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THE DIVE: Week 8 “Fantasy Trick or Treat”

This may feel like a broken record and you have read this line before, but “what a weird week.” After an onslaught of offense in Week 4, we saw the opposite in Week 7. In fact, seven teams failed to score an offensive touchdown. Chicago successfully defeated Carolina with only 153 total yards, including only four completed passes from rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky! The Los Angeles Rams have now proven they are a completely different team than their 2016 shell.  The Rams rose from the worst offense last season to the peak of the league through Week 7 with the most points scored in the league. In fact, they will likely outscore their 2016 season points total by Week 9 (the Rams have a Week 8 bye).

Will your team be tricked this week? Or, will they be treated to a sweet fantasy win? With Halloween next week, don’t let lineup decisions haunt you this weekend. With Arizona, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants and Tennessee on bye along with a slew of injuries, take a dive with me as we discuss several key players and a defense looking for monster performances! The weather is beginning to turn as you can expect moderate wind in the Tampa Bay/Carolina game along with both rain and wind in Buffalo (vs. Oakland), New York Jets  (vs. Atlanta) and Washington (vs. Dallas) games.

QB Dak Prescott, Dallas

After an impressive rookie season, Dak Prescott has only looked better as a sophomore. Prescott was drafted primarily as a QB2 or even left on the waiver wire in more shallow leagues, but has been one of the most consistent quarterbacks in fantasy football this season. The Dallas star quarterback has scored at least three touchdowns in four straight games along with throwing for at least 234 yards and rushing for at least 25 years in the last three. With a matchup against division rival Washington (who will be playing on a short week and have allowed the 10th-most points to opposing quarterbacks) keep Prescott in your starting lineup. The Washington secondary was just scorched by Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz on Monday night, so get ready for another elite performance from Prescott.

Week 8 forecast: 250 passing yards, 25 rushing yards, 2 TD

RB Matt Forte, New York Jets

New York Jets veteran running back Matt Forte has returned to fantasy relevance. Although he is yet to score this season, he appears to be splitting the workload with Bilal Powell instead of serving as the secondary option. Also, Forte has 13 catches over the last two weeks and is playing about half of the offensive snaps. The Jets will welcome struggling Atlanta, who has given up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs (including over 4.6 yards per carry)! With both Forte and Powell appearing healthy for Week 8, expect Forte as well as Powell to serve as the Jets’ primary offensive weapons.

Week 8 forecast: 75 total yards, TD

WR Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia

Although Zach Ertz appears locked in as quarterback Carson Wentz’ primary receiving target, Philadelphia wide receiver Nelson Agholor has risen as the secondary option and key red zone target. Agholor has a touchdown in every game this season except for two and has now scored in three straight contests! As Wentz continues to improve and seems to be firing on all cylinders, his receiving weapons are also flourishing. With a home matchup against San Francisco, who has surrendered the 10th-most points to opposing wideouts and eighth-most receiving yards, start Agholor as low WR2/high WR3 with upside!

Week 8 forecast: 75 receiving yards, TD

TE Jared Cook, Oakland

Oakland veteran tight end Jared Cook was not experiencing any major breakouts this season with his new team, and likely will not be a reliable week-to-week option. With that being said, Cook made several clutch catches in Oakland’s comeback victory over Kansas City and earned 107 receiving yards for the game. With Derek Carr playing better and closer to full health, Cook may be a streaming option in Week 8 when Oakland visits Buffalo. Although Buffalo’s defense has been strong this season, it has struggled against opposing tight ends by allowing the sixth-most points to the position, including two scores to Tampa Bay tight end O.J. Howard last week. This is the week to start Cook!

Week 8 forecast: 50 receiving yards, TD

D/ST Miami Dolphins

Whether it was superb play from third string quarterback Matt Moore or simply beating up on divisional rival New York Jets, Miami looked slightly rejuvenated in Week 7. Although the offense has struggled most of the season under Jay Cutler, the defense has been fairly consistent. With 11 sacks over the last three games, it has been pressuring quarterbacks recently and should be a nice “plug and play” for Week 8. Miami visits Baltimore, whose offense appears out of sync with a number of key players injured. If your defense is on a bye or is defending against an offensive powerhouse, then consider grabbing Miami for Thursday’s game.

Week 8 forecast: 11 points

About Marc Griffis

Marc Griffis has competed in fantasy football, baseball, and basketball leagues since 2005. Marc has written "The Dive" for Fantasy Sharks since 2010. Additionally, his expertise is featured in David Gonos' E-books "101 Fantasy Baseball Tips" and "101 Fantasy Football Tips". Lastly, Marc competed in the Fantasy Sports Trade Association SiriusXM Fantasy Baseball experts' league from 2012-2014.