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Fantasy Football Risers & Fallers: Week 8


Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement. The same goes for fantasy football, and managing rosters effectively is key to winning that championship.

Throughout the season, players get hot and see an increased role while others struggle and fight to stay relevant. Experienced fantasy players know this happens every year. In this weekly column, we’ll showcase those who have taken important steps forward and those who have taken steps back.

These are the key fantasy risers and fallers heading into Week 8 of the NFL season. Dynasty owners, check out our separate Dynasty Risers/Fallers segment each week as well.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!

 

Week 8 Risers

Quarterbacks

After offense was turned off for the first few weeks, scoring has awoken for several teams. Eight quarterbacks threw for three touchdowns last week and three of them accounted for four touchdowns. Carson Wentz has thrown for 11 touchdowns in his last three games. Derek Carr posted 417 yards and three scores. Dak Prescott has thrown nine touchdowns in his last three games and added two on the ground. Russell Wilson eclipsed 300 yards passing and threw three touchdowns. It's been an offensive explosion for these quarterbacks.

Amari Cooper (WR, OAK)

Even if I wanted to put someone else here, did I really have a choice? After posting 136 receiving yards over his first six games combined, Cooper beat that by 74 last week with 11 catches on 19 targets and two touchdowns. One week certainly does not erase the other six, but it serves as a friendly reminder of the type of talent Cooper possesses. He still needs to get over the drops and his volume certainly won't be this high every week, but it is fair to say we can put him back into lineups as a WR2.

Ezekiel Elliott (RB, DAL)

Less than a week after yet another suspension scare may have birthed a new "angry" movement. We all know about Angry Tom Brady. Football world, meet Angry Ezekiel Elliott. Zeke carried the ball 26 times for 147 yards and two touchdowns, but it was his lone reception that was his most impressive feat of the day. Elliott's catch out in the flat looked like it would pickup a first down. Then he raced up the sideline, outrunning defenders and evading a few more en route to a 72 yard touchdown. Zeke did it all on Sunday, posting 40 fantasy points in PPR leagues. He has one more worry free week and then on October 30, he will have his final hearing on his injunction, it will be granted, and this saga will be over until the offseason.

Jordan Reed (TE, WAS)

Welcome to 2017! Jordan Reed exploded on Monday night to the tune of eight catches on 10 targets for 64 yards and two touchdowns. All of his production came in the second half. Game script had a lot to do with Reed's performance as Reed was rotating fairly evenly with Vernon Davis and even a little with Niles Paul, both of whom caught a pass before Reed. In the second half, with the Redskins in catch up mode, Reed played almost every snap, lining up mostly as a wide receiver. I'd like to see it again before I fully trust him, but he looked healthy and he proved to his team that he makes the offense go.

 

Week 8 Fallers

Old People (QB, RB, WR, ARI)

It was a cute story when I had these three elderly folk on the Risers last week. That's all over. I warned everyone not to get too excited about Adrian Peterson. When I posted my article on how I thought AP would fare in Arizona, 11 carries for 21 yards is a lot more in line with what I expected. It obviously didn't help that the Cardinals couldn't score any points and also lost Carson Palmer for the season, if not his career, but nothing is going to change for Peterson. Larry Fitzgerald's splits without Palmer are scary bad. Palmer was a back end QB1. Drew Stanton is unrosterable. Peterson was trending towards being an RB3/Flex play. He will probably be dropped in a few weeks because the combination of being done and being on an awful team is not great for fantasy. Fitz was a high end WR2 with Palmer. He will be tough to start even in the Flex going forward. I think it is fair to say that we've reached the point in Arizona where no one on this team should be started in fantasy leagues.

Packers WRs (All of Them)

This. Is. Bad. Jordy Nelson was a mid WR1. He is now a low end WR3. Davante Adams was a high end WR2. He is now a WR4. Randall Cobb was a Flex play. He is now droppable. Martellus Bennett was droppable. He is still droppable. Without Aaron Rodgers, the Packers offense sputtered as Brett Hundley looked hesitant and uncertain in the pocket. He took too long to make decisions and often would throw to receivers after they were already open such that by the time the ball got there, so did the defender. I expect Hundley to improve going forward, at least a little bit, but it's abundantly clear that the hit to the fantasy value of all Packers pass catchers is significant.

Ty Montgomery (RB, GB)

I hate to pile on the Packers here, but this one actually has nothing to do with Aaron Rodgers. This was going to happen anyway. Ty Montgomery has absolutely no fantasy value. Zero. Drop him. He is useless. He will go back to being an RB2 if Aaron Jones were to get hurt, but you don't need to burn a roster spot on a pure backup. Montgomery played just seven snaps because that's what backups do - they only play when the starter is tired.

The Baltimore Ravens

Is there a more useless team in the entire NFL? Serious question. Where does QB Joe Flacco rank amongst average fantasy points per game? The answer is QB38. Yes. 38. He essentially ranks 38 out of 32. He is the worst QB in the league and it is not particularly close. Even Deshone Kizer is averaging more fantasy points per week than Flacco. Mitch Trubisky threw seven passes last week and is averaging more points per week than Flacco. The Ravens have a terrible QB and their WRs by the end of last week's game were Griff Whalen, Chris Moore, and Michael Campanaro. Their RBs have no chance at scoring because the offense can't move the ball. Justin Tucker somehow managed three field goals, though. He's exempt from this list. Every other Raven is a blight on football.

 

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