Our Week 8 sleepers features under-the-radar players that are currently being started in less than 50% of fantasy football leagues. These players could produce good fantasy numbers this week due to a favorable matchup, injury, or other circumstances. For your final lineup decisions, check out our Week 8 player rankings and if you have any fantasy football questions, feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.
Before you hate on this pick, allow me to explain. Tannehill is the proud owner of three 20-point fantasy games in a row, throwing two TDs in each. He’s averaged over 30 pass attempts per game, and has mostly limited mistakes. This week the Dolphins travel to play the Jaguars, who despite their first win, field a defense well worth streaming against. Tannehill should put up at least high-end QB2 numbers and has some QB1 upside.
Denard will probably be the top pickup this coming week, and for good reason. Emerging from relative obscurity, Robinson busted out for 127 yards on 22 total carries. He’ll have a much more challenging task ahead of him this coming weekend against Miami and their top-5 run defense, to be sure. I’ll say this, in the 2014 fantasy football landscape, any running back not sharing carries is worth an add, and in most cases, worth a start. If Robinson can pile up another 18+ carries and perhaps a catch or two, he would profile as a top 20 RB option, making him a useful RB2 play.
If Robinson is the #1 pickup of the week, Starks shouldn’t be far behind him. Although he went down in the third quarter and didn’t return, Starks piled up 43 yards and a TD on only 8 touches. He’s not only the passing down back, but he got three series all to himself. Lacy will continue to be the lead dog here but Starks has amassed enough value to be worthy of a start (if you’re desperate) against a vulnerable Saints defense.
While it makes me shudder internally to recommend a Raiders RB, I think McFadden has some serious potential this week. The Browns defense just got shredded by previously third-string back Denard Robinson of the Jags, and they’ve giving up over five yards per carry on the year. While the Raiders aren’t good, per se, at the offensive phase of the game I’d give them enough credit to make DMC a sneaky upside play for Week 8.
Wright finally got going against the terrible Redskins secondary, going off (for Wright, anyway) for 68 yards and a TD. On the TD catch, he knifed through multiple defenders on his way to the end zone and looked pretty impressive doing it. There’s no doubt he has the ability, the only questions are consistency and QB play. Jake Locker should be back this week, which is great news for all the Titans skill players. Even more encouraging is the fact that despite being an excellent overall defense, Houston gives up 40% more fantasy points to #1 WRs than league average. I think Locker’s return pumps some life into the Tennessee passing game, and I therefore am high on Wright for Week 8.
Baldwin busted out for 123 yards on seven catches this past Sunday. With Percy Harvin now exiled to New York, he’s the de-facto #1 WR, and looked the part. Russell Wilson is putting up video game numbers, and the extra attention on him will only help his WRs. Finally, Carolina has been getting smoked by opposing passers lately, and they’ll also have to worry about Lynch, Wilson, and Kearse. I like Baldwin’s chance to produce at least a WR3 line here if you’re running short on WR options.
Poor Corradelle Patterson. Everyone is dumping on him and many are quite literally dumping him in fantasy leagues. He had such potential coming into this year…but this is one of those times that the hype outweighed the results. Losing the Vikings All-World RB probably helped too, but there’s no doubt 2014 has been a lost season for Corradelle so far. But I don’t think the story is all finished just yet. In fact, I think he breaks out this Sunday against a TB team that is giving up 40% more to enemy passing attacks than league average, good for a rank of 31st in the NFL. If an owner has (rightfully) dumped him in your league, don’t be afraid to grab him up this week. I love the Viking schedule the next 6 weeks (TB, WAS, BYE, GB, CHI, CAR) and I think he’s going to have a monster second half.
Fresh off their dramatic win against Seattle, which included one of the most ridiculous fake kickoff returns I’ve ever seen, the Rams will now travel to Arrowhead to take on the Chiefs. I’m a big fan of what Austin Davis has been able to accomplish in his limited time at QB, and I think he and Cook can connect this week. KC has been a solid D/ST overall in 2014, but they hemorrhage points of opposing TEs (43.8% above league average). Cook has had 24 targets over the past three weeks, and I think the Rams will make sure he’s a solid part of their offensive game plan.
Welcome to this week’s installment of “Who’s playing the Jaguars?”. This week, the big winner is Miami. They have a solid run defense, and the Jags don’t have a whole lot to defense as far as the pass. The Dolphins are a clear top-grade streaming defense for Week 8.
The Bengals defense has been in a monster rut lately, which unsurprisingly has lead to the ownership and start percentages dropping like a stone. They gave up 27 to the Colts last week, but lets be honest, who has really stopped the Colt in 2014? Nobody. I like the Bengals to have a huge bounce-back week here at home against the Ravens. Baltimore has been scorching opponents lately, rolling up big scores on Atlanta and Tampa Bay. I think the Cincy defense makes a huge stand here, and Joe Flacco, Steve Smith Sr, and Torrey Smith go back to looking average, at least for one week.