Fantasy Football

Today’s Pigskin Week 8 NFL fantasy football rankings

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper, right, celebrates with quarterback Derek Carr, left, after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Tennessee Titans Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
AP Photo/Ben Margot

For the first time in a while – or at least that’s how it seems – there weren’t many surprises in a week of fantasy football action.

Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees led the quarterbacks. A.J. Green, Mike Evans and Julio Jones were at the top of the fantasy wide receiver charts. The same can be said for Matt Forte and David Johnson at running back, as well as Delanie Walker and Rob Gronkowski at tight end.

Sure, there were outliers like Davante Adams having 13 catches, Jay Ajayi suddenly becoming an elite running back and Jack Doyle leading all tight ends, but they weren’t that big of surprises.

These fantasy performances didn’t compare to Case Keenum having four touchdowns a week ago.

But of course, because of this predictably, it only means that Week 8 will be the opposite.

Let’s look at some possible high-scoring matchups.

The Buccaneers-Raiders game has all the makings of a lot of points, partly because Oakland is playing in Florida yet again. This is already the Raiders’ fifth game in the Eastern or Central time zone.

Blake Bortles didn’t live up to his end of the bargain against the Raiders, but Jameis Winston should reach three touchdowns for the second straight week and in case you missed it, wide receiver Russell Shepard needs to be added.

On the other side, Derek Carr should be able to get back to normal against this defense; although, it’s possible Latavius Murray will steal a couple more touchdowns.

The Cardinals-Panthers game will be interesting, mainly because these defenses have been the opposite lately. Because of that, I’ll stay away from this in daily formats, unless it’s David Johnson.

Speaking of running backs, Spencer Ware is set for another nice game against the Colts. And if you want to play it risky, I can see speedy Tyreek Hill doing something exciting at Lucas Oil.

On the other end, the Chiefs have turned it around defensively and should have a better strategy at defending T.Y. Hilton than the Titans, but you never know.

Expect Matt Forte and Bilal Powell to see plenty of touches against the Browns. Forte had a few down weeks, but he should put together a couple nice ones in a row once again.

The Packers against the Falcons may be one of the more exciting games of the day and it could easily go the same way as the Falcons-Chargers game from last week. Aaron Rodgers may not be playing great, but he could easily pass the ball 50-plus times again in this one. As for Matt Ryan, I’ll take him at home against a beat-up secondary.

I think Matthew Stafford will have another solid game on the road against a beat-up Texans secondary.

And if Russell Wilson doesn’t produce at an elite level against the Saints, it may be time to turn elsewhere for owners.

Trade away

Now seems like the perfect time to cut ties with LeGarrette Blount. The Patriots play the Ravens, Broncos and Jets in Weeks 14-16 (the fantasy playoffs). Also, Dion Lewis should be back at that point and those games could all result in Tom Brady passing almost every down.

Other than that, outside of the 49ers game, the Patriots don’t face many favorable rush defenses the rest of the way.

Keep an eye on

The Vikings are making an effort to get Cordarrelle Patterson the ball and it’s working. He has 16 receptions for 144 yards and two touchdowns in the last three games. Against the Bears this week, he’ll definitely be useful in 12-team leagues with six teams on bye.

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