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For the first time in recent history, there will be six teams on a bye this week. This will force Fantasy owners to start many less than desirable players.

Considering about 20% of the teams won’t be playing this week, my player grades have been slightly inflated to reflect the scarcity.

I use a A-F grading scale for each player. I do this because I think many players values are equal. In DFS, if two players have the same grade, go with the cheaper option.

“A” Players are expected to have big games. “B” players are must starts. “C” players are borderline starters. A “C+” means I would lean towards starting them, and a “C-” means I’d lean towards not starting them. “D” players are not recommended starters, and “F” players are not listed.

As it related to DFS; These numbers are based on FanDuel’s player pricing. Grades are based on FanDuels’s 1/2 point PPR scoring system. A= $8,000 plus, B= $6,500-$7,900, C= $5,500-$6,400, D= $4,600-$5,400, and F= $4,500. Keep in mind QBs prices are inflated by around $1,000, and TEs prices are deflated by around $1,000.

Week 8 Game Previews and Fantasy Predictions

Washington Redskins at Cincinnati Bengals (in London)

 

Another game in London. The London games have proven to be sloppy and slow paced in their short history. Last week the Giants and Rams played a real stinker of a game in London.

Both of these teams badly need a win to stay in the playoff discussion. The health of CB Josh Norman will have a major impact on A.J. Green’s value. The Redskins abandoned the running game last week in a loss to Detroit, benching Matt Jones after a fumble. They need to get back to the running game, especially if Jordan Reed is out again.

Player Grades

Redskins
Jordan Reed (Q) A-
DeSean Jackson B-
Kirk Cousins C+
Jamison Crowder C+
Matt Jones(Q)/Chris Thompson/Vernon Davis/Pierre Garcon C

Bengals
A.J. Green A (B if Norman Plays)
Jeremy Hill B-
Giovani Bernard/Brandon LaFell C+
Tyler Eifert C
Andy Dalton C-

 

Oakland Raiders at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

There should be a lot of offense in this game. The Bucs can’t stop the pass, and the Raiders are a heavy passing team. The Raiders defense can’t stop the run or the pass. The Bucs will run the ball effectively with either Doug Martin or Jacquizz Rodgers. The Raiders also have no answer for Mike Evans.

Player Grades

Raiders
Amari Cooper A
Michael Crabtree B
Derek Carr B
Latavius Murray C+

Buccaneers
Mike Evans A
Doug Martin (Q)/Jacquizz Rodgers B
Jameis Winston B-
Cameron Brate/Adam Humphries D+

 

Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers

I bet no one expected these teams to have a combined record of 4-8-1 coming into this match-up. The Cardinal’s defense has started to look like the Top 5 defense that they’re supposed to be. The Panthers defense, on the other hand, is still having major issues in the secondary.

Coming off a bye at 1-5, the defending NFC champion Panthers are playing for their season. They can really only afford one more loss all year if they want a chance at the playoffs. This should be a good, close contest.

Player Grades

Cardinals
David Johnson A
Larry Fitzgerald B
Carson Palmer C+
Michael Floyd/John Brown (Q) C+

Panthers
Greg Olsen A
Cam Newton B
Kelvin Benjamin C+
Jonathan Stewart C

 

Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton have been on a tear the last few weeks. Donte Moncrief is also expected back for th Colts. The Chiefs, with pro bowlers Marcus Peters and Eric Berry in their secondary, should slow them down a bit. The Chiefs also have the pass rushers to destroy the Colts weak offensive line.

With Jamaal Charles still dealing with lingering effects from his injury, Spencer Ware has become the No. 1 RB in Kansas City. Ware is the only must start on the Chiefs right now. Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce have been huge Fantasy disappointments thus far.

Player Grades

Chiefs
Spencer Ware B
Travis Kelce/Jeremy Maclin/Jamaal Charles C+
Alex Smith C

Colts
Andrew Luck B
T.Y. Hilton B
Donte Moncrief C+
Frank Gore C-
Phillip Dorsett/Dwayne Allen/Jack Doyle D+

Seattle Seahawks at New Orleans Saints

The Seahawk’s offense has been less than spectacular all season. A game against the Saints could be just what they need. Seattle could very easily blow up for 40 points in this one.

Drew Brees and the Saints continue to pile up stats playing from behind. Brees threw 69 passes last week. Mark Ingram hasn’t done much on the ground this year, but his receiving skills have allowed him to remain a decent Fantasy RB.

Player Grades

Seahawks
Russell Wilson A
Doug Baldwin A-
Jimmy Graham A-
Christine Michael B+

Saints
Drew Brees B
Brandin Cooks/Mark Ingram C+
Mike Thomas/Willie Snead/Coby Fleener C

Detroit Lions at Houston Texans

Brock Osweiler and the Texans offense have been downright pathetic the last few weeks. They did have to play some very tough defenses though. A home game against the Lions should be a good opportunity for Osweiler to bounce back. If he has another stinker this week, I could see the Texans benching him.

Houston has struggled against the run, but they have a very good pass defense. That’s not a good match-up for the Lion’s one dimensional offensive attack.

Player Grades

Lions
Theo Riddick (Q) B
Matthew Stafford/Marvin Jones/Golden Tate C+
Zach Zenner/Dwayne Washington (Q)/Anquan Boldin C

Texans
Deandre Hopkins B+
Lamar Miller B
Will Fuller C
Brock Osweiler C-

 

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills

The Patriots only loss of the season was a shutout loss at the hands of the Bills. The Patriots will look for revenge in this game. The Bills offense has been crippled by injuries. LeSean McCoy is questionable, and their receiving corps leaves much to be desired.

Rex Ryan defenses have given Tom Brady some trouble in the past. The Patriots are completely healthy right now, and they stand high above the next best team in the AFC. This is a tall task for the Bills.

Player Grades

Patriots
Rob Gronkowski A+
Tom Brady A
Julian Edelman B-
LeGarrette Blount/James White/Martellus Bennett C+

Bills
LeSean McCoy (Q) B
Tyrod Taylor C
Charles Clay C
Mike Gillislee/Robert Woods (Q)/Marquise Goodwin (Q) D+

New York Jets at Cleveland Browns

A clash of Titans in the city of champions. The Ryan Fitzpatrick led Jets take on the Kevin Hogan led Browns in a game nobody wants to watch. I don’t know what to expect from these two terrible teams. The Browns could have a chance at their first win, or they can just as easily get blown out if the Jets can curtail their self-destruction.

Player Grades

Jets
Brandon Marshall B
Matt Forte B
Quincy Enunwa C
Ryan Fitzpatrick C

Browns
Terrelle Pryor (Q) C+
Gary Barnidge C+
Kevin Hogan C
Isaiah Crowell C-

 

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos

The Chargers beat the Broncos just two weeks ago. Philip Rivers has had as much success as any QB versus this Denver defense. That said, Rivers is still a risky play.

C.J. Anderson is out, so that puts Devontae Booker in a great spot as the lead back in a run first offense.

Player Grades

Chargers
Melvin Gordon B-
Philip Rivers C
Antonio Gates/Hunter Henry (Q) C
Tyrell Williams/Travis Benjamin C-

Broncos
Devontae Booker B+
Demaryius Thomas B-
Emmanuel Sanders B-
Trevor Siemian D+

 

Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons

The Packers employed a new strategy last week against the Bears. With no healthy RBs, WR Ty Montgomery took the majority of snaps at RB. Aaron Rodgers set a Packer record for completions with 39. However, he only compiled 329 yards, using many very short passes. I don’t think that kind of offense will be sustainable.

Tevin Coleman looks like he’s going to miss this game. That opens the door for Devonta Freeman to get a full work load. Green Bay does have the league’s No. 1 run defense though.

Player Grades

Packers
Aaron Rodgers B+
Jordy Nelson B-
Randall Cobb/Ty Montgomery C+

Falcons
Julio Jones A
Devonta Freeman B
Matt Ryan B
Jacob Tamme/Mohamed Sanu D+

 

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

Two of the biggest surprise teams of the year face off in a huge division game with a lot on the line. The Eagles defense has been great this season. They’ve yet to run into in an offensive line like the Cowboys though. The Cowboys have been able to run the ball on anyone. Dez Bryant will be back for this one as well.

Player Grades

Eagles
Ryan Mathews C+
Jordan Matthews C
Carson Wentz C
Zach Ertz D+

Cowboys
Ezekiel Elliott A
Dez Bryant B
Dak Prescott C+
Cole Beasley/Terrance Williams/Jason Witten C

 

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears

The one silver lining for Bears fans in this disaster of a season is we thought we had seen the end of Jay Cutler. Brian Hoyer breaks his arm last week, and now Cutler returns. Cutler’s return could be a good thing for Alshon Jeffery going forward. Shutdown CB Xavier Rhodes will not be a good match-up for Jeffery this week though.

The Vikings offense had by far their worst performance of the season last week against the Eagles. They’ll look to bounce back against a very bad Bears team on Monday night.

Player Grades

Vikings
Stefon Diggs B
Kyle Rudolph B-
Jerick McKinnon C+
Sam Bradford/Matt Asiata C-

Bears
Alshon Jeffery C
Jordan Howard C
Zach Miller C-

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