Welcome to Week 8 of the 2020 NFL season, which features four bye weeks (Arizona, Washington, Jacksonville and Houston). Need help filling out your fantasy football lineup? Matthew Berry’s Week 8 Love/Hate column has you covered.
Inspiring, kind, heartbreaking, hopeful, nervous, thoughtful and more.
I got a ton of responses to last week’s column about how to find the career you want, and I can’t tell you how much all the notes, tweets and DMs touched me.
They were incredibly kind, and I’ve tried to respond to as many as I can. I’m still working my way through all of them, and if I don’t respond to yours, please accept my apologies in advance. There’s only so much free time away from the job, and at some point, I need to spend time with my family.
The notes seemed to fall into a couple of categories. Many were thankful, telling me something specific they found useful in the column. Others told me it inspired them, helping kick them into an extra gear on their journey. Some very kindly reached out with advice or a potential connection for my son.
Some were, well, some needed to be responded to in public. Because if last week’s column was all about what to do, today’s is about what not to do. I’m not trying to be a jerk. All these people mean well. But after reading some of the responses, I was like … I thought you said you read the article. I’ve edited them down a bit and removed names and details to protect the, well, just to protect, but, anyway, remember the part of the article where I said to not ask generic questions?
Hi Mr. Berry. I am in my third year at XXXX School of Business at the University of XXXX. I was reading Love/Hate this morning, and you inspired me to reach out to you and ask for advice. What advice can you give me as someone trying to break into this industry?
TMR: You mean other than the more than 3,500 words of advice I wrote last week?
Hi Mr. Berry, my name is XXXXX, and I’m currently a Sports Management Major at the University of XXXXX. I just wanted to reach out to you to see if there were any internships available with ESPN Fantasy Football and other sports. I’m more than happy to present my résumé and any other information needed. Thanks!
TMR: Step one: www.Google.com
Step two: Type “ESPN Internships 2020”
Step three: Look at the first result.
Step four: Click on the link in the first result.
In all seriousness, don’t waste someone’s time asking them a question you can find out yourself. A much better way to do this would have been to find the Disney Careers website, find an internship you think you would be good for, apply for it and then send me a note saying something such as, “Here’s who I am and why you should keep reading. I’ve applied for this internship. My application number is XXXXX. Do you think you could spare 10 minutes to talk to me on the phone and give me some advice about how I could improve my chances of getting this?”
To be clear: Please don’t do this now that I have put this out there. ESPN Fantasy has no interns in content, and the hiring process for any ESPN internships go through HR. In my time at the company, I’ve been successful in getting exactly zero kids internships here — not even close family friends and kids I know well. I have zero pull when it comes to internships. But that would be a good way to do it with someone else that you have no relationship with. Make it easy for people to help you.
Mr. Berry: Not reaching out for fantasy football advice, but writing to say I appreciate your opening column about job searching. I’m a middle-aged married guy who currently works as a XXXX. But it’s not my passion, and I feel stuck in a rut. Trying to figure out what I should do and how to get there. Please check out my LinkedIn XXXXXXX. I’d love to talk about your 10 points and any other insight on how this can be achieved.
TMR: So now I need to go find your LinkedIn, and then after I look it all over and read all about your experience, you’d like me to then figure out what your passion is and a career path for you based on that? And then talk you through how to do it? Is that it? Sure you don’t need me to come over and mow the lawn, too? Make dinner?
Matthew Berry, After working as a XXXXXXX for seven years, I am looking to transition into a new career in comedy writing. I do not have any connections to the entertainment industry. There’s not a lot of crossover between comedians and XXXXX, which is why I am asking for your help. Well, that, and also because Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t give out his email address.
Let me quickly explain where I stand so you can get an overview of my situation. (TMR note: After he says “quickly explain,” in this sentence, he goes on for five paragraphs that I cut.)
I have myriad things I’d like to discuss, but I don’t want to take too much of your time. If you, or anyone you know, is willing to help out an XXXXX and read some jokes, I would be forever grateful. Did I mention I’m a poor XXXX, living in a crappy studio apartment? I’m desperate is what I’m getting at here, so desperate, in fact, I’m asking the guy who co-wrote “Crocodile Dundee 3” for advice.
TMR: You know what’s even sadder than having to ask the guy who wrote “Crocodile Dundee 3” for advice? Getting turned down for advice by the guy who wrote “Crocodile Dundee 3.”
I mean, where do you even begin with this? In general, be quick with your email. Your friends don’t want to read your life story. Why would you think a stranger would? Especially one who is probably busy. Also, humor is a tricky thing to pull off, but even trickier than that is a joke at the expense of the person you want help from. Like, I get enough crap on social media as it is. Why am I going to help someone taking a shot at me? You’d be amazed at how many emails I get asking for some sort of help that start with a version of “I’m a big fan (even though you screwed me with Michael Vick) …” or some such. It’s like … what? Why would anyone want to help someone who starts an email with a shot at them? Look, I have very thick skin, I am very self-deprecating, and I’m very well aware of every mistake I’ve made in my life. I own up to all of them. I will continue to do so. And if I want to make fun of them, then I will. But I definitely don’t need some random who wants help putting it in my face.
Like, not to get defensive about “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles” (aka Croc 3) because it’s not a good movie, and Paul Hogan had total creative control over the movie — we wrote what he wanted — but I will say this: It got made. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a movie — any movie — made? It made about $40 million worldwide in 2001 ticket sales, which is about $66 million worldwide in 2020 pre-pandemic ticket sales, if my back-of-envelope math is correct. That’s not an earth-shattering hit, but it’s definitely not an embarrassment, either. An aspiring screenwriter should be so lucky as to write a movie that grosses $66 million worldwide — hell, any kind of entertainment that gets made. That seems obvious, but I see it way too much. One of my friends here at work was interviewing for a TV job, and in the interview, the guy made fun of Stephen A. Smith. Like, Stephen A. isn’t for everyone. That’s fine, but … what? He’s obviously a huge part of what we do here. If you want a job, don’t insult them, what they do or people they work with.
I read your Love/Hate today; you said LinkedIn was a good way to reach you. Sorry, I am not writing about a job for your son but for myself …
TMR: So you read my article and are acknowledging that you understood what I wanted, but you’re ignoring it. Got it. Please, go on …
You probably get thousands of emails and contacts like this, so I’m not sure if mine will make it through the noise, but here it goes. I work for a great company and have more than enough money to support my family. However, something is missing, and that is passion for what I do. You’ve got my dream job, Matthew Berry, but with the right connections (i.e., you) …
TMR: Thanks for clarifying that. Wasn’t sure you were talking about me.
I’m wanting to reach out and see what you would need from me to endorse me for a fantasy analyst role with ESPN. I can write you a beginning of the season “keys to fantasy football success” article, or I can have a conversation with you about my background and why I’m qualified. … I don’t want this message getting too long, so I’m going to refrain from talking about my passion for fantasy sports or how I am very analytical and my personality and intelligence level suits me perfectly to be a fantasy analyst. We can get more into that later, but I can assure you I can do this.
TMR: I mean … what do you say to this? This is how this email reads to me. “Hi. I’m not happy in my current job, but I love playing basketball. So I’d like to play for the Lakers. Can I send in a video of me shooting jumpers or talk to you about why I’d be good on the Lakers?”
You’d be amazed at how many emails I get with some version of this. I apologize if this comes off as harsh or blunt, but your first job as a fantasy analyst is not going to be at ESPN — or any major media company. This is true for ANY career. You’re not starting in a high-profile job at a huge company in any industry. Whatever you want to do, you are gonna have to work your way up.
I was 35 years old when I decided to try to make a living at fantasy football. I had a very quick rise and definitely got lucky along the way at certain moments … and it still took me eight years to get to ESPN full time.
If you want to be a fantasy analyst, don’t write a “keys to fantasy football success” article for me. Write it for yourself. And try to get it published on a site. Then write another. And another. If you get good enough at it, we or someone else will find you.
Last time we had an opening, I mentioned to my boss that I thought Mike Clay was really good. At that point, Mike had been writing for many years, first on his own site, then starting the fantasy section for Pro Football Focus and growing that. My bosses were fans of him, too. He was brought in for an interview, and he accepted the job. At that point, Mike had been working professionally in fantasy for, like, a decade. And he’s still the new guy here.
Hone your craft. Get good. Don’t come knocking until you are.
Dear Mr. Matthew Berry, Wanted to start off by saying that you’ve helped me progress as a Fantasy Football Enthusiast, helping me through a multitude of hefty situations, in addition to aiding me through the “holistic” league winner projection season I’m currently having. All that said, I love Fantasy Football. Currently a senior committed to Bowdoin College for lacrosse, I’ve had aspirations of becoming a big-time lawyer (or that’s what my parents believe). In reality, I want to be the one who takes your job once you retire. Remember this email.
Thanks, love you, and bye,
TMR: Now THAT’S an email. That’s how you do it. I wrote Emre back and said, “Ha! Love it. I’ll be here waiting for you to hand over the keys. In the meantime, best of luck until then. Thanks, Matthew.”
I loved this email. Short and funny. Didn’t ask for anything. Telling me he is going to make it and giving me a heads-up that he’s a-coming. LOVE IT.
And you know what? I WILL remember this email. Last article, I talked about “Brand Aware” and finding a way to stick out. Well, I now know the name Emre Andican, and I’m much more likely to help him than the writer of any of the emails I printed above.
It’s not easy out there. I get it, I really do, and I’m super sympathetic. But make it easy for someone to help you, you know? Make it so they want to. Don’t tell them what they can do for you. They already know what they can do for you. Figure out a reason they should, you know?
Let’s get to it. Thanks as always to two guys who will always have a job with me, The Stat-a-Pillar Damian Dabrowski and “Thirsty” Kyle Soppe.
Quarterbacks I love in Week 8
It hasn’t always been pretty, and the offense has often featured players you likely haven’t heard of, but very quietly, since Week 3, Carson Wentz is the fifth-best QB in fantasy. He has 21 or more points and a rushing touchdown in four of his past five games. Now he gets to play the Dallas Cowboys, or as they should officially be renamed: 2020 America’s Team. Dallas is bottom-three in the NFL in touchdown pass rate allowed, yards per completion and confused looks from the head coach. Assuming your fantasy league still allows points accrued in NFC East games and has not ruled them to be invalid semi-pro contests, Wentz is a must-start in Week 8.
Scott Spratt explains why he believes Carson Wentz will gain some positive momentum as the Eagles face off against a struggling Cowboys team.
Maybe it’s the simple and clean uniforms. Maybe it’s the hard-nosed, Derrick Henry-led style of play, or maybe it’s because Mike Vrabel once threatened to cut his own privates off. But the general perception is that the Titans have a tough defense, and that Vrabel totally would do it. I agree with the perception on Coach — I’m glad I’m not an ER doctor in the Nashville, Tennessee, area. But the facts about the defense don’t lie: Tennessee is 17th in points allowed, 23rd in pressure rate and 26th in passing yards allowed, and only two teams in the league allow more touchdown passes per game. You don’t need to try to avoid the Titans’ defense in matchups anymore, especially not this week with Burrow, who has 300-plus yards in five of his past six games. Cincy’s D is so bad, he’ll have to keep throwing — he leads the NFL in pass attempts, at 41.9 per game — and will do so from a clean pocket.
Speaking of changing your perceptions of the Titans, maybe one day we’ll all finally admit that Tannehill is legit. Probably not, but maybe. Tannehill now has multiple touchdown passes in three straight games and four of five, and he’s QB10 on the season. He might move up after this week, considering that the Bengals have given up a league-high 12 touchdown passes the past four weeks and that Philip Rivers, Gardner Minshew II and Baker Mayfield have all scored 20-plus points against the Titans the past four weeks. Oh, your perception that the Bengals’ defense is bad? You’ll be happy to know that one still holds true.
Others receiving votes
Derek Carr is the sensible midsize sedan of fantasy quarterbacks. (Car pun alert!) You’re never going to be excited to have him in your garage or your starting lineup, but he can get the job done. With multiple touchdown passes in three straight games, this week Carr gets a Browns defense that is bottom-three in passing yards allowed this season and has given up 25-plus points to opposing QBs in three straight games. (OK, it was Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady, but still. The over/under in this game is 54). … I’ve come to accept that Baker Mayfield will never be as good an NFL quarterback as he is a commercial actor, but that’s OK. He’s a great commercial actor. He was also a pretty good quarterback last week, posting season highs in completions, completion percentage, passing yards and passing touchdowns. I’m not saying he will post new season highs this week, but he does face a Vegas defense that has given up at least 25 fantasy points to quarterbacks in three consecutive games. … We’ve reached the point of the column where we find out which quarterback gets to play the Falcons’ defense this week, and it’s … drumroll, please … Teddy Bridgewater! Congratulations, Teddy. I have you as a top-12 QB this week.
Field Yates can’t justify starting Baker Mayfield until Week 10 and deems Mayfield a bye-week fill-in.
Quarterbacks I hate in Week 8
Ryan gets to play the Falcons’ defense every week. Unfortunately for him, it’s in practice, and practice fantasy points don’t count. Not only does Ryan not get to face the Falcons’ D on Sunday, but he also gets a Panthers unit that allows a league-low 6.3 yards per pass attempt. A Panthers defense that held Ryan to 6.9 fantasy points and no touchdowns in Week 5 in Atlanta. A Panthers defense that gives up just 15.4 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks this season (fifth in the NFL). Here are the QBs the Panthers have faced: Derek Carr, Tom Brady, Justin Herbert, Kyler Murray, Matt Ryan, Nick Foles, Drew Brees. If Ryan lights it up on Thursday, fine, I’ll look dumb, but I have Ryan outside my top 10 this week.
Field Yates and Matthew Berry disagree on whether Matt Ryan will be a top-10 fantasy QB in Week 8.
Although Pittsburgh being the NFL’s last undefeated team understandably gets the headlines, Roethlisberger has struggled fantasy-wise lately. He had just 162 passing yards two weeks ago and three interceptions at Tennessee on Sunday, scoring fewer than 13 fantasy points in each game. Roethlisberger has hit 20 fantasy points only twice this season. It’s unlikely that any of those numbers turn around against a Ravens defense that is top-five in both pressure rate and touchdown passes allowed and has had two weeks to prep.
The Bears are allowing just 12.4 fantasy points per game and 58.7% completion rate to opposing quarterbacks. Both are second in the NFL. “Yeah, but Drew Brees is matchup-proof.” Ehhh … not this year, my friend. Brees has yet to finish better than QB9 in a week this season and has three finishes of QB19 or worse. Brees also put up just 14.5 fantasy points in his only other outdoor game this season. Add that we are not sure as of this writing which of his pass-catchers are going to play in this game (Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Marquez Callaway all could be out), and well, Brees makes the hate list this week.
Sometimes I like to bring up bad Lions stats just to pick on Daniel Dopp, but this time, it’s to remind you that though the Lions have started to win some games, Stafford isn’t winning anyone their fantasy matchups. He has only one finish better than QB15 this season (in Week 4). He has one touchdown pass or fewer in half of his games, including his past two. His 18.4 fantasy points last week were solid, but that number would have been a lot lower if Todd Gurley II hadn’t accidentally scored. By the way, “Accidentally Scored” should be the name of a crappy band Daniel listens to. Indy has had two weeks to prep for Stafford, and that’s #notideal. The Colts allow a league-low 11.7 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks.
Running backs I love in Week 8
Running backs who have at least 13 touches against the Raiders this season are averaging 22.5 fantasy points per game. Hunt is averaging 19.7 touches in the three games since Nick Chubb got hurt. This week Hunt plays the Raiders. I think you can connect the dots here yourself: Hunt . . . . . . . . . is a . . . . . . . . . Week 8 Love and a top-five play.
I talk a lot about players falling into the end zone. Gurley is the first player to take it so literally. But including intentional and unintentional touchdowns this year, his seven total rushing scores are tied for the league lead. The Carolina Panthers, his Week 8 opponent, have allowed eight touchdowns to running backs so far this season and the third-most fantasy points to the position. They’ve also given up the most receptions and yards to RBs (Gurley has three-plus targets each of the past three weeks). All of which means Gurley should have plenty of opportunities Thursday to score on purpose.
“Detroit vs. Everyone” should probably be changed to “Every RB vs. Detroit.” Remember when I said that sometimes I list bad Lions stats just to troll Daniel Dopp? This is one of those times. The Lions are bottom-five in the NFL this season in rushing touchdowns allowed per game to running backs, rushing yards allowed per game to running backs and fantasy points allowed per game to running backs. Oh, there’s more! Detroit gives up a league-worst 9.2 yards per reception to running backs! I have more, but I’m running out of room. Daniel is at @DanielDopp on Twitter if you’d like to tweet him additional bad Lions defensive stats. He always likes hearing from fans. Oh, and not for nothing, Jonathan Taylor has seven targets his past two games after getting just four in his previous three games. Off the bye, when I am sure the Colts got him even more up to speed on the offense, Taylor has a chance to have the first really big fantasy game of his career this week against Daniel’s Detroit Lions.
You know it’s a bad year for the Patriots when an Eagles backup running back is the best Boston football we’ve seen this year. Was that a stretch? It sure was! But it’s not a stretch to say that Boston Scott should be in your lineup this week! (I’m a professional writer — honest.) Anyway … Scott averages 23.1 fantasy points per game in his four career games, with 13-plus touches. With Miles Sanders expected to miss this game once again and Scott having handled 75% of the RB touches last week, he’s due for a big workload. Meanwhile, the Dallas 2020s, er, Cowboys are allowing 145 rushing yards per game to running backs and 5.0 yards per carry and have coughed up six RB rushing touchdowns in their past four games.
Others receiving votes
The latest person to get back in the good graces of the Love/Hate column after leaving Adam Gase? Le’Veon Bell. The Jets allow the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs and are bottom-10 in receptions per game allowed to backs. Add a healthy dash of revenge, and Bell is a nice flex play in Week 8. … JaMycal Hasty had 10 touches and 73 scrimmage yards on 15 snaps last week. If only we were all that efficient. Hasty should get some work again this week against Seattle’s run defense, ranked 30th the past four weeks — yes, even if Kyle Shanahan decides to un-disappear Jerick McKinnon. … Fine, Adam Gase doesn’t make absolutely everyone fantasy irrelevant. La’Mical Perine out-snapped Frank Gore 34-16 last week and led the Jets’ backfield with 13 touches and three targets. In a game in which the Jets are likely to be trailing and throwing quite a bit, Perine will get a lot more passing-down work than Gore. The Chiefs also allow the third-most rushing yards per game, giving Perine some deep league and DFS dart-throw value.
Matthew Berry suggests targeting Rashard Higgins and La’Mical Perine on the Week 8 waiver wire.
Running backs I hate in Week 8
Gaskin has surpassed expectations this season, but he also has underachieved when it comes to expected NFL RB1 production, with fewer than 60 rushing yards in four of his six games and just a single touchdown on the season. The Rams have allowed only two rushing touchdowns all season and give up the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing backs. You’re very likely still starting him this week because you probably don’t have that many options that will get the kind of volume he should get. Plus, considering that it’s Tua’s first start, they might try to lean on running even more, so maybe he gets you there based on volume, but I’d lower expectations in this one to more of a lower-end RB2 or flex.
Speaking of guys whose best attribute this week is volume, unlike Gaskin (who I think is really talented), the jury is still out on Montgomery, whose rushing numbers lag well behind his 2019 pace, and he has fewer than 70 scrimmage yards in three of his past four games. If you want to point to a positive, it’s that Montgomery has gotten more work in the passing game this season, but that might not help this week. The Saints allow the second-fewest yards per reception to running backs on the season. In fact, it’s a bad matchup all the way around, given that over the past four weeks, the Saints have allowed just 62.3 rushing yards per game to running backs and only 3.5 yards per carry. Putting Montgomery in your lineup this week is like getting a toothbrush in your Halloween bucket: better than nothing, and it does have a use, but you’d prefer almost anything else.
With Zack Moss back, the Bills have two running backs — but in fantasy, they don’t have one. Singletary hasn’t hit seven fantasy points in any of his past three games, and he has averaged a measly 3.0 yards per carry in his past four while finishing outside the top 35 RBs each of those weeks. He also isn’t involved in the passing game, as he has just one game this year with more than 23 receiving yards. It’s like my old grandpappy used to say, “If you can’t do it against the Jets, you can’t do it for my fantasy team.”
Field Yates and Matthew Berry are no longer sold on Devin Singletary until he performs better for the Bills.
Pass-catchers I love in Week 8
I hate to keep harping on players having success after leaving Adam Gase, but this has to be maddening for Jets fans. (I personally do not feel any sympathy for Jets fans. As a Football Team fan, I have plenty of my own sadness to deal with, thanks.) Also, I actually don’t hate pointing it out all. Where were we? Oh, yeah, players who bust out after they are no longer coached by Adam Gase. Anderson’s 26.7% target share is seventh-highest among all wide receivers, and he has double-digit fantasy points in every game this season. Don’t be surprised if he hits double digits in the first half this week against the Falcons, who allow the second-most yards per game to wide receivers. Anderson already torched Atlanta once this season, putting up 112 yards on eight receptions and 12 targets in Week 5.
“Practice Squad to Target Hog: The Travis Fulgham Story.” While I wait for Hollywood studio heads to call me back about my screenplay, I’ll keep putting Fulgham in lineups. Did you know Fulgham was drafted by the Lions, but then they just waived him? It doesn’t matter if you know it or not; I just wanted to make sure Daniel Dopp saw it. The part you need to know is that Fulgham has been great — the kind of great the Lions could use. He has at least 10 targets in three straight games. That sets up for a huge day against the Dallas 2020s, as wide receivers who have seen six-plus targets against them this season are averaging 22.6 fantasy points. No team has allowed more touchdowns to wide receivers this season than Dallas, and you know I love Wentz this week, so it makes sense that I’m stacking him with Fulgham.
A.J. Green’s increased production has not coincided with a drop in Higgins’. Both receivers — and Tyler Boyd, too — have more than 30 fantasy points the past two weeks. That high-volume Bengals passing offense can support them all. But I like Higgins this week against a Titans secondary yielding the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing receivers this season, and — this is where the specific Higgins Love comes in — they’re bottom-five in touchdowns and receptions allowed per game to perimeter receivers. Also, if “Accidentally Scored” gets taken, “Higgins Love” is a good name for a crappy band, likely one that plays folk music.
Matthew Berry says the Bengals throw the ball so much that Tyler Boyd, A.J. Green and Tee Higgins can all be productive in fantasy against the Titans.
Smith has a red zone target in each of his full games this season, and the Bengals are bottom-three in the league in both tight end touchdowns allowed and fantasy points per game to tight ends. Six different tight ends have scored double-digit points vs. the Bengals this season. They’ve played only seven games. OK, it’s not the most compelling case for a Love, but this is the 2020 Tight End position. This is as compelling as it gets, my friends.
Others receiving votes
Pittsburgh’s defense is one of the league’s best, but the deep ball is their big weakness. Enter Marquise Brown, who averages 16 air yards per target and has at least six targets in every game. I’m in this week on Hollywood. (I’d be even more in if Hollywood would buy my Fulgham screenplay. It’s more of an outline than a script, really. Well, a couple of notes scribbled down. I actually just have the title right now, but so what? Did you need to hear anything after you heard the movie was called “Snakes on a Plane”? Exactly. Title says it all. Where the hell am I again?). … OK, so Brandon Aiyuk gets the Seahawks this week, who allow a league-high and almost impossible to comprehend 60.2 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season. Aiyuk is still on the waiver wire in more than 50% of leagues. … Aiyuk is a high-ceiling play, but if you want a high floor, give me Cole Beasley. At least 11 fantasy points in his past six games, and this week he gets a Patriots defense that allows the fifth-most yards to the slot. … Not Zach Ertz, not Dallas Goedert, Richard Rodgers is the Eagles tight end you want. Toooootally saw that coming. What I do see coming is a nice game for Rodgers this week against Dallas. The Eagles are first in the NFL in TE targets, second in receptions and sixth in yards, while the 2020s allow the seventh-highest catch rate to tight ends. … Harrison Bryant outperforming David Njoku wasn’t a fluke. He played nine more snaps and ran three more targets. Cleveland ranks fourth in tight end target share this season, so Bryant will remain fantasy viable until Austin Hooper returns.
Pass-catchers I hate in Week 8
When you’re on the Hate list ’cause you’re covered by Slay, that’s Amari.
If the Fulgham movie doesn’t happen, I can always try a songwriting career, right? Surely, writing fantasy-football-related parody songs to really old music is a lucrative field, right? Anyway, guessing you get my drift here because you’re smart, unlike my dumb readers, that Amari Cooper gets a Darius Slay shadow this week, and in his past two games with Slay shadowing him, Cooper has combined four catches for 42 yards on 12 targets. (Sad trombone noise.) Yes, I can also score my songs. That along with questions at the QB position puts Cooper on the hate list this week.
Matthew Berry asserts that fantasy managers shouldn’t bench Ezekiel Elliott or Amari Cooper in Week 8, but would make CeeDee Lamb a flex consideration.
Parker has fewer than 55 yards in four of his six games this season. Considering that the Rams allow the fewest yards per game to perimeter receivers this season and the second-fewest fantasy points per game to all opposing receivers, chances are this week Parker makes it five-of-seven. The fact that we have no idea what Tua under center is going to be like ain’t helping matters.
Few people know this, but Hockenson’s given name is Touchdowndependent James Hockenson. It’s a bit of a mouthful, yet I commend his parents for their foresight and analysis. Although Hockenson has a touchdown catch in three straight games, he’s averaging only 3.7 receptions and 42.7 yards per game this season. That makes him very touchdown-dependent, and that makes him an especially risky play against the Colts, who allow the fewest fantasy points per game to tight ends.
Chris Herndon. There. Of the 38 tight ends with at least 15 targets this season, I named the only one averaging fewer fantasy points per target than Engram. Just TE23 on a points per game basis this season (minimum four games played), Engram is unlikely to turn things around Monday unless he gets in the end zone, and that might be tough. Tampa Bay allows the fifth-fewest red zone drives per game this season, and even if the Giants get close, there’s no guarantee that Engram gets the look. I mean, 64 tight ends have at least one end zone target this season; Engram is not one of them.