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Week 8 Risers & Fallers Analysis for Fantasy Football

By Mr.schultz (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Mr.schultz (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsThis weekly column examines ten fantasy football players, five guys that are on the up-and-up, or “risers,” and five guys that are struggling, or “fallers.”

You shouldn’t necessarily take these ten players as start/sit sleepers or waiver wire add/drop recommendations, as the analysis here is meant to be more of a gauge for how a fantasy football player is currently trending heading into Week 8 of NFL action.

With that said, here are your Week 8 risers and fallers. Good luck with your fantasy football lineup and matchups in Week 8, RotoBallers!


Fantasy Football Risers - Stock Up

Bryce Brown, RB -- Buffalo Bills

The Bills had their one-two punch of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller knocked out in a matter of minutes of each other in Sunday's game.  It turns out that Spiller will probably miss the rest of the season with a broken collarbone, and Jackson will be out at least a few weeks with a groin injury. That leaves Bryce Brown, who has been a healthy inactive for most of the season, as the likely candidate for lead back carries for the next several weeks. Brown had some explosive plays during his time as a backup to LeSean McCoy in Philadelphia, and he'll certainly get his chance to prove his worth over the next several games. Sure, Anthony Dixon might steal some touches here and there, but Brown is a must add in most leagues.


Sammy Watkins, WR -- Buffalo Bills
Speaking of the Bills, wide out Sammy Watkins should be the focal point of the offense until Fred Jackson returns. We saw Watkins' potential last week, with his nine catch, 122 yard and two touchdown performance against the Vikings. And with career journeyman Kyle Orton now running the offense and seemingly getting more and more comfortable every week, Watkins should continue to be force-fed the ball.


Tre Mason, RB -- St. Louis Rams

Full disclosure, I really don't want much to do with the Rams' running game. I've pretty much been on that train the entire season. With that said, Mason should be the one to get the majority of the carries moving forward. Zac Stacy was always a volume play as opposed to a talent play, and will probably remain irrelevant for the rest of the season as far as fantasy goes. While Benny Cunningham is good for five to ten touches per game and a handful of passes, and is a decent PPR Flex play, he's definitely not able to carry a full workload. Mason looked like the best Rams running back by far on Sunday and was rewarded with 18 carries for 85 yards and a score.


Andre Ellington, RB -- Arizona Cardinals

Andre Ellington makes this list because I've heard grumblings around the fantasy-sphere about his lack of touchdowns and the goal line vulturing of Stepfan Taylor. If this describes an owner in your league, go trade for Ellington immediately. Ellington's touches numbers are off the charts. On Sunday, he rushed for 88 yards on 24 carries, and added 72 receiving yards on six catches. Only Demarco Murray and Le'Veon Bell touch the ball more than Ellington. The touchdowns will come, his bye week has passed and he has a fairly favorable schedule ahead of him. Hang tight.


T.Y Hilton, WR -- Indianapolis Colts

With Reggie Wayne hobbled, Hilton becomes the definite number one target for the pass happy Andrew Luck. Wayne is expected to miss one to two weeks, but with the Colts' bye week scheduled for Week 10, I would have to think they will keep Wayne sidelined for the next two weeks and allow him to get the extra week of rest before returning in Week 11. Hilton should continue to see tons of targets from Luck, especially with two juicy match ups against Pittsburgh and the New York Giants over the next two weeks.


Fantasy Football Risers - Stock Down

Montee Ball, RB -- Denver Broncos

Part of me legitimately feels bad for Montee Ball. It started in training camp when he had to have an emergency appendectomy. Who knows how big of a factor that was in his slow start to the regular season, but Ball did look a step slower than we all thought he would look. He also had a couple of tough match ups, and then he suffered what sounds like a very painful groin injury. It never seemed like he was able to get into a rhythm with Peyton Manning and the offense. Backup Ronnie Hillman has looked fantastic in Ball's absence. At this point, I would be very surprised to see Ball regain the starting position, as he's likely fallen into a backup-by-committee situation. If you need the roster space, I'm fine with dropping Ball in 10 or 12 team leagues.


Matt Ryan, QB -- Atlanta Falcons

Right now, you shouldn't be starting Matt Ryan outside of the dome in Atlanta. Even with weapons that include Julio Jones and Roddy White, the offensive line can't block anything that moves and Ryan looks very jittery in the pocket. Even Ryan's last home start only resulted in 12.7 fantasy points (271 yards, a touchdown and a pick) against the same Chicago Bears' defense that just allowed 24 fantasy points to Ryan Tannehill. With the QB position as deep as it is, unless you are in a 2QB league, it's best to find another option at the position until the Atlanta offense can get it together.


Brandon Marshall, WR -- Chicago Bears

Maybe it's the ankle, maybe it's Jay Cutler, maybe it's both, or maybe it's neither, but Marshall only has one game of more than 10 fantasy points since Week 2, and since his three touchdown outburst that same week, he's scored just once. You're probably not sitting him this week against New England, but maybe he can use the Week nine bye week to regroup. It seems like the entire Bears' team needs it.


Kirk Cousins, QB -- Washington Redskins

R.I.P The Kirk Cousins Era, Week 2 -- Week 7. Fantasy-wise, Cousins actually was not playing terribly. He had four weeks of scoring 17 fantasy points or more, but first year head coach Jay Gruden has apparently pulled the plug on Cousins, as it was announced that Colt McCoy will start from now on until Robert Griffin III is ready to return. Cousins can safely be dropped in all leagues.


Jordan Cameron, TE -- Cleveland Browns

I've never been on the Cameron train, and that's not going to change now. If Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers were throwing to him, that's one thing. But they aren't-- it's Brian Hoyer. And the fact remains that Cameron has no more than three catches in any game this season. And his one touchdown, last week against the Steelers, came on terrible coverage by Pittsburgh and when the Browns were running the ball down the Steelers' throats. I can't trust Cameron to be a consistent producer at the tight end position. I might try to sell high after his next solid game.


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