No matter how you did in Week 8, that all gets erased as of today. We start to prepare for Week 8, and I have you covered from top to bottom. Let’s get right to all the information and get you ready to build those lineups. As always, you can get me on the ol’ Twitter machine @SBuchanan24.
The Vegas Lines
Highest Scoring Games
Below are the three highest scoring projected games and individual teams based on Vegas Lines.
1) Washington Redskins at New England Patriots
Over/Under: 52.5 points
Line: New England -14
My goodness. This could be the highest line I’ve seen all season. The Patriots are the HUGE favorite against the Redskins at home this week. Defensively, the Redskins aren’t horrible against any particular position, except wide receivers. Even those, they certainly aren’t one of the worst. Against wide receivers, the Redskins have allowed ten touchdowns, 1133 yards, and a 60% completion rate. Again, it’s not horrible, but it certainly isn’t a Denver Broncos-type defense. The problem for the Redskins is certainly going to be Tom Brady. Say what you want about him, but he’s been a monster this entire season. Coming into week nine, Brady has scored at least 25 points per game and averaging 29.1 per start. As the most expensive quarterback on the week, he certainly has the numbers to back that up. With the Patriots penciled in as such heavy favorites, you certainly need to look at getting some exposure to this game. I certainly wouldn’t discount looking at the Redskins either, as they certainly will be playing catch up in this one. Their group of wide receivers will certainly get some volume this week.
2) Chicago Bears at San Diego Chargers
Over/Under: 49.5 points
Line: San Diego -4
Oh, what could have been. Key injuries on both sides have made this once explosive come down a few notches. With how their defenses set up, this was going to be a huge spot for Matt Forte and Keenan Allen. Both players will be out this week, so now we’ll have to rely on the second and third string guys to gut it through this one. Regardless, Vegas has this game set for the second highest scoring game. The obvious attraction here is how badly the Chargers defend against the run, and the Bears against wide receivers. Jeremey Langford is set to be the starting back for the Bears against a Chargers team that has now allowed over 100 rushing yards in six straight games. The rookie rushed for 46 yards on 12 attempts last week against Minnesota after Forte went down with his knee injury. Langford has to have some appeal here, as his 4,000 price tag in a matchup like this looks like some serious value.
As for the Chargers, they’ll have to rely on the likes of Stevie Johnson and Malcom Floyd in this one. Antonio Gates was back in action in week eight. However, the Bears defend the tight end position well, as they’ve allowed the least amount of yards in the league with 230. With Floyd and Johnson both checking in under $4,000 this week, they certainly deserve a look as potential steals in this matchup. What makes things a bit tougher for us, is that this game falls on Monday night, so the decisions on this game will be tough nonetheless. If anything, both teams have matchups they can exploit, but they’ll be doing it with their “B” team.
3) Oakland Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers
Over/Under: 48 Points
Line: Pittsburgh -4.5
The Raiders are not a team that you look at and say “automatic win” anymore. With Derek Carr and company coming to Pittsburgh, they have a decent matchup ahead of them. The Steelers defense has had their fair share of good games this season. Four out of their eight games has seen their D score double-digit points this season. They’ve allowed 12 passing touchdowns in the season but a hefty amount of yards at 2277. Those yards rank as the sixth most in the league. Why I think this is important, is because Carr has been throwing well lately and with the Steelers projected as the favorites in this one, could be playing from behind. In his last two games, Carr has thrown for 289 and 333 yards against the Chargers and Jets. In those games, he threw seven touchdowns without throwing a pick. For someone that is going to run you for only $5500, he’s awfully enticing. Overall, I think we have some great options to choose from in this one, but I like the Oakland side for this game.
Lowest Scoring Games
Below is the lowest scoring projected game and individual teams based on Vegas Lines.
1) St. Louis Rams at Minnesota Vikings
Line: St. Louis -2 .5
The Rams love being in the lowest projected game in this one. As I’ve said in weeks prior, I usually stay away from the lowest projected games, unless I’m shooting for a team’s defense. Of course, the hot defense to play lately has been the Rams. They enter week nine as the highest priced defense of the week at $3500. They certainly deserve the high price tag, as they’ve scored 37 points in the last two weeks. To be fair, the Minnesota defense has been consistent all season. They’ve averaging 8.4 points per week, which seems to be their lucky number. Four times this season they’ve scored those eights points with the lowest being six. They haven’t allowed more than 23 points in a single game this season and have registered at least a sack a game. I don’t see a lot of appeal here except theses defenses. This should be a low-scoring, close game, so choose wisely here.
Defense vs. Position Matchup Breakdown
Worst DvP Matchups – Quarterbacks
1) Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts – The Broncos remain undefeated, and a huge part of their success is their defense. Against the quarterback position, they remain the toughest in the league. The Broncos remain tied with the St. Louis Rams as the only two teams to allow just five passing touchdowns in the season. The Broncos are tied with the Packers for the fourth most interceptions with nine. Finally, the Broncos have allowed the least amount of passing yards in the league at 1398 with a 63% completion rate.
2) St. Louis Rams vs. Minnesota Vikings – The Rams has been such a popular defense to play the past few weeks and for good reason. As I just mentioned, they’re tied with the Broncos for the least amount of passing touchdowns allowed in the league. However, they’ve only nabbed five interceptions, which is on the lower end of the league. The Rams have given up 1736 yards on a 70% completion rate.
3) Carolina Panthers vs. Green Bay Packers – The Packers are certainly in a tough stretch here, as they have back to back weeks against tough defenses. The Panthers have allowed seven passing touchdowns while nabbing 12 interceptions, which is the second most in the league. The Panthers have allowed 1701 yards through the air with a 57% completion rate.
Best DvP Matchups – Quarterbacks
1) New Orleans Saints vs. Tennessee Titans – After weeks of being at the top of this section, the Baltimore Ravens have been dethroned! They certainly had some help after the Saints gave up 49 points on Sunday in what was a wild affair against the New York Giants. On the season, the Saints have allowed 20 passing touchdowns, which leads the league by three. The Saints have only been able to grab four interceptions, which is the tied with five other teams as the second least amount in the league. The 2386 yards are ranked the third most on a 64% completion rate.
2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New York Giants – The second worst team would normally belong to the Ravens, but a bye week slots the Buccaneers into that spot for week nine. The 17 passing touchdowns are tied for the second most in the league with the Giants, and they are one of the five teams that are tied with only four interceptions on the season. The Bucs have allowed 1833 yards on a 70% completion rate.
3) New York Giants vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Detroit Lions are on a bye this week, so the New York Giants are next in line. Coming off a game where they allowed 51 points to the Saints will certainly take a hit to your defensive numbers. The Giants are tied with the Bucs, allowing the second most passing touchdowns in the league at 17. On the flipside, the Giants are tied for the most interceptions in the league with 13. The Giants have now allowed the most passing yards in the league with 2583 with a 68% completion rate.
Worst DvP Matchups – Running Backs
1) New York Jets vs. Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jets remain the best team against the run as we head into week nine. The Jets are one of three teams that have allowed only a single rushing touchdown on the season. The Jets have given up 418 rushing yards, which is the least amount in the league by 113 yards. Quite a healthy margin between themselves and the Oakland Raiders.
2) Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Oakland Raiders – The Seattle Seahawks are on a bye this week, so the Steelers slide on into the number two spot this week. The Steelers are one of those three teams that have only allowed a single rushing touchdown this season. The Steelers have allowed 662 yards on 172 attempts.
3) Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys – And finally, the third team that has only allowed one rushing touchdown on the season is the Eagles. They’ve allowed 655 yards on 172 attempts. At least this Eagles team can do something right this season.
Best DvP Matchups – Running Backs
1) San Diego Chargers vs. Chicago Bears – This is truly a shame, as this would have been an incredible spot for Matt Forte this week. Even though he hasn’t officially been ruled out, it looks awful bleak for him. The Chargers have allowed seven rushing touchdowns the season along with three on the receiving end for running backs. The 930 yards allowed is the second most in the league on 180 attempts.
2) Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals -If you like to pick up some rushing yards, the Browns are certainly the team you want to play. The Browns lead the league with their 1139 rushing yards allowed, which is 209 more than the Chargers. Yikes. The Browns have allowed six rushing touchdowns this season.
3) San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons – If you’re looking for an elite running back to start this week, look no further than Devonta Freeman against the 49ers. In a spot normally held by the Lions, the 49ers slide up to the third worst team against the run. The 49ers have allowed eight rushing touchdowns this season, which is the fourth-most in the league. They also own the fourth most rushing yards allowed with 883 on 205 attempts.
Worst DvP Matchups – Wide Receivers
1) Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts -The Seahawks remain the best team against wideouts, so the Broncos slide into the number one spot this week. The Broncos and Seahawks remain the only two teams to have allowed just one touchdown to wide receivers this season. They’ve given up the least amount of yards with 780 with a 58% completion rate.
2) Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers – So the 49ers can’t stop the run and have an incredibly tough matchup through the air. Sounds promising! The Falcons have allowed three touchdowns through the air while holding opposing wide receivers 1062 yards with a 56% completion rate.
3) St. Louis Rams vs. Minnesota Vikings – The Rams are in good company against wide receivers. They’re tied with the Falcons and Raiders for only giving up three touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, which is the second least amount in the league. Even though they’re allowing a 70% completion rate, they’ve kept the yards way down at 982.
Best DvP Matchups – Wide Receivers
1) San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons – With the Kansas City Chiefs and Ravens on a bye this week, the 49ers slide on up to the worst against wide receivers this week! Facing the Atlanta Falcons could be a nightmare for this 49ers defense. They’ve allowed nine touchdowns to opposing wide receivers and 1563 yards, which is the third most in the league. The 62% completion rate certainly doesn’t help much either.
2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New York Giants – Another huge spot for an elite wide receiver this week in Odell Beckham Jr. Coming off a huge performance last week that saw him grab three touchdowns, he gets a Bucs defense that is extremely flimsy. The Bucs have allowed 11 touchdowns, which is fourth most in the league. They’ve given up 1296 yards on an absurd 71% completion rate.
3) New Orleans Saints vs. Tennessee Titans – A big reason the Saints have jumped so high is because of Beckham Jr. The Saints have now given up 13 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers, which is tied for the second-most in the league. They’ve allowed 1382 yards on a 57% completion rate.
Worst DvP Matchups – Tight Ends
1) Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys – This was supposed to be the time the Kanas City Chiefs would shine. They’re the top against tight ends, but alas, they’re on a bye. So, the Eagles come to the top spot against tight ends for week nine. They’ve only allowed one touchdown to opposing tight ends, which is tied with five teams for second, as the Bengals have yet to allow one. The Eagles have allowed 316 yards on a 70% completion rate.
2) Chicago Bears vs. San Diego Chargers – We have three teams in the top five against tight ends on bye this week, so the Bears move into the second spot. The Chargers thrive in the tight end position, so this could be a tough spot for them, especially with a number of injuries they’re dealing with right now. The Bears have allowed two touchdowns to the tight end position. The 230 yards allowed are the least amount in the league on a 69% completion rate.
3) New England Patriots vs. Washington Redskins – Again, another spot where a team has a lot of success at the tight end position with the Redskins. The Patriots have allowed two touchdowns at that position. They’ve allowed 287 yards, which is the third least amount in the league with a 61% completion rate.
Best DvP Matchups – Tight Ends
1) Oakland Raiders vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – No surprises here, as the Raiders continue to get buried by opposing tight ends. They lead the league in touchdowns allowed with eight, which is two more than the Steelers who are in second. The Raiders have allowed 446 yards on a 60% completion rate.
2) New York Giants vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – As you go through this article, you might find yourself saying, “Boy, this Giants defense isn’t that good, huh?” The short answer is, hell no. The Giants can’t seem to contain the tight end position, as they’ve allowed five touchdowns. The Giants have given up 684 yards to tight ends, which leads the league, with a 71% completion rate.
3) Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Oakland Raiders – This game is apparently one to love tight ends. The Raiders and the Steelers just can’t seem to stop this position. The Steelers have allowed the second most touchdowns with six, to go along with the 526 yards and 64% completion rate.
Last Week’s Target Leaders
Last Three Week’s Target Leaders
Lineup Quick Hits
One Quarterback You Should Build Lineups Around…
Eli Manning ($6,900) – This is going to be a tough week all around to make lineups. With a number of injuries, byes, and tough matchups for elite players, you have to dig a bit deeper in week nine. So, with that being said, I turn to Manning for this week. Even without his monster game in week eight, I think I’d still feel the same about Manning in this spot. Facing the Bucs, Manning has an enormous opportunity to capitalize on a defense that looks like it’s in shambles. This Buccaneers has given up 20+ points five times this season in seven games. Four of those games were over 30 points. They have no answer to opposing quarterbacks or wide receivers, as they’ve allowed 17 passing touchdowns on the year. With Manning looking great in week eight and Odell Beckham Jr looking fully healthy, this is certainly a handcuff I’ll be all over in week nine. Speaking of Beckham….
And the Wide Receiver You Should Pair Him With…
Odell Beckham Jr. ($8,800) – He’s the second most expensive wide receiver on the week to only Julio Jones. Beckham proved in week eight that he’s fully healthy in back to his old ways. Against the Saints, Beckham caught 8/9 targets for 130 yards and three touchdowns. He’s primed for another huge week with against the Bucs that have allowed 11 touchdowns to wide receivers with a 71% completion rate. The Manning Beckham tandem will cost you a bit, running you for $15,700, however, with the amount of injuries sustained in week eight, you should have plenty of cap space to use on some of the players that will have to set up this week. It would be extreme to predict another three touchdown performance by Beckham, but I can’t say it’s not in the back of my mind.
The Highest Scoring Running Back This Week Will Be…
Devonta Freeman ($8,000) – Bounce Back City alert! After two less than stellar performance from Freeman, he’s in a huge spot against the 49ers “defense.” Over the past two weeks, Freeman has been stuck in a touchdown “drought” so to speak, as he’s been held scoreless. Just goes to show how spoiled we were during week’s three through six. To be fair, Freeman didn’t exactly have ideal matchups against Tampa Bay and Tennessee. Both teams are decent against the run and were able to hold Freeman in check. When I mean in check, I mean under 20 points. With the Falcons in a good spot against the 49ers, Freeman should be able to go off on a team that has allowed eight rushing touchdowns on 883 yards, the fourth most in the league. Again, he’s expensive, but we have so many value players this week that I think you should be able to make it work.
The Biggest Bust of the Week Will Be…
T.Y. Hilton ($6,900) – Normally, $6,900 for Hilton doesn’t sound too shabby. He’s finally starting to find the end zone with three touchdowns in his last three games and finally topped over 100 yards a week ago. However, if week eight were any indication, this could be another bust for Hilton. Last week against Carolina, Hilton had seven targets and caught only one for 15 yards. A whopping 2.5 points for week eight. If that wasn’t bad enough, now he comes into week nine facing the stone wall defense of Denver. The Broncos are suffocating wide receivers this season; they’ve allowed 780 yards, the least in the league, and only one touchdown. With the status of Andrew Luck all over the place, I wouldn’t roster Hilton if he was free.