Conlin Postma @ConlinFF
This past week, there were two ends of the Fantasy spectrum. Either you had stud players such as Aaron Rodgers, Darren Waller, Marvin Jones Jr., or Chase Edmonds. On the other hand, you could’ve had dud players like Matt Ryan, George Kittle, Kenny Golladay, or David Johnson. One key factor that impacted a couple games was the weather. The 49ers, Redskins, Cardinals, and Giants were all victims of inclement weather. It showed by some of the stat lines of multiple big names. As we look ahead at the Week Eight Sleepers, there are many generous matchups this week.
The Steelers, Saints, Seahawks, Lions, Vikings, and Rams all have matchups that should benefit their star players.
One of the common themes among these Week Eight Sleepers is their new roles. Many of them are taking over for injured teammates like Adam Thielen, Will Fuller V, or Kerryon Johnson. If they aren’t filling in, the other reason is they are benefiting from their teammate’s absence. Take, for example, Davante Adams. His injury has allowed TE, Jimmy Graham, to see an increase in production and that is why he is in this article *SPOILER ALERT*.
After two statement wins the following division-leading teams are on their bye weeks, Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys.
Looking back at the Week Seven Sleepers, two players were effected by an unfortunate gameplan and another suffered an injury early. Let’s look at how those players finished last week.
Our first two Week Eight Sleepers, happen to have tremendous matchups against poor pass defenses and are being overlooked in Fantasy.
Matthew Stafford, vs New York Giants
In a decimated and depleted QB field, it might be difficult to find a reliable QB and some of you might be streaming. If you are or aren’t, then look no further. Stafford has been one of the most reliable signal callers as he is the 12th best QB on the season. Due to Kerryon Johnson suffering a knee injury, Stafford was relied upon more on Sunday. Against Minnesota, he threw his most TD’s (four) and second-most yards (364) on the season. His opponent, New York Giants, have given up three 300 passing yard games and one 400 passing yard game one. This defense is vulnerable and the former Georgia Bulldog can pick them apart for another 300-yard performance.
Teddy Bridgewater, vs Arizona Cardinals
After a resounding win against the Bears, Bridgewater needs to be in starting lineups, especially this week. The return of Cardinals’ All-Pro, Patrick Peterson, isn’t something to worry about but should be noted. On the season, Arizona allows 285.6 passing yards and 2.4 passing TD’s per game. QB’s against the Cardinals in 2019 has a 17:1 (TD: INT) ratio. Teddy has a ceiling of a top-four QB, but a safe floor of the top 12. He is one of the most underrated QB’s in the league and as a Week Eight Sleeper, Teddy will get to lead this Saints team once again before Drew Brees returns.
Latavius Murray, vs Arizona Cardinals
Due to superstar, Alvin Kamara‘s, injury and a difficult matchup against Chicago, Murray was looked at with hesitation. To the surprise of many, the former Minnesota Vikings and Oakland Raiders back was used as a pure RB1. He had 27 carries for 119 rushing yards and a pair of scores. Not to mention his most action in the passing attack, with six targets and reeling in five of them for 31 yards. On Sunday, if or if not, Kamara is active Murray needs to be in lineups, even if it is just as a Flex. From Week Two to Week Seven, Arizona has given up more than 70 rushing yards and/or a TD in every game. Latavius should be able to finish inside the top 10 if Kamara is out or in the top 25 if Kamara is active.
Ty Johnson, vs New York Giants
As of Tuesday evening, Kerryon Johnson is going to the Injured Reserve with the knee injury he suffered on Sunday. That means back RB, Ty Johnson, will be in line to take over the starting role. Teammate, J.D. McKissic, will also be involved, but if Sunday was any indication as what’s to come, Johnson is the back to own. After Kerryon went down, Ty had 14 touches compared to just seven from McKissic. Ty was also just slightly more involved in the passing game by having two more receptions, but the difference of touches came from the carries. Johnson had five more than his counterpart, McKissic. As a potential RB2 or Flex option, the new Detroit starting RB is a must-start Week Eight Sleeper.
Olabisi Johnson, vs Washington Redskins
Another injury gives rise to one more sleeper. After Adam Thielen went down with a hamstring injury, Johnson was the next receiver up. It might be just a small sample size, but after finishing as WR22, he has proved that he can step up to the task. On Sunday, he was tied for a team-high, eight targets alongside Stefon Diggs. Before Sunday, the Redskins have given up 267 passing yards to opposing teams and Johnson could benefit heavily off that. In what is to be an expected increased role, Olabisi is going to fly under the radar against a beatable Washington defense.
Kenny Stills, vs Oakland Raiders
Due to the absence of Will Fuller V, Stills stepped into his place and had his best game of the year. He not only matched his season-high in catches (four) but had his most receiving yards (105). Stills will continue his field-stretching role in this Texans offense but will get more targets due to Fuller being out. On the season, Oakland has allowed eight different receivers to go over 65 yards and six of those eight have reached the endzone, too. Be warned, Stills is a boom-or-bust WR, he can finish inside the top 20 or outside the top 40. He is a sleeper due to his increased target share, but mostly due to his opponent, that just traded its best CB.
Kyle Rudolph, vs Washington Redskins
Here is another benefactor of Adam Thielen suffering a hamstring injury. It is still unclear if Thielen will be active on Thursday, but if he isn’t then Rudolph has a shot to finish inside the top five. After he went down, Rudolph had his best statistical game of the season and it showed as he was TE4 last week. Not only did he score for the first time this season, but he had five receptions on six targets for 58 yards, which were all season highs. In a hit or miss positional group, as long as Rudolph finds the endzone he’ll be Fantasy relevant.
Jimmy Graham, @ Kansas City Chiefs
He hasn’t turned back the clock to his New Orleans days or even Seattle, but Graham has started to look like a reliable Fantasy TE once again. Due to Davante Adams being sidelined with turf toe, Aaron Rodgers has been spreading the ball to all his options, but Graham has been a constant target. Since Week Four, Jimmy has averaged 5.3 targets per game, which is third-most in that time frame, for 46 yards and has two TD’s in four of those games. In both those games in which he scored, Graham was a TE3 and its proof once again if a TE can score they can finish in the top five. Just like all the other TE’s a failure to score puts him outside the top 10, but against a poor Kansas City defense, he should be able to find the endzone.