WAS (1-6) @ MIN (5-2) – Thursday Night Football – Not an overly exciting start to week 8 of the NFL season. The Redskins are currently giving up 250.6 passing yards per game and 134.4 rush yards per game. The numbers may be a little bit skewed due to the low scoring and low yardage game played last week against the 49ers. Minnesota should be without star WR Adam Thielen, but that shouldn’t mean much they’ll look to put the ball in Dalvin Cook’s hands and chalk up another W for themselves. In the absence of Thielen, I like Diggs’ chances of getting a TD as Washington is giving up an average of 2 TDs per game. Minnesota is giving up 258.7 passing yards per game and an average of 2 TDs per game, so there is some opportunity for Terry McLaurin to find the endzone as well. Also if you want to take a walk down narrative street: Kirk Cousins revenge game against the Redskins AND Case Keenum revenge game against the Vikings AND Adrian Peterson revenge game against the Vikings. For Minnesota we are starting: D. Cook and S. Diggs with confidence, Cousins is a low end streamer and you can stream the D/ST as well. For Washington you can start: T. McLaurin and I’d just leave it there.
DEN (2-5) @ IND (4-2) – A struggling Broncos team heads to Indianapolis to take on a Colts team that is on fire as of late. It seems to me that this Colts team is winning with good old fashioned coaching, Frank Reich has been excellent in putting his team in situations to win ball games against tough teams. Currently, the Broncos are giving up 205.4 passing yards per game and 107.3 rushing yards per game, so their defense has been pretty successful lately. The Colts are a balanced squad with a slight tendency towards running the ball, which is really the strength of this Broncos defense as they have only given up more than 100 rush yards twice this season. The Colts do have an oustanding offensive line so I like Marlon Mack’s chances of getting close to the 100 yard mark, but not his chances of finding the endzone as the Broncos haven’t given up a rushing score in the last 4 weeks. On the other hand the Colts are currently giving up 268.2 passing yards per game and 111 rushing yards per game. I have a bad feeling about Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay not getting enough to have fantasy value, I do feel pretty good about Courtland Sutton’s chances of having a good day with his new role as THE GUY in the Denver passing game (Emmanuel Sanders was traded to the 49ers this week). I’m clearly picking the Indianapolis Colts here, but for fantasy purposes we can start: M. Mack, T. Hilton, and C. Sutton.
TB (2-4) @ TEN (3-4) – This should be an evenly matched game, both teams are struggling on the season. Had the Titans not benched Mariota, this would have been a game between the 2015 first and second overall picks, who both have been struggling and have questionable futures with their teams. But that isn’t the reality we live in and Ryan Tannehill will be leading the Titans against Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers. Tampa is currently giving up a league high 320.7 passing yards per game and only 68 rush yards per game. So, I don’t like Derrick Henry in this game (even though the Titans prefer to run the ball), but surprisingly I think A.J. Brown and Corey Davis both have a chance to put up good numbers. Tennessee is giving up 251 passing yards per game and 2.4 passing touchdowns, while also surrendering 95.1 rush yards per game. I don’t have a good feeling about the production of Ronald Jones or Peyton Barber since they share the workload and havent been very effective rushing the ball. But you should still start C. Godwin and M. Evans. I’d leave both Winston and Tannehill out of my starting lineup. I don’t have a good feeling about either defense so leave those on your bench too, if your desperate maybe the Titans as J. Winston is turnover prone. I like Tennessee to win this game. Oh and Adam Humphries revenge game.
ARI (3-3-1) @ NO (6-1) – Arizona has been doing better lately, they’ve actually won 3 in a row, but they’ve faced the Giants, Falcons and Bengals so not playoff contenders by any stretch of the imagination. New Orleans has won every game since Drew Brees went out with his injury, and I like them to win this game too. Kamara and Brees are both questionable for this game, I doubt they will be needed to win this one anyway. If the Saints organization is smart they should let those two sit out another one. Arizona has been giving up 285.6 passing yards per game and 129.1 rush yards per game. So this gives the Saints RB plenty of work to do, whether Kamara is back or not, if he isn’t then start Latavius Murray as an RB1, Michael Thomas is still a WR1, and Teddy Bridgewater is a streaming option in this one. The Saints are giving up 256.9 passing yards per game and 90.7 rush yards per game. So if you picked up Chase Edmonds on waivers this week I’d leave him on your bench, if David Johnson plays I’d still start him though. There is room for a Cardinals WR to have success here but I’m not sure who it will be, I’d vote for Christian Kirk if he’s available for the game, Kyler Murray isn’t a streaming option in my opinion in this one.
CIN (0-7) @ LAR (4-3) – Unlucky Bengals coach Zac Taylor gets a homecoming as he returns to face the Rams in L.A. this week. The winless Bengals are hurting for a win this year, and the Rams have had a couple bad losses so far, but they got themselves back on track last week with a win against Atlanta, they should win here easily too. The Bengals are giving up 249.4 passing yards per game and 189 rushing yards per game and have given up over 200 yards on the ground in 4 of their 7 losses so far. This means I like Todd Gurley this week, I also have a feeling that if the Rams get up big that they’ll let the number 2 RB get some work too (which is likely) so if Malcolm Brown is active I’d have him as a high end flex option with upside if he isn’t then insert Darrell Henderson with the same expectations. I don’t expect the Rams to need to throw the ball much this week. On the flip side the Rams are giving up: 251 passing yards per game and 95.9 rushing yards per game, so I don’t feel very good about Joe Mixon finding himself here and since the Rams added Jalen Ramsey I don’t feel very good about the Bengals passing attack either.
NYJ (1-5) @ JAX (3-4) – This should be an interesting matchup between Sam Darnold and Gardner Minshew, hopefully Sam isn’t “seeing any ghosts” in this game. With Jalen Ramsey now in L.A. this passing defense should be a little worse for the wear. The Jaguars are currently giving up 263 passing yards per game and 117.1 rush yards per game. So I like Le’Veon Bell in this contest; I don’t feel great about Sam Darnold, so leave him out of your lineups. If Chris Herndon is active this could be a good chance to play him if your desperate, but I’d give it another week and see how he does. The Jets are currently giving up 269 passing yards per game and 92.2 rushing yards per game and 1.7 rushing touchdowns per game. This means that Leonard Fournette should have a pretty good game as well, definitely put him in your lineups. The Jets are giving up 7 yards per pass attempt, so I’d give Minshew the nod if your in need of a streamer, either D.J. Chark or Dede Westbrook will have a good day and probably a touchdown so I’d feel pretty confident playing either of them. I’m taking Jacksonville in this one to get themselves to .500.
NYG (2-5) @ DET (2-3-1) – A lackluster matchup in Detroit this week, prior to placing Kerryon Johnson on IR, I would’ve said they were the best two win team in the NFC. With the loss of Kerryon, I’m going to pick the Giants to find a way to win again. Detroit is currently giving up 299.2 passing yards per game and 139.2 rushing yards per game. So there should be a lot of opportunity here for the Giants playmakers, Saquan Barkley should be a locked and loaded RB1, I feel good about Evan Engram too (since it doesn’t take much to be a TE1), also either Shepard or Tate should have a good game but I don’t think both will. The Giants are giving up 275.1 passing yards per game and 131.4 rushing yards per game. This means one of the Lions RBs will have a good day, I’m suggesting that its Ty Johnson here, they should want to evaluate his abilities. Marvin Jones had 4 touchdowns last week, but I don’t think he’ll do that again, start him and Golladay. If your in the streaming market Stafford and Daniel Jones are both options you can look at.
PHI (3-4) @ BUF (5-1) – The Eagles take a short trip up to Buffalo to take on a solid Bills team. The Eagles have lost their last 2 games, while Buffalo has won their last two. On paper these two teams should be fairly evenly matched, I’m going to take an upset pick here of the Eagles. The Bills are currently giving up 214.8 passing yards per game and 91.5 rush yards per game. This doesn’t give much opportunity to the Eagles playmakers, they are going to have to find a way to make the big plays when they have the chance. Buffalo actually under performed their expectations against an awful Miami team so we’ll see how they do this week. The Eagles are giving up 287.9 passing yards per game and 89.4 rush yards per game. What all this means is, I wouldn’t play any running backs in this game (J. Howard, M. Sanders, F. Gore, D. Singletary). But there should be some opportunity for the Bills pass catchers, if they can improve upon their season average of only 241.8 passing yards per game. I like Josh Allen, Cole Beasley and John Brown here to keep this close. I don’t feel very good about Wentz or Jeffery. But both D/STs could be good as both teams are turnover prone.
SEA (5-2) @ ATL (1-6) – It looks like at least Atlanta has started to see the writing on the wall, they are not making the playoffs this year, I hope that wasn’t a secret for anyone. With the Mohamed Sanu trade this week another Falcons playmaker has left the nest. Seattle lost to a tough Ravens team last week, but they should rebound here. The Falcons are giving up 278.1 passing yards per game and 113.7 rushing yards per game. I like Chris Carson’s chances here of finding the endzone giving him a high floor. Realistically the Seahawks’ should be able to win this game anyway they want to. Russell Wilson should have a good game, but if they get up early he likely won’t need to do much, obviously you should still start Tyler Lockett. On the flip side, the Seahawks are giving up 258.6 passing yards per game and 108 rushing yards per game. If Devonta Freeman is active, which he should be since he was ejected last week, then I like his opportunity here. If Matt Ryan plays this is a good spot for him too, but since he’s battling this injury I have concerns about this whole Falcons offense. You’re obviously still starting Julio no matter what.
LAC (2-5) @ CHI (3-3) – Okay, homer pick here, surprise surprise going with the Chicago Bears here, I don’t think I’ve picked against them since I started writing this blog. But they are in need of a rebound after dropping two straight games. This is a Chargers team who found a way to defy the odds and be awful this season. The Chargers are giving up 229 passing yards per game and 117.1 rushing yards per game. So the Bears will have to win either by running the ball, which they haven’t been so successful with this season but their defense will probably score and their offense will do just enough to secure the win. The Bears are giving up 261.7 passing yards per game and 94.3 rushing yards per game. Melvin Gordon has struggled since returning and Austin Ekeler has still found success, I like his opportunity to continue that trend and think that Gordon will continue to struggle. Phillip Rivers has been sub par so far this season, so keep him out of your lineups. I do like either Mike Williams or Keenan Allen to score, but I’m not sure which one it will be.
CAR (4-2) @ SF (6-0) – The Panthers return from bye to take on the undefeated 49ers. Fantasy owners are definitely happy to have Christian McCaffrey return. I’m picking San Francisco to keep their undefeated streak going, but Carolina will keep it close and it wouldn’t surprise me if they found a way to win. Carolina is giving up 250.2 passing yards per game and 119 rushing yards per game. So Tevin Coleman and Matt Brieda should both have opportunities to be successful, Coleman was the goal line back in the last game so he may find opportunity here again. Kyle Shanahan has said he expects Emmanuel Sanders to be available for them this week, so I expect him to make his new toy have a successful first outing. The 49ers are currently giving up 159 passing yards per game and 90 rush yards per game. So it may be a tough game for the Panthers. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that Christian McCaffrey puts the team on his back and moves the ball, he’s an RB1. But I’d shy away from the other Panthers players.
CLE (2-4) @ NE (7-0) – The struggling Browns take on the undefeated Patriots. Not going to pick against New England here. But I do want to just say how unfair it is that the league gives the Patriots a schedule that is literally cake. They have all but ensured that they have a high seed in the playoffs, they didn’t need any help to make that happen in the first place. Okay, now that I’m off my soapbox, the Browns are giving up 240.2 passing yards per game and 154 rushing yards per game. So, I like Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead (if he plays) to have good performances and be start-able assets. You’re going to play Tom Brady no matter what, but its highly possible that he has a performance similar to Monday Night. You’re playing Julian Edelman, especially in a PPR format. The Patriots are giving up 172.3 passing yards per game and 74.7 rushing yards per game. So this means like every other week this season, you’ll be starting the fantasy MVP, the New England D/ST. Leave Baker out of your lineup; if you have OBJ, you’re likely playing him, but if your gutsy enough to make the call put him on your bench as Belichick has a way of taking away the top option for the opposition. You’re still starting Nick Chubb no matter what.
OAK (3-3) @ HOU (4-3) – Houston lost a tough game last week, this could be the salve that cures that for them. Oakland won’t be a pushover opponent for them though, so they’ll actually have to fight for this win. Oakland is currently giving up 301.7 passing yards per game and 86.7 rushing yards per game. Good thing Houston isn’t winning any games on the backs of Carlos Hyde or Duke Johnson. But I’d expect Deshaun Watson to have a huge performance again, DeAndre Hopkins and Kenny Stills should have nice games that make their fantasy owners happy. By the way if Stills is out there on your waiver wire, he shouldn’t be! On the flip side, the Texans are giving up 294.6 passing yards per game and 84.3 rushing yards per game. The rush defense is actually pretty good, and they haven’t given up any rushing touchdowns since week 5, so I’d be cautious starting Josh Jacobs. If you want hot takes here’s one YOU CAN STREAM DEREK CARR. You’re starting his weapons: Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller. I’ll be watching this game to see how they incorporate Zay Jones, oh and keep an eye on if Tyrell Williams is active.
GB (6-1) @ KC (5-2) – Sunday Night Football – Listen to this headline: Mahomes vs Rodgers!! That had a ring to it didn’t it, that would’ve been a game to see. But it looks like Mahomes will miss this week unfortunately. So we’ll see Matt Moore vs Aaron Rodgers, woohoo. Anyway, have to side with the Packers here they are on fire. Right now the Chiefs are giving up 250 passing yards per game and 148.9 rushing yards per game. They stepped up their defense when Mahomes left last week, but Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams should have a field day here and both have a chance to score. I’m having a feeling that Rodgers could have another good game, but don’t expect a 6 TD performance. Fingers crossed Davante Adams is healthy enough to give it a go. I could go into the Packers defensive numbers, but you’re starting your Chiefs weapons no matter what, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Leave the ancillary receivers on your bench. You can still start LeSean McCoy, I’d be worried about Damien Williams.
MIA (0-6) @ PIT (2-4) – A team in full on tank mode takes on a struggling Steelers team. Pittsburgh should win here, if for some reason the Dolphins find themselves in a position to win I would expect that they put in Josh Rosen to get them back on the losing track. Okay, sorry Dolphins fans, I shouldn’t bash your team. The Steelers should win here, easily. They’re coming off a bye and Mason Rudolph should be back under center. James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster should both find success. Benny Snell is a quality handcuff if Conner doesn’t play. I’d leave all the other pass catchers out of my lineup though.
DAL: D.Prescott, E. Elliott, A. Cooper, M. Gallup, J. Witten
BAL: L. Jackson, M. Ingram, M. Brown, M. Andrews