but only managed 8.3 PPR points.
Higgins will embrace his new role in a favorable matchup with the Raiders. The Las Vegas defense is allowing the ninth-most FPPG (27.2) to enemy wideouts through six games. They’ve also allowed six TDs to wide receivers in the past three games after only surrendering one in their first three to opposing wideouts.
TE Fantasy Football Sleepers Week 8
ESPN Start-Percentage: 16.5
With Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert sidelined, Richard Rodgers is the top tight end in Philadelphia. In last week’s win over the Giants, Rodgers saw season-highs in snaps (91.3), routes run (27), targets (eight), receptions (six), and yards (85). While Ertz and Goedert are terrific players, we have seen players like Trey Burton and now Rodgers thrive when featured.
Rodgers, who finished Week 7 as the TE6 with 14.5 PPR points, will now get an outstanding matchup with the Cowboys, whose defense has quit. Dallas is giving up the eighth-most FPPG (9.9) to TEs this season while surrendering five receptions for 61 yards or a TD to enemy TEs in 5-of-7 games. They’ve also yielded a touchdown to a TE in five out of the past six games.
ESPN Start-Percentage: 11.6
With Odell Beckham Jr. out for the season and Austin Hooper sidelined with a non-COVID-related illness, Baker Mayfield is down two of his top pass-catchers. However, since Hooper was also out last week, Bryant saw significant playing time and delivered with his new-found opportunity.
Playing in a season-high 76.5-percent of the snaps while running his second-most routes of the year (14), Bryant caught 4-of-5 targets for 52 yards and two TDs. He finished as the TE1 with 21.6 PPR points. While David Njoku also scored, he only drew three targets. He also played in fewer snaps (56.9) and ran in two fewer routes (12). Bryant is clearly the tight end to covet in Cleveland while Hooper is out and perhaps, — if he goes on a run — thereafter.
Bryant will get a favorable matchup with the Raiders in Week 8 whose defense is allowing the 18th-most FPPG (7.7) to TEs. Las Vegas was terrific earlier in the year defending enemy TEs, but have since been gashed. In the past two games, the Raiders have surrendered at least five receptions for 52 yards and a TD to the opponent’s top-scoring tight end after giving up fewer than two receptions and 17 yards to every other tight end they have faced in the previous four games to open the year.
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Sleepers Week 8
Anthony Cervino is a lifelong NFL enthusiast, especially of the Dallas Cowboys. He has been infatuated with the game since childhood and was introduced to fantasy football as a young teen. Back then, the league commissioner typed out the weekly newsletter and used the Daily News to tally scores. In a statistic-driven game of fantasy football, Anthony believes that sometimes you have to rely on that good ole gut instinct. Anthony resides in New Jersey where he lives with his wife, son and a pomeranian that is named Roman (after Tony Romo). When Anthony is not immersed in the NFL or fantasy football related activities, he enjoys bodybuilding and spending time with his family. Anthony is committed to giving you his best analysis and most accurate statistics to help you win championships. Don’t hesitate to tweet Anthony @therealnflguru about anything NFL or fantasy-related topics. He will always respond in a timely fashion.