FANTASY FOCUS – WEEK 8
It’s week eight and onto one of the bye week reprieves for our Fantasy teams as there will be a full 16 team slate over the weekend. Also an important reminder, for our UK based readers, our clocks go back over the weekend. So, the early kick offs will start at 17.00PM on Sunday this weekend, one hour earlier so make sure those lineups are set!
Game 1: Minnesota Vikings (3-4) @ Green Bay Packers (2-4) (SF – 17:00 GMT)
A tasty NFC North rivalry kicks off our Sunday lineup of games this week. The Vikings are coming off a huge victory over the 49ers which has truly ignited their season. Whilst the Packers season is starting to spiral badly out of control. The Vikings will know the Packers are there for the taking but a win in Lambeau is no easy task.
Addison breaking out as a top fantasy asset
Ten targets, seven receptions, 123 yards and two touchdown receptions. This is adding to his season total of 29 receptions for 400 yards and six touchdowns. Addison has shown he is the clear number two in Minnesota behind Jefferson. But it has also shown he is more than capable of leading the team as the lead wide out. Addison is a must start week in and week out now for the Vikings. The running game is the biggest concern in Minnesota for the fantasy players and it looks like Mattison and Akers will share snaps. It will be difficult to start either going forward.
AJ Dillon finally shows what we hope becomes his floor
In week seven against the Broncos, AJ Dillon carried 15 times for 61 yards and caught both of his targets for a further 34 yards. AJ Dillon fantasy owners have been expecting this volume of usage throughout the season and hope it remains. The Packers are not in a good place at the moment and Aaron Jones is still in the backfield sharing snaps which will always cap Dillon’s ceiling. As long as Christian Watson remains out, I believe there should be enough multi-use for Dillon. But if Watson is out, it is anyone’s guess where Love feeds the ball. With the knowledge of these two sides and the history, we could see this being a high scoring game so the Packers receivers will have to come to the party and Romeo Doubs should be the start.
- Vikings win in Lambeau but 3+ pts
- Hockenson 75+ receiving yards + TD reception
- Doubs 100+ receiving
Game 2: New York Jets (3-3) @ New York Giants (2-5) (SNF – 17:00 GMT)
The MetLife Derby rolls into town this weekend and probably couldn’t have come at a better time for the Giants. As I predicted last week, the Giants snuck a much needed win over their divisional rivals from Washington. And now they have a geographical rival this game could bring out even more of the best from this Giants defence. The Jets are coming off a bye, but having watched Miami and Buffalo both lose over the weekend the Jets will feel a victory against an underperforming Giants team can restart their season.
Breece Hall to continue his comeback
When the Jets signed Dalvin Cook early on in the season, there was a lot of worry surrounding the rehab and recovery of Breece Hall from his season ending knee injury from 2022. Breece Hall has continued to look stronger and stronger from week to week, and coming back now from a well deserved bye week we should be seeing Hall back to his best. So far this season Hall has carried 66 times for 426 yards (6.5 yards per carry) and two Touchdowns. His floor is already very high and if he begins to get more red zone carries he could become more of a fantasy home run hitter. And as long as Wilson is under centre, the passing game will be inconsistent and rely on the run game. Hall is a must start every week.
Giants defence to give them a fighting chance
The Giants currently are the worst ranked team in the league in terms of Points per Game and this is a huge concern for any of their fantasy relevant pieces. Daniel Jones was ruled out in week seven and Tyrod Taylor stepped in and stepped up that offence with 18 completed passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns. Saquon Barkley is another positive with 21 carries for 77 yards, and Darren Waller saw eight targets for seven receptions, 98 yards receiving and a Touchdown. Going forward I have confidence that Saquon Barkley is a weekly starter, whilst Waller should remain the leading target for the Giants, when the game gets into a negative game script we will see more deep throws to Hyatt, Robinson and Slayton.
- Jets win close game by less than 5pts
- Breece Hall 100 total yards and TD
- Saquon Barkley 100 total yards and TD
Game 3: Cleveland Browns (4-2) @ Seattle Seahawks (4-2)- (SNF – 20:05 BST)
The Browns and Seahawks are both in form teams coming off wins over the weekend. The Browns defence is something to write home about, however they were just blown away by Minshew. Both these sides have explosive defences looking for big turnover plays. The Browns have a huge concern going into this game of who their starting QB will be with the news on Watson’s injury, but this Cleveland team is finding a way to rally behind PJ Walker and get things done.
Who is going to pound the rock for Cleveland
Jerome Ford went down this last weekend which opened up rushing volume to both Kareem Hunt and Pierre Strong. Going forward I would imagine the Browns will continue to run with these two in a 50/50 committee but Hunt will definitely see the passing work. Kareem Hunt could be an underrated league winner here for outside teams who managed to pick him up off the waivers. And in positive game script matchups Hunt should score healthily. As for the receivers, PJ Walker seems to target his TE Njoku a lot whilst Amari Cooper is still a week to week starter, even though he only had two receptions this week he was still targeted eight times.
DK Metcalf was ruled out in week seven and this created the opportunity for Jaxon Smith-Njigba to see a larger workload, which he grabbed with two hands. A team leading seven targets went his way, four receptions with 63 yards and a receiving Touchdown. As long as DK is out, JSN is startable. Lockett to me is still the safer play for the Seahawks going forward and will be reliable with or without DK. The Browns defence is solid and should keep Geno Smith under pressure throughout the game, so Lockett and Kenneth Walker to me are the must-starts and if DK is out JSN.
- Seahawks outplay the Browns in Seattle with 5+ point victory
- Cooper 80+ receiving yards
- Lockett TD reception & 60+ receiving yards