Happy Halloween! After you have trick-or-treated your neighborhood on Saturday evening, then you can sink your sweet tooth into your pile of candy while watching Week 8’s NFL action! Week 7 did not disappoint with prolific performances from several quarterbacks including Ryan Tannehill, Tom Brady, Kirk Cousins, and Philip Rivers. The ground attack was also in full force for many teams as twelve running backs surpassed 100 rushing yards including Lamar Miller, Darren McFadden, Mark Ingram, Doug Martin, Todd Gurley, Jonathan Stewart, Chris Johnson, Marshawn Lynch, Le’Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman, T.J. Yeldon, and Charcandrick West.
Who says the NFL is only a passing game these days? Unfortunately, one top running back handled his last carry of the season. After a triumphant return from a hamstring injury a few weeks ago, Arian Foster tore his Achilles tendon and will be sidelined the rest of the year.
In most leagues, there are still six weeks of the fantasy regular season remaining. If you are 1-5, then it is time to begin a run. If you are in the middle of your standings, then keep winning and snag that first round playoff bye. Take a dive with me as I examine several players that may be in for a performance sweeter than the candy your next-door neighbor just handed you!
The Detroit Lions have been one of 2015’s earliest disappointments. However, the Lions finally recorded a victory in Week 6 and appear to be improving. Quarterback Matthew Stafford has also been inconsistent, but just recently seems to be progressing forward with 6 touchdowns and an average of over 330 passing yards over the last two games. In addition, Coach Jim Caldwell has promoted Jim Bob Cooter to Offensive Coordinator. Cooter has strong rapport with Stafford. Consider starting Matthew Stafford in Week 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs who have allowed the 7th most points to opposing quarterbacks. Stafford’s career résumé against Kansas City is limited to one game, but was a strong four-touchdown performance. If you are considering starting him this weekend, please be aware that this game is in London with kickoff at 9:30AM EST and pay close attention to Stafford’s injury status after he injured his left, non-throwing hand in Week 7.
Week 8 Projection: 275 passing yards; 2 TD
After Jamaal Charles’ season-ending injury, both rookie Charcandrick West and Knile Davis suddenly became fantasy relevant to manage Kansas City’s rushing attack. Although neither impressed in Week 6, West was able to break out in Week 7 with 129 total yards including a touchdown. West will travel to London to face the Detroit Lions who have allowed the 8th most fantasy points and 2nd most touchdowns to opposing backs. In fact, they have allowed 5 touchdowns to running backs in their last three games. West should be considered as RB2 or flex option for Week 8.
Week 8 Projection: 100 total yards; 1 TD
WR Stefon Diggs
If you still think rookie Stefon Diggs is a fluke, then you are clearly wrong. After he entered fantasy radar in Week 4 with 87 receiving yards, Diggs now has back-to-back 100-plus yard performances. With an attractive matchup against the Chicago Bears at Solder Field (the Bears have surrendered the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing wideouts), Diggs should be considered a low WR2, high WR3/flex option. In Week 6, Chicago’s secondary was torched for 317 receiving yards by Detroit’s wide receiving corps. Start Diggs in this juicy matchup!
Week 8 Projection: 100 receiving yards; 1 TD
Whether you own Antonio Gates or not, don’t let his status deter you from considering starting Ladarius Green this weekend. Gates is questionable for Week 8 with an MCL injury, but Green will be valuable regardless. If Gates misses Week 8, then Green should be considered a TE1. When Gates has played this season, Green has still been productive. The San Diego Chargers fly to the east coast to battle the Baltimore Ravens who have actually defended opposing tight ends well this season. However, Green has been one of Rivers’ top targets and should be in store for another productive game whether he or Antonio Gates is the starter in Week 8.
Week 8 Projection: 60 receiving yards; 1 TD
Def/Special Teams San Francisco 49ers
Remember when San Francisco was the most feared defense in the league? This could not be more contradictory in 2015 as the 49ers defense has ranked near the bottom of the league most of the season. Part of the blame can be attributed to their inept offense, which struggled mightily in Week 7 and left the defense on the field most of the game. On the bright side, San Francisco has recorded five sacks as well as four interceptions over the last two contests and may be a sleeper “plug-and-play” if your defense is on bye or facing a proficient offense in Week 8. San Francisco visits the St. Louis Rams whose offense has been far from a “well oiled machine” except for Todd Gurley’s exceptional start. If the 49ers offense can re-energize, then their defense should limit Gurley and halt Nick Foles’ passing attack.
Week 8 Projection: 11 points
Week 7 Results:
Week 7 Projection: 225 passing yards; 2 passing TD
Week 7 Results: 295 passing yards; 2 passing TD; 29 rushing yards (great call)
Week 7 Projection: 100 total yards; 1 TD
Week 7 Results: 19 total yards (bad call)
Week 7 Projection: 100 receiving yards; 1 TD
Week 7 Results: 58 total yards; 1 TD (ok call)
TE Ben Watson
Week 7 Projection: 75 receiving yards; 1 TD
Week 7 Results: 59 receiving yards (bad call)
Defense/Special Teams Atlanta Falcons
Week 7 Projection: 12 points
Week 7 Results: 9 points (ok call)
Good luck in Week 8!