Fantasy Sleepers Week 8

by Theo Gremminger · Sleepers

This is Fantasy Sleepers Week 8! 

NOTE: All players are available in 75 percent of Yahoo Leagues or more, unless listed as an option in SHALLOW LEAGUES.

Quarterbacks 

Gardner Minshew | Indianapolis (16%)

Minshew Magic, baby. He has now passed for 300+ yards in back-to-back games. Anthony Richardson‘s season is finished, but the Colts offense shows signs of life. Last week, Minshew finished with four total TDs, including two rushing scores, as Indianapolis lost a 39-38 thriller in Cleveland.

New Orleans is a difficult matchup, but the Colts will play at home. Minshew is a locked-in high-end QB2 and a streaming option. 

Kenny Pickett | Pittsburgh (19%)

Pickett has only passed for 300 yards once in his career but faces off against a generous Jacksonville Jaguars secondary. It is difficult to trust Pickett, but he can be viewed as a floor play that can get you through the week. Pickett has never finished higher than QB15 in any week of his career. Could this be the week he gets there? 

Mac Jones | New England (9%)

Jones is back on the radar after a 272-yard, two-TD performance in Week 7 against Buffalo. New England now faces another AFC East opponent in Miami. Jones will have ample opportunity for passing volume as the Patriots look to keep up with the NFL’s top offense. Miami is a bottom six defense against opposing QBs, and next week’s matchup against Washington is even better. 

Sam Darnold | San Francisco (3%)

Darnold gets a strong spot start this week as Brock Purdy is in the concussion protocol. The 49ers are home favorites in a sneaky potential shootout against Cincinnati. Darnold will benefit from the quality of the 49ers offensive skill position players in Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle, and Brandon Aiyuk. The 26-year-old Darnold started six games last season in Carolina and won four of them. Treat him as a mid QB2 this week. 

Running Backs 

Devin Singletary | Houston (20%)

The Singletary-Dameon Pierce split will be a situation to monitor with the Texans coming off their bye week. In Week 6, Singletary saw a significant uptick in usage, with a season-high 58 rushing yards. Singletary also had two targets to zero for Pierce.

The Texans could have a changing of the guard in their backfield this week. Singletary has been the more efficient player this season and could see his role in the passing game expanded as well. The Panthers have been one of the worst teams against opposing RBs.

Pierre Strong | Cleveland (12%)

Jerome Ford is back at practice, but if he fails to suit up Strong becomes an exciting dart throw. The explosive Strong could see an outsized opportunity this week as Cleveland looks to give their RBs extra usage to protect QB PJ Walker

SHALLOW LEAGUES Emari DeMercado Arizona (33%)

DeMercado had a season high 17 touches in Week 7’s loss to Seattle. His five targets were also a season high. The Week 6 disappearing act is still in the range of outcomes, but DeMercado’s usage is trending up. James Conner will be back eventually, but until then, DeMercado is an RB3/Flex consideration. 

Royce Freeman | Los Angeles Rams (23%)

Darrell Henderson had 57 percent of the snaps and found the end zone, but Freeman played well. Freeman finished with 60 yards on 12 carries and ripped off a few big, explosive runs. The Dallas Cowboys defense poses a challenge to the Rams RBs, but Freeman should have at least another week of double-digit carries. 

Chris Rodriguez | Washington Commanders (0%)

Keep an eye on Rodriguez this week against the Eagles. Rodriguez has seen his role gradually increase, and Washington may give him even more work as they look to spark their running game.

Wide Receivers 

Jalin Hyatt | New York Giants (6%)

Hyatt had a season-high five targets in New York’s win over Washington.

The speedy rookie is starting to see an increased weekly role in an offense devoid of big plays and speed. The Jets defense is an absolute nightmare for opposing pass catchers, but New York needs to find a way to keep Hyatt involved. He is a must-stash for the rest of the season based on his big play potential. 

Jayden Reed | Green Bay (17%) 

Reed scored last week and is up to three TD grabs on the season. His volume makes him a difficult player to trust, but he has a few factors going for him this week. Christian Watson is dealing with a knee injury, and Green Bay also faces off against a generous Minnesota secondary. We could see Reed make a Lambeau leap this week in a massive spot for the Packers. 

SHALLOW LEAGUES Josh Reynolds | Detroit (38%)

Reynolds has been quiet the last two games, and his 43 receiving yards last week were a season-low for him. This feels like a big bounce-back spot for Detroit. It is a home game against Las Vegas a week after a demoralizing loss to Baltimore. There will be a lot of buzz surrounding a big Jameson Williams breakout game, but Reynolds could be the Lions’ secondary target that finds the end zone. 

SHALLOW LEAGUES Rashid Shaheed | Saints (36%)

The Saints offense is heating up. Derek Carr has passed for 300+ yards in back-to-back games, and Shaheed has seen a recent uptick in volume. In last week’s loss to Jacksonville, Shaheed only had 32 total yards, but he had a season-high eight targets.

With his big play ability and increased role, he makes for an exciting spot start on the road in Indianapolis.

Demario Douglas | New England (2%)

The speedy rookie broke out in New England’s big win over Buffalo. Douglas finished with 74 total yards, including a 20-yard run. He has a lot of juice and looks like one of New England’s better skill position players. New England will have to keep up with the Miami offensive Juggernaut, and getting Douglas the ball would be a rational coaching decision this week. 

Brandon Powell | Minnesota (3%)

Deep league managers can take a look at Powell. Last week, Powell had a season-high six targets in Minnesota’s big win over San Francisco. He also had a manufactured rushing attempt. KJ Osborn has not exactly been the Justin Jefferson replacement Minnesota hoped for, and Powell has steadily seen an increased role. 

Tight Ends

Trey McBride | Arizona (15%)

The McBride breakout is here. Zach Ertz is now on the I.R. McBride has the Arizona TE targets all to himself. Over the past two weeks, McBride passed Ertz in terms of usage, saw a promising 11 targets, and caught seven of them. Arizona used a second-round pick on McBride in the 2022 NFL Draft, and he now has an opportunity to establish himself as their long-term solution at the position. 

Michael Mayer | Las Vegas (18%)

Mayer had a disappointing output in Week 7’s loss to Chicago. The Raiders offense stalled out with Brian Hoyer behind center, and Mayer only had two catches for 13 yards. This week, he faces off against a Detroit Lions defense that has been a funnel of fantasy points for opposing TEs.

The Lions are the No. 2 most generous defense in the entire NFL against the position, and Mayer’s final line could look a lot more like his Week 6 breakout performance (five catches for 75 yards). 

Chigoziem Okonkwo | Tennessee (27%)

Okonkwo has been a major fantasy disappointment this year, but there is a chance for a post-bye week bump in production. Last year, Okonkwo heated up as the season moved along, and a QB change could be beneficial for him. He has a nine-target game already this year, and the speedy TE could connect with Will Levis for a big play. This is more of a stash him than start him recommendation. 

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