Whos Hot Whos Not 2016 Week 8

By Jen Ryan
Jen Ryan I am a big fan of transparency and by transparency I mean calling myself out. Back when I was simply just a fantasy football addict, I was addicted to CBS’ Jamey Eisenberg’s weekly start/sit column. The best part about it is his “full disclosure” section which, full disclosure, is the inspiration behind my “I knew it, I blew it” portion of my weekly start/sit column here on FootballDiehards.com. Jamey is someone I have admired for years, and this season I am lucky enough to be in a league with him that I play in as a Football Diehards representative. You can follow along here and see that Jamey and I are neck and neck:

As I mentioned, Jamey’s “full disclosure” was and still is my favorite part of his weekly start/sit, and it is something I read religiously.

Last week, we fired on all cylinders and my picks and sits hit across the board. The point of “I knew it, I blew it” is to keep myself honest, not to gloat. If you are interested in seeing last week’s picks, you can click here, http://www.footballdiehards.com/fantasy-football-columns/html/whos-hot-whos-not-2016-week-7.cfm, but I will not write about each pick hitting. With that said, let’s get right to Week 8.

Who’s Hot

Fire Starter: Brandon Marshall – New York Jets @ Cleveland Browns
You may not need me to tell you to start Brandon Marshall, but after back-to-back games of three receptions and no trip to the end zone, you may be frustrated. If you click on Marshall’s name above in blue, you will see in two career games against the Browns, he has six receptions, at least 62 yards, and a score in both. Add into the mix that, per Marshall himself, “Fitzmagic 2.0” is here, and we have that WR1 day from Marshall that we expect from him. This is the week Fitz and Marshall get back on track and he will make it a third game with at least six receptions, 62 yards, and a score.

QB: Josh McCown – Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets
I am not even targeting this game because Vegas is telling me to. Vegas has the line at 44 points, the 4th-lowest total of the weekend. That is not stopping me from being all over McCown this week, who hasn’t taken a snap since Week 2. The Jets are a great “Welcome Back” matchup for McCown and rank 23rd against quarterbacks. This will be a fun matchup to watch between two veteran journeymen, and McCown will have no problem torching the Jets’ defense.

RB: Frank Gore – Indianapolis Colts vs. Kansas City Chiefs
In a week full of backup running backs getting the starting nod, it is easy to forget about Frank Gore. The Chiefs have allowed at least 95 rushing yards in all but one game this season, and Gore is one of a few backs remaining that is not stuck in timeshare hell. Gore has at least 79 all-purpose yards in his past four games and is averaging over 20 total touches over that span. He is quietly getting a ton of usage and has built a solid floor for himself. Everyone will tell you to start guys like Jacquizz Rodgers, Devontae Booker, and Mike Gillislee and you should, but make sure not to overlook Gore this weekend.

TE: Jacob Tamme – Atlanta Falcons vs. Green Bay Packers
C.J. Fiedorowicz is the chalk play this week but I think Tamme is the sneaky play in all formats. Though they have only given up two touchdowns to the position they rank 23rd against tight ends. There is not a tight end in football with more red zone targets that Tamme’s 11, and only Jordy Nelson (12), Brandon Marshall (12), and Emmanuel Sanders (15) have more red zone targets than him. This game has the highest point total of the week at 52.5 points and I have no shame in telling you that I will be putting a bet on the over hitting. Tamme figures to be a part of this pass-happy equation and his red zone usage primes him for a potentially huge fantasy day.

Who’s Not

Ice Cold: Ryan Mathews – Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys
What happened to the player with RB1 upside that we stole in our drafts in the sixth round this year? After teasing us in Week 1 with 22 carries, Mathews has not carried the ball more than 14 times in a game since. This is a cake matchup for Mathews against the Cowboys’ bottom-three ranked defense yet we cannot trust him or his usage. If there were ever an opportunity for him to turn it around it would be this week, but Doug Pederson’s questionable hesitancy to feed Mathews will have him positioned on my bench this week, where he has been since coming out of the bye in Week 5. Mathews has yet to be on the field for at least half of the Eagles’ snaps.

QB: Tyrod Taylor – Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots
In their first meeting, the Bills blanked the Patriots, and Rex Ryan got that cheap thrill he waits all year long for. Taylor had a solid outing, throwing for 246 yards and a score on his way to a 19 point fantasy day. I cannot envision a scenario where that happens again for him. The loss of LeSean McCoy for the Bills this week will put a ton of pressure on Taylor, who in reality is the second-best rusher on the team. Bill Belechick will enact revenge on Rex Ryan for shutting him out in Week 4 and unfortunately it will be Taylor who will take the brunt of that revenge.

WR: Alshon Jeffery – Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings
Historically, Jeffery has dominated the Vikings and has averaged 20 points over his past seven meetings against them. On top of that, Jay Cutler will be back this week and we all know the extra special attention Cutler gives his WR1 in terms of targets. I don’t doubt Jeffery will have targets in the teens this weekend, but that doesn’t mean they will be good targets. Cutler’s play has the tendency to be erratic. Regardless of all this, there is really one main reason I am sitting Jeffery this weekend and that reason is Xavier Rhodes. Rhodes is allowing .2 fantasy points per route run, and that is not good at all for Jeffery. Sure, Jeffery has the ability and upside to humble Rhodes this weekend, but the chances of that happening are very slim.

TE: Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Bench the TE3 in fantasy football, you say? I do say so. Doyle has acted as the defacto WR2 in Indianapolis with all receivers failing to step up in Donte Moncrief’s absence. Not only will Moncrief be back this week and will inevitably eat into his 3-week target share of 16%. When you throw in the fact that Jesse James is the only tight end the Chiefs’ have faced who was able to score and go for over 50 yards, we can see this is a disaster matchup for Doyle. I love him for the rest of the season, especially with Dwayne Allen’s body obviously breaking down on him, but Doyle will disappoint you if you play him this week.

These are just eight players I can suggest to you this week out of the 250+ players who will touch the football this weekend. Take advantage of our Ease of Schedule tool (http://www.footballdiehards.com/eosforecast.cfm) and consider matchups when making your tough decisions. Good luck this weekend!