Thankfully, Week 8 in the NFL was much more typical for fantasy football than in recent weeks. We didn’t see any significant injuries or as many surprising performances. Up to this point, 2019 has been a roller coaster for fantasy performances, making it tough to have confidence in your lineups. A few mid-week trades made us wonder what some players’ roles would be for their new teams. With Sunday’s games still fresh in our minds, lets review Week 8 in the NFL.
Emmanuel Sanders shows promise with a new team
After a mid-week trade that sent wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders from the Denver Broncos to the undefeated San Francisco 49ers, people had questions for both sides. Who would step up for the Broncos for the lost targets? Can Sanders be productive in a run dominate offense? One of those questions was answered for fantasy football owners.
In their dominating win over Christian McCaffrey and the Carolina Panthers, Sanders was still very competent with his touches. Catching 4 of his 5 targets for 25 yards and a touchdown gives hope for good things to come as he gets more familiar with the playbook. The 49ers are still very much a run-first team with a solid 1-2 punch from Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida. Adding Sanders to pass-catchers like George Kittle and rookie Deebo Samuel, head coach Kyle Shanahan has several reliable options on offense to choose from. While no one will be the main focus any given week, the 49ers give a lot of startable options to choose from for fantasy football.
As for the Broncos, the jury is still out on who will step up. Courtland Sutton was quiet this game but will be the team’s WR1 moving forward, but after him is a mystery.
DaeSean Hamilton came into the season with hope but did absolutely nothing with this opportunity. Rookie TE Noah Fant led all pass catchers in targets and could see that trend continue if no one else is going to step up. Until we see something drastic change, it’s hard to want anything to do with the Broncos’ passing game for fantasy football. Joe Flacco’s neck injury also puts everything around this offense on pause.
David Montgomery looked good…finally
Head coach Matt Nagy had done his best this year not to let David Montgomery shine and be the running back we all wanted when we drafted him for fantasy football. Questionable play calling, giving Mike Davis the majority of snaps, allowing Mitch Trubisky to decide a game all have played into the slow start. Finally, in Week 8 we got to see what Montgomery can do when given a workload. With a season-best 24.70 fantasy points, hopefully, this is a springboard for more of the same moving forward. At the end of the season, when we review the performances of players, this very well might be the changing point we see.
Chase Edmonds is no longer a thing
Well, that was a fun ride while it lasted. After burning a majority of fantasy football owners last week who left him on their bench, he burned them again in their starting lineups. Going into a tough matchup against a solid New Orleans Saints’ run defense, Chase Edmonds was never going to duplicate the previous week’s result. However, he didn’t even come close in Week 8.
Yes, he did leave with a hamstring injury, but before that, he was doing very little on the field. Monday morning, the Arizona Cardinals made a trade with the Miami Dolphins for RB Kenyan Drake, making the waters even muddier for Edmonds’ future. So, how bad is David Johnson’s injury after all? Drake’s addition raises a lot of questions for Johnson, who was picked in the first round in 99% of fantasy football drafts. Matching up against the 49ers in two of the next three weeks makes anyone on the Cardinals untrustworthy for fantasy football purposes.
Latavius Murray deserves more touches when Kamara returns
Latavius Murray has shown that he can be an RB1 anytime he is on the field. Now with back-to-back weeks of 30+ fantasy points in Alvin Kamara’s absence, it’s hard to see the Saints putting him on the back burner again. We saw in previous years that the Saints offense could sustain two top-24 running backs for fantasy football. There’s nothing to say they can’t and shouldn’t do it for the remainder of the season as well.
Drew Brees made his return in Week 8 and didn’t miss a beat against the Cardinals’ weak pass defense. The Saints look to be contenders for the NFC, and their Week 14 matchup against the 49ers might very well be an NFC Championship preview. The Saints have a bye next week, giving head coach Sean Payton plenty of time to come up with a plan to use both of his running backs to their best abilities.
Quick Notes from Week 8:
- Cooper Kupp is a league winner. Consistently being drafted as the WR3 from the Los Angeles Rams, he is the WR2 overall for fantasy football. After a career-high 220 yard performance, Kupp single-handedly won matchups. Now with double-digit targets in five of his eight games, Kupp has a high chance to finish as the top wide receiver for the year.
- Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson are locked into the MVP race right now. While Wilson has had a running game to fall back on, Watson has been the entire offense for the Houston Texans so far.
- Austin Hooper might have been one of the best values in all of fantasy football at his ADP. In Week 8, he scored for the third straight game, this time from Matt Schaub, who was starting in place of Matt Ryan. Currently number one for his position, he is making fantasy owners who chose to avoid the top-3 and wait until later to draft him very happy.
- The debate between who is the true WR1 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t get any clearer as Mike Evans had a sensational game in Week 8; 11 catches for 198 yards and two touchdowns gave Evans his second 40+ fantasy point game of the season. If you have either one, start them. Jameis Winston can’t support both at the same time, but you can’t risk leaving a game like this on your bench.
- With Kerryon Johnson on IR, the Detriot Lions had to rely on Matthew Stafford, and he delivered in a three-touchdown performance. For as good as he was, Ty Johnson was awful. We cautioned against running out to spend all your FAAB on Johnson, but this was ugly.
- Tom Brady and the New England Patriots can apparently use their regular scheme in a hurricane. Week 8 in Foxborough had the worst weather forecast, and it didn’t slow them down at all in their Week 8 victory over the spiraling Cleveland Browns.
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Tommy Garrett is a writer for PFN covering Fantasy Football. You can follow him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.