Week eight’s late slate of games features the “usual” five games, what it is missing is some of the teams that usually play late. With Denver and San Diego having played Thursday, they are not options this week. Overall, this slate of games looks strong in quarterback options, weak in high-end running back options, looks about normal in terms of wide receivers and is lacking in elite tight ends. That is the general over-view, here are the players I like for the week:
Drew Brees, New Orleans, $8,100 – Brees and Aaron Rodgers are easily the best elite QB options in the late slate of games this week. I give the edge to Brees because he is $900 cheaper and because Rodgers averages over five fantasy points fewer per game on the road than at home so far in 2014. While Brees did get off to a slow start this season, he has had 24.2, 22.74 and 24.98 fantasy points his last three games and will be at home in a prime-time game this week. As good as the Packers defense has been playing lately, I cannot imagine the New Orleans/Green Bay game not ending up being a shoot-out.
Nick Foles, Philadelphia, $6,300 – Foles’ pricing reflects the fact that he has not been very good lately. His fantasy points totals the last three weeks – 5.9, 15.58 and 16.42 – reflect Foles’ struggles. Good thing he gets to play Arizona this week. Arizona still has major issues in their secondary. More of an issue for the Cardinals is they have managed only seven sacks this season. Like most quarterbacks, Foles is much better when he has time to throw, and quarterbacks do have time to throw against Arizona.
Andre Ellington, Arizona, $6,600 – I so much wanted to recommend DeMarco Murray this week, but Washington has been very tough against running backs. Philadelphia has not been all that tough against opposing running backs and Ellington has averaged 23.6 fantasy points per game in his last three games. Ellington is not priced among the elite RB, but could well give you elite production in week eight.
Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh, $6,300 – Despite scoring only two touchdowns all season, Bell has averaged 21.1 fantasy points per game this season, with his worst game being a solid 14.5 fantasy points. Bell’s matchup is not great, yet it is also not bad – Indianapolis has been average against opposing running backs. If you want a safe choice, with some upside at running back, Bell is your guy.
Eddie Lacy, Green Bay, $5,200 – Yes, Lacy does qualify as an economy running back since he costs less than the average roster spot on Draft Kings. Yes, Lacy is seeing James Starks get 8-10 carries per week too. But, Starks hurt his ankle last week. More importantly, the Saints defense has struggled against opposing running backs – they rank 23rd against the position. Sure, Lacy is a risk, but for $5,200, I think the risk is more than covered by Lacy’s price this week.
Darren McFadden, Oakland, $4,700 – So, doing something you hate doing because it is the correct thing to do builds character, right? I hope so, because I really do not like recommending McFadden. Perhaps I just hold a grudge from him burning so many fantasy owners so many times. But, he is starting for Oakland, he does have a decent matchup, he is facing a banged up defense and has averaged 12.5 fantasy points per game his last five contests. If you are looking for a running back for under $5,000 this week, McFadden is the way to go.
Jordy Nelson, Green Bay, $7,800 – I so wanted to go with Antonio Brown this week, but he just has too tough of a matchup. There is no such problem with Nelson; instead of facing the toughest defense against wide receivers – like Brown is – Nelson is up against the second worst D. Nelson is not only averaging 23.3 fantasy points per game this season, he also has topped ten points in every game, and has been nearly a good on the road – 23.2 points per game – as at home – 23.5 points per game. In what is likely to be a shoot-out, you should expect a nice game from Nelson.
Dez Bryant, Dallas, $6,900 – Bryant has topped 20 fantasy points in four of his last six games and is facing a team that has secondary issues this week. Not much else to say, Bryant is one of the most talented receivers in the league, has a pretty low price, and a favorable matchup. What is not to like?
Michael Floyd, Arizona, $4,900 – Floyd is not having monster yardage or reception games, but he does keep producing thanks to his touchdowns. While Floyd is not likely to score a TD every week, it is also very unlikely that he only catches three or four passes for 47 yards each week. Philadelphia has issues against opposing wide receivers and Carson Palmer is very capable of carving up a weak Philadelphia pass defense.
Davante Adams, Green Bay, $3,500 – Only one team has been worse against opposing wide receivers than New Orleans has been this season. Sure, many of the points that the Saints give up will go to Jordy Nelson and Randle Cobb this week, but I expect a high scoring game with plenty of targets for all of the Green Bay receivers. Adams is a nice upside pick for $3,500.
Middle Priced Tight End
Jordan Cameron, Cleveland, $3,700 – There are no stud tight ends in the late games in week eight, so we will have to go with a middle-priced option instead of a stud. Honestly, it is tough to recommend a guy who managed only one reception for five yards against Jacksonville. But, as the saying goes, “no guts, no glory”. Cameron is my contrary pick of the week. He is coming off a bad game, he is facing an opponent that has been above average against tight ends, yet I still like him. Despite the poor game in week eight, Cameron was targeted six times. I also do not buy the Oakland defense being above average at anything.
Bargain Tight End
Coby Fleener, Indianapolis, $3,400 – It is tough to trust either of the Colts tight ends while both are healthy. Of the two, I like Fleener more because I am cheap and he is the cheaper of the two. It does not hurt that Fleener is facing the Steelers who ranks 28th against tight ends this season. Fleener is not a sure thing, but for $3400 he is a nice option this week.
Indianapolis, $3,400 – This just in, the Steelers offense is not all that good. Yes, they do have a couple of fantasy studs in Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, but their offense in general has been below average and has had major red-zone issues. While you might not think much of the Colts defense, they have averaged 11.75 fantasy points per game the last three weeks making them a nice investment for $3,400.
Cleveland, $2,700 – Sure, Cleveland lost to Jacksonville last week, but their D/ST did manage eight fantasy points in the loss. This week, they draw Oakland which only managed 13 points and 220 total yards against Arizona in week eight. If you are looking to save money to spend elsewhere, Cleveland is the D/ST for you.
Good luck to you this week; you can catch me on Twitter @STCDub.