The Rundown: Week 8
This may be my favorite part of the season with the playoffs in view, teams getting established as contenders or pretenders, and a willingness for fantasy players to pull the trigger on trades. The whole week becomes active and everyone is still engaged as that last push is about to take place. Don't be afraid to make those crazy moves because that's what can propel you to a title.
Last week's edition saw another strong Ryan Tannehill performance and another flop by Cam Newton. The commitment to D'Andre Swift may have been a bit premature but better performances are ahead for the rookie runner. A guy to keep an eye on is Anthony Miller, a player I was down on a week ago, who may get thrust into a bigger role this week if Allen Robinson misses the game due to a concussion.
This article leverages the wide array of 4for4’s data library including snaps, touches, targets, fantasy scoring, and red zone information. Lucky for you, this article will put everything in one place in time for those weekly matchup decisions.
Quarterbacks Trending Up
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
Admittedly, I wrote Wentz off for fantasy purposes after he finished outside the top-24 in each of the first two weeks. Add in a bundle of receiver injuries, and his season looked tanked with Jalen Hurts looming as a speculative starter if the team fell out of playoff contention. All Wentz has done since then is become the QB5 since (QB8 in fantasy points per game) with four of five games at QB11 or better. The big adjustment has been shifting tight end targets to his wide receivers, as they have seen a 10 point increase in target share with tight ends experiencing a similar decrease. With a 16:1 touchdown to interception ratio, the Cowboys are a prime defense for Wentz to continue his streak, especially if Jalen Reagor makes a healthy return to the lineup.
Kyle Allen, Washington Football Team
Allen makes it here less because fantasy players will start him, but more because he has done a good job keeping key players fantasy relevant in his two healthy weeks as a starter. Both Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas (twice) have top-12 positional finishes during that time while the running back position has remained productive with both J.D. McKissic and Antonio Gibson putting up fantasy relevant statlines. Washington has the week off but faces a nice slate over the next four weeks that should maintain a QB2 level of performance for Allen, with upside for his main receiving options.
Quarterbacks Trending Down
Drew Lock, Denver Broncos
Lock has been a disappointment in his three starts this season. He’s averaging fewer than double digits and has not recorded a top-20 quarterback finish in 2020. Tim Patrick is the only wide receiver with a top-40 fantasy finish with Lock behind the wheel with every other option largely struggling to find catchable targets. The Chargers are a neutral divisional matchup for Lock but it’ll be hard to trust any Bronco outside the running back position in a fantasy lineup. Lock is a firm bench hold hoping more playing time gets him comfortable in what should be a more productive passing offense.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
It’s curious to put a player here who had his best game of the season, totaling five passing touchdowns in a wild contest. His first top-15 finish of the year was marred by more injuries, this time it’s Odell Beckham tearing his knee and ending his 2020 season. That, along with the recoveries of Austin Hooper and Nick Chubb has the depth chart looking mighty thin. Rashard Higgins will try to replace some of Odell’s production, more on that in a moment, but it’ll really come down to Mayfield leaning on his tight end depth, which accounts for 31% of his targeted attempts (up from 13% in 2019). The Raiders are a bottom-five defense, so the fall won’t be immediate, but the ceiling will lower for fantasy purposes.
Running Backs Trending Up
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