Fantasy Football: What To Watch For In Week 8
Hey there #Footclan, and welcome back to the weekly series, “What To Watch For“. Each week we take a look at the schedule and the matchups and point out some interesting things that we all should pay attention to. These can be something simple or those ongoing burning questions we have in the back of our minds. Let’s take a look at Week 8.
Can DeShaun Watson stay in the flames against Seattle?
Ever since Week 2 began and rookie QB Deshaun Watson got his first official start for the Houston Texans, he has lit the fantasy world on fire with his ability to produce remarkable returns with his passing and running ability. He has scored more than 17.7 fantasy points in the “Ballers-preferred scoring format” and has had more than 261 yards passing in 5 of his last 6 starts.
Now with a bye week under his belt and a lot of time to prepare, Watson will face his toughest challenge yet as he travels to Seattle to take on the Seahawks and it’s “Legion of Boom”. The Seahawks are currently ranked 5th against quarterbacks this season according to ESPN. There could be a repeat of Week 2 when Watson had to use his rushing capabilities to produce a TD and only throw 125 yards against a tougher Bengals team.
If Watson can pull this off and show a solid balanced attack, we are seeing an emerging and reliable fantasy QB that we can target each year in fantasy drafts to come and continue to stay in the flames with him the rest of this fantasy season.
AFC West rivals look to stop slumps on Monday Night Football
The Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos looked like the top two teams in the AFC West a few weeks ago but recent stinkage has turned the division upside down as of late. The Los Angeles Chargers have won three consecutive games now. The Oakland Raiders knocked off the Chiefs in Week 7 on Thursday Night Football. The Chiefs and Broncos come into their Monday night matchup with consecutive losses a piece and are in much need of a win to get back on track and make a push for playoff contention.
Due to the Kansas City’s 5-0 hot start, there’s enough give at the moment to lead the division after another loss. The Denver Broncos don’t have the same cushion at 3-3 with an offense that’s struggling to move the ball and missing a key piece in Emmanuel Sanders, currently out with an ankle injury. Denver hasn’t scored more than 16 points since its 42-17 blowout victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2. Still, even with that narrative, head coach Vance Joseph stayed stubborn in his decision to continue to start quarterback Trevor Siemian, per the Denver Post.
The Chiefs-Broncos matchup and rivalry brings key strengths and weaknesses together on the field on MNF. Kansas City’s defense has leaked over the past few weeks. Nonetheless, Denver’s inept offense doesn’t look equipped to take advantage in Week 8. However, could we see a resurgence of Siemian and can he find Demaryius Thomas early and often and take advantage of the secondary of the Chiefs? Will Kareem Hunt continue his rookie running dominance against a Denver defense who has proven to be very stingy? The Broncos ranks 1st according to ESPN giving up only 431 rushing yards with over 142 rushing attempts so far this year We will find out as the last game of the week on Monday night in primetime.
Bounceback Game: Andy Dalton and A.J. Green
The Indianapolis Colts defense as a whole is, let’s see how nicely can I put this, isn’t good at all! Against a Cincinnati Bengals team that does have a couple of elite playmakers on offense, that’s a huge problem for Indy. Don’t be surprised if star wideout A.J. Green goes absolutely ham like he did a few weeks ago against the Buffalo Bills when he went for 189 yards receiving and a touchdown.
The Colts don’t defend the pass well, they don’t defend the run well, they just kind of “get through” games. Unless Andy Dalton just makes poor decisions or completely just decides to poop in his “big boy pants” again, the Bengals should be able to take advantage.
Cincinnati is legit at all three stages of defense in the run, pass, and special teams aspect. It’s hard to see the Indianapolis Colts conjuring a whole lot of offense against the Bengals. The Colts’ biggest weapon is wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and the Bengals have the cover corners to neutralize him since Dante Moncrief continues to play the fantasy version of “hide-and-go-seek.” Expect Cincinnati to win somewhat convincingly and for the tandem of Dalton and Green to make a return to fantasy prominence.
Will Carson Wentz and the Eagles continue to dominate?
The Philadelphia Eagles are 6-1. The San Francisco 49ers are 0-7. It might sound a bit unrealistic but I still think this game could be closer than first glance.
The Eagles are coming off a short week. They’re also missing star tackle Jason Peters, who they lost to injury. There is the talk of moving Lane Johnson over on the offensive line to keep Wentz’s blindside protected. The 49ers have a decent offensive line and a good enough run game to keep the Eagles in check to a degree for at least the first 3 quarters. Kyle Shanahan is good at devising ways to neutralize opposing teams’ defensive strengths and weed out the star players. Even if the 49ers simply run away from Fletcher Cox every time, they should be able to get some production on the ground.
What’s concerning, though, is that the 49ers defense is not a good group, plain and simple. They got torn apart all last week against the Dallas Cowboys. Philadelphia has an aggressive offense that can capitalize when the slightest mistakes are made. While the Eagles don’t have many skill players who will scare a defense other than WR Alshon Jeffrey, Wentz can.
If he has the slightest window down the field, Wentz is going to take it. He can also hurt a defense with his legs and escape the pocket and get out initial first tackles with his big body frame. According to Pro Football Focus, Wentz currently is ranked 2nd among QBs only behind the future Hall of Famer in Tom Brady.