Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 8: WRs
Week 8 of the NFL season is the first of two straight weeks with six teams on bye. That many teams on vacation wreaks havoc on fantasy football owners and their respective lineups. It also highlights the need for a deep bench. For those without deep benches, however, all is not lost. Here are some under the radar wide receivers that can help your fantasy football team out Week 8.
Michael Floyd, Arizona Cardinals – 69% Owned
Much has been made about the Cardinals’ inability to do anything in the passing game, and it is certainly true Carson Palmer has looked awful this season. We have to remember, however, the Cardinals have played one heck of a tough schedule.
Since throwing for 327 yards and two touchdowns against the horrific Rams, Palmer has faced Detroit, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Carolina, San Francisco, and Seattle. The only “poor” pass defense in that bunch is Tampa, and I am not convinced they are awful either.
Perhaps this passing game, then, is not as awful as we think, and perhaps Michael Floyd’s merely okay production this season comes more down to matchups than anything else. We will get to see this week against a banged up Atlanta defense that cannot get pressure, and I expect Floyd to step up to the challenge.
Terrance Williams, Dallas Cowboys – 53% Owned
The injury to Miles Austin turned out to be a boon for Terrance Williams’ fantasy value. Williams has at least seven standard league fantasy points in his last four games, and he has seen 21 targets over that span.
More impressively the rookie has started to look more comfortable in the offense. There were several times early in the season where Williams looked downright lost, but Williams has finally started to look comfortable in the Dallas offense. His 90% catch rate over the last four weeks also suggests he and Tony Romo are developing rapport.
The icing on Williams’ cake is the matchup against Detroit. Detroit has given up the seventh most points to opposing fantasy football wide receivers, and they just gave up four catches, 57 yards, and a touchdown to Marvin Jones last week. Williams should see a very similar stat line in a game sure to have points.
Jarrett Boykin, Green Bay Packers – 28% Owned
Jarrett Boykin burst onto the fantasy football scene with eight catches for 103 yards and a touchdown against Cleveland last week. He is big, he is talented, and it appears Aaron Rodgers likes him. That is a potent combination.
Now Boykin gets a Minnesota defense that is, frankly, horrible. They have played some of the poorer offenses in the league and still rank in the bottom 10 against fantasy football wide receivers. Minnesota’s defense is a train wreck, and without Jermichael Finley and most likely James Jones to siphon off targets, Boykin is in great shape to have another monster day.
After this week, however, the situation gets a bit murkier for Boykin. James Jones will be back at some point, and all three of Jones, Boykin, and Jordy Nelson are best suited for the two outside receiver postions. How will the Packers get all three on the field at the same time? It is a question to monitor, but it should have no bearing this week.
Harry Douglas, Atlanta Falcons – 60% Owned
Some might be put off Harry Douglas this week despite his breakout game against Tampa Bay last week because he is going up against Patrick Peterson and the Arizona Cardinals. That is a mistake.
The interesting thing about Douglas’ breakout against Tampa Bay was his role in the offense did not change with the absence of Julio Jones and Roddy White. I charted him as in the slot or a bunch formation on 20 of the Falcons’ 26 pass plays, and four of his seven catches came out of the slot or bunch. That usage makes it unlikely Douglas sees much of Peterson on Sunday.
With Roddy White likely out again, I look for Douglas to see at least another eight targets. That makes him a pretty solid wide receiver two in most leagues.
Aaron Dobson, New England Patriots – 5% Owned
Aaron Dobson is not someone I am excited about putting in my lineup, but he is a great flier in a pinch. Dobson has been very involved in the Patriots’ offense the last two weeks with 17 targets over that span, and Tom Brady has been just inches from hitting him on several big plays.
Kris Durham, Detroit Lions - 1% Owned
Even a healthy and beasting Calvin Johnson could not keep Kris Durham’s and Matthew Stafford’s blossoming love from showing itself against Cincinnati. Durham had eight targets against the Bengals and now has 29 the last three weeks. No reason to believe that will change this week against Dallas, and eight to ten targets against Dallas equals fantasy football awesomeness.
Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns – 99% Owned
Jason Campbell supplanting Brandon Weeden under center for the Cleveland Browns is roughly akin to someone deciding to drop a deuce in your hot tub instead of your pool. It is certainly different, but it is not any better.
Campbell starting is especially not better against the Kansas City Chiefs and their league best pass rush. Campbell’s feet may legitimately be made from lead, and there is no way he will be able to escape the constant pressure Kansas City will put on him. That means a lot of quick passes and a lot of dump offs to the running backs. Neither of those things helps Josh Gordon.
Gordon is such a physical monster that he could certainly turn a quick pass into a big play, but that is about the only way Gordon has a good game this week. Sit him if at all possible.
Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs – 97% Owned
Sitting Dwayne Bowe is more of a running piece of advice, but it is especially applicable with the Chiefs scheduled to face Joe Haden and the Cleveland Browns.
Torrey Smith is the only number one wide receiver that has had any success against Cleveland this season, and Smith only went for 85 yards on seven catches. Jordy Nelson was basically shut down by Haden last week before getting a short touchdown late in the game. A.J. Green could do nothing against Haden. Calvin Johnson, who was admittedly banged up, only had 25 yards on three catches.
If those names could not produce against Haden, are we really going to trust Dwayne Bowe to outplay his four catch, 50 yard baseline? The answer is a resounding no.
Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders – 97% Owned
Denarius Moore’s appearance on this list is not an indictment of his talent and fantasy football prospects going forward. Moore has been a very consistent player since his inexplicable goose egg against Jacksonville, and eight to ten targets a game for a player like Moore is great news for his fantasy football owners.
This week, however, he has to face Ike Taylor. Taylor is a big reason why the Steelers have only allowed an average of 51 yards to opposing number one wide receivers and are only allowing 16.7 fantasy points to wide receivers every week.
Moore will be a number two wide out most weeks, but there are better options Week 8. Find one of them.
For more fantasy analysis or lineup questions be sure to follow Raymond on Twitter @RMSummerlin.