Who To Start And Sit In Week 8 Of The 2015 Fantasy Football Season
We’re halfway through the regular fantasy football season. If you’ve lost five games or more, you probably won’t recover, but the rest of us are still out here fighting. The bye weeks are hitting hard and the decisions are getting tough. As players emerge in new roles, make sure to check whether or not their opponents for the weekend are any good at preventing their position from scoring. The next thing, but turn into the last thing as soon as he faces a shutdown corner.
Below is a list of guys I’m focused on for one reason or another this week. They’re especially important in daily fantasy sports (DFS) leagues like DraftKings. If you’re curious about guys you don’t see listed here, you can always find me on Twitter (@MrT_BroBible) to ask questions, but remember to mention league specifics like PPR. You can always ask about trades as well.
You Know Who You Should Start?
Eli Manning (QB – New York Giants)
We thought Eli had turned the corner to become the better Manning at this stage in his and Peyton’s career, but Eli hasn’t been playing like it the last two weeks. After putting together four straight games of 18 points or more, Eli sunk to under 10 points in the last two games. He’ll bounce back this week as the Giants enter as an underdog in a game with an over/under of 49.5. The Saints have given up the second most points to fantasy quarterbacks. Only one quarterback scored less than 17 points against them and that was Brandon Weeden. It appears as if the Giants wide receivers didn’t have any setbacks last week, so that should help the Giants regain their form as well.
Chris Johnson (RB – Arizona Cardinals)
It looked as if Chris Johnson was coming back to reality after a hot start, but he was firing on all cylinders last week in a flashback performance. He’s primed for another big game this week against the worst run defense according to Football Outsiders DVOA. The Browns have allowed the most rushing yards to running backs of any team in the league and only gave up less than 16 running back points to Tennessee, a team without good running backs. Arizona is favored in this game, so they should get ahead and run the ball more. That sets up perfectly for Johnson.
Jonathan Stewart (RB – Carolina Panthers)
It looked as if the Colts might have fixed their run defense in Weeks 4 and 5, but it’s been exceedingly bad since. That reflects how Indianapolis performed at the beginning of the season as well. The Colts have given up 15 or more running back points in five of their seven games and now they face a good running team in Carolina. Jonathan Stewart is seeing much more work the last two weeks since Carolina came out of their bye. He saw 20 carries in both contests and has the opportunity for another big game this weekend.
Golden Tate (WR – Detroit Lions)
I’m not the biggest Golden Tate guy. His numbers in Detroit’s offense shrink dramatically when Calvin Johnson is also playing. He does, however, have a good opportunity to make things happen in London this Sunday. The Chiefs, who Tate is facing this weekend, own one of the worst pass defenses in the league. In fact they’ve given up at least 20 points to fantasy wide receivers this season including four of 27 points or more. Their numbers against the pass have improved over the last two weeks, but they were facing Teddy Bridgewater and Landry Jones. Detroit’s faced some tough pass defenses this year, so they’ll relish this opportunity, especially with a new offensive coordinator at the helm. The over/under is 46 for this game so there are points to be scored.
Stefon Diggs (WR – Minnesota Vikings)
It took a few weeks, but I’ve turned into a Stefon Diggs believer. Maybe it took a while because I needed to get over the fact that Charles Johnson didn’t take off this season as expected. It’s not that Diggs can’t play. He finished in the top 10 in the ACC in yards per reception in his first two seasons at Maryland. He just had to battle injuries and awful quarterback play, so his college numbers weren’t great overall. He’s excelled with two 100-yard receiving days in his last two games and he doesn’t look to be going anywhere after accumulating over 80% of the snaps last week. The Bears defense has the ability to get torched in the air, so look for Diggs to continue his run.
Ben Watson (TE – New Orleans Saints)
Drew Brees must really be missing Jimmy Graham because he’s suddenly throwing to Ben Watson as if he’s Graham. Watson’s come out of nowhere to have either a touchdown or 59 yards in the last three games. Brees should continue to look for Graham, I mean Watson, this week since the Giants have one of the worst defenses in the league at defending the tight end. They’ve given up 68 or more yards to tight ends in five of their seven games. With quality at receiver lacking for Brees, Watson seems like a great option on Sunday.
You Know Who You Should Sit?
Russell Wilson (QB – Seattle Seahawks)
It’s been well documented that the Seahawks are dealing with offensive line issues this year. That’s what happens when you trade away your all-pro center for a pass-catching tight end. That doesn’t bode well this weekend for Seattle against Dallas. You may see the Cowboys as having a league average pass rush with only 2.2 sacks per game, but it’s up to 3.3 sacks in their last games because of the return of Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory. Wilson has a nice floor because he runs a lot, but he’ll be running for his life this weekend. With lots of quarterbacks primed for a good situation this week, you might be best served looking elsewhere.
Latavius Murray (RB – Oakland Raiders)
Six fantasy points is the maximum amount of points the Jets have allowed to fantasy running backs in five of their six contests. The one game they gave up more than 30 was an anomaly as the Jets fell behind early and Philadelphia made an extra commitment to the run that week. Oakland won’t be able to do that and if anything they’ll look to succeed in the same way New England did last week, which was passing the football. It’s nice that Latavius Murray is a three down back, but the Jets aren’t exactly giving up many receiving yards to running backs either. There are better options out there for you.
Carlos Hyde (RB – San Francisco 49ers)
Try to run with a stress fracture in your foot. My guess is you likely won’t run that well. That’s what Carlos Hyde has been trying to do in recent weeks. Other than lighting up the Giants, who have given up at least 15 points to running back in each game this season, Hyde has struggled since Week 1. He hasn’t scored more than six points in those five other games. The rams have held running backs without a rushing touchdown or 100 yards rushing in four of their six contests. It’s time to sit Hyde until further notice.
Amari Cooper (WR – Oakland Raiders)
It’ll be great match-up on Sunday as the best rookie wide receiver goes head to head against the best cover corner in the league. One has to look to Revis has having the edge this week given his experience and his numbers this season. He’s held every #1 receiver he’s faced in check this season and Cooper is the latest to get locked down.
Donte Moncrief (WR – Indianapolis Colts)
Josh Norman has emerged as the best young cover corner in the league and it just conveniently happens to be in his last year before free agency. Count those dollar signs. He’s allowed only 18 catches for a total of 130 yards. It looks as if Norman will be manning Moncrief this week when Carolina takes on Indianapolis because Moncrief plays on the outside as opposed to T.Y. Hilton who plays in the slot. That information could change as we get closer to Sunday and would switch this advice to benching Hilton, but for now expect Moncrief to be the one who’s shut down.
Eric Ebron (TE – Detroit Lions)
Ebron has elevated his output in every game that Brandon Pettigrew hasn’t played. Now it looks as if Pettigrew is on track to play on Sunday, which means a decreased snap count for Ebron. Also not in Ebron’s favor is that the Chiefs cover TEs really well. They haven’t allowed more than 33 yards in six of their seven games. All signs should point you in a different direction.