Fantasy Feud Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 8
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Fantasy Feud Week 8 Optimal Lineup
Remember to always check our up-to-date optimal lineups here.
The past three weeks have provided an incredibly interesting stretch for Russell Wilson owners. Three weeks ago, Wilson torched the redskins for 201 passing yards, 122 rushing yards, 2 passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown. Then, against the Cowboys, Wilson threw for fewer than two touchdowns and accounted for fewer than 200 yards between passing and rushing the only time in a single game this season. Wilson then followed up that dud with his best game of the season, throwing for 313 yards, rushing for 106 yards while adding 2 passing and 1 rushing touchdown.
With all of these ups and downs over the past few weeks, what should we expect from the Super Bowl champion quarterback this week? The fact that the Cowboys game was the only game this season where Wilson scored less than 15 points definitely bodes well for his floor value, especially in a matchup with the Panthers.
Carolina's defense has not been able to stop anyone this season. They're giving up the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and have allowed opposing signal-callers to throw for at least 250 yards and 2 touchdowns each of the past four weeks. They also rank 24th in Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP). Given how juicy this matchup is, Wilson not only has a very high floor but he also has massive upside this week as well. Wilson makes an exceptional play in all formats this week.
The other quarterback our algorithms recommend you start this week is Carson Palmer. Palmer has looked pretty good since returning from his shoulder injury two weeks ago. Palmer has thrown for at least 250 yards and 2 touchdowns in each of his three starts this season and has yet to score less than 15 fantasy points this season.
This week, the Cardinals' signal-caller draws a matchup with an Eagles' defense which has allowed the 28th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks on the year. Because the Eagles' offense moves so quickly, both they and their opponents end up running significantly more plays per game than most teams. Philadelphia's opponents are currently running the second most plays in the league behind only Cincinnati opponents. This gives opposing offenses a huge boost in fantasy because so much of fantasy value is tied to volume. This is great news for a guy like Palmer who is already throwing the ball more than 37 times a game on average.
Palmer is the 13th-most expensive option on the board and has a rare combination of a high floor and high upside this week given the matchup. The Cardinals' quarterback makes a spectacular start this week and comes at an extremely reasonable price.
Although Demarco Murray has unquestionably been the best running back in football through the first seven weeks of the season, Le'Veon Bell has made a strong case as the second best. Bell has rushed for the third-most yards (599), has amassed the fifth-highest yards per carry average (5.1) and ranks second in the league in yards from scrimmage (938). The Steelers' running back has accumulated more than 100 yards from scrimmage in every game this season and is averaging more than five receptions per game. Bell and Antonio Brown have been the only consistent players on the Steelers' offense and have accounted for virtually all of the team's production this season.
The Steelers running back comes into this week's matchup with the Colts on the heels of his second-best fantasy performance of the season. The sophomore stud gashed Houston for 145 yards from scrimmage, adding 8 receptions and a receiving touchdown, netting 24.5 fantasy points. Although Indianapolis is allowing just the 15th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, they rank 25th in the league against the run according to numberFire metrics. Bell makes an excellent play this week in all formats.
Our algorithms took a very different approach to the second running back spot, recommending Bills' running back Anthony Dixon. Dixon should see a serious increase in touches this week after Buffalo lost both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller to injuries last week. Dixon has been impressive in a limited role so far this season, averaging 5.1 yards per carry in 27 attempts. Although he will certainly be splitting carries with former Eagles' running back Bryce Brown, Dixon should open this week's game against the Jets as the Bills' starting running back and will likely see a heavy workload.
While a matchup with the Jets' rush defense does not seem ideal on paper, they have actually been struggling as of late. Last week, Shane Vereen torched them for 114 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. The week before, Ronnie Hillman rushed for 100 yards while adding 3 catches for 16, and three weeks ago Branden Oliver gashed New York for 114 yards on the ground, 68 yards through the air and 2 total touchdowns. I don't necessarily expect that kind of production out of Dixon, but at just $57,800 he makes a strong value play.
At wide receiver, our algorithms love Andre Johnson this week. Johnson has caught at least four balls in every game this season and has eclipsed 50 yards in all but one. The Texans' veteran receiver has scored at least eight fantasy points in all but one game this season and has already posted double-digit points four times this season.
Johnson's high floor makes him a viable option pretty much every week, but this week he makes a particularly good play. Houston has been calling more plays for Johnson down the field as of late and have been targeting him in the red zone more frequently as well. He also gets a matchup with a Titans secondary which has allowed the 13th-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and has given up the 8th-most passing yards on the season. Look for the Texans' receiver to post another double digit fantasy week this week.
Much like Dixon, our algorithms like a very inexpensive Bills' player at the tight end position as well. After a slow start to the season, Scott Chandler has really started to come on strong in recent weeks. Chandler, who was targeted just a combined three times in the Bills' first two games, has now seen 31 targets over his last five games. Over that span, he's seen at least five targets in each game and has converted those targets into 21 catches.
The biggest reason why Chandler hasn't had significant fantasy value so far this season is his lack of touchdowns - he's caught 14 touchdowns over the past three seasons, but has yet to catch a touchdown pass this season. Fortunately for Chandler, a matchup with the Jets' this week might just be the perfect remedy for this problem.
The Jets have struggled against the pass all season long. New York ranks 20th against the pass according to our metrics, have given up the 21st-most passing yards in the NFL and, most importantly, have allowed a league leading 18 touchdown passes this season. Of those 18 touchdowns, 7 have been to the tight end. In fact, the Jets have allowed opposing tight ends to catch a touchdown in four of their past five games, including three multi-touchdown games. Chandler makes an outstanding value play with huge upside this week.