Week 8 was another fun-filled Sunday afternoon of fantasy football action, especially if you were in on some of the top performers. Some Week 8 stars were expected to go off, like James Conner ($7,500), Mike Evans ($7,800) and Patrick Mahomes ($7,000). However, there were also some surprises on the leaderboard. As you prepare for November fantasy football starting next week, here’s my take on whether Week 8’s rising stars are here to stay or just one-week wonders.
WR Sammy Watkins, KC vs. DEN, $4,600 — 33.7 DKFPWhile Mahomes kept right on producing, there was a slight change in his targets with more looks going to Sammy Watkins, who finally broke through with the kind of huge game the Chiefs envisioned when they acquired him from the Rams this offseason. He was targeted nine times, more than any other WR for Kansas City and hauled in eight catches for 107 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Watkins has been targeted at least seven times in five of his past seven contests and proved this week he still has big-play ability along with value in the red zone. Watkins and the Chiefs take on the Browns and Cardinals the next two weeks before a Nov. 19 showdown with the Rams. Watkins will be a great option in those matchups, especially if Tyreek Hill ($8,600) is limited or out with a groin injury he sustained against Denver. The severity of Hill’s injury is still unclear, but if he misses any time, Watkins will be a great play. Even if Hill plays, Watkins is involved enough to offer plenty of upside in the Chiefs’ dynamic offense.
Verdict: Ride (especially if Hill is out)
WR Marvin Jones Jr., DET vs. SEA, $4,800 — 33.7 DKFPThe Lions fell behind the Seahawks early and Matthew Stafford ($5,600) had to attempt 40 passes after throwing just 22 passes last week. Due to the increased volume, Jones had by far his best week of the season. He hadn’t been able to reach 70 yards or 20 DKFP in any game this season, but he exploded for 117 yards and two touchdowns, catching 7-0f-10 targets.
Jones still didn’t lead the team in targets since Golden Tate ($4,800) was targeted 12 times, but he only had seven catches for 50 yards. Jones workload mostly came at the expense of Kenny Golladay ($5,700), who caught his only target for 12 yards. Golladay was having a legitimate breakout season before a couple of quiet weeks, and he will likely bounce back in the coming weeks. Jones definitely has upside as the Lions visit the Vikings and Bears the next two weeks, but he’ll be a high-risk option since he probably will have a smaller target share and fewer touchdowns.
RB Adrian Peterson, WAS at NYG, $4,900 — 30.6 DKFPEven though Chris Thompson ($5,500) was active, Peterson carried most of the load for the Redskins with the team was playing from ahead in MetLife Stadium against the Giants. Peterson had a vintage breakaway touchdown and finished with 149 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. He also converted his only target into a seven-yard touchdown reception. The Redskins improved to 5-2 and are firmly in control of the NFC East.
Peterson has become a focal point of the Washington offense, and he has gotten at least 17 carries in four of his past five weeks, with the only exception the game in which he was injured against the Saints. He has been held under 12 DKFP in each of the past three weeks, though, since he hadn’t been able to find the end zone since Week 3. The next two weeks, the Redskins take on the Falcons and Buccaneers. Since both of those teams are typically beatable through the air, Peterson could fade a bit if Thompson is healthy. He remains too touchdown-dependent and uninvolved in the passing game to be a weekly play despite this vintage performance.
QB Cam Newton, CAR vs. BAL, $5,800 — 27.96 DKFPOn the main slate, Newton finished as the second-highest scoring QB behind only Mahomes. Newton was in a seemingly tough matchup against the Ravens, but he and the Panthers played very well at home in their 36-21 win. Newton completed 21-of-29 passes for 219 yards and a pair of touchdowns and added 51 yards and another touchdown on the ground. He avoided turnovers and led the Panthers to a big win.
Newton has at least 24 DKFP in five of his past six games and is averaging 25.1 DKFP per game this season. He has multiple passing touchdowns in every game since Week 1 and is always a threat to add extra production on the ground as well. The next two weeks, the Panthers have outstanding matchups against the Bucs and Steelers, so look for Newton to remain one of the best plays at QB.
RB Chris Carson, SEA at DET, $4,300 — 23.4 DKFPCarson ran for over 100 yards for the third time in his past four games and matched his season-high 23.4 DKFP from Week 3 against the Cowboys. Carson has found the end zone just twice this season, but he is emerging as the lead back as Mike Davis ($3,600), C.J. Prosise ($3,000) and Rashaad Penny ($3,900) play much smaller roles. Carson looked very strong against the Lions, breaking multiple arm tackles and adding a couple of catches for 19 yards in addition to his 105 yards on 25 carries.
If he continues to get most of the work in the backfield, Carson should start to find the end zone more. Seattle likes to build their offense around a strong, physical running game, and Carson gives them the closest thing they’ve had to Beast Mode since Marshawn Lynch retired. The next two weeks, the Seahawks play the two teams from L.A. The Chargers rank in the middle of the pack against the run while the Rams are a pretty good matchup. Carson should continue to provide good value in his growing role
TE Jack Doyle, IND at OAK, $4,400 — 19.0 DKFPDoyle and Marlon Mack ($5,400) powered the Colts to a road win in Oakland over the hapless Raiders. Doyle was the second-highest scoring TE behind only Travis Kelce ($6,800) who had 19.9 DKFP. Doyle got off to a slow start but was targeted often late in the game. He caught 6-of-7 targets for 70 yards and a touchdown in his first action since Week 2 and led the team in receiving yards and tied for the team lead in targets.
Andrew Luck ($6,300) threw three touchdowns in the Colts’ win and all three went to tight ends. Doyle, Eric Ebron ($4,900) and Mo Alie-Cox ($2,500) also had scores, but Doyle was clearly one of Luck’s go-to options. It’s impossible to play Doyle next week because the Colts are headed into their bye, but when he comes back he will be that much healthier and ready to shine. The Colts next three games are all at home as they host the Jaguars, Titans and Dolphins. Doyle should be a top-10 TE in each of those matchups although his ceiling is a bit limited since Luck does spread his targets around
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