Earlier this week, we previewed the Broncos upcoming clash against the Packers from a Fantasy perspective and now it is time to check out the happenings for all the other Week 8 games. Consider this your friendly reminder that the Bills, Jaguars, Eagles and Redskins are all on byes this week.
Philip Rivers should continue his high level of play against the Ravens, who have given up the most Fantasy points to QBs thus far. Rivers has at least 2 passing TDs in six of seven games. Matthew Stafford gets an inviting matchup against a weak Chiefs secondary. Stafford is streaking with 661 yards and 6 TDs in his last two games. Both QBs in the Giants / Saints tilt are worthy Fantasy plays. The Giants defense has allowed the third most passing yards in the league, giving Drew Brees Top 10 upside.
Expect Eli Manning and company to keep pace against a defense that has allowed 14 TDs through the air. He has at least one passing TD in every game other than when he faced the Cowboys. Ben Roethlisberger looks poised make his return to the Steelers and that means he deserves to go immediately back into your lineup. If you own Blake Bortles or Sam Bradford, you may want pick up Teddy Bridgewater, who faces the Bears. He is coming off of his best game of the season and takes on a quad that allows almost 20 Fantasy points per game, according to NFL.com.
The Falcons defense has given up 64 receptions and 11 total TDs to opposing running backs. Of course you'll have Doug Martin, Fantasy's number three RB, locked into your lineup already. You can also consider Charles Sims a PPR FLEX option because of his strong acumen in the passing game. Justin Forsett takes on a porous Chargers run defense, making him a top start.
Todd Gurley has been as advertised, racking up 433 rushing yards over the past three games. The rookie's big-play ability gives him elite upside against the 49ers this weekend. Darren McFadden is an RB2 this week despite the Seahawks allowing only one 100-yard rusher and 2 rushing TDs on the season. McFadden exploded for 152 yards and a TD versus the Giants last week after Joseph Randle exited the game with an injury.
The Panthers lockdown secondary poses a tough matchup for T.Y. Hilton, but he has too much upside to leave on your bench. He has scored 3 TDs in his last two games and has also received no less than 7 targets in any game. Calvin Johnson has worked his way back into the WR1 conversation with over 250 yards and 2 TDs in the past two weeks. He gets a very appealing matchup this weekend in London against Kansas City. Golden Tate is worthy of WR3 consideration against that Chiefs secondary that has given up 12 WR TDs already. Jeremy Maclin should be considered a dependable WR2.
The Lions are giving up an average of 26.56 Fantasy points per contest this year. Stefon Diggs will look to continue his hot streak against a Bears defense that will have trouble containing the explosive rookie. Diggs has two 100-yard performances in a row and no less than six receptions a game since debuting three weeks ago. Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall have been a dynamic duo for the Jets this year. Marshall is locked in as a Top 10 option and you can consider Decker a strong WR2, as he enters this week with a TD in four of his past five games.
Tyler Eifert's breakout season should continue against a Steelers defense that has had trouble slowing down the position all season. Eifert's 6 receiving TDs are one behind Rob Gronkowski for the NFL lead. The Seahawks are allowing the second most Fantasy points to tight ends, making Jason Witten a Top 10 play. He has snagged at least five passes or put up 57 yards in every game. The Cardinals have limited the position to under 200 yards and no TDs, making Gary Barnidge more of a back-end TE1. Barnidge has been a standout for the Browns all season and is currently riding a streak of five games in a row with at least 100 yards receiving and/or a TD.
If Antonio Gates misses another game, expect Ladarius Green to step up once again and be worth starting even in a tough matchup. Green has the sixth-most Fantasy points at TE and has found the end zone in back-to-back weeks. Eric Ebron makes a nice plug and play option if you need a bye week replacement. He is coming off of the best performance of his young career and has scored in three of five games so far. Ben Watson might just be the Saints most consistent receiving threat right now and he faces a Giants defense that has ceded 48 receptions to the position. The veteran has caught 14 passes for 186 yards and a TD over the past two weeks.
The Rams defense is among the league's best and a tasty matchup against the 49ers makes them the play of the week. The Raiders offense just torched the Chargers defense, but the Jets remain a strong play behind their ability to force turnovers. The Seahawks defense is a must-start this week due to their strong overall play, even if Dez Bryant is back on the field for the Cowboys. The Falcons are a worth a pickup if you are playing the matchups. Tampa Bay has turned the ball over 11 times in six games, while Atlanta has forced 8 in three home contests.
*For more in-depth Fantasy analysis from the team at RotoExperts.com, register here for the Xclusive Edge Fantasy Football package. Broncos fans receive a special discount by entering promocode "broncos" at checkout.
The Broncos wrapped up their week of practice in preparation for Sunday's game against the Packers. (All photos by Ben Swanson unless otherwise noted)