Truth or Bogus: Week 8 Recap
Article by Mitch Lawson (Sleeperbot: @PeteCarroline)
Wow, we are officially halfway home. Week 8 is in the books and there is just 8 more weeks to turn yourself into a champion.
Whether you’re 6–2 or 2–6, you still need to manage your team properly. There’s bye weeks, division rivalries and a whole lot of unpredictables between now and Christmas. You need to be educated, calculated and ruthless if you want to win.
That’s why there’s Truth or Bogus, the weekly checkup from Dr. Fantasy Football. Alright, honestly I haven’t gotten my PhD yet, but I spend more time thinking about fantasy football than any sane person should.
I’m going to break down the top developments from week 8 and let you know whether they are truth or bogus… Hey! That’s the name of the article!
Let’s get started.
DeShaun Watson is an Elite Fantasy QB
TRUTH — He has arrived, and he is doing wonders for football, the Texans and DeAndre Hopkins.
Back in Week 4, I said that despite a great 4 TD performance against the Titans, DeShaun Watson was still not a QB1 but that he might become one. I was wrong, he became a QB1 instantly. The very next week he dropped 48 fantasy points on KC and then followed that up with a 28 point night against Cleveland and then this week’s 40 point performance against the Seahawks.
Watson put up more points on the Chiefs and the Seahawks than any other QB in fantasy football. That includes Brady, Wentz and Roethlisberger for the Chiefs, and Rodgers and Mariota for the Seahawks.
He is unstoppable. He’s got one of the most purely talented WRs in the game at his disposal and he’s playing with confidence that I haven’t been seen since Cam Newton had during his amazing rookie campaign.
Leading a Texans team that’s fighting for a playoff position the rest of the way, Watson is perhaps the most exciting player in fantasy football this year.
JuJu Smith-Schuster is Week 8’s Breakout Player
TRUTH — Smith-Schuster was given a chance to succeed this week and he capitalized.
With Martavis Bryant in the doghouse, the opportunity was there for JuJu to secure a real role. I have to believe that 193 yards and a TD is enough to give him the #2 job moving forward. He was able to accomplish in one week what Martavis did in 8 games.
Roethlisberger has been struggling this year, and he’s gotta be thrilled to have a third weapon to add to Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell. JuJu offers a versatile game that consists of deep passes and chain-moving possession receptions.
Martavis Bryant is not going to shoot out of the doghouse back into his old role, especially when the Steelers now have an explosive, versatile young receiver in the lineup.
Smith-Schuster should be the #2 receiver moving forward which should translate into fantasy value for the rest of the season.
Alex Collins’ Emergence Will Pay Fantasy Dividends
BOGUS — This is great news for Alex Collins, but it won’t move the needle much when it comes to fantasy relevance.
The Baltimore Ravens are still utilizing a multi-pronged approach when it comes to running the ball. Right now it’s just Collins and Javorius Allen, but Terrance West will likely filter in when he returns (likely next week).
The Ravens would be wise to feature Collins, since he offers something that they desperately need. They have Flacco and the receiver corps to move the chains, but what they could really use is a pure runner. Javorius Allen is not a great running back but he operates as another pass option and Terrance West is an inconsistent back.
Collins offers the Ravens a chance to move the chains without constantly relying on the pass game. He’s rushing at almost 6 Yards Per Carry through week 8, so he’s proven his potential.
But I just don’t know if that’s what Harbaugh has in mind. His approach thus far has been to role with fresh legs and manage the game with short passes and defense.
Collins will get the most carries moving forward, but he has some hurdles to overcome before he’s a regular addition to fantasy rosters.
Joe Mixon’s 109 Yards Elevate Him to an RB2
BOGUS — He had a great day production-wise, but he’s still some ways away from being dependable to fantasy owners.
Mixon was given opportunities this week. He got 11 carries but he could only muster 18 yards on the ground. It was his conversion of 3 passes into 91 yards that has people looking. But other than his 84 yard reception that ended up just short of a TD, he had nothing more to offer.
On the 84 yard play he did show some speed. But he only had to break one (awful) tackle attempt, and didn’t manage to get into the endzone as he was chased down by the Colts defense.
You can’t count on 84 yard catch and runs every week. Had the Colts been playing a proper defense and stopped that play, then Mixon would have ended up with about 35 total yards.
He’s a wait-and-see at best at this point.
Jay Ajayi Owners Should Be Excited About Philly Trade
TRUTH — Jay Ajayi is an inconsistent but explosive player, and moving to the #1 team in the NFL has nothing but good implications on his value.
If I knew that Jay Ajayi would find himself on the Eagles this year, I probably would have ranked him higher in my RB rankings. Many of his risk factors going into this season were based on the fact that he played for the Dolphins. The ‘Fins were bound to play from behind, abandon the run and fail to support Ajayi with a lackluster offensive line.
Now, it’s a different story.
Ajayi finds himself on an Eagles team that looks dominant thus far. The only missing piece for them was a strong running game. The addition of Ajayi sends a very loud and clear message:
- The Eagles are aiming for a SuperBowl title in 2017
- They are sick of the RB carousel.
If you have Ajayi, hang onto him. If you can pry him away from his disgruntled owner for cheap, then you get out there and do it.
Benjamin, Funchess Stocks Up After Trade
BOGUS/TRUTH — Both benefit in the long-run, but this is not as good of news to Kelvin Benjamin owners as it is for Funchess owners.
Midseason trades are unique in the NFL. There’s only a couple positions where the new team can expect instant results. Those positions are RB, OL and DL.
Much of this has to do with getting comfortable with the playbook. For a running back, they get to break things down into whether they are carrying the football or blocking. If they are carrying, they need to know if it’s an inside or outside handoff, a quick pitch, or a screen pass. Then maybe a trick play or so. None of this requires them to build rapport with the other members of the team.
Being a Wide Receiver absolutely does. Kelvin Benjamin will not walk onto the field and become an overnight sensation for the Bills. It will take him at least a few weeks to get the hang of the playbook, to develop trust with Tyrod Taylor, and to figure out his role with the Bills.
Look at the history of major mid-season WR trades: Deion Branch to the Seahawks in 2006, Roy Williams to the Cowboys in 2008, etc. It’s difficult to adjust when you have to learn an entire new playbook with over 100 different plays and each one requires you to know a route, timing, and potentially some audibles.
Therefore Benjamin is not benefiting from this trade immediately. He’s well worth holding onto though, as the Bills have a tasty schedule in the fantasy playoffs, which is when I expect Benjamin to be at full-speed.
Devin Funchess however, is going to benefit from this trade. He is now the clear-cut #1 receiver for the Carolina Panthers, a role that will likely see him targeted at least 7 times per game, and often he’ll draw more than 10 targets.
If you have Benjamin, he’s a recommended sit for at least a few weeks, if you have Funchess I would treat him as a mid-to-low WR2 for now.
That’s it for Truth or Bogus! It was a crazy week but we are all caught up now. Follow me on my social media pages or check me out on Medium for more in-depth analysis!
Mitch Lawson is a Canadian based Fantasy Football enthusiast and lifelong Seahawks fan. If you have questions or comments, send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find him on: