First, this week’s big bye week in the middle of the NFL season is trying to derail your playoff chances. Then, Aaron Rodgers and Carson Palmer go ahead and hurt your team even more. Your best option could be to stash an injured guy like Andrew Luck and stream QBs until he’s healthy. Or just go week-to-week looking for the best matchups.
If you’ve got league-specific questions ask them down below. I will get to them Tuesday afternoon or evening before Wednesday’s waiver deadline!
Philip Rivers, LAC, 69.6 owned: If you are a Mariota owner or a QB streamer now that you’ve lost Aaron Rodgers — Rivers is a good choice to grab for week 8. Outside of a disastrous 3 INT game against the Chiefs in week 3, Rivers has a 12:2 TD:INT ratio. He’s also averaging 17 fantasy points outside of that one fluke bad game. Rivers now gets the Patriots who have allowed over 23 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Rivers could easily get you over 20 fantasy points.
Andy Dalton, CIN, 32.9%: Look I know Dalton has been a fantasy and Cincinnati disappoint all season, but in week 4 against the weak defense of the Browns he went off for 286 yards and 4 TDs for 27 fantasy points. So against a Colts defense that has allowed the second most passing yards in the NFL, CFL, AFL and any other FL you can think of — Dalton becomes a valuable Aaron Rodgers spot-starter.
Matt Forte, NYJ, 49.9%: Forte is the Jets best pass-catching RB leading Bilal Powell by 45 receiving yards. He’ll head into week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons who have allowed the second-most receiving TDs to RBs and the 10th most receiving yards. The Falcons have done a good job stopping the run — allowing only 2 rushing TDs on the year. Forte is a perfect PPR FLEX option in a big bye week.
Wendell Smallwood, PHI, 39.2%: I’m writing this prior to the Redskins/Eagles game to get a solid gauge on the Eagles backfield but it isn’t like LaGarrette Blount has run away with this job. He’s averaging under 10 fantasy points per game so there’s opportunity for Smallwood to sneak in and take this RB1 title. Readers with a good memory will note that I had Smallwood as my sleeper of the year before all of his injuries. I don’t think he’s going to shine much against a tough Redskins D in week 7, but in week 8 he’ll face the 49ers who have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing RBs. That is when my sleeper pick will start paying dividends. UPDATE: As of submission time, at half-time Smallwood has rushed the most times (7 for 27 yards compared to Blount’s 3 rushes for 2 yards) and caught 2 passes for 14 total yards (Blount: 0 receptions.)
Dion Lewis, NE, 20.4%: I know this is a frustrating RB crew to pick from with 4 guys all being worked in — but to his credit — Lewis had the most rushing attempts in weeks 6 and 7 and seems to be the hot hand going forward. With Mike Gillislee underperforming and James White handling the pass-catching RB duties, Dion Lewis seems to be the guy Bill Belichick is trusting to chair this RB committee for now. In week 8, Lewis gets the Chargers who have allowed the second-most rushing yards so far. They’ve held RBs scoreless through the air so this is a great opportunity for Lewis to take this job and run with it.
Ted Ginn Jr., NO, 44%: With Willie Snead unable to find a cure for his summertime blues, Ginn was a huge target for Drew Brees in week 7. He caught all 7 of his targets for 141 yards against the Packers. Week 8 will see Ginn face off against a tougher Bears team, but with the Bears offense unable to get anything going (21:25 to Carolina’s 38:35 time of possession) Ginn and the Saints offense will be on the field very often leading to even more opportunities.
Kenny Stills, MIA, 15.4%: With DeVante Parker out in week 7, Kenny Stills stepped up and stood out. He grabbed 2 TD passes and 85 yards on route to a breakout 26 point fantasy day. Now that he-who-must-not-be-named is out as QB in Miami and Matt Moore is in Kenny Stills seems to be the biggest beneficiary as the pair have quote the rapport. The Ravens are a tough fantasy matchup, only allowing 3 TDs to WRs all season, but Stills is still worth picking up due to his relationship with Moore.
Bennie Fowler III, DEN, 10.2%: With Emmanuel Sanders out and Demaryius Thomas looking more like Demar-no Thomas in week 7, Fowler stepped up as the Broncos leading wide receiver. It wasn’t much: 5/5 on catches for 45 yards, but not bad for the 3rd year WR out of Michigan State. Another reason to give Fowler a long, hard look for week 8? The Chiefs look lost against the pass. They’ve allowed the most receiving TDs including 3 last week to the Oakland Raiders. If Sanders sits again and Thomas under performs — Fowler could be your ticket to a big bye week victory.
Hunter Henry, LAC, 66.2%: After some awkward 0 point games and even more awkward recommendations as a start from me in this games — it looks like Hunter Hearst Henry has finally found his role and some consistency in the Chargers offense. He has 3 straight games of 10+ fantasy points and that trend is going to continue in his week 8 showdown with the Patriots. The Patriots have allowed 5 TDs and the fifth-most fantasy points to TEs.
Julius Thomas, MIA, 10.4%: Julius Thomas brokeout something FIERCE with a…58 yard game against the Jets…okay so 8 fantasy points is nothing to get excited about. The Jets are allowing the 4th most fantasy points to TEs this year. And Thomas’s week 8 opponent the Ravens? The 3rd most! Things can only get better from here! Dare I say…65 yards??
Bengals D/ST vs. IND, 35.5%: The weekly “start the team facing the Colts” pick. The Colts have scored the 27th most points per game and that isn’t counting the goose egg they laid against the Jaguars in week 7. The Bengals held an equally bad offense in the Browns to 7 points in week 4. I think we’ll see them hold the Colts to 7-10 points with 2 or 3 turnovers.
Dolphins D/ST vs. BAL, 35.2%: The only team that has fewer yards per game than Ravens…is the Dolphins! So this could really be a 9-3 game on Thursday night. The Dolphins to their defensive credit had multiple sacks in their past 3 games including 6 in week 5 and a takeaway in each of those games as well. Joe Flacco and the Ravens haven’t been able to figure it out and the Fins could take advantage.
Harrison Butker, KC, 34.6%: Guys. The kicker on one of the top scoring offenses in the league. He put up his 3rd double-digit fantasy point game in 4 starts. He’s 13 for 14 on his field goals so he’s doing his part. Why aren’t you doing yours?
Stephen Hauschka, BUF, 14.1%: Hauschka has one-upped Butker by having double-digit fantasy points in each of his last 4 games. If you’ve got a bye-week kicker — both of these guys will do.