Sometimes when your opponents zig, you need to zag. Doug Moore presents his Week 8 fantasy football bold predictions that will separate you from the competition.
We are just about at the halfway point of the NFL season, and you need to be sure you have the right players in your fantasy lineups with six teams on a bye this week. Let’s get to our ten bold predictions for Week 8.
Even in a tough matchup, Tom Brady throws for at least 275 yards and two scores
Over the past three games, the Buffalo Bills have given up just 662 yards passing (220 per game on average) and two touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks. Granted, the three quarterbacks they faced were Case Keenum, Colin Kaepernick, and Ryan Tannehill. This week, New England comes to town and is easily the passing attack the Bills have faced this season. Brady has thrown for 1,004 yards (334 per game on average) and eight touchdowns (almost three per game) in three games this season, and should have a full supporting cast including Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, James White, and Martellus Bennett. While he did throw for only 222 yards in Week Seven against the Steelers, that was because LeGarrette Blount did a lot of heavy lifting. This week, Brady and the Patriots offense could go off against a Bills team that shut them out in Week Four.
Cam Newton struggles in a tough matchup against Arizona
Coming off a much needed bye week, the Panthers face the Cardinals at home this weekend. Cam Newton had a solid 322 yard, two touchdown game against New Orleans in Week Six, but he, along with the Panthers as a whole, have struggled this season with an average of 259 yards passing, 1.6 passing touchdowns and 1.2 interceptions per game. The Cardinals are fresh off a classic low-scoring tie against the Seahawks this past weekend, effectively shutting down Russell Wilson. They have given up just one passing touchdown while collecting four interceptions over the past three games, while allowing less than 200 yards passing on average. Newton is in for a tough week against a strong defense.
Tevin Coleman injured his hamstring this past weekend and it does not appear as if he will play in Week 8 after the Falcons signed two running backs. Because of Coleman’s injury Freeman is expected to have a work-horse type role against the Packers this weekend. Despite that, he is facing a very tough run defense that has not given up a touchdown to a running back over the past three weeks and only 90 yards rushing on average during that span. Freeman will certainly have a big role in this game but it seems unlikely given the match-up that he will have a big week against such a strong run defense.
Christine Michael punishes New Orleans with two touchdowns
Despite only gaining a total of 55 yards on 19 touches against the Cardinals, Michael is clearly the bell-cow for the Seahawks. He has at least 18 touches in the past four games and has four touchdowns over that span as well. This weekend, he faces the Saints who have given up over 250 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns to opposing running backs over the past two games. They have three games this season in which they have given up multiple rushing touchdowns (Tevin Coleman in Week three, Melvin Gordon in Week 4and Jonathan Stewart in Week 6) and also allowed three rushing touchdowns to the Raiders in Week 1. They have been very generous to opposing running backs and this defense has struggled at stopping any facet of an opposing team’s offense. Michael is in for a big week.
Watch out for LeGarrette Blount, who will have a repeat performance from Week 7
Blount has been a revelation this season, averaging 80 rushing yards and a touchdown through seven games this season (566 yards, seven touchdowns). He has scored a touchdown in three straight games and was a big part for the Patriots winning in Week 7 with 127 yards and two touchdowns. He faces a Bills team that has allowed an average of 125 yards and a touchdown (376 yards, three touchdowns) to opposing running backs over the past three games, including a 4.8 yards per carry mark as well. The Patriots will likely try to exploit this weakness and score early against the team that shut them out at home in Week 4. Expect to see a lot of Blount in the second half to control the clock. He’s in for another great week.
Even though Jeffery has done much better with Jay Cutler throwing to him than any other quarterback, he doesn’t appear poised to have an impressive Week 8. The Vikings have only given up 178 yards and two touchdowns over the past two games to opposing wide receivers. With the emergence of Cameron Meredith and Zach Miller, Jeffery may be contending for targets, before considering the Vikings stellar secondary. He is going up against the best defense in the NFL and will more than likely be the focus of cornerback Xavier Rhodes. Lower your expectations for him this weekend.
T.Y. Hilton continues his reign of terror with the Chiefs being his latest victim
Hilton and the Colts will be facing the Chiefs this weekend, who have given up a ridiculous 464 yards receiving and three touchdowns to opposing wide receivers over the past two games. That is over 232 yards and 1.5 touchdowns, for those keeping score at home. Hilton is coming off an impressive seven reception, 133 yard, one touchdown performance against the Titans. He has scored a touchdown in four of the past five games and has surpassed 130 yards receiving in three of the past five as well. With Donte Moncrief and possibly Phillip Dorsett both active this weekend, it may take away from Hilton’s targets, but they may distract the Chiefs defense, providing open looks for Hilton. He looks primed for another big game.
Amari Cooper’s whirlwind season continues with a lackluster performance against the Buccaneers
Believe it or not, the Buccaneers have only given up 148 yards receiving and no touchdowns against opposing wide receivers over the past two games. Amari Cooper and the Raiders are the opponent this week, and Cooper has had an inconsistent season to say the least. He has scored only one touchdown this season while having three games with at least 129 yards receiving. But in the other four games, he has less than 75 yards. Michael Crabtree continues to function as the “1A” receiver in this offense and Cooper has a surprisingly difficult matchup this weekend.
Travis Kelce bounces back against an easy Colts defense
Kelce has had three straight games with less than 40 yards receiving and only 10 receptions over that span. He also only has two touchdowns in six games this season. He started off the first four games of the season with 22 receptions but has only five catches over the last two. This week, he faces the Colts, who have given up 24 receptions (eight on average), 283 yards (94 on average), and two touchdowns (.66 on average) to opposing tight ends over the past three games. The Colts defense has proven to be as tough as wet tissue paper and Kelce will be looking to have a good game after his recent slump. Expect a big bounce-back this weekend.
Even with his great season, Greg Olsen has a hiccup against the Cardinals
Yes, it is very difficult to face off against the top scoring tight end in fantasy football this season. He leads all the position in targets, receptions and yards. But, he faces an Arizona Cardinals defense that has given up the least amount of points to opposing tight ends over the past three games, allowing a measly seven receptions for 61 yards and no touchdowns over that span. And with Cam Newton also facing a tough matchup, it’s going to be even harder to rely on Olsen’s usual production. He is still a must-start, but don’t expect him to produce the same stat line as we have