Hi, hello and welcome to everybody’s favorite column about everybody’s favorite sport! I actually had a winning record in the picks for the first time I can remember, so we’re heading in the right direction here. I taped the Ocho Fantasy Football Podcast earlier in the week and didn’t have the Fave 5, Fearful 4 & 3 Sleepers ready then, so you kind readers will get an exclusive this week!
You should still listen to the podcast over at offtheteam.com because it’s good times. Here’s the National Anthem as presented by Jimi Hendrix.
This one’s pretty self explanatory. Booker T was doing the Fave 5 gimmick back when the Ocho was starting up, so we figured it only made sense to make it part of our fantasy football podcast over at offtheteam.com. These are five guys that are going to have tremendous weeks and lead your team to fantasy glory. And maybe even lead their actual team to glory, but we’re not worried about that too much here.
Will Fuller V: The Houston Texans wide receiver has seven touchdowns in thirteen total catches. That’s a pretty good percentage, right? He’ll get one or two more against the dreadful Indianapolis Colts this week. Dial up any and all Texans you can get your hands on.
Michael Thomas: Thomas hasn’t quite had the blowaway season owners were hoping for, but he’s got a dream matchup this week with a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that can’t stop any wide receiver. The only question is how much Drew Brees insists on spreading the ball around.
LeSean McCoy: The Bills might have other options now that Kelvin Benjamin is on the squad, but expect Shady to get his fair share anyway. Especially against a Jets defense that has a hard time against the run, the pass & everything else.
Jack Doyle: Andrew Luck was always looking for Jack Doyle, and now Jacoby Brissett figured out that’s actually a good idea. Doyle went off for 12 catches, 121 yards & a touchdown to almost lead the Colts to victory over the Bengals last week. It didn’t happen, and the Colts aren’t beating the Texans either, but we can still expect top TE numbers from the guy we’re always looking for.
Jared Goff: The Rams head to New Jersey to take on a Giants team whose defense hasn’t done a great job of stopping anybody. Expect Todd Gurley to get a lot done, but also expect Goff to have a pretty good week against an easy matchup. He’s proven he can handle that.
Last Week’s Fave 5 Record: 1-4 (Kyle Rudolph over, Carson Wentz, Tyreek Hill, Matt Forte, Hunter Henry under)
These are four people that you’re probably going to have to start, but you’re not going to be very happy about it. I’ve actually been doing well in this section lately, mostly because offenses have been disappointing thus far.
Matt Ryan: Matty Ice has been put on ice for most of the season. He’s had at least one TD every week, but hasn’t gone over three hundred yards since Week 1. Solid, but not the spectacular numbers you’re looking for from a fantasy QB1. You won’t see spectacular numbers from Ryan this week either, as the Panthers are fifth best against quarterbacks.
A.J. Green: Green & Andy Dalton couldn’t get on the right page last week against the putrid Colts defense…his one touchdown salvaged the week, but it wasn’t what you were hoping for from one of the best in the league. This week Green & the Bengals go to Jacksonville to take on a Jaguars defense that’s given up the fewest points to WRs. Not a good sign.
Marshawn Lynch: Beast Mode is back after his one-game suspension, but he runs right into a Dolphins defense that is among the top ten in stopping running backs. Lynch has been stopped by pretty much everybody this season. Maybe the week off helps, but Lynch still looks like somebody that came back for a paycheck and has no real interest in doing things.
Travis Kelce: The Dallas Cowboys allow less than 50 yards per game to tight ends and only one has found the end zone against them. Kelce went off last week in Denver, but had three weeks prior where he didn’t look like the best TE in the league. I’d expect a more pedestrian performance from him this week.
Last Week’s Fearful 4 Record: 3-1 (Derek Carr, Doug Martin & Terrelle Pryor Sr. under, DeAndre Hopkins over)
A lot of the fantasy experts out there love to give you their sleeper picks. It’s not a bad idea. The flaw in the execution is they’re typically not highlighting people you can pick up. Tyrod Taylor might be a nice sleeper pick this week due to lack of some important quarterbacks, but he’s already owned in two-thirds of leagues. That probably won’t help you.
So what we’ve been doing on the Ocho for the past five seasons is highlighting some sleepers that are actually Off The Team. They’re owned in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues, just sitting on the wire waiting for you to pick them up.
Jacoby Brissett (12%): You just saw the Texans give up fifteen zillion points to Russell Wilson last week. Brissett actually looked like a somewhat competent NFL QB for most of Sunday in Cincinnati. At this point in the season, a lot of real & fantasy teams would take “somewhat competent” out of their quarterback.
A.J. Derby (4%): Brock Osweiler is the Broncos quarterback this week. I would say that’s probably bad news for the Broncos offense, but I’m not sure it’ll be much worse than what Denver has been seeing from the QB position. The Philadelphia Eagles have given up the seventh most fantasy points to tight ends, so if you’re in a pinch on a bye week you might as well take a shot.
John Ross (4%): John Ross Fever has been something of a thing with Cincinnati media members since the Bengals took him in the first round. He’s taken a total of ten snaps and has zero catches & one fumble to his name. BUT HE RUNS REALLY FAST, the media tells me. One of these days this kid is going to have to get a chance. And if you’re really hurting at wide receiver you might as well take a flyer on him in case Marvin Lewis remembers they drafted him.
HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN, TOUGH GUY!
Picks Against The Spread
Buffalo (-3) at NY Jets: It feels like it’s almost time for the Bills to fall off, doesn’t it? The late-season swoon has been a thing in Buffalo for ages now. It’s only a matter of when.
Denver at Philadelphia (-8): Fly Eagles Fly
LA Rams (-3.5) at NY Giants: Cross-country road trips are tough. The Rams are coming off of a bye, but so are the Giants.
Tampa Bay at New Orleans (-7): Seven feels like a lot of points, but the Bucs haven’t shown me enough to make me think they can go into the SuperDome and do much of anything.
Cincinnati at Jacksonville (-4.5): The Bengals barely beat the Colts last week. Some will talk themselves into thinking that they’re turning things around. I will not.
Atlanta at Carolina (-1): I don’t really care for either of these teams, but Jeremy Lambert told me that the Panthers would lose by at least three scores.
Indianapolis at Houston (-13): Gonna be a high-scoring game. 49-28 or something like that.
Baltimore at Tennessee (-5.5): The move to the next level hasn’t happened in Tennessee this season. Ravens had a big game against the Dolphins and got plenty of rest.
Arizona (-2) at San Francisco: …..
Washington at Seattle (-7.5): The Seahawks seem to like having close games this season.
Kansas City (-1) at Dallas: The Cowboys have a pretty bad track record at JerryWorld.
Oakland (-3) at Miami: Just when you count the Dolphins out is when they’re at their most dangerous.
Detroit (-2.5) at Green Bay: This seems like the absolute wrong choice considering how this rivalry usually goes. But Brett Hundley.
Week 8 Record: 8-5
2017 Season Record: 53-63-3