Time to Shine or Ride the Pine: Week 8 Start or Sit

Saints Trequan Smith

Don’t be late and check our week 8 Start or Sit for players that can propel you to victory and who could destroy your hopes.

Week 7 was heaven for those who started Dion Lewis and or Marlon Mack. Shady McCoy was floating in the clouds, and Wendell Smallwood didn’t make any noise in the forest. Larry Legend scored his first td, and George Kittle wanted to help all his fantasy owners. Here are the rest of my predictions from last week:

Running backs who will shine

Jalen Richard (Ind@Oak 4:05pm est)

The explosive Richard is set up to take on an increased workload with the Marshawn injury. Already with 31 receptions, and despite coach Jon Gruden claiming Doug Martin is a “featured” back, Richard will receive more carries going forward. He is by far the Raiders most elusive runner which will be on full display Sunday against the Colts. This game could be a shootout, making Richard a potential week 8 winner.

Prediction: 8 car 41 yards, 7 rec 54 yards 1 td: 19 pts

Raheem Mostert (SF@Ari 4:25pm est)

Raheem Mostert has been (Poupon)ing defenders the last 2 weeks since his costly fumble against this week’s opponent the Cardinals. He has averaged a robust 7.68 yards per carry and accumulated 146 yards on the ground while taking control of the backfield during Matt Breida’s lingering injuries.

Arizona’s defense has been gashed on the ground this year giving up an average of 148 yards a game, and if Breida is limited or misses this week, Raheem would offer the Niners the explosiveness and big play ability that Alf cannot. Spread Mostert all over your lineups as he could blow up this week.

Prediction: 13 car 70 yards 1 td, 4 rec 24 yards: 17.4 pts

Chris Ivory (NE@Buf MNF 8:15pm est)

The traveling man Chris Ivory has landed in Buffalo and may find himself starting this week. After Shady left last Sunday’s game, Ivory ran for 81 yards and added 25 receiving yards.

Assuming the injury he sustained late against the colts is minor, Ivory will be heavily involved early as the Bills try and limit New England’s possessions. Even in a rout, Ivory will play most of the snaps and see a healthy volume making him a sneaky play in week 8.

Prediction: 19 car 76 yards 1 td, 3 rec 16 yards: 17.4 pts

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Put a splinter in their backsides

T.J. Yeldon (Phi vs Jac (London) 9:30am est)

T.J. is done as the Jags starter. Jacksonville acquired Carlos Hyde to be their runner while Fournette is out and expect Yeldon to move right back to his 3rd down role again this week.

He has been inefficient as a runner thus far and has not surpassed 58 yards on the ground in any game yet. Expect him to play a lesser role against a tough Eagles team who like Jacksonville, needs a victory.

Prediction: 8 car 26 yards, 5 rec 36 yards: 8.7 pts

Nick Chubb (Cle@Pit 1pm est)

Well, Hugh Jackson said he wanted to get Nick Chubb more carries. This was the case after Cleveland surprisingly traded Carlos Hyde to Jacksonville, propelling Chubb into the starting role for Cleveland. He was held in check most of the day against a surprisingly good Bucs run defense and was only targeted twice.

He did see 18 carries to Duke Johnson’s 1 but this week the volume may not matter against the Steelers. Pittsburgh and their improving defense will stack the box and turn up the heat on Baker Mayfield. Chubb will find running even more difficult this week and will lose some time to Duke in a game where they will more than likely be trailing. Expect Chubb’s stats to deflate this week.

Prediction: 15 car 53 yards, 2 rec 15 yards: 7.8 pts

Latavius Murray (NO@Min SNF 8:20pm est)

Don’t be fooled by Latavius Murray and his performance the last two weeks. In week 6 Murray took advantage of a weak Cardinals defense and was fed the ball a lot while playing with a big lead. Last week, he scored 2 touchdowns against what was a game jets team, but half his yards came on one run.

His inability to speed past defenders and break away will allow the Saints swarming rush D to bottle him up. New Orleans only allows 3.1 yards per rush and have only surrendered 2 td’s to backs so far in 2018. Minnesota will lean on the 84-million-dollar arm of Kirk Cousins to keep up with the Saints, leaving Murray to ask, “What about Latavious?”

Prediction: 15 car 55 yards, 3 rec 14 yards: 9.4 pts

Wide Receivers/TE in the spotlight

Doug Baldwin (Sea@Det 1pm est)

Dougie fresh was back to his old self last week as he was targeted a team high 8 times for 6 receptions and 91 yards. He’ll face a much tougher opponent this week in Detroit and Darius Slay, but Seattle will move Baldwin everywhere in the formation trying to free him up.

This game will likely be a tight one, with Russ having to target his most trusted man in key situations throughout the game. I see a similar stat line with the addition of a touchdown this week for him.

Prediction: 7 rec 86 yards 1 td: 18.1 pts

Sammy Watkins (Den@KC 1pm est)

Former first round pick Sammy Watkins has seen a healthy amount of targets this season and should see an increased amount this week against the Broncos. With Tyreek Hill being followed by Chris Harris and safety help for Travis Kelce, expect Watkins to see single coverage throughout the game. This coverage should provide Patrick Mahomes and Sammy Watkins plenty of chances to connect for big plays against a hot Broncos defense.

Prediction: 5 rec 86 yards 1 td: 17.1 pts

Tre’Quan Smith (NO@Min SNF 8:20pm est)

Saints are marching in to Minnesota 5-1 and looking for some revenge. Minnesota has played good defense the last few weeks limiting opponents no. 1 wideouts to 10 receptions for 122 yards over the last 3 weeks.

This week they’ll look to shut down Michael Thomas, causing Drew Brees to look towards his new no. 2 receiver Tre’Quan often. Smith’s blazing speed and big play ability were on display during the Saints blowout victory of the Redskins 3 weeks ago when he had 3 catches for 111 yards. He’ll have the more favorable matchup this week with Thomas covered by Xavier Rhodes, (if he plays), and Drew Brees will take full advantage of this.

Prediction: 6 rec 90 yards 1 td: 18 pts

Splinter Time

Danny Amendola (Mia@Hou TNF 8:20pm est)

Brock lobster has been like a B-52 and been bombing the ball down field since taking over for the injured Ryan Tannehill. His favorite target has been Amendola and Danny boy has seen 18 targets and racked up 14 receptions over the last 2 weeks.

This week, the Dolphins and Amendola travel to Houston to face the Texans who have limited their last 3 opponents to less than 200 passing yards. Although he’ll likely see multiple targets and have a handful of catches, yardage and a touchdown will be almost impossible for him when Watt and company are making bisque out of Brock.

Prediction: 6 rec 45 yards: 7.5 pts

Devin Funchess (Bal@Car 1pm est)

Jimmy Smith is gonna see bunches of Funchess on Sunday in Carolina and that does not bode well for Devin. Being blanketed by Smith, Cam Newton’s favorite outside target will find receptions hard to come by.

Funchess has only caught 63% of his targets once this season, and in what could be week 8’s lowest scoring affair, expect his targets to be limited. Carolina and Cam will rely on the short passing attack to CMC and wr screens most of the day against Baltimore’s vicious defense.

Prediction: 4 rec 47 yards: 6.7 pts

Chris Hogan (NE@Buf MNF 8:15 pm est)

The forgotten Hogan has seen his snap % decline since the acquisition of Josh Gordon. Still a key part of the Patriots offense, he had 6 receptions for 63 yards without Gronk. Even with those numbers, he is a distant 4th for targets. This week, he’ll fade as the Patriots will be beating the Bills handily. New England will use more 2 receiver sets and not need his services.

Prediction: 3 rec 36 yards: 5.1 pts

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