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NFL Draft

Fantasy Football: 20 Thoughts Recapping Week 8

  • The Draft Network
  • November 2, 2020
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In Week 8 of NFL action we saw the much-anticipated starting debut of rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Dalvin Cook score four touchdowns, D.K. Metcalf continue to dominate, and so much more.

Before we turn the page to Monday Night Football and then the start of Week 9, here are my 20 fantasy football takeaways from Sunday, ranked in no particular order. Please note, this article will be updated with the final note after Sunday Night Football.

  1. DALVIN COOK: Cook looked healthy today, huh? Cook had 226 total yards and four (!) total touchdowns, single-handedly winning fantasy matchups across the world. In a season with few reliable running backs, Cook continues to perform at an elite level when he’s on the field. He has 11 touchdowns in six games and at least one in every game this season. Despite missing some time, he’s on the shortlist for Fantasy MVP at the midpoint of the real-life regular season. 
  2. DAVANTE ADAMS: Adams is the WR1, period. End of story. The only thing that had him ranked behind Michael Thomas in my preseason rankings was his health. And though Adams has missed time, not nearly as much as Thomas has and it won’t matter if he keeps putting up numbers like he has over the last couple weeks. The Packers’ star receiver had a three-touchdown game on Sunday, catching seven of his 12 targets for 53 yards. Oh, and if you haven’t looked ahead at the schedule yet, he should feast in the fantasy playoffs. 
  3. JONATHAN TAYLOR: The backfield split in Indianapolis on Sunday was not even close to what was expected. Jordan Wilkins led the way with 20 carries, while Taylor had 11 and Nyheim Hines had five. Wilkins and Hines both found the end zone, while Taylor was left out in the cold with a lowly 5.1 fantasy points in PPR on two yards per carry. I think there’s a decent chance we continue to see this three-way split moving forward, which will seriously hamper Taylor’s fantasy value. The rookie is now averaging 13.14 fantasy points per game this season, which is outside of RB2 territory. 
  4. BEN ROETHLISBERGER: Roethlisberger was started in only about 26% of leagues this week because of his matchup against Baltimore, but it was yet another underwhelming fantasy performance (15.28 fantasy points). Roethlisberber is averaging just 12.96 fantasy points per game over his last three contests and came into the day ranked as the QB21 in average fantasy points per game. Normally, I’d say you can safely drop him but take a look at his next three matchups: at DAL, vs CIN, at JAX. It’ll be hard to have him ranked outside of the top-15 quarterbacks with those matchups. So if you have him rostered or need some short-term quarterback help, Roethlisberger can get you by for most of November.
  5. JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER: Week 8 proved to be another solid game for Smith-Schuster, who followed up his 9/85/0 performance last week with 7/67/0 this week. He hasn’t scored in a month, but he’s finally getting the necessary volume to stay in starting lineups. As mentioned above, the next three matchups are quite juicy for Pittsburgh. Keep No. 19 in your lineup as a WR3/flex. 
  6. LAMAR JACKSON: Surprisingly, Jackson came into this game ranked as only the QB12 in average points per game. He has three games with 25 or more fantasy points per game, and four games with fewer than 18. Despite throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for 65 yards, this game fell into the latter category. Jackson had four turnovers, two picks and two fumbles lost (three in total), and finished with just 14.82 fantasy points. Considering the draft capital spent on him and how he’ll likely end the week outside of QB1 territory, many of Jackson’s fantasy managers are hurting. Stay strong and don’t do anything stupid, but the first half of 2020 has certainly been disappointing so far.
  7. J.K. DOBBINS: Dobbins looked pretty explosive against a strong Steelers rush defense on Sunday. The rookie averaged 7.5 yards per carry on 15 carries, splitting time with Gus Edwards. The duo saw a near equal split that favored Edwards 16 to 15. The Colts are on tap next week, which is another tough matchup, but if Mark Ingram is out, Dobbins deserves to be in flex consideration. If not, tether him to the bench. 
  8. ZACK MOSS: Moss was in my “Sneaky Starts” column this week, but even I could not have imagined he’d have a multi-touchdown game. Moss had an even 14-14 carry split with Devin Singletary and finished with 81 rushing yards and two scores. He’s going to continue to be heavily in the mix with Singletary going forward, with special attention given to him near the end zone. This is, at worst, a 60-40 split in favor of Singletary but is closer to 50-50 with some variance on any given week. Moss deserves to be in flex territory in good-to-moderate matchups from here on out. 
  9. JAKOBI MEYERS: With Julian Edelman out, Meyers led all Patriots in targets (10), catches (6), and receiving yards (58). There are so many good receiver options on waivers in most leagues that I’m not exactly running out to grab Meyers. However, he does have a matchup with the Jets next week that will warrant a spot in my top-50 Week 9 wide receiver rankings, but I wouldn’t play him the following week against Baltimore or when Edelman gets back. 
  10. COREY DAVIS: Davis came into the week rostered in fewer than 40% of leagues. His ownership needs to double (at least) after yet another big game this week. Davis finished with an 8/128/1 stat line on a team-high 10 targets. In his five games this season, Davis is averaging 16.8 fantasy points per game, good enough to rank in WR2 territory. He hasn’t had fewer than 11.9 fantasy points in any game this year. It’s time to stop sleeping on the fifth-year player’s breakout season.
  11. TEE HIGGINS: This is just another gentle reminder that Higgins is not only for real, but a weekly must-start in good matchups. He was ranked in WR2 territory for me this week and led all Bengals with nine targets. He caught six of those for 78 yards—he also had a couple carries. Higgins is available in more than 20% of leagues—grab him now off waivers or via trade before the touchdowns start pouring in and everyone gets fully aboard the hype train.
  12. HENRY RUGGS III: Rostering Ruggs has been quite frustrating for fantasy managers this season. Between injuries, inconsistent play, and tantalizing big plays sprinkled in here and there, continuing to hold onto him is becoming a very tough decision. Derek Carr has missed the rookie on wide open deep plays more than once this season (including once on Sunday), but almost counts for absolutely nothing in fantasy. Ruggs is rostered in more than half of leagues, but I’m fine with cutting bait in favor of a more immediately helpful option. 
  13. CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE: Despite having a big lead for the majority of the game, the Chiefs elected to keep the ball in the air more often than not, limiting Edwards-Helaire to just six carries and nine touches—Le’Veon Bell had the exact same workload. Coming into the week, Edwards-Helaire ranked as the RB17 in average fantasy points per game (minimum four games played). That RB2 range is likely where he’ll stay for the remainder of the season. We’ve seen how he can spike, but his week-to-week workload is murky, even in the best of matchups.
  14. COOPER KUPP: Jared Goff was abysmal in this game, but Kupp finished with a pretty nice day. It only took *checks notes* 21 targets (21 TARGETS), but Kupp caught 11 of them for 110 yards. He also was open for a touchdown in the end zone and Goff just overthrew him slightly. Kupp isn’t the WR1 many hoped when they drafted him, but he’s still getting plenty of looks from Goff, so his floor is still pretty high. He’s more of a WR2 going forward, not the WR1 you hoped or the WR3 like he’s been scoring-wise heading into the week.
  15. DOLPHINS: Kudos to the Dolphins’ defense and special teams, the units that carried them to victory against the Rams. Offensively, however, it wasn’t good. Tua Tagovailoa was 12-of-22 for 93 yards and a touchdown in his first career start—a single0digit fantasy performance. The entire offense suffered, as no receiver had more than 16 yards. Mike Gesicki and DeVante Parker had one catch each. Myles Gaskin had 63 total yards and a score—he was the only Dolphin to have eight or more fantasy points (including the quarterback). No Dolphin aside from Gaskin needs to be started until we see more from this new-ish Miami offense.
  16. MIKE WILLIAMS: Sunday was one of those "Big Mike Williams Games." He finished with five catches for 99 yards and a score. There's no player that personifies boom-or-bust more than Williams. Here are his fantasy points by game this season: 10.9, 3.4, 2.7, 27.9, 1.4 and 21.0. When he's on, he's a monster. When he's not, it decimates your fantasy team—and that's nothing new. He's an incredibly tough player to rank week to week and I'd love Williams so much more in a best ball league compared to a redraft.
  17. PHILLIP LINDSAY: Navigating the Broncos backfield has been a pain all season long. Lindsay has been so good for Denver for a couple years now, but they elected to bring in another star running back in Melvin Gordon via free agency. The duo have been splitting carries when both have been healthy, but Lindsay has looked to be a touch more explosive in general and definitely on Sunday—a 55-yard rushing touchdown by Lindsay helped get Denver back into the game. With a potential suspension looming for Gordon, make sure you hold onto Lindsay tightly or try to trade for him, as he could rank as an RB2 for the month of November.
  18. DEEJAY DALLAS/JAMYCAL HASTY: Although both rookies found the end zone on Sunday, both left a lot to be desired overall. They each ran for under 2.5 yards per carry and Hasty was not existent in the the receiving game. While Dallas' five catches were encouraging, it's hard to imagine all three of Seattle's top backs being out again next week. Long-term advice on both players is to not expect much. It's worth holding onto Hasty until Raheem Mostert comes back, but Dallas is droppable once Carson returns.
  19. DARNELL MOONEY/ANTHONY MILLER: It was really nice to see some non-Allen Robinson options have big days for the Bears. Although Nick Foles had an inconsistent day, Miller finished with 8/73/0 (his season high in catches and yards) and Mooney had 5/69/1 (matching or surpassing career highs across the board). With back-to-back favorable matchups on tap against the Titans and Vikings, it's possible one of these players could be helpful for you. However, I'm not rushing to put any Bears not named Robinson or Montgomery in my lineup.
  20. MICHAEL GALLUP: If you had Gallup in the "Which Cowboys WR Will Ben DiNucci Favor" sweepstakes, congratulations! Gallup blew all other Dallas pass-catchers out of the water with 12 targets on Sunday Night Football, four more than anyone else and seven more than any other wide receiver. Meanwhile, Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb combined for 32 yards on five receptions. Who knows if this'll continue moving forward, but all Cowboys took the major downgrade many expected—but none more than Cooper.

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