As we reached the midpoint of the fantasy season, Week 8 was packed with a lot of action as every team played this Sunday. This was the week of quarterback trick-or-treating with injuries, surprises, and controversies. The upcoming weeks will be crucial in determining which teams make the playoffs in your league. Let’s take a closer look at my Week 8 takeaways and see what we can expect in Week 9.
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Eagles at Commanders
Jalen Hurts led a 4th quarter comeback against Washington, compiling 29/38 for 319 passing yards with four touchdowns and six rushing yards. A.J. Brown was his favorite target in this one catching eight balls off eight targets for 130 yards and two TDs. Brown has tallied at least 125 receiving yards in six straight games. DeVonta Smith was the second passing option in the game, hauling in seven receptions for 99 yards and one TD. D’Andre Swift has secured his role as the RB1 in this Philly offense after 16 carries for 57 yards with one rushing TD and two catches for seven yards.
Sam Howell outperformed Hurts from a fantasy perspective, throwing 39/52 for a Week 8-high 397 yards with four TDs and one interception, adding 11 rushing yards. Howell was the highest-scoring QB in Week 8 and has his arrow pointing up following QB injuries and upcoming bye weeks. Jahan Dotson went off for eight catches for 108 yards and one TD off 10 targets. Jamison Crowder had his best game of the season with seven receptions for 95 yards and one TD. Terry McLaurin tallied five grabs for 63 yards and a TD off a team-high 12 targets.
- Philadelphia will host their division foe, the Dallas Cowboys, who have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to QBs this season but have allowed the eighth-most rushing yards to QBs. Dallas allows the fourth fewest points to WRs and just allowed 64 receiving yards to Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua. Cowboys allow the eighth-most points to TE, so perhaps this is Dallas Goedert’s game with Smith taking a backseat.
- The Commanders will travel to Gillette Stadium, facing a Patriots defense who are in the middle of the pack against QBs, RBs, and WRs. Howell is a fine streamer in this matchup.
Rams at Cowboys
Coming off his best week in Week 6, Dak Prescott topped it with 25/31 for 304 yards with four touchdowns and one interception for the second-best QB performance of Week 8. CeeDee Lamb contributed his best game of the season and was the highest-scoring WR in Week 8. Lamb secured 12 receptions for 158 yards with two touchdowns on a season-high 14 targets, adding 12 rushing yards against the second-best defense against WRs this season. Tony Pollard appears to be an afterthought in the Cowboys’ offense after posting 12 carries for 53 yards and hauling in one pass for two yards despite the Cowboys leading the entire game.
The Rams did not look good, but it was against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Matthew Stafford injured his thumb on multiple plays and did not return after halftime. Stafford was 12/22 for 162 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Kupp and Nacua were not impressive despite each seeing 7 targets while combining to secure only seven passes for a total of 64 receiving yards. Darrell Henderson Jr. paced the Rams backfield with 12 carries for 31 yards and catching three passes for 54 yards.
- The Cowboys will travel to Philadelphia for this meeting between the two division rivals. The Eagles allow the third-most fantasy points and the third-most passing TDs (16) to QBs this season, and Prescott has put together his best two games over the last three weeks. Philadelphia allows the second-most points to WRs. Lamb should continue to be heavily targeted while Brandin Cooks looks to build off his 49-yard and one-touchdown game. Pollard will be going against the top-rated rushing fantasy defense, so there isn’t much to like here.
- The Rams continue their road trip with a matchup in Lambeau Field. It’s not clear the reason why Stafford didn’t return. If he’s cleared to play, the Rams have a neutral fantasy matchup, as the Packers’ defense is above average against QBs and WRs in fantasy points allowed. The Packers allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to RBs. I prefer Henderson Jr over Royce Freeman when picking a Rams RB to play.
Falcons at Titans
Tennessee wore their Houston Oilers on Sunday, and Will Levis didn’t disappoint in the best retro jersey of all the NFL after throwing four TDs on 19/29 passing for 238 yards. I didn’t expect those numbers from the rookie. DeAndre Hopkins was the beneficiary of Levins, catching four passes for 128 yards and three TDs on six targets. Derrick Henry ran for 101 yards on 22 carries and brought in four passes for 21 yards.
The Falcons stuck with Taylor Heinicke after Desmond Ridder was evaluated for concussion and cleared to return after halftime. This feels oddly similar to the QB situation last season with Atlanta. Heinicke threw for 175 yards and one touchdown. Bijan Robinson led the rushing attack, posting 11 carries for 62 yards and a TD while seeing five targets with zero catches for the first time this season. Drake London saw a team-high seven targets, securing five balls for 55 yards. We may see the Falcons stick with Heinicke in Week 9, thus increasing ATL’s passing attack.
- The Titans are on a quick turnaround traveling to Pittsburgh for Thursday Night Football. The Steelers allow the fourth-most points to WRs and sixth-most to RBs making Hopkins and Henry very appealing starts.
- The Dirty Birds are back at home to face a Vikings squad with starting QB issues. Minnesota is also a middle-of-the-pack fantasy defense against QBs, TEs, and RBs. WRs score the fifth-most against the Vikings, making London a solid start with either Heinicke or Ridder under center.
Saints at Colts
Just when you thought you had seen it all, TE Taysom Hill led the Saints rushing attack with nine carries for 63 yards and two rushing TDs, completed one pass for 44 yards, and caught one reception for 14 yards. He was the top TE in Week 8. Meanwhile, Derek Carr threw for 314 yards and two scores. Alvin Kamara carried the ball 17 times for 59 yards with one rushing TD and caught four passes for 51 yards with a receiving TD. Rashid Shasheed had the second-most receiving yards in Week 8 with 153 yards on three catches, including a 58-yard receiving TD.
The Colts kept the game interesting as Gardner Minshew completed a pass to eight different pass catchers, finishing with 213 yards with two TDs and one interception. Jonathan Taylor saw 12 carries for 95 yards, and Zach Moss saw 11 carries for 66 yards and the rushing score this week. This could be a timeshare for the foreseeable future. Josh Downs paced the pass catchers with seven catches for 72 yards. Michael Pittman Jr. caught one TD, adding 40 yards on eight catches.
- The Saints have one of the best fantasy matchups this week at home against the Bears. Chicago allows the fifth most points to QBs and the ninth most to RBs. I would encourage starting all Saints, including Derek Carr, who could end up as a top 10 QB this week.
- The Colts will travel to Carolina, who allow the second-most points to RBs and most rushing TDs (12) to RBs this season. Fire up Taylor and Moss in this one! The Panthers’ secondary is surprisingly good against the pass, allowing the 8th fewest to WRs, and is one of six defenses to allow under 1,000 yards to opposing WRs thus far into the season. I would lower expectations for the Colts’ WR core.
Bengals at 49ers
Cincinnati has reeled off four victories over their last five games in part to the recent play of Joe Burrow, who completed 28/32 for 283 yards and three touchdowns. Burrow has a total of eight TDs over his last three games. Joe Mixon carried the rock 16 times for 87 yards with a rushing score and added three receptions for 23 yards. Ja’Marr Chase posted 10 catches for 100 yards and one TD on a team-high 12 targets. Chase has seen double-digit targets in three straight games and is averaging the most targets in the NFL this season with 12.14.
San Francisco dropped their three consecutive games but still offered plenty of fantasy goodness. Brock Purdy threw a career-high 365 yards with one TD and two interceptions while adding 57 rushing yards. Christian McCaffrey rushed for 54 yards and one TD on 12 carries and hauled in six receptions for 64 yards and a TD on seven targets. McCaffrey has scored a touchdown in 17 consecutive games, including the playoffs, matching the longest streak in NFL history. CMC also scored the second-most points for an RB in Week 8.
George Kittle saw a team-high 11 targets, securing nine balls for 149 yards. Kittle was the only TE to have 100 yards in Week 8. Brandon Aiyuk caught five passes for 109 yards. Kittle and Aiyuk became the second TE and WR duo to each go over the century mark in the same game this season since Brown and Goedert in Week 5.
- The Bengals are playing their best football and are doing so at the right time as they host the Bills on Sunday Night Football. Buffalo allows the second-fewest points to QBs, the 12th-fewest to WRs, and the 11th-most to RBs. The Bills’ defense is good but are fantasy-friendly. I would start the Bengals with confidence.
- The Niners have a Week 9 bye and return on Week 10 to face the Jaguars on the road.
Bears at Chargers
We got to witness vintage Austin Ekeler on Sunday Night Football as he caught seven balls for 94 yards with one receiving touchdown and carried the ball 15 times for 29 yards. Ekeler led the Chargers in receiving yards for the first time this season. Justin Herbert was 31/40 with 298 yards and three touchdowns. Keenan Allen paced the Chargers WRs with 10 targets, finishing with eight receptions for 69 yards.
In a plus matchup against the Chargers, who allow the most points to QBs and third-most to WRs, the Bears’ offense did little to impress. Cole Kmet led all Chicago pass catchers, posting 10 catches for 79 yards on 10 targets. Tyson Bagent did not throw for a touchdown, and the running game was split between D’Onta Foreman (10 touches for 36 yards) and Roschon Johnson (nine touches for 31 yards). It’s hard to trust this offense without Justin Fields.
- The Chargers will travel to New York to face the Jets for Monday Night Football. The Jets allow the fewest points to WRs and 10th-fewest to QBs. The Jets are much more friendly in the running game as they allow the sixth-most receiving yards to RBs and 11-most rushing yards to RBs this season, which bodes well for Ekeler.
- The Bears will travel to New Orleans, who allow the sixth-fewest points to RBs, seventh-fewest to QBs, and 11th-fewest to WRs. I would not recommend any Bears in this game unless you have no other viable options.
- Travis Etienne was one of two RBs to score a 50+ yard passing touchdown in Week 8, finishing his afternoon with 24 carries for 79 yards and catching three passes for 70 yards with a score. Over the last four weeks, he’s been the second-best RB in fantasy behind only McCaffrey.
- Breece Hall was the other RB to secure a 50-yard passing TD in Week 8, and he drew nine targets and secured six receptions for 76 yards but finished with 12 carries for 17 yards.
- Saquon Barkley rushed the ball 36 times for 128 yards as the Giants passed for a total of SEVEN YARDS. That’s not a typo. Barkley has seen 20+ carries in three consecutive games for a league-high 81 carries over that span. He will face the Raiders, who allow the sixth-most rushing yards to RBs this season.
- Jaylen Waddle (seven catches for 121 yards with one TD on 12 targets) and Tyreek Hill (eight receptions for 112 yards with one TD on 13) were just the second WR passing duo to have at least 100 receiving yards, and each score a TD since Gabe Davis and Stefon Diggs in Week 5.
- Dameon Pierce had 12 carries for 46 yards, and Devin Singletary had 12 touches for 43 yards. The Texans backfield is now a full-blown committee. I prefer Singletary after seeing his usage coming off a bye week.
- Kirk Cousins suffered a torn Achilles, ending his 2023 season. Cousins threw for two TDs and 274 yards prior to exiting the game. The Vikings offense will shift downward with rookie Jaren Hall under center.
- The Chiefs offense failed to score a TD, while Russell Wilson threw three TDs. Javante Williams rushed a season-high 27 times for 85 yards.
- DK Metcalf returned from a one-game absence seeing 14 targets, but was outperformed by Tyler Lockett, who tallied eight grabs for 81 yards and a score.
- Gus Edwards was the RB1 for Week 8 following his three rushing TDs, along with 80 rushing yards and two grabs for 14 yards. Edwards has back-to-back weeks finishing as a top-six RB.
- Emari Demercado saw 21 touches for 79 yards and will have the Cardinals backfield to himself for one more week until James Connor is eligible to return off the IR.
Bye Week Update
🚨 Red Zone TD Scoring Percentage Update 🚨
- Miami leads the NFL with 74%. Rounding out the top 10 are Buffalo (69%), Baltimore (68%), LA Chargers (67%), Chicago (67%), San Franciso (65%), New England (64%), Washington (61%), Cincinnati (61%), and Cleveland (61%).
- The bottom five teams with Red Zone TD Scoring Percentages are the NY Jets (26%), NY Giants (33%), Tennessee (36%), Dallas (40%) and Tampa Bay (41%).
If I did not mention your favorite team or players, please leave some comments or questions! I am here to answer any questions you may have. Cheers!