Stars of Week 8

QB: Russell Wilson, SEA: 26-41, 452 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT          

RB: Ezekiel Elliott, DAL: 33 carries, 150 yards, 2 TD 

WR: DeAndre Hopkins, HOU: 8 catches, 224 yards, 1 TD

TE: Jack Doyle, IND: 12 catches, 121 yards, 1 TD

We’ve got some of the league’s very best players representing the honor roll this week, starting with the QB for the league’s Pacific Northwest team. Russell Wilson outdueled rookie sensation Deshaun Watson in what was the game of the year so far. More good news for Russell Wilson – and his fantasy owners – the team has acquired former Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown from the Texans. The short of it is that Russell should be running for his life much less going forward. On the subject of running, Ezekiel Elliott turns in yet another masterpiece, scoring 2 TDs and hitting the 150 yard threshold in a win over the Redskins. Elliott gets at least one more week of play before his suspension kicks in, although no one knows for sure what will happen. On the other side of the Seahawks-Texans duel, DeAndre Hopkins did to the Legion of Boom what virtually no other WR has done, crossing the 200 yard marker to go along with his fourth quarter TD. Hopkins is a top 5 real life and fantasy WR. Lastly, Jack Doyle served as Jacoby Brissett’s top receiving option against the Bengals. He’s a back end TE1. 

Week 8 Takeaways – A Closer Look 

Each week we’ll take a closer look at a handful of performances and sort out what such performances mean going forward.

- Deshaun Watson, QB – HOU: 19-30, 402 yards, 4 TDs, 3 INTs    


Analysis: Deshaun Watson appeared in this spot about a month back, but he’s performed in a manner that requires another visit. Richard Sherman said it best regarding Watson’s performance this past Sunday, in which he praised Watson as having played the best game against the Legion of Boom, despite the LOB having faced the who’s who of QBs. And Sherman was right – Watson played with no fear and carved up the LOB in a manner that I’ve never seen. At this point, Watson is a top five fantasy QB and a must start every week. Nuk was addressed above, and Will Fuller elevates to WR2 status, albeit a more volatile one. Teams will continue to adjust to Watson, so don’t expect 40 point games every week. But Watson has earned a spot in starting lineups.

- Alex Collins, RB – BAL: 18 carries, 113 yards, 0 TDs 

Analysis: The Baltimore Ravens have two rosterable RBs for fantasy purposes, while Alex Collins’ former team, the Seahawks, finds itself with none. Collins was beat out by four other RBs in Seattle’s training camp, but he landed in a great spot with the Ravens. Collins has averaged a gaudy 6.0 yards per carry, and has rushed for at least 74 yards in for of his last six games. Collins hasn’t found the end zone yet, so don’t expect him to be a primary goal line carrier. But Collins is shifty and has improved as a runner this season, and he will continue to accumulate points for you through his yardage totals. Collins straddles the RB2/flex border, with upside to solidify himself as an RB2. If you need an RB, he’s likely the top waiver add in your league.

- Juju Smith-Schuster, WR – PIT: 7 catches, 193 yards, 1 TD

Analysis: The Steelers have been the best organization at developing wide receivers, and lo and behold, they’ve got yet another rising star. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve heard Martavis Bryant’s cries for a trade out of Pittsburgh. While Bryant has been pouting, rookie Juju Smith-Schuster has quietly inched his way further up the Steelers' WR depth chart, and now saving his explosion onto the scene for Sunday night football. Smith-Schuster has shown an ability to separate from coverage and has the speed to leave defenders in his wake. In case Smith-Schuster is available in your league, he should be added asap. Look at him as a WR3/flex option, with potential to slide up to a WR2 as this year goes on due to an ideal situation with the Steelers’ offense. 

- Paul Richardson, WR – SEA: 6 catches, 105 yards, 2 TDs

Analysis: Paul Richardson has always had an amazing catch radius and an ability to get open, but he has never been able to stay healthy. We got our first glance of Richardson’s potential in the 2016 playoffs, and now we’re seeing just what he can do. It’s Richardson, and not Doug Baldwin, who leads the Seahawks in TD receptions – he has five thus far. Richardson has worked out with QB Russell Wilson over the last two offseasons, and the chemistry they’ve developed is quite clear – enough where Wilson is comfortable throwing a jump ball to his WR fifty yards down the field with the game on the line. And of course Richardson comes down with the catch against the Texans. While the team’s running game is a mess, the Hawks should be able to move the ball through the air in spectacular fashion. Richardson also finds himself in the WR3/flex category, so if you need a WR, he’s a great get as well.

- Robby Anderson, WR – NYJ: 6 catches, 104 yards, 1 TD   

Analysis: This week we’re heavy on wide receivers. Last but not least, we have another New York Jet who has become fantasy relevant. Robby Anderson passed the century mark in yardage and caught his third TD of the season this past week against the Falcons. Anderson is on pace for 870 receiving yards, and with his increasing chemistry with QB Josh McCown, it would be no surprise if he inches closer to 1,000 yards when it’s all said and done. Anderson has big play ability, and the Jets don’t have a lot of offensive weapons – so that spells fantasy relevancy. Anderson is more of a matchups dependent flex play, but that’s quite valuable for those of you in leagues with 12 or more teams. Yet another WR possibility for you to add if you need to address the position.

Rapid Fire Pickups 

Each week we throw out potential free agent pickups from each position for deeper leagues, in each case 1) someone who has NOT been referenced above, and 2) a player available in most leagues.

QB: Jared Goff, LAR

RB: Darren McFadden, DAL

RB: Marlon Mack, IND (how is he not owned in every league?)

WR: Jordan Matthews, BUF

WR: Bennie Fowler, DEN

TE: Tyler Croft, CIN


Week 9 Rankings 


  1. Drew Brees, NO (vs. TB)
  2. Russell Wilson, SEA (vs. WAS)
  3. Dak Prescott, DAL (vs. KC)
  4. Matthew Stafford, DET (at GB)
  5. Alex Smith, KC (at DAL)
  6. Cam Newton, CAR (vs. ATL)
  7. Carson Wentz, PHI (vs. DEN)
  8. Matt Ryan, ATL (at CAR)
  9. Jameis Winston, TB (at NO)
  10. Derek Carr, OAK (at MIA)
  11. Marcus Mariota, TEN (vs. BAL)
  12. Kirk Cousins, WAS (at SEA)
  13. Jared Goff, LAR (at NYG)
  14. Jacoby Brissett, IND (at HOU)
  15. Brett Hundley, GB (vs. DET)
  16. Andy Dalton, CIN (at JAX)
  17. Jay Cuter, MIA (vs. OAK)
  18. Blake Bortles, JAX (vs. CIN)
  19. Tom Savage, HOU (vs. IND)
  20. Joe Flacco, BAL (at TEN)

Running Backs:

  1. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL (vs. KC)
  2. Kareem Hunt, KC (at DAL)
  3. Todd Gurley, LAR (at NYG)
  4. Leonard Fournette, JAX (vs. CIN)
  5. Mark Ingram, NO (vs. TB)
  6. Lamar Miller, HOU (vs. IND)
  7. Devonta Freeman, ATL (at CAR)
  8. Doug Martin, TB (at NO)
  9. Alvin Kamara, NO (vs. TB)
  10. Aaron Jones, GB (vs. DET)
  11. DeMarco Murray, TEN (vs. BAL)
  12. Carlos Hyde, SF (vs. ARZ)
  13. Chris Thompson, WAS (at SEA)
  14. Joe Mixon, CIN (at JAX)
  15. Adrian Peterson, ARZ (at SF)
  16. Christian McCaffrey, CAR (vs. ATL)
  17. C.J. Anderson, DEN (at PHI)
  18. Jay Ajayi, PHI (vs. DEN)
  19. Alex Collins, BAL (at TEN)
  20. Tevin Coleman, ATL (at CAR)
  21. Ameer Abdullah DET (at GB)
  22. Marshawn Lynch, OAK (at MIA)
  23. Derrick Henry, TEN (vs. BAL)
  24. Frank Gore, IND (at HOU)
  25. Orleans Darkwa, NYG (vs. LAR)
  26. Javorius Allen, BAL (at TEN)
  27. Marlon Mack, IND (at HOU)
  28. Ty Montgomery, GB (vs. DET)
  29. Jonathan Stewart, CAR (vs. ATL)
  30. Eddie Lacy, SEA (vs. WAS)
  31. Robert Kelley, WAS (at SEA)
  32. LeGarrette Blount, PHI (vs. DEN)
  33. Theo Riddick, DET (at GB)
  34. Kenyan Drake, MIA (vs. OAK)
  35. Jalen Richard, OAK (at MIA)
  36. Jamaal Charles, DEN (at PHI)
  37. Thomas Rawls, SEA (vs. WAS)
  38. Andre Ellington, ARZ (at SF)
  39. Matt Breida, SF (vs. ARZ)
  40. DeAndre Washington, OAK (at MIA)

Wide Receivers:

  1. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (vs. IND)
  2. Julio Jones, ATL (at CAR)
  3. Mike Evans, TB (at NO)
  4. Michael Thomas, NO (vs. TB)
  5. Doug Baldwin, SEA (vs. WAS)
  6. A.J. Green, CIN (at JAX)
  7. Tyreek Hill, KC (at DAL)
  8. Michael Crabtree, OAK (at MIA)
  9. Dez Bryant, DAL (vs. KC)
  10. Amari Cooper, OAK (at MIA)
  11. Will Fuller, HOU (vs. IND)
  12. Golden Tate, DET (at GB)
  13. Jarvis Landry, MIA (vs. OAK)
  14. Demaryius Thomas, DEN (at PHI)
  15. Jordy Nelson, GB (vs. DET)
  16. Larry Fitzgerald, ARZ (at SF)
  17. Marvin Jones, DET (at GB)
  18. T.Y. Hilton, IND (at HOU)
  19. Devin Funchess, CAR (vs. ATL)
  20. Devante Parker, MIA (vs. OAK)
  21. Alshon Jeffery, PHI (vs. DEN)
  22. DeSean Jackson, TB (at NO)
  23. Ted Ginn, NO (vs. TB)
  24. Sterling Shepard, NYG (vs. LAR)
  25. Paul Richardson, SEA (vs. WAS)
  26. Davante Adams, GB (vs. DET)
  27. Emmanuel Sanders, DEN (at PHI)
  28. Pierre Garcon, SF (vs. ARZ)
  29. Jeremy Maclin, BAL (at TEN)
  30. Rishard Matthews, TEN (vs. BAL)
  31. Nelson Agholor, PHI (vs. DEN)
  32. Cooper Kupp, LAR (at NYG)
  33. Robert Woods, LAR (at NYG)
  34. Tyler Lockett, SEA (vs. WAS)
  35. Jamison Crowder, WAS (at SEA)
  36. Mohamed Sanu, ATL (at CAR)
  37. Sammy Watkins, LAR (at NYG)
  38. Marqise Lee, JAX (vs. CIN)
  39. Randall Cobb, GB (vs. DET)
  40. John Brown, ARZ (at SF)

Tight End:

  1. Zach Ertz, PHI (vs. DEN)
  2. Travis Kelce, KC (at DAL)
  3. Jimmy Graham, SEA (vs. WAS)
  4. Evan Engram, NYG (vs. LAR)
  5. Cameron Brate, TB (at NO)
  6. Delanie Walker, TEN (vs. BAL)
  7. Jack Doyle, IND (at HOU)
  8. Jason Witten, DAL (vs. KC)
  9. Vernon Davis, WAS (at SEA)
  10. Jared Cook, OAK (at MIA)
  11. Tyler Kroft, CIN (at JAX)
  12. Austin Hooper, ATL (at CAR)
  13. Benjamin Watson, BAL (at TEN)
  14. Ryan Griffin, HOU (vs. IND)
  15. George Kittle, SF (vs. ARZ)
  16. Ed Dickson, CAR (vs. ATL)
  17. Nick O'Leary, BUF (at NYJ)
  18. Eric Ebron, DET (at GB)
  19. Coby Fleener, NO (vs. TB)
  20. Julius Thomas, MIA (vs. OAK)

Defense/Special Teams:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars (vs. CIN)
  2. Houston Texans (vs. IND)
  3. Philadelphia Eagles (vs. DEN)
  4. Los Angeles Rams (at NYG)
  5. Arizona Cardinals (at SF)
  6. Seattle Seahawks (vs. WAS)
  7. Cincinnati Bengals (at JAX)
  8. New Orleans Saints (vs. TB)
  9. Denver Broncos (at PHI)
  10. Detroit Lions (at GB)
  11. Baltimore Ravens (at TEN)
  12. Kansas City Chiefs (at DAL)
  13. Carolina Panthers (vs. ATL)
  14. Tennessee Titans (vs. BAL)
  15. San Francisco 49ers (vs. ARZ)