Each week there are some obvious starts and sits in fantasy football. Other decisions are not quite so simple. Here are some of my picks for Week 8 in the latest edition of Studs, Duds & Sleepers.
QB: Lamar Jackson (BAL at ARI): Jackson is clicking on all cylinders as he continues to get acclimated with Todd Monken’s offense. Over the last five weeks only two quarterbacks have put up more fantasy points and his hot play should continue this week vs. the Cardinals, who have five of the seven signal callers they face to reach 20 fantasy points.
RB: Isaiah Pacheco (KC at DEN): Coming off his second-lowest rushing output of the season, Pacheco is primed for a bounce back in Week 8 at Denver. The Chiefs’ running back has scored 13 or more PPR points in five straight contests and the Broncos are giving more fantasy points (36.9) to the position than any other team in the league.
WR: Calvin Ridley (JCK at PIT): Ridley has been very frustrating for fantasy managers over the past two weeks, but the matchup with the Steelers is too juicy for me to consider benching him. Pittsburgh has already ceded three 30-point days to receivers (B. Aiyuk, D. Adams, and N. Collins) and watched Puka Nuca go off for eight catches and 154 yards last week.
TE: Darren Waller (NYG vs. NYJ): The Jets have allowed the most fantasy points per game so far this season, including watching five tight ends to score in six games. Waller is coming off his best day as a Giant after he pulled in seven of eight targets last week for 98 yards and a touchdown on National Tight Ends Day vs. the Commanders.
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QB: Geno Smith (SEA vs. CLE): As if having D.K. Metcalf dinged up wasn’t bad enough now Geno Smith has to deal with a brutal matchup with the Browns’ D as Cleveland comes to town. Until Gardner Minshew went off last week the Browns only allowed 13 or more fantasy points to quarterback one other time in five games. Smith has not been a top 10 scoring fantasy quarterback in any game this season, finishing outside the top 20 at the position in three of the six weeks he’s played.
RB: Josh Jacobs (LV at DET): A year after winning a rushing title, Jacobs has made it through Week 7 without reaching 77 yards on the ground in a game this season. Things won’t get better this week as the Raiders make a trip to Detroit. They are allowing the third-fewest rushing yards to running backs (56.1 ypg) and have only allowed three total touchdowns to the position in 2023.
WR: Adam Thielen (CAR vs. HOU): The target volume has been massive for the veteran in the six weeks before the Panthers’ bye, including at least 13 targets in three of his last four games. That said, his ceiling is limited this week vs. the Texans, who have yet to see any wideouts reach 80 receiving yards and only two wide receivers all season have managed to reach the end zone vs. Houston.
TE: David Njoku (CLE at SEA): With the quarterback situation being so dicey it’s hard to endorse many pieces in the Cleveland passing attack as based off this week’s matchup, Njoku is hard to trust. He did get nine targets last week, but has had four or fewer targets in four of his six games. Only one tight end all season reached 50 yards against Seattle and no tight end has scored against the Seahawks this season.
QB: Kenny Pickett (PIT vs. JCK): Pickett has struggled mostly this season, but he did finish inside the top 20 a week ago with Diontae Johnson’s return to the offense. He could push for top 15 numbers matched up against a Jaguars’ defense that has allowed the fifth most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.
RB: Devin Singletary (HOU at CAR): Singletary has slowly taken over the majority of the carries out of the Texans’ backfield. Look for him to build on that momentum coming out of his bye week vs. a Panthers’ defense that has allowed the most touchdowns (13) to running backs and five players at the position to hit 20 PPR points in a game this season in six games.
WR: Drake London (ATL vs. TEN): London has been hot and cold most of the year, but he’s still WR28 in PPR leagues through 7 weeks. He’s in line for big things in Week 8 as the Titans come to Atlanta. Tennessee has allowed the 7th-most fantasy points (PPR) to wideouts on the season.
TE: Jake Ferguson (DAL vs. LAR): It’s been tough sledding over his last two games with just four catches for 43 yards over that span. Coming off the bye, look for Dallas to get the big guy more involved. The Rams have allowed three TD’s to tight ends over their last four outings and four tight ends since Week 4 hit double-digit PPR points.
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