Guest Writer: Fantasy Football Week 8

What a week of football, huh?  From Arian Foster’s retirement to the “riveting” 6-6 draw between the Seahawks and the Cardinals, the theme of this week was the unexpected. Below are my suggestions for waiver claims for the upcoming slate.

Ryan Fitzpatrick (New York Jets) — After being benched in favor of Geno Smith for the first time all season, Fitzmagic promptly came into the game and led the Jets to victory after Smith tore his ACL.  During his post-game press conference, Fitzpatrick let known his frustrations with being benched. After all the off-field issues are settled with the front-office, fantasy owners will look forward to adding Fitzpatrick for a juicy matchup against the 0-7 Cleveland Browns.  His ownership rate should spike from the lowly 14% he currently boasts on ESPN leagues, so if you have Big Ben or any quarterback on a bye, Fitzpatrick will do you wonders this week. Who knows, this might be the start of the Fitzpatrick revenge tour? He is playing for a new contract after all.

Running Backs
DeVontae Booker (Broncos) — It looks like there’s some running back by committee in Denver, which is unfortunate for CJ Anderson owners, but great news for fantasy owners in search of a running back. Booker actually had more carries than Anderson against the Texans on Monday night, and scored his first touchdown. Denver is a run-first offense, with a shaky first year quarterback in Trevor Siemian.  Because of this, there is plenty of usage for both backs in the Denver system, and a matchup against the downtrodden San Diego Chargers defense is inviting for any running back. Look for Booker to have a solid performance this week.
Matt Asiata (Vikings) — Speaking of running backs by committees, how about giving the Vikings a shoutout?  Asiata and counterpart Jerrick McKinnon have been splitting touches in recent weeks, which would usually mean catastrophe for fantasy owners. However, in the Vikings run-heavy offense, it provides both backs with ample opportunities to score. Two things make Asiata a good pickup.  1) McKinnon may be limited in practice this week after sustaining an injury against the Eagles this past week. 2) The Vikings are facing Chicago this Monday night. Bear in mind (see what I did there? Bears, Chicago? Eh what the heck its not like I’m getting paid to write these) the Chicago “D” has been porous as of late, most recently giving up 26 points to the struggling Green Bay Packers who lack their two starting running backs. Asiata’s 25% ownership rate should spike this week.

Wide Receivers
Marqise Lee (Jaguars) — You heard it here first – Marqise Lee is leegit (the puns don’t end). Lee has quietly put up impressive numbers all year as the #3 WR in the Jaguars system. Coming off a 7 reception 107 yard day against the Raiders, Lee is primed for another huge day at the office against the Tiny-Tike Tennessee Titans. It’s a crime that his ownership rate is 1.5%. Do your team a favor and slot in Lee for this week.
Brian Quick (Rams) — Hear me out here. Rams offense is surprisingly strong this year. Though Case Keenum throws more interceptions than is palpable for an NFL-caliber quarterback, the Rams offense throws the ball like crazy. Because they play from behind, this leaves Quick open for quick strikes over the middle (Another one), which racks up yardage like crazy. Though the Rams are on bye this week, look for Quick to help your team in the long run.

Tight Ends
Cameron Brate (Buccaneers) — Ever since ASJ was dismissed from the Bucs, Brate has stepped up to the plate admirably. I’m expecting a break-out game this week against the Raiders, so if you want a #1 TE in a pass-heavy offense, I’d add Brate.
CJ Fiedorowicz (Texans) — I normally don’t include two TEs on this write-up, but CJ is just too darn good to not be snatched up. Even against the best defense in the league (Denver), he was heavily targeted in the passing game the whole night. Brock Osweiler and CJ have quickly formed a rapport, and it’s time for fantasy owners to take advantage of it. When I started recommending CJ 4 weeks ago, his ownership was under 1%. Now that his ownership is at 7%, hopefully this week owners will get that number in the double digits. Make it happen people!

Defense/Special Teams of the Week
Detroit Lions — Weighing in at a whopping 6.5% ownership, it’s nearly certain the Lions will be available for a stream this week. With a favorable matchup against a poor Houston offense against an ailing Lamar Miller, it’s all systems go in Detroit. Pick them up if your team is either on bye, or if you’re an owner who streams defenses week to week.

Sebastian Janikowski (Raiders) — Kickers are people too!! The sixth best kicker in the NFL is only owned in 23% of fantasy leagues?? That just doesn’t make sense. Janikowski scored a whopping 18 points last week, and is looking to equal his performance against the Bucs this weekend. We all know he has one of the strongest legs in the league and is a future hall of famer. Pick him up, y’all.

Well, that’s it for this week. Good luck to everyone and check back every week for more sleepers and streamers.

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