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Fantasy Football: Think about picking up Kenjon Barner

Pete Davidson
October 23, 2018 - 9:35 am

Welcome to Week 8!  With four teams on the bye, the free agent marketplace is going to be competitive. Hopefully, you’ve been stocking up in recent weeks because our stash plays have been hitting all over the place. If not, you can hopefully strike tonight and get your squad in good position for all of the upcoming byes.

Look for the waiver wire podcast later today with my partner in crime and dead references, Jim Hackett. This week’s pod will be here at WEEI. I’ll post a link on Twitter as soon as it’s available. My handle is @Rotobahn.

The Week 8 bye teams are the Falcons, Cowboys, Titans & Chargers. 

Alright, let’s get to the Week 8 targets.

QUARTERBACKS

Mitchell Trubisky, Bears 

Baker Mayfield, Browns

Joe Flacco, Ravens

Case Keenum, Broncos

Dak Prescott, Cowboys

Alex Smith, Washington

Trubisky is about to become widely owned. He’s at about 50 percent on most major sites, so if you want him, get him now. Chicago’s scheme is working well for him—simplifying reads and getting the ball to the playmakers. Mayfield’s not the beneficiary of a great scheme or great surrounding talent, but he’s a good player who has a favorable schedule over the next two weeks. Flacco lacks the weapons to be a lights out fantasy force, but he’s throwing enough to be viable in most situations, including this week’s road matchup with the Panthers and next week’s home tilt against the Steelers. Keenum is hugely inconsistent, but he has great talent to throw to and has a nice matchup at Kansas City this week. Prescott just got a lot more interesting with a favorable playoff schedule and a new No. 1 weapon in Amari Cooper. He’s on his bye this week, but the Cooper deal gives him renewed viability as does the recent emergence of Michael Gallup. Smith is unexciting to be sure, but he sports a playable schedule right up until he faces the Jaguars Week 15. 

RUNNING BACKS

Marlon Mack, Colts

Doug Martin, Raiders

Wendell Smallwood, Eagles

Jalen Richard, Raiders 

Ronald Jones, Bucs

Raheem Mostert, 49ers

Nyheim Hines, Colts

Frank Gore, Dolphins

Chris Ivory, Bills

Elijah McGuire, Jets

Trenton Cannon, Jets

Kapri Bibbs, Washington

Kenjon Barner, Patriots

Mack is about to become universally unavailable, so hopefully, you listened to me last week when I told you to ignore Ito Smith in favor of Mack and Nick Chubb. The news on Chubb’s ascent broke midweek, so he’s not a target in 82 percent of leagues but it’s worth your time to confirm his status in your league, just to be sure. As I have been saying all year, he’s a potential league-winner. The good news is that, even if Mack and Chubb are gone, Martin has some nice potential too. With Marshawn Lynch out of commission for the next two months, at a minimum, the Raiders backfield is wide open. This should mean that Jalen Richard gets some more love as well, but I suspect he’ll remain in a passing down role for the most part. Smallwood did little in Week 7, but he did play ahead of Corey Clement again, so he needs to be rostered everywhere and you could win big if the Eagles fail to make a score before next week’s trading deadline. Jones is still a stash play. He’s playing a bit more but the Bucs are still using three backs and Peyton Barber is running a lot better than the stats suggest. Still, Jones has top-shelf explosive traits and if this offense clicks, he should be a viable flex option. Ivory’s value is tied to the Week 8 availability of LeSean McCoy, who could be in the concussion protocol. Similarly, Mostert could have flex appeal in Week 8 if Matt Breida’s sprained ankle keeps him out. Hines will lose some luster in the wake of Mack’s huge day, but the better the offense moves the ball, the better it is for a space back like Hines. He’s got flex appeal in large formats.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Chris Godwin, Bucs

Geronimo Allison, Packers 

Tre’Quan Smith, Saints

Robby Anderson, Jets

Christian Kirk, Cardinals 

Tyrell Williams, Chargers

Mohamed Sanu, Falcons

Michael Gallup, Cowboys (on bye) 

Courtland Sutton, Broncos

D.J. Moore, Panthers

Paul Richardson, Washington

Anthony Miller, Bears

Jakeem Grant, Dolphins

Danny Amendola, Dolphins 

Willie Snead, Ravens

Cameron Meredith, Saints

Godwin is the prize by my math because we finally saw the Bucs moving him around the formation more and taking some snaps from Adam Humphries. Godwin is underrated in my view, both as a player and as a fantasy asset. No way I pass him up in a PPR league. Allison should be back at 100 percent soon and I have him as Aaron Rodger’s number two receiver. What else do we need to know? Smith’s role appears to resemble the one left behind by the recently injured Ted Ginn, and it’s effectively the number two role on the New Orleans offense. So, as with Allison, the rationale for rostering him is pretty easy to understand. Anderson will see a lot of number one corners, but Sam Darnold has shown consistent aggression targeting his outside receivers. So, while there will be some inconsistency, Anderson will be a weekly high upside WR3 option. I like Kirk’s role in the Cardinals’ offense based on what we’ve seen since Josh Rosen took over. If they can take the next step, Kirk could become a solid weekly starter in all but the smallest of PPR leagues. Tyrell Williams and Sanu are similar in that they can disappear at any time, but also have significant roles in good offenses. Only 27 receivers have more points than Williams in standard scoring, but beware that he’s on his bye this week. Sutton’s value could explode if Demaryius Thomas is dealt as rumors suggest he could be. Sutton has flex appeal even if Thomas stays. Grant could become a weekly staple for the Dolphins with Albert Wilson injured. Roster him now in big formats. Wilson’s injury also makes Amendola’s workload more secure. His value is up as well, particularly in PPR scoring. Both Moore and Miller are stash options versus strong Week 8 plays, but I’ve been on them all year based on their talent, and I’m sticking with them.

TIGHT ENDS

Vance McDonald, Steelers 

Jack Doyle, Colts

C.J. Uzomah, Bengals

Ben Watson, Saints

Chris Herndon, Jets

Hayden Hurst, Ravens

McDonald is back off the bye and has carved out a role for himself, so he can be used as a weekly starter in most leagues. Doyle is a lock starter when healthy, especially in PPR leagues, but there’s really no indication as to when he will finally make his return. It could be in a few days or a few weeks. Value him based on your situation and roster restrictions. Uzomah is clearly locked into the lead role for the Bengals. He’s played over 90 percent of the snaps for three consecutive weeks. He’s been effective enough to use a solid TE2. Watson is getting just enough time and attention for use in deep formats. Herndon is an ascending catch-first weapon for the Jets, but will be inconsistent. He’s for deep leagues and bye week considerations. Hurst has been disappointing so far but once they scale his snaps up a bit, he should start to produce. He’s a stash option in large formats.

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