Embed from Getty Images

 

RB Pickups

Marlon Mack

Mack had his breakout game on Sunday, totaling 159 yards on 21 touches. What we thought was a stout Bills run defense was ran all over, with both Hines (6 touches) and Wilkins (7 touches) averaging 9.4 and 7.7 YPC, respectively, with Mack’s impressive 6.6 YPC on his 19 carries. Mack played on 56% of snaps, but got a touch on 59% of those snaps. Keep in mind that Luck threw only 23 times in this game, which is less than half of what he was averaging for the season. The Bills offense couldn’t get anything going, so Mack was able to get the carry count that he did. Either way, Mack showed a lot in this game, and the touch ratio between him and the other backs is very encouraging, not to mention he looked pretty good. He needs to be picked up after a ton of people dropped him (justifiably so) with him being banged up over the first several weeks. Needs to be rostered in 100% of leagues.

Nick Chubb

He was probably picked up midweek, but if he’s somehow still available with some weird league waiver rules, pick him up. He’ll be the early down back replacing Carlos Hyde after he was traded to Jacksonville. Needs to be rostered in 100% of leagues.

Jalen Richard

Richard is the preferred pickup after Marshawn Lynch was placed on IR. Doug Martin will likely be the starting option on early downs, but he hasn’t been effective in a long time, even with opportunity. Richard was already worth rostering in PPR leagues before the Lynch injury, so with even more potential snaps and opportunity, Richard can be a high floor option in PPR with the Raiders probably catching up in most games going forward. With Amari Cooper traded as well, more targets open up, and Richard can potentially lead this team in receptions at the end of the year. Richard is probably the preferred back in standard leagues as well.

Raheem Mostert

You guessed it, Matt Breida is banged up again… and he’ll probably play in Week 8. It’s probably not a good idea at this point after Breida re-aggravated his ankle injury; they need to sit him and let him get recover from his injuries. Either way, Mostert is the guy to roster in this backfield if Breida were to miss time. Even if Breida doesn’t miss time, Mostert has been very efficient running the ball. 12 touches in Week 6, 11 in Week 7 including 4 catches. He totaled 165 yards on 23 touches in 2 games, and it’s not going to go unnoticed by Kyle Shanahan. Alfred Morris had a similar touch count, but couldn’t get anything going.

Ito Smith

The Falcons have a great offense, so it puts their RBs in good positions to score and have big plays. However, it doesn’t appear we can depend on volume for either Ito Smith or Tevin Coleman. Smith should be picked up where available as depth until we see if Smith can be depended on with Coleman being the 1a. 9 touches isn’t going to cut it.

Doug Martin

Not a huge fan of Martin, but he’ll get the first crack at replacing Marshawn Lynch’s early down work. He’ll probably get goal line carries as well at first. However, the Raiders offense got worse without Lynch and now Amari Cooper, so not sure game scripts would support Martin getting volume.

Kenjon Barner

Barner is the only other back on the roster currently, so with Sony Michel potentially out for a little bit, Barner should be added. I’m not sure his skillset translates to an early down type of role to complement James White, so we can see the Patriots add a guy like Mike Gillislee this week and actually give him 20 carries if the game script allows it. We’ve seen it before.

Chris Ivory

If LeSean McCoy doesn’t get past the concussion protocol this week, Chris Ivory should lead the way in Week 8. With McCoy leaving the game after a few plays, Ivory out-touched Marcus Murphy 19-9.

Ronald Jones

Peyton Barber sustained an undisclosed injury at the end of the game this past week, so Ronald Jones might get an opportunity at the starting gig. This is his first shot at the starting gig, and if he performs, he has a chance to seize it. Jones reportedly has improved in pass blocking and pass catching, according to Dirk Koetter, so he’s a bench stash this week to see how it plays out. Keep an eye out on Barber’s injury; Koetter said he won’t reveal it until Wednesday when injury reports come out. Thanks Kirk.

Darren Sproles

The Eagles backfield is a hot mess right now for fantasy purposes. It will probably be a headache going forward, and with Darren Sproles potentially coming back at some point, it has a chance of being even more unpredictable. They don’t have a clear early down back like they did in Jay Ajayi, and they don’t have a clear passing down back either. When Darren Sproles returns, whenever that is, he’ll probably be the guy. He’s not a must-stash or anything close to it, but we need to keep him in mind. Preferred in PPR.

WR Pickups

Tre’Quan Smith

With Ted Ginn on IR, Smith steps into Ted Ginn’s spot on the outside. Ginn never warranted a big target share, but Smith has shown ability in multiple routes in limited opportunity so far – short, intermediate, and deep. He caught 3 of 6 targets for 44 yards last week in a tough matchup, and played on 73% of snaps after his amazing performance before their bye. He even played the same amount of slot snaps as Cam Meredith. He needs to be rostered for his high upside. With Xavier Rhodes focused on Michael Thomas, Smith is definitely in play for Week 8.

Taylor Gabriel

Gabriel had an off week against the Patriots, but his upside will remain. The Patriots give up the least amount of 40+ plays in the passing game, so Gabriel was limited in what he could do. He should be picked up on an offense that supports him well, but at least you don’t have to spend a ton to get him if he’s still available or if he gets dropped.

Geronimo Allison and Randall Cobb

Allison has always been low owned the entire season, and even lower now because of his injury. He should be back now that their bye is over, and I want the starting receiver for a now-healthy Aaron Rodgers. If you noticed how Rodgers moved last week, he looks way better. Randall Cobb should also practice this week after the bye, so if he’s available he needs to be picked up if dropped.

Cameron Meredith

Meredith didn’t play a ton of snaps last week, but he’s still worth a pickup in a deeper league for the upside of him being the primarily slot receiver. Since Ingram has come back, however, the Saints aren’t running as many 3 WR sets as they were before. His upside is limited because of it.

Jordy Nelson

With Amari Cooper traded, Nelson becomes the defactor #1 WR for Derek Carr. His target share can go up, and his floor probably rises a bit. The only downside is that he’ll get a lot more attention by #1 corners.

Danny Amendola

In the two games with Brock Osweiler, Amendola caught 14 of 18 targets for 143 yards and a TD. I don’t know where Ryan Tannehill is, and this is Osweiler’s team for the immediate and possibly longer term future. With the injuries at WR, Amendola is probably their #1 WR right now. In a PPR league, he’s worth adding.

Christian Kirk

Kirk is currently the Cardinals’ #1 WR, and the OC change can potentially help him stay consistent. He’s worth an add for depth and potentially a start depending on matchups.

Tyrell Williams

Boom/bust WR who’s been booming lately. Rivers is looking for him deep, so if you need help to increase your ceiling, pick up Williams and throw him in your lineup. Just don’t expect reliability. Floor is zero.

Jakeem Grant

Grant is probably the new big play WR for the Dolphins with Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson hurt. We’ve seen a ton of big plays from this offense as a way of life for them, so Grant can take that role. He’s a very deep league pickup.

Martavis Bryant

Bryant has upside, and is worth a pickup based on you needing upside with Amari Cooper traded. Indy and SF on deck.

TE Pickups

Jared Cook

He’s not widely available, but he’s available in some leagues. With the news of Amari Cooper getting traded, Cook will probably become and stay Derek Carr’s favorite option. More of a high floor going forward.

CJ Uzomah

The entire Bengals offense disappointed against the Chiefs, but Uzomah was the only player to grab a TD in that game. With better days ahead, Uzomah should come through in most weeks than not with all the injuries the Bengals have at the position. Tampa Bay has been the worst against tight ends, and that’s who Uzomah gets this week.

Benjamin Watson

Watson goes up against the Vikings this week, who haven’t been great against tight ends. He caught 4 of 4 in Week 5 and 6 of 6 with a TD last week. Solid streamer for Week 8.

Vance McDonald

Don’t forget about McDonald after his bye. He has a neutral matchup against the Browns, but he’s a big play waiting to happen at all times. He caught 7 of 8 targets for 68 yards before the bye, and went over 60 yards in 3 of his 5 games.

Cameron Brate

Brate had a TD in three straight games before last week, but Winston likes to look Brate’s way in the red zone. He’ll be TD or bust, but the chances he scores are more likely than not most weeks. Good matchup against Cincy this week.

QB Pickups

Mitchell Trubisky

You might not think Mitch Trubisky is the best actual NFL QB, but he’s getting it done for fantasy. His rushing yards give you a solid floor, and the weapons in this offensive system give him a huge ceiling. If you look forward to his fantasy playoff schedule, at home against the Rams and Packers are great (assuming Aqib Talib isn’t back), and then he can win your championship for you in San Francisco against the 49ers. A QB with high floor and ceiling will win you weeks, especially with a ton of QBs having a much higher baseline than in year’s past; it actually pays to have a differentiator at QB now.

Jameis Winston

Winston managed to have a perfectly fine fantasy day last week without throwing a TD, which speaks to his high floor even though you think he’s not a great NFL QB. He threw for 395 yards in Week 6 and 365 last week, and should be able to get it done against Cincinnati this week. Long term option.

Baker Mayfield

Mayfield had his best fantasy day last week after not throwing an interception along with his 2 TDs. You would figure he will have to keep throwing against the Steelers in Pittsburgh, so he makes a good fantasy option against not so great of a defense. It does suck that he doesn’t have a ton of weapons, but he made it work last week. Three good matchups in a row until his bye, and then he opens up with another good matchup. Potential hold if he performs against the Steelers. Ceiling isn’t high.

Case Keenum

Keenum wasn’t good the last time around against KC, but it’s worth taking a shot against this KC defense if you don’t have other options. The defense definitely put on a good performance against the Bengals, but Andy Dalton turns into a pumpkin in primetime, so I’m not sure what to make of that performance on Sunday night.

DEF Streams

New England @ Buffalo

Pittsburgh vs Cleveland

Arizona vs San Francisco