We are near the halfway point in the fantasy football season, and hopefully you’ve built up a solid bankroll by now. Teams on Week 8 bye are San Francisco and New York Giants. In Week 7, we saw C.J Spiller go out down for the season due to injury, Fred Jackson is out for a few weeks, Zac Stacy is being phased out in St. Louis, and Denard Robinson ran all over the place for Jacksonville. There are a lot of new names out there this week, but should you put them in your DFS lineups?
Elite, Expensive: Ryan Tannehill, MIA (Week 8 @ Jacksonville)
Tannehill is on fire the past three weeks. He has at least two touchdowns and OVER 35 rushing yards in each of the past three games. He now faces a Jacksonville team that is banged up on defense with their stud linebacker Paul Posluszny out for the season due to injury. Look for Tannehill to continue to roll in Week 8.
Middle of the Road: Tony Romo, DAL (Week 8 vs Washington)
The Dallas Cowboys and Romo are quite a surprise; they are arguably the best team in the league. With their amazing running game, it opens up the passing game for Romo and the wide receivers. Romo is facing the division rival Washington Redskins, who rank in the top five for most fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. Romo should get a lot of consideration this week.
Cheap, High Upside: Kyle Orton, BUF (Week 8 vs New York Jets)
This pick is more about the matchup than it is the quarterback. The Jets are allowing the second most fantasy points to quarterbacks so far this year. Buffalo Bills just lost their two starting running backs, so they may be forced to lean more on the arm of Orton. Orton has been fairly production the past three weeks, and he could have a good game against this weak defense.
Elite, Expensive: Marshawn Lynch, SEA (Week 8 @ Carolina)
Seattle is coming off a disappointing road loss, which makes it two losses in a row for the Super Bowl Champions. We know Seattle is a different team at home versus on the road. In Week 8, they take the trip from West to East to play Carolina, who allow the third most points to running backs. Seattle should lean on Lynch to control the clock and keep the ball out of the hands of the dangerous Cam Newton.
Middle of the Road: Lamar Miller, MIA (Week 8 @ Jacksonville)
As part of the “dark horse” Miami Dolphins, Miller seems to be running with a chip on his shoulder. He has four touchdowns over the last three games. As mentioned above, with Jacksonville having to adjust for injuries on their defense, Miller should be able to capitalize.
Cheap, High Upside: Trent Richardson, IND (Week 8 @ Pittsburgh)
Don’t look now but Richardson is starting to produce effectively for fantasy teams. He did have a small injury in Week 7, but is expected to be fine. He will continue to split time with Ahmad Bradshaw, but Richardson is starting to prove he is a good runner. Richardson is averaging just over 3.87 yards per rush attempt the past three weeks. He is also becoming a small threat in the passing game. Arian Foster just ripped through the Pittsburgh defense, so Richardson could be a solid play this week.
Elite, Expensive: Dez Bryant, DAL (Week 8 vs Washington)
In Week 7, Bryant showed once again why he is considered an elite talent finishing with 9 receptions for 151 yards. With Dallas clicking on all cylinders, Bryant should continue to thrive, especially in Week 8 against the Redskins. Stacking Romo-Dez could pay dividends for owners.
Middle of the Road: DeAndre Hopkins, HOU (Week 8 @ Tennessee)
Hopkins is coming off a huge bounce back game in Week 7. He finished the Monday night game with 6 receptions for 108 yards. He continues to provide decent fantasy games for owners. Playing opposite big name receiver Andre Johnson allows Hopkins to have single coverage and run deeper routes for Ryan Fitzpatrick to connect with him. I expect Hopkins to end his three-game touchdown-less slump and find the end zone in Week 8.
Cheap, High Upside: Doug Baldwin, SEA (Week 8 @ Carolina)
Following the Percy Harvin trade, Baldwin slides up the depth chart as the number one wide receiver and he did not disappoint in Week 7 with his new role. He finished with 11 targets, 7 receptions, 123 yards, and one touchdown. He now strolls into Carolina, who ranks in the top five for most points allowed to wide receivers. I expect this to be a close, high scoring game in which Baldwin continues to shine.
Elite, Expensive: Julius Thomas, DEN (Week 8 vs San Diego)
We know Thomas is the best tight end in the league right now. When Thomas does not have a great game he tends to follow it up the next week with an amazing game. I expect Thomas to get back on track Week 8 with a touchdown or two.
Middle of the Road: Owen Daniels, BAL (Week 8 @ Cincinnati)
Daniels is playing Cincinnati who allows the most fantasy points to tight ends. His chances for scoring this week are high. I’d plug him in with confidence.
Cheap, High Upside: Jordan Reed, WAS (Week 8 @ Dallas)
Just like the Daniels matchup, Reed has a great matchup. Dallas allows the second most fantasy points to tight ends. Since coming back from injury, Reed has 17 targets, 13 catches and 146 yards. With the news that Colt McCoy may start if Robert Griffin III cannot play, McCoy might look for a safety valve and Reed will be that check-down man. I expect Reed to get a lot of targets and a score this week.
Miami Dolphins (Week 8 @ Jacksonville)
Miami’s defense is fully healthy and playing at a high level. They nearly shut down Aaron Rodgers two weeks ago and definitely took advantage of Jay Cutler last week. This week they take on Jacksonville coming off their first win of the season. I expect Miami to bring Jacksonville back down to earth.
Dallas Cowboys (Week 8 vs Washington)
Dallas seems to be one of the best defenses in the league (quite a surprise from the pre-season). Week 8 brings in Washington who is a mess at quarterback, likely starting Colt McCoy. Plug in Dallas and reap the benefits.