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I once wrote an introduction that extensively broke down the 1988 song “What I Am” by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians. Did I write this in the ’80s or ’90s? No. I believe that was Week 3 of the 2015 season.
Relevant and/or timely introductions have never been my thing.
So in the name of efficiency I’m skipping the introduction this week.
Freedman’s Favorites for Week 8
The guys in this piece are my favorites for Week 8. These are the players who (in some combination) …
- Will probably be high in my rankings relative to the expert consensus rankings (ECR).
- Need to be started in most season-long leagues.
- Possess underappreciated upside.
- Have advantageous matchups.
- Appear in my DFS player pool.
- Make for desirable dynasty acquisition targets.
- Are on teams with player-friendly Week 8 betting odds.
- Stand out in our industry-leading BettingPros NFL Prop Bet Analyzer.
- Catch my eye with their Week 8 projections.
I’ll update this piece by Saturday night with notes based on the week’s injury reports and news items. Before then, follow our NFL news desk for information on any breaking news. After the update, any changing opinions I have will be reflected in my personal Week 8 rankings, not this article.
Note: All fantasy points are half-PPR scoring unless otherwise stated. Players are ordered within position roughly (but probably not precisely) according to my rankings.
Abbreviations: Fantasy points per game (FPPG), against the spread (ATS), over/under (O/U), adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A), expected points added (EPA), success rate (SR), completion percentage over expectation (CPOE), defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA), AirYAC (air yards and yards after catch).
FantasyPros Accuracy Contest
Week 8 Teams on Bye
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Los Angeles Chargers
UPDATE NOTE (Sat. 10/29, 2:30 pm ET): This piece has been updated.
Freedman’s Favorite Week 8 Quarterbacks
Lamar Jackson (BAL) at TB: Ravens -1.5 | 45 O/U
- Jackson has an elevated Konami Code floor thanks to his position-high 510 yards rushing (per our Fantasy Football Stats Report).
- The Buccaneers secondary could be without four starters on Thursday Night Football: CBs Carlton Davis (hip) and Sean Murphy-Bunting (quad), slot CB/S Antoine Winfield (concussion) and S Logan Ryan (foot, IR).
Lamar Jackson is on pace for 1,239 rushing yards.
The current record for a quarterback is 1,206, which he set in his 2019 MVP season.
— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) October 25, 2022
Tua Tagovailoa (MIA) at DET: Dolphins -3.5 | 51.5 O/U
- Tagovailoa has seen limited action this year, but he’s No. 3 in AY/A (8.9), QBR (71.8) and composite EPA + CPOE (0.160, per RBs Don’t Matter).
- The Lions defense is No. 32 in dropback EPA per play (0.247).
- The Dolphins have a week-high 27.5-point implied total in our Week 8 DFS cheat sheet.
Tagovailoa Update (Sat. 10/29): LT Terron Armstead (toe) was left off the final injury report, so he should play on Sunday. In the secondary, the Lions are without CBs Mike Hughes (knee), Chase Lucas (ankle) and Bobby Price (knee, IR), FSs Tracy Walker (Achilles) and Ifeatu Melifonwu (ankle) and SS DeShon Elliott (finger). Tagovailoa is a solid fantasy QB1 this week.
Kirk Cousins (MIN) vs. ARI: Vikings -3.5 | 49 O/U
- Cousins is infinitely boring and mediocre (6.4 AY/A, No. 20), but he is coming off his bye and at least has been no worse than a high-end fantasy QB2 in most games this year (per RotoViz).
- The Cardinals defense is No. 31 in dropback SR (54.3%).
Cousins Update (Sat. 10/29): For the Cardinals, No. 1 CB Byron Murphy (back) popped up on the injury report on Friday with a limited practice and is now questionable for Sunday. If he’s unable to suit up, the Cardinals defense will be vulnerable. Cousins is a locked-in QB1.
Derek Carr (LV) at NO: Raiders -2 | 49.5 O/U
- The Raiders offense has been on fire since Week 4 with an average of 33 points per game.
- The Saints defense is No. 29 in dropback EPA per play (0.137).
- The Saints could be without all their starting cornerbacks: Marshon Lattimore (abdomen) hasn’t played since Week 5, Paulson Adebo (knee) hasn’t played since Week 6 and Bradley Roby (ankle, IR) is out after exiting Week 7 early.
Carr Update (Sat. 10/29): WRs Davante Adams (illness), Mack Hollins (heel) and D.J. Turner (hamstring) and TE Darren Waller (hamstring) are all questionable, but they also all practiced limitedly on Friday and are trending toward playing. The Saints are without CBs Marshon Lattimore (abdomen) and Bradley Roby (ankle, IR). Carr is a low-end QB1.
Jared Goff (DET) vs. MIA: Lions +3.5 | 51.5 O/U
- I can’t say much positive about Goff, but at least his 7.2 AY/A (No. 11) and 52.6 QBR (No. 15) are better than average.
- The Dolphins defense is No. 29 in dropback SR (50.7%).
Goff Update (Sat. 10/29): LG Jonah Jackson (neck) and WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (concussion protocol) both are likely to play through their questionable tags, and RB D’Andre Swift (ankle, shoulder) practiced in full this week. With his support system in place, Goff is a high-end QB2.
Andy Dalton (NO) vs. LV: Saints +2 | 49.5 O/U
- Dalton hasn’t been prolific this year, but he has been adequate (6.9 AY/A, No. 18), especially given that he has been without WRs Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave and RB Alvin Kamara for some of his four starts.
- The Saints have averaged 31 points per game with Dalton since Week 4.
- I assume that Dalton will continue to start ahead of Jameis Winston this week.
- The Raiders are No. 1 in most fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks (24.4 FPPG, per our Fantasy Points Allowed Report).
- Facing the Raiders, Dalton has literally a five-star matchup.
Check out my Week 8 early betting breakdown on Saints vs. Raiders.
Dalton Update (Sat. 10/29): As expected, Thomas (foot) and Landry (ankle) are out, and TEs Adam Trautman (ankle) and Juwan Johnson (hamstring) are uncertain to play through their questionable tags … but Dalton has been without Thomas and Landry for multiple games, and Trautman and Johnson are replaceable. Dalton is still an upside QB2.
Sam Ehlinger (IND) vs. WAS: Colts -3 | 40 O/U
- Thanks to former starter Matt Ryan’s post-salary benching, Ehlinger is one of our top Week 8 DFS value plays for both DraftKings and FanDuel.
- Ehlinger was a preseason star in August with 24-of-29 for 289-4-0 passing, and he has the running ability to accumulate fantasy points on the ground (459-2,510-33 rushing in college, excluding sacks).
- The Commanders are No. 29 in defensive pass DVOA (15.2%, per Football Outsiders).
- I’m buying Ehlinger.
Sam Ehlinger's stock was ticking up and this news sent it to the 🌕🚀 pic.twitter.com/gtJ5hZtKe2
— Mojo Markets (@mojo) October 24, 2022
Ehlinger Update (Sat. 10/29): For the Commanders, CB William Jackson (back) is out. Ehlinger is a viable option in superflex/2QB leagues.
Freedman’s Favorite Week 8 Running Backs
Saquon Barkley (NYG) at SEA: Giants +3 | 45 O/U
- Barkley is No. 1 in the league in scrimmage yards (906) and opportunities (173), No. 1 on the Giants in targets (30) and receptions (25) and No. 1 among all running backs in snaps played (399, per our Snap Count Leaders Report) — not to mention No. 1 in our rest-of-season consensus rankings.
- No biggie, but Barkley at +1600 was my offseason Comeback Player of the Year pick: Enjoy that free money (he’s now a -225 frontrunner at DraftKings).
- With QB Daniel Jones, the Giants are 13-4 ATS as road underdogs (per Action Network).
- The Seahawks are No. 5 in most fantasy points allowed to opposing backfields (24.1 FPPG).
Check out my Week 8 early betting breakdown on Giants at Seahawks.
Barkley Update (Sat. 10/29): The Giants are without RT Evan Neal (knee), LG Ben Bredeson (knee) and TE Daniel Bellinger (eye) are run blockers. Given their absence, I have bumped Barkley out of the top spot in my RB rankings.
Derrick Henry (TEN) at HOU: Titans -2 | 40.5 O/U
- After having just 107 yards and a touchdown on “only” 34 carries and a target in Weeks 1-2, Henry exploded in Weeks 3-7 with 560 yards and four touchdowns on 100 carries and an intriguing 13 targets in four games.
- The Texans are No. 1 in most fantasy points allowed to opposing backfields (29.2 FPPG).
Henry Update (Sat. 10/29): FB Tory Carter (neck) is out, but Texans DT Maliek Collins (chest, questionable) also seems likely to sit after not practicing all week. Henry is currently my RB1.
Josh Jacobs (LV) at NO: Raiders -2 | 49.5 O/U
- After mediocre performances in Weeks 1-2 (154 yards, zero touchdowns), Jacobs has been the No. 1 fantasy back since Week 3 with 26.8 FPPG, 82-507-6 rushing and 18-113-0 receiving on 20 targets in four games (per our Fantasy Football Leaders Report).
- Last week, Jacobs lit up our Game Day app with a position-high 35 fantasy points on 155 yards and three touchdowns from scrimmage on 20 carries and four targets.
- Jacobs is No. 1 in the league with 372 yards after contact (per our Advanced RB Stats Report).
- I was wrong.
Wherever Josh Jacobs is in your rankings, move him down.
— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) August 5, 2022
Joe Mixon (CIN) at CLE: Bengals -3.5 | 47 O/U
- In his 15 career games as a favorite with QB Joe Burrow (including playoffs), Mixon has averaged 19.1 FPPG on 18.3 carries and 4.4 targets.
- Last year, Mixon had 13-64-2 rushing and 5-46-0 receiving on five targets in one game against the Browns.
- Mixon is No. 1 in the league with 12 carries inside the five-yard line, to which he has added two targets (per our Red Zone Stats Report).
- The Browns defense is No. 32 in rush EPA per play (0.124).
Mixon Update (Sat. 10/29): WR Ja’Marr Chase (hip) is out, so Mixon could see extra usage in the running and short passing games. I’m writing this blurb before Saturday practice information has been posted — but the Browns defense could be vulnerable on Monday Night Football: Both EDGE Myles Garrett (shoulder, biceps) and LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (knee) missed practice on Thursday and Friday. Mixon is a locked-in RB1.
Kenneth Walker (SEA) vs. NYG): Seahawks -3 | 45 O/U
- Since No. 1 RB Rashaad Penny (leg, IR) suffered a season-ending injury in Week 5, Walker has gone off with 366 yards and four touchdowns on 52 carries and three targets.
- The Seahawks could have a run-heavy game script as home favorites (-160 at PointsBet).
- The Giants are No. 30 in defensive rush DVOA (8.1%).
Kenneth Walker is on a mission 👀 pic.twitter.com/SFdoAvpCGi
— PFF (@PFF) October 24, 2022
D’Andre Swift (DET) vs. MIA: Lions +3.5 | 51.5 O/U
- Swift (shoulder) hasn’t played since Week 3, but he practiced every day last week (albeit limitedly), so I’m optimistic that he’ll suit up on Sunday.
- The Lions could have a pass-heavy game script as home underdogs (+145 at BetMGM).
- Since last year, Swift has averaged 5.6 targets per game under HC Dan Campbell.
- The Dolphins are No. 28 in defensive pass DVOA against running backs (25.3%).
Swift Update (Sat. 10/29): Swift practiced in full this week and was left off the final injury report. He’s an upside RB2.
Rhamondre Stevenson (NE) at NYJ: Patriots -1.5 | 40.5 O/U
- Stevenson disappointed in Weeks 1-2 with 78 scoreless yards — but since Week 3 he has 81-415-4 rushing and 22-139-0 receiving on 25 targets in five games.
- Even with the Week 7 return of RB Damien Harris, Stevenson led the team with 11 carries and eight targets, which he leveraged into 98 yards and a touchdown.
- In his eight career games with at least 15 opportunities, Stevenson has averaged 18.3 FPPG.
Rhamondre Stevenson retained an every-down role despite the return of Damien Harris on Monday Night Football.
✅ Snaps 77%
✅ Rush Atts 69%
✅ Route Participation 69%
✅ Target Share 32%
✅ Passing Downs 100%
✅ Inside five-yard line 100%
— Dwain McFarland (@dwainmcfarland) October 25, 2022
Stevenson Update (Sat. 10/29): C David Andrews (concussion) is out. I have bumped Stevenson down a little in my rankings, but he’s still an upside RB2.
Miles Sanders (PHI) vs. PIT: Eagles -10.5 | 43 O/U
- In each of his six games this year Sanders has 15-plus opportunities, which he has leveraged into 527 yards and four touchdowns.
- Sanders should be fresh coming off the Week 7 bye.
- The Eagles already lean on the running game, ranking No. 3 with a 53.1% rush rate, and they could run even more as massive home favorites (-550 at FanDuel).
Sanders Update (Sat. 10/29): For the Steelers, DT Larry Ogunjobi (knee) is out. Sanders is a solid RB2.
Travis Etienne (JAX) vs. DEN (in London): Jaguars -2.5 | 39 O/U
- The Jaguars just traded away RB James Robinson, so Etienne now has the opportunity to earn a full-time three-down role.
- Last week, he hit career-high marks with 14 carries, five targets, 119 yards and an 80% snap rate — and he scored his first NFL touchdown.
Travis Etienne = Top 3 RB?
– Unquestioned starting RB in JAX
– Most yards per touch among RB
– 2nd most yards per att among RB
– A+ vision
– Top 10 yards after contact
– Top 10 missed tackles
– 3 straight Gm w/ 100+ scrim yds
— Mojo Markets (@mojo) October 25, 2022
Raheem Mostert (MIA) at DET: Dolphins -3.5 | 51.5 O/U
- Mostert underwhelmed in Week 1 with 32 scoreless yards on five carries and a target, but in every game since then he has had 10-plus opportunities, and over the past month he has put up 360 yards and two touchdowns on 63 carries and 13 targets.
- The Lions are No. 29 in defensive rush DVOA (7.9%) and pass DVOA against running backs (33.0%).
Devin Singletary (BUF) vs. GB: Bills -10.5 | 47.5 O/U
- Since Week 3 (over his past four games), Singletary is No. 3 — behind only Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs — with a 76% snap rate (per our Snap Count Analysis Report), which he has leveraged into 340 yards on 43 carries and 23 targets.
- The Bills could run more than they usually do as big home favorites (-600 at Caesars).
- The Packers defense is No. 29 in rush SR (46.1%), No. 30 in rush EPA per play (0.055) and No. 31 in rush DVOA (10.9%). So, you know, not good.
Singletary Update (Sat. 10/29): RT Spencer Brown (ankle) is out, and Packers EDGE Rashan Gary (concussion, questionable) is likely to play after practicing fully on Friday. I have bumped Singletary down a little in my rankings, but he’s still a situation-based RB2.
Michael Carter (NYJ) vs. NE: Jets +1.5 | 40.5 O/U
- No. 1 RB Breece Hall (knee, IR) is out, and veteran James Robinson (recently acquired from the Jaguars) is unfamiliar with the offense.
- With QB Zach Wilson, the Jets have leaned into the running game with a 51.2% rush rate.
- In his 12 career games with 10-plus rushing attempts, Carter has averaged 83.4 yards from scrimmage and 13.0 FPPG.
- The Patriots defense is No. 32 in rush SR (49.7%) and No. 30 in pass DVOA against running backs (34.7%).
Carter Update (Sat. 10/29): LT Duane Brown (shoulder, questionable) seems likely to play after practicing limitedly all week, and DT Christian Barmore (knee) is out for the Patriots. Carter is a low-end RB2.
D’Onta Foreman (CAR) at ATL: Panthers +4.5 | 42 O/U
- With former No. 1 RB Christian McCaffrey traded to the 49ers, Foreman last week led the Panthers backfield with a 54% snap rate and 145 yards on 15 carries and two targets.
- In his six games last year with 12-plus opportunities, Foreman averaged 100.5 yards (per FTN).
- Backfield mate Chuba Hubbard (ankle) exited Week 7 early with an injury and might be limited if he plays this week.
- The Falcons defense is No. 31 in rush SR (48.4%).
Top 5 RBs Vs Stack Boxes (+8)
Week 7, Yards/Carry
Kenneth Walker 92 yds/11.5YPC
Derrick Henry 87 yds/6.7 YPC
Josh Jacobs 39 yds/8.5 YPC
D’Onta Foreman 39 yds/5.6 YPC 🍽
Saquon Barkley 54 yds/5.4 YPC
*min .6 atts
Foreman not even in his final form yet. 🔥👀
— LaQuan Jones (@RealDealFantasy) October 24, 2022
Foreman Update (Sat. 10/29): Hubbard is out, so Foreman should serve as the lead back for the Panthers. He’s an upside RB2.
Freedman’s Favorite Week 8 Wide Receivers
Cooper Kupp (LAR) vs. SF: Rams+1.5 | 43.5 O/U
- Last year Kupp had a position-high 56% boom rate with his Triple Crown 145-1,947-16 receiving performance (per our Boom/Bust Report), and he has continued to dominate in 2022, ranking No. 1 in the league with 12.0 targets per game (per our Weekly Target Report).
- Kupp has 648 yards and five touchdowns from scrimmage on 56 receptions and two carries, and he has either 80 yards or a touchdown in every game.
- The 49ers are without CB Emmanuel Moseley (knee, IR), and CB Jason Verrett (knee, IR) might not be activated for this game.
- In his four games against the 49ers since last year, Kupp has averaged 22.9 FPPG (including playoffs).
Cooper Kupp in 4 games w/ QB Matthew Stafford vs. 49ers:
2021, Week 10: 11-122-0 (13 targets)
2021, Week 18: 7-118-1 (7), 1-18-0 rushing
2021, NFCC: 11-142-2 (14)
2022, Week 4: 14-122-0 (19)
— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) October 26, 2022
Kupp Update (Sat. 10/29): WR Van Jefferson (knee, IR) returns to action this week, but his presence will impact No. 2 WR Allen Robinson more than Kupp. 49ers CB Jason Verrett (knee) is questionable. As of now, Kupp is still my WR1.
Justin Jefferson (MIN) vs. ARI: Vikings -3.5 | 49 O/U
- Jefferson is tied with Cooper Kupp and Stefon Diggs for No. 1 with four games of 100-plus yards receiving.
- The Cardinals defense is bottom-five in both dropback EPA per play (0.132, No. 28) and dropback SR (54.3%, No. 31).
Jefferson Update (Sat. 10/29): For the Cardinals, No. 1 CB Byron Murphy (back) popped up on the injury report on Friday with a limited practice and is now questionable for Sunday. If he’s unable to suit up, Jefferson might be my WR1 overall.
Stefon Diggs (BUF) vs. GB: Bills -10.5 | 47.5 O/U
- Diggs is the only NFL player with 160-plus targets in each of the past two years, and he’s the No. 1 fantasy receiver this year with 21.0 FPPG on 49-656-6 receiving in six games.
- The Packers are No. 28 in defensive pass DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers (24.8%).
Tyreek Hill (MIA) at DET: Dolphins -3.5 | 51.5 O/U
- Hill is No. 1 in the league with 773 yards receiving, 32 receptions of 10-plus yards and 12 receptions of 20-plus yards (per our Advanced WR Stats Report).
- The Dolphins defense is No. 30 in dropback SR (53.2%) and No. 31 in defensive pass DVOA (23.5%).
- I probably don’t need to write a third bullet about Hill.
Tyreek Hill has been targeted 12 or more times in five of seven games. 📊
He is on pace for 189 targets (32%), a 44-target increase over his career-high of 155. 🚀
No. 4 in PPR points per game at 21.2 🔥
— Dwain McFarland (@dwainmcfarland) October 24, 2022
Hill Update (Sat. 10/29): In the secondary, the Lions are without CBs Mike Hughes (knee), Chase Lucas (ankle) and Bobby Price (knee, IR), FSs Tracy Walker (Achilles) and Ifeatu Melifonwu (ankle) and SS DeShon Elliott (finger). I have Hill ranked is a top-three fantasy WR.
Davante Adams (LV) at NO: Raiders -2 | 49.5 O/U
- Adams frustrated in Weeks 2-3 with just 48 yards on seven receptions, but he has either 95 yards or a touchdown in every game and has an elite 10.8 targets per game.
- TE Darren Waller (hamstring) didn’t play in Week 7 after sitting out every practice, so I’m skeptical that he’ll return this week, and Adams could see extra targets in his absence.
- The Saints are No. 5 in most fantasy points allowed to wide receivers (32.0 FPPG).
Adams Update (Sat. 10/29): Adams (illness) is likely to play through his questionable tag, but so is Waller. Still, the Saints are without CBs Marshon Lattimore (abdomen) and Bradley Roby (ankle, IR), so Adams is a top-five fantasy WR.
A.J. Brown (PHI) vs. PIT: Eagles -10.5 | 43 O/U
- Brown has 33-503-2 receiving on 53 targets in six games with a robust 9.5 yards per target.
- The Steelers are No. 2 in most fantasy points allowed to wide receivers (36.6 FPPG), and they could be without CB Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring), who last played in Week 3.
Brown Update (Sat. 10/29): Witherspoon is in, but CB Levi Wallace (shoulder) is out. Brown is a low-end WR1 with efficiency-based top-three upside.
Mike Evans (TB) vs. BAL: Buccaneers +1.5 | 45 O/U
- Last week, Evans had a league-high 15 targets and 221 AirYAC thanks to a pass-heavy game script.
- The Buccaneers could once again rely on the passing game as home underdogs (+104 at BetRivers).
- The Ravens are No. 6 in most fantasy points allowed to wide receivers (31.6 FPPG).
- Next time, he’ll catch it.
Amon-Ra St. Brown (DET) vs. MIA: Lions +3.5 | 51.5 O/U
- St. Brown (concussion) left Week 7 early with a head injury, was on bye in Week 6, played sparingly with an ankle injury in Week 5 (32% snap rate), missed Week 4 and left Week 3 early, so we haven’t seen him at full capacity in a while — but in Weeks 1-3 he had 23-253-3 receiving on 33 targets and 2-68-0 rushing.
- For the Dolphins, CB Nik Needham (Achilles, IR) is out, and CBs Byron Jones (ankle, PUP), Kader Kohou (oblique) and Keion Crossen (knee) are all uncertain this week after missing last week.
Amon-Ra St. Brown was upgraded to a FULL practice participant today and is officially listed as Questionable for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins
All signs point to him being out there in what could be a high-scoring affair
— Adam Koffler (@AdamKoffler) October 28, 2022
St. Brown Update (Sat. 10/29): St. Brown practiced fully on Friday and should play through his questionable tag. He’s a low-end WR1.
Jaylen Waddle (MIA) at DET: Dolphins -3.5 | 51.5 O/U
- Even as a clear No. 2 option to WR Tyreek Hill, the second-year Waddle has balled out with 638 yards and three touchdowns on 54 targets and two carries in seven games.
- The Lions are No. 30 in defensive pass DVOA against No. 2 wide receivers (37.9%).
Waddle Update (Sat. 10/29): In the secondary, the Lions are without CBs Mike Hughes (knee), Chase Lucas (ankle) and Bobby Price (knee, IR), FSs Tracy Walker (Achilles) and Ifeatu Melifonwu (ankle) and SS DeShon Elliott (finger). Waddle is a low-end WR1.
DeAndre Hopkins (ARI) at MIN: Cardinals +3.5 | 49 O/U
- In his return from suspension last week, Hopkins had 10-103-0 receiving on 14 targets and encouragingly lined up across the formation (26 snaps wide left, 10 in the slot, six wide right).
- Without No. 2 wide receiver Marquise Brown (leg, IR), Hopkins had a league-high 48.2% target share last week.
- The Vikings are No. 31 in defensive pass DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers (31.3%).
- With HC Kliff Kingsbury, the Cardinals are 15-3-2 ATS as road underdogs.
Check out my Week 8 early betting breakdown on Cardinals at Vikings.
Welcome Back Hopins 😉
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) October 25, 2022
Michael Pittman (IND) vs. WAS: Colts -3 | 40 O/U
- Pittman has just one touchdown on the year — but he also has 475 yards on 61 targets in six games.
- Over the past three weeks, Pittman has a position-high 99% snap rate.
- The Commanders could be without CB William Jackson (back), who neither practiced nor played last week.
Pittman Update (Sat. 10/29): Jackson is out. Pittman is a solid WR2.
Tee Higgins (CIN) at CLE: Bengals -3.5 | 47 O/U
- Minus the two contests in which he was markedly impacted by injuries (Weeks 1 & 5), Higgins has had 29-428-2 receiving on 42 targets in five games.
- The Browns are No. 28 in defensive pass DVOA against No. 2 wide receivers (32.6%) and might be without No. 1 CB Denzel Ward (concussion), who has neither practiced nor played over the past two weeks.
Higgins Update (Sat. 10/29): WR Ja’Marr Chase (hip) is out, so Higgins and No. 3 WR Tyler Boyd both get significant bumps in the rankings. As of writing on Saturday — before final practice reports have been posted for Monday Night Football — Ward is still yet to return to practice.
Chris Godwin (TB) vs. BAL: Buccaneers +1.5 | 45 O/U
- Since returning in Week 4 from his hamstring injury, Godwin has 26-258-0 receiving on a team-high 41 targets.
- Over the past 20 years, QB Tom Brady is 10-0 ATS as an underdog off a loss.
Gabe Davis (BUF) vs. GB: Bills -10.5 | 47.5 O/U
- In the three games he hasn’t entered dealing with an ankle injury (Weeks 1 & 5-6), Davis has 10-333-4 receiving on 17 targets.
- For his career, Davis has a playmaking 10.0 yards per target — and this year he has a league-high mark of 14.7.
Chris Olave (NO) vs. LV: Saints +2 | 49.5 O/U
- Despite exiting Week 5 early and missing Week 6 with a concussion, Olave had 15-227-2 receiving on 27 targets in three games without No. 1 WR Michael Thomas in Weeks 4-7.
- Thomas (foot), WR Jarvis Landry (ankle) and TE Adam Trautman (ankle) all missed Week 7 after sitting out every practice and could miss Week 8 as well.
- The Raiders defense is No. 31 in dropback EPA per play (0.178) and is without starting CB Nate Hobbs (hand, IR).
- With his 9.3 targets per game and high 16.3-yard average depth of target, Olave has an elite ceiling.
NFL Leaders in AirYAC (Air Yards + Yards After Catch) per game (Weeks 1-7):
1. Olave: 165.2
2. Tyreek: 158.2
3. Hopkins: 147
4. Diggs: 144.8
5. Davante: 142.3
6. Kupp: 141
7. Hollywood: 138
8. Ja'Marr: 133.9
9. Jefferson: 130
10. M. Williams: 126.2
11. Lamb: 122.6
12. AJB: 121
— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) October 26, 2022
Olave Update (Sat. 10/29): As expected, Thomas (foot) and Landry (ankle) are out, and Trautman (ankle) and TE Juwan Johnson (hamstring) are uncertain to play through their questionable tags. Olave is a high-end WR2.
Diontae Johnson (PIT) at PHI: Steelers +10.5 | 43 O/U
- The production has underwhelmed (359 yards, zero touchdowns from scrimmage), but Johnson has 67 targets this year (plus five carries) and exactly 10 targets per game since 2020.
- As big road underdogs (+390 at SugarHouse), the Steelers could have a pass-heavy game script.
- At some point, targets and receptions turn into yards and touchdowns.
I’m betting over 10.0 points for Johnson in the Week 8 No House Advantage Over/Under Challenge.
Terry McLaurin (WAS) at IND: Commanders +3 | 40 O/U
- McLaurin had his best game of the year last week with 5-73-1 receiving on eight targets — and it’s probably not a coincidence that it was backup QB Taylor Heinicke’s first start of 2022.
- In Heinicke’s 14 full starts last year, McLaurin had 71-940-5 receiving on 119 targets.
- The Colts are No. 29 in defensive pass DVOA against No. 1 wide receivers (25.6%).
D.J. Moore (CAR) at ATL: Panthers +4.5 | 42 O/U
- After getting six targets in each of Weeks 1-3, Moore has 36 targets (and three carries) over his past four games.
- Last week, without No. 1 RB Christian McCaffrey and No. 2 WR Robbie Anderson — both of whom were recently traded — Moore had a season-best 7-69-1 receiving on 10 targets.
- The Falcons are No. 1 in most fantasy points allowed to wide receivers (38.4 FPPG).
- The Falcons could be without both of their two starting perimeter corners in A.J. Terrell (hamstring) and Casey Hayward (shoulder, IR).
- We can dream.
Billy, this is DJ Moore. He's had three straight 1,100-yard seasons and is only 25 years old.
His defect is the Panthers refuse to trade him. pic.twitter.com/yea57FmChP
— FantasyPros (@FantasyPros) October 22, 2022
Moore Update (Sat. 10/29): Terrell is out, as is FS Jaylinn Hawkins (concussion). At the risk of being overly enthusiastic, I must say that Moore is a … gulp … solid WR2.
Wan’Dale Robinson (NYG) at SEA: Giants +3 | 45 O/U
- After going 3-37-1 receiving on four targets in his return to action in Week 6, Robinson hit career-high marks in Week 7 with eight targets, six receptions, 50 yards and a nice 69% snap rate.
- WRs Kenny Golladay (knee) and Kadarius Toney (hamstring) have both been out for multiple weeks without practicing, and TE Daniel Bellinger (eye) is out indefinitely, so Robinson could operate as the No. 1 wide receiver once again.
Robinson Update (Sat. 10/29): Golladay is out, and the Giants traded Toney to the Chiefs this week. Robinson is a low-end fantasy WR3 with volume-based upside.
Parris Campbell (IND) vs. WAS: Colts -3 | 40 O/U
- Campbell had just 112 scoreless yards on 15 targets in Weeks 1-5 — but in Weeks 6-7 he dominated with a 99% snap rate and 17-127-2 receiving on 23 targets.
- The Commanders are No. 32 in defensive pass DVOA against No. 2 wide receivers (38.5%).
Campbell Update (Sat. 10/29): Commanders CB William Jackson (back) is out. Campbell is an intriguing desperation flyer in deep leagues.
Freedman’s Favorite Week 8 Tight Ends
Zach Ertz (ARI) at MIN: Cardinals +3.5 | 49 O/U
- Although Ertz had just four targets last week in No. 1 WR DeAndre Hopkins’ return, he still out-targeted WRs Rondale Moore (2), Robbie Anderson (1) and Greg Dortch (1).
- Ertz is No. 1 on the Cardinals in routes (275) and No. 2 in targets (55), receptions (37) and yards receiving (320).
- Ertz is No. 2 at the position behind only Travis Kelce (15) with 12 red-zone targets (per our Advanced TE Stats Report).
- The Vikings are dead last in defensive pass DVOA against tight ends (39.9%).
Routes run per game at the TE position in 2022:
39 – Zach Ertz
36 – Travis Kelce
34 – Tyler Higbee
33 – Hayden Hurst, George Kittle
32 – Dawson Knox, Dallas Goedert
31 – Mark Andrews, Gerald Everett, TJ Hockenson, Logan Thomas
19 – Kyle Pitts, ranking 28th, behind Kylen Granson
— Jacob Gibbs (@jagibbs_23) October 25, 2022
Taysom Hill (NO) vs. LV: Saints +2 | 49.5 O/U
- Hill isn’t a traditional tight end — he has just 27 routes and two targets on the year — but he gets regular usage each game as a wildcat quarterback, and as such he is 5-of-7 for 86-1-0 passing with 17-160-3 rushing.
- Hill is 4-of-5 in converting his red-zone carries into touchdowns this year.
- Especially in the bye weeks, Hill’s upside is too great to ignore.
- The Raiders are No. 3 in most fantasy points allowed to tight ends (14.0 FPPG).
Hill Update (Sat. 10/29): WRs Michael Thomas (foot) and Jarvis Landry (ankle) are out, and TEs Adam Trautman (ankle) and Juwan Johnson (hamstring) are uncertain to play through their questionable tags. Somehow, Hill remains a fantasy TE1.
Irv Smith (MIN) vs. ARI: Vikings -3.5 | 49 O/U
- In Week 1, Smith had just two targets on a 31% snap rate as he worked his way back from last year’s knee injury and this offseason’s thumb injury, but since then he has averaged 5.4 targets per game.
- The Cardinals are No. 28 in defensive pass DVOA against tight ends (29.2%).
Juwan Johnson (NO) vs. LV: Saints +2 | 49.5 O/U
- A second Saints tight end? Yes, it’s the bye weeks.
- Johnson is No. 2 on the Saints in routes (193) and No. 3 in targets (30)
- Last week he had a career-best 5-32-2 receiving on five targets without WRs Michael Thomas (foot) and Jarvis Landry (ankle) and TE Adam Trautman (ankle), all of whom are uncertain for this week.
Tight ends who scored in Week 7…
Juwan Johnson (2)
— Mat Harrison ⚡️ (@ExplosiveOutput) October 24, 2022
Johnson Update (Sat. 10/29): Thomas and Landry are out, and Trautman (questionable) is uncertain to play through — but Johnson (hamstring) is now questionable after popping up on the injury report on Thursday. If active, he’ll still be an upside TE2, but he’s less of a favorite than he was with a pre-injury status.
Mike Gesicki (MIA) at DET: Dolphins -3.5 | 51.5 O/U
- After disappointing in Weeks 1-5 (49% snap rate, 8% target rate, 20.6 fantasy points), Gesicki exploded in Weeks 6-7 (63% snap rate, 16% target rate, 26.1 fantasy points).
- The Lions are No. 31 in defensive pass DVOA against tight ends (35.2%).
Gesicki Update (Sat. 10/29): In the secondary, the Lions are without CBs Mike Hughes (knee), Chase Lucas (ankle) and Bobby Price (knee, IR), FSs Tracy Walker (Achilles) and Ifeatu Melifonwu (ankle) and SS DeShon Elliott (finger). Gesicki is a mid-range TE2.
Tanner Hudson (NYG) at SEA: Giants +3 | 45 O/U
- For the season, Hudson has run almost as many routes (113 to 102) as No. 1 TE Daniel Bellinger (eye, out), whose absence should enable Hudson to serve as the team’s primary pass-catching tight end this week.
- The Seahawks are No. 1 in most fantasy points allowed to tight ends (19.6 FPPG).
Freedman’s Former Favorites
- Week 1 Favorites
- Week 2 Favorites
- Week 3 Favorites
- Week 4 Favorites
- Week 5 Favorites
- Week 6 Favorites
- Week 7 Favorites
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