Fantasy Focus – Week 8 Matchups
Welcome to Fantasy Focus! Here are some matches you need to keep your mind on when setting your Week 8 lineups.
Ravens (4-3) @ Buccaneers (3-4)
We are yet to see both sides here in full flight. The Ravens finally find themselves on the winning end of a close game. Hopefully this was the win they needed to get over the hump and build some momentum for the midseason. Brady and the Bucs are backed into a corner now too and can not afford to lose to a dangerous Baltimore side.
Are the Ravens over their losing hump yet?
In week 7 the Ravens offence was totally uninspiring. It was great to see Gus the Bus back on the field and running downhill the Ravens way. Lamar only completed 9 passes in the game as the Ravens defence controlled proceedings. For week 8, the game script will be different. Although the Buccaneers are going through a period of adversity, expect them to put up points. Jackson will need to be back at his best and this should be beneficial for Andrews and Bateman.
Bucs need to get their mojo back
The Bucs need a spark. They have been awful recently and are a very momentum based team. They have to get off to a good clean start and let Brady control the game. Brady needs better from Evans and one should expect Evans to make up for his howler of a drop in week 7. There will be a lot of pressure on this Bucs defence to contain Jackson in Tampa as they will need to keep the Ravens around 20 points max to give themselves a chance. Don’t write off the Bucs though, they are a squad full of big match temperament players and Fournette and Evans will have big games.
- Buccaneers find their mojo in 5+ point victory in Tampa
- Brady reminding us he is the GOAT, throwing for 250+ yards and 3+ TD’s
- Jackson scrambling to keep up with 50+ rushing yards
Patriots (3-4) @ Jets (5-2)
The Jets are flying! After the last two decades this AFC East derby has been incredibly one sided. The Jets however have found themselves in uncharted territory with a 5-2 record and hosting a wounded Patriots team. The Jets will love to start a new narrative in the AFC East and this weekend is a huge opportunity for that. Belichick will be coming off one of his more embarrassing defeats in his career after week 7’s loss to the Bears. Belichick is arguably the greatest coach in the history of the NFL and he will do everything in his power to maintain this reputation. This has the recipe to be a very tightly contested game.
Breece Hall heartbreak
Week 7 resulted in a horrible injury to one of the most exciting 2022 rookies. Breece Hall has had an incredible rookie season and the announcement of his ACL tear will upset all Jets fans and Hall fantasy owners. We all wish him a speedy recovery, but for fantasy purposes Jets went out and traded for James Robinson from the Jaguars. Robinson and Carter will become a murky avoidable backfield. Zach Wilson still needs to prove he is the answer in New York and a Belichick defence is one of the hardest obstacles to overcome. Robinson and Carter will carry the load and Z.Wilson will need G.Wilson to have a big game against a well coached secondary.
Apart from Stevenson, is anyone else startable?
The Patriots will be licking their wounds after an upsetting loss to the Chicago Bears on week 7. Mac Jones was arguably rushed back and then benched for Zappe. The Patriots will need clarity this week as they go up against an explosive Jets secondary with defensive rookie of the year candidate Sauce Gardner wreaking havoc on all receivers. The Patriots will struggle in the passing game and will rely on a short passing game, followed by their rushing offence and their defence. Stevenson is the only safe fantasy play this week for the Patriots.
- Jets defence answering all the question in 3+ point victory
- Wilson 200+ yards and a pair of TD passes, whilst Robinson and Carter run for 150 rushing yards combined
- Stevenson 150+ scrimmage yards as the only offensive outlet for the Patriots in defeat.
Giants (6-1) @ Seahawks (4-3)
Two surprise teams so far this season. The Giants like their New York neighbours are in a position they haven’t been for many years as they sit 6-1 after 7 games. Brian Daboll has improved his claim for coach of the season so far, but there is a lot of season yet to play. Daboll has been able to unlock the running threat of Daniel Jones as teams are forced to focus their defensive preparations on Saquon Barkley. The Seahawks are at the top of the competitive NFC West against all odds. They found a real reason to unite and play for Geno Smith, a player that has been written off for a long time. The Seahawks will be lifted by homefield advantage and will aim to keep up the pace at the top of the AFC West.
Daboll unlocking Danny Dimes’ legs
It is no secret that Daniel Jones is a deceptively good runner with ball in hand. With Daboll incharge at the Bills, he was quick to diagnose that opposition teams were setting up to stop Barkley at all costs. This in turn has allowed for more opportunities for Jones to stretch his legs. Barkley is and will always be the elite piece in this offence, but Jones is becoming a close second. The other positive was the rapor Jones is starting to develop with rookie receiver Wan’Dale Robinson.
Kenneth Walker is a stud
At the end of the 2021 season Rashaad Penny had a productive period and the fantasy universe thought he was going to finally realise his potential. However, unfortunately due to injury Penny has been ruled out yet again for a period of time. Step up rookie running back Kenneth Walker. Walker’s last 3 games have seen him run for 88, 97 and 168 yards respectively and cross the white line no less than for 4 touchdowns. If he is able to stay fit for the remainder of the season, he will see himself climb high in the ADP going into the 2023 fantasy draft season. The Giants have kept games close this season so Walker will see a big game. And, with DK Metcalf out for injury, Lockett (and possibly Fant) should be considered as starters this week.
- Seahawks win at home by 6+ points
- Barkley 100+ scrimmage yards, Jones’ passing flaws exposed
- Kenneth Walker show with 100+ rushing and another TD
Packers (3-4) @ Bills (5-1)
This is the toughest test in the NFL at the moment. The Packers are travelling to Buffalo, they are just lucky it’s still only October. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are coming off an embarrassing defeat to the Washington Commanders and they will desperately need to turn things around if they are to keep up pace with the Vikings in the NFC North. The Bills on the other hand have had the week off to rest up and prepare themselves for their mid season run of fixtures. Josh Allen has looked incredible this year as he has kept this Bills offence ticking the scoreboard constantly. The Bills will fear nobody, but they need to be wary of the 2021 MVP as the Packers are travelling with a point to prove.
How can the Packers beat the Bills?
The Packers will need to play the perfect game to stand any chance of beating the Bills in Buffalo. The Bills have a well coached and well rested side. And these are the top level games that the Bills can target as statement games to the league. The Packers had only 12 rushing attempts in week 7 and only 23 completed passes. They need to retain possession better in week 8 and will need AJ Dillion to be the battering ram they are crying out for. Rodgers is one of the best to have ever played in the league but all great quarterbacks need their running offence and defence to carry the load at times. So AJ Dillon needs a busy day on the ground for Rodgers to share the targets around. But he is still struggling to find that No.1 target.
Is this the Josh Allen MVP season?
The Bills come off a well deserved bye after a good 6 week stretch. The Bills will be happy to be at home this weekend and although the Packers are coming to town it is a very different Green Bay team to the recent years past. Sean McDermott will have a Superbowl target in the back of his mind and these games are good chances to prepare for the big occasion. The Bills will be up for it and well coached. Josh Allen will control the game perfectly – and as long as the Bills secondary can keep the Packers from making big plays, the Bills should control the scoring and tempo of the game. Josh Allen and his receivers will have sold games.
- Bills to win by <7 points
- AJ Dillon 15+ rushing attempts for 75+ yards
- Josh Allen 300+ passing yards, Diggs & Davis 100 + receiving yards
Nathan – @mountaindrew92