Week 8 NFL Matchup Preview Part One
Be sure to check out Part Two of our Week 8 NFL Matchup Previews.
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL – October 27, 2016
8:25 PM EST
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
QB Blake Bortles: He has been terrible this season. Do not start him, especially on Thursday night since they are notorious for being low scoring games.
RB T.J. Yeldon & Chris Ivory: Neither running back have been fantasy options for most leagues. Bench both against the 6th ranked rush defense.
WR Allen Robinson & Allen Hurns: Allen Hurns has 18 targets in the last two games. Consider him a WR3 with WR2 potential this week. Robinson has been disappointing this year but could have a decent game against a team that will likely force the ball to be thrown.
TE Julius Thomas: He has not been 100% this year. Had a limited practice on Wednesday and is now a game time decision; nothing more than a touchdown-dependent streamer this week.
QB Marcus Mariota: Mariota has been on fire, throwing for 8 TDs and 1 INT in the past 3 weeks. He should produce QB2 type fantasy points this week against the Jaguars who have given up the 10th most fantasy points to QBs this season.
RB DeMarco Murray: By far the best fantasy player in this game. DeMarco Murray is a must-start in all formats as an RB1.
WR Rishard Matthews: Matthews may be the best option at the WR position Thursday for the Titans but he is nothing more than a WR3. Tajae Sharpe has been incredibly disappointing this season and is a non-factor right now.
TE Delanie Walker: As Mariota’s favorite target, you can expect Walker to have a productive game regardless of the score. Safe to put him in as your TE1.
SUNDAY – October 30, 2016
9:30 AM EST
Washington Redskins @ Cincinnati Bengals
QB Kirk Cousins: Cousins spreads the ball around pretty evenly to his receivers. He loves targeting the tight end position. I expect he will have a good week vs the Bengals defense that have given up the 8th most fantasy points to QBs this year. He is a solid QB2 this week.
RB Matt Jones & Chris Thompson: Matt Jones’ fumbling has caused Chris Thompson’s involvement in the offense to increase, taking carries away from Jones. I like Chris Thompson more than Matt Jones against a Bengals defense that is better against the run than they are against the pass. Thompson is a great flex option in standard leagues and could even be as good as an RB2 in PPR this week. Jones is nothing more than a boom or bust RB3.
WR DeSean Jackson, Jamison Crowder, Pierre Garcon: Both Crowder and Garcon have more receptions than Jackson this season. They are both WR3 options this week while Jackson should be benched or even dropped off fantasy rosters.
TE Vernon Davis: As I mentioned, Cousins loves targeting the TE position and with Reed out, Davis has been the beneficiary. Davis is the perfect streamer this week with TE1 upside. There is a chance Reed plays since he did practice on Wednesday. If this happens, obviously it means you bench Davis but it does not necessarily mean you play Reed as he could see limited snaps coming off a concussion.
QB Andy Dalton: Has been a consistent QB2 this season. You can expect his normal numbers of 20+ fantasy points this week. The only downfall for Dalton this season has been his lack of multiple TD games. He has had only 2 games where he has thrown for more than 1 TD.
RB Jeremy Hill & Gio Bernard: Both of these RBs will be solid RB2 with RB1 upside this week against a Redskins defense that has given up the 10th most fantasy points to RBs. Hill had a monster game last week on minimal carries. He may not break out for long runs again but will still be productive. Bernard is a great flex play and even better in PPR.
WR A.J. Green & Company: Green is a must start, elite WR1, every week, regardless of opponent. I like Brandon LaFell as a good WR3/flex consideration this week. He has 4 TDs in the last 3 games and has been taking advantage of his targets.
TE Tyler Eifert: It looks like Eifert will have more involvement this week after only playing in 15 snaps last week as a way to ease him back into action from his injury. Others have him as a TE1 this week, I, however, have some reservations. Eifert’s upside is amazing but I would wait to see how he handles a heavier workload before throwing him in over other TEs that will be a safer pick this week.
SUNDAY – October 30, 2016
1:00 PM EST
New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills
QB Tom Brady: Brady has thrown for multiple TDs in every game since returning to action from his suspension. He has also not turned the ball over in the process. He is an elite QB1 every week, even against a division opponent and talented defense in the Buffalo Bills.
RB LeGarrette Blount: Blount has scored in every game this season except for one game, against the Buffalo Bill back in week 4. It was the last game before Brady returned and injuries to the backup QBs played a factor in the Patriots getting shut out that week. Brady is back this time and with that comes a balanced attack, giving Blount a much better chance of finding the end zone again. Play him as you normally would.
WR Julian Edelman: Has not put up his usual numbers so far this year but is a must start as one of Tom Brady’s top targets.
TE Rob Gronkowski & Martellus Bennett: Gronk is an elite TE1 must start every week. Bennett had a terrible week last week but will look to bounce back as a solid TE2 option this week against the Bills tough defense.
QB Tyrod Taylor: Surprisingly, not a bad option this week against the Patriots. With McCoy most likely out, Tyrod will be forced to throw more than usual and will likely be playing catch up to Tom Brady and the Patriots offense.
RB LeSean McCoy/Mike Gillislee: I don’t expect McCoy to be a go this week. The Bills tried it last week and LeSean was clearly not himself and in turn suffered a setback. I would like Gillislee here if it weren’t against the Patriots. He would have to see a decent workload to have fantasy value and I just don’t see it in a game the Bills will likely have to throw a ton.
New York Jets @ Cleveland Browns
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: Fitzpatrick has a chance to prove he should remain the starter against a fairly easy opponent. His value takes a hit with no Eric Decker. He is a decent streaming option if you need to fill the QB position due to a bye week or tough matchup.
RB Matt Forte: He has been hot and cold this year and very hard to predict. Expect Forte to be an RB2 this week vs a defense that has given up the 5th most fantasy points to RBs this season.
WR Brandon Marshall & Quincy Enunwa: Both WRs values increase with Fitzpatrick at QB. Fitzpatrick does turn the ball over but has the ability to give multiple WRs 100 yard games in the same week. Consider Marshall a low-end WR1 and Enunwa a WR3 with WR2 upside.
RB Isaiah Crowell: Crowell will have a heavier workload given the QB situation for the Browns. He is a boom or bust candidate since I expect the Jets to stack the box against the run. Crowell’s workload means nothing if he has no room to breath.
WR Terrelle Pryor Sr.: Nothing more than a desperate flex option this week. He should be involved in more packages as he is the most versatile player on the Browns roster and he will be needed to pick up the slack coming from the QB position.
Detroit Lions @Houston Texans
QB Matthew Stafford: Stafford has been an elite fantasy QB this season. He has a tougher matchup, away, against the Houston Texans but I expect him to have himself a great game. The Texans defense has given up the 6th least amount of fantasy points to QBs this season but they have not faced a QB on the same level as Stafford this year.
RB Theo Riddick: Should return from his ankle injury this week and is immediately an RB2 option in all formats.
WR Marvin Jones Jr & Golden Tate: Golden Tate has looked like his old self in the past 2 weeks but his value will be affected when his targets move back to Theo Riddick. Marvin Jones will look to continue his role as the WR1 on the Lions’ offense against a tough defense. Tate is a WR3/flex while Jones is a solid WR2 option this week.
QB Brock Osweiler: Had a rough week last week but it was against the Denver defense. Osweiler will likely be the best “bounce-back” candidate this week against the Detroit Lions that give up the most fantasy points to QBs. My streamer of the week.
RB Lamar Miller: He may not be at 100% in this game but is a must-start RB1 nonetheless. The Lion’s are much better against the run but Miller is involved in all aspects of the game making this matchup a good one for the Texans’ lead back.
WR DeAndre Hopkins & Will Fuller: I fully expect both of these WRs to have much better games than they did last week. The Lions’ defense is terrible against the pass and these two are too talented to not take advantage of that. Enter Hopkins as a WR1 and Fuller a WR2 this week.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Indianapolis Colts
QB Alex Smith: Alex Smith is not the best fantasy option at the QB position even in great matchups. I would stay clear of him most weeks. He is just too unreliable from a fantasy standpoint.
RB Spencer Ware: With Charles now ruled out, Ware instantly becomes an RB1. Ware is the consensus #1 ranked back for the Footballers in Week 8.
WR Jeremy Maclin: Maclin has done nothing this season to warrant a starting role on your roster. I will stand by that this week as well.
TE Travis Kelce: Same as Maclin, hasn’t really done much to be that TE1 that he should be. In addition, his targets have decreased over the past couple of weeks. Stay clear of Smith’s receiving options.
QB Andrew Luck: Andrew Luck will have his weapons back this week making him a must-start QB1. Luck has looked shaky from time to time but has still put up great fantasy numbers even when he is missing his full assortment of talent. Play Luck as you normally would.
RB Frank Gore: Gore has a decent matchup against a mediocre run defense. He is safe to start as your RB2 with RB1 upside.
WR T.Y. Hilton & Donte Moncrief: Hilton is a must-start WR1 this week vs Kansas City that has given up the 2nd most points to WRs this season. With Moncrief expected to return from injury this week, it will help the Colts’ offense as a whole but I am weary to start him in his first game back. If you are desperate, he may not be a bad WR3/flex consideration.
TE Jack Doyle: Has emerged as the TE1 on this explosive offense. He is a must start until proven otherwise. His value may dip as Moncrief becomes 100% healthy in the upcoming weeks, however.
Seattle Seahawks @ New Orleans Saints
QB Russell Wilson: Has a great matchup but has not been himself since his mobility has been limited. There are better streaming options this week.
RB Christine Michael Sr.: Could be the best Seahawk on the field Sunday. With Wilson struggling, the Seahawks will likely lean on Michael against a defense that has allowed the 2nd most points to RBs this season. Insert him into your lineups as an RB1.
WR Doug Baldwin: Baldwin hasn’t been terrible but he has been hit or miss. The Saints defense is much better against the pass than they are against the run. Consider Baldwin a solid WR2 this week since Wilson will be throwing more than usual with his feet working against him at the moment.
TE Jimmy Graham: Another Seahawk that I like this week. He has been heavily targeted by Wilson and should continue on that path as a safety blanket for his QB. Graham will want to prove himself against his former team. He is a TE1 this week.
QB Drew Brees: The Seahawks have a great pass defense but has allowed over 300 passing yards to Matt Ryan and Carson Palmer the last two weeks. Brees should be the third consecutive QB to accomplish this against the Seahawks on Sunday. I expect him to have a low-end QB1 performance against a defense that has been stingy when it comes to giving up passing TDs.
RB Mark Ingram: Has 15 or more carries in the last 4 games but may not get the opportunity against the Seahawks run defense that will typically shut down the run game. Ingram is a shaky RB2 at best this week.
WR Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead & Michael Thomas: All 3 of these WRs are hot right now. With that said, they do have a tough matchup this week. I like Cooks and Thomas as WR2s and Snead in the WR3/flex range for this matchup against the Seattle Seahawks defense.
TE Coby Fleener: Very hard to trust week to week and certainly not a trustworthy options against Seattle.