The eighth Sunday of the NFL season saw the 49ers and Patriots remain undefeated with convincing home victories. We witnessed a day where we had eight quarterbacks throw for 300-plus yards, nine wide receivers go over 100 yards receiving and five running backs eclipse the century mark in rushing. Owners happily welcomed back Saints QB Drew Brees while star wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Mike Evans carried fantasy owners to league wins.
Let's take a look back at the week that was.
Welcome Back Party
Drew Brees, QB, Saints
Fantasy owners welcomed back QB Drew Brees for the first time since he suffered a thumb injury in Week 2. On Sunday, the HOF-bound QB took full advantage of a plus-matchup with Arizona. Brees threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns, posting the third-most points of any signal-caller in the SI Fantasy Football World Championships with 29.65 points. Brees will get an extra week to rest his ailing thumb, as the Saints head into their bye in Week 9. When the Saints return to action, fantasy owners will be looking forward to plus-matchups with Atlanta in Week 10 and Tampa Bay in Week 11.
Surprise of the Week
Matt Schaub, QB, Falcons
The savvy veteran filled in for the injured Matt Ryan and calmly threw for 460 yards and a touchdown against Seattle. The 1-7 Falcons, who are in contention for the top overall pick in next April’s NFL draft, last week traded wide receiver Mohammed Sanu to the Patriots. Fantasy owners who were worried about the value hit to Julio Jones, Austin Hooper and Devonta Freeman with Ryan out were treated to solid fantasy efforts from all the Falcons' stars. Schaub will most likely head back to the bench when the Falcons return from their bye in Week 10 against the Saints.
Ty Johnson, RB, Detroit Lions
Johnson, who was the hottest waiver wire claim heading into Week 8, thoroughly disappointed fantasy owners who paid big FAAB money to acquire him. Most experts envisioned the rookie taking over lead-back duties for the Lions after Kerryon Johnson was lost for the season. Ty Johnson did lead all Lions running backs in snaps on Sunday. However, he was out-touched by Tra Carson, who led the Lions with 12 carries. Johnson, who posted just 4.8 PPR fantasy points, will be challenging to trust moving forward until this running back situation molds into shape.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
Fitzgerald owners were left frustrated for the second straight week as the star wide receiver caught just two balls for 8 yards against the Saints. The veteran had been great posting double-figure PPR fantasy points in five of six games heading into Week 7. However, over the past two weeks, Fitzgerald has struggled. He's only caught three of seven targets for a total of 20 yards. Owners may need to look to their bench in Week 9 when the Cardinals play the vaunted 49ers defense on a short week Thursday night.
Daniel Jones, QB, Giants
The rookie was superb on Sunday against the Lions, throwing for 322 yards and four touchdowns en route to a Week 8 best 33.4 fantasy points. Jones, who has thrown for 300-plus yards twice in his six career starts, will look to carry over his strong showing from Sunday into next Monday night, when the Giants host the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys in Week 9 as 7-point underdogs.
Top Running Back
Tevin Coleman, RB, 49ers
The veteran running back was sensational on Sunday, turning 13 touches into 118 total yards and four touchdowns against the Panthers. Coleman, who led all fantasy running backs with 37.8 PPR points, will look to stay red-hot on Thursday night when he faces a porous Arizona run defense that was just shredded by Saints running back Latvius Murray. Both Coleman and Matt Breida should be started with extreme confidence, leading the league's most run-oriented offense.
Top Wide Receiver
Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers
Evans posted his second 40-plus PPR performance of the season on Sunday by grabbing 11 of 12 targets for 198 yards and two touchdowns. The star wideout who has frustrated his owners in games against San Francisco (4.8) and New Orleans (0) made them smile with his 42.8 points against the Titans. Fantasy owners should be fired up for Week 8 when Tampa Bay travels to Seattle in an NFC clash that the experts in Vegas have predicted as the highest-scoring game of the week with a 53.5 point total.
The New Sheriff In Town
Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
Sanders, who scored the first rushing touchdown of his career, did so in style on an electric 65-yard run. Sanders, who posted 22.8 PPR fantasy points on 118 total yards from scrimmage, wasn't able to finish the game on a high note. The rookie back apparently suffered a shoulder injury that will require an MRI on Monday. Fantasy owners will be hoping the promising rookie, who has posted double-digit PPR efforts in four of eight games this season, is healthy enough to face the Bears in Week 9.
Burned By Injury
Dede Westbrook, WR, Jaguars
Westbrook, who was questionable leading up to kickoff with a neck injury, burned his owners by merely suiting up. The third-year wideout was forced from the game against the Jets in the first half, failing to make a reception. Before Sunday, Westbrook had been a reliable fantasy option, posting double-digit PPR performances in five of seven games. There is a good chance he sits in Week 9 against the Texans with the Jaguars heading into their bye in Week 10.
Brandin Cooks, WR, Rams
Brandin Cooks did not enjoy his trip across the pond, as the veteran wide receiver suffered a concussion on the Rams' opening drive of the game against the Bengals. Fantasy owners will be hoping the upcoming bye week afforded to the Rams in Week 9 can help the star receiver, who has only one touchdown on the season, get healthy and back on track.
Stop and Take Notice
Ryan Griffin TE, Jets
I wonder how many fantasy models had Jets tight end Ryan Griffin as a TE1 for Week 8 against the Jaguars. The veteran shocked the fantasy world by posting the most PPR fantasy points among all tight ends (24.6). Griffin, who hauled in all four of his targets, was on the receiving end of both Sam Darnold’s touchdown passes and threw in a two-point conversion for good measure. If Chris Herndon is unable to return from his hamstring injury, Griffin will be in streaming consideration in Week 9 against the Dolphins.
Latavius Murray, RB, Saints
Murray shined once again when filling in for the injured Alvin Kamara. The veteran posted his second consecutive 30-plus PPR fantasy point effort. Murray rushed for 102 yards and a score on the ground and added nine receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown through the air. Kamara likely will return to the Saints backfield in Week 10 against the Falcons after their bye in Week 9. However, Murray will still have strong flex appeal going forward. He is a productive contributor to one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams
Many feel that Todd Gurley is the Rams' most valuable offensive player. However, a strong argument can be made that Cooper Kupp has taken over that distinction. The third-year wide receiver has turned into a star, leading the Rams in targets, receptions, yards and touchdowns. On Sunday, Kupp displayed his talents on an international stage over in London. He caught seven of 10 targets for 220 yards and a touchdown. Kupp, who has at least 10 targets in five of eight games, now stands as the overall WR2 in PPR formats through eight weeks.
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