Shoot Devontae Booker (Denver) way up the rankings with C.J. Anderson (knee) out – San Diego allows the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs and Booker looks exceptional (averaging 4.8 yards per carry).
▪ Look for another big game from LeGarrette Blount (New England) – Buffalo has been shredded for 491 yards rushing over the past three games. Blount continues to be a workhorse to close out games and he leads the NFL in fourth-quarter rushing attempts.
▪ Mike Evans (Tampa Bay) should again tee off this weekend – Oakland is the only team allowing more than 300 yards passing per game. Evans leads the NFL with nearly 32 percent of his team’s passing targets.
▪ Look for Jimmy Graham (Seattle) to be fired up making his first return to New Orleans as a Seahawk after being traded before the 2015 season. He will go against an epic-bad defense – after a slow start, the entire Seahawks offense should be able to get on track in this one.
▪ There seems to be no slowing Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona), who is just 39 receptions away from passing Marvin Harrison for third all-time in NFL history. The Panthers’ defense is coming off a bye week so maybe it has figured out some adjustments, but Carolina is allowing a league-worst 381 yards passing over its past three games.
▪ Now is the time to look to the waiver wire for a couple of promising young backs – who should be more involved coming off their team’s bye – in Kenneth Dixon (Baltimore) and Paul Perkins (N.Y. Giants). Dixon, in particular, has high upside and could be starting over Terrance West before too long.
Players to avoid
▪ Marvin Jones (Detroit) comes into Week 8 as the ninth-ranked receiver in fantasy. However, this should be a below-average week against Houston, which allows less than 185 yards passing per game. Likewise, Mathew Stafford is likely a candidate to sit against the second-ranked pass defense.
▪ Isaiah Crowell (Cleveland) has been a very reliable fantasy asset as the 19th-ranked fantasy running back this year, on pace for 1,376 total yards and nine touchdowns. However, Crowell faces a stiff Jets run defense that ranks second in the NFL at just 74.1 yards rushing per game.
▪ It’s best to look elsewhere if you have Philip Rivers (San Diego) or the Chargers receivers against a ferocious Denver defense – the Broncos allow the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.
▪ Jay Cutler (Bears) has been cleared to return after a thumb injury sidelined him for five games. It will not be a welcome-back party against a Vikings defense that has allowed just five passing touchdowns in seven games vs. nine interceptions and with 19 sacks. Sit all your Bears.
Other Week 8 sleepers
▪ DeAndre Hopkins (Houston) is way overdue for a score, and this weekend he will go against a Detroit defense allowing a league-worst 2.6 passing touchdowns per game. Likewise, Will Fuller could hit this week (and Detroit has allowed a ton of long passing plays).
▪ Chris Hogan (New England) was quiet last week but any Patriot is able to have big games in this offense on any given week. Hogan will get a boost to the rankings as he makes his first return to Buffalo after playing his first three NFL seasons there, so perhaps Tom Brady will make a point to dial him up a little more.
▪ Cordarrelle Patterson (Minnesota) is getting on the sleeper radar with six or more targets in three straight games, and this weekend he and the Vikings receivers will go against a defense that allows the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers this year.
▪ He’s still a deep-sleeper, but look into stashing Tyreek Hill (Kansas City) now on the cheap. On just 14 receptions, Hill already has three receiving touchdowns. Hill has world-class speed and arguably had first-round talent, but fell to the fifth round of the NFL draft because of off-the-field issues.
▪ C.J. Fiedorowicz (Houston) is a prime deep-sleeper for Week 8 – he has caught 19 passes and two touchdowns in his past four games. Detroit has allowed seven touchdowns to tight ends this season.
Alan Satterlee is a co-owner and senior writer for DynastyFootballWarehouse.com, a comprehensive fantasy football strategy site.