Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Russell Gage could serve as a flex play for your team in Week 8. Gage has now posted decent numbers the past two games after going through a three-game slump. The WR had six receptions for 54 yards on seven targets last week. He's someone you can insert this week if you have injuries or a bye but it's important to keep in mind that the Panthers allow the fifth-fewest fantasy points to WRs and Gage can just as easily have an off-night as he can a productive night.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley is a WR1 for Thursday night's clash with the division-rival Panthers. Ridley posted five receptions for 69 yards and a score on seven targets last week, which is low by his standards. Although the wide receiver has cooled off a bit since going over 100 yards in four of the first five games, the volume and his large role in this offense still make him a valuable starter this week against a very beatable Carolina secondary.
Carolina Panthers tight end Ian Thomas faces the Atlanta Falcons in Week 8. The matchup has been great for opposing tight ends, as Atlanta has surrendered the most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. However, Thomas has just 50 receiving yards on the season and only three targets in his last three contests combined. It is very tempting to play any tight end against the Falcons Defense, but Thomas is just too risky to trust right now. He could potentially exploit this matchup, but it's best to let it happen on benches or the waiver wire.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is a WR1 this Thursday against Carolina. Jones has seen his usual targets and has posted his usual numbers the past two weeks after coming back from an injury. Last week, the WR had eight receptions for 97 yards on nine targets. Though the Panthers allow the fifth-fewest points to fantasy WRs, Jones' elite talent and large role in this offense still merit him as a starter.
Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley II is a low-end RB1 against a Carolina team allowing the fourth-most points to fantasy RBs. Gurley has seen at least 14 carries and 47 rushing yards in all seven games and has gotten over 55 rushing yards in six of seven games. Last time these two teams played, the RB rushed for a season-high 121 yards and is in a solid spot to deliver some great numbers again due to his volume.
Los Angeles Rams tight end Gerald Everett was the team's lead option during Week 7 and he had a solid outing. However, in Week 8, things could get really messy against the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are currently the second-best team against the tight end position and they're allowing just 4.2 fantasy points per game to tight ends. If teammate Tyler Higbee (hand) were to miss another game, Everett would see his stock go up as a streaming tight end. Currently, he figures to be in the low-end TE2 conversation, but he has upside in this talented offense if he can find the end zone.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel isn't the strongest start in Week 8 despite a great matchup against the Falcons. Atlanta's defense has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers, though Samuel is a clear third fiddle to fellow wideouts Robby Anderson and D.J. Moore. On the positive side, he has seen 11 targets over the past two games, so he's not the worst play if you find yourself in a bind. Beware, though, as he's exceeded 50 receiving yards just once this season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said that wide receiver Antonio Brown "looked fantastic" in his first workout with the team on Wednesday. Brown will be eligible to make his season debut in Week 9 against the Saints after serving an eight-game suspension for multiple violations of the NFL's personal-conduct policy. He was only allowed to work with the strength and conditioning staff and attend meetings. "It went real well. He and I had a good conversation this morning," Arians said. "He'll be ready to go next week and in good shape." Arians coached Brown back with the Steelers, and the two didn't always see eye-to-eye. The 32-year-old former All-Pro could have a significant role right away if Chris Godwin (finger) remains out next week, and Brown displayed great chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady last year in his one game with the Patriots. It remains to be seen what Brown's immediate role will be, but the upside makes him absolutely worth rostering in all fantasy leagues.
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is a low-end QB1 on Thursday against the Panthers. Ryan posted 338 yards and a touchdown in last week's loss to the Lions and has tossed for over 300 yards in the past two games. Though the Panthers allow the fifth-fewest fantasy points to QBs, Atlanta's effectiveness on offense is enough to keep Ryan in the low-end QB1 tier.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods had a terrible matchup in Week 7, and things don't get much easier in Week 8. The Miami Dolphins feature two outstanding starting cornerbacks in Byron Jones and Xavien Howard, and Woods is expected to see Howard for the majority of his snaps. Howard is currently the ninth-best corner in football, per Pro Football Focus. Woods gets involved in the offense in a variety of ways, but the Rams also have enough pieces that they don't have to force-feed him the ball. He's likely a flex option for this week with WR2 upside if he can find his way into the end zone.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said that wide receiver Chris Godwin (finger) could be back in Week 9, but the team still doesn't know when he'll return. "I think it's very optimistic that he'll be back in a week, but it could be possible. We don't know, really, how long. Again, that's why we have the insurance policy," Arians said. Godwin will not play against the Giants this weekend after having surgery on his finger, but if he can't make it back next week, the Bucs will have Antonio Brown making his team debut against the Saints. Godwin has missed three different games with different injuries this year, and his rest-of-season outlook got a lot cloudier when the team inked Brown. Both Mike Evans and Scotty Miller should see plenty of targets with Godwin out against New York this Monday night.
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp has had a couple of quiet games the last couple of weeks, but he has a juicy matchup in Week 8 against the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are in the middle of the pack, allowing 23.0 fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts, but their biggest weakness is in the slot where Kupp lines up. Cornerback Nik Needham has graded out as No. 107 out of 118 cornerbacks this season, per Pro Football Focus. Kupp takes the majority of his snaps there and he has a significant advantage in that matchup. He still leads the team in targets and he averages over five receptions per game. If he can get into the end zone, this could even be a WR1 week for him.
Los Angeles Rams running back Malcolm Brown isn't a great fantasy option, but he's clearly a flex option in most weeks in deeper leagues, especially in Week 8 against the Miami Dolphins. He leads the team in running back snaps this season and he's been getting a lot of the goal-line work. With four teams on bye this week, a running back that sees red-zone work can be good enough to get into your flex spot, especially in standard-scoring formats. The Dolphins have allowed six rushing touchdowns this season and they've given up a receiving touchdown to running backs as well. Brown isn't a perfect play this week, but there are worse options available in deeper leagues.
Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson needed some time to get his feet under him to start the year, but he's rolling heading into a Week 8 matchup with the Miami Dolphins. He's the RB21 on the year despite being a non-factor in two games this season, and he's averaging just over 12 point-per-reception points per game. Against the Miami Dolphins, he's facing a defensive unit that's allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to the running back position this season. It's clear that he's the lead option in this backfield and he's a safe RB2 play this week.
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff hasn't been perfect this season, but he's been a decent option as the overall QB14 through seven weeks. In Week 8, he's definitely not going to be near the top of the rankings against the Miami Dolphins. He has the full complement of his receiving weapons, but he's going against a defense that has dramatically improved from last year, especially on the defensive side of things. They're allowing just 16.8 fantasy points per game to the quarterback position, which puts them as the 10th-best unit in football in that statistic. With four teams on bye this week, you might not have a better option, but Goff slots in as a middle-tier QB2 this week.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (groin) expects to return to action in Week 8 against the Packers. Cook was injured in Week 5 and missed the Week 6 contest before the team's Week 7 bye. He was listed as a limited practice participant on Wednesday, which is a good sign, but his fantasy managers would like to see him get in a full practice either Thursday or Friday before they'll feel completely comfortable locking him into their lineups as a high-end RB1 this Sunday. The 25-year-old was leading the NFL in rushing yards before his groin injury and he rushed for 50 yards and two touchdowns in the season-opening loss to Green Bay. If he returns, Alexander Mattison will return to backup duties.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore has a great chance to stay hot against the Falcons Defense in Week 8. Oddly enough, Moore has compiled exactly 93 receiving yards in three consecutive games, finding the end zone three times in his last three contests. Through the first five weeks of the season, teammate Robby Anderson saw 46 targets to Moore's 37, as the former operated as the team's number-one option. In the last two weeks, Moore has seen 16 targets to Anderson's 13, leveling the playing field a bit. Both should be looked at in the WR2 range, though Moore's ability to make the big play this season gives him WR1 upside on Thursday night.
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Robby Anderson gets a juicy matchup against the Falcons in Week 8. Anderson torched their secondary in their first meeting back in Week 5, turning 12 targets into eight catches for 112 yards. The 27-year-old has taken a bit of a backseat to fellow wideout D.J. Moore the past couple of weeks, as Moore owns 16 targets to Anderson's 13. Still, Anderson is being targeted more as the receiver on the intermediate routes, which gives him a safer floor than Moore. Expect more targets to go Anderson's way in Week 8, giving him high-end WR2 value.
Carolina Panthers running back Mike Davis is in a great spot to redeem himself in Week 8 against the Falcons after last week's dud. Christian McCaffrey (ankle) is back practicing, though he is a long shot to play, particularly on a short week. That would leave Davis as the lead back for one more contest against a Falcons' defense that has allowed the 12th-most fantasy points to running backs. Oh, and Davis himself picked up 149 scrimmage yards and a touchdown against Atlanta in Week 5. Start the veteran back for one more week as a high-end RB1.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater gets a great matchup in Week 8 against the Falcons. Bridgewater had arguably his best game of the year against Atlanta back in Week 5, as it's the only game where he's thrown for at least 300 yards and multiple touchdown scores this season. The Falcons Defense has been the most giving unit in the league to opposing signal-callers, making Bridgewater a good bet for strong numbers on Thursday Night Football. Treat him as a back-end QB1 this week.
New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz is a solid play this week against a Bears team allowing the seventh-most points to fantasy kickers. Lutz has gone 11-for-11 in field goals and 21-for-21 in extra points this season, meaning he is one of the most reliable players at his position. The kicker is a great play this week.
The New Orleans Saints Defense is a streaming option this week against the Bears. This unit hasn't been consistent or potent at all this season, but the Bears do not have an explosive offense and have struggled to even put up points at times, as evidence of their losses to the Rams and Colts. Add in the fact that top WR Allen Robinson II is injured and Nick Foles could always have turnovers and you have a defense that is in the streaming tier this week.
New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook is a low-end TE1 this week against Chicago. Cook has been an integral part of this offense this season and with the WR unit banged up right now, he could see more targets this week. The TE has now scored a touchdown in the past two games as well. The Bears Defense, though stingy, has been middle-of-the-pack in covering tight ends, so Cook would be one of the best players to start from this Saints offense.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith is not an ideal play this week against a stingy Bears Defense that is allowing the third-fewest points to fantasy wideouts, but he could have a bigger workload if both Michael Thomas (ankle, hamstring) and Emmanuel Sanders miss another week. Smithhad four catches for 54 yards on four targets last week with both Thomas and Sanders sidelined. Nevertheless, the tough matchup and the fact that receivers such as Deonte Harris and Marquez Callaway are seeing more targets means that Smith is still a tough sell as a flex option.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas would be a solid play this week even against a tough Bears Defense due to his talent and predicted high volume in the passing game. Nevertheless, the WR is dealing with a hamstring and ankle injury and it's important to monitor his status heading into Sunday's clash to see if he will play.
New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara is an RB1 this week against a tough Bears Defense. Kamara posted 14 carries for 83 yards and eight catches for 65 yards last week, displaying his versatility and importance in both the rushing and passing game. The Bears present a tough matchup for RBs generally, but Kamara's volume should keep him as a strong play, and his value would only escalate if Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders don't suit up.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is not a strong option at QB in Week 8 against the Bears. Chicago allows the fewest fantasy points to QBs and Brees may be without Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders once again this week. Therefore, this week will pose a stiff challenge for Brees if he doesn't have a strong receiving corp against a top defense. If there are better options, it's best to go forth with them for this week.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (ankle, hamstring) did not take part in practice on Wednesday. Thomas tweaked his hamstring in practice last week and was unable to play, and he should be considered highly questionable to suit up in Week 8 against the Bears. The 27-year-old All-Pro wideout has been a huge bust for fantasy managers as the consensus top overall wideout heading into the 2020 season after his monstrous 2019 performance. With Emmanuel Sanders also questionable after being put on the COVID-19 list and missing last week, rookie Marquez Callaway and Tre'Quan Smith could once again have bigger roles in the offense alongside tight end Jared Cook, although Chicago's defense has been one of the stingiest in the NFL through seven weeks.
The Dallas Cowboys are expected to sign quarterback Cooper Rush to their practice squad once he passes COVID-19 protocols and a physical, which is likely to be next week, according to a source. With Dak Prescott (ankle) out for the season and Andy Dalton (concussion) looking doubtful to play in Week 8 against the Eagles, the Cowboys are desperate for some depth in the QB room. Rush was tendered as a restricted free agent by Dallas but was then cut when the team brought in Dalton. The Giants claimed rush off waivers but cut him this year. Rookie Ben DiNucci should get the start this Sunday if Dalton can't clear the concussion protocol, but the first-year signal-caller will be a poor low-end QB2 if he gets his first career start.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley is coming off his biggest performance of the season versus the New York Jets in Week 7. He hauled in 11 of his 12 targets for 112 yards in that one. Beasley has been a reliable PPR option all season long, so expect that trend to continue. The New England Patriots have a strong secondary, but nothing has been able to stop Beasley thus far. Fantasy owners in PPR leagues can continue plugging Beasley into their starting lineups.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver John Brown (knee) was able to return to practice on Wednesday. That is a good sign after Brown was unable to play during the Week 7 win over the New York Jets. It sounds like there is a chance that Brown returns here versus the New England Patriots. His return would mean Gabriel Davis wouldn't see as much time on the field. Sadly for Brown, the Pats have a top-10 secondary, so he won't be anything more than a low-end WR3.
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs has been a favorite target of quarterback Josh Allen all season long. He already has three performances with 10 targets or more in a single game. Sadly, Diggs hasn't been able to turn those targets into yards lately. He hasn't been able to hit the 50-yard mark in receiving over the last two games. It's unlikely that his luck changes with a top-10 pass defense in the New England Patriots on the horizon. Fantasy owners should be able to lean on Diggs as a low-end WR2 here.
The Minnesota Vikings placed rookie cornerback Cameron Dantzler on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday. The Vikings have not disclosed whether Dantzler tested positive himself or has been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person(s). Dantzler is probably a long shot to play in Week 8 against the division-rival Packers, and the rookie's absence would make it even tougher for Minnesota to slow down Aaron Rodgers and company in the passing game. Regardless of whether Dantzler is cleared this weekend, fantasy managers should be looking to avoid the Vikings Defense at all costs.
Buffalo Bills running back Zack Moss put together his best performance of the season against the New York Jets in Week 7. He rushed seven times for 47 yards and caught three passes in the backfield for 25 yards in the win. He'll continue to split up the carries with Devin Singletary going forward. However, Moss might actually have more value, assuming the Bills continue using him in the passing attack. Moss could hold some low-end PPR value against the New England Patriots this week. His value is dependent on how much they use him in the receiving game.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen has slowed down a bit after his monster beginning to the season. He completed 30 of 43 passing attempts for 307 yards and zero touchdowns with zero interceptions in the victory over the New York Jets in Week 7. It was a game where Allen was expected to have a huge fantasy game, but he was unable to get much done through the air. He salvaged his fantasy value with 11 carries for 61 yards on the ground. He'll get a chance to bounce back against the New England Patriots in Week 8. Fantasy owners should be able to lean on Allen as a QB1 here.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson will try and keep his hot streak going against the Packers in Week 8. The rookie receiver has exploded over the last month of play, averaging 116.75 yards per game over his last four games with three 100+ yard games and three touchdowns. The Vikings will face a Packers team that is allowing the 11th fewest fantasy points to wide receivers this season but the Vikings were able to move the ball against them in the air in Week 1. Jefferson is a must-start in Week 8 and will carry WR2 status with WR1 upside against the Packers.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen will try and burn the Packers one more time this season when the two teams lock horns in Week 8. Thielen caught six passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 against Green Bay. Thielen is averaging 81.6 receiving yards per game over his last three contests with four touchdowns and has seven scores on the season. The Vikings season is hanging by a thread and the Packers have an explosive offense. Thielen has a strong chance at WR1 numbers in fantasy in a must-win game for Minnesota in Week 8.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins will have his hands full against a talented Packers team in Week 8. Cousins passed for 343 yards with three touchdowns in Week 6 but three first-half interceptions doomed the Vikings in a 40-23 loss to the Falcons. The stat-line looks promising but those touchdowns all came with the team out of reach. Now the veteran passer will face a Packers Defense that is allowing the 12th fewest fantasy points to opposing passers and Cousins passed for 259 yard with two touchdowns against them in Week 1. Cousins has a decent chance at passing for multiple scores but the Vikings could be scoreboard chasing in this game. Cousins lacks top-12 fantasy appeal in Week 8.
Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (calf) did not join the team on the practice field Wednesday as they prepare for their matchup with the Vikings in Week 8. Jones is making progress, but head coach Matt LaFleur said that Jones needs to "continue to improve and get better each day" if the star runner wants to play this week. Jones totaled 76 all-purpose yards with one touchdown in Week 1 against the Vikings and is a must-start if he is active. Fantasy managers will have to monitor this situation all week, while backup Jamaal Williams will handle most of the touches in the backfield if Jones cannot suit up.
Green Bay Packers tight end Robert Tonyan will look to get back to producing on the field when the team takes on the Vikings in Week 8. Tonyan has posted only 57 receiving yards over his last two games after posting three touchdowns in Week 4. Tonyan and the Packers will face a Vikings Defense that has allowed only one touchdown to the position all season and the 16th fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Tonyan's fantasy value will be tied to touchdowns in Week 8 and may be best utilized in DFS lineups only against the Vikings.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams will try and replicate his monster Week 7 performance against the Vikings in Week 8. Adams exploded for 13 receptions with 196 yards and two touchdowns last week and now will face a Vikings Defense that is allowing the third most fantasy points to opposing receivers this season. Minnesota has allowed seven different receivers to post 90+ receiving yards against them and have surrendered 12 touchdowns to the position through six games. Seven different receivers have posted more than 15 fantasy points against the Vikings and Adams will have a chance at another enormous fantasy performance in Week 8.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will try and stay hot against a familiar foe, the Vikings, in Week 8. Rodgers is coming off a dynamite performance, passing for 283 yards and four touchdowns last week against the Texans. The veteran now has 17 touchdowns through his first six games and now will face a Vikings Defense that has allowed nine touchdown passes over their last three games. Minnesota is allowing the seventh most fantasy points to opposing passers and 300+ yards passing to three of their last four quarterbacks faced, Rodgers is ready to feast and should be considered a QB1 choice in Week 8.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller will face a Saints Defense in Week 8 that is allowing the 13th most fantasy points to receivers this season. Since Week 1, Miller is averaging a paltry 18.3 receiving yards a game despite coming down with two game-winning touchdowns this season. The Saints have allowed nine touchdowns to opposing receivers this season and the Bears could be without star receiver Allen Robinson II in the game due to a concussion. But neither of these developments bode well for Miller, who continues to disappoint in a struggling Bears offense. Miller is not worth the risk in Week 8.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney will have a favorable matchup in Week 8 against the Saints. The rookie is averaging 6.2 targets over his last five games and could see more opportunities if teammate Allen Robinson II misses the game with a concussion. Mooney also has been overthrown on multiple wide-open touchdowns the past few games and will face a Saints Defense that is allowing the 13th most fantasy points to opposing receivers. The Saints have allowed seven different receivers to post more than 60 receiving yards against them and have surrendered nine touchdowns to the position. Mooney will carry WR5/6 value in Week 8.
Chicago Bears tight end Jimmy Graham will be fired up to face his former team, the Saints, in Week 8. Graham isn't racking up tons of targets on a weekly basis but is still a legitimate red zone threat for a struggling Bears offense. The Saints have allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, including six touchdowns to the position through six games. Graham has at least 30 receiving yards in each of his last five games but also has four touchdowns on the season. The veteran tight end will, once again, be a touchdown-dependent option in Week 8.
Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery will try and get his season kick-started in Week 8 against the Saints. It has been a disappointing season to this point for Montgomery, who has 537 all-purpose yards and posting only 3.7 yards per carry. The Bears running game has gone off the rails since quarterback Nick Foles took over at quarterback and will face a Saints Defense that is allowing the eighth fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs. The Saints have not allowed a 100-yard rushing game to an individual runner this season and the Bears are dealing with multiple injuries on their offensive line. Montgomery's value will be no higher than RB3 status and will be best suited to PPR-leagues in Week 8.
Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said that wide receiver Allen Lazard (core) will return to practice this week. Lazard blew up for his fantasy managers in Week 3 against the Saints with six catches, 146 yards and a touchdown, but then he needed core muscle surgery. The 24-year-old has been out ever since, but it appears that he's nearing a return. Expecting him to be back on the field in Week 8 against the Vikings is probably premature, but Lazard could be back for his fantasy managers in Week 9, assuming he doesn't suffer any setbacks. Tight end Robert Tonyan has benefitted from Lazard's absence the most, but this passing offense continues to flow heavily through Davante Adams. However, Lazard needs to be owned everywhere and should be a WR3 with upside when he's fully healthy.
Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles will try and shake the team's offense out of a huge slump in Week 8 against the Saints. Foles has three touchdowns and four interceptions over his last three games, a span in which the Bears offense is averaging only 15 points a game. Things are not trending in the right direction for the Bears but Foles will face a vulnerable Saints Defense in Week 8. New Orleans is surrendering the sixth most fantasy points to opposing passers this season, including 17 touchdowns through six games. They have allowed multiple touchdowns to every quarterback they have faced and at least 19 fantasy points. That would be a strong starting point for Foles in Week 8 but is far too risky to deploy in single-quarterback leagues.
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said that wide receiver Sammy Watkins (hamstring) will not practice on Wednesday. Watkins has missed the last two games after getting injured in the Week 5 loss to the Raiders, and he looks likely to miss his third straight game this weekend against the winless Jets. Wideout Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce are must-starts each and every week, but Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman have had more boom/bust WR4/flex appeal in deeper leagues with Watkins sidelined. Robinson had five catches for 69 yards in Week 6 but fell back to Earth in Week 7 against Denver, catching his only target for just four yards.
Detroit Lions running back Adrian Peterson will face a Colts Defense in Week 8 that is allowing the fifth fewest fantasy points to the running back position this season. Peterson continues to sit atop the depth chart for the Lions but is losing touches to rookie D'Andre Swift by the week. Peterson has totaled only 105 rushing yards over his last three games and the Colts have not allowed more than 72 rushing yards to an individual runner all season. Peterson is worth a bench stash in deeper fantasy formats but Swift will carry the higher ceiling in fantasy for Week 8.