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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fine or Pine, Week Eight

By Adam Filadelfo (@FNTSYArchitect)

Week eight is upon us and it's time to set those lineups. The fantasy playoffs are drawing closer each week and every move fantasy owners make is becoming more important. These last handful of weeks may determine making the playoffs or not. With that said, make sure your lineup is set for the optimal amount of points. Leading the league in points may end up being the tie breaker fantasy owners need to continue playing beyond the regular season.

Quarterback

Fine- Tom Brady- New England Patriots- When the fantasy season started, any owner that had Tom Brady as their quarterback was more than likely panicking and looking elsewhere for a replacement. Brady's last three games saw him score 23.9, 34.4 and 25.1 fantasy points. Add to that the Chicago Bears are the week eight opponent for the Patriots who happen to allow the eighth most fantasy points to opposing signal callers at 19.5 fantasy points per game and fantasy owners should have no problem trusting Tom Terrific in week eight.

Pine- Matt Ryan- Atlanta Falcons- Fantasy owners are very disappointed with Matt Ryan up until this point seeing how most expected him to be better than he has been with all of his weapons in tact. While he has the weapons to succeed, his offensive line hasn't been much help. Ryan is averaging 23 fantasy points per week but has not posted 20 fantasy points in a game since week four and has only three games with 20 plus fantasy points this season. It also doesn't help that Ryan faces a tough Lions defense that allows only 13 fantasy points per game to the opposing quarterback. While fantasy owners can be optimistic that Matt Ryan may turn his season around at some point, week eight versus the Lions doesn't look to be that week.

Running Back

Fine- Marshawn Lynch- Seattle Seahawks- After a disappointing showing the last two weeks, fantasy owners should expect Lynch to bounce back this week versus a Carolina run defense that is allowing the second most fantasy points to running backs. On the season, the Seahawks tail back is averaging a respectable 15.4 fantasy points per game this season.

Pine- LeSean McCoy- Philadelphia Eagles- While I'm not an advocate of benching star players, Shady just hasn't gotten the job done this season and his week eight matchup versus the Cardinals isn't going to do him any favors either. The Cardinals run defense is tops in fantasy football through the first seven weeks and with McCoy averaging just over eight fantasy points per game, this may not be the week the 2013 rushing champion gets back on track.

Wide Receiver

Fine- Davante Adams- Green Bay Packers- I may be going out on a little bit of a limb here but the matchup versus the Saints may be too good for Adams owners to pass up unless they have a much better option. In deeper leagues, Davante Adams may be the perfect play this week. The New Orleans pass defense is allowing over 44 fantasy points per game to the wide receiver and Davante Adams' fantasy points have been trending up each of the last three weeks. Fantasy owners shouldn't be too concerned about his lone target last week due to the early blowout of Carolina.

Pine- Keenan Allen- San Diego Chargers- Through the first eight games of the season, it's been pretty easy to pick on Keenan Allen as far as benching him or not. He's shown no consistency thus far and is averaging a mere 5.1 fantasy points per game in 2014. His only double digit fantasy point performance came back in week four where he scored 13.5 fantasy points. The second year wide out hasn't posted double digit fantasy points in a game prior to week four or since. Until he shows he can be more consistent, his owners need to keep him on the bench.

Tight End


Fine- Charles Clay- Miami Dolphins- With 32 targets on the season, Charles Clay has had 10 balls tossed his way the last two weeks (5 targets per game) and is coming off of an 11.8 fantasy point game in week seven. Week eight will have Clay face one of the worst teams when it comes to defending against the tight end in the Jaguars who allow over 14 fantasy points per game to the position.

Pine- Jimmy Graham- New Orleans Saints- Once again, I'm not into benching stud players but Jimmy Graham just ain't right. Even though he played last week, he received two targets and gave fantasy owners a goose egg in the points department. Through seven weeks, Graham has only two double digit fantasy point games and is averaging single digit fantasy points on the season. As bad as the Packers defense has been so far, they do tend to play the tight end pretty tough. It will be hard to trust Graham until he shows he's back to his old self.

Defense

Fine- Miami Dolphins- It's no big secret that the Jaguars are a team fantasy owners like to stream defenses against. The Dolphins get the Jaguars in week eight and should be able to produce enough fantasy points to make them a top defensive unit in week eight.

Pine- Carolina Panthers- The Panthers opponent in week eight is not going to help them any. The Seahawks offense can put points up in a hurry as Russell Wilson proved last week and the Panthers defense is only scoring 3.6 fantasy points per game through seven weeks. Hopefully there are other options for fantasy owners if they have the Carolina Panthers defense in week eight.