Fantasy NFL Week 8: Gordon and Mack among the top pick-ups this week
It is the midway point in the fantasy season for many and Neil Monnery is here with his look at the options ahead of this weekend's games...
'Matt Breida is a player to keep an eye on all week. An ankle injury kept him out of most of Sunday's game but should he play against the porous Cardinals defense this week, then he becomes a potential top ten RB option.'
What did we learn from Week Seven?
Only two Quarterbacks surpassed the 30-point barrier last week. The first was Patrick Mahomes, who is without a shadow of a doubt the best fantasy signal-caller out there. The second was Mitchell Trubisky. This is the third time in three games that the Bears QB has been in the top-five at his position. A grand total of 333 passing yards to go along with 81 on the ground and three total scores has helped cement him as a player to trust.
The biggest shock of the week came in Indianapolis where Marlon Mack balled out in a 29.90 point outburst. The second-season player out of South Florida rushed for 126 yards to go along with 33 receiving. He scored both on the ground and through the air. He will be available in many leagues and has another good match-up this week against a weak Raiders defense. Should you be looking for a RB2 then the 22 year-old should be your first port of call.
Last Friday the Cleveland Browns traded Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars and that move opened the door for Nick Chubb to get the baulk of the carries for the AFC North team. The rookie running back went for 80 yards and a score against Miami in his first start. That isn't to be sniffed at and is certainly one to watch. I don't love him this week against the Steelers but after that, the potential for similar numbers is high. Getting a short field goal to go score however wouldn't shock me.
Looking at receivers, Josh Gordon is clearly starting to earn the trust of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. He wasn't able to reach the end zone but 100 yards exactly receiving including at big moments makes me think he's now a WR2 for any good team.
On the negative front my concern with the output of Drew Brees is starting to increase. As a fantasy owner of the Hall of Fame bound QB, this is personal. With Mark Ingram's return, it has become evident that the Saints are becoming a more balanced offense. With the addition of backup Taysom Hill taking away valuable red zone snaps, the days of Drew being a top-tier QB1 are coming to an end.
Calvin Ridley's hot start to the season is very much in the rear view mirror. Through weeks two to four, the rookie caught six touchdown passes but since then, nothing. Another player who experienced an October drought was Will Fuller V before his breakout performance in the Thursday night game. Both have the potential to be very good WR2 but they aren't as trusted as they were a month or so ago.
Week right injury news
LeSean McCoy is in concussion protocol but if he's a player you are counting on, then things probably aren't going very well for you. The 30 year-old has cleared 10,000 rushing yards in his career and notched up 66 touchdowns, none of them however have come this season. Time to move on if you still own him.
The knee injury to Sony Michel is a problem for a fantasy manager however as the rookie has shown real progress in his past few outings. The Patriots don't play until Monday night and that does give him an extra day of rest. It is quite the risk waiting on his participation though and if you own him, find another option for week eight.
Bilal Powell's injury isn't just season-ending but potentially career-ending. This means Isaiah Crowell will shoulder an even bigger workload in the backfield and becomes a solid RB1 candidate for the home game with Chicago on Sunday.
Hamstring trouble is set to keep Dalvin Cook out again this week, having already missed four games so far this season. By now he's a fantasy afterthought.
Lastly, Matt Breida is a player to keep an eye on all week. An ankle injury kept him out of most of Sunday's game but should he play against the porous Cardinals defense this week, then he becomes a potential top ten RB option.
Who to avoid this week
Writing anything negative about Aaron Rodgers in tantamount to treason around the NFL but I don't think he'll have his best night in Los Angeles. If you own him in a season-long league then obviously don't drop or bench him but for one-week players, look elsewhere. The match-up against Aaron Donald coupled with his knee issue spells trouble for the Packers QB. Oh and yes, the Rams lineman totalled four sacks last week on his own against the 49ers.
Another dislike this week is Demaryius Thomas who has cleared 100 yards receiving only once so far this season. I think Denver gets blown out in Kansas City but that doesn't stop Broncos receivers having a good day. The problem is I think it has reached the point where number 88 is the third choice. That isn't good for what has for a long-time been a good WR2 play.