Fantasy Football: 3 Things We Learned in Week 8

Rondale Moore's breakout for the Arizona Cardinals might finally be here. What else did we learn across the NFL this weekend?

Perhaps more than anything, fantasy football is a game of adjustments. Season-long fantasy doesn't end at the draft, and smart managers learn to take the trends and data that each week of games offers and apply it to their roster decisions moving forward.

This weekly piece will look at trends from the previous slate of games and determine which trends in snaps, usage, and matchups are actionable moving forward. Let's dive in and look at some interesting pieces of information from an exciting Week 8.

Justin Fields is Evolving

Lost in all of the points that frowned the Chicago Bears on Sunday was the fact that Justin Fields turned in yet another strong fantasy performance, and it is clear he is beginning to take the next steps to become an elite quarterback.

Fields' 30 fantasy points (in six-point touchdown formats) ranked third on the week behind only Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts and represented his third straight week with a top-10 finish at the position. In fact, in standard scoring, Fields ranks second in overall points since Week 5 and sixth in fantasy points per game. That's a stark contrast from Weeks 1 through 4 when Fields was all the way down at 31st in total points (41.5) and points per game (10.3).

As you might expect, much of the success of the past four weeks has come from Fields' rushing ability and open-field talent when he is running the ball. Fields' 43 rush attempts amongst quarterbacks over those four weeks only trail Lamar Jackson, and his four rushing touchdowns are also second in the league for quarterbacks in that span.

That's not all Fields is giving the managers that were patient with the first-round selection from 2021. Fields has attempted 130 passes in the last four weeks, which may rank near the bottom of the pack for all quarterbacks, but it's 31 more than he attempted in his first four games of the season. The Bears are slowly letting go of the reins on Fields, and it's paying off both through the air and on the ground.

As of this morning, he is only rostered in 41% of Yahoo fantasy leagues. Scoop him up.

Rondale Moore Isn't Going Anywhere

The first game Rondale Moore played this season across from Marquise Brown was abysmal.

Just three catches for 11 yards as he came back from injury had many managers panicking who were counting on Moore to take the next step in his sophomore season on a pass-heavy offense. His first game with DeAndre Hopkins (after Brown was injured) was also a disaster. After catching just 1 ball for 31 yards, it was a case of "here we go again."

With Hopkins back and drawing over 40% of the targets, Moore looked like he might be an afterthought again, but those two games are quickly starting to look like flukes this season for Moore. His other three games have resulted in 26 targets, 20 receptions, 209 yards, and a score. That's almost seven catches for 70 yards per game -- or a dream player in points-per-reception leagues who was probably available (and is still available) on many waiver wires.

Even with Hopkins seeing 47% and 32% of his team's targets in his first two games off suspension, Moore is showing he is still going to be a valuable fantasy asset. With Marquise Brown out of the picture, A.J. Green older than dust, and Greg Dortch still very raw, the slot position is Moore's, and it's a valuable piece of the Arizona offense.

The Cardinals attempt the third-most passes per game in the NFL this season (41.1), but they rank dead last in yards per completion on the year. That is because they target the shallow slot routes so often. Only Marquise Brown was an above-average downfield threat, and with him sidelined, it just means more passes underneath to guys like Moore.

Primarily because their defense has dug so many holes for the offense, the Cardinals are a top-12 pass rate team this season Their 62% passing rate is higher than Buffalo, Detroit, Green Bay, and a host of others. Add it all up, and Moore deserved to be on more than his current 36% of rosters -- especially in any kind of point-per-reception format.

Tyler Conklin Deserves to Be Rostered in Every League

Tyler Conklin will likely be a hot waiver wire pickup in advance of Week 9 after he lapped the tight-end field with 79 receiving yards and two touchdowns on an incredible 10 targets this Sunday.

As you might imagine, those 10 targets, 79 yards, and 2 touchdowns were all top-two numbers for any game of his 73-game career. But, instead of just seeing them as outliers, they look to be more of a pattern of how Zach Wilson and the New York Jets are managing their offense.

Conklin now has six games this year with five or more targets and is approaching a 19% target share on this team. He is now tied for fifth among all tight end targets, and only four other tight ends can claim at least six games with five targets: Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, Zach Ertz, and David Njoku. That is some very exclusive company to be in halfway through the season with a new team.

There was much debate in the offseason about which Jets' tight end would be the one to roster. They entered 2022 with all of Conklin, C.J. Uzomah, and Jeremy Ruckert on the roster, and the Jets' didn't figure to be a sublime aerial attack. However, Conklin has clearly separated himself from the pack and now sits sixth overall among tight ends in total fantasy points.

Every other tight end in the top 12 is well over 50% rostered as we exit Week 8. Conklin carries only a 12% roster percentage and has games left against Minnesota, Detroit, Jacksonville, and Chicago after his Week 10 bye. He should be on all rosters by this time next week.