Studs, Duds, & Sleepers: Week 8

October 28, 2021

Heading into Week 8, most fantasy leagues are at, or just past, the mid-way point, which means if you are sitting more than a game off .500, you need to start working the waiver wire and making some calls on trades. Lucky for you, the ‘Studs, Duds, and Sleepers’ staff has put together an ironclad, full proof list of players to target – or avoid – in Week 8. 



Aaron Rodgers, GB: 

With or without Davante Adams, I like the Packers/Cardinals Thursday Night tilt to be a high scoring and exciting affair, and as a result, I think Rodgers still puts up big numbers. I look for Adams’ volume to be spread across multiple guys – like Aaron Jones via more dump offs and otherwise under-used weapons like tight end Robert Tonyan.

Kyler Murray, AZ:  

Murray is playing at an MVP level, accounting for more than 300 yards per game and nearly three touchdowns per game. I look for him to continue that pace this week against the Packers in a game I have pegged as a shootout.

Others receiving votes:

Joe Burrow, Cin: 

After putting up 400 yards and three touchdowns in Baltimore, I expect Burrow to light up the Jets this week. I don’t expect another 400 yards, but 3+ touchdowns is not out of the realm of possibilities this week.


Running backs:

Ezekiel Elliott, Dal: 

Elliott is averaging 5.1 yards per carry and nearly 90 yards per game and will get a Vikings defense which is giving up nearly 130 yards per game at 4.8 yards per carry. This Cowboys/Vikings game could be another shootout, and if it is, Elliott should be one of many beneficiaries. 

Joe Mixon, Cin: 

Mixon is third in the NFL with 539 rushing yards and he and the Bengals offense has been on fire the last few weeks. I look for that to continue this week against a Jets which ranks 27th in yards and has surrendered 11 rushing touchdowns. 

Others receiving votes:

Darrell Henderson Jr., LAR:

For the third week in a row, Henderson finds himself on the ‘Studs’ list. He didn’t live up to the expectations last week, but this week gets a Houston defense ranked 31st against the run. They give up nearly 150 yards per game on the ground and have allowed a league worst 12 rushing touchdowns.


Pass Catchers:

Jamar Chase, Cin: 

Chase is having a record breaking rookie season, and somehow, he keeps raising the bar for himself. His first time seeing the “vaunted” Ravens defense, he pulled in eight catches for 201 yards and a touchdown. He trails only Cooper Kupp in terms of receiving yards, and only Kupp, DeAndre Hopkins and Mike Evans have more touchdowns than Chase’s six.

Cooper Kupp, LAR: 

Kupp leads the league in targets (81), receptions (56), yards (809) and receiving touchdowns (9)…and he gets to visit arguably the worst team in the NFL this week. Look for Kupp to have another huge outing this week.

Others receiving votes:

D.K. Metcalf, Sea: 

I feel like Metcalf has flown a bit under the radar this year, but he has 537 yards and six touchdowns and even without Russell Wilson, I expect him to put up big numbers this week against the league’s second worst pass defense. 




Ben Roethlisberger, Pit: 

The Browns second ranked run defense will shut down Najee Harris and force Ben to throw a lot…which will allow the Browns line to tee off on the immobile veteran. Only two teams have more sacks than the Browns (20) and given the state of the Steelers offensive line, that will mean bad things for Ben. He ranks 22nd in yards (1,515) and touchdowns (7) and 31st in yards per attempt at a paltry 6.4.

Jameis Winston, NO:

Winston has 13 touchdowns to just three interceptions, but five of those came in Week 1 and in a pass crazy league, he is putting up just 185 yards per game. I think Winston will struggle this week against his former team and would recommend staying away from having him in your starting lineup.

Others receiving votes:
Trevor Lawrence, Jax: 

Lawrence just had his best game as a Pro – and is coming off a bye – but playing in Seattle is going to be a little different than playing at home against the Dolphins. While the Seahawks defense is no longer the vaunted unit it once was, they – and the crowd – will make it tough this week on the rookie. .


Running backs:

Chuba Hubbard, Car: 

You would think in an offense built around a running back, Hubbard would be putting up decent numbers in CMC’s absence, but that is not the case. Hubbard is averaging just three catches, and only 60 rushing yards per game on just 3.7 yards per carry. Worse yet, he has only found the endzone once.

Najee Harris, Pit 

Harris has shown flashes this year, but he is still running behind arguably the league’s worst offensive line and will be going up against a top-five Browns defense which is equally as good shutting down running backs as they are at getting after opposing quarterbacks.

Others receiving votes:

Alvin Kamara, NO: 

Seems like an odd pick after he just put up 179 all-purpose yards, 10 receptions and a touchdown, but the Bucs defense is far better than the Seahawks and they will be amped up to shut down Winston and the entire Saints offense.  


Pass Catchers:

Any Jets Pass Catchers:

The Bengals offense has gotten a lot of run this past week, but few realize it is actually their defense which has been carrying the team for the most part. The Bengals can get after the quarterback and cover, and that spells trouble for pass catchers relying on a no-named backup trying to get them the ball this week. 

Any Bears Pass Catchers: 

The Bears may not be good, but they can get after the quarterback. They rank first with 21 sacks and are only giving up 219 yards per game in the air. The 49ers, on the other hand, are in the bottom half of the league in terms of passing and passing touchdowns and their starting quarterback does not seem to have much of a leash left. I would stay away from starting 49er pass catchers this week if you can. 

Others receiving votes:

Robby Anderson, Car: 

After a career year last year with 96 catches and 1,000+ yards receiving, Anderson has just 18 catches for 204 yards this year and is on pace for his worst season of his NFL career.  




Daniel Jones, NYG: 

Jones is not having a good season, but the Chiefs defense is terrible and Jones’ dual threat abilities could give the Chiefs a lot of problems. Three touchdowns for Jones this week is not out of the question.

Teddy Bridgewater, Den:

After leading the Broncos to a 3-0 start, the Broncos now sit at 3-4 and Bridgewater’s starting status is far from safe, but he should find success this week against a Football Team that ranks dead last in passing defense, giving up more than 300 yards per game and a league worst 19 passing touchdowns. 

Geno Smith, Sea: 

Smith hasn’t been great filling in for Wilson, but he has been respectable and he should have plenty of opportunities this week against a bad Jaguars pass defense. If you find yourself in a pinch at the quarterback position, Smith may be worth a flyer.


Running backs:

Brandon Bolden, NE: 

Bolden offers little in the running game, but has clearly taken over James White’s role as the receiving back in the Patriots offense. Last week, Bolden was tied for the team lead in targets (7) and led the team in receptions (6) and receiving yards (79), including one touchdown. 

Damien Harris, NE: 

Harris, unlike Bolden, offers little to nothing in the passing game, but has established himself as the Patriots lead back and is coming off his best game of the season – 14 carries, 106 yards and two touchdowns. He is a solid Flex play and a borderline RB2.

Others receiving votes:

Darrel Williams, KC: 

He only saw five carries last week, but that is because the Chiefs were down 14-0 in the first quarter and 27-0 by halftime. That left few opportunities for Williams. The Chiefs won’t fall behind like that to the Giants, so look for Williams to have a lot more opportunities this week. 



Pass Catchers:

Noah Fant, Den: Was

Fant has four or more catches and six or more targets in five of the Broncos seven games and has scored in three of those games. He isn’t going to put up huge numbers, but he should consistently get you double digit points. 

Randall Cobb, GB: @AZ

With it sounding like Adams will be out this week – and maybe others – it should mean more targets for guys like Cobb and Tonyan. I doubt the Packers will shy away from throwing the ball whether or not Adams plays, so someone is going to get a lot of opportunities which would otherwise go to Adams.

Dawson Knox, Buf: Mia

Knox has scored four of his last five games, leads the Bills in receiving touchdowns (5) and gets a favorable matchup this week against a terrible Dolphins pass defense.  


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