My Week 7 piece heralded some prescient predictions, but also a couple of clangers. Who would have thought Andrew Luck would throw 4 touchdowns on his meagre 23 attempts for 156 yards? Or Kenyan Drake and John Brown to put Frank Gore and Willie Snead in the shade? Well, maybe a couple of people on that last one… but hey, you win some you lose some. If we take all my suggestions for last week into account, I was right 73.9% of the time, which was annoyingly also Luck’s completion percentage. Goddammit Andrew!
But on to Week 8…
So we are in the middle of the BYE week desert for some fantasy owners. Atlanta, Dallas, the Chargers and Tennessee are all off this week so that means no Julio Jones (or should I say Calvin Ridley!), no Zeke Elliott, no Melvin Gordon or Keenan Allen and no… well let’s be honest, if you are starting Titans players then even I can’t help you. Let’s look at potential streaming options if you happen to be thin at a positional group this week.
Andy Dalton (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Dalton had been up and down this season. One week he is spectacular, the next, spectacularly bad. Last week he had a shocker against Kansas City finishing the night with a 63.6 passer rating after throwing for just 148 yards, one score and a pick, so expect him to bounce back this week at home in a favorable matchup against the Bucs who are the worst in the league against quarterbacks AND wide receivers.
Blake Bortles (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)
Yeah, I know, it’s Blake Bortles. And he has been awful this season, even getting benched last week for Cody Kessler. But. Kessler didn’t play amazingly in his stead and Bortles will be allowed one last bite at the cherry this week. Basically he is playing for his job. And couldn’t have a better opportunity to do it in London, a place he has now played more times than any quarterback, and always seems to play much better. Add to this that this is the first time the Eagles have taken the flight over here and they may not be at their best. Oh yeah, and their secondary is one of their weaknesses.
Jalen Richard (vs. Indianapolis Colts)
Beastmode is on IR and Amari Cooper has ridden off into the sunset. The Raiders are going to be looking for people to help them win, that is, if they are even trying to win anymore. With Doug Martin most likely handling the early down work, look for Richard to be utilised on 2nd and 3rd down as a RPO. The Colts defense hasn’t been bad this year against the run or pass, however I see Richard having a sneakily productive game as Derek Carr looks to get the team and the fans back on his side.
Chris Thompson (at New York Giants)
Washington’s offensive Swiss army knife looks to return this week and expect Jay Gruden to put him straight back to work on a team that has been hobbled through their WR corps. The perfect lightning to Adrian Peterson’s thunder, Thompson is Gruden’s favourite weapon both on the ground and through the air. Against a middling Giant’s defense that will be looking to do what the Cowboys couldn’t, expect this game to be closer than the records would suggest, and Thompson being utilized as fully as he can be.
Danny Amendola (at Houston Texans)
Albert Wilson and Kenny Stills are out. Amendola’s usage has been climbing weekly and culminated last week in him linking up with Brock Osweiler 6 times off 7 targets for 84 yards and a score. With Wilson and Stills out, expect Osweiler to be looking to dump off to his slot man often this week against a Texans front that will force Miami to play hard if they want to return to winning ways.
Taylor Gabriel (vs. New York Jets)
Last week Gabriel fell short for many fantasy owners who had streamed him following two 100+ yard games in the previous weeks. Managing just 26 yards against the Patriots, Gabriel will have been dropped through ire in many league after his Sunday performance. If this happens to be your league, I would pick him up on the chance he bounces back this week against a Jets defense that ranks 5th from bottom in defending against wide receivers with regards to how many fantasy points are given up to the positional group.
OJ Howard (at Cincinnati Bengals)
Howard is back from injury and boy is he back. Amassing 129 yards and a score over the past 2 weeks combined, you can expect that production to continue against the Bengals who have given up 4th most fantasy points to tight ends so far this year.
CJ Uzomah (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
That’s right I’m beating the Uzomah drum again this week. He found the end zone last week, saving me from embarrassment – just. But in the same way I expect Dalton to bounce back this week, I expect the same from his tight end who has been logging snap counts of 92%, 92% and 97% in his last 3 games. Especially against a Bucs defense that has given up the most fantasy points out of any NFL team to the positional group – even having had a BYE week.
Green Bay Packers (at Los Angeles Rams)
Yes, okay they are facing the Rams. But that is a Rams offense likely without Cooper Kupp and Green Bay have had a week off to refresh themselves. The Packers haven’t been bad so far this year against the run so if they can keep Todd Gurley down from his regular production that would count as a win…
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