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NFL Fantasy Football: Week 8 Starts, Sits and Sleepers

It’s crunch time fantasy football players! The playoffs are right around the corner and winning now will help secure your spot in the post-season while losing will doom you to becoming the butt of all jokes from late December to next fall.

As usual, let’s check out how our projections panned out from Week 7.

QUARTERBACKS (2/3): Patrick Mahomes continued his MVP competitive season with a decisive victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Derek Anderson’s veteran touch couldn’t save Buffalo as he stumbled to a four-point finish. Andy Dalton just couldn’t shake his primetime woes, even against the Kansas City Chief’s porous defense though, and his sleeper status never woke up.

RUNNING BACKS (3/3): Saquon Barkley did what Saquon Barkley does and finished with a Top-5 finish in Week 7. Duke Johnson and Nick Chubb both failed to get starting level points – which is what we predicted – even though Chubb definitely looks like the one to own moving forward in deeper leagues. Kenyan Drake landed a Top-10 spot as our sleeper with 19 points last weekend. A pretty good showing.

RECEIVERS (2/3): Jarvis Landry may be the new king of PPR as he finished in the Top-6 thanks to a late score against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Even without it, he would have finished Top-10 in PPR leagues anyway. Josh Gordon is a guy we all seem to be waiting to break out with the Patriots, and we’re still waiting. Meanwhile, Jordan Reed struggled to gain traction and had just six points this past weekend.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS (3/3): Our starter and sleeper both performed well as the Los Angeles Rams unit scored 21 fantasy football points this past weekend and the Indianapolis Colts took advantage of Buffalo’s woes, turning in a fourth-place finish with nineteen points themselves. As we predicted, Atlanta’s defense was less than stellar and failed to reach double-digit points for those of you who went in their direction.

OVERALL (83%): A solid weekend overall for our projections as all of our starters in Week 7 came through, and none of our sits busted through the glass ceiling. We did miss on two sleepers, but I guess that’s why they call them sleepers. We’ll try and do better next time, which is right now.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

START: Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ Cincinnati Bengals)

James Yarcho of the Locked on Bucs podcast made a bold prediction earlier this week that Jameis Winston would have no turnovers. Zero.

Later in the same episode, Yarcho projected Winston to have 350-yards or more passing and three touchdowns. That’s a lot of points, and coming from Bucs Nation’s leading game picker who just happens to also be undefeated in his money league, I say it’s worth trusting.

SIT: Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (vs Indianapolis Colts)

You need an explanation? Ok.

SLEEPER: Case Keenum, Denver Broncos (@ Kansas City Chiefs)

Keenum played really well with the Minnesota Vikings last year. So well I was telling anyone would listen how right I was about how he had talent, just not the right pieces around him.

Well. Alright then.

Currently, he sits as QB21 in fantasy football despite having Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders at his disposal. Of course, it’s not all his fault, this much is simple to explain. But this isn’t a Broncos column, it’s fantasy football.

In Week 8, Keenum and the Broncos offense face the Chiefs on their home turf. Andy Dalton may not have taken advantage, but the Broncos certainly will, and this will be a high scoring affair with both QBs landing in solid scoring positions.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

START: James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs Cleveland Browns)

Conner is a Pittsburgh guy. This is Pittsburgh’s rivalry. They dominate the Browns in modern history and will be looking for payback following their embarrassing opening week tie in Ohio.

SIT: LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills (vs New England Patriots)

‘Shady’ is injured. The Bills are apparently hopeful he’ll play. He might. And if he does he’s the only player that might scare the Patriots. Which means they’ll essentially force everyone else to beat him. And he’ll likely leave at halftime with an injury.

SLEEPER: Marlon Mack, Indianapolis Colts (@ Oakland Raiders)

Honestly, if you were an Oakland Raider would you really feel like playing? Jon Gruden’s fire sale may not be over yet, but this season sure looks done for the team. At this point, they might just be trying to make sure at least one of their first-round picks is really really really high.

Marlon Mack had a great game in Week 7, and if the Raiders are rolling over, he should have another this weekend.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

START: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (vs Denver Broncos)

Rivalry games always bring the stars out. Kelce has been a star in Kansas City long before Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill and Patrick Mahomes were, and he’ll show why this weekend.

Of course you’re starting him in season leagues, but in daily, he’ll also be worth the investment.

As the secondary plays back to contain Hill and the front-end plays aggressive to stop Hunt, Kelce will eat plenty in the soft middle it leaves open.

SIT: Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles Rams (vs Green Bay Packers)

The emergence of Robert Woods and continued development of Cooper Kupp along with the star power of Todd Gurley has left Brandin Cooks sitting third among Rams’ receivers in fantasy football this year.

PFF projects him as a Top-10 wide receiver behind Juju Smith-Schuster and ahead of Golden Tate.

I don’t see it. Cooks has more catches and yards than Kupp, but three fewer touchdowns. Without a big play, he just isn’t scoring often enough. Banking on big plays is dangerous.

SLEEPER: Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia Eagles (@ Jacksonville Jaguars….sort of)

The Jags and Eagles face-off and neither looks like the team they were last season.

For Philadelphia, at least they have rings to keep them comfort – well, most of them anyway – but Jacksonville is just piling regret on top of regret on top of regret.

Not for nothing, but if Gruden is looking to ship out more Raiders, I’d call them about Derek Carr. Moving on.

Jacksonville’s defense has not done well. It seems the more Jalen Ramsey talks, the worse they look. A trip across the pond to the future home of the London Monarchs won’t likely solve the issues the future Monarchs are experiencing, and Jeffery should be a big benefactor from it.

NFL: New England Patriots at Chicago Bears

Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

START: Chicago Bears (vs New York Jets)

Losing Bilal Powell is going to hurt a New York offense which wasn’t doing all that great in the first place.

PFF has this D/ST projected as the top one of the weekend, and I see no reason to go against it.

SIT: Cincinnati Bengals (vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Unless you have an ignorant point value for turnovers and your D/ST gets points for the opposition just missing kicks, bench this unit.

The Bengals are going to give up at least 21 points in this game, and lots of yards.

For all the struggles Tampa Bay has had recently, they still have the eighth highest points per game average at 27.8 points per.

Yes they’re injury riddled, but those are all on defense. Just part of the reason they’re surrendering the most points per game.

SLEEPER: Indianapolis Colts (@ Oakland Raiders)

It may seem like I’m picking on the Raiders this week, but if so, it’s only because the Buffalo Bills are too easy a target.

I feel bad for Derek Carr, I really do.


Which Week 8 Sleeper is the best fantasy football play?

  • 37%

    Indianapolis Colts D/ST @ Oakland Raiders

    (14 votes)

  • 10%

    Alshon Jeffery @ Jacksonville Jaguars

    (4 votes)

  • 43%

    Marlon Mack @ Oakland Raiders

    (16 votes)

  • 8%

    Case Keenum @ Kansas City Chiefs

    (3 votes)

37 votes total

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