The Primer: Week 8 Edition (2021 Fantasy Football)

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I’m not sure about you, but I love being able to get outside of my normal routine and experience other cultures. It certainly hasn’t happened any time recently due to the whole world-wide pandemic thing, but it’s still something I do enjoy. Back in 2016, I had the privilege of being able to travel to Africa – Swaziland specifically – and it truly was a life-changing trip. While I could have done without the 17-hour flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg, which was at the time the fourth-longest direct flight in the world, it allowed me to able to experience a different culture unlike any that I had experienced before.

I’ve been able to visit many countries in my 27 years here on this earth, places like Russia, The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and so many others. But there was something unique and different about Africa and the people of the place they now call Eswatini. While I was there, I couldn’t really put my finger on what made this a different place, but over the years I’ve been able to look back and distinctly recall what made it so impressionable.

Community. Everyone was for everyone in the places that we visited all throughout the country and story after story was told of how people dropped everything to rush to a neighbor’s side when they needed a helping hand. Since returning, I’ve looked back and tried to compare and contrast our lifestyle here in the United States to the beautiful friends I made in Eswatini and it’s truly led to some soul searching. Am I living a life that is centered around helping others and doing what’s best for the community around me? Or am I so concerned with my rights, my feelings, and my emotions that I choose to overlook the person right next to me that’s in need?

It’s rare to find the type of community and teamwork that exists over in different countries that may not have as much luxury as we do here in the States. When you do find it, it’s worth holding onto and cherishing it. I’m thankful for that sense of community and teamwork with the man who I split this article with each week, Pat Fitzmaurice. We’ve both easily laid down our pride and other projects that we may have had going on to do whatever is needed to keep this article going this season for all of you. We know that it’s an invaluable resource for you and that so many of you depend on it greatly for your fantasy football lineup decisions. Whenever something is brought up for this article or any extra work that might need to be done, Pat is the first one to jump on it and volunteer his time without any demand for public recognition. Again, a willingness to drop everything for the betterment of the community – or in this sense a 20,000+ word article – and it’s greatly appreciated.

Are you known for the same things? A willingness to do what’s best for others even if that means it might not what’s best for you? I’d like to challenge you to think about that today. I know I certainly have ever since I’ve returned from Africa over five years ago and it’s greatly benefited my way of life and yet I know that I still have a long ways to go. We’re all a work in progress, right?

Let’s switch gears now and talk some football.

– Kyle Yates


CAR vs. ATL | TEN vs. IND | MIA vs. BUF | CIN vs. NYJ | PIT vs. CLE | PHI vs. DET | LAR vs. HOU | SF vs. CHI | NE vs. LAC | JAC vs. SEA | TB vs. NO | WAS vs. DEN | DAL vs. MIN | NYG vs. KC |

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Carolina Panthers vs Atlanta Falcons

Date/Time: Sunday October 31, 1:00pm ET

BettingPros Consensus Spread: Falcons -3

BettingPros Consensus Over/Under

: 46 points

Implied Vegas point totals: Chiefs 24.5, Panthers 21.5


Sam Darnold: Well, after being the QB5 in fantasy football through the first four weeks of the season, reality came crashing through the door for Darnold and the Panthers’ offense, and the drop-off was steep. From weeks 5-7, Darnold is the QB27 in fantasy football and his play was so poor he got benched during this past week’s game against the Giants. He’s thrown for just 318 yards over the past two games, he has just 4.8 Yards Per Attempt over that time frame, and he has just one touchdown to two interceptions. Whatever potential was there for Darnold at the beginning of the season, it’s now vanished and fantasy managers need to be very concerned. Even though this is a great matchup against Atlanta, there’s no way we can view Darnold as being on the redraft radar at this point. He’s a low-end QB2 at best for week eight.

Matt Ryan: Ryan has quietly been a good fantasy football quarterback over the past three games for Atlanta. He’s slowly becoming more and more comfortable in this new offense and it’s evidenced by his Yards Per Attempt each week of the season. Here are Ryan’s YPA numbers for each game: 4.69, 6.52, 6.75, 6.74, 7.6, and 8.4 last week against Miami. We’re seeing a steady increase in Ryan’s willingness to push the ball downfield and it’s translating to fantasy success. The Panthers’ defense isn’t as stout as we once thought to begin the season, but they’re still a solid group. Ryan has done enough over the past few weeks though for us to consider him as a streaming option in week eight. He can be viewed as a high-end QB2.

Running Backs

Chuba Hubbard: In a prime matchup last week against the New York Giants, Hubbard wasn’t able to get much done as he averaged 2.3 Yards Per Attempt and finished as the RB30 on the week. With the Panthers’ offense struggling mightily over the past few weeks, Hubbard hasn’t been given much room to operate and he hasn’t cracked the top-20 at the position each of the past two games as a result. Moving forward, it’s hard to predict that things are going to change for this Panthers offense any time soon either, which makes playing Hubbard a tough pill to swallow. However, he does get a matchup this week against the Falcons defense that is allowing 18.3 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs and we should at least see the Panthers’ offense return to somewhat viable. He can be viewed as a low-end RB2 in week eight.

Mike Davis: Davis suffered an injury late in the game against Miami, but it didn’t quite matter. Davis ended the game with just four total touches and he played only 38 total snaps to Patterson’s 46. At this point, Davis is barely clinging to the end of fantasy football rosters and there’s simply no way we can trust him in our starting lineups. If you need to move on from him for a better option, you can.

Cordarrelle Patterson: There have been some shocking storylines from the 2021 NFL season so far, but the craziest has to be the fact that Patterson is now the Atlanta Falcons’ RB1 over Davis. Patterson has now seen 14 carries in each of the past two games for the Falcons and he’s been an extremely valuable fantasy asset this season. Moving forward, we have to have complete confidence in starting Patterson each week as a high-end RB2 with upside due to the opportunity he’s seeing in this Falcons offense. It’s bizarre and it’s certainly something that no one was predicting, but here we are. Even in a tough matchup against the Panthers defense that’s allowing just 11.3 fantasy points per game to opposing RBs, we need to start Patterson with full confidence.

Wide Receivers

D.J. Moore: From weeks 1-4, Moore was the WR4 in fantasy football and was averaging a shocking 18.7 fantasy points per game. However, over the last three weeks, Moore is just the WR34 and is averaging just 8.3 fantasy points per contest. The offense has capsized here in Carolina and the Panthers have to be working overtime this week to try and figure out what they can do to right the ship. With that being said though, Moore is still providing value for fantasy rosters and he hasn’t hurt your lineup over the past few weeks. In a matchup against the Falcons defense that’s allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing WRs, Moore belongs in your starting lineup as a high-end WR2.

Robby Anderson: Over the past four weeks, Anderson has seen 38 targets. Anyone care to venture a guess as to how many he’s caught? If you said 13, you would be correct. Anderson now has just one game so far this season with more than three receptions and only one game with more than 50 receiving yards. The opportunity is there, but it’s just not happening for Anderson this season in Carolina. He’s now been credited with five drops on the season and there’s no way we can trust him in our starting lineups at this point. If you roster him, it’s worth holding on for one more week just to see if Deshaun Watson makes it to Carolina, but otherwise, he’s worth dropping once we get word that that’s not going to happen.

Calvin Ridley: This has certainly not been the season that fantasy managers were hoping for when they selected Ridley with an early pick in their drafts. Ridley has missed a game and then the Falcons had their bye week, so the numbers are a bit skewed but it’s still underwhelming even with the context considered. Ridley has just a 60% catch rate on the year and only 9.1 Yards Per Reception to go with just a pair of touchdowns. He has yet to finish higher than the WR15 in any game up to this point of the season and it’s hard to see how that changes with the way he’s playing. We have to adjust our expectations for Ridley now and it’s probably best to view him as a mid-range/low-end WR2 moving forward. In a matchup this week against the Panthers defense that’s allowing just 20.6 fantasy points per game to opposing WRs, the upside might not be there with the star wideout.

Russell Gage: Gage came back into the lineup this past week and was utilized much differently than what he has been in the past. Gage lined up predominantly in the slot last season for Atlanta, but this past week against Miami he lined up out wide 52% of the snaps and he was utilized deep downfield as well – as evidenced by his 49-yard receiving touchdown. Gage is an intriguing name to keep our eye on moving forward if he’s going to be moved around the formation more than he has been in years past. If he’s not exclusively playing in the slot anymore, the opportunity for him to return fantasy football value is much greater. He’s worth picking up if he’s available on your waiver wire, but we shouldn’t be ready to plug him into our lineups as anything more than a low-end FLEX play in week eight.

Tight Ends

Tommy Tremble: Tremble’s a nice stash in Dynasty leagues right now, but he’s not worth holding onto in redraft leagues.

Kyle Pitts: In a study done of rookie TEs through their first six NFL games, Pitts has the most receiving yards of any player at his position in the Super Bowl era. Pitts has 471 receiving yards on the season through six games and the next closest player to him on that list is Jordan Reed in his rookie season with Washington in 2013 (388). Atlanta has really figured out how to utilize Pitts over the past two games, and he now has back-to-back 100+ yard performances, which is again an NFL record for a rookie TE. Moving forward, there’s no reason that we shouldn’t view Pitts as a top-3 option every single week at the TE position, and we know that he has the talent to make his opportunity count. The sky’s the limit for what he can be from a fantasy football perspective.


Tennessee Titans vs Indianapolis Colts

Date/Time: Sunday October 31, 1:00pm ET

BettingPros Consensus Spread: Titans -1.5

BettingPros Consensus Over/Under

: 49 points

Implied Vegas point totals: Titans 25.25, Colts 23.75


Ryan Tannehill: With AJ Brown back in the lineup, we’re starting to see Tannehill show flashes of his talent again and what that can mean for fantasy football. While it hasn’t translated to a top-5 fantasy finish in recent weeks, it’s good to see that things are starting to click again for this Titans offense as compared to what we saw to begin the year. The only concern for Tannehill and his fantasy football outlook is the lack of passing volume. Over the past three weeks, Tannehill has just thrown the ball an average of 26 times per game and that’s failing to push Tannehill over the edge into top-10 consideration. That could change this week though against a Colts team that should keep this game competitive all the way throughout, so he’s worth plugging back into our starting lineups if we’ve got him. The Colts are allowing the 9th-most fantasy points to opposing QBs this season and we should see Tannehill throw north of 30 times in this one. Fire him up as a low-end QB1/high-end QB2.

Carson Wentz: The numbers from Wentz last week against San Francisco don’t look outstanding on paper, but it’s important to remember that these teams were playing in a torrential downpour for the majority of the game. Despite the weather, Wentz was able to deliver a top-12 fantasy QB performance and continue his streak of solid play (the one questionable fumble aside). Did you know that Wentz is currently on pace to throw for 27 touchdowns on the season to just two interceptions? He just can’t escape Nick Foles, can he?! Anyway, looking ahead to week eight, there’s a valid case to be made that we should be starting Wentz in our 1QB leagues here. The Titans are coming off of a game where they shut down the Chiefs’ passing attack, but we shouldn’t take too much away from that performance right now. The Titans’ secondary is banged up and short-handed and they’ve been a favorable matchup for opposing QBs all season long. In fact, the Titans are allowing 2.3 passing touchdowns per game on average, which is tied for the third-highest mark in the NFL through seven weeks. Wentz can be viewed as a high-end QB2 this week.

Running Backs

Derrick Henry: Checking what Henry’s 17-game pace will be this season is quickly becoming one of my favorite activities throughout each week. The workload he is seeing is absolutely unbelievable, but we’re certainly not going to question it from a fantasy perspective. Henry is now on pace for 463 rush attempts, 2,110 rushing yards, and 24 rushing touchdowns while also adding another 43 receptions for 374 yards through the air. How truly ridiculous is this performance from Henry though? This dominant stretch from Henry is 9th all-time at the RB position in overall fantasy points through a player’s first seven games of the season in the Super Bowl era. He is doing historic things on the football field week in and week out and he shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. The Colts are allowing just 86 rushing yards and .3 rushing touchdowns per game so far this season, but that doesn’t quite matter for Henry’s fantasy projection, does it? At this point, as long as he’s active, he’s the RB1 in consensus rankings from here on out.

Jonathan Taylor: Through the first three weeks of the season, fantasy managers were certainly concerned with Taylor and his rest-of-season outlook. He was the RB29 on the year through those first three games and things didn’t seem like they would be improving any time soon. Since that point though, Taylor is the RB2 on the year from weeks 4-7 and he’s averaging 23.5 fantasy points per contest. He leads the entire league in Red Zone rush attempts with 34 and is third in the NFL in terms of Yards After Contact per Attempt with 4.02. He now gets a matchup against the Titans’ defense that ranks 25th in Rush DVOA (the 8th worst) and is going to have every opportunity to break off big play after big play. Fire up Taylor as a borderline top-5 option this week.

Nyheim Hines: In previous seasons, we had been able to look at Hines as a bye-week fill-in option and someone that we knew was going to have guaranteed volume that we could fall back on. However, here are Hines’ recent fantasy finishes: RB84, RB66, RB48, and RB53. This is Taylor’s backfield and we simply can’t trust Hines in our starting lineups anymore. In fact, there’s a conversation to be had about whether or not he’s even worth rostering at this point.

Wide Receivers

A.J. Brown: Life just seems right when Brown is performing well from a fantasy perspective, doesn’t it? Brown came back to life in a big way this past week against Kansas City with an 8-133-1 stat line, but it could’ve been even bigger. Brown was tackled at the 1-yard line on one of his receptions, which would’ve credited him with a week-winning performance if he’s able to make it into the end zone there. Regardless, Brown is back and he’s performing at an insanely high level, as evidenced by the fact that he led all WRs in the NFL last week in Yards Per Route Run with 5.32 (min. 5 targets). Looking ahead to week eight, Brown has another favorable matchup in front of him against the Colts secondary that’s allowing the 7th-most fantasy points to opposing WRs this year, and Julio Jones is out for the Titans. If you’ve got Brown on your roster, you’re starting him as a low-end WR1 with upside, no questions asked.

Michael Pittman Jr.: Do you remember the movie that came out in 2018 called, “A Star Is Born”? While we’re not here to talk about the quality of the movie or anything, I strongly feel like we should photoshop a picture of Pittman onto the front of that movie poster. He’s turning into a superstar WR right in front of our eyes and he’s getting the job done in so many different aspects. He’s able to create after the catch, he’s reeling in contested catches deep downfield, and he’s also being heavily targeted in the red zone. Moving forward, we have to view Pittman as a low-end WR2 each week moving forward that gets a boost in plus matchups. This game against Tennessee’s secondary certainly qualifies as a plus matchup and he should draw coverage from Janoris Jenkins this week, who is allowing a 71% catch rate on the season and .29 Fantasy Points Per Route Covered. Pittman belongs in starting lineups this week.

T.Y. Hilton: At the time of writing, it’s unclear whether or not Hilton is going to be able to return to the lineup against Tennessee. If he does return, we shouldn’t view him as anything more than a low-end FLEX option that has the potential to leave the game again due to re-injury.

Tight Ends

Mo Alie-Cox: Over the past two weeks combined, Alie-Cox has run just 20 receiving routes. This is less than players like Adam Shaheen, Eric Saubert, Ryan Griffin, and Noah Gray. However, he’s been a valuable fantasy asset in each of those two games because he’s been able to find the end zone. Alie-Cox is the definition of a touchdown-or-bust player at the TE position and there’s definite risk to plugging him into your starting lineup. However, with how well Wentz is playing right now, plus Alie-Cox’s size advantage that he brings in the red zone, it’s a fine risk to take. He can be viewed as a mid-range TE2 yet again.


Miami Dolphins vs Buffalo Bills

Date/Time: Sunday October 31, 1:00pm ET

BettingPros Consensus Spread: Bills -13.5

BettingPros Consensus Over/Under

: 48 points

Implied Vegas point totals: Bills 30.75, Dolphins 17.25


Tua Tagovailoa: The national consensus thought on Tagovailoa is that he’s a bad QB, but that’s simply not the case. While he made a couple of questionable decisions throughout the course of week seven’s action, Tagovailoa finished with a top-6 QB PFF Grade and he finished the week as the overall QB1 in fantasy football. He took advantage of a plus matchup against Atlanta and came through for fantasy managers that started him as a streaming option. Looking ahead to week eight though, we have to downgrade Tua slightly in our QB rankings due to the matchup against Buffalo. The Bills are currently allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs this year with just 11.8 per game and we should adjust Tua accordingly. He can be viewed as a mid-range/low-end QB2 at best this week.

Josh Allen: Allen has been everything fantasy managers were hoping for – and more – when they selected him in their drafts this off-season. Allen now leads all QBs with 26.55 fantasy points per game and this is even with a bit of a slow start to the season. The Bills are coming off of their bye week and they should be rested and ready to roll against a divisional opponent that is struggling to slow down anyone in Miami. The Dolphins are allowing an absurd 311.6 passing yards per game to opposing QBs this season and they’re allowing the 5th-most fantasy points to the position. Fire up Allen as the QB1 this week.

Running Backs

Myles Gaskin: The yo-yo that is Gaskin’s fantasy production continues this season! To illustrate how frustrating this is, here are Gaskin’s fantasy finishes over the last four weeks: RB78, RB4, RB49, and RB10. Guess which weeks fantasy managers played him and which ones they sat him in? At this point, rostering Gaskin has become a complete headache and it’s near impossible to predict when he’s going to have a solid performance. The fact that Malcolm Brown was placed on IR could open things up slightly for this Miami RB room and Gaskin’s fantasy outlook, but the Dolphins also just added Duke Johnson to their practice squad as a potential replacement for Brown. This situation is still a messy one and it’s worth avoiding if you can. Against the Bills defense that is allowing just 65.3 rushing yards per game to opposing RBs, it’s probably best to just leave Gaskin on your bench. He can be viewed as a mid-range RB3 this week.

Salvon Ahmed: Ahmed has the potential to see an increased workload with Brown landing on IR, but it’s not a guarantee. At this point, Ahmed can remain on your league’s waiver wire.

Zack Moss: Moss had a solid stretch of fantasy relevance from weeks 2-4, but that was mainly due to very positive game scripts. In the two games he’s played since that point, Moss has finished as the RB28 and RB41 respectively. He’s still playing good football, but the volume and touchdown opportunities just simply aren’t there in this Bills offense with him splitting work in the backfield with Singletary and Allen. Moss is merely just a mid-range RB3 moving forward that you’re hoping will get an increase in volume due to Buffalo playing with a significant lead.

Devin Singletary: Did you know that Singletary has had just one game so far this season where he’s finished higher than the RB25 on the week? That was back in week two when he played against…the Miami Dolphins. While Singletary has the talent to be a factor for fantasy football, it’s just simply not going to happen in this Buffalo offense and the way that it’s structured. He’s seeing his total touches decrease week after week and he’s not even seeing the type of volume that he was way back in week two for us to buy in and believe that this could be a repeat performance. Singletary is a low-end RB3 at best this week and it’s getting close to the point where we ask ourselves if it’s worth continuing to roster him.

Wide Receivers

Jaylen Waddle: Coming into the 2021 season, all the buzz surrounding Waddle was due to the fact that he was being reunited with his former college QB, Tua Tagovailoa. Unfortunately, Tua got injured early on in the season so we saw a dip in production from Waddle, but he’s been nothing short of spectacular with Tua back in the lineup over the last two weeks. Waddle has finished as the WR5 and WR24 the past two weeks respectively and he’s seeing a combined 21 targets over that time frame. Waddle has a tough matchup in front of him this week against the Bills’ secondary, so we need to downgrade him slightly, but the volume should be there yet again. He can be viewed as a mid-range WR3.

DeVante Parker: At the time of writing, it’s unclear if Parker is going to be able to return to the lineup this week against Buffalo. If he does make it back, it’s probably best to wait a week before plugging him back into our starting lineups. We simply don’t know what his snap count is going to be and/or the risk of re-aggravating his injury.

Stefon Diggs: Fantasy managers everywhere were clamoring for the big blowup performance from Diggs heading into the week six matchup against the Titans and they were rewarded with a 9-89-1 stat line. Now, Diggs gets to take on the Dolphins defense that is allowing the 4th-most fantasy points to opposing WRs this season and nearly 200 receiving yards on average to the position. He belongs in our lineups as a mid-range WR1 this week.

Emmanuel Sanders: Sanders has quietly been one of the most consistent fantasy football WRs out there this season. Over the past four weeks, he has yet to finish lower than the WR32 on the week and he’s bringing plenty of upside as well. In a matchup against the Dolphins secondary that is having trouble stopping anyone, Sanders should be viewed as a low-end WR2/high-end WR3.

Cole Beasley: Beasley jumped back into relevancy in week six against the Titans with a solid performance, but he was borderline irrelevant the two weeks prior to that. As of right now, there’s no telling what we’re going to get out of Beasley in our fantasy lineups, so we should be very cautious with plugging him into our starting lineups as anything more than a low-end FLEX play.

Tight Ends

Mike Gesicki: If we remove the fluke week one performance from Gesicki’s resumé this season where he was barely on the field, here is what Gesicki’s averages would look like: eight targets, six receptions, 71.16 receiving yards, and .33 receiving touchdowns. He’s been dominant so far this season and it hasn’t mattered who the QB is for Miami, honestly. Buffalo’s a tough matchup for every position group this season, but Gesicki’s seeing too much volume to sit in fantasy lineups at this point. He can be played as a top-5 option this week.

Source :

2021 Week 8 Primer: Dolphins vs. Bills - Stats, history, and more


2021 Week 8 Primer: Dolphins vs. Bills - Stats, history, and more

Week 8 Takeaways: Feisty Divisional Games, Blowouts, a Wide Open AFC and the Mike White Show on a Halloween NFL Sunday

Source:Sports Illustrated

Week 8 Takeaways: Feisty Divisional Games, Blowouts, a Wide Open AFC and the Mike White Show on a Halloween NFL Sunday

College Football Playoff rankings: Cincinnati jumps to No. 5, Michigan moves ahead of Michigan State

Source:Yahoo! Sports

College Football Playoff rankings: Cincinnati jumps to No. 5, Michigan moves ahead of Michigan State