Besides Matthew Stafford who struggled, it was a very good one for my fantasy surprises in week eight. Ben Watson, Stefon Diggs and the Texans defense all came up large while Jonathan Stewart also had himself a productive week. This is an interesting time for many fantasy players as this past Sunday made it more evident than before that the injury bug has been quite a nuisance this year. Heck, just at running back alone three of the top ten projected guys entering the year (Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles and Matt Forte) are either out for the year or will be missing extensive time. This just goes to show how important it is to accumulate depth either in the draft or on waivers during the season. Even if you don’t need the players immediately, only one hit can change thing.
QB: Jameis Winston vs Giants: Don’t look now, but Winston has looked much improved these past few weeks. Now he gets to go up against a Giants pass defense that just allowed seven passing touchdowns last week. While you certainly shouldn’t expect that, this game has some shootout potential. With six teams on bye, don’t be afraid to start Winston if he’s available and you need a quarterback. Expect around 240 yards and two touchdowns.
RB: Ronnie Hillman vs Colts: Never take a Broncos running back that’s hyped in the preseason. Why? Because that’s never the one who ends up producing. Last year it was Montee Ball who entered with loads of hype and saw C.J. Anderson become the more productive back. Now Anderson is seeing it happen to him with Hillman. While both backs will still get work, Hillman at this time is the lead back of this committee. He has a very nice matchup this week, so if you have him don’t be afraid to start him as your second back. Expect around 80 total yards and a touchdown.
WR: Stevie Johnson vs Bears: With Keenan Allen out for the year, someone is going to have to step up and inherit the 12 to 15 targets a game he saw. At first glance, the main beneficiary of this figures to be Johnson who did show a nice rapport with Philip Rivers early on in the year. He gets a nice matchup right off the bat against a vulnerable Bears secondary, so pick him up if he’s available. Expect around 70 yards and a touchdown.
TE: Delanie Walker vs Saints: With this inclusion, I’ve Walker in this space for three of the last four weeks and for good reason. The Titans are usually playing from behind and have nobody else to throw to. With Kendall Wright out this week, that means there should be even more targets heading his way. Did I mention the Saints also aren’t all that good at covering tight ends? If he’s available and you’re in need of a tight end option, don’t be afraid to start Walker. Expect around 60 yards and a touchdown.
K: Chris Boswell vs Raiders: As I’ve said before, when looking for a fantasy kicker it’s all about opportunities. In a game that figures to be a high scoring affair, Boswell should see some this Sunday. Expect around two field goals and three extra points.
DEF: Falcons vs 49ers: Going against a struggling offense with issues up front? Check. Facing a quarterback making his first start of the year? Check. Said quarterback in the past has shown a tendency to get skittish in the pocket leading to sacks/turnovers? Check! Basically, the Falcons have every element you could want out of a defense you’re streaming for the week. Fire them up with confidence. Expect around four sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery.