Sneaky Week 8 Fantasy Football Starts: Royce Freeman, Diontae Johnson, More

Here are some under-the-radar players you might want to consider for your fantasy lineups in Week 8.
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There are only two teams on bye this week, but there are several players from the Ravens and Cowboys that anchor many fantasy teams. There are also a lot of injuries, and several could be game-time decisions. Here are some Week 8 sneaky starts to consider for those with holes to patch on the roster.


Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans

The Titans offense looked better with Tannehill taking over at quarterback last week. He did a good job of getting the ball into the hands of his receivers, passing for 312 yards with two touchdowns and one interception against the Chargers. The matchup is favorable against the Buccaneers, who have been shutting down the running game and vulnerable against the pass. The Buccaneers have allowed an average of 318.5 passing yards per game and multiple touchdown passes in four straight games.

Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh Steelers

Rudolph missed Week 6 with a concussion and is expected to return following a bye week in a great spot against the Dolphins. Rudolph hasn’t been asked to much, but in a good matchup against the Bengals he had 229 yards and two touchdowns. The Dolphins have allowed every quarterback they have faced to throw multiple touchdowns and permitted the second most fantasy points to quarterbacks.

Teddy Bridgewater, New Orleans Saints

There's a chance Drew Brees returns this week, but he has to be close to 100% considering the Saints have a bye in Week 9. If Bridgewater gets the starts, he's in a good spot against the Cardinals, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks and five of seven to throw multiple touchdowns.

Running Backs

Royce Freeman, Denver Broncos

While Freeman is splitting time with Phillip Lindsay, he’s getting enough touches to be considered a start. Freeman scored his first touchdown of the season last week against the Chiefs and has been more involved in the passing game. He has at least four receptions in five of seven games, including nine over the last two games.

Ty Johnson, Detroit Lions

Kerryon Johnson was placed on the injured reserve and Ty will likely step into a big role. Ty Johnson played 64.5%of the snaps last week and had 14 touches in a difficult matchup against the Vikings. It gets easier this week against the Giants, who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs and allowed Chase Edmonds to rush for three touchdowns last week.

Benny Snell, Pittsburgh Steelers

James Conner injured his quad in Week 6 and the Steelers were on a bye last week. While Conner is expected to play, the Steelers are 14.5-point favorites at home and this could be a game where Snell gets double-digit touches. With Jaylen Samuels out in Week 6, Snell had 17 carries for 75 yards and a 14-yard catch against the Chargers. The Dolphins allow the second-most fantasy points to running backs.

Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams

As long as Malcolm Brown is out, Henderson will get touches. Brown didn't practice on Wednesday with an ankle injury after missing last week. Henderson had 11 carries for 31 yards with an eight-yard catch last week. While it wasn't a great stat line, Henderson has displayed some explosive ability, and with Todd Gurley not getting huge workloads, Henderson is capable of breaking off long runs against a Bengals defense that has allowed the most fantasy points to running backs.

Wide Receivers

Corey Davis, Tennessee Titans

The stock is up on Davis with Ryan Tannehill at quarterback. He was able to get the ball to Davis last week after replacing Marcus Mariota. Davis had seven targets and caught six passes for 80 yards with a touchdown against the Chargers last week. The Buccaneers have allowed 11 touchdown passes, including seven to wide receivers and have allowed the second-most fantasy points to the position.

Kenny Stills, Houston Texans

Stills will see an increase in snaps with Will Fuller sidelined. Stills is an excellent deep threat and Deshaun Watson will take shots down the field. Stills had five targets last week and caught four passes for 105 yards. The Raiders have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers, including 10 touchdowns. The Raiders have allowed 32 plays of 20-plus yards and that leads the NFL.

DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks

Metcalf had a bad fumble last week to prevent any hope of a Seahawks comeback against the Ravens, but he will make up for it this week against the Falcons, who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Metcalf has nine end zone targets and Russell Wilson takes shots throwing the ball deep to Metcalf, who has 14 targets over the last two games.

Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers

Picking on the Dolphins has often led to success. Cole Beasley scored his first touchdown of the season last week against Miami and Terry McLaurin scored two in Week 6. Johnson has 22 targets over the last four games and has scored twice. He has the speed to beat a bad defense and potentially find the end zone.

Tight Ends

Josh Hill, New Orleans Saints

With Jared Cook out last week, Hill caught all three of his targets for 43 yards with a touchdown. While the Cardinals allowed one catch to Giants tight end Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison had two catches for 33 yards with a touchdown. The Cardinals have allowed the most fantasy points to tight ends, including eight touchdowns. If Cook is back, then he’s the play.

Jonnu Smith, Tennessee Titans

Delanie Walker had to leave last week's game early with an ankle injury, playing only five snaps. If he sits this week, Smith is in a good spot against the Buccaneers, who have allowed the second most fantasy points to tight ends. Smith had three catches for 64 yards last week and is capable of breaking a big play.

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