Week-Ahead Stash Candidates for Week 8
This weekly article series will attempt to help you in two ways. First, we are going to be examining players who may not be the hot waiver pickups of the week. This will save you Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) or waiver priority for when you need it most. Second, we will be diving into stats and trends that point to players improving their fantasy scores next week, not this current week. The goal is to sift through the rough to find those diamonds who emerge every single year, except you won't be sweating over whether or not you claimed them on waivers, because you will already own them. At least that's the goal.
Here's the sixth transparency report of the season. Before Week 6, I told you to grab these guys for a Week 7 start. Here's how they did:
|Player||Positional Ranking||Half-PPR Points|
This column certainly is getting more difficult as the season goes on, but we still found success in Week 7. Baker Mayfield posted an impressive outing against the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. Also, the Cleveland D/ST had a very strong day as Jameis Winston threw two interceptions and fumbled twice. D.J. Moore remains a stash candidate, Ricky Seals-Jones disappointed (who didn't on the Arizona Cardinals in that game), and Frank Gore didn't have a great day but out-touched Kenyan Drake yet again.
Now, on to next week! Here are some guys who may not be startable for Week 8, but could be valuable next week and beyond. So, if you have space, add them now or hope that they fall through waivers after this week.
Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens
Yahoo ownership: 38%
Joe Flacco has never really been a world-beater of a quarterback, but that's okay. In fantasy football, it's the undervalued guys that people shy away from on name value that can be the leverage needed to get ahead. Flacco is an example of one of those quarterbacks.
If your starting quarterback is on bye next week, now is a good time to start eyeing your replacement, so rostering Flacco now might not be the worst idea in the world. So far this season, Flacco has been averaging 295.3 yards per game, which would be a personal record for him if he keeps this pace. The revamping of his receiving corps with John Brown, Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead has allowed Flacco to shine, boasting a 11:4 touchdown-to-interception ratio as well.
I wouldn't trust Flacco against the Carolina Panthers this week, and besides, you have probably already found a replacement if you have Philip Rivers and Matt Ryan on bye. Week 9, on the other hand, presents a big upside play against the Pittsburgh Steelers at home. Flacco already played the sieve-like Steelers defense in Week 4, throwing for 363 yards and 2 touchdowns on the Steelers' turf. Flacco averages 0.63 more touchdowns and 3.1 more fantasy points when playing at home in the last three seasons. The Ravens have looked very strong lately -- Flacco included -- and I think they chew up and spit out the Steelers in Baltimore.
Elijah McGuire, RB, Jets
Yahoo ownership: 4%
Bilal Powell was sent to injured reserve this week for a potentially career-ending neck injury. So far this season, Powell and Isaiah Crowell had been splitting reps almost exactly down the middle, with Powell technically out-touching Crowell 91 to 90.
Because of the injury news, however, I don't think that Crowell is the biggest beneficiary. Elijah McGuire could be a name that pops up in the "league-winning" type of category later in the season. Entering the year, McGuire was slated to be playing in Powell's role, until his own trip to the IR kept him from playing through the first seven weeks. Before the season, New York Jets' running backs coach Stump Mitchell praised him in a big way by comparing him to Ladainian Tomlinson. Perhaps a bit much, but high praise nonetheless.
Luckily for McGuire, he will not be playing in green and white against the nasty Chicago Bears defense. But in Week 9, McGuire is eligible to be activated against the Miami Dolphins, who are currently giving up the fourth-most fantasy points to the running back position. Not to mention they just got shredded by rookie running back Kerryon Johnson of the Lions. The Dolphins gave up a massive 248 rushing yards in that game, which is the third-most allowed by any team this season. The Dolphins are also hurting on offense, recently putting Albert Wilson on IR for a hip injury, and Kenny Stills is still banged up as well. The Jets could get ahead in this game, which would be a great opportunity for McGuire to shake off the rust and get some work.
Danny Amendola, WR, Dolphins
Yahoo ownership: 25%
Speaking of all the Dolphins wide receivers being injured, Danny Amendola is actually expected to play this week! He's been quietly having some good games recently. Over the last two weeks he's had 18 targets, 14 receptions, 143 yards and a touchdown against the Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions, and in this time he's been seeing 23% of his team's targets. Brock Osweiler has actually been somewhat of a spark to this offense and so long as he continues playing, that could massively benefit Amendola.
In Week 8, the Dolphins play against the Houston Texans, who are allowing the 11th-least fantasy points to receivers. This game is also Thursday Night Football, so I am staying away from any player not named DeAndre Hopkins or maybe Lamar Miller. Instead I plan on starting Amendola against the Jets in Week 9. The Jets are allowing the most points to the wide receiver position so far this year. I have brought up the nickel cornerback situation a few times, as it's been very porous to slot receivers all season. Amendola is a candidate to see double-digit targets in this game, and ranks second in catch percentage with 78.9% among receivers with at least 30 targets. He's always been a reliable option and the stars are aligning for a Week 9 start.
Josh Doctson, WR, Redskins
Yahoo ownership: 8%
Starting to dive deep a little bit, Josh Doctson represents a stash candidate that many people have given up on at this point in the season. However, he represents some upside at a position where a spot start can be enough reason to roster that player.
In the last two weeks, Doctson has led his team in air yards with 210. The second highest player on his team in this category is Michael Floyd with 39. Jamison Crowder's injury has kept him out of the lineup since Week 5, but it sounds like his ankle sprain could leave him on the sidelines for more time yet. Doctson is likely to be the lead receiver for the short term, and the Washington Redskins have a few favorable matchups coming up.
In Week 8, the Redskins will play against the New York Giants and Doctson will probably be lined up against Janoris Jenkins the majority of the time. But I plan on stashing Doctson and looking on to Week 9 and beyond. Next week, the Redskins draw the hobbled Atlanta Falcons defense, who have been hemorrhaging receiving yards and touchdowns all season. If you have been playing fantasy this year, you know that you want to have shares in any game involving the Falcons. The Falcons' offense has been humming, so game script will probably lead to the Redskins trying to play catch-up. I'm looking for Doctson to make one or two big plays in this game.
Additionally, in Week 10 the Redskins play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. These two teams are tied for allowing the most touchdowns to receivers with 11 apiece. The time to grab Doctson is now.
Yahoo ownership: 14%
The Dallas D/ST is an underrated defense at the moment, at least in the fantasy landscape. The Cowboys haven't given up more than 24 points to opposing teams yet this season. They unfortunately only have five turnovers through seven games, but luckily Week 8 is their bye week. This will give their defense some time to get talented players like Leighton Vander Esch and Randy Gregory some rest so that they can get healthy and ready to play for Week 9.
The matchup will be against the Tennessee Titans, who are massively struggling on offense so far this season. The Titans are 30th in the league in both offense yards and points per game, and opposing D/STs have been averaging 8.9 points per game and have scored in double digits three out of seven weeks. A Dallas D/ST coming off of the bye should have no trouble handling Marcus Mariota and the rest of the Titans offense.