Fantasy football: 10 best Week 8 matchups to attack
Get your fantasy football team set and headed for a big win by making sure to target and take advantage of these top 10 Week 8 matchups.
Oct 9, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) catches a pass for the winning touchdown against the Chicago Bears at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeated Chicago 29-23. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
We’ve reached the crazy bye week season in the NFL with 20 teams getting a week off sometime in the next four weeks. This week, there are six teams taking the week off which can reek havoc with fantasy football lineups. As you make your lineup decisions for this week, check out the top 10 Week 8 matchups on the following slideswhich should provide you with some nice options to plug into your somewhat-improvised lineup this week.
In general, the Week 8 matchups to watch this week are highlighted by Dak Prescott and the Cowboys returning from their bye week and hosting their division-rivals from Philadelphia. In other divisional action, the Bills host the Patriots, the Broncos welcome the Chargers, and the Bears take on the Vikings on Monday Night Football. Sunday starts early once again this week with a 9:30 kickoff in London for Washington and Cincinnati and should be another day of wall-to-wall football giving fantasy owners plenty of things to watch.
As you try to make your tough fantasy football lineup decisions for the weekend, remember to double check each player’s matchup. While over-weighting matchups can result in leaving good starts on your bench, analyzing some of the best Week 8 matchups to attack can help you get players in a place where they could have monster weeks. If you’ve played fantasy football for any length of time, you know just how huge matchups can be.
Make sure you try to attack the best week 8 matchups to put your team in a place to produce a win for you this week. To help you with your lineup decisions for the week, my Week 8 rankings will be updated throughout the weekend, and be sure to check out our cool new start/sit advice tool to see who I think you should have in your lineup and whether the full panel of experts at FantasyPros.com agrees or disagrees.
If you still have lineup questions, you can always find me throughout the weekend on Twitter @FansidedFantasy. It’s also a good idea to set a bookmark on our fantasy football hub to keep up with all our content this weekend and in the weeks to come. Check back on Sunday morning for last-minute sleepers to give you a late boost, and make sure to check back Monday for the leading scorers, biggest busts, and most pleasant surprises from all of the Week 8 matchups.
Let’s jump right tin to my top 10 week 8 matchups which include options at every major fantasy football position.
Oct 23, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Spencer Ware (32) crosses the goal line for a 46 yard touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Spencer Ware @ Colts
A running back who has been on our best matchups list and producing monster numbers every week lately has ben Chiefs’ new starting RB Spencer Ware. Ware gets another one of the best Week 8 matchups as he and the Chiefs travel ti Indy to take on the Colts in an interesting AFC matchup.
Ware has taken over as top running back in Kansas City this season and has really shined since the Chiefs came back off their bye two weeks ago. In Week 7, he crushed the Raiders for 131 yards on the ground and 32 yards receiving with a rushing touchdown. He kept that momentum going last week in another tasty matchup rolling over the Saints for 77 rushing yards and 54 receiving yards with a receiving touchdown.
Both the Raiders and the Saints were great matchups for Ware, and he’ll continue with another good matchup against the Colts. Indianapolis is allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing RBs in the NFL this season. DeMarco Murray and Lamar Miller have both had good fantasy games against them the last two weeks, and Ware should continue to be one of the top fantasy options in the backfield this week.
Oct 23, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Indianapolis Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) catches a touchdown pass ahead of coverage by Tennessee Titans cornerback Jason McCourty (30) during the first half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
T.Y. Hilton vs Chiefs
On the other side of the Chiefs-Colts game, T.Y. Hilton is in one of the best Week 8 matchups for a receiver as he faces the Kansas City secondary. Hilton will get a little bit of help this week from a healing Colts receiver corps, but he’ll still get plenty of looks from Andrew Luck at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Hilton has been carrying the load for the Indianapolis passing game while Donte Moncrief, Phillip Dorsett, and Dwayne Allen all missed time. He has found the end zone four times in this last five weeks. He has at least seven catches in four of those five contests and has posted three games of at least 130 yards receiving during that timespan.
The Chiefs have been getting roasted by opposing WR the last few weeks and are leading the NFL in most fantasy points allowed per week to opposing WR. Kansas City has allowed seven WR touchdowns in their last three games which sets up well for Hilton to be a top WR option again this week as the Colts try to climb into contention in the AFC South.
Oct 23, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Matt Forte (22) rushes for a touchdown against Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (58) during second half at MetLife Stadium. The New York Jets defeated the Baltimore Ravens 24-16.
Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Forte @ Browns
The Jets offense hasn’t been flying high for much of the season and Ryan Fitzpatrick lost his starting job as a result. However, with Geno Smith’s injury last week FitzMagic is back in control this week as the Jets look to soar against the struggling Browns in Cleveland.
The Browns have been a very beatable defense all season both through the air and on the ground, but over the last four weeks they have given up the second-most fantasy points in the NFL to opposing RB. The Browns offense has struggled as well giving teams shorter fields and more rushing attempts as a result.
A few weeks ago, it looked like Matt Forte was being phased out of the Jets rushing attack, but he’s back in the RB1 conversation this week since he’s in one of the best Week 8 matchups on the schedule. He ended up with exactly 100 yards rushing for the second time this season last week agains the Ravens and added 54 more yards on four catches. He finished with a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown after not finding the end zone for four weeks.
Oct 13, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Denver Broncos running back Devontae Booker (23) runs the ball during the second half of the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. San Diego won 21-13. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Devontae Booker vs Chargers
One of the running backs to get the biggest boost to his value this week is Broncos rookie Devontae Booker. The fourth-round pick out of Utah was already siphoning carries away from C.J. Anderson, but with Anderson’s knee injury Booker will step in as the top back.
Booker had the best week of his career last week on Monday Night Football against the Texans rumbling for 83 yards and a touchdown. He added a catch for four yards, but he has been involved in the passing attack in previous weeks like when he had four catches for 36 yards against the Falcons.
Coming into this week as the workhorse back in a run-first attack, look for Booker to get over 20 touches against the Chargers as the Broncos look to avenge their Week 6 loss in San Diego. The Chargers run defense is giving up the sixth-most fantasy points in the NFL to opposing RBs but has been worse lately allowing the third-most over the last four weeks. Booker should be ready to leap into the RB1 conversation in one of the better Week 8 matchups even though he’ll be making his first NFL start.
Sep 18, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) warm up prior to facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals won 40-7. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Carson Palmer & Larry Fitzgerald-Arizona Cardinals
The Panthers secondary has been struggling all season without Josh Norman, but they’ve been getting gauged the last few weeks as the team has slid to a 1-5 start. The Carolina defense has been a “stay-away” for fantasy owners for the last few years, but now they’re one of the week 8 matchups to attack as they host the Cardinals on Sunday.
Carolina is giving up the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing QBs so far this season and allowed four passing touchdowns in two of their last three matchups before their bye last week. Granted, those games were against Matt Ryan and Drew Brees, but Carson Palmer should be able to have a bounce back week against the Panthers after last week’s brutal 6-6 tie against the Seahawks.
Palmer’s chief target all season has been Larry Fitzgerald who doesn’t show any signs f slowing down even though he’s in his 13th NFL season. Fitz has hauled in 46 passes for 480 yards and five touchdowns this season. He was targeted 14 times last week against the “Legion of Boom” and hauled in nine passes for 70 yards. With John Brown injured but expected to play and Michael Floyd still struggling to emerge, looks for Fitzgerald to again draw most of Palmer’s looks on Sunday afternoon.
With their favorable matchup, I see Fitz as a strong WR2 with WR1 upside and Palmer as a borderline top-ten option this week with only 26 teams in action.
Oct 16, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. (11) tackled by Tennessee Titans defensive back Perrish Cox (24) in the red zone during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee won 28-26. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Terrelle Pryor vs Jets
The Browns’ most consistent offensive player this season has been converted-QB Terrelle Pryor. Pryor floated around to QB and RB for a few weeks earlier this season, but he has been a solid WR since taking over as the team’s top target after the injury to rookie Corey Coleman. With Coleman still yet to resume catching passes, Pryor will be the top target for Josh McCown who will start in place of the injured Cody Kessler.
McCown gives Pryor a solid chance to succeed this week as Pryor returns from a hamstring injury of his own. Pryor gutted it out and played last week but only managed two catches for 18 yards. He had been on a run of four straight weeks with at least five catches before that including four total touchdowns during that stretch.
He returned to a full practice on Friday which is a good sign he’ll be healthy heading into one of the best WR Week 8 matchups against the Jets. New York is allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing WR and have allowed opposing WR to get at least 150 yards (total) agains them in each of the last four weeks. If Pryor is healthy, he’s back on the WR2 radar in this favorable matchup this week.
Oct 10, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Jacquizz Rodgers (32) carries the ball during the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. The Buccaneers won 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Jacquizz Rodgers vs Raiders
One of the biggest surprises of the fantasy football season so far has been the emergence of Jacquizz Rodgers as a solid RB1 for the last two weeks. At the start of the season, he was buried behind Charles Sims and Doug Martin on the depth chart, but Sims an dMartin are both out leaving him plenty of working coming into one of the best week 8 matchups.
Rodgers has taken advantage of his opportunities and favorable matchups so far with a pair of big weeks. In Week 5, Rodgers ran for 101 yards and added 28 more yards on five catches. After a bye week, he continued to step up with 154 yards in Week 7 against the 49ers. He’ll get a heavy workload for the third game in a row since Martin is out indefinitely and Sims is on IR.
The only thing keeping Rodgers from being a total fantasy stud is that he hasn’t been able to get in the end zone. He’s in a good matchup to change that this week as he faces a Raiders defense that has been beatable on the ground. So far this season, Oakland is allowing the eighth-most fantasy points per game to opposing RB. Spencer Ware demolished them at home in Week 6, so look for Rodgers to post another big game in Tampa on Sunday
Oct 16, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz (87) is congratulated by Houston Texans wide receiver Jaelen Strong (11) after the game-tying touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the fourth quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
C.J. Fiedorowicz vs Lions
If you are checking out the Week 8 matchups for a streaming TE, the top option to target is the Texans C.J. Fiedorowicz. The third-year TE out of Iowa has emerged as a great option for Brock Osweiler and has passed Ryan Griffin for the top receiving TE spot in the Houston attack.
Last week against Denver, Fiedorowicz caught five passes for 35 yards giving him at last four catches in four straight games for a total of 229 yards and two touchdowns. He was targeted seven times against Denver and continues to get enough passes thrown his way to make an impact every week.
Houston’s offense isn’t getting into the end zone a ton due to the struggles of Brock Osweiler, but Fiedorowicz is still a borderline starting TE especially given his week 8 matchup. The Texans will look to get an important win against the Lions at home this week and Detroit is allowing the third-most fantasy points in the NFL to opposing TE this season. With Lamar Miller a gametime decision, the Texans may have to throw more and make up for Miller’s absent on short routes which could lead to more work for the Fiedorowicz as well.
Oct 9, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) catches a pass against Houston Texans cornerback Kevin Johnson (30) in the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Adam Thielen @ Bears
The Vikings and Bears close out he week on Monday Night Football, and our final two week 8 matchups to attack both come from that game. The first is a sleeper WR who is getting increased playing time and involvement in the Minnesota passing attack. The Bears are giving up the most fantasy points per game in the NFL to opposing WR, so the Vikings WR should be teed up for success this week.
While Stefon Diggs and Cordarrelle Patterson battling injury and Kyle Rudolph struggling to be efficient with his targets, Adam Thielen could be primed to step into a larger role this week. Before the bye week, Thielen got the start for Minnesota in place of Diggs and hauled in seven catches for 127 yards and a touchdown. Last week, Diggs returned and he went back to his No. 3 WR role and hauled in two passes for 52 yards.
Thielen should be back in the starting lineup this week, though, as the Vikings take ont he Bears since Cordarrelle Patterson is still in the league’s concussion protocol. If Patterson is out, look for Thielen, Diggs, and Kyle Rudolph to all get more targets, and I think Thielen could be an emergency start if you’re thin at WR this week.
Oct 16, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears outside linebacker Willie Young (97) strips a ball from Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) in the second half at Soldier Field. The Jaguars beat the Bears 17-16. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears D vs Minnesota Vikings
Many fantasy owners still think of the Vikings as a run-first ball control team that doesn’t turn the ball over. However, the last few weeks they have been anything but under control. In fact, last week they turned the ball over four times, allowed a return touchdown, and gave up six sacks to a hungry Eagles defense.
Over the last four weeks, the Vikings are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing defenses. Their offensive line is struggling to keep Sam Bradford upright and Bradford made some questionable decisions when he was under pressure.
On Monday Night Football, the Bears will look to continue his recent struggles. Chicago will be well rested having not played in 11 days since losing to Green Bay last Thursday. In that game, the Bears forced a fumble and got a defensive touchdown. They have nine total sacks in their last three weeks. Most of their tackles have come from Jerrell Freeman in the middle at linebacker where former-Bronco Danny Trevathan has also been solid. Willie Young is leading the team in sacks with six on the season.
The Bears have been a fringe starting defense most of the season, and they’re one of the better week 8 matchups. However, they’re still widely available, so give them a look if you need a streaming play this week.
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