Fantasy Football Week 8 Start and Sit
Hello Heat Seekers, welcome to episode 109 of Sully’s 2 Cents Fantasy Football Podcast, I am you host Rob Sullivan. Sully’s 2 Cents Fantasy Football Podcast is a proud member of the RotoHeat family of podcasts.
We are nearing the mid way point of the most bizarre NFL season on record. I vowed last episode to not being up the pandemic and I will stick to what I said last week. There really is no denying it has had its impact on this season.
Injuries man, they are the defining story of this season and this fantasy season. Every year someone utters the phrase, this must be the year with the most injures. I have said it this season weekly. I have tired to find out if it indeed is and I have not been able to find those numbers.
What I did come across is from 2012-2019 the most injuries recorded was in 2017, 281 in total. 91 injuries in the preseason and 190 more in the regular season.
The latest version of the 2020 NFL Injury report updated on October 27, 2020 has 472 names on the list. Now not all 472 will miss time, any player with an injury distinction included players that decided to opt out are on that list.
Its not just the sheer volume of the injuries, it is the star names that have been hurt that makes this year resemble a shit sandwich on moldy bread.
Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffery. Barkley for the season and CMC hopefully for not much longer. The first two players selected in 99.99% od 1 QB leagues drafts lost. We lost Austin Ekeler for an extended period, Same for Michael Thomas. Recently we lost Kenyon Drake for an undisclosed period and Dak Prescott for the season. There are many more and I could easily talk about injuries and the impact on fantasy and the team in which the injured are rostered, but we would be here for days.
Dak Prescott stands out above all the rest. First off, his fantasy mangers lost the #1 overall fantasy scorer at the time of the injury. What makes the loss of Dak infinitely more catastrophic is the impact it has had on the Dallas Cowboys offense. This was an offense everyone should have wanted a piece of.
Three fantasy relevant WRs in Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and rookie CeeDee Lamb. Tight ends Bake Jarwin (lost himself for the season), and Dalton Schultz. Oh, and one of the best RBs in the League in Ezekiel Elliott. What made Dak so valuable was his ability to make that offense tick. He kept that team, a truly terrible football team in every game.
Week after week Dak put the team on his back and often led them back from massive deficits. Along for the ride is the talent names I recently mentioned. With out Dak this offense and team is lost.
Including week 5, the week that Dak went down, he was averaging 27.93 points per game in 4pt per TD scoring leagues. Cowboys QBs (Dalton and DiNucci) since then have averaged 9.28 per game.
Amari Cooper 18.84 PPR points a game week 1-5 WR8
Cee Dee Lamb 17.12 PPR points a game week 1-5 WR11
Michael Gallup 11.56 PPR points a game week 1-5 WR33
Blake Jarwin/Dalton Schultz 10.74 per game in week 1-5. Schultz TE12
Ezekiel Elliott 22.34 PPR points a game week 1-5 RB3
In Weeks 6&7
Cooper 18.20 points per game WR18
Lamb 6.75/ game WR63
Gallup 2.15/ game WR105
Schultz 5.85/game TE24
Elliott 9.05 / game RB23
The offense we all wanted a piece of is now an offense with assets that you may struggle to start. You are still starting Zeke and Cooper, and perhaps Lamb. I would want to wait one more week and see what Be DiNucci can do after a week of first team reps, but if its more of the same you can go ahead and drop Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz . Personally, I think DiNucci will be a fantasy upgrade for the Cowboys over Dalton, in real life it will be more of the same for the Cowboys and their fans.
I mentioned the Kenyan Drake injury will all the others at the top of this episode. Here is why. The ankle injury to Drake pavers the way for Chase Edmonds. Edmonds is about to be the most successful hand cuff since DeAngelo Williams filled in for Le’Veon Bell. Williams appeared in 15 games, stating 10 and finished with 229.3 PPR pints and a RB4 finish. Bell was limited to 6 games that season due to injury. In 2016 Bell was suspended for the first 3 games of the season, Williams in those 3 was RB2 with 66.7 points.
Chase Edmonds is the type of back that can deliver top-12 fantasy numbers now that he will be the bell-cow in Arizona. He has burst superior to Drakes, and he is an excellent pass catching running back. He sits at RB23 averaging 12 PPR points a game on 7.8 touches a week. When we last saw Edmonds get his shot it was Week 7 of the 2019 season. That week he was the highest scoring RB with 35 PPR fantasy points. Edmonds is about to smash in this offense. To those that have a share, enjoy it, he is a potential league winning asset.
Alright different week same drill, 2 starts and 2 sits at each position and we fire this up with the Quarterbacks.
Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles
Sully’s Rank QB6
I have basically treated Carson Wentz like my personal pinata this season. I have beaten on him every chance I have gotten. Here is the reality despite him having no offensive line, little to no pass catchers and looking horrible at time this season, the dude is 11th in points per game, and is QB7.
Wentz has scored at least 22 points in four of his last five games, during which time he is averaged 23.5 points. Wentz is in a great spot this week, as the Eagles will host the Cowboys. Dallas fields the league’s worst defense, and quarterbacks have averaged nearly 21 fantasy points per game against them. Wentz is a no brainier start this week.
Justin Herbert – Los Angeles Chargers
Sully’s Rank QB8
I honestly do not have enough adjectives to describe how good this kid has been this season. He sits at QB15. He has only appeared in 5 games this season and he is averaging a league 4th best 25.76 points per game. Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray and Dak Prescott are the only ones averaging more.
He should continue to find success this week as Herbert and the Chargers head to Denver to face the Broncos. Their defense has struggled against the QB, allowing an average of 20.4 fantasy points per game. In fact, five QBs have scored 18-plus points against them.
Cam Newton – New England Patriots
Sully’s Rank QB16
I really liked Cam last week against a beaten-up San Francisco 49ers defense. He was straight up trash, however. Cam looked like a man that had never played football before let alone QB. Since his positive Covid-19 test, he has not looked like the same player. That was evident last week when he threw three interceptions, scored 2.82 fantasy points, and was benched in favor of Jarrett Stidham.
This week’s matchup in Buffalo is not terrible, but Newton cannot be trusted to exploit even the most vulnerable defenses. He has also done very little as a passer, averaging 193.8 yards per game which includes a 397-yard Week 2 performance in Seattle. Back that game out and he is averaging 143/game. Until I see something resembling a QB from Cam, he is on my bench and if need be you can drop him.
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers
Sully’s Rank QB18
I am on the fence about Roethlisberger this week. On the one hand, the Ravens have allowed over 20 fantasy points a game to opposing QBs. However, Patrick Mahomes and Carson Wentz are the lone players to produce more than 18.8 points against them. On the flip side, Big Ben has averaged 233 yards and 14.9 points in his last three games. He is also scored fewer than 15 fantasy points in eight of 11 career games against the Ravens in Baltimore. It seems obvious that he is a sit for me based on my ranking, but he might be the best QB18 we see all season. Its his matchup and the matchup of other QBs that lands him here.
2. Running Backs
Boston Scott – Philadelphia Eagles
Sully’s Rank RB14
This may seem like piling on, but I want to start damn near everyone facing the Dallas Cowboys. Scott came up big for fantasy fans last week, scoring 18.2 points in a Thursday night win over the Giants. If Miles Sanders (knee) cannot go once again, Scott will be in the high RB2 mix. Dallas has been gashed by running backs, allowing eight total touchdowns and the ninth-most fantasy points to the position. The Cowboys have allowed four backs to score 18-plus points, a list that includes Antonio Gibson, who put up 128 scrimmage yards and a touchdown, last week.
Le’Veon Bell – Kansas City Chiefs
Sully’s Rank RB20
This is the revenge game to end all revenge games! Bell, who was released by the Jets a few weeks back, gets to exact the harshest of penalties when he faces his former team this week. Their defense has allowed eight total touchdowns and the seventh-most fantasy points to runners, and the 20.5-point spread suggests this will be a blowout. What better way for Bell to put up a nice line, maybe in the second half with the game already in hand for the Chiefs? If I thought Andy Reid would give him enough touches, I would have ranked him in my top-12 this week.
Jerrick McKinnon – San Francisco 49ers
Sully’s Rank RB26
Anyone start Jerrick McKinnon last Week? Yeah me neither, LOL. McKinnon barely touched the ball in last week’s, after which time Niners coach Kyle Shanahan admitted he was resting the veteran back. Jeff Wilson Jr. was the featured back, but he was injured late and is out of the mix for Week 8. That leaves McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty as the Niners top backs, though Tevin Coleman could also return from injured reserve. In what figures to be a very confusing committee regardless, I would fade McKinnon for the second straight week, and perhaps the rest of season.
Devin Singletary – Buffalo Bills
Sully’s Rank RB28
The Patriots have been run all over gashed by opposing running backs over the last two weeks, as both Phillip Lindsay and Jeff Wilson Jr. rushed for over 100 yards against them. Still, I cannot trust Devin Singletary. He has failed to take advantage of good matchups in recent weeks, and the return of Zack Moss has put a dent into Singletary’s snaps and touches. The fact that he has averaged fewer than four yards per rush does not endear him to fantasy fans either. I believe that Moss, not Singletary, is the better fantasy back this week, based on likely goal line opportunities.
3. Wide Receiver
Tyler Boyd – Cincinnati Bengals
Sully’s Rank WR13
I had Boyd listed as a start last week, and he produced a solid line with 13 targets, 101 yards, and nearly 28 fantasy points against the Browns. He should remain in all lineups this week too, as a favorable matchup against the Titans is next on the slate. Their defense has struggled against slot receivers, allowing 7.5 catches and the third-most fantasy points per game to the position. In fact, five wideouts have scored at least 10 points against them on routes out of the slot. Consider Boyd a high-end No. 2 this week.
Travis Fulgham – Philadelphia Eagles
Sully’s Rank WR18
Two weeks ago, I had Fulgham as sit, in fact I had him ranked as my WR62. Well all he did that week was put up 19.50 PPR points. Fulgham has emerged as one of the season’s top waiver-wire adds, scoring at least 12.3 fantasy points in four straight games, including one with over 31 points. I like him as a No. 2 wideout this week.
I just cannot help myself; I need to start everyone against the Cowboys. Dallas has been awful against receivers on the outside. Their defense has allowed 10 touchdowns and the third-most fantasy points to the position. Seven receivers have scored at least 15 points versus their laughable defense, including four who have scored at least 19 points.
Darius Slayton – New York Giants
Sully’s Rank WR35
Darius Slayton failed to produce a strong stat line last week, as he played second fiddle in the passing attack to Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram. He is also averaged just 8.1 fantasy points in his last two games, and an upcoming matchup against the Bucs makes him a no go for me. Their defense has allowed an average of 97 yards with three touchdowns to opposing receivers lined out wide, which is where Slayton has run an average of 28.9 routes per game. Slayton’s matchup, plus a low floor, make him a rather easy sit this week.
T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts
Sully’s Rank WR40
Hilton has a good matchup on paper this week, as the Lions have surrendered seven touchdowns and the 7th-most fantasy points to wideouts. Here is the problem. Hilton has had more than his share of favorable matchups this season, and he has still put up one game with more than 9.3 points. The Colts should find plenty of success on the ground against Detroit too, so the game script is unlikely to be in Hilton’s favor. The Colts are also 27th in pass attempts per game, which is another reason to sit Hilton again. If you are stuck for a roster spot, feel free to drop T.Y. Hilton.
4. Tight End
Jonnu Smith – Tennessee Titans
Sully’s Rank TE6
I have been uber high on Jonnu all offseason and he has delivered albeit for two games this season. Week 6 when he was injured and last Week coming back form injury. In Week 6 he posted 2.30 PPR points and last week 1.90. His first 3 contests he was averaging 16.37/game.
He should rebound this week, as the Titans head to Cincinnati to face the Bengals. Their defense has struggled to stop tight ends, which was evident last week when Harrison Bryant and David Njoku combined to produce three touchdowns. Overall, the position has scored six touchdowns and averaged nearly 19 fantasy points against Cincinnati’s defense. Smith will deliver top-10 totals this week.
Jimmy Graham – Chicago Bears
Sully’s Rank TE10
In a week full of revenge games, let us add another one! Graham has been a borderline No. 1 tight end for fantasy fans this season, averaging better than 10 points per game. He will be back in the starting mix this week too, as Graham faces his former team, the Saints, at Soldier Field. Tight ends have thrived against New Orleans, scoring six touchdowns and averaging the second-most points (18.9 PPG). So, for those looking for a tight end with a pretty decent floor, Graham is well worth a look this weekend.
Evan Engram – New York Giants
Sully’s Rank TE15
Say it ain’t so Sully. Your weekly start at TE is now a sit? Yes, Heat Seekers its true. I am finding it harder and harder each week to remain an Evan Engram truther. I am though despite the call to sit him here. Engram ranks in the top 10 among tight ends in snaps played and routes run, but it has not equated into fantasy production. In fact, he ranks just 17th in points per game at the position after seven weeks.
This week, Engram faces a tough home game against the Buccaneers. Their defense has allowed an average of just 45.7 yards to tight ends, and the position has put up a modest 11.3 fantasy points per game. Engram has also dropped more passes (5) than any other tight end in the league. So, sit him here if you can.
Greg Olsen – Seattle Seahawks
Sully’s Rank TE21
Olsen caught just two passes on three targets in last week’s loss to the Cardinals, and he is losing work to both Will Dissly and even Jacob Hollister. The veteran has now put up fewer than nine fantasy points in four of his last five games, and he has not found the end zone since Week 1. So, unless you’re desperate for a tight end in a league with big bonuses for tight ends, I’d keep Olsen on the sidelines versus the 49ers. Their defense has allowed one touchdown and the sixth-fewest fantasy points to enemy tight ends.
That’s going to do it for today’s episode, thank you for reading Fantasy Football Week 8 Start and Sit.
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I will be back next week with Week 9 Start and Sits. Until then, good luck in week 8, stay safe and stay healthy Heat Seekers.