Fantasy Football Week 8: Best and Worst


Graphic Courtesy of Ingrid Hua

Arjun Srivatsa, Contributing Writer

As Week Eight has come to an end, we can recap the best and worst performances which occurred over this week. Below are the best and worst performances from each position and a few suggestions for Week Nine.

The Best:

Deshaun Watson (QB):

Deshaun Watson had a terrible game in Week Seven, but he was able to reverse that and help the Texans win the game against the Dolphins 42 to 23. His extraordinary comeback led him to score 31 PPR fantasy points, the highest in Week Eight for a quarterback. He threw five touchdowns, zero interceptions, 239 yards, and completed 16 throws out of 20. Though he was the highest scorer this week, Watson is still inconsistent with his points and even though he was able to crush the Dolphin’s defense, he will have a more difficult time against the Broncos, who have a very strong defensive line and can pressure the quarterback to throw interceptions. Taking this into consideration, Watson is not recommended to be the starting QB this week on your fantasy team. Start or Sit in Week 9: Sit

James Conner (RB):

James Conner is currently on a roll as he is filling in for the absent Le’Veon Bell for the Pittsburgh Steelers. This week he set a new career record with a 38.2 PPR fantasy points on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. With his explosiveness and the help from his offensive line, Conner was able to exploit the Browns’ rush defense and score two touchdowns with 146 rushing yards and 66 reception yards. This brilliant performance from Conner not only from this week, but also from previous weeks will cause some issues for the Steelers when they must choose between Conner and Bell for the starting running back position. It will be interesting to see who will get the position, but until then Conner is a very strong running back capable of scoring 20+ PPR points.

Start or Sit in Week 9: Start  

Sammy Watkins (WR):

After struggling with injuries and lack of opportunities to catch the ball, Watkins was finally able to reach his all-time new record for this season with a score of 30.7 PPR fantasy points. Watkins was tied with Marvin Jones Jr. for this week. Watkins managed to have seven catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Sammy Watkins is one of the many weapons Patrick Mahomes has on the Chiefs’ offense. Additionally, the Chiefs’ offense shares its targets between tight end Travis Kelce, running back Kareem Hunt, and wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins equally. This type of offense has led to Watkins being targeted on average five times per game. Watkins started off the season with a strong start, but then declined, and is now slowly again rising. The Browns’ pass defense and rush defense is definitely not the best in the league so playing Watkins will be a potential risk as Andy Reid might run the ball more, which would make Watkins more of a blocker rather than a receiver. Sit or Start in Week 9: Slight Risk in Starting

Travis Kelce (TE):

The Chiefs’ offense is currently at its peak as two key players, Travis Kelce and Sammy Watkins, were the top performers in their respective positions. Kelce scored 19.9 PPR fantasy points, his third highest this season. Kelce is definitely one of Patrick Mahomes’ favorite receivers, as he is being targeted on average five to six times per game, one of the highest for a tight end. Kelce caught the ball six times for 79 yards and had a touchdown. Kelce is a very consistent scorer, scoring on average 15+ points per week. It is highly recommended that Kelce starts in your fantasy team as he will be a key player in the Chiefs’ offense against the Browns in Week Nine. Sit or Start in Week 9: Start

Redskins (D/ST):

From last year to this year, the Redskins have improved especially in their defense. The Redskins scored a total of 14 PPR fantasy points, which is their second highest the season. This week the Redskins had two interceptions, a whopping seven sacks, and allowed only 13 points. The Redskins have some momentum with them which will help them face the strong Atlanta Falcons offense. Even though the Falcons have a really good offense, the current momentum of the Redskins defense should carry them through, and it would be a good idea to have the Redskins start in your fantasy team in Week Nine. Sit or Start in Week 9: Start

Will Lutz (K):

Will Lutz, the Saints kicker, has had a great season so far missing no field goals nor extra points. This week the Saints took on the Packers whose defense played extremely well against the Saints. This led to Lutz kicking three field goals and also three extra points giving him 16 total PPR fantasy points, which ties his highest score this season. In Week Nine, the Saints are taking on the undefeated Los Angeles Rams whose defense is to be considered one of the best in the league. But, the Saints have a strong quarterback, Drew Brees, who has many good wide receivers to throw to. With such a dynamic offense taking on a strong defense, the Saints should be able to get into field goal range so that Lutz can kick it in. So it would be recommended that Lutz be your kicker as he could be potentially faced with more field goal opportunities than extra points in Week Nine. Sit or Start in Week 9: Start

The Worst:

Drew Brees (QB):

Drew Brees is one of the best quarterbacks who have played this game. He has broken many passing records, but his performance against the Vikings on Sunday night was nowhere close to average for even a rookie quarterback. He scored only 6.8 PPR fantasy points, a big upset for many fantasy team owners, throwing only 120 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. On average, Brees throws around 250+ yards per game and two touchdowns per game. But his performance on Sunday never reached those numbers and he also threw his first interception of this season. But with the extreme pressure from the Vikings defensive line, Brees was forced to throw the ball quickly which led to interceptions. The problem is that Brees will be going up against the Los Angeles Rams which are a better version of the Vikings’ defense. Even if Brees has a better game in Week Nine, he will have a tough time with the Rams and their tough pass defense. For fantasy team owners, playing Brees as your quarterback will be a risk, but if he plays a really good game, then he just might do fine in Week Nine. Sit or Start in Week 9: Start

Duke Johnson Jr. (RB):

Duke Johnson is having a very rough season this year. His average fantasy points are around six PPR points. But this week he only scored 3.6 PPR fantasy points. He only ran two times for zero yards and had two receptions for 16 yards. The Browns are having a lot of trouble with getting their offense started. The Steelers have one of the best defensive lines in the league, and that definitely showed in the game as the Browns’ running game was smothered. The Browns are up against the Chiefs, and their rush defense is also pretty good, but their pass defense is not the best. So if you are going to play Duke Johnson Jr., then it would be best if he plays as a Flex rather than a running back. But either way it is strongly recommended not to play Johnson as he has had a very bad season, and it does not look like it will change in this upcoming game against the Chiefs in Week Nine. Sit or Start in Week 9: Sit

T.Y. Hilton (WR):

T.Y. Hilton has had a great season so far this year. He is one of Andrew Luck’s favorite receivers, but this week against the Raiders, Hilton had one of his worst games this season. On average he scores 15 PPR points, but this time he only scored 4.4 PPR fantasy points. Additionally, he had only one reception for 34 yards. Hilton is a very consistent scorer and he should be able to rebound back from his poor performance this week. On top of that, he also has a bye week in Week Nine which should boost his confidence against the Jaguars in Week Ten. Sit or Start in Week 10 : Start

Trey Burton (TE):

Trey Burton is one of the key parts of the Chicago Bears explosive offense. Burton enjoys a nice share of the receptions from Mitchell Trubisky. But this in this week, Burton only scored 4.8 PPR fantasy points and had three receptions for 18 yards against the Jets. On average, Burton usually scores around 12+ points and has four receptions per game. Because the Jets have a strong defensive line and mediocre pass defense, Burton was used as a offensive lineman rather than a receiver which is why his PPR score was a extremely low. In Week Nine, this should not be the case, as the Bills have  weak defensive line and an even weaker pass defense. With the use of Burton and Kevin White, the Bears will definitely exploit the Bills’ defense. In other words, it is recommended to play Burton as your tight end on your team. Sit or Start in Week 9: Start

Raiders (D/ST):

The Raiders defense is one of the worst or sometimes is the worst in the league. They are struggling with their line as they lost a star linebacker, Khalil Mack. They also lead the league with the most number of yards lost to penalties on both offensive and defensive sides. This week they scored -8 PPR points with no interceptions nor fumbles. They are going to go up against the 1-7 49ers. But knowing the Raiders whose highest PPR score is eight, it would not be a good idea to play the Raiders D/ST. Sit or Start in Week 9: Sit

Justin Tucker (K):

It is always unpredictable with kickers, but Justin Tucker is known for being a great kicker who usually scores eight plus PPR fantasy points. But this week he only scored three PPR fantasy points, his lowest this season. A major thing to note is that the last two weeks, his PPR score has been less than five, and next week the Ravens are to going up against the Steelers. The Steelers have a strong defense, while the Ravens have an off and on offense. Basically, Tucker’s PPR score for Week Nine will depend upon how the Raven’s offense plays against the Steelers. Sit or Start in Week 9: Start