by Lead Fantasy writer Steve Cook| @SteveCook84 | Mail@3PSMag.com
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It’s Week 8. How are your fantasy teams doing?
If you’re a Patrick Mahomes owner, you’re probably not sure yet. Things looked dire on Sunday
when he got injured, it looked terrible & everybody was rushing to the waiver wire or to make a
trade to make contingency plans for life without Patrick Mahomes. We fast forward a couple of
days, and now he’s practicing and hasn’t been ruled out for Sunday yet.
It’s easy to explain why: he’s not on any of my fantasy teams. If you’re on one of my teams,
you’re getting hurt, underachieving or just being atrocious. If you aren’t, you get a career-ending
injury and come back the next week. Fortunately for you guys, most of these people are not on
one of my teams, so this advice should still work.
Deshaun Watson: Watson’s had a bit of an up & down year. He’s had three weeks for under
twenty points, including last week against Indianapolis. When he’s on, he’s tremendously on. He
has no performances in the 20-30 point range. Expect him to head north of that range against a
Raiders defense that’s still figuring things out and has plenty of time to do so before they move
JuJu Smith-Schuster: I remember back when the main reason people talked about Sports
Illustrated was their cover jinx. Whoever they featured on their cover would inevitably meet with
disaster, which would be blamed on the hype provided by the magazine. While most SI talk these
days surrounds the status of their ownership and the future of the brand, they’re still out here
jinxing people. One of their targets thus far: Mr. Smith-Schuster. He was featured on the cover
early in the season & presented as the perfect millenial football player due to his penchant to
play video games & post on social media. It’s been a rough few years for millenials, and it’s been
a rather mediocre year for JuJu. Now, it’s not entirely his fault, as the Steelers QB situation has
pretty much sunk the Steeler offense for most of the season. After a visit from Devlin Hodges,
who I’m told is a quarterback, the Steelers welcome back Mason Rudolph for this week’s
meeting with…the Miami Dolphins. If JuJu doesn’t get right this week, I’d be shocked.
Todd Gurley II: You know what we say every week in this section: start whichever running
back is going against the Cincinnati Bengals. Cincy was able to keep Leonard Fournette out of the
end zone last week, but dude still ran for 131 yards. Gurley might not be the same running back
he was in previous years, but he still gets double digits in points almost every week he’s out
there. There’s no reason to worry about him out in wacky old England.
Austin Hooper: Did you know that Mr. Hooper is the leader in tight end fantasy points this
season? Did you know he leads the category by seventeen points? He’s fifteen yards behind
Travis Kelce for the lead in tight end receiving yards and is tied with Will Dissly for the most
touchdowns. Unfortunately we’ve been deprived of a Dissly/Hooper showdown due to the former’s
injury, but Hooper’s store will be open for business against a Seahawks defense that has talked fantasy owners into the likes of Vance McDonald, Gerald Everett & Ricky Seals-Jones.
Teddy Bridgewater: Teddy B is always going to be a better quarterback to have in real life
than fantasy. He isn’t going to wow you with his numbers most weeks. What he will do is not
lose the game for you. He limits his mistakes & comes through in the clutch to deliver a team to
victory. There will be weeks when he puts up big numbers though, and this week against a putrid
Arizona defense seems like a ripe opportunity to do so.
Carson Wentz: Wentz & the Eagles are in the midst of a run against some pretty tricky
defenses. He did as well as you could hope against the Vikings, but was absolutely putrid last
week against the Cowboys. This week he goes to Buffalo to face a Bills defense that actually has
people thinking playoffs. This typically happens during the first half of most Buffalo seasons, so I
wouldn’t read anything into it long-term. This week will be a rough one for Carson, though.
Keenan Allen: I’ve always been high on Allen when he could stay in the lineup. He has this
year, but the results haven’t been what you would expect. Since Week 3’s 183 yard/2 touchdown
performance for 30 fantasy points, Allen hasn’t managed to score 30 fantasy points, get 183
yards or 2 touchdowns over the course of four games. It’s been a struggle for Allen owners, and
the struggle continues with a trip to Chicago against a stout Bear defense that will be PISSED
Baker Mayfield: We mentioned the SI cover jinx earlier, and the Cleveland Browns had the
misfortune of being declared “back” by SI’s cover for their NFL preview issue. They’ve been back
all right…back to sucking as they always do. The sophomore slump is in full effect for Mayfield,
as he leads the league in interceptions and looks nothing like the future star he resembled last
season. There’s still time for the Browns to get right…but it won’t be this week against New
England. Keep Baker on your bench. You have to have a better option. The waiver wire has to
have a better option, even if you’re in a 16-team league.
Christian McCaffrey: CMC has been everything you would want out of a first round draft
pick this season. Outside of a poor Week 2 showing, he’s scored at least one touchdown and
gotten you over twenty points almost every week. That Week 6 though…for whatever reason,
Tampa sure seemed to have his number. He got a touchdown but only ran 31 yards on 22
attempts. Injury was the cited reason, and he had a bye week to rest up afterwards. He comes
back right into the belly of the beast which is the San Francisco 49er rush defense. With no Cam
Newton to worry about, the 49ers can focus all of their attention on McCaffrey. Bad news for his
Three monkeyknifefight.com Sleepers
Ryan Tannehill (13% owned in Yahoo leagues):Everybody loves Marcus Mariota. The kid has
a tremendous amount of heart and from all accounts seems like a good guy. Titans fans refused
to blame him for the team’s offensive struggles, pointing fingers of blame at everybody else. Yet,
once Mariota got benched in favor of the oft-maligned Ryan Tannehill, the Titans’ passing
offense…actually looked like a passing offense. Guys like Corey Davis & AJ Brown were actually
able to catch passes downfield. As much as we don’t think Tannehill is the answer to any of
Tennessee’s questions, he’s looking like a good play this week against an inept Buccaneer
Jonnu Smith (3%): Speaking of the Titans, you would think that Tannehill would be
throwing the ball to Delanie Walker early & often in a matchup with a team that doesn’t bother
covering tight ends. Unfortunately, Walker has a bad ankle and only played five snaps last week
against the Chargers. When you’re 35, stuff like that happens. Second-stringer Jonnu Smith was
able to get three catches for sixty-four yards in relief last week, and should probably be getting
some more playing time going forward regardless of Walker’s health status.
Benny Snell Jr. (10%): This guy put the University of Kentucky on the map as a contender
in the SEC East the last couple of seasons. If you don’t believe me, take a look at their offense
without him his year. Non-existent. I had a feeling he was going to do something in the NFL once
he got drafted by the hated Steelers, and sure enough he got 17 carries & 75 yards in Week 6
against the Chargers. James Conner should be back this week, but the Steelers play the Miami
Dolphins. There’s going to be plenty of rushing yards for everybody to get a turn.