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Week 8 Sleeper Starts / Busts (Fantasy Football)

Oct 27, 2017

Austin Hooper should see his share of targets against the Bills

Dealing with bye weeks is just one thing we are faced with this weekend. Another is the matchups our players will take on which may or may not be in our favor. As we’ve seen week in and week out, there are just certain matchups that you either want to avoid or attack.

To help identify matchups to take note of, our featured experts below are naming potential deep sleepers that could provide relief in Week 8, as well as higher ranked starters that you may want to avoid if possible.

If you don’t see any of your players listed below, be sure to check out our Who Should I Start? tool. You can also import your team into My Playbook for instant advice specific to your team.

Q1. Give us a player outside of our top 100 Flex that represents a deep sleeper start and tell us why you think he has upside this week.

Deonte Thompson (WR – BUF): vs. OAK
“Thompson made his presence known in his first game for the Bills, hauling in 4 catches for 107 yards versus the Bucs, and he’ll get to face a Raiders secondary missing David Amerson, Karl Joseph, and Gareon Conley this week. He should be a safe bet for at least 50 yards as he looks to build on his rapport with QB Tyrod Taylor.”
– Seth Klein (The Fantasy Fix)

Austin Hooper (TE – ATL): at NYJ
“The pickings are thin this week but there is one player outside the top 100 that I’d play in a heartbeat. Austin Hooper of the Falcons may have had a rough game last week, but in his two previous games, he had 5 and 7 receptions so he was getting more involved in the offense. This week, he should return to that type of production in a matchup against the Jets, who rank 23rd in pass defense.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Tyler Kroft (TE – CIN): vs. IND
“Kroft isn’t pacing the same production as Tyler Eifert would in his heyday, but he’s not far off. In a favorable tight end matchup with the Colts, he’s an easy start without any reason for cautious overthink. With the potential for five or six targets, Kroft will get a couple of chances again for the end zone. In a heavy bye-week like this, his waiver acquisition probably required planning in advance by strategic fantasy owners.”
– Richard Savill (Fantasy Six Pack)

Zach Miller (TE – CHI): at NO
“Miller is a sneaky start for those looking for a player who may be on waiver wires. Since Mitch Trubisky took over as the starter, Miller has seen 13 targets on Trubisky’s 48 pass attempts, which accounts for a 27 percent target share. There are typically just a handful of players at wide receiver who see that type of target share every game. With those 13 targets, he’s turned them into seven catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns. While the Bears have been able to employ a run-heavy attack the last few weeks, it won’t be as easy while playing against the Saints in the dome. Trubisky should throw the ball 30-plus times, which could mean 8-plus targets for Miller.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Nick O’Leary (TE – BUF): vs. OAK
“O’Leary is a quality streamer at TE. The Raiders pass defense is quite vulnerable and Tyrod Taylor is devoid of playmakers at WR. O’Leary will help him move the chains.”
– Scott Engel (RotoExperts)

T.J. Jones (WR – DET): vs. PIT
“I see wide receiver T.J. Jones of the Detroit Lions as a nice deep sleeper option this week. Golden Tate (shoulder) is questionable to play and rookie Kenny Golladay is out with a hamstring issue. If Tate doesn’t play, that leaves Marvin Jones and T.J. Jones as the top receiving options for the Sunday night matchup with Pittsburgh.”
– Walton Spurlin (Pro Football Focus)

Q2. On the flip side, what player inside the top 40 Flex is likely to disappoint fantasy owners this week?

Dez Bryant (WR – DAL): at WAS
“Although Josh Norman is a questionable start for this game with a rib injury, I don’t think he’d miss a shot at Dez Bryant. I’m sure Janoris Jenkins of the Giants has his popcorn ready for this one. Yes, Dez is up against yet another chippy corner rival. He will insist on the test from Dak Prescott anyway, because likes to prove he can’t be shut down. Owners may have to prepare for a down week, but in exchange get an entertaining football matchup to watch.”
– Richard Savill (Fantasy Six Pack)

Tyreek Hill (WR – KC): vs. DEN
“Haven’t we learned not to expect too much out of wide receivers when they play against the Broncos? Tyreek Hill will go up against their secondary that has yet to allow a wide receiver more than 64 yards on the season. The only wide receiver who was able to finish with 15 PPR points against them this year was Dez Bryant, who saw a massive 15 targets and still totaled just 59 yards. Hill has yet to see more than eight targets in any one game this year, making him a risky proposition against the Broncos defense.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

LeGarrette Blount (RB – PHI): vs. SF
“Blount stands out to me this week as a potential bust. He was held to 29 yards last week and hasn’t scored since Week 3. The variance that Blount brings on a weekly basis is too great for me to trust him even in a matchup with the 49ers. I also see Wendell Smallwood having a bigger role in the offense this week.”
– Walton Spurlin (Pro Football Focus)

Joe Mixon (RB – CIN): vs. IND
“Playing Joe Mixon terrifies me this week. Yes, he is extremely talented and yes, he is in a near perfect matchup with a great game script, but Marvin Lewis is not a reasonable human being. Despite Mixon being the best running back on the team by leaps and bounds, Jeremy Hill is still starting. Likewise, Mixon performed well with 48 yards in his first 7 carries, then didn’t touch the ball again. So while Mixon may have a huge game, he is also the most likely to see limited work and entirely disappoint fantasy owners.”
– Bobby Sylvester (FantasyPros)

Doug Martin (RB – TB): vs. CAR
“Martin’s return from suspension hasn’t gone all that well. He’s salvaged some bad efforts with a couple of TDs, but overall, his 3.7 yards per carry is lackluster and he offers almost nothing in the pass game. This week’s opponent, the Carolina Panthers, won’t make things any easier on the man they call the Muscle Hamster, as the Panthers allow the 3rd fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. Carolina will also be welcoming back all-world LB Luke Keuchly from a concussion he suffered a couple of weeks ago. Martin has just 1 TD in 6 career games vs. his division foes.”
– Seth Klein (The Fantasy Fix)

Demaryius Thomas (WR – DEN): at KC
“Thomas has not scored this season and this will not be the week. The KC pass defense can focus on containing him and letting the other options in the Denver passing game make any plays. Thomas is on an island in this offense as a significant threat to the defense.”
– Scott Engel (RotoExperts)


Thank you to the experts for naming their sleeper starts and sits. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter if you’re not already doing so and check out our latest podcast below for more great advice.


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