The Fantasy Footballers’ Rankings Audit & Podcast Highlights for Week 8

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Happy Halloween, #Footclan! It’s (almost) football time!

Coming off a lackluster TNF skirmish between the NFC South’s Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers, we’re eager to move on to an exciting new slate of games in Week 8 of the National Football League! And just in time for Halloween, we have some thrilling #RevengeGames that are oozing with malevolence as players seek retribution against their former teams at risk of nationwide humiliation. So strap on your seatbelts, cause we’re in for a wild ride!

As a reminder, this article is a weekly installment where I’ll review the Fantasy Footballers’ player rankings and highlight a few specific players per position that deserve extra attention. I’ll also recap important moments from the past week’s Fantasy Footballers’ podcast episodes with links to each episode provided. So be on the lookout every week for this series!

Also, please keep in mind that the Footballers’ rankings are constantly being updated whenever any breaking news is released. So always refer to their rankings page or click on a specific player below to see their latest rankings!

With that out of the way… let’s go already!

Quarterback Rankings

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
In last week’s report, I predicted that rookie sensation Joe Burrow would have enough scoring upside against the Browns to finish as a QB1 despite being ranked as the QB16. Little did I know he would explode for over 400 passing yards and four total TDs in an unanticipated firefight in Ohio, finishing as the QB4. This week, he’s the ‘Ballers consensus QB11 and a relatively safe top-12 candidate. But I’m very worried about him. Bengals fans are rightfully concerned too, as we tune in each week to witness Burrow endure sack after sack. He’s already absorbed 28 sacks, which leads the league (tied with Carson Wentz). To make matters worse, his already shambled o-line is now further depleted as he’ll be missing starters LT Jonah Williams (neck), Center Trey Hopkins (concussion), and RT Bobby Hart (knee). He’ll also be without his star RB Joe Mixon again, although it didn’t seem to matter last week. There’s also tension in the locker room after former first-round receiver John Ross requested to be traded in a disgruntled tweet. Burrow is a bonafide stud, and the Titans have given up multiple TDs to every opposing QB except for Broncos’ Drew Lock in the season opener. But he’s constantly getting battered and it may catch up to him sooner or later.

Daniel Jones, New York Giants
Let’s be clear, no one wants to start this week’s consensus QB26, Daniel Jones. If you are, you must be in a deep 2QB league, a diehard/delusional Giants fan, or a masochist intent on destroying your team. Jones, who is tied for the third most fumbles and interceptions among QBs, will look to add to those stats on primetime when he faces the formidable Buccaneers defense, who just embarrassed the Raiders in a lopsided victory. This MNF matchup also includes a mini #RevengeGame, but on the other side of the ball. Buccaneers OLB Jason Pierre-Paul had previously enjoyed a whirlwind eight-year stint with the Giants, before being traded to Tampa Bay in 2018. Think he’s still bitter about it? Well, I’ll let him speak for himself:

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Yikes. There are certainly better days ahead for the inconsistent Jones. This Monday will not be one of them.

Running Back Rankings

Melvin Gordon III, Denver Broncos
Ooh boy, things are gonna get messy at Mile High Stadium this Sunday. Troubled RB Melvin Gordon will finally get his chance to seek retribution against his former team, the Los Angeles Chargers. Though he’s disappointed lately with poor ball security and unacceptable off-field issues, he’s still averaging a respectable 14.2 fantasy points and a TD per game. He’s currently the RB25 on the year, which is impressive considering he already had his bye week and missed another due to illness. If we assume his average production during those missed games, he’d be the RB9. Keep in mind that this includes an abysmal one-sided defeat against the stout Buccaneers and a divisional blowout against the Chiefs where he didn’t start the game as likely punishment for the aforementioned off-field issues.

Meanwhile, the Chargers are middling against RBs, so it won’t be a cakewalk for Gordon. Fortunately for him, he should see a majority of opportunities with hometown favorite Phillip Lindsay expected out due to a concussion. And I’m betting that My Guy, Melvin “Flash” Gordon, will make the most out of it. Because as much as I rely on historical data and analytics for Fantasy Football projections, I’m also a sucker for a fun revenge narrative. And Gordon certainly desires vengeance against a Chargers team that he believes underpaid him and a fanbase that continues to mock him. The same Chargers team that just gave up 137 total yards and three TDs to undrafted waiver wire darling James Robinson. It hasn’t always been pretty to watch, but there’s a good chance Gordon can capitalize on a susceptible defense in what should be a close divisional showdown. The gang is somewhat optimistic based on their RB20 consensus ranking. Problem is, this could just as easily be a revenge game for the Chargers’ defense as well. But I’m bullish on #MyGuy and I’m predicting we’ll see a sloppy game where Gordon squeezes into the end zone enough times to end as a fringe RB1.

Le’Veon Bell, Kansas City Chiefs
Big. Drama. Show. The planets and stars have aligned for All-Pro RB Le’Veon Bell to exact revenge against his former head coach and Fantasy Football despoiler Adam Gase. Though he’s the ‘Ballers consensus RB22, I believe he’ll have the opportunity to outperform this projection. However, his success will be dependent on the following moving parts *clicking* together:

  1. He’ll need the Chiefs to gain a substantial lead as early as possible.
  2. He’ll need the coaching staff’s trust to take over the backfield with the game secured.
  3. He’ll need to have the skills and touches needed to overtake the Jets’ defense.

The first event is very likely as we saw last week when they annihilated the Broncos so badly that they benched QB Patrick Mahomes. Even Vegas agrees as this game has the largest projected spread where the Chiefs are favored by an outlandish 19.5 points. The second item is also likely as coach Andy Reid has already praised Bell’s performance. On the third requirement, our own writer Jeff Greenwood (@TheFantasyEng) observed that despite seeing criminally low usage this year, Bell’s efficiency on those limited touches has been better than in 2017, which was his last successful season where he finished as the overall RB2 despite missing a game:

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Hope you traded for him when we suggested, because Le’Veon Bell is about to put on a show.

Wide Receiver Rankings

Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings
Vikings wideout Adam Thielen has a turbulent history against their storied divisional rival, the Green Bay Packers. Facing off against them twice a year, in 2017 he finished as the WR11 and WR72. In 2018, he improved to WR3 in both contests. Then in 2019, he plummeted to WR39 and WR112. This year, Thielen’s been a delight for fantasy managers. Aside from a clunker against the Colts, he’s been rather consistent and is the overall WR4 on the season despite already having his bye. So how will he fare this week? He’ll likely face shadow coverage once again from shutdown CB Jaire Alexander. But in the season opener, Thielen managed to beat Alexander and nabbed over 100 yards and two TDs. I think he can do it again, and so do the ‘Ballers as they ranked him as this week’s WR6. History also appears to be on our side:

Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks
Tyler Boyd, Cincinnati Bengals

A tale of two Tylers. WRs Tyler Lockett and Tyler Boyd — who were my trade candidates this week — both have the same positive factors leading into their matches this week that will result in fantasy prominence. They are their team’s target leaders. Their QBs are gunslingers who aren’t afraid to sling it. Their upcoming games have the two highest projected scoring totals, inferring potential shootouts. They also both have beautiful matchups with backup CBs that should be wildly unprepared for their offensive prowess. Lockett, the gang’s consensus WR8, will be paired with inferior 49ers’ CB Jamar Taylor, who’s 30 years old and has been passed around between seven different teams. Meanwhile, Boyd is the consensus WR21 and will likely face vulnerable seventh-round rookie CB Chris Jackson with Kristian Fulton nursing a knee injury. Thanks to the anticipated soft coverage, both underrated playmakers will have clear paths to finish as WR1s this week.

Tight End Rankings

Jimmy Graham, Chicago Bears
Rounding out our #RevengeGame narrative is veteran TE Jimmy Graham, who gets to face his former team in the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have given up over 350 yards and six TDs to opposing TEs in six games this year, which unbelievably includes a near goose-egg last week courtesy of Carolina’s Ian Thomas and his paltry 11 yards. They have allowed the 2nd MOST points to TEs. He’s tied with only breakout WR Calvin Ridley for the MOST red zone targets among all skill positions. He’s also Mike’s Start of the Week. That’s the good news. The bad news is, he’s been incredibly inconsistent this season, with two finishes as a TE1, three as a TE2, and two as a TE3. One of those TE3 performances was so revolting that he ended as the week’s TE35. Considering there’s only 32 teams, that is simply unacceptable. Like with most TEs, you’re banking on a TD for fantasy relevance. And like most TEs who’ve faced the Saints, I believe he’ll pull it off against his old team.

Biggest Takeaways from the Week 8 Podcasts

Monday (Week 7 Studs & Stinkers + AB Signing, Witches on Demand)
We kick off the week with Andy, Mike, and Jason chatting about the thrilling Cardinals victory over the Seahawks on Sunday Night Football before sharing their favorite Monday Punday submissions at 03:55. Next is a recap of last Sunday’s games on the Weekly Rewind at 05:55. The ‘Ballers then discuss all their Fantasy Studmuffins at 20:20, before commiserating on the Stinkers of the Week at 40:05.

Tuesday (Week 8 Waivers + Shoot Your Shot, Full Stream Ahead)
In this episode, the gang recaps the Monday Night Football dud between the Bears and Rams at 02:10, although they’d rather talk about SNF again instead:

The ‘Ballers move on to News & Notes at 07:25, before hitting the juiciest part of the episode: the Week 8 Waivers at 13:50. We wrap up the episode with their choices for Defense Streamers at 50:20 and QB Streamers at 51:30.

Wednesday (Midseason Review + Predictions, Smelling Salts)
The ‘Ballers jump start this episode with the Buy or Sell segment at 04:30, discussing hotly-debated players like Josh Allen, Ronald Jones, and Robert Woods. They move onto the News & Notes at 11:10, before chewing over the Midseason Review at 19:45. They conclude the episode with the Thursday Night Breakdown at 53:10.

Thursday (Starts of the Week + Week 8 Breakdown, “Little Bit Rain”)
Thursday’s episode starts with the Taking It Up To 100 segment at 04:00, where the guys stake their claim on blowup candidates A.J. Green, Denzel Mims, and Brandon Aiyuk. That’s followed by the News & Notes at 08:45, then the ‘Ballers talk about the upcoming matchups in the Fantasy Forecast at 21:20. We then get to the meat & taters of the episode at 50:50 — the ‘Ballers Starts of the Week! And don’t forget Jason Moore’s Iron-Clad Locked and Loaded 100% Guaranteed Boom-Boom Kicker of the Week at 01:02:30!

Friday (The Halloween Show! + Week 8 Matchups, Candy Comps)
The ‘Ballers kickstart this special Halloween episode with a Halloween Quick Question at 02:05 to compare a player to a piece of candy. We segue to the FootClan Fridays segment at 07:05, before recapping the forgettable Thursday Night Football game at 08:10. They then discuss the News & Notes at 13:50, before detailing the Fantasy Forecast for the remaining Week 8 matchups at 24:05. The episode culminates at 01:03:10 with their can’t-miss segment, Prop It Like It’s Hot! Trust me, you don’t want to miss the fellas and their amazing costumes in this fan-favorite episode:

Have a great Halloween weekend #Footclan and let’s crush all our matchups! If you haven’t done so yet, make sure you check out the awesome Week 8 DFS Podcast by Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg) and Matthew Betz (@TheFantasyPT). And as always, remember to tune in Sunday for Mike’s live stream where he provides last-minute updates to help you make those crucial roster decisions!

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