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The Lowdown – Week 8

Welcome to The Lowdown for Week 8. This is my little corner of the fantasy football universe — feel free to pull up a chair and stay a while!

Happy Halloween?

One of the joys of getting older is being able to admit one’s own shortcomings and not feeling any pressure to correct them. Case in point: I am a miserable curmudgeon. But much like overweight feminists, septuagenarian socialists, and unfunny late-night Comedy Central hosts, I feel no need to  apologize for my behavior, much less to try and correct it.

I hate Halloween and always have, even as a child. Why do I need to spend time to come up with a clever costume to impress some idiots at a party? Can’t I just wear a cheap suit and show up as a Democrat? Time is money, after all.

The worst part is that even at my advanced age, I can’t escape this nonsense… you see, my wife views Halloween as the holiest of all holidays. She goes bananas trying to dress up my son as something “funny or cool” and then buys a ton of candy to put out for the neighborhood kids. Did I mention that we live in a neighborhood that has no kids? Every year, 95% of the Halloween candy gets left behind; then my wife wonders where all that candy went and why I can’t seem to lose a few pounds.

In a country where citizens are considering the banning of certain words, providing trigger warnings in college courses, and outlawing the use of pronouns like he and she, can’t we first consider the banning of Halloween?

On second thought, never mind. I’ve grown rather accustomed to the misery I feel this time of year.

 

Interesting Players for Week 8

If you’re interested, here is the list of the top 10 at each offensive position (along with a relative value) for this weekend’s games. Use it to gauge how two players compare. For example, if Tom Brady has an FFRS of 44 this week and Derek Carr has a 33, then you should think of Brady as being a 33% stronger play than Carr this week. Use these FFRS for standard fantasy leagues for waivers or lineup decisions; in DFS leagues use the relative nature of the FFRS to gauge dollar values between players.

Good luck! (PPR scoring is used for the FFRS rankings below)

Top 10 QB Plays:

  1. Andy Dalton, CIN (vs. Pit) – 22.22
  2. Philip Rivers, SDC (vs. Bal) – 21.11
  3. Cam Newton, CAR (vs. Ind) – 20.16
  4. Aaron Rodgers, GBP (vs. Den) – 19.71
  5. Carson Palmer, ARI (vs. Cle) – 19.18
  6. Brian Hoyer, HOU (vs. Ten) – 18.68
  7. Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ (vs. Oak) – 18.25
  8. Andrew Luck, IND (vs. Car) – 18.16
  9. Eli Manning, NYG (vs. NOS) – 17.80
  10. Matt Ryan, ATL (vs. TBB) – 17.23

Carson Palmer continues his impressive season– to me, he’s the MVP of fantasy QBs. While I can pat myself on the back for predicting Andy Dalton’s fine season, Palmer was pretty much a waiver wire pick up in most leagues. Geno who? Ryan Fitzpatrick has been rock steady, proving you don’t need to be a top QB in order for talented WRs like Brandon Marshall to put up big numbers.

Top 10 RB Plays:

  1. Devonta Freeman, ATL (vs. TBB) – 25.30
  2. Le’Veon Bell, PIT (vs. Cin) – 22.04
  3. Doug Martin, TBB (vs. Atl) – 21.02
  4. Mark Ingram, NOS (vs. NYG) – 20.53
  5. Todd Gurley, STL (vs. SFO) – 20.10
  6. Chris Ivory, NYJ (vs. Oak) – 20.02
  7. Justin Forsett, BAL (vs. SDC) – 18.91
  8. Danny Woodhead, SDC (vs. Bal) – 18.68
  9. Matt Forte, CHI (vs. Min) – 18.67
  10. Frank Gore, IND (vs. Car) – 16.49

Todd Gurley has definitely rewarded owners who were patient enough to stash him on their roster for four weeks; the kid looks like the real deal. Then again, so did Jeremy Hill last season– but I’m not here to poop on anyone’s keeper aspirations. At the outset of the season, how many of us “experts” had predicted that Woodhead would be the RB to start in San Diego over Melvin Gordon and Branden Oliver? Woodhead has been a PPR machine this season, and given the way Philip Rivers has been slinging the ball this season I see no reason (other than injury) that Woodhead’s production would fall off.

Top 10 WR Plays:

  1. Julio Jones, ATL (vs. TBB) – 27.59
  2. Keenan Allen, SDC (vs. Bal) – 26.07
  3. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (vs. Ten) – 25.50
  4. Stefon Diggs, MIN (vs. Chi) – 24.55
  5. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (vs. Cle) – 24.27
  6. Brandon Marshall, NYJ (vs. Oak) – 24.11
  7. Alshon Jeffery, CHI (vs. Min) – 23.55
  8. Calvin Johnson, DET (vs. KCC) – 23.54
  9. A.J. Green, CIN (vs. Pit) – 22.68
  10. Martavis Bryant, PIT (vs. Cin) – 22.38

I know this will sound completely self-serving, but last week’s column (the one that was never handed in) had Stefon Diggs listed as a player to start in the massive Week 7 bye sit-out. I even picked up (and started) Diggs in several of my own leagues. Diggs has had a great little run these past three weeks, but it remains to be seen if his recent notoriety will cause defenses to pay a bit more attention to him. Martavis Bryant has come back strong from his four-game suspension, but there’s a possibility that the return of Ben Roethlisberger under center will shift some targets from Bryant back to Antonio Brown.

Top 10 TE Plays:

  1. Tyler Eifert, CIN (vs. Pit) – 16.79
  2. Jason Witten, DAL (vs. Sea) – 14.83
  3. Greg Olsen, CAR (vs. Ind) – 14.46
  4. Gary Barnidge, CLE (vs. Ari) – 14.28
  5. Martellus Bennett, CHI (vs. Min) – 13.23
  6. Travis Kelce, KCC (vs. Det) – 12.85
  7. Delanie Walker, TEN (vs. Hou) – 12.63
  8. Ben Watson, NOS (vs. NYG) – 12.35
  9. Eric Ebron, DET (vs. KCC) – 11.66
  10. Crockett Gillmore, BAL (vs. SDC) – 11.10

 

TE_Tyler_Eifert_CIN_1
Cincinnati TE Tyler Eifert.

Eifert owners have enjoyed his breakout season, which should continue in a big way against the Steelers– a team that has not been particularly adept at stopping opposing TEs. Antonio Gates would likely have made the list this week, but his injury status being listed as “questionable” is preventing Mighty Max from listing him here. How surreal are the TE rankings this season? Consider this: names like Gary Barnidge, Ben Watson and Crockett Gillmore abound, while a healthy Jimmy Graham remains AWOL.

About John Georgopoulos

John T. Georgopoulos is a 23-year veteran of fantasy sports journalism. John’s Fantasy Forecast series has won the prestigious Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) award for Best Series, and he’s been nominated as an FSWA Award finalist on nine occasions. You can also listen to his weekly, non-sports NSFW opinions at The Riot.