Frascella's Fantasy Corner Week 8: No Odell? No problem
Another one bites the dust.
Flashy wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is now out for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee. He joins fellow big names in Saquon Barkley (less than 2 full games played), Michael Thomas (1 game), Christian McCaffrey (2 games) and Dak Prescott (out for season) on the marquee injury list. Lest we forget that fantasy studs Dalvin Cook, Nick Chubb, Austin Ekeler, Miles Sanders, Davante Adams, Julio Jones and Chris Godwin are also missing or have missed time due to injury this snake bitten NFL season.
But have no fear!
The waiver wire looks deep this week. You can still salvage your season. Let’s get right into it…
Potential Pickups for Week 8
Mitchell Trubisky, Bears: These Chicago Bears have to be the worst 5-2 team I’ve ever seen. There’s a clear power struggle going on here, between “starting” quarterback Nick Foles and head coach Matt Nagy, and I think it goes a little something like this: I beat Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in the Super Bowl; what the hell have you done, Nagy? Foles certainly seems to act like he knows a lot more than his head coach; the problem is that – on the field – Foles’ porous play has been eerily similar to Joe Flacco’s brief stint filling in for Sam Darnold this year. The point is…these old gunslingers are crawling toward retirement. Take a flier on Trubisky in Superflex or 2 QB because Nagy would be certifiable to leave Foles under center.
Ben DiNucci, Cowboys: I’m not gonna go crazy, here; even if Andy Dalton sits this week, I expect him back the following. DiNucci is a desperate play in the deepest of deep SF leagues.
Carlos Hyde, Seahawks: Chris Carson is “week-to-week” with a foot sprain, so Hyde is going to be a super popular pickup this week. Be ready to pony up those FAAB dollars. He’ll probably be worth it for a couple weeks or so.
Gus Edwards, Ravens: Mark Ingram is questionable with an ankle injury, so “Gus the Bus” may function as a one-week fill-in for some fantasy rosters. He’s one of the most bruising backs in the league, so if Ingram doesn’t go I expect at least one TD from Gus.
Damien Harris, Patriots: Things are getting awfully messy in New England, but from what I saw last week, young Harris looked like the Pats’ most explosive player on the offensive side of the ball. I doubt they get blown out two weeks in a row, so gameflow should swing back in Harris’ favor this week. He’s an easy pickup, to me.
Josh Kelley, Chargers: This rookie comes up every week. He still has a solid role for 14-team leagues with Ekeler out.
Zack Moss, Bills: Devin Singletary appears to be slowing down a bit, so the door is squeaking open for the rookie, Moss. For the first time this season, he actually looked better than his sophomore backfield mate. Just watch that arrow tilting upwards…
Tevin Coleman, 49ers: The veteran may come off IR this week, but I’m tepid because of JaMycal Hasty and Jerick McKinnon. Head coach Kyle Shanahan says McKinnon was just “being rested” this past week – so maybe he bounces back? – and Hasty looks like the best healthy back they have right now. Coleman, Hasty, McKinnon could end up similar to Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown and Cam Akers in Los Angeles.
JaMycal Hasty, 49ers: See above.
Alexander Mattison, Vikings: Dalvin Cook seems questionable with his groin injury, so this could be a real bounce-back spot for Mattison if Cook doesn’t go. I still believe in Mattison’s talent, despite a ghostly performance against the lowly Falcons.
Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones, Browns: Even with OBJ going down this week, Baker Mayfield looked revitalized with the veteran Case Keenum nipping at his heels. If Baker’s play continues to incline, Higgins and Peoples-Jones could both be quite productive. Jarvis Landry is working hard in the middle of the field with the underneath routes, but Higgins and Peoples-Jones will have to try to be the home run hitters in Beckham’s absence. Ya gotta take shots in deeper leagues, here.
Curtis Samuel, Panthers: Matt Rhule has been talking about getting Samuel more involved for a while now, and he finally delivered on that promise this week. In a vacuum, on an island, Samuel is actually a very good player. The problem has been simple: DJ Moore and Robby Anderson are just better as pure, all-around wide receivers. But, Rhule can employ those gadget plays for Samuel, like Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay and Kliff Kingsbury like to do with their speed guys.
Josh Reynolds, Rams: Is he running neck-and-neck with Cooper Kupp, now? And what about Robert Woods? The Rams have become a mix-and-match hodge podge, and Reynolds appears to be the most improved in this receiving corps. Worth a speculative add.
Brandon Aiyuk, 49ers: Deebo Samuel is out a couple weeks with a hamstring injury, and Aiyuk looks hungry and explosive. I would have listed him first in this section, but I don’t want my league mates to see how high I am on him, haha…
Denzel Mims, Jets: Looked pretty good in his first game as a pro. A lot to monitor, here: will Jamison Crowder play? Will Breshad Perriman play? If not, Mims could actually be the lowly Jets’ No. 1 receiver.
Marcus Johnson, Colts: Speaking of possible No. 1 receivers… T.Y. Hilton is looking pretty old these days. Johnson just might be the guy for Philip Rivers.
Nelson Agholor, Raiders: I’ve been saying this all year – I just have a hunch about Derek Carr and Agholor’s connection in the passing game. They seem to have oddly superb timing on one-on-one deep balls. I think Agholor is simply outplaying his first-round teammate, speedster Henry Ruggs.
Henry Ruggs, Raiders: Speaking of Mr. Ruggs… he’s still a flex play dart throw in desperation. Boom-or-bust. One explosive play and you get a decent week out of the kid.
Darnell Mooney, Bears: Chicago needs to get its quarterback situation straightened out, but Allen Robinson is drawing heavy double-teams right now; the rookie Mooney is the next man in line. If Foles or Trubisky could throw accurately, this kid would have much better overall numbers on the season.
Dez Bryant, Ravens: An “honorable mention” of sorts. I don’t really see potential fantasy value, here.
Week 8 DFS Plays
Safe: Pat Mahomes $8,100 vs. NYJ
Sleeper: Cam Newton $5,700 @ BUF
Perfect Storm: Ryan Tannehill $6,800 @ CIN
Summary: It’s put up or shut up for Cam. This is it. His career is on the line this week, and no one is gonna use him in DFS after last week’s debacle. Worth a handful of spec plays.
Safe: Kareem Hunt $6,900 vs. LV
Sleeper: La’Mical Perine $4,300 @ KC
Perfect Storm: Josh Jacobs $6,200 @ CLE
Summary: Perine’s role is expanding, and he’s sneaky because of his productive pass-catching.
Safe: Tyreek Hill $6,700 vs. NYJ
Sleeper: Corey Davis $5,100 @ CIN
Perfect Storm: Justin Jefferson $6,500 @ GB
Summary: Yes, Jefferson appears to be a rising star, but I still expect Green Bay to take away Adam Thielen, first. I see more one-on-one opportunities for JJ than the veteran leader, Thielen.
Safe: George Kittle $7,000 @ SEA
Sleeper: Gerald Everett $3,700 @ MIA
Perfect Storm: Darren Waller $5,600 @ CLE
Summary: No Deebo Samuel, and Kittle against that secondary? We just might have to pay up at tight end this week…
Best of luck to all!
John Frascella is a published sports author and fantasy football analyst with over two decades of experience. Follow him on Twitter @LegendSports7 for all things fantasy football