Ten Things We Learned In Week 8 (Fantasy Football)
Week 8 is in the books, and we got to see more roster movement and some great games. The only game which featured two teams with a winning record was the Giants vs. the Seahawks, which is likely what everyone saw coming at this point in the season. The NFL is so unpredictable, and that’s what makes it so fun, along with this game that we love to play called fantasy football. Even with the unpredictability of the NFL, we have takeaways each week that help us learn on our way to a fantasy football championship. This article will look at the major storylines and what we learned from Week 8 for fantasy football.
1. Tony Pollard Deserves A Much Larger Role
Ezekiel Elliott did not play in Week 8, and Tony Pollard took full advantage of his opportunity as the starting running back. Pollard rushed 14 times for 131 yards and three touchdowns and caught his only target for 16 yards. Pollard again showed that he can, and should be, more heavily involved in the Cowboys’ offense. Unfortunately, Jerry Jones mentioned that Zeke would remain the focal point despite Pollard’s Week 8 performance. Pollard will be a risky start unless Zeke misses another game.
2. Travis Etienne Is Getting A Workhorse Role
James Robinson was traded to the Jets before Week 8, opening up a significant opportunity for Travis Etienne to get a workhorse role in the Jaguars’ offense. Etienne excelled in his first week as the primary back, rushing for 156 yards and a touchdown on 24 attempts and catching all three targets for six yards. He should be considered a weekly top-12 running back for fantasy managers now that he is healthy and Robinson is a thing of the past.
3. Justin Fields Is Worth Having In Fantasy Lineups
After a rough start to the year, Justin Fields is now playing at a high level for fantasy purposes. He has three straight fantasy performances of 20+ points and should be rostered if available. The next three games for Fields include the Dolphins, Lions, and Falcons, all plus-matchups for quarterbacks. After that, the schedule gets tough, but he’s well worth the start for QB-needy teams for the next three weeks as a potential top-12 option. Fields averages 53 rushing yards per game, so he has a decent floor.
4. There May Be Hope For Kyle Pitts
Week 8 has given us hope that Kyle Pitts can turn around his season after catching 5-of-9 targets for 80 yards and a touchdown. He led the team in targets, receptions, and yards. With only two good fantasy performances on the season, Pitts’ managers need clarification about how to handle him. The only question is, was Week 8 more of a fluke that will lead to false hope, or is this the beginning of a turnaround season for the young promising tight end? Unfortunately, fantasy managers likely had enough, and he was riding the bench this week. The answer is probably somewhere in the middle. Pitts will cause headaches, but you will likely have to leave him in your lineup to avoid missing out on the big weeks, which may be few and far between.
5. Najee Harris Is Weighing Down Fantasy Lineups
After a top-5 RB finish in 2021, Najee Harris was drafted in the 1st to early 2nd round of fantasy drafts this year. Unfortunately, his volume has yet to turn into fantasy points, and he has disappointed fantasy managers significantly. He has yet to have a game with at least 12 fantasy points in half-point PPR and has only hit double-digit points in 3-of-8 games. Right now, Harris is a borderline top-24 running back due to volume, but he has not looked good. If you can unload him in a trade, it is wise to do so because it won’t be your headache to have him starting in your fantasy lineup.
6. CMC Has Already Taken Hold Of The 49ers’ Offense
Christian McCaffrey played his second game with the 49ers in Week 8 and dominated touches. He rushed 18 times for 94 yards and a touchdown and caught 8-of-9 targets for 55 yards and another touchdown. McCaffrey also had a passing touchdown. The last player to have a passing, rushing, and receiving touchdown all in one game was LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005. Deebo Samuel was out, but CMC will be utilized often in this offense, even when Deebo returns. McCaffrey looked great on the ground and through the air. It’s so nice to see him on a better offense.
7. Khalil Herbert Might Take The Starting RB Job In Chicago
Khalil Herbert didn’t have an attempt until the second quarter, but he clearly seems like the better back in Chicago. Herbert finished with 16 rushing attempts for 99 yards and a touchdown. He has looked great whenever he has filled in for David Montgomery and continuously looks like a starting-caliber running back in the NFL. The Herbert situation is similar to that of Tony Pollard and Zeke, where the backup seems to be the better player. The Bears have been playing better, and if Herbert gets the starting nod or gets more touches, he will be a must-play in fantasy lineups.
8. Kamara Can Still Score Touchdowns
Alvin Kamara has had a touchdown drought through the first five games he has played in the 2022 season. Taysom Hill had been a part of why he had yet to score. Hill did have ten rushing attempts for 61 yards, but he did not score a touchdown this week. Kamara rushed 18 times for 62 yards and a touchdown and caught 9-of-10 targets for 96 yards and two touchdowns. This is the Kamara we know and love, and it was great to see a vintage Kamara game. He has had a good year in the games he’s played, but if he can score touchdowns more consistently and not get vultured by Hill, we could see Kamara have another high-end RB1 season.
9. D’onta Foreman May Have Won The Starting RB Job In Carolina
Last week, D’onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard shared the load, but Hubbard got the start. In Week 8, Hubbard was injured, so Foreman got most of the work and delivered a solid performance. He rushed 26 times for 118 yards and scored three touchdowns. He only received one target, so he may not be utilized in the passing game, but he has back-to-back 118-yard performances and he should be a solid RB2 start as we advance through the season. He also should have a shot at winning the starting running back job once Hubbard returns, as he has looked great.
10. Mac Jones Is Still The Starter
Last week, there was a significant quarterback controversy when Mac Jones was seemingly benched for Bailey Zappe. It was reported that Mac would remain the starter for Week 8, and he played the whole game, throwing for 194 yards and a touchdown. Mac likely won’t be a fantasy option this season unless you are in super-flex leagues, but it seems he has retained his starting job…for now.