Handicapping Sports

Week 8 NFL Fantasy Cheat Sheet

Image Courtesy of Jay Biggerstaff / Associated Press

Running Backs

Top Picks – guys you HAVE to start if you have them

  1. Kareem Hunt vs. Denver – In recent weeks Hunt has been used more as a rusher and a pass-catcher.  Denver hasn’t been very good against running backs, so this stacks up well.
  2. Todd Gurley vs. Green Bay – He’s having an MVP caliber season, and the Packers aren’t set up to stop runners or pass-catchers out of the backfield.
  3. James Conner vs. Cleveland – He’s been the feature back, and figures to shoulder the work load.  I don’t anticipate Bell being back in the mix just yet.

Players to watch – players worth keeping an eye on

  1. David Johnson vs. San Francisco – The team is changing QB’s, so we’re not sure how that might change the use of Johnson.  It’s worth watching to see if the projections change as a result of the switch.
  2. Chris Ivory vs. New England – With McCoy sitting we’ll see how Ivory gets used, and if he can overcome the deficiencies of the Buffalo line.

Players to avoid – I’d rather not start these guys if I can avoid it

  1. Isaiah Crowell vs. Chicago – Chicago has been really good at shutting down the run this season, and may be up early on the Jets.
  2. Jamaal Williams vs. Los Angeles Rams – The Packers could be down really early, and the Rams are too stout up front to run on.  If the Pack has a shot it’s going to be passing the ball, not running.

Draft King Bargains – decent matchups you can pick up on the cheap

  1. Jalen Richard vs. Indianapolis ($4,200) – The Raiders have traded away their best receiver and the Colts aren’t great against the run.  Richard could get a big workload as a result.
  2. Kerryon Johnson vs. Seattle ($5,300) – Detroit has done a good job of mixing the ball around, and Johnson gets good work as a receiver.  He’s super cheap and could be a great bargain.

Wide Receivers

Top Picks – guys you HAVE to start if you have them

  1. Tyreek Hill vs. Denver – Hill has been putting up crazy numbers, it figures to be another good week for the speedster.
  2. Davante Adams vs. Los Angeles Rams – The Packers figure to be down early, so this could be a huge week for Adams as the Packers try to keep pace with the Rams.
  3. Adam Thielen vs. New Orleans – The Saints haven’t been good at shutting down outside receivers, and Thielen is leading the league in yards.

Players to watch – players worth keeping an eye on

  1. Tyler Boyd vs. Tampa Bay – A.J. Green is still the man in Cincy, but
  2. Josh Gordon vs. Buffalo – Gronk may not play, and if not this is the sort of team that Brady toy with. Think of it as a practice game for Gordon, let’s see how he connects with Brady.

Players to avoid – players worth keeping an eye on

  1. Allen Robinson vs. New York Jets – Trubisky just isn’t finding the outside receivers as much as he is the slot guys.  The Jets are better on defense than you think.
  2. Doug Baldwin vs. Detroit – The addition of Snacks Harrison means more of a pass rush up the middle, and that doesn’t figure well for Wilson finding outside receivers.

Draft King Bargains – decent matchups you can pick up on the cheap

  1. Chris Godwin vs. Cincinnati ($4,500) – The Bucs aren’t going to be able to run the ball, so it means they have to beat them through the air. Godwin is a very cheap option to get in on this high scoring games.
  2. Robby Anderson vs. Chicago ($4,100) – Chicago has a great run defense, so to be competitive the Jets are going to have to air it out.  Anderson (no relation) has a low floor, but the ceiling is up there.

Quarterbacks

Top Picks – guys you HAVE to start if you have them

  1. Patrick Mahomes vs. Denver – He’s been putting up insane numbers every week.  He’s a lock as a must start now.
  2. Kirk Cousins vs. New Orleans – This figures to be a high scoring game, and the Saints lack depth at corner to shut down the passing game of the Vikings.
  3. Jared Goff vs. Green Bay – Another high scoring game where the opposing team has little defense to speak of.  The worry here is that the Rams get up large early and they go to a run first offense that limits how many throws Goff has in the second half.

Players to watch – players worth keeping an eye on

  1. Aaron Rodgers vs. Los Angeles Rams – The Rams have a good defense, but it’s a little beat up.  This to me is a great gauge of what sort of Rodgers we’ll get moving forward.
  2. DeShaun Watson vs. Miami – He’s been banged up a lot recently as the line struggles to stop people.  Look to see if he can excel against a team that is less than optimal at rushing the passer.

Players to avoid – I’d rather not start these guys if I can avoid it

  1. Mitch Trubisky vs. New York Jets – The Jets have a better defense than you think, and while Mitch has put up some big numbers in recent weeks it hasn’t been because of amazing play on his part.  I’m not hitching my buggy to this horse anytime soon.
  2. Any Bills QB vs. New England – The Bills are starting…it doesn’t really matter.  Avoid Bills QB’s like they are an ex at a party.

Draft King Bargains – decent matchups you can pick up on the cheap

  1. Jared Goff vs. Green Bay ($6,000) – Priced in the upper third, but still WAY too cheap for the matching.
  2. Baker Mayfield vs. Pittsburgh ($5,700) – This figures to be a high scoring game and Mayfield has shown he can sling with the best of them.

Tight Ends

Top Picks – guys you HAVE to start if you have them

  1. Travis Kelce vs. Denver – Arguably the best TE in the game.  Just another week of stellar points.
  2. Jared Cook vs. Indianapolis – Indy hasn’t looked good against TE’s in the past, and with Cooper gone who else is Carr throwing to?
  3. George Kittle vs. Arizona – Zona has been miserable at stopping the TE and short passes, and the current San Fran QB hasn’t been able to get the ball outside the numbers.  It figures to be a solid game for Kittle.

Players to watch – players worth keeping an eye on

  1. Jordan Reed vs. New York Giants – The Giants have traded away two starters on defense, and if there was ever a breakout week for Washington players this is the week.
  2. Ben Watson vs. Minnesota – In a high scoring game why not get the tight end into the mix more?  He is still option 4, but might be more involved in a game where the Vikings have good corners.

Players to avoid – I’d rather not start these guys if I can avoid it

  1. C.J. Uzomah vs. Tampa Bay – I’m not sold on this kid, and the Bengals rotate guys.  I’d take a pass, even in a high-scoring game.
  2. Demetrius Harris vs. Denver – He’s seen more work lately, but that’s largely because in garbage time Kelce is on the sidelines.  He’s not worth picking up, not even as a flier.

Draft King Bargains – decent matchups you can pick up on the cheap

  1. Jimmy Graham vs. Los Angeles Rams ($4,700) – The Packers are going to need to score to keep pace with the Rams, and Graham is the prime red-zone target.
  2. David Njoku vs. Pittsburgh ($4,600) – Njoku has become a bit of a favorite target for Mayfield, and Pittsburgh hasn’t been able to cover a TE all season.
  3. O.J. Howard vs. Cincinnati ($3,900) – Right place at the right time, a high scoring game and Winston prefers to got to TE and larger targets.

Defenses

Top Picks – teams you HAVE to start if you have them

  1. Chicago vs. New York Jets – With Mack back on the field they could cause fits for a young QB.
  2. New England vs. Buffalo – This is a game where the NE defense can take over, especially if Buffalo is trying to force things to catch up.
  3. Indianapolis vs. Oakland – Carr will throw the ball to…Cook….and….Indy’s defense should be able to handle this.

Teams to watch – teams worth keeping an eye on

  1. New York Giants vs. Washington – The Giants traded away a lot of talent.  Now the thing is Washington isn’t exactly an amazing offensive team.  The young kids the Giants have playing might surprise you.  Might…probably not…but maybe?
  2. Cincinnati vs. Tampa Bay – Cincy has a decent defense, but they got shredded last week.  Could this be a rebound game?

Teams to avoid – I’d rather not start these guys if I can avoid it

  1. Denver vs. Kansas City – KC puts up too many points too quickly.  No go with Broncos
  2. Buffalo vs. New England – Brady has a habit of embarrassing the Bills.

Draft King Bargains – decent matchups you can pick up on the cheap

  1. Los Angeles Rams vs. Green Bay ($2,600) – Rogers is a good QB, he should score points, but the Rams do have a lot of talent.  This is the cheapest you will see them all year.
  2. Washington vs. New York Giants ($2,700) – The Giants offensive line is more like a turnstile.  Eli throws a lot of picks.  Too cheap to not take a flyer on if you were feeling gutsy.
  3. New England vs. Buffalo ($3,500) – Did I mention how bad the Bills offense is?

 

 

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