Austin’s Fantasy Train: Week 8


Austin West, Contributing Writer

Week eight is upon us and we’ve started to make it through many of the big bye weeks this year. Last week we had the Vikings, Eagles, Rams, and Bills on bye, this week will only be the Chiefs and Chargers. We get to switch out three high-powered offenses and the Rams for two high-powered offenses. Unfortunately, we got some switch-ups in the last week as well. Christian McCaffrey is now a 49er, James Robinson is a Jet after Breece Hall goes out for the season with an ACL injury, and Gus Edwards takes over the backfield from Kenyan Drake after JK Dobbins is held out by the Ravens. 2022 is going to turn into one of the craziest years of fantasy football in recent memory: tight ends are just a wasteland behind Kelce and Andrews, running backs are inconsistent, and quarterbacks are something else entirely. Oh, and don’t forget Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady lost to former XFL quarterbacks Taylor Heincke and PJ Walker. That just makes articles like these even harder as the season goes on. 


Last week, I went 50 percent including the Taysom Hill pick I was prepared for to go wrong. Granted FantasyPros only had projected Taysom Hill to score 2.4 points and with the touchdown reception, he eclipsed that easily. Dak Prescott also looked rusty in his return from injury and unfortunately could not meet his projection against the poor Lions’ defense. Other notable picks include TJ Hockenson coming just short of his projection against the Cowboys after only getting four receptions for 48 yards. If he hauls in one more reception for two more yards, he beats his projection. Sometimes we truly get lucky. Let’s see if some of this luck carries over to this week. 


Tickets to Ride 


Quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa: Tua had himself a slow return from his concussion against the Steelers in Week 7. While he did throw for 260 yards and a touchdown then rushed for 15 more, he escaped without four interceptions that should have been caught by Steelers defenders. However, he now plays a Lions defense giving up the most yards per game to opposing offenses and almost 400 total passing yards in their last two games. With the speedster trio of wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle as well as running back Raheem Mostert, the Dolphins should be able to pick apart Detroit who have allowed at least one passing touchdown in their last five games.  


Running Back, Jonathan Taylor: Now while Jonathon Taylor may have been the biggest first-round bust of your fantasy drafts, he’s looking to put himself back on track for this Colts offense. After bouncing back last week off of injury with 10 carries for 58 yards and a season-high seven receptions for 27 yards against the Titans, he now faces a Washington defense that allowed Aaron Jones 23 rushing yards and nine receptions for 53 yards and two touchdowns. Even with only five games played so far this season, Taylor is still top 20 in the league in total snaps played showing how much the offense keeps him involved during games. With Sam Ehlinger making the start for Indianapolis, look for the game plan to lean heavily on the talent of Jonathon Taylor.  


Wide Receiver, Justin Jefferson: Jefferson was one of the top fantasy picks this year alongside Jonathon Taylor but has been much more productive than his counterpart. With three finished within the top two of fantasy receivers per week, Jefferson looks to continue his strong season against the Arizona Cardinals. Allowing a league top ten passing yards, the Cardinals have been putting themselves into shootout and comeback positions all year. Jefferson is leading the Vikings’ wide receiver core in targets by 20 targets, giving him the clear number-one spot. If the Vikings are stuck in a shootout or trailing in this game during the month of Kirk-tober, look for Cousins to look to Jefferson as much as possible.  


Tight End, Greg Dulcich: It might be time to get on the Greg Dulcich train or I am going to just end up jinxing him this week. In his two games, the rookie has put up double-digit fantasy points each time with a touchdown in game one and a massive target share in the second. Last week against the Jets, he was tied for the second most targets on the team and was running routes on 73% of dropbacks. He faces the Jaguars’ defense that has given up some of the least amounts of fantasy points to tight ends, but none of them have been targeted as much as Dulcich. As long as his target share continues and has the possibility of finding the endzone, he could be a nice play to fill in for any tight ends on a bye week.  


Missed the Train 


Quarterback, Trevor Lawerence: Trevor Lawerence has been having himself a nice fantasy year as the quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars, even if the record might not show for it. Now he’s facing off against the Denver Broncos who are proving to be one of the top defenses in the league. They’re second in the league in total yards per game, third in points allowed per game, and third in average QBR. The Broncos also haven’t allowed any quarterback to score more than 15 fantasy points since Geno Smith in week one. No touchdowns since Week three either so watch out for a mediocre fantasy day from Lawrence.  


Running Back, David Montgomery: David Montgomery has been one of those players that have been off and on for fantasy so far this season. While he did have himself a nice night against the Patriots on Monday Night Football with 12.2 fantasy points, there are some concerns. That concern’s name is Khalil Herbert. Herbert played fewer snaps than but whenever Herbert is in he is running the ball. He had rushing attempts on a higher percentage of his snaps than Montgomery. He was also targeted in the passing game while Montgomery was not. So a split backfield for Montgomery against the Dallas defense, who will look to put as much pressure on Fields as possible, makes running the ball a difficult choice, especially if the Bears are playing from behind as they should.  


Wide Receiver, George Pickens: George “Target Dependent” Pickens makes this week’s underperforming list for the reason his name states. Pickens has only eclipsed a double-digit fantasy day in weeks where he has at least six receptions. Those weeks have only come three times out of the seven games played and only two of them put him inside the top 20 for wide receivers. The Steelers also seem to never know which quarterback they want to play with as Trubisky and Pickett have been changing in and out throughout the season which makes targets to Pickens fluctuate between the two. In week seven, Pickens was the fourth most targeted player on his team. If this continues against a Philly defense giving up only 188 passing yards per game, the targets and receiving yards just won’t be there for the Pickens FLEX play.  


Tight End, Robert Tonyan: It’s been a rough season for not just Robert Tonyan, but the entire Packers passing game. Tonyan has two double-digit fantasy outings on the season: one due to a touchdown catch, the other from 10 catches for 90 yards. This week he faces off against the Buffalo Bills defense who have only allowed more than 10 fantasy points to one tight end all year, that being Travis Kelce. After a week where the only two receiving touchdowns came from a running back, one being a shovel pass, against the Washington Commanders, Tonyan will most likely need all the targets he can get due to the high possibility of no touchdowns through the air.