From the Sports Deck: Fantasy football advice week eight


Courtesy of ESPN

Zack Goodrow, Sports Editor

START: Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz has had an up and down season to say the least. Wentz is a free agent in many leagues after he’s disappointed in fantasy football and in real life. Wentz started the season by producing 13 and 12.38 points in the first two weeks of the season. In the past two weeks however, Wentz has had season highs with 29.42 and 27.76 point performances. This week the Eagles will play the Dallas Cowboys in a matchup that may have indications towards who wins the division. The Cowboys give up an average of 20.71 points to opposing quarterbacks. Wentz should have a great week against the Cowboys. 

SIT: Drew Brees – Much like Wentz, New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees has left much to be desired from his fantasy production so far this season. Brees currently ranks as the twentieth QB in fantasy leagues and he should only fall farther down the rankings this week against the Chicago Bears. The Bears have an excellent defense and the Saints will most likely use RB Alvin Kamara as their focal point to win this game. The Bears give up only an average of 12.43 points to opposing quarterbacks per game. I don’t expect Brees to do much in this game. 

START: Clyde Edwards-Helaire – Despite scoring only two touchdowns so far this season, Kansas City Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire has had excellent fantasy production. He has ranged from 11 to 20 points per game depending on the matchup. His matchup this week will be against the New York Jets, objectively the worst team in the NFL. The Jets give up an average of 27.63 points to opposing backs. Edwards-Helaire should be a factor in the passing game and running the ball. He should have his best game of the season against New York this week. 

START: Jonathan Taylor – I expect Indianapolis Colts RB Jonathan Taylor to have a huge week against the Detroit Lions. The Lions have a bad run defense and have given up an average of 29.72 points to opposing backs. Coming off a bye week, Taylor and his team should be well rested and ready to take on Detroit. If you have Taylor on your bench, I’d slide him into the starting lineup with confidence. 

SIT: James Conner – The Baltimore Ravens have an excellent run defense and they won’t be slowed down as they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers this week. Steelers RB James Conner will try to score against a team that gives up only 19.62 points to opposing backs. Conner’s best performance so far this season is when he scored 24.9 points against the Houston Texans. I highly doubt Conner will come even close to that number of points. If you have any other reliable RB options on your bench, I’d play them in favor of Conner. 

SIT: David Montgomery – The Bears run offense is just plain bad. It’s a combination of a sketchy offensive line and some questionable play calling. Against the Saints this week, I don’t expect the Bears to suddenly regain any competence in running the ball. RB David Monthomery has been in a difficult position all year and he should continue to struggle against the Saints. He may be a factor in the passing game but he most likely won’t even score a TD. I’d sit Montgomery this week. 

START: Travis Fulgham – Three weeks ago against the Steelers, Eagles WR Travis Fulgham scored 31.2 fantasy points when he caught 10 passes for 157 yards and a TD. I’ll be honest with you, before this breakout game, I had zero clue that Fulgham was even on an NFL roster. Since that game, Fulgram has put up solid performances with 19.5 and 12.3 points. Against the Cowboys this week, Fulgham should have another sturdy performance against a terrible pass defense. As one of Wentz’s only reliable targets with his top tight ends injured, Fulgham should have a great game.  

START: Brandon Aiyuk – The San Francisco 49ers have had a weak WR core for the past couple seasons. Brandon Aiyuk ranks as the team’s top receiver at thirty eighth in the league.  Aiyuk finally had a good game against the New England Patriots after a couple of cold weeks. He scored 17.5 points with a performance of six catches for 86 yards. The 49ers will take on the Seattle Seahawks who have the last ranked pass defense in fantasy football. The Seahawks give up an average of 60.07 points to opposing wide outs and Aiyuk should benefit. Aiyuk is a free agent in many leagues and should be a solid pickup for anyone who has an injured receiver or a player on their bye week. 

SIT: D.K. Metcalf – Time for my one risky take of the week. I’m thinking that Seahawks WR D.K. Metcalf will have a mediocre performance against the 49ers. Metcalf has been dominant this season but he only scored 4.3 points last week against the Arizona Cardinals. The 49ers give up only 30.39 points to opposing receivers and Metcalf will have to compete with Tyler Lockett to get targets. I just simply don’t like it this week and I feel like there are safer options out there to start this week. 

SIT: Chase Claypool – Steelers WR Chase Claypool broke out onto the NFL landscape with a 42.6 point performance against the Eagles in week five. Last week however, he scored only .8 points against the Tennessee Titans. This week the Steelers will play the Ravens who give up an average of only 33.67 points against opposing receivers. The issue with Claypool is just that the Steelers have so many weapons to throw to. He will always be competing for targets and it’s hard to predict when he will have another breakout game. Against the Ravens however, it’s safer to assume that he will have lower production against a great defense.   

START: Jimmy Graham – As a Bears fan, I was pretty upset when the team dished out an expensive contract to an aging TE in Jimmy Graham. Graham looked washed last season with the Green Bay Packers and there was little chance he would all of the sudden start producing with a less than lackluster offense. To my pleasant surprise, Graham has actually played well for the Bears. He already has four touchdowns which is more than his total last season and more than all the Bears tight ends had combined. This week against the Saints, I doubt that the Bears offense will find consistency and finally look competent. I do think it is likely though that Graham has a few big catches and even a TD catch. I’d start Graham this week.

SIT: T.J. Hockenson – Lions TE T.J. Hockenson has been solid this season and he had his best performance of the year so far last week against the Atlanta Falcons. He scored 16.9 fantasy points with five catches for 83 yards and a TD. This week the Lions will face the Colts, who only give up 5.07 points to opposing tight ends. Hockenson will most likely score more points than that but probably not much more. I’d sit Hockenson if I had another option at TE. 

KICKER: Harrison Butker – Let’s just take a moment to think about the absolute domination that will take place this week in the Chiefs and Jets game. If the Chiefs score 50 points, I wouldn’t be surprised. Most likely the Chiefs will treat this matchup as a bye week and take it easy. Kicker Harrison Butker will most likely kick a bunch of field goals and extra points. This will give him the opportunity to be the best kicker in fantasy leagues this week. 

DEFENSE: Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Much like the Chiefs and Jets matchup, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will most likely destroy the New York Giants. The Buccaneers will have a great chance to force turnovers against Giants QB Daniel Jones. I expect the Buccaneers to have multiple sacks and turnovers against the Giants this week.