Hungry For More: The Fantasy Footballers’ Predictions for Week 8
It’s time again to get our plates ready to find more tasty treats on your fantasy roster that can take a step forward from being a sub-par dish to your new favorite fantasy football snack! With the back stretch of the fantasy regular season ahead, putting an ascending player in your lineup can be the difference-making decision you need to push your team forward! Andy, Mike & Jason break down a trio of players they’re looking for more from ahead of Week 8 in this week’s Hungry For More presented by Uber Eats!
Each week the Ballers will pick a player who super-sized their game in the past week and decide if they’ll continue to eat at the big guy’s table or go back to the kid’s table. Of course, I’ll give you an extra side dish or two to go along with Andy, Mike, and Jason’s main course! Let me know if you think we’re cooking up a high-end meal or if it’s more like gas station sushi!
RB – Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit Lions
All of the hype heading into the season finally paid off for fantasy managers who invested in Jahmyr Gibbs during draft season, and Mike is here for another serving this week. Gibbs finished as the RB3 behind 21 opportunities including nine receptions for the Lions. With David Montgomery expected to miss at least another week, Gibbs could be the Monday Night Miracle option for fantasy managers. Detroit is hosting the Raiders as eight-point home favorites and Las Vegas is currently allowing the third-most points to opposing fantasy RBs on the season so there will be plenty of tasty fantasy points to be had.
Looking at Gibbs down the stretch of the year, there could be plenty more big fantasy finishes ahead even when Montgomery returns. In six of the Lions’ next seven games, Gibbs will face a defense that sits 20th or lower in the league against opposing fantasy RBs. Now that Gibbs has been given more run in the offense, there’s a chance that his split with Montgomery could even out more and allow him to be a more consistent option for fantasy managers as we head to the playoffs.
Plenty of optimism around being the lead back in an improved offense hasn’t resulted in the fantasy output that managers were banking on with Rhamondre Stevenson. Still, Jason believes there are brighter days ahead for Stevenson after back-to-back top-20 RB finishes. Stevenson has seen a dip in snaps and carries since he started the season with RB19 and RB17 finishes, but the most encouraging increase came for him in the passing game. Over the last two weeks, Stevenson has turned 12 targets into 11 receptions for 75 yards. It’s that type of involvement in the passing game that made Stevenson so valuable as the RB11 last season.
The schedule down the stretch for Stevenson is a favorable one to go on a strong run toward the fantasy playoffs. Through the Patriots’ last 10 games, there are only two teams that don’t currently rank 20th or lower in fantasy points against opposing fantasy RBs.
After a very slow start to the season, Andy is looking for more from Cardinals TE Trey McBride. The second-year TE has seen an uptick in snaps over the last two weeks, which has resulted in a combined 11 targets – one more than in his first five games combined. While McBride hasn’t translated into great fantasy success yet, news that fellow Arizona TE, Zach Ertz, has been placed on IR opens the door for more involvement from the former second-round pick.
While it’s likely his opportunity sees a larger increase in Week 8, the matchup isn’t ideal against a tough Baltimore defense. The Ravens haven’t allowed more than 10 points to opposing fantasy TEs all season so it may be tough sledding for McBride to get going. In the long run, the eventual return of Kyler Murray to the Cardinals’ offense can only mean good things for McBride going forward.
It hasn’t been the best start for the first WR taken in the 2023 NFL Draft, but we finally got to see enough of Jaxon Smith-Njigba that I’m back with my plate asking for more. JSN made the most of DK Metcalf’s absence Sunday, turning in a WR16 finish behind a season-high seven targets. The biggest difference in the work Smith-Njigba saw in Week 7 was his 15.8 yards per catch which was a huge increase from the 6.9 he was averaging heading into the week. With JSN just now really recovering from the broken hand he suffered before the season, this could just be the start of the breakout campaign that fantasy managers have been waiting on.
Seattle’s schedule over the next month isn’t the most favorable for JSN to duplicate his first big week, with Cleveland and a road game against Baltimore on the horizon. However, the last four games of the fantasy season serve up a menu of defenses – San Francisco, Philadelphia, Tennessee, and Pittsburgh – that could give huge opportunities for the rookie. Each of the Seahawks’ last four games in the fantasy year come against teams currently allowing nearly 30 or more points to fantasy WRs.