Fantasy Football: Top 10 Start ‘Em Picks of Week 8
By Genna Preston
Congratulations, you’ve made it halfway through the fantasy football season. The next few weeks are what matters most heading into the playoffs.
Oct 2, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) carries the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
In Week 8, there are six bye week teams; Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, and San Francisco 49ers. Fantasy football owners should make adjustments now before it’s too late!
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This many teams on a bye week in Week 8 could ruin your entire starting lineup if you don’t fill the spot with the right player. Keep in mind there are also several new and continuous injuries heading into Week 8.
Based on past performances, fantasy value, and weekly matchups, I have identified this week’s key fantasy football players. Let’s take a look at Week 8’s top 10 start ’em picks.
Next: 10. This back has consecutive 100-yard games
Oct 10, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Jacquizz Rodgers (32) carries the ball against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
10. Jacquizz Rodgers, RB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jacquizz Rodgers has had two back-to-back 100-yard outings. With Doug Martin still questionable for Week 8, Rodgers is expected to have another great week.
Last week, Rodgers carried the ball 26 times for a little over 150 yards. He also added nine yards on one target earning over 20 fantasy football points.
Even if Martin returns, Rodgers will still have an opportunity to earn points with an ideal Week 8 matchup. This week he takes on the Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders have given up many 100 rushing yard games this season. Look for Rodgers to keep his progress going in Week 8.
Next: 8. This tight end's value increases in Week 8
9. Jack Doyle, TE – Indianapolis Colts
Unfortunately, injuries have an upside for backup players. With Dwayne Allen and Donte Moncrief missing last week’s game, Jack Doyle had his chance to shine.
Although Moncrief is expected to suit up this week, Allen is still questionable. And, with Doyle efficiently taking over, the Indianapolis Colts might not rush Allen into Week 8.
In Week 7, Doyle completed 9-of-10 targets, 78 yards, and a touchdown. He earned almost 20 fantasy football points.
Even with his tough Kansas City matchup, Doyle should earn double-digit points. With 10 targets last week, he is a WR1 option heading into Week 8.
Next: 8. His inconsistencies won't matter this week
Oct 9, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) catches a touchdown pass next to San Diego Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward (26) in the third quarter at Oakland Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
8. Michael Crabtree, WR – Oakland Raiders
Michael Crabtree had a quiet start to the fantasy football season. During his first two weeks, he earned almost 25 points combined.
Then, in Week 3, Crabtree had his breakout game earning over 20 points. But, he couldn’t keep it consistent; in Week 6 earned two points if you were lucky.
Last week, he had another good week. Crabtree caught 8-of-11 targets for a little under 100 yards and a touchdown.
He has scored a touchdown in his last six games. With his Week 8 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, expect his touchdown streak to continue.
The Buccaneers give up over 230 passing yards per game. Crabtree is a must start!
Next: 7. This quarterback has an ideal matchup
Oct 20, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) reacts after throwing a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter during the game against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field. The Packers beat the Bears 26-10. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
7. Aaron Rodgers, QB – Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers has not been the No. 2 quarterback fantasy football owners drafted. His inconsistent tendencies have left him owned in only about 80 percent of fantasy football leagues heading into Week 8.
In Week 6, he barely earned 10 fantasy points. Then last week, he completed 39-of-56 passes for over 320 yards, three touchdowns and added seven rushing yards. He earned over 25 points.
The Green Bay Packers are having running back issues with Eddie Lacy on injured reserve. Hence why Rodgers has thrown at least 40 passes in his last three games.
This isn’t going to change. Rodgers takes on the Atlanta Falcons whose secondary lacks at defending the pass. The Falcons give up almost 300 yards per game.
The Falcons have also given opponents 15 touchdowns this season. Rodgers should manage two touchdowns in this week’s matchup.
Next: 6. Expect this receiver to finally earn double-digits
Sep 25, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) picks up a first down during the fourth quarter in a game against the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks won 37-18. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
6. Doug Baldwin, WR – Seattle Seahawks
Doug Baldwin has been a fantasy football bust this season. During the first three weeks, Baldwin scored over 20 points twice, and since then has been invaluable.
Since his Week 5 bye, Baldwin hasn’t even earned 20 fantasy football points combined. He hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 4.
Last week, he caught 6-of-9 passes for a little under 70 yards. This week’s New Orleans Saints matchup will increase Baldwin’s value and production.
The Saints have offered opponents about 32 points per game. Expect Baldwin to have a good week finally.
Next: 5. This back tops 50 yards every week
Oct 16, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Christine Michael (32) rushes against the Atlanta Falcons during the third quarter at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Atlanta, 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
5. Christine Michael, RB – Seattle Seahawks
Christine Michael isn’t every week starter material. However, given the right matchup, he has the ability to earn 20 or more fantasy football points per game.
Michael has rushed for over 50 yards in all of his games this season. Last week, he only earned about eight points and still managed to top 50 rushing yards and add three passing yards.
This week, he takes on the Saints who rank 23rd against the run. Expect Michael to have a 100-yard game and a touchdown in his Week 8 matchup.
Next: 4. This tight end's drought will end in Week 8
Sep 25, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half against the New York Jets at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
4. Travis Kelce, TE – Kansas City Chiefs
Travis Kelce has been another fantasy football let down this season. He has only earned double-digit points in three of his games, and that’s if your league is generous with points.
Last week was his worst fantasy football outing of the season. He completed 2-of-3 targets for 24 yards. Kelce hasn’t seen more than three targets in his last two matchups.
But, before you give up on him entirely, give him one more week. Kelce takes on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 8.
In Week 7, Delanie Walker had over 80 yards and a touchdown against the Colts. Look for Kelce to bounce back in Week 8 with a touchdown.
Next: 3. He can fill two positions on your roster
Sep 1, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Ty Montgomery (88) is unable to catch this pass while defended by Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Kenneth Acker (27) in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
3. Ty Montgomery, WR/RB – Green Bay Packers
Ty Montgomery has been the topic of discussion in the fantasy football world. A receiver playing running back offers owners options and a headache.
Montgomery being a headache is because he is still listed as a wide receiver in most leagues; ESPN fantasy football has recently changed his status.
This means, you need to start him as a receiver, not a back which, could create conflict on your roster, especially if you need an Eddie Lacy replacement. But, with his recent explosion, he is a must start.
Montgomery has over 30 carries in the last two weeks. Even if newly acquired Knile Davis is in the mix, Montgomery still offers value at wide receiver.
This week he takes on the Atlanta Falcons whose defense ranks 27th in the league. Regardless of the position, Montgomery adds a ton of value on any roster.
Next: 2. Their opponents give up over 30 points per game
Oct 23, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard (31) and teammate Titans strong safety Daimion Stafford (24) break up a pass intended for Indianapolis Colts tight end Erik Swoope (86) during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Indianapolis won 34-26. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
2. Tennessee Titans – D/ST
The Tennessee Titans D/ST should have had a good fantasy football outing last week. Keyword, should!
In Week 7, they only earned about six fantasy points against the Indianapolis Colts. Not only has Andrew Luck been the most sacked quarterback this season but, the Titans were on a sacking frenzy prior to Week 7.
But, this week’s matchup is much more ideal than last week’s game. The Titans take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in this week’s Thursday Night Football game.
Blake Bortles has the fourth highest interception rate in the league. He also has a little over five percent sack rate.
All but two D/ST’s have earned double-digit fantasy football points against the Jaguars. The Titans are a great D/ST option this week.
Next: 1. This running back was on last week's sit 'em list
1. Matt Forte, RB – New York Jets
I’d like to start by apologizing to anyone who sat Matt Forte after reading last week’s sit ‘em list. But, did anyone really expect the New York Jets to come out on top? No!
Until last week, Forte hasn’t earned double-digit points since Week 2. Sitting him last week, wasn’t a horrible decision based on this season’s performance.
He proved us fantasy football owners wrong! Forte rushed 30 times for 101 yards and a touchdown. He also added 54 yards on four targets.
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Expect this workload to continue heading into Week 8 as the New York Jets take on the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are offering opposing backs 139 yards on average per game. Forte couldn’t have picked a better matchup himself. He is a must-start in Week 8.