Week 8 Fantasy Outlook

Following last week, you are probably feeling one of two ways: extremely confident or about ready to raise the white flag. Don’t be either of these because there is a lot of football left. Regardless of how you finished on Sunday, there are 6 weeks left until the playoffs (in most leagues). That means if you have at least 1 win this year, you’ve got a shot at going over .500, which is usually what it takes to get into most 6 team playoff formats. Don’t stop going hard on the waiver wire because all you need is 1 guy who is going to become the difference maker. If you are still winless, I am sorry, I don’t have anything good to say…you indeed can throw in the towel. Start zeroing in on the competition for who is fighting for spots…don’t make too many trades that will benefit them, rather start trying to make logical trades with their competition. Remember, this is fantasy and not the NFL. You can creep into the playoffs then get hot as the top seed will be benching their stars as the fantasy playoffs heat up. If you are on the other end of the spectrum, don’t take your foot of the gas just yet. A million things can happen and if you have been getting great breaks all year you likely are due for some bad ones. Keep a steady eye on the waiver wire and continue to make moves. Stash guys who could be valuable handcuffs in the late season (guys like Tony Pollard, JK Dobbins, Chase Edmunds could be the ones to win you a championship). Make any trade you can make that will help you win now! Do you have Saquon stashed in your IR in a keeper league and have gotten fortunate enough to win without him? Perfect, trade him for multiple assets to a weak team that has given up and would love to start all over next year. Don’t give up yet, especially if you have a tough loser punishment. Hang in there and remember there is plenty of football left and it is all for fun.

Key Waiver Pickups

Chase Edmunds – RB, ARI (68.6% Rostered)

This may be a stretch, but if you are lucky enough to have Chase Edmunds available in your league, he should be your main priority. With Drake out for several weeks, it opens the door for Edmunds to shine. Not only do I think Edmunds is a great Waiver Wire pickup, I think he is a must start with Drake out of the lineup. Edmunds is averaging 6 yards per carry this season and has had minimal work. He has also been a great receiving back, which pushes him to a top 10 RB play for the next several weeks.

Jeff Wilson Jr. – RB, SF (7.2% Rostered)

Wilson took over the bell cow role this Sunday, a job that seems to continuously rotate since the start of last season. The 49ers are injured in just about every position, but the one cog that has kept this team together is the solid run blocking by their stout offensive line. Wilson may not be a long-term play and may not even lead the team in rushes next week, but the performance he put on is at least worth a roster spot this late into the season. Wilson is battling an ankle injury and the backfield is crowded, but at the very least we saw what he could do last week and should get some opportunities down the stretch.

Harrison Bryant – TE, CLE (0.7% Rostered)

In a season that has been relatively quiet for the tight end position, Bryant embraced the TE1 position for the Browns on Sunday. He finished the day with four receptions for 56 yards and 2 touchdowns (21 pts). If you need a streamer tight end, Bryant has now proven he is ready to produce. With Hooper out recovering for an appendectomy there is a good chance he could miss another week to further boost Bryant’s ceiling. This week was also a good sign that his role will increase regardless.

Joe Burrow/Baker Mayfield – QB, CIN/CLE (49/15% Rostered)

If you are in need of a QB this late in the season there are still several great options that may be available in your league. Burrow has had an up and down start to his career, but has proven his ceiling is extremely high, yet volatile. Baker seems to have at least shaken off his rugged start and could be worth rostering since we have seen him be a valuable QB in the past.

Sterling Shepard – WR, NYG (36% Rostered)

Shepard returned to the playing field Thursday night and put up a good game with 17 pts. Shepard is not an easy fantasy start, but the Giants have a banged up receiver group and have also been rumored to be looking to move both Golden Tate and Evan Engram, which would further open the door for Shepard.

Rashard Higgins – WR, CLE (0.5% Rostered)

Higgins has been awesome this season despite the low volume he has received. With OBJ out for the season it should give Higgins the opportunity to shine. He has scored 12, 8 and 17 the past three weeks, with TDs in two of those. Last week with Beckham out he caught all 6 of his targets for 110 yards.

Fax or Fiction

Baker is Back.

Fiction. At least for right now. Baker looked good against the Bengals; however, he has been so mediocre this season I am not about to claim for him to be out of the slump just yet. He is worth a roster spot if you need an extra QB, but I want to see another week of strong production before we can be sure he is “back”.  

Jeff Wilson Jr. is a safe start with Mostert out.

Fiction. No 49ers RB is a safe start at this point, except for a healthy Raheem Mostert. Again, roster Wilson if you need RB depth, but the 49ers backfield is the most unpredictable thing in sports.

Juju is back into safe start territory.

Fax. Juju had a solid 17-point slump buster, but what I was most impressed with was his steady volume and usage. After murmurs around town were saying the team had already given up on Juju as the WR1, he responded with a solid 9 receptions for 84 yards. Juju was targeted 14 times, which now gives me enough confidence to place Juju into flex start territory with BYE Weeks ramping up.

Start ‘Em

Quarterbacks

Josh Allen vs NE

Carson Wentz vs DAL

Ryan Tannehill @ CIN

Running Backs

Mike Davis vs ATL

Boston Scott vs DAL

Darrell Henderson Jr @ MIA

Receivers

Rob Gronkowski @ NYG

Robby Anderson vs CAR

AJ Brown @ CIN

Sit ‘Em

Quarterbacks

Drew Brees @ CHI

Baker Mayfield vs LV

Ben Roethlisberger @ BAL

Running Backs

Jerick McKinnon @ SEA

Justin Jackson @ DEN

Carlos Hyde vs SF

Receivers

Darius Slayton vs TB

Mike Evans @ NYG

Chase Claypool @ BAL

Injury Report

Christian McCaffrey – RB, CAR (Ankle)

Fantasy owners are begging to get their #1/2 pick back but will likely have to wait another week. McCaffrey has returned to practice this week, but probably won’t be rushed into action on Thursday Night vs Falcons.

Chris Carson – RB, SEA (Foot)

Carson is considered Day to Day, but with a lingering foot injury look for Carlos Hyde to start this weekend.

Kenyan Drake – RB, ARI (Ankle)

Drake will likely miss a few weeks with a torn ligament in his ankle, but this injury may be costly to Drake’s future if Chase Edmonds can fill in nicely.

Joe Mixon – RB, CIN (Foot)

Mixon has been upgraded to questionable this week, however it seems unlikely that he will return to action this week as he is now considered day to day with a foot injury.

Aaron Jones – RB, GB (Calf)

With the way the Packers are playing don’t expect them to rush Jones back into action. Jones is unlikely to start, however the door is still left open to him being 100% by Sunday.

Michael Thomas – WR, NO (Hamstring)

It is not looking good for Thomas, both medically and off the field. There have been reports swirling that the Saints are fielding trade offers for Thomas, which makes the Michael Thomas mystery even more intriguing.

Dalvin Cook – RB, MIN (Groin)

Cook has been slated to return this week following their Bye week, but it will be interesting to see if there has been any news since their week off. Cook likely should play if nothing else has changed.

Miles Sanders – RB, PHI (Knee)

Sanders could return this week, however the Eagles are facing the Cowboys will a bye week following, so they are not pressured to start Sanders over Scott.

How’d We Do Last Week?

Start ‘Em:

Quarterbacks

Matt Ryan vs DET 17 Pts

Justin Herbert vs JAX 37 Pts

Joe Burrow vs CLE 33 Pts

Running Backs

Ronald Jones @ LV 10 Pts

Kareem Hunt @ CIN 18 Pts

D’Andre Swift @ ATL 14 Pts

Receivers

Terry McLarin vs DAL 22 Pts

Cole Beasley @ NYJ 22 Pts

Brandin Cooks vs GB 13 Pts

Sit ‘Em:

Quarterbacks

Cam Newton vs SF 0 Pts

Jared Goff vs Chi 16 Pts

Carson Wentz vs NYG 27 Pts

Running Backs

Boston Scott vs NYG 17 Pts

Le’Veon Bell @ DEN  3 Pts

James White vs SF 1 Pt

Receivers

Juju Smith-Schuster @ TENN 17 Pts

Adam Humphries vs PIT 2 Pts

Julian Edelman vs SF 2 Pts

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