7 Deep Fantasy Football Sleepers for Week 8
It's Week 8, and everything we thought we knew is wrong.
Well, lots of things at least.
The grueling NFL season is in full swing, and injuries are abound. So are bye weeks. Though the heavy bye weeks don't come into effect until next week, having both the Giants and 49ers out may be leaving you shorthanded - particularly if your bench is riddled with probable and questionable tags.
So to whom can you turn if you're in a deep league? I've got some recommendations below.
Week 8 All-Deep-Sleepers Lineup
Quarterback: Kyle Orton (started in 0.3% of ESPN leagues | owned in 0.8% of ESPN leagues)
Kyle Orton has been unbelievable. And that's not even a joke. In three starts, he has averaged 296.7 yards, 1.7 touchdowns, and 15.8 fantasy points per game.
That came against three top-10 pass defenses according to our Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per play metric. The Lions currently rank third, the Patriots rank eighth, and the Vikings rank sixth.
Things get easier for Orton this week against the Jets, who rank last in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks and 21st in pass defense, according to our metrics. He is available, he is playing well, and the matchup is right. What's not to like?
Running Back: Denard Robinson (0.5% | 5.8%)
Robinson may not be your long-term solution, but with the lead role in Jacksonville, he could have some value because he ran well in Week 7. Speaking of Week 7, Robinson took 22 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown. That's a stat line you may expect to see from a top-tier back and not from a guy granted a big work load based on injury.
Either way, Robinson is still available in over 94% of ESPN leagues, so if you need a fill-in, he could work. The Dolphins ranks 15th in run defense according to our per-play metrics after being adjusted for schedule strength. With another heavy-volume day, Robinson is clearly an option based on attrition alone, and if he has another big day, he could be a trade option for sure.
Running Back: Anthony Dixon (0.1% | 1.4%)
But you may not need him for the long term if you have some injuries or bye weeks to deal with this week, you can cringe and roll out Dixon against the Jets defense, which actually only ranks 14th in Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per play. It's far preferable to target these players in better matchups, but unless Bryce Brown steals a huge chunk of touches, Dixon is an attrition play who is projected as our 25th running back this week despite the questionable matchup.
Wide Receiver: Corey Fuller (0.0% | 0.1%)
It doesn't seem like Calvin Johnson is ready to return to action, so Fuller should be locked into a starting gig in the Lions offense yet again. Last week, Fuller caught 3 of his 5 targets for 44 yards and a key touchdown against the Saints.
The matchup is nearly as juicy this week as it was last week for Fuller. The Falcons rank 28th in pass defense on a per-play basis according to our metrics. With five targets against such a weak secondary, Fuller could give you a useful fantasy day early on Sunday morning in London.
Wide Receiver: Davante Adams (0.2% | 1.3%)
Adams has taken over as the third receiver in the Green Bay offense but did not have a huge day in Week 7. Just like in Week 5, he caught only a single pass. But, just like in Week 5, that catch was a touchdown.
And speaking of the bad New Orleans secondary, who rank just 30th in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play, Adams gets his chance to produce in a good matchup. In Week 6, Adams did have 6 receptions for 77 yards, so he isn't only a touchdown player. This game has an over/under of 55, by far the largest of the slate, and there should be enough scoring to go around for Adams, who played 79% of snaps in Week 7.
Tight End: Owen Daniels (11.7% | 25.2%)
While Daniels isn't quite as deep as the other recommendations in this article, he is still pretty available based on his ESPN ownership level. Coming off a 6-catch, 58-yard, 1-touchdown game against the Falcons, Daniels should be on the radar for all owners who stream the tight end position.
And that's especially true this week. Daniels faces the Bengals in Week 8, who are the worst team in the league at defending the tight end. They allow 18.1 fantasy points per game (in half-point-per-reception leagues). That itself should make you itchy to start tight ends against them, and Daniels' nine targets last week cements his startability this week.
Flex: Jermaine Kearse (2.0% | 4.7%)
The Panthers rank 23rd in Adjusted Defensive Passing NEP per play, and Kearse is largely a touchdown-dependent player. If you're looking for a flex play in a deep league, you're really looking for touchdown potential. Well, Kearse not only gives you that, but he's also the second option on the Seahawks, so he should have a healthy dose of targets.