Welcome to the Week 8 Start/Sit by CPGM. In week 7 Jay Cutler and Carson Palmer went down with injuries and offenses reverted back to their putrid play that we saw in the beginning of the year. Three teams were shut-out (Colts, Cardinals, Broncos) and many other teams couldn’t get anything going. The fantasy community wants points football teams so hopefully you all get your stuff together.
Fantasy Football Start/Sit Week 8
Start – Cam Newton vs Buccaneers
If you’re a Cam Newton owner it has been a roller coaster all season long. Newton started the season slow, picked it up in weeks four and five and then struggled the last couple of weeks including last week’s debacle against the Chicago Bears throwing 2 interceptions and 0 touchdowns. Cam’s success as a fantasy quarterback arises when he runs the football but if he doesn’t become a better passer then he can’t be relied upon to be a consistent QB1. He gets a fine opportunity this week to enter Top 5 territory as he faces off against the putrid Buccaneers defense. The Bucs can’t cover receivers, tackle ball carriers or get to the quarterback. I see a big Cam Newton 2015 MVP type performance on the horizon in Week 8 as he will get it done by air and by ground. The Buccaneers are allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete passes at a 69% clip, ranked 30th in pass defense and have recorded the least amount of sacks in the NFL. Superman will be on full display in this divisional contest, get Cam in your lineup.
- Dak Prescott vs Redskins
- Carson Wentz vs 49ers
- Kirk Cousins vs Cowboys
- Philip Rivers vs Patriots
Sit – Derek Carr vs Bills
Temper your expectations for Derek Carr after he exploded for a season high 417 yards and 3 touchdown performance against the Kansas City Chiefs last week. The Raiders offense was sputtering throughout the first six games before they got hot against a Chiefs defense that hasn’t been able to contain opposing receivers. Amari Cooper went bonkers catching 11 passes for 210 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Raiders made a concerted effort to get Cooper the ball by lining him up in the slot numerous times and peppering him with 19 targets. The Raiders will be without Marshawn Lynch this week and will again try to throw the football all over the park against the Bills. The Bills defense is not the Chiefs defense as they’ve only allowed 5 passing touchdowns which ranks 2nd in the league. A one dimensional offense is not the way to play against the Bills due to their impressive athletes on the edges therefore Carr going off for 300+ yards is not expected.
Start – Dion Lewis vs Chargers
First things first let me put this disclaimer out there; trusting a Bill Belichick running back in fantasy is like trusting the Cleveland Browns to win football games. Belichick changes his mind often on who to give the most carries too depending on the game plan for that week as he has a 4-man committee with Rex Burkhead back in the mix. So why Dion Lewis? For starters he plays against a Chargers run defense that ranks second to last allowing 140 yards per game, 4.9 yards per carry and 7 runs over 20 yards. The Chargers defense played surprisingly well last week against the Broncos offense but the Patriots offense is in a completely different stratosphere. Look for Lewis to again dominate the early down work as he is the preferred option over Mike Gillislee at the moment and should get around 15 carries for 90+ yards and a touchdown. He is a sneaky play this week that can be the difference in your fantasy matchup.
- Mark Ingram vs Bears
- Latavius Murray vs Browns
- Jordan Howard vs Saints
- Chris Thompson vs Cowboys
- LeGarrette Blount vs 49ers
Isaiah Crowell vs Vikings
You all need to check our podcast on iTunes and SoundCloud as we have a segment where we “slap” a player, coach, GM or the entire organization if they make a dumb decision for that week. We’ve been picking on Hue Jackson lately for playing QB carousel and not giving the ball to his running backs as that is the strength of his team. Isaiah Crowell was a hot name leading up to fantasy drafts because of his talent but I was hesitant because I did not trust #HueIsUnfit to stick to the running game. Fast forward to Week 8 and Crowell is considered one of the biggest draft busts as he has rushed for a miniscule 287 yards on 3.2 yards per attempt and 0 touchdowns. Crowell is getting more carries as of late averaging 15 a game over the last 3 weeks but this matchup against the Vikings this week is as tough as it gets. The Vikings run defense has allowed only 1 rushing touchdown this season and ranks 3rd in total rushing yards allowed per game at 76.6, therefore tread lightly with Crowell this week.
Start – Keenan Allen vs Patriots
Keenan “The Target Monster” Allen should be on full display this week running open against a Patriot secondary that has struggled this season. The Patriots has allowed every quarterback to throw for at least 300 yards until Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense stunk it up on national TV last week. Some may think the Pats defense is turning the corner as they usually do as the season goes along, but I think it was more of a struggling Falcons offense led by Steve “The Sauce” Sarkisian that bailed the Patriots defense out. I like all the Chargers stars this week as this should be a high scoring affair. Allen is second in the league in targets behind Antonio Brown and should be the biggest beneficiary of the leaky Patriots pass defense. Double digit catches, 100+ yards and a touchdown is not out of the question. Fire up Allen!
- Amari Cooper vs Bills
- Dez Bryant vs Redskins
- Kelvin Benjamin vs Buccaneers
- Nelson Agholor vs 49ers
- Adam Thielen vs Browns
Marvin Jones vs Steelers
After starting the 2016 season at a blistering pace, Marvin Jones has been on a milk carton ever since. He actually had his biggest game last week against the Saints catching 6 passes for 96 yards since his 2016 Week 3 performance where he went off for 205 yards and 2 touchdowns. The injury to Golden Tate and the Lions playing catch-up ball against the Saints played a large part into his season high 14 targets. Don’t expect that same amount of targets this week against the Steelers defense as they’ve been as sticky as it gets. The Steelers boast the NFL’s top ranked pass defense at 147 yards per game and the Lions should try and exploit their run defense with Ameer Abdullah. Also don’t rule out Tate to make a return this week which muddies up Jones’ fantasy outlook.
Start – Jordan Reed vs Cowboys
Uber talented tight end Jordan Reed has battled numerous injuries this season which is a microcosm of his injury prone career. So far this year he’s battled a chest injury, a shoulder issue and a broken toe. The toe injury is the biggest hurdle due to the nature of his game, winning with excellent route running and yards after the catch. His shiftiness was visibly missing throughout the season but watching him on Monday Night against the Eagles where he scored 2 touchdowns, Reed showed me that he is as healthy as he’s ever been this year. He caught two slants that displayed his top tier footwork and size/speed prowess. Enter the Dallas Cowboys in Week 8 whom Reed has had success against in his career. Last season Reed caught 15 passes for 165 yards and 2 touchdowns against the divisional foe. Kirk Cousins has no trust in his receivers at the moment which leads him to target his tight end and running backs early and often. If Reed doesn’t have a setback then I’m predicting a big game from the 5th year tight end.
- Hunter Henry vs Patriots
- Kyle Rudolph vs Browns
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins vs Falcons
- Tyler Kroft vs Colts
O.J. Howard vs Panthers
The rookie out of Alabama had his break out game last week catching all 6 of his targets for 98 yards and 2 touchdowns. Many fantasy owners might believe Howard has arrived as a pass catching tight end but I beg to differ. The Bucs want to predominately use Howard as an extra blocker along the line of scrimmage and his touchdowns were beautifully designed plays by the coaching staff. I don’t believe a team that knows the Bucs really well in the Panthers will make those mistakes to allow Howard wide open on the football field. The Panthers will get an added boost with the return of All-Everything linebacker Luke Kuechly who will make sure Howard doesn’t get loose on Sunday.
Defense to stream
New Orleans Saints vs Bears
The New Orleans Saints killed the 2017 NFL draft which yielded difference makers on both sides of the ball; none more dominant than first round pick Marshon Lattimore. I was all over Lattimore as the best corner in the draft and he hasn’t disappointed me or the Saints this season. The ability for them to lockdown on the outside is making it easier for everyone else on the field. This week against the Bears it will be all hats on deck as they will play 8-9 men in the box to slow up John Fox’s run game. The Bears prefer not to pass the football with rookie Mitchell Trubisky, therefore if the Saints stuff the run and get ahead at home there may be a lot of fantasy points scored for a Saints defense as the Bears will be forced to pass the football.
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