Week 8 Roundtable
Welcome to the Fighting Chance Roundtable! Each week we will be asking our panel of Fighting Chance Staff a series of questions for the upcoming slate of NFL games. Each person will give you the best answer to the question in order to help set your lineups this week, both season long and DFS. This week we have Steve Rapin (@fantasygeek37 on Twitter), Kacey Kasem (@thekaceykasem), Jim Day (@fantasytaz), Brian Drake (@drakefantasy), and myself, Ryan Hallam (@fightingchance). Please dear reader, enjoy the Week 8 Roundtable!
Sleeper of the week
Steve’s Pick - Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers. It looks like Matt Breida will be sitting this week out, and it couldn’t happen at a better time if your name is Raheem Mostert. Arizona has allowed a rushing touchdown every game this season and Mostert would love to keep that streak going in Week 8.
Jim’s Pick – Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots. I know it sounds weird to call Gronk a sleeper, but that is what he is this week. Gronk has not been “Gronking” this year with only 1 TD on the season, plus he missed last week’s game when his back tightened up. This week Gronk travels to Buffalo, his hometown, and every time he has played in Buffalo he has had big games. He has played there 7 times in his career and is averaging over 100 yards a game and has scored 7 touchdowns, including 5 of those in the last 3 visits. My bet this week is that Gronk plays and plays big to boot…
Brian’s Pick - Nelson Agholor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles. So Alshon Jeffery will be locked up with Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye isn't playing. Couple that with the Jags starting a rookie at slot corner and you've got a recipe for Agholor to be a super sneaky start. I expect 8 catches for 100 yards and a good shot at scoring.
Kacey’s Pick - Raheem Mostert, RB, San Francisco 49ers. With four teams on bye this week, you’re having to plug in guys you may not normally have to. This week you’ll be without Tevin Coleman, Ezekiel Elliott, and Melvin Gordon. Raheem Mostert is the guy I think is going to have a big week. I want to call him “Raheem Must Start” so bad, but I guess I wasn’t the only person who thought that was clever… so I won’t. He had a nice game against the Rams last week, putting up almost 12 fantasy points. The touchdowns haven’t been there, but he could get one (or more) as the Arizona Cardinals love giving up touchdowns to the running back position. Matt Breida is banged up, so this looks to be a good opportunity for Mostert.
Ryan’s Pick – Josh Doctson, WR, Washington Redskins. I am not a fan of this guy, but he certainly has a good opportunity here. Jamison Crowder is out, and Paul Richardson isn’t 100%. The Giants will be shorthanded at cornerback with Eli Apple shipped out of town so a less than stellar corner should be shadowing Doctson. If he is going to have a good week, this should be it.
Bust of the week
Kacey’s Pick - Carlos Hyde, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars. Hey, Carlos Hyde owners all know the player can ball out. Still, I’m calling for a bust this week. He’s on a brand new team, traveling to England, and has to get adjusted to everything. Remember that T.J. Yeldon is there, and he’s the guy who catches the passes. Philly is only giving up an average of 19.7 points to opposing teams on this year. The Eagles are not allowing running backs to score on them.
Brian’s Pick - Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns. The Steelers are top 5 in fewest points allowed to running backs. I can see this being an shootout and Chubb ceding time to Duke Johnson. My prediction for the Chubby is 60 yards and 0 scores.
Jim’s Pick – Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns. Sure he is the main back for Cleveland now that they traded Hyde to Jacksonville, but there are several things not to like here. There is a decent chance that Pittsburgh gets up early which should force Cleveland to go to Duke Johnson more often in this game. Plus Pittsburgh is the number 2 defense against opposing RBs and have only allowed 3 rushing TDs in 6 games. Look for other options at RB this week.
Steve’s Pick - Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles. Since returning to the Eagles lineup in Week 4, Alshon Jeffery has been playing like a madman and is the WR5 in fantasy over the last four weeks. However, he will likely be matched up frequently with Jalen Ramsey this week in a potential low-scoring affair and I don’t see him producing in London as he has been over that last month of the season.
Ryan’s Pick – Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints. I’m not digging the whole Kamara/Ingram split right now, and it’s hard to trust either. I’m not saying sit Kamara, but I’m not expecting a huge game out of him. Minnesota’s defense hasn’t been as good as we expected, but I still think they will show up and make this one a tough one for Kamara.
Which Raider back do you prefer going forward? Doug Martin or Jalen Richard
Steve Says - Jalen Richard. Richard is the easy answer for me on this one. The Raiders are one of the worst teams in the NFL and they will likely be playing from behind frequently, and that game script favors the receiving chops of Richard. Martin is averaging under three yards per carry combined over the last three years and his better days seem to be behind him.
Kacey Says - Jalen Richard. He has at least been consistent this season, and you know what you’re getting from him. Doug Martin is Doug Martin… are you getting the good Martin or the bad Martin? We really don’t know. Richard is the pass-catching back who has been looking nice this season. He has four double-digit fantasy games playing behind Marshawn Lynch, and I think this can continue. Plus, with Amari Cooper gone, some of his targets could go Richard’s way.
Brian Says – Doug Martin. Martin is the back to own in Oakland. Jalen Richard was barely startable every week WITH Lynch. His role isn't changing at all. Martin will assume that lead rusher role and get around 15 touches per week. That's were the points will come from in this offense. Full PPR leagues can find value with Richard only.
Jim Says – Jalen Richard. I have no faith in Doug Martin to be a fantasy asset. He will be extremely touchdown dependent and I am not sure he will get many chances to do that in this offense. I would much rather own Jalen Richard. Richard has been decent flex play option in 4 of the 6 games he has played. There is no reason to believe this changes now that Doug Martin is he starter. In fact it may give Richard even more value.
Ryan Says – Jalen Richard. Doug Martin has had two good seasons and the rest of his career has been a complete and utter shit in the bed. He is great at averaging three yards a carry and not much else. Richard might not be an established runner, but he has some talent and is a great pass catcher out of the backfield. Jon Gruden said that Martin would carry the load first after Marshawn Lynch’s injury. Since everything Gruden has said has been wrong this year, give me Richard.
Which running back helped by injury do you like the best? Isaiah Crowell, Chris Ivory or Latavius Murray
Ryan Says – Isaiah Crowell. Crowell has been a very hit or miss guy this season, but with Powell gone for the year, this is his job, and I think he will be more consistent. The Jets offense has struggled a little at times, but it has been far better than I thought it would be this season. Crowell is an established veteran and I think he will be solid going forward.
Jim Says – Latavius Murray. He played very well last year when Cook went down and is coming off two very strong games. He does have very tough matchups against New Orleans this week and Chicago in Week 11. Plus he does have the fact that Dalvin Cook might be back in Week 11 after the bye, but at this point Cook is very hard to trust.
Kacey Says - Latavius Murray. We’ve seen what he can do time and time again. This guy has been the go-to when injuries happen. His last two games have been big --- 22+ points in each of those games. Murray is one of those guys who could have been drafted because people knew he was used a lot last season. I feel confident with Murray going forward.
Brian Says – Latavius Murray. Murray is in the best spot of the three. He has the best weapons around him and has the best defense which will lead to positive rushing game scripts. He'll have a role for the next few weeks without Dalvin Cook. Use him with confidence.
Steve Says - Isaiah Crowell. I’m tempted to go with Latavius Murray, but once Dalvin Cook comes back, I think his value will all but dry up, so because of that, I’m choosing Isaiah Crowell. Bilal Powell was out-snapping, and in most weeks, out-touching Crowell, so I think from now until the end of the season, Crow will get the most touches of this group of running backs and ultimately, hold the most value.
Which Dolphins receiver will be the best going forward? Danny Amendola, Jakeem Grant or DeVante Parker
Brian Says - DeVante Parker. I don’t know how long he’s going to be there but he’s by far the most talented. When in doubt always bet on talent. Amendola and Stills are just guys. Parker is a true difference maker. He’s the one to own.
Jim Says – Danny Amendola. I know Devante Parker had over 100 yards receiving on Thursday night, but that is only his 4th 100-yard performance in his 45 games played to date. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is traded before Tuesday. My choice is Danny Amendola. We all know Amendola gets hurt a lot because he plays WR like a linebacker, but I still trust him more than any other receiver on the team and with Osweiler at QB he has seen his targets increase.
Kacey Says - Danny Amendola. I like his presence there in Miami, and he has looked good with Brock Osweiler under center. For PPR purposes, Amendola is someone worth rostering. He is always dependable, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not he’s going to make some boneheaded play. With Ryan Tannehill, I believe he will continue to play well. Oh… and there are those rumors out there that Miami wants to trade Parker, opening up even more opportunities for Amendola.
Steve Says - DeVante Parker. I said this on our podcast this week, but in decisions like this, I tend to gravitate towards talent, and if that’s the case, DeVante Parker is my choice to lead this group of receivers. He showed off that ability on the Thursday Night Football game against the Texans, and while Amendola should have decent value in PPR leagues, Parker will be the best of the trio going forward.
Ryan Says – Danny Amendola. This is like picking between getting kicked in the face, kicked in the stomach, or kicked in the balls. For any ladies reading this article, just trust me, it’s not fun. I originally was going to pick Grant here, but he just hasn’t been putting up many numbers even with good target numbers. I can’t trust DeVante Parker as far as I could throw him, and while Amendola has a long injury history, he is the most trusted, reliable receiver. He might not be great, but he’s probably the best out of these three.