Rich Hribar

The Worksheet

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The NFL Week 8 Worksheet

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Week 8 is here, and we’re past the halfway point in the fantasy regular season. Hopefully everyone is setting up a playoff run, but if you’ve been unfortunate this season in your leagues, there’s always DFS to keep the fantasy juices flowing. Week 8 is another four-team bye week, so make sure that you get all Atlanta, Dallas, Tennessee and Los Angeles Chargers players out of your lineups this week.


For those that are new here, the goal of this article is to provide a top-down, statistical snapshot for each game each week, running down weekly point spreads, team totals, play calling splits, and statistical bullet points on the players and teams involved. Although we’re focusing strictly on PPR league scoring here as a baseline, there’s more than enough to spread around across formats and daily leagues. The reason we’re operating under a PPR umbrella is it allows us to cover a larger portion of the players involved in action weekly.


As the author, it’s imperative that I note that this is an expectations-based column over a linear start/sit forum. The labels for each subset of players for each game is simply the vehicle for those expectations and have a different context for each player. Players that are high performers week-to-week are held to different standards than a secondary option in an offense. Every player runs into down weeks, and we’re trying to identify those moments, even for the star players you’re going to ride through thick and thin moments that don’t tally many low points during the season. That said, we’re still embracing some of the elements that will go along with a start/sit column as a byproduct of those expectations. I encourage that you use the game by game tables and data points here in conjunction with the Start/Sit column posted weekly by Nick Mensio, Pat Daugherty’s rankings in the Goal Line Stand, Evan Silva’s Matchup’s column, Ray Summerlin's Waiver Wired and most importantly, your own information and thought process.  Remember, you control your own team. If you are curious as to my personal weekly rankings, they can be found each and every week in the Season Pass section.


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All lines are taken from VegasInsider on Tuesday nights 


Dolphins @ Texans


7.5   Spread -7.5  
18.5   Implied Total 26.0  
21.6 24 Points/Gm 22.1 21
25.3 18 Points All./Gm 20.6 8
55.6 31 Plays/Gm 67.7 6
65.6 23 Opp. Plays/Gm 65.4 22
42.2% 13 Rush% 43.5% 10
57.8% 20 Pass% 56.5% 23
46.2% 29 Opp. Rush % 40.8% 19
53.8% 4 Opp. Pass % 59.2% 14


  • The Dolphins have lost their past three Thursday Night games (all on the road) by a combined score of 98-14.
  • Over their four game winning streak, Houston has held opponents to score on 28 percent (14-of-50) of their drives, second in the league over that span behind only the Baltimore (23.3 percent).
  • The Dolphins have scored 10 touchdowns from outside of the red zone, tied with the Chargers for the most in the league.
  • Houston has allowed just two touchdowns from outside of the red zone, tied with Jacksonville for the fewest in the league.
  • Despite relying on big plays to score touchdowns, Miami is -11 in explosive plays (plays of 20-plus yards) gained versus their opponents, the worst differential in the league.
  • The Texans have scored two or fewer touchdowns in every game but one, tied for the fewest in the league.



Trust (spike starting production)


  • Lamar Miller: You know we're set up for a weird and potentially disappointing week when we're kicking things off by placing faith in Miller. But this is as good of a spot that Miller will see all season. Attached to a large home favorite on a short week against a Miami defense that ranks 28th in rushing points allowed (16.9) and 29th in receiving points allowed (15.1) per game to opposing backfields. Miller has out-touched Alfred Blue 40-17 over the past two weeks, alleviating any concern for a potential timeshare or lingering impact from the injury that forced him to miss Week 5.


On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)


  • DeAndre Hopkins: He’s had limited production in back-to-back tough assignments and Miami ranks third in points allowed per game to opposing lead wideouts. Even with Hopkins catching just eight passes on 14 targets versus Jacksonville and Buffalo, he has also showed that he can fight through those matchups with a touchdown in each game.
  • Will Fuller: He bounced back six catches on eight targets last week after just four grabs over his previous two games. Fuller's best moments have now all come when with Keke Coutee off the field and with Coutee expected to be doubtful after reaggravating his hamstring a week ago, Fuller’s involvement should stick while Hopkins continues to draw the primary attention.
  • Kenyan Drake: He continues to get frustratingly out-carried by Frank Gore weekly despite having 175 yards rushing on just 25 carries over the past three games, but Drake is averaging 18.2 percent of the team passing targets per game and has 8.3 targets per game over the past three weeks. With Miami short-handed at the wide receiver position heading into Thursday, Drake could push for the team lead in opportunities while Houston has allowed a back to catch at least five passes out of the backfield in four of their past five games.


Bust (underperformance)


  • Deshaun Watson: He has added just 13 total rushing yards over the past two weeks while passing for 177 and 139 yards over the past two weeks. Miami is far from the Jacksonville or Buffalo defense, but Watson is clearly not healthy, which is an issue on a short week. I would prefer to see him bounce back and prove his health and willingness to use his legs again. Houston has one their better rushing environments in place to set up a game script that doesn’t force Watson to do a lot.
  • Brock Osweiler: I don’t want to shade Osweiler because he’s played well and has been useful for fantasy as the QB7 and the QB14 in his two starts. But he is working here on the road on a short week without his top-two receivers against a Houston defense that has five interceptions to allowing just three touchdown passes over their past three games.
  • Frank Gore: He’s out-carried Drake in five straight games, but this is not a good spot for his role against a Houston run defense allowing 3.3 yards per carry to opposing backfields, which is second in the league.


If You Must (Swing on a bench option/deep league play)



Eagles @ Jaguars (in London)


-3   Spread 3  
22.3   Implied Total 19.3  
22.0 22 Points/Gm 16.6 29
19.7 6 Points All./Gm 20.9 9
68.6 5 Plays/Gm 65.6 13
61.4 11 Opp. Plays/Gm 62.3 15
37.5% 22 Rush% 35.3% 25
62.5% 11 Pass% 64.7% 8
30.9% 1 Opp. Rush % 47.0% 31
69.1% 32 Opp. Pass % 53.0% 2


  • Jacksonville is allowing 1.7 offensive touchdowns per game, second in the league. The Eagles are allowing 2.0 per game (sixth).
  • The Jaguars have scored on just 4-of-35 possessions (11.4 percent) over the past three weeks, the lowest rate in the league.
  • Over that span, they've been outscored 90-28, the largest point differential in the league.
  • In four career games in London, Blake Bortles has thrown eight touchdowns to two interceptions while averaging 19.6 fantasy points per game.
  • Through seven games, the Jaguars have allowed 36 more points while having 18 fewer sacks and 11 fewer takeaways than at this point in 2017.
  • Over the past three weeks, the Eagles are averaging 82.3 rushing yards per game (28th) and 3.4 yards per carry (30th).
  • Just 59.6 percent of the yardage gained by opponents against Jacksonville has been through passing, the lowest rate in the league.


Trust (spike starting production)


  • Zach Ertz: He’s as stable as they come as only Adam Thielen has more receptions than the 57 grabs that Ertz has on the season. He leads all tight ends in usage, ranking first in targets (78), target per route rate (27.4 percent) and team target share (28.1 percent).


On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)


  • Alshon Jeffery:  The Jaguars are still allowing the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing receivers and Jeffery had his one down week (2-39-0) in his toughest assignment during his four-game return to the lineup. But Jeffery has been the WR5 overall over those four weeks while averaging 9.8 targets per game while showcasing his scoring upside, finding the end zone four times.


Bust (underperformance)


  • Carson Wentz: It’s not a great streaming week, so you don’t have to go to great lengths to avoid him, but despite the Jaguars regressing on defense this season from a year ago, they are still among the league’s best. Jacksonville ranks first in passing yards allowed (195.4) to passers, second in yards per attempt (6.3) and third in passing points allowed per attempt (.337) on the season.
  • Wendell Smallwood/Corey Clement: Both are low-level FLEX options as the Eagles have developed an inability to run the ball effectively and neither player has shown much effectiveness with their opportunity. Smallwood has out-touched Clement 30-24 over the past two weeks if that breaks a tie for anyone.
  • Blake Bortles: Playing in London has been one of his favorite spots recently, but we can’t entertain using him when we know the leash only has a few links left.
  • T.J. Yeldon: With Hyde expected to be active, we are unsure on Yeldon’s rushing role, but he still should be heavily involved in the passing game given Jacksonville’s running game should be ineffective. While Yeldon dips to the RB3 group this week, he still leads the Jaguars in receiving touchdowns on the season with four.
  • Carlos Hyde: He was living solely on volume and touchdown production in Cleveland while the Eagles are the league’s premier pass-funnel defense allowing a league-low 7.2 rushing points per game to opposing backfields.


If You Must (Swing on a bench option/deep league play)


  • Nelson Agholor: This is not a poor spot for him to be involved as Jeffery will work against Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye all game and slot receivers have four of the five touchdowns that Jacksonville has allowed to wideouts, but Agholor still requires a step of faith as he’s posted 45 or fewer yards in 5-of-7 games and has been higher than WR37 just once on the year.
  • Donte Moncrief: The Jaguars wideouts have been just about an impossible mission this season, but the Eagles are allowing the second-most points per game (20.7) to lead boundary wideouts. If you have to chase anyone here, Moncrief leads the team in targets (50) and air yards.


Ravens @ Panthers


-2   Spread 2  
22.5   Implied Total 19.5  
25.1 15 Points/Gm 23.7 18
14.4 1 Points All./Gm 21.8 10
74.1 1 Plays/Gm 62.7 22
62.4 16 Opp. Plays/Gm 60.7 6
38.0% 21 Rush% 41.8% 15
62.0% 12 Pass% 58.2% 18
38.0% 13 Opp. Rush % 37.1% 10
62.0% 20 Opp. Pass % 62.9% 23


  • Baltimore is allowing 2.3 red zone possessions per game (first) while Carolina is allowing 2.5 per game (third).
  • Cam Newton has completed 34.2 percent (13-of-38) of his deep passes (15-plus yards downfield), the lowest rate for all full-season starting quarterbacks.
  • Newton has a 115.2 quarterback rating from a clean pocket this season as opposed to a 41.5 percent rating when under pressure, the largest discrepancy in the league.
  • The Ravens defense have hurried opposing passers on 14.3 percent of dropbacks this season, second in the league.
  • Ravens running backs average just 3.3 yards per carry, ahead of only Arizona (3.1 YPC) and Tampa Bay (3.2 YPC) on the season.


On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)


  • Christian McCaffrey: His ceiling has not been elevated like we had hoped with him playing a position-high 96 percent of the snaps because his rushing and touchdown production is still bottom-rung. His rushing production is being carried by a 28-carry, 184 yard game in Week 3, but he has just 194 yards on the ground on 50 carries combined in his other five games with 10 or fewer carries in four games this season. Baltimore is allowing just 90.0 yards from scrimmage to opposing backfields (second), but McCaffrey has held a high RB2 floor, not finishing lower than RB21 in any game this season.
  • Joe Flacco: He is third in the league in attempts per game (43.3) but has had some poor fortune in the touchdown rate department compared to that volume. The Panthers have been middling against the pass so far to give Flacco a usable floor with that volume, however, ranking 20th in passing points allowed per attempt (.451) and ranking 17th in yards allowed per game (265.5).
  • John Brown: He leads the NFL in air yards and ranks third in yards per catch (19.9). His types of targets can cause some volatility, but you stick with it weekly for the upside and he also leads the team with eight red zone targets on the season.
  • Michael Crabtree: He is sort like the Lamar Miller of wide receivers. He’s reached 70 yards just once on the season but has cleared 50 yards with at least five receptions in 6-of-7 games while averaging 9.7 targets per game.
  • Greg Olsen: He’s caught just 6-of-12 targets for 53 yards in his two games back in the lineup, but this a week for him to get more involved as 27.7 percent of the receptions against the Ravens have gone to opposing tight ends, the third-highest rate in the league.
  • Devin Funchess: He has yet to reach 80 yards receiving in a game which could be a problem against a Baltimore defense allowing just 52.3 yards per game (fourth) to opposing lead wideouts, but Funchess is the touchdown scorer in this passing game, finding the end zone in three of his past four game. The Ravens have let lead wideouts make a difference in the red zone, allowing a league-high five touchdowns to the position.


Bust (underperformance)


  • Cam Newton:  You don’t have to stream for Newton ever because of his trump card rushing the football, but this is a spot where his production could solely be limited to that rushing ability as Baltimore brings a lot of pressure per dropback and has allowed just one top-12 quarterback on the season.
  • Alex Collins: He’s managing just 53.3 yards from scrimmage per game over the past four weeks but has out-touched Javorius Allen 33-10 over the past two games. The problem is that he has needed to reach the end zone to be useful for fantasy, ranking as Rb34 and RB39 in each of his past two games with a score and Carolina has allowed just two rushing touchdowns to backs on the season.



Broncos @ Chiefs


DenverRank@Kansas CityRank
10   Spread -10  
22.3   Implied Total 32.3  
23.6 19 Points/Gm 37.1 1
23.4 13 Points All./Gm 26.0 22
63.3 19 Plays/Gm 63.0 21
65.1 20 Opp. Plays/Gm 68.9 29
38.6% 19 Rush% 41.3% 16
61.4% 14 Pass% 58.7% 17
42.8% 24 Opp. Rush % 33.2% 2
57.2% 9 Opp. Pass % 66.8% 31


  • The Chiefs have outscored opponents by +53 points in the first quarter this season (72-19), the highest differential in the league. The next highest team (Detroit) is at +32.
  • Kansas City is the only team in the league to score at least offensive touchdowns in every game this season.
  • The Chiefs have won six straight games against the Broncos, their longest streak in the rivalry since 1973. They have also covered in all six of those games.
  • Patrick Mahomes has thrown for 300 yards in six straight games, a franchise record. He is the first quarterback to have such a streak since Andrew Luck went eight games in a row in 2014.
  • Through seven games, Mahomes has four games with at least four touchdown passes, the most in any season for a Chiefs passer in franchise history.
  • Denver is allowing 5.5 yards per carry (31st) to opposing backfields while Kansas City is allowing 5.1 yards per carry (30th).
  • The Chiefs rank 32nd in rate of runs to gain five or more yards (41.3 percent) and rate of runs to gain 10 or more yards (18.1 percent).
  • Phillip Lindsay leads all qualifying backs in rate of runs to gain five or more yards (45.3 percent) and ranks fourth in rate of runs to gain 10 or more yards (17.3 percent).
  • Emmanuel Sanders is the first Broncos player to have a touchdown passing, rushing and receiving in the same season since Bobby Humphrey in 1989.


Trust (spike starting production)


  • Patrick Mahomes: The Broncos held him to a season-low 6.9 yards per attempt in Week 4, but Mahomes already has a QB1 scoring week under his belt against the Broncos on the road in that game when he posted 22.9 fantasy points.
  • Kareem Hunt: He’s finally starting to see some steady use in the passing game, receiving 18 targets over the past four games after just three total to start the season through three weeks. That has elevated his ceiling as he’s gone over 140 yards from scrimmage in three of his past four games. Denver has approached the games against the high-powered Chiefs and Rams by allowing them to shred them through the rushing game while limiting big passing plays, lining Hunt up for another big week.
  • Travis Kelce: He averages 8.3 receptions on 12.3 targets for 118 yards per game over his past four games versus Denver with three touchdowns, including a 7-78-1 game when these teams met in Week 4.
  • Phillip Lindsay: He’s already led the Denver backfield in touches in every full game that he’s played and gets a boost now with Royce Freeman out for Sunday.  Lindsay has double-digit scoring in all of his full games and in the last game that Denver trailed big, he was targeted a season-high seven times.


On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s baseline)


  • Tyreek Hill: Denver has shown their hand in these games against the two best offenses in the league of selling out to prevent splash plays. Hill had a season-low 4.2 yards per target when these teams met in Week 4, but Hill still managed nine receptions with Watkins out of the game.
  • Sammy Watkins: He hasn’t had the ceiling of the other Kansas City offensive players, but he has established a safe floor. Watkins has been a WR3 or better in four of his past five full games.
  • Emmanuel Sanders: The only time this season that he hasn’t been a WR3 or better was when these teams last met in Week 4 when Sanders was the WR46. The Chiefs have been much better defending the slot and limiting ceiling weeks to receivers in general over the past five weeks, allowing just one wide receiver to score against them since Week 2. Sanders still has held a solid floor, catching five passes in every game but one this season while we should expect Denver to trump the 33 pass attempts they had when these teams met earlier in the season.

Bust (underperformance)


  • Demaryius Thomas:  He has to find the end zone and the Chiefs have allowed just one touchdown to a receiver over their past five games. In the four games that Thomas has failed to reach the paint, he’s been the WR77, WR41, WR72 and WR46.
  • Case Keenum: Chasing points from Keenum against the Chiefs already has blown up in our faces once, but the Broncos actually weren’t forced to play a jailbreak style as they led all the way up until two minutes left in the game. Keenum has been at his best for fantasy when Denver has trailed throughout the game but pursuing heavy points against the Chiefs has been a tougher task than assumed as they have allowed 10.2 passing points per game over their past three non-Tom Brady opponents.


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Rich Hribar is a husband, father, sports meteorologist and a slave to statistics. A lifelong sports fan and fantasy gamer. You can find him on Twitter @LordReebs.
Email :Rich Hribar

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