MathBox +/- Week 8 Projections

Predictions by each position for Week 8 Fantasy Football in Standard and PPR Formats

You can learn more about our models and our Week 7 projections and Waiver Wire pickups by listening our weekly Fantasy Outliers podcast: iTunes, streaming.

Welcome to our Week 8 start/sit predictions! We’re excited to roll these ones out for everyone to have a look at during a difficult week.

This is the first big week of byes for the 2017 season. Six teams are on bye this week and a number of regular starters are unavailable (six are also on bye next week, by the way).

Here’s a quick list of the players you might be missing from your lineup this week:

  • Arizona: Adrian Peterson, Larry Fitzgerald
  • Green Bay: Aaron Jones, Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Randall Cobb
  • Los Angeles Rams: Todd Gurley, Sammy Watkin, Cooper Kupp
  • New York Giants: Evan Engram
  • Tennessee: Marcus Mariota, DeMarco Murray, Derrick Henry, Delanie Walker
  • Jacksonville: Leonard Fournette, Allen Hurns, Marquise Lee (ok, these last two are a stretch)

With this many players out, you’re bound to see some odd names rising up the rankings. Watch out for these standouts. They’re your opportunity to get a player to help your team in the short term — or long term, potentially—depending on how well things go this week.

It’s also worth noting that we’ve added two new features to our projections this week: injury reminders and opposing defense rankings. The injury reminders are simple—players that have injury concerns are just marked with a red cross as a reminder that they should be looked into before you plan around them too much. The opposing defense ranks only need a little explanation. The rank number included indicates the rank each defense has against that player’s specific position—not overall.

We’ve found both improvements very useful and hope you do, too.


Quarterbacks

  • With Kirk Cousins and Dak Prescott projected third and fourth, respectively, MathBox seems to think this NFC East game will be a shootout. There were certainly a lot of passing yards in two games last year for both QBs, and Cousins was electric with 449 yards and three touchdowns in the latter meeting. Both have been performing like upper QB1s for most of the year, so this is no surprise.
  • Although Deshaun Watson has proven to be nothing less than electric with an upward trajectory, it will be interesting to see him against the Seattle defense. We’ll learn a lot about him in general after this matchup.
  • Carson Wentz has catapulted himself into the MVP conversation with his last three games (821 yards, 11 TDs, two INTs). Sitting at QB#7 this week, he only stays this low against the San Francisco 49ers if the Eagles put the game away early and don’t throw much for the rest of the day.
  • Jameis Winston comes in as QB#11 in this week’s projections after having a big Week 7 despite the shoulder injury that threatened his status. I have a hard time believing he finishes lower than Matthew Stafford and Russell Wilson this week.

Runningbacks (Standard)

  • Not too many surprises in the RB rankings this week as many familiar names are at the top of the ranks. Things get a little more interesting at the end of the top 20, though, with Ameer Abdullah (#17), Buck Allen (#18), Jerick McKinnon (#19) and Joe Mixon (#20) all making appearances. Many people will have to start these guys this week and MathBox thinks they’re worth the gamble. They’ve all had up weeks and down weeks, but the one that worries me the most right now is Mixon. He just hasn’t seemed to be able to get it going so far this year and I’m avoiding this week.
  • We’ve reached that point when LeGarrette Blount suddenly looks startable again. Yay. He’s a surprise at #14 in a great matchup against the worse run defense, San Francisco. Feeling lucky? You might just have to take a shot this week.

Runningbacks (PPR)

  • Let’s talk about Mark Ingram (#5) and Alvin Kamara (#14). Wow—two top-15 RBs on the same team! Both startable, happily. Both looking strong over the next month, as well. Ingram probably isn’t an unanticipated help, but hopefully Kamara give some players a good shot in the arm this week.
  • Chris Thompson (#12) has been a little up and down due to his utilization in game, but MathBox believes in Thompson this week—and for the next month where he’s also projected to be top-12.

Wide Receivers (Standard)

  • One thing that’s apparent from MathBox’s projections this week—the algorithm is not as scared of bad defensive matchups as human analysts seem to be. We’re higher than ECR on Jarvis Landry (#4), Tyreek Hill (#5) and DeAndre Hopkins (#6)—all great players in supposedly poor matchups. We side with MathBox and are starting all three without much reservation.
  • Amari Cooper (#16) had an incredible game last week and had an equally incredible rise in our rankings moving from the mid-30s last week to the mid-teens this week. He even ranks above Michael Crabtree (#18) this week for us. I guess MathBox is ready to forgive (all the drops), forget (all the drops) and move on (without drops—we hope). We’re back in, too.

Wide Receivers (PPR)

  • The note above about MathBox having no fear of bad matchups applies here as well, this time mostly to Jarvis Landry (#4) and Tyreek Hill (#5). Now that we’ve noticed this disparity between MathBox and the industry, we’ll be watching closely from here.
  • At #32, MathBox must really hate something about Chris Hogan. It has him 24 slots below his co-Patriot Brandin Cooks (#8) and way, way below ECR. While we understand the concern—Hogan’s current pace of 2+ Points Per Opportunity is frankly unsustainable—we still think that anyone who has fiveTDs from Tom Brady in seven games should be run out there every week until further notice. While concerning, this low ranking from MathBox is not the notice that will keep us from taking him further—Hogan and Cooks are both easy starts this week.
  • Ted Ginn (#26) and Kenny Stills (#30) are both waiver picks we think could help teams out this week—especially in PPR. Given that Ginn faces a slightly better matchup, we’d probably go with him if we’re in need of a fill-in flex this week.

Tight Ends (Standard)

  • Per our waiver wire discussion after O.J. Howard’s breakout performance in Week 7 for Tampa Bay, Howard is projected as TE#12, with Cameron Brate coming in at No. 6. Will there be enough room for both?

Tight Ends (PPR)

  • Zach Ertz, the top tight end in both fantasy formats, is projected as TE#9 in PPR by MathBox. He’s got 13 receptions and four touchdowns in his past three games. Wentz was ranked a little lower than I would have expected as well, so same analysis goes: MathBox either thinks the Eagles lock this down quickly, or maybe we’ll more of a game on our hands?
  • Jimmy Graham gets a big jump in our PPR projections (11 to 4). His past four games have been solid and he’s been one of Wilson’s most reliable targets.

Chris Seal and Jeremy Mobley contributed to the weekly models.

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