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FLEX APPEAL: Week 8

Ah, bye week hell! Thanks for rearing your ugly head on this already crazy season. We are without all players from Arizona, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants, and Tennessee. Stop what you’re doing and check your lineups for any players from the teams I just stated. This week (along with next week) will be extremely tough for lineup decisions, but don’t fret! I am here for you, Sharks! Time is money, so let’s go ahead and look at some RB3, RB4, WR4 and WR5 types that you can flex during Week 8’s bye week hell. Let’s get “flexy”, shall we?

Running Backs

Matt Forte, NYJ (vs. Atlanta)

The old man can still get it done, folks. Forte averaged 5.9 yards per carry in week 7, while also reeling in all 5 of his targets for 41 yards. Everyone seems to still be on the Bilal Powell bandwagon, but I’m telling you that Forte is the play this week. Forte out-snapped Powell last week, and out-touched him (albeit barely…) 12-11. That trend will continue, and Forte could be the Jets leading receiver yet again. Atlanta is a plus matchup for running backs, so look for Forte to take advantage of that in Week 8.

DeAndre Washington, OAK (at Buffalo)

Again, this is me planting my flag on the lesser of the popular committee members. It was Washington who had the goal line touchdown in week 7, and he will be the one who gets the goal line touches in Week 8. Why, you ask? Washington is averaging 5 yards per carry against a stacked box, which ranks 6th among all running backs this year. I think Jalen Richard is a fine flex play as well, but Washington is the one that seems be getting the short end of the stick in everyone’s rankings. Flex Washington with confidence.

Marlon Mack, IND (at Cincinnati) 

Is this the game where Mack finally breaks out? I think it may be! Although Mack only had 5 carries, he made them count, as he rushed for 26 yards (that’s 5.2 yards per carry against the daunting Jacksonville rush defense…). The most telling statistic, though, is that he had 6 targets in Week 7 (Frank Gore had no targets…). He reeled in 4 out of those 6 targets for 40 yards, which isn’t too shabby. Mack leads all running backs in breakaway run rate (runs of over 10 yards) as he has a breakaway run on 15.6 % of his carries. Cincinnati should get out to an early lead, forcing the Colts to utilize their more elusive back.

Wendell Smallwood, PHI (vs. San Francisco)

Smallwood isn’t the “flexiest” play this week, but he offers legitimate upside. He is going up against the 49ers this week, who are the best matchup for a running back. Did you see what Ezekiel Elliot just did to the 49ers!? No, Smallwood is nowhere near the talent level of Elliott, but still. He is averaging 4.8 yards per carry against base defenses this year, which ranks him 10th best at the position. The 49ers are not going to stack the box against Wentz and Co., so Smallwood should see success in Week 8. During bye week hell, you could do far worse for your flex.

About Ryan Black

Ryan is a fantasy football enthusiast who specializes in redraft and keeper leagues. He lives in Yorktown, VA with his beautiful wife, son, and daughter. Feel free to ask him any and everything regarding fantasy football on twitter. It's all about winning that fantasy football championship, Sharks!