Fantasy Sports

Your Week 8 Fantasy Football Review

NFL Week 8 is in the books and I apologize in advance, but in this week’s review you’re going to see some of the same themes from the weekend over and over again. It was a crazy week! So without further hesitation, here’s a look back at NFL week 8.

Five key storylines from Week 8

Jason Bridge / USA TODAY Sports

Jason Bridge / USA TODAY Sports

1. For whom the Bell tolls

I feel like I’m in the movie groundhog day with Bill Murray. Every week in my weekly review, I’m always writing about how another superstar went down to injury and this week will be no different. This week, the league’s best RB, Le’Veon Bell was lost for the season, as an MRI revealed that Bell tore his MCL. The injuries are getting out of hand this season. I feel awful for Bell, as this is terrible news for him and the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger just returned to the lineup on Sunday and while they lost, the Steelers are so much better with Big Ben in the lineup. Luckily for the Steelers, they do have a solid backup RB with DeAngelo Williams and they’re going to need him to step right in and contribute. Here’s to a speedy recovery for Le’Veon Bell.

2. And More Injuries

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

We’re not done yet with the injuries either. Below is the list of the most notable injuries from Sunday:

  • Steve Smith Sr. (Achilles – Done for season)
  • Calvin Johnson (Ankle)
  • Matt Forte (Knee)
  • Reggie Bush (Knee – Done for season) 
  • Khiry Robinson (Ankle)
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick (Thumb)
  • Keenan Allen (Kidney)
  • Brandon Marshall (Knee, Toe)

It’s a shame that all of these players are dropping like flies. Perhaps the most unfortunate of injuries listed above is the Achilles injury for Steve Smith, Sr. He was already talking retirement at the end of the season and at age 39 and now this injury almost ensures that he has most likely played his last game in the NFL. He had a hell of a career and it sucks to see it potentially end this way.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

3. Shootout at the Superdome

Did you catch that epic Saints/Giants matchup on Sunday? Here’s a brief recap:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1W6vThWY4uQ

Whew!! That’s some great stuff right there. Drew Brees and Eli Manning were unreal! Together, they were 70/91 for 861 yards and threw for a combined 13 touchdowns. Unfortunately for the Giants, someone had to lose that game and they missed out on a great opportunity to get some breathing room in the NFC East. They’ve allowed the Eagles to stay in the thick of things and this one may come back to haunt them later on in the year.

(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

(AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

4. Denver Dominance

If you were expecting a big time shootout between Denver and Green Bay, you were extremely disappointed with how this game turned out. Denver was able to dominate the Packers and win the battle of the 6-0 teams. The Denver defense was able to hold the Packers to only 10 points and Aaron Rodgers to 77 passing yards. If you had any doubt before the game, there should be no doubt left on whether Denver’s D is legit. Peyton Manning was able to turn in a solid effort throwing 21/29 for 340 yards. His arm had a little extra strength on it this week and Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson contributed for the Broncos offense with 3 touchdowns between the two. It was a really impressive performance for the Broncos, while the Packers looked mortal.

Photo: Don Wright, AP

Photo: Don Wright, AP

5. Tiger Style

The Bengals pulled out a late victory against the Steelers this week to remain unbeaten at 7-0. I’m pretty sure that no one saw this coming from them prior to the season starting. Led by A.J. Green, who had 11 receptions for 118 yards and 1 touchdown, the Bengals won 16-10. The big story of the game was the Le’Veon Bell injury, but the Bengals being able to pull out an ugly win here could go a long way for this team’s confidence. The Bengals were able to overcome a sloppy performance by Andy Dalton, who up until this point of the season, was able to remain mistake free for the most part. On Sunday, he was 23/38 for 231 yards and 1 touchdown to go along with 2 interceptions. Still, a win is a win and they’ll have a short week to prepare for the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football. No game will be easy for them going forward, but you these Bengals are proving week after week just how game they are.

Waiver Wire Watch (*Keep an eye on, **Time to consider it, *** MUST Grab)

Each week, I will supply you with a list of players that you should consider adding from the waiver wire. Above, I listed the three tiers of players they are. So let’s take a look at the guys that you should be paying attention to. To qualify as a Waiver Wire guy, I’ll only consider those players that are owned in less than 60% of Yahoo! leagues at the time of this writing.

Peter Diana/Post-Gazette

Peter Diana/Post-Gazette

***DeAngelo Williams (PIT – RB) – 21% owned – With Le’Veon Bell done for the season, the next man up is DeAngelo Williams. On Sunday after the Bell departure, Williams had 9 carries for 71 yards. Williams filled in quite admirably for Bell early on in the season during Bell’s suspension and had 20+ carries in each of the 2 games that he played in. He had 3 touchdowns in the game against San Francisco in Week 2, so expect Williams to be ready to step in again. Rush to the waiver wire for him.

***Benjamin Watson (NO – TE) – 51% owned – I was stunned to learn on Sunday night that Watson was only owned in slightly above 50% in YAHOO! leagues. That’s straight criminal! He now has two 120+ yard receiving games in his last 3 games and has 3 touchdowns in his last 4 games. What’s not to love about that? He’s been more consistent the last few weeks than every TE in the league with the exception of Gronk and Gary Barnidge. Do yourself a favor and grab him already because I’m pretty sure he’s better than any Schmo you have lined up at the TE position.

**Nate Washington (HOU – WR) – 25% owned – The Arian Foster season ending injury forced the Houston Texans to air the ball out more. You already know about the beast that is DeAndre Hopkins, but Nate Washington is proving to be a solid option for the Texans. He has 3 touchdowns over his last 2 games and is averaging 15.8 yards per catch on the year. If you need a bye-week fill-in or a nice flex play, Washington could be your guy.

***Kamar Aiken (BAL – WR) – 17% owned – Now that Steve Smith’s season and perhaps his career is over, Joe Flacco needs to throw the ball to someone. Kamar Aiken has had a few nice games this year. He has 25 receptions for 333 yards and 2 touchdowns on the season. He’s going to see a big time increase in targets and he should be quite valuable going forward.

**Tavon Austin (STL – WR) – 55% owned – Tavon Austin is quietly having a very nice year. On Sunday he had 4 receptions for 98 yards and 1 touchdown against the 49ers. He now has 4 touchdowns on the season and with his speed, he’s capable of breaking loose for a touchdown at any moment. Todd Gurley will get the primary attention of defenses and that makes Austin a sneak play for the rest of the year.

**Jeremy Langford (CHI – RB) – 9% owned – Another player that will benefit from an injury is Jeremy Langford of the Bears. He had 12 carries for 46 yards as a fill-in for Matt Forte. I’m not expecting big things from Langford by any means, but at this point with all of the injuries to RB’s, I’m sure you could find Langford of some use to your team.

***Vernon Davis (DEN – TE) – 32% owned – Almost forgotten in the land of Schmos, San Francisco was Vernon Davis. However, Davis was traded to the Broncos on Monday and we know how much Peyton Manning loves using his tight ends. This trade may be the break that both Davis and Manning need to turn things around offensively for them.

Here are Week 8’s Studs:

Quarterbacks

Chris Graythen Getty Images

Chris Graythen Getty Images

1. Drew Brees (NO vs. NYG) – I already touched on this epic game earlier, but Brees was 40/50 for 511 yards and 7 touchdowns. This was a monster performance and depending on the scoring system in your league, this was good for 60+ Fantasy points in most leagues. If you lost with him in your starting lineup, it’s ok to fold your team now.

2. Eli Manning (NYG vs. NO) – Not to be outdone in the Saints/Giants game was Eli Mianning, who was 30/41 for 350 yards and 6 touchdowns. Eli’s brother Peyton, threw 0 touchdowns and beat Green Bay while Eli threw 6 touchdowns against the Saints and lost. Ouch!

https://vine.co/v/OiZ9pL15vv6

This stuff never gets old…

3. Tom Brady (NE vs. MIA) – 26/38 for 356 yards and 4 touchdowns – It’s not even fair anymore. Brady and the Patriots keep rolling.

Running Backs

(AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

(AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

1. Charcandrick West (KC vs. DET) – Sure it was against a very bad Lions team, but West had 20 carries for 97 yards and 1 touchdown, to go along with 4 receptions for 25 yards. He’s cementing himself as the number 1 back on this surging Chiefs team.

2. Todd Gurley (STL vs. SF) – Todd Gurley is starting to make it look way too easy. The Rams did what they needed to do against a 49ers team that needs to be put out of their misery already. Gurley had 20 carries for 133 yards and 1 touchdown. He was well worth the wait and the sky is the limit for him.

3. Ronnie Hillman (DEN vs. GB) – After being named Denver’s starting RB going forward, Hillman had 19 carries for 60 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Packers. His counterpart C.J. Anderson finally went out and had a nice game with 100+ yards and 1 touchdown. The Broncos will be scary if these guys get it going at the same time. Hillman has been the better runner since training camp and he’s in store for big things for the rest of the season.

Wide Receivers

(Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

(Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

1. Odell Beckham, Jr. (NYG vs. NO) – As Dan Patrick would say, “you can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him.” OBJ had 8 receptions for 130 yards and 3 touchdowns. The kid is so fun to watch. The Giants struck gold with him in last year’s draft.

2. Julio Jones (ATL vs. TB) – If all else fails, give the ball to Julio Jones. That’s what Matt Ryan should be writing in his notebook over and over again. The Falcons are slumping now, but Jones had 12 receptions for 162 yards and 1 touchdown in the loss to Tampa Bay. Just feed this guy the ball and he’ll do the rest.

3. Brandin Cooks (NO vs. NYG) – The party in the big easy was so huge on Sunday, that Brandin Cooks even decided to join. He had 6 receptions for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns. Is this a mirage in the desert or is this the return of the Fantasy stud we thought we were getting when drafting him this year?

Tight Ends

(Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

(Photo by Michael DeMocker, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

1. Benjamin Watson (NO vs. NYG) – Watson’s on the field relationship with QB Drew Brees is growing, as is indicated in Watson’s play the last 4 weeks. On Sunday, Watson had 9 receptions for 147 yards and 1 touchdown. The Saints are just a better team when they get their TE involved. This is just the start for Watson, so get on board now.

2. Rob Gronkowski (NE vs. MIA) – You can’t ask for much more from Rob Gronkowski. He’s an unstoppable beast. This week he had 6 receptions for 113 yards and 1 touchdown in the thrashing of the Dolphins. There is literally nobody that can stop him.

Defense

Photo: Brett Coomer, Staff

Photo: Brett Coomer, Staff

Houston Texans (vs. TEN) – Finally the Texans defense played a good game this year. I know it was against the weak Titans, but they only allowed 6 points, while they had 1 interception and 2 fumble recoveries for 19 Fantasy points. That’s what we’re use to seeing from them.

Kickers

Patrick Smith Getty Images

Patrick Smith Getty Images

Justin Tucker (BAL vs. SD) – The most charismatic kicker in the game IMO had a huge Sunday. Tucker was 5/5 for field goal attempts and he also had extra points for a total of 20 Fantasy Points. Then there was this…

https://vine.co/v/e3d5zYbLZFW

Alrighty then…

Here are Week 8’s Duds:

Quarterbacks

(Brandon Wade / Associated Press)

(Brandon Wade / Associated Press)

1. Matt Cassell (DAL vs. SEA) – The Cowboys need Tony Romo back ASAP. Just when you thought that their QB woes couldn’t get any worse, insert Matt Cassell. He was 13/25 for 97 yards and 0 touchdowns against the Seahawks. I know the Seahawks can be a good team, but Cassell looked like a college QB out there against men.

2. Aaron Rodgers (GB vs. DEN) – It’s ok for the Packers to lose to Denver. It’s also ok for Aaron Rodgers to not have a great game against Denver. However, the stat line of 14/22 for 77 yards and 0 touchdowns is not ok. Who the heck is that helping? That’s not helping the Packers and it’s certainly not helping my Fantasy team. That was a flat out terrible performance from him.

3. Ben Roethlisberger (PIT vs. CIN) – In his first game back since injury, Big Ben was 28/45 for 262 yards, 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions. He’s going to have to fix those INT numbers going forward because with Le’Veon Bell done for the season, the Steelers will have to rely on Roethlisberger’s arm more.

Running Backs

1. Chris Ivory (NYJ vs. OAK) – Ivory went from looking like a top 5 RB to looking like trash, as he had 15 carries for 17 yards against Oakland. That’s two duds in a row. He needs to fix this fast.

2. Danny Woodhead (SD vs. BAL) – Woodhead had 3 carries for 9 yards, along with 2 receptions for 36 yards against the Ravens. I expect more from Woody than this, especially in the receptions category.

3. Ameer Abdullah (DET vs. KC) – AA had 1 carry for 3 yards against the Chiefs. I put this one in here to illustrate how bad of a season it’s been for Detroit. AA is still the future, but the present is ugly!

Wide Receivers

1. Mike Evans (TB vs. ATL) – 3 carries for 48 yards – It’s becoming apparent to me that Evans is going to be up and down (mainly down) all year.

2. Torrey Smith (SF vs. STL) – 2 receptions for 19 yards – This bum still couldn’t produce jack, even with Anquan Boldin out. That’s not good.

3. Travis Benjamin (CLE vs. ARI) – 3 receptions for 26 yards – Benjamin started the season hot, but it was only a matter of time before he hit a brick wall.

Tight Ends

1. Jason Witten (DAL vs. SEA) – 2 receptions for 16 yards – Matt Cassell needs all the help that he can get. He certainly didn’t get it this week from Tony Romo’s best friend.

2. Martellus Bennett (CHI vs. MIN) – 3 receptions for 32 yards – Bennett should be way more active in the Bear’s offense. This was another poor showing for him.

Defense

New York Jets (vs. OAK) – The mean Jets defense allowed 34 to the Raiders. The Raiders are a much improved team this year, but -6 Fantasy points is unacceptable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TbAUVTar5Q

Are the Jets serious?

Kickers

Andrew Franks (MIA vs. NE) – 0/1 FG’s, 1 XP for 0 Fantasy points – Franks never had a shot. The Dolphins were schooled by the Patriots.

Here’s a brief look at the results of Week 8 in the PhillyInfluencer.com Fantasy Football league:

PiFF

You already know the drill here. Another week, another L for me. Team Mark Sucks took me out this week. This season is painfully long for me. 215 Sean (@Sean_Brace) had another tough week falling to “Chip Kelly Rejects,” which brings Sean’s record to 3-5 on the season. Our editor, Cunning Stunts (@nickpiccone) also got beat up pretty badly this week and he keeps pace with me for the toilet bowl championship at 2-6 for the season. The only winner for team Philly Influencer was Minitron’s Juice Stand (@Anthony_DiBona), who made rather easy work of Parkin Lot Pimpin’ this week. Meanwhile, Team Marino hung on by the hair on his chinny, chin, chin to stay undefeated at 8-0. Things were looking down for him on Monday night and then Andrew Luck and Adam Vinatieri came in and saved the day for him. and helped him beat Victorious Secret 127-119.

You can stay up to date with everything Fantasy Football related by following me on Twitter (@ViggieSmalls765) and Instagram. I’ll be available on Twitter for upcoming Twitter Chats and to give out advice to help guide you through your fantasy season.

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