Week eight of fantasy football is finally upon us and it might be the most exciting week to date (other than week one, of course). Week seven was an absolute struggle to say the least.
Many of our teams’ top performers had bye weeks, such as the Bills, Cowboys, Chargers, Vikings, Jaguars and Steelers. Although it was the normal amount of bye teams, it had a huge fantasy impact.
All six have top fantasy performers this season, and fantasy team owners had to reach deep into their depth chart to finalize a team to compete this past week. If you planned for a week like this you definitely would have been fine, but missing guys such as Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams, Justin Jefferson, Justin Herbert, Josh Allen, Ezekiel Elliot, Najee Harris and so many more has a huge impact on a particular week’s output.
The point is this: You need to be prepared for anything coming your way, whether it be a bye week overlapping, players returning or going out on injury, or even a COVID outbreak. This week brings a few notable cases of each that must be taken into consideration.
As far as this week goes, we only have the Ravens and Raiders out on bye. Although there are only two teams, they each have their own fantasy impact. If you are going to be missing any players from either team — notably Lamar Jackson, Derek Carr, or Darren Waller — make sure you are locked and loaded to miss a week with these guys.
We have had our first notable COVID outbreak this season with the Packers organization. The team’s wide receiver core is falling apart day by day as new players are exposed to the virus, now highlighted by Devante Adams and Allen Lazard.
Outside of Adams and Lazard the Packers do not have much viability as far as fantasy output goes, but with a top quarterback in Aaron Rodgers at the helm, there is for sure going to be players seeing a big Week 8. It is almost impossible to predict who will do well for them this weekend, but next up on the depth chart includes Randall Cobb and Equanimeous St. Brown.
Other players on Green Bay who might see a boost in production include running back Aaron Jones and tight end Robert Tonyan, two important pass catchers in the Packers’ offense. As long as these players do not see similar withdrawals from Thursday’s game, they should be nice plug and play options if you are struggling to fill roster spots for the week.
There is also one player expected to return from injury this week who should make an instant impact on his team and holds a lot of fantasy value. This player is Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy.
A second year player with elite route running, Jeudy will have an instant impact on the football field for the Broncos, and for your fantasy team. When big players come back from injury like this it is always important to know how healthy they really are.
If Jeudy seems to be close to 100% or is 100% according to reports, he will be a great player immediately. If you have Jeudy on your team, make sure to start him, as he was having a great first game before going down with a high ankle sprain.
It was unfortunate for Jeudy to not even play a full game before suffering the high ankle sprain, but the second-year wide out put up 13.2 fantasy points in PPR formats before going down.
Another important factor when players return from injury is: Who is going to be affected around them? In Jeudy’s case, he is going to soak up more target volume from the Broncos’ wide outs.
That includes wide receivers Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick, along with tight end Noah Fant. The three have been great with Jeudy out, but might be good sell high candidates now before Jeudy returns from injury and decreases their volume.
Feature photo by David Zalubowski / Associated Press