Week 8 Fantasy Football Wrap Up

By: Luke Grilli (@glorypodcast)

The Northeast got bruised and battered by a rain and wind storm last night, but somehow I was able to get away unscathed and I actually have power to sit on my laptop and write this. So without further ado, here is the Week 8 Fantasy Football Wrap Up!

#POINTPOUNDERS
For those who have heard my podcast Never Ending Glory, we like to talk about our weekly #POINTPOUNDERS. Simply put, these are the guy who led their respective position in scoring and probably helped you win your fantasy match up

Quarterback
Russell Wilson- 452 yards passing, 4 TDs, 1 INT, 30 rushing yards
In what was far and away the best game of the week, Russell Wilson dominated the Texans defense to the tune of 40+ fantasy points. Paul Richardson  and Jimmy Graham were on the receiving ends of Wilson’s TDs, but Tyler Lockett and Doug Baldwin got in on the fun as well as the Seahawks continue to have zero run game.
Honorable Mention
Deshaun Watson-
And the other QB involved in the Seahawks-Texans shootout…my goodness Deshaun Watson is great. I thought this week was the test if he is legit or not as he traveled into Seattle. While he had a few mistakes (3 INTs), the answer is yes. Yes, he is legit.
Josh McCown- I love that this guy keeps on somehow being relevant in the NFL and fantasy football. If you have Tom Brady or Ben Roethlisberger on a bye in week 9, go pick up McCown. The match up isn’t great (vs. Buffalo on Thursday night), but he has at least 2 TDs in the last 4 games. There’s a good chance he will make that 5 in a row this week.
Case Keenum- Going against the winless Browns is a sure way to pad your stats in hopes of landing a starting gig somewhere else next year. That is exactly what Case Keenum did this week in London. Kyle Rudolph and Adam Thielen were on the receiving end of touchdown passes from Keenum as he continues his roller coaster of a season.

Running Back
LeSean McCoy- 
151 rushing yards, 1 TD, 6 receptions, 22 receiving yards
Shady did a great job of churning up yardage and filling up the stat sheet on Sunday. In true workhorse fashion, McCoy touched the ball 33 times and continues to be one of the better and most consistent RB1s in this fantasy season. Expect another big workload for LeSean on Thursday Night Football
Honorable Mention
Ezekiel Elliott-
Another 100+ and multi TD performance from the Cowboys running back. Hopefully this performance will satisfy owners for the next 6 weeks, because it looks likely that Zeke will be on the shelf while serving his continually delayed suspension
Jerick McKinnon- You know how sometimes you think about a player and regret instantly creeps into your mind? Well, that’s how I feel about Jerick McKinnon. He was sitting on the waiver wire all off season in my 16 team dynasty league and I placed bids on him a few times, but pulled them at the last minute. Now he just goes out and has another 20+ point performance while I’m trying to find a serviceable RB because Marshawn Lynch is terrible. Sigh.
Lamar Miller- Miller continues to monopolize the touches in the Texans backfield and rewarded fantasy owners who kept the faith in him with a 2 TD performance. The yardage wasn’t great (73 yards on 24 touches), but the 2 TDs were fantastic.

Wide Receiver
DeAndre Hopkins-
8 receptions, 224 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD
If you told me back in Week 1 when Tom Savage was under center that we would have so many #POINTPOUNDER and Honorable Mention Texans this season, I’d ask you what you were smoking and if you were looking to match. But here we are. I was able to make a trade for DeAndre in a dynasty league and it has all but saved my season after I lost Odell Beckham Jr to injury. This week, DeAndre’s late game 72 yard TD off a screen pass is just yet another reminder that he is one of the best young receivers in the league
Honorable Mention
JuJu Smith-Schuster-
2017 may go down as the year of JuJu and I have mixed emotions about that. First, I’m a big time Martavis Bryant fan and we all know that saga. Second, I traded JuJu for Ben Roethlisberger like an idiot a few weeks ago in a dynasty league where I am stuck with the quarterback formerly known as Cam Newton. But 3rd, and happy to admit, I put JuJu in my flex this week and won a cool $25 for being the high point scorer thanks to his 7/193/1 breakout performance. So there’s that I guess?
Will Fuller V- Speaking of regret, I traded Will Fuller at the beginning of the season. I think I need to be more patient with my young players (thinking face emoji). Fuller finished with a 5/125/2 stat line and now has scored in every game he has been active this season. The TD numbers are a bit fluky (7 TD on 13 catches), but the fact that he has a competent QB now and is the #2 target means he is a weekly WR3 with WR2 upside
Paul Richardson- Yes, you read that right. Paul Richardson, a player who has always had upside but couldn’t stay on the field, put it all together against the Texans and had the best game of his career. Finishing with 6 catches for 105 yards and 2 TDs, Richardson is worth a look as a streaming WR3 each week.

Tight End
Jack Doyle-
12 catches, 121 receiving yards, 1 TD
Doyle was basically the Colts passing attack on Sunday as Jacoby Brissett failed to consistently get the ball to any of the other pass catchers in Indy. With Andrew Luck experiencing more shoulder pain, I expect Brissett to continue to stay under center all year which would be great for Doyle’s fantasy value as he is the check down king in Indianapolis.
Honorable Mention
Jimmy Graham-
He still hasn’t been very good, but 2 TDs on 4 catches got him the overall TE2 spot this week. With the emergence of Paul Richardson and Tyler Lockett as reliable pass catchers in Seattle and Pete Carroll never being shy in trading a player, I wouldn’t be shocked if the Jimmy Graham trade rumors were true.
Rob Gronkowski- It wasn’t Gronk’s best game as he let a potentially long reception slip through his fingers, but he was still able to find the end zone and have 5 catches for 57 yards. The Patriots offense stalled a bit at times, but Gronk scored for the 3rd time in 3 games.
Austin Hooper-
It wasn’t a great week for TEs so Hooper is here with a 4/47/1 stat line. The Falcons offense continues to be blah so production from Hooper could definitely help jump start them to get back to their 2016 form.

#THISGUYSUCKS
So with the good, come the bad and here they are. These are the players that severely underachieved taking into consideration their match up/projections
Jameis Winston– The head aches continue with those who drafted Jameis thinking he could be a Top 5 QB this season. Against Carolina (who can be stingy against the pass) Winston was unable to get into the end zone and threw 2 picks. He is probably still a weekly starter, but 2 single digit fantasy point game sin the past 3 weeks is a major concern
Devonta Freeman- The Jets have been known to stop the run, but I still expected Freeman to find running room (finished with 41 yards on 12 carries) and be more involved in the passing game (1 reception for 20 yards). He is a grinder that excels when given 20+ touches. Considering Atlanta’s struggles, I don’t understand why they didn’t get him more involved
TY Hilton- Yet another stinker from Hilton (2/15), it is tough to start him week to week even though he has a couple WR1 games under his belt this year
Hunter Henry- Another dud from this years sleeper TE. I think 2017 is mostly a lost season for Henry to be a Top 10 TE, but this may mean you can buy him low next draft season? #silverlining

Injuries
Jordan Reed- After only catching 1 ball, the oft injured Reed went down with a hamstring injury. Vernon Davis will be a hot waiver wire add considering Reed’s history of lengthy absences with soft tissue injuries.
Zach Miller- Miller suffered a nasty dislocated knee on what should have been a TD. This is likely the season for Miller and possibly that last we have seen of him. At 32 and in the last year of his contract, I’d be shocked if anybody picked him up this off season. Though not a great option, Dion Sims is now the starter in Chicago.
UPDATE:  I just received notification on my phone that surgeons are trying to save Miller’s leg. Wow. Our thoughts are with Miller and hopefully the surgeons will be successful
Pierre Garcon- A neck injury forced Garcon out of the Week 8 tilt vs. the Eagles. Keep an eye on this injury as Garcon is fed targets in a 49ers offense that is lacking any other reliable target

Rookie of the Week
I don’t have to really go into detail here, but Deshaun Watson has all but locked up the 2017 Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Off to arguably the best start ever by a rookie QB, Watson continues to prove the naysayers wrong each week.

Luke’s Top Storylines of the Week
1. What is Deshaun Watson’s trade value in dynasty leagues? I ask this because a friend of mine who I play redraft and dynasty with was about to make a pretty wild offer. He was ready to move what is likely to be a Top 5 rookie pick in next year’s draft and Dak Prescott for Deshaun Watson. As the Prescott owner, is that too much? As the Watson owner, is that an instant accept?  Honestly, I don’t know which side I’d take here. I do know this, if you took Deshaun with a 2nd or 3rd round rookie pick, you’re feeling VERY good about that return.
2. Martellus Bennett came out and said he may be retiring after this season. We all know Martellus has walked to the beat of his own drum and has off field interests (he has his own children’s animation studio), but I would be shocked if he forfeit the $17 million he has left on the next 2 years of his contract by hanging up his cleats. I’ve read that this may be a ploy to get out of Green Bay and that may have some merit considering his minimal usage this season. This is a story to keep an eye on.
3. While Deshaun Watson has been amazing, 2017 will go down as the year of the rookie running back. So with the emergence of Alvin Kamara the past few weeks, we now have Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, Kareem Hunt, Aaron Jones, Joe Mixon, Malron Mack and Tarik Cohen on this list of rookie RBs that have put up RB1 performances this season, or who have potential to be in your weekly lineups. It looks like 2018 and beyond will be great for those who suggest waiting on RBs or going with a “Zero RB Strategy” in drafts
4. Should the Colts just shut down Andrew Luck for the season? They aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, especially with both the Jags and Texans playing well in their division, so why risk further injuring their crown jewel or improving their draft stock? I say you play Jacoby Brissett for the rest of the season, get a Top 5 pick and then use it to bolster the players around Andrew Luck. That has always been the Colts’ problem. They may have great talent at the skill positions, but the players protecting Andrew Luck are lackluster.
5. Could Jimmy Graham, TY Hilton and Martavis Bryant all be on the move? Highly unlikely considering the minimal excitement during the NFL trade deadline, but you could make a case for each player moving onto greener pastures and possibly seeing more fantasy value wherever they land. Sure there could be a learning curve for Hilton or Bryant if they are traded away, but sometimes talent simply breaks through. You’re telling me that a contender like the Saints couldn’t use another consistent weapon at receiver? How about the Eagles who simply can’t get Alshon Jeffrey going (yes I know he had a long TD, but only 2 catches which is a concern). Like I said, it’s likely that nothing will happen, but it’s still fun to talk about the different scenarios
6. Welcome back Jamison Crowder! I have to touch upon him quickly because he was an offseason favorite of mine and I asked what was wrong with him a few weeks ago, but Crowder finally broke off something proper and put up 9 catches for 123 yards. Terrelle Pryor failed to catch a ball and Jordan Reed left with an injury, so Crowder was the main focus of Kirk Cousins. Hopefully HC Jay Gruden recognizes that Crowder is the best receiver in DC and continues to get him double digit targets.

Alright, that is it for this week. Enjoy Monday Night Football. If you need a W from the game tonight, I hope you get it! Follow me on Twitter (@glorypodcast) and be sure to give us a listen on Soundcloud or iTunes!