Fantasy Football: Top 10 Sleeper Picks heading into Week 8
Heading into Week 8 Fantasy Football, keep an eye on these top 10 sleepers that will undoubtedly make headlines when all is said and done.
Oct 23, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson (25) runs the ball during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Lions won 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
It’s officially Week 8; we are only halfway through the fantasy football season and it’s already been a journey. Between the bye weeks, ongoing injuries, and weekly busts, fantasy owners can’t catch a break.
Related Story: Fantasy Football Start or Sit Week 8: WR Quincy Enunwa
This week, there are six teams on a bye; Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, and the San Francisco 49ers.
Since Week 1, the injuries have been endless. Rob Gronkowski owners suffered in the beginning of the season while he battled an injury. Eric Decker and Eddie Lacy were just a couple of new players placed on injury reserve.
Star running back Jonathan Stewart missed several weeks. Cam Newton and Carson Palmer were out due to concussions while Ben Roethlisberger remains out.
We enter Week 8 with C.J. Anderson ruled out for several weeks. And, the Dallas Cowboys welcome back Dez Bryant after suffering a knee injury in Week 3.
This season has also had a lot of upsets. Week after week we see elite fantasy football players fall flat. Aaron Rodgers has only earned over 20 fantasy points per game twice. Yet, week after week his projected points are 20 or more.
Brandon Marshall has only earned double-digit points in three of his last seven matchups. And, he is still owned in 100 percent of leagues, including mine!
The same goes for Todd Gurley; he is not the Gurley we remember from last season. Gurley has only earned double-digits in three of his last four outings. The list goes on.
Fantasy owners can’t afford to not change their lineup. There are only a handful of games left before the playoffs and every decision from here on out is critical for your post season success.
This week’s matchups are going to exploit some players that typically don’t have great fantasy football value. These are the players you want to fill your bye and injured players positions. Because these players enter Week 8 as sleepers, most are still available to draft or are priced cheaper on daily fantasy sites.
These players have been identified based on their weekly matchups and past performances. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 10 sleepers heading into Week 8.
Next: 10. This quarterback has true sleeper ability
10. Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB – New York Jets
Believe it or not, Ryan Fitzpatrick makes a comeback. After getting benched in Week 7, Fitzpatrick reappeared on the field after Geno Smith fell short to an ACL injury.
Fitzpatrick might not be the man we saw last season but, last week was his best week since Week 2. He completed 9-of-14 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. I know that doesn’t sound good but, keep in mind he only played half of the game.
Before last week, the Jets hadn’t won a game since Week 2. Fitzpatrick is feeling good, the team is feeling great and they have an ideal Week 8 matchup.
This week the Jets take on the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have given up 18 touchdowns this season; they are tied for last in the league.
Last week the Browns gave Andy Dalton over 300 yards and two touchdowns. He had almost 50 fantasy football points in some leagues.
If there ever was a week to chance it with Fitzpatrick, it’s Week 8. With six teams on a bye, this matchup couldn’t have come at a better time.
Fitzpatrick is a QB2 option heading into Week 8 and has great filler potential. Expect him to have a comeback game this week.
Next: 9. He's scored a touchdown in all but one game
9. Davante Adams, WR – Green Bay Packers
Davante Adams isn’t a player you waste a spot on your roster for. However, given the right matchup, he earns enough points to be a great bye or injury filler.
Out of his last six games, he earned double-digit points in half of his outings. There has only been one game that he didn’t score a touchdown.
Last week Adams completed 13-of-16 targets for a little over 130 yards and two touchdowns. In some leagues, he earned almost 50 fantasy football points.
This week Adams goes up against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have given up 15 passing touchdowns and almost 300 passing yards per game.
With the Green Bay Packers mixing things up on the offensive line, you don’t know what to expect out of players. However, given Adams’ recent breakout game, we can assume he will be targeted in the end zone. Look for Adams to have a good week.
Next: 8. This running back had over 100 yards last week
Oct 16, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins running back Chris Thompson (25) rushes the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
8. Chris Thompson, RB – Washington Redskins
Last week Matt Jones lost a fumble in the end zone. That was enough for Chris Thompson’s workload to increase.
Before last week, Thompson barely earned double-digit fantasy football points per game. Last week he not only earned double-digits but, he neared almost 20 points.
Thompson finished the game with 113 yards. He rushed 12 times for 73 yards and added 40 yards on seven receptions.
Even though Jones remains the starting back, Thompson is expected to see about 15 touches. Thompson enters Week 8 an RB2/RB3 option against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Next: 7. He has one more week before his value decreases
Oct 16, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins tight end Vernon Davis (85) catches a touchdown pass as Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins (27) defends in the second quarter at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
7. Vernon Davis, TE – Washington Redskins
Vernon Davis was on fire last week. After filling in for Jordan Reed after he received a concussion, Davis showed a side of him fantasy football owners hadn’t seen in years.
Davis consistently earned less than 10 fantasy points per game this season. Last week was only the second week he earned about 12 points.
Reed has been cleared from concussion protocol and is traveling with the Washington Redskins to London for their Sunday game. Although Davis will lose playing time to Reed, he is still expected to keep the momentum going.
This week the Redskins take on the Cincinnati Bengals. Reed is projected to have a little over 60 yards and a touchdown in the Week 8 matchup.
Give Reed one more week to get into the groove of things before Davis’ value drops.
Next: 6. Keep an eye on this running back
6. Devontae Booker, RB – Denver Broncos
Devontae Booker has progressed week after week. He hasn’t done good by any means but, he has done better than his negative two points in Week 1.
Last week, Booker out snapped C.J. Anderson. He rushed 17 times for a little over 80 yards. He also scored his first NFL touchdown.
The Broncos are a run-oriented team. With Anderson anticipated to miss several weeks due to bone bruising, Booker is going to see an increased workload.
This week, Booker takes on the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers defense hasn’t offered opponents more than 90 rushing yards per game.
Although he faces a tough matchup, as starting back, Booker should see about 20 touches. Booker enters Week 8 an RB1 option.
Next: 5. This receiver is owned in less than 20 percent of leagues
Oct 23, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) runs for a touchdown after catching a pass from Geno Smith (not shown) during the first half of their game against the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
5. Quincy Enunwa, WR – New York Jets
Quincy Enunwa is as underrated as they come. Entering Week 8, he’s only owned in about 20 percent of fantasy football leagues. With his 10 percent increase over the last week, I can assume that number will keep rising.
Even before Decker was put on injured reserve, he earned 15 fantasy points in Week 1. And, although he hasn’t consistently earned double-digits since then, Enunwa’s value is higher than ever.
Part of his weekly busts came from inaccurate passes. The Jets have also had a rough opening season. But last week we saw a Jets team that seemed to be heading in the right direction. Enunwa also had his best game in weeks.
He completed 2-of-4 targets for 73 yards. It was his 69-yard touchdown that brought fantasy owners over 20 points last week.
This week, the Jets take on the Browns. The Browns have given away 18 touchdowns through the air this season and Enunwa is looking to take advantage of that. Although he isn’t a WR1 option, Enunwa is a great Flex starter. Get him in your lineup.
Next: 4. You can finally start this quarterback with confidence
Oct 10, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) scrambles while Carolina Panthers defensive end Mario Addison (97) pursues in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
4. Jameis Winston, QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston is not the ideal starter in any lineup. However, with the right matchup, he has the potential to become a QB2 filler.
In Week 1, Winston looked like a quarterback you wanted on your fantasy football team. He earned over 25 points.
In Week 3, he earned over 30 fantasy points. But until last week, those were the only games he earned double-digit fantasy football points.
In Week 7, Winston completed 21-of-30 passes for a little under 270 yards. His one interception was nothing compared to his three touchdowns.
This week the Tampa Buccaneers take on the Oakland Raiders. Although the Raiders have only allowed one touchdown in their last two games, they have lacked at defending the pass early in the season.
In Week 4, the Raiders gave Joe Flacco almost 300 yards and a touchdown. Then in Week 5, Philip Rivers had 359 yards and three touchdowns; he earned almost 50 points in some leagues.
If there were ever a week that Winston is a must start it’s Week 8. Winston enters this week a QB1 option with six teams on a bye week.
Next: 3. This tight end gets revenge this week
Sep 25, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham (88) catches a touchdown pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
3. Jimmy Graham, TE – Seattle Seahawks
Tight end options in fantasy football are slim. So when you draft someone like Jimmy Graham, you expect to at least earn 10 fantasy points per game; that hasn’t been the case this season.
Week 3 was his best fantasy football outing. He earned owners over 30 points, and then had a repeat performance the following week.
Since then, Graham has struggled to offer any fantasy value. If It wasn’t for an overtime game, Graham would have had less than 20 yards last week. Graham also only completed half of his 10 targets.
This week looks to offer Graham a breakout game as he comes with vengeance to take on his old team. Not to mention, the New Orleans Saints secondary rank 30th in the league.
On average they offer opponents 32 points per game. Expect Graham to explode in a matchup he’s been waiting for all season.
Next: 2. This D/ST is climbing the charts
Oct 9, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman (18) makes a catch in front of Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman (24) during the first quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
2. Washington Redskins D/ST
Who would have thought the Washington Redskins would be a top 12 defense heading into Week 8? No one, they are owned in less than 20 percent of leagues; this is great if your defense is on a bye.
Over the last month, the Redskins D/ST has proven their worth. They haven’t earned less than 10 fantasy football points since Week 1.
On average, the Redskins bring home 20 points per game and even topped 35 fantasy points in Week 5.
Josh Norman has also been cleared from concussion protocol and is allowed to travel with the team to London this weekend. If Norman suits up, the Redskins D/ST value will only increase.
In the last four games, the Redskins held their opponents to 200 passing yards per game. Expect the Redskins D/ST to score big in their Week 8 matchup.
Next: 1. This quarterback's value increases with his matchup
Oct 24, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) scrambles with the ball in the first half against the Houston Texans at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
1. Trevor Siemian, QB – Denver Broncos
I would never recommend drafting Trevor Siemian. However, given the right matchup, he is a great quarterback filler option.
Siemian has been at the top of the list for worst fantasy football quarterbacks this season. There were only two weeks he earned double-digits, and one of them was a fluke; he earned over 50 points against the Bengals.
Then Siemian was dealing with an injury and really ruined any chance of earning fantasy points. Since his return in Week 6, Siemian has been quiet.
This week the run heavy team takes on the Chargers. The Chargers rank 24th in the league at defending the pass. They have given opponents over 270 passing yards per game.
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With those statistics, we can assume the Broncos will be focusing their efforts on a pass heavy game this week. Expect Siemian to have an increase of passes and yardage in his Week 8 matchup.