Fantasy Football: Week 8's Biggest Winners & Losers
Tevin Coleman, San Francisco 49ers
The transition in the 49ers’ rushing offense has been truly amazing in 2019. Last year their RBs gained 4.8 yards per rush on 23.6 rushes per game for 1,816 yards, but they scored only six rushing TDs. Tevin Coleman alone has picked up six TDs in his last four games, after returning from his ankle injury.
Over this span, Coleman has gained 337 combined yards on 71 touches, along with six catches. He doesn’t have a monster feel as far as opportunity, but no team in the NFL runs the ball better at the RB position in 2019.
San Francisco already has 1,241 yards rushing at RB (trails the Vikings’ RBs by three yards with a game in hand), with 12 rushing TDs on 244 carries (34.9 rushes per game).
Over the past six games, the 49ers have averaged 40 rushes per game, with over 230 yards on the ground in three games. All of this adds up to an excellent opportunity for Coleman going forward even in a split role. A sixty-percent share of the RB touches on 40-plus chances should deliver a top-12 RB opportunity going forward.
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
The Rams’ offense has lost its luster on the ground in 2019 (199/778/10 – 3.9 yards-per-carry), while failing to regain any upside this week vs. a Bengals defense that ranks dead last in the NFL in Fantasy points allowed to RBs.
Brandin Cooks continues to find himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, leading to two early exits in four games, with underachieving stats on the year (27/402/1 after eight games). Robert Woods has been more miss than hit in his eight starts (38/471/0), with four short receiving games – 2/33, 3/40, 0/0, and 2/36).
The only stud in the Rams’ offense this year is WR Cooper Kupp. Halfway through the season, he already has 58 catches for 792 yards and five TDs on 87 targets. He posted an impact game in Week 8 (7/220/1) while also adding a high level of success in four other contests (5/120, 11/101/2, 9/121/1, and (9/117/1). Kupp should be treated as a top-five WR going forward. To beat the Rams this year, it should start by slowing down their top WR.
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The path for most top offensive players in the NFL is full of peaks and valleys, creating uneasiness for many Fantasy owners who hate bad weeks. Over the first seven weeks of the season Mike Evans was a player that I received many questions about in the trade market. He started the year with two empty games (2/28 and 4/61) only to suck Fantasy owners back in with a strong Week 3 (8/190/3).
A bagel vs. the Saints in Week 5 led to a bullseye being posted by his name for the faint of heart. After losing the WR target battle in Tampa in most recent games, Evans put his name back in good standing in the Fantasy market against the Titans (11/198/2).
Even with his up-and-down start to the year, he entered Week 8 as the 10th-ranked WR in PPR leagues. His stellar outing should move him to fourth in WR scoring. Fantasy owners need to remember; it’s the final destination that matters the most for a player’s value in the Fantasy market.
David Johnson & Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals
Double jeopardy is a crime that happens all too often in Fantasy sports. The Week 8 victim were the owners of Chase Edmonds. With David Johnson active in Week 7, Edmonds ended up on the bench on most Fantasy teams only to see him deliver an impact game (150 combined yards with three TDs and two catches or 35.0 Fantasy points in PPR leagues).
This week the Cardinals removed Johnson from the equation, thus signaling a green light for Edmonds vs. the Saints. His matchup wasn’t great, but volume alone should have led to a reasonable Fantasy score. In the end, he gained only eight yards on seven carries, with two catches for five yards, before leaving the game with a hamstring issue. Edmonds won’t play this week and Arizona traded for Kenyan Drake, setting the stage for a one-hit-wonder for Edmonds in 2019.
Buffalo Bills D/ST
The schedule makers in the NFL set up trends for Fantasy defenses that look attractive. The Bills’ defense started the year by allowing only 70 points over their first five games (14 points per game) while playing three games on the road.
Their success drew attention for Fantasy owners due to a three-game stretch at home vs. the Dolphins, the Eagles, and the Redskins. Buffalo came up short vs. Miami, which led to losing the time of possession battle (26:29 to 33:31), with only one sack and two turnovers. They did bailout owners with a late defensive score when they returned an onside kick for a TD.
This week the Bills defense couldn’t stop the rushing game of the Eagles (41/218/3), setting up a second-straight poor showing on defense (31 points allowed). In the end, Buffalo’s defense isn’t a must-start each week, and they now have questionable value in their favorable matchups.
PK Eddy Pinero, Chicago Bears
Any job in the NFL should be exciting, but the position that has the most on the line in most weeks is the kicker. When a kicker misses a game-winning field goal that turns into a loss, it’s almost like a ticket to the unemployment line if that player doesn’t have enough of a resume under his belt.
The losing kicker of the week is Eddy Pinero, who missed two of his five field goals on Sunday. His final miss came from 41-yards with no time left on the clock. In Week 2, Pinero did save the day with 53-yard field goal with no time on the clock to steal a win in Denver. After seven games, he’s made 12-of-15 FG chances with success on all 12 of his extra-point tries.
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