Five fantasy football stars of Week 8

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) takes off for a long touchdown run as Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Bruce Irvin (51) tries to catch him during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

Week 8 of the NFL only had a handful of standout performances, while the rest of the league was very average. However, if you started one of the standouts, you probably got a win. Take a look to see if you were one of the lucky ones to start one of the few players with truly great games.

Quarterback: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks: 35 points standard, 35.1 points PPR

Wilson had himself a game on Sunday, and he needed it to beat out rookie Deshaun Watson who threw for 402 yards and four touchdowns, albeit with three picks. Wilson managed to outperform Watson, throwing for 452 yards, four touchdowns and only one interception as the Seahawks bested the Texans in a 41-38 shootout. He also rushed four times for 30 yards. This was Wilson’s first game with over 400 yards this season; however, it was his second in a row over 300, as he is currently on a hot streak.

Wilson and the Seahawks face the Washington Redskins next week, who only give up 217 yards per game through the air. They also just held Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott to 143 and no touchdowns, and he has a very similar style of play to Wilson. If you do not have one of the top tier fantasy quarterbacks like Alex Smith or Carson Wentz, I would not be worried about starting Wilson Week 9.

Honorable Mention: Deshaun Watson

Running Back: LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills: 23 points standard, 29.3 points PPR

McCoy is finally producing as he should based on his track record. For the second week in a row, McCoy has broken 20 points in fantasy, rushing 27 times for 151 yards and catching six passes for 22 more. He also found the end zone once this week after not scoring at all through the first six. McCoy sealed the game for the Bills, as his touchdown was a breakaway 48-yard rush with just 3:12 left on the clock to push the lead to three scores.

McCoy also adds value in the passing game, which makes him even more dangerous in PPR formats. In all but one game, McCoy had at least five receptions, making him one of the best dual threats in the league. In a Week 9 matchup against a New York Jets defense, one that has given up the fifth-most rushing yards per game, he should have another huge day. Fantasy owners should not even consider benching McCoy if they want to win.

Honorable Mentions: Ezekiel Elliott, Jerick McKinnon

Wide Receiver: DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans: 28 points standard, 36.4 points PPR

Hopkins was already having a good year, and then Week 8 happened. Hopkins caught eight passes for 224 yards and one touchdown. He utilized his big play ability, catching a 72-yard touchdown from Deshaun Watson late in the game. It could have been the game winner, but the Texans’ defense failed to thwart a Seahawks comeback. Hopkins has been on a tear this season, and is the second ranked wide receiver in fantasy this year behind only Antonio Brown.

Since Week 3, the Texans have put up at least 30 points a game. There is no reason to think that will change next week against the Colts, who are one of the worst teams in the league. Hopkins will most likely see a heavy workload again, and if Watson continues his high performance, he will as well. Start Hopkins without any hesitation next week.

Honorable Mentions: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Will Fuller V

Tight End: Jack Doyle, Indianapolis Colts: 18 points standard, 30.1 points PPR

Doyle had the best game of his career on Sunday by a long shot. He set career highs in receptions with 12 and yards with 121. He was Jacoby Brissett’s favorite target, accounting for about half of his completions and yards for the game. Doyle also caught a 13-yard touchdown pass over Cincinnati Bengals safety Shawn Williams to put the Colts up 10-3, however the Colts would end up falling 24-23.

While Doyle did have a great game this week against a top-tier passing defense, it is hard to trust any Colts player in fantasy even though they face a middle-of-the-road defense next week against the Houston Texans. Until Andrew Luck returns from injury, Doyle or any Colts receiver should be started with caution, and only in deep leagues. After all, it is very unlikely that he has a game like this two weeks in a row. However, if you have no other options at tight end, it’s worth a shot.

Honorable Mentions: Travis Kelce, Jimmy Graham

Defense/Special Teams: Baltimore Ravens: 27 points standard, 27 points PPR

The Baltimore Ravens really took advantage of a weak Miami Dolphins offense in their 40-0 victory. Actually, weak may be an understatement, as they failed to score a single point in Week 8. The Ravens’ defense intercepted Matt Moore twice, and brought both interceptions back for touchdowns. To make it worse for the Dolphins, both of these turnovers happened in the fourth quarter, completely eliminating any chance for a comeback.

Next week, the Ravens play the Tennessee Titans who only managed 12 points against the Cleveland Browns in their last game. However, they are capable of putting up big numbers and are coming off a bye. It is really a toss-up; the Ravens’ defense has looked stellar at times and dreadful others, so I am not sure how they will fare against the Titans. If you are considering starting them, do so with caution.

Honorable Mentions: Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys


Jorge Eckardt is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at jorge.eckardt@uconn.edu.