NFL Fantasy Football 2016 - Week 8 - Top of the Table Clash

The final undefeated team in the Limey League fell this week, having a very similar game to the Dolphins a few weeks ago when everything went wrong for them. Chris has masterminded a great season so far and even with the defeat The Fireballers are still a game clear of the second place Dolphins and two games clear of the rest of the field.

In what was a very one-sided game things could have swung even further in favour of the Dolphins if I had made a few different choices with my lineup, not least at quarterback with Derek Carr having a game for the ages while Jameis Winston lost yet another running back and failed to take full advantage of an awful Oakland secondary.

The Teams:

Once again DeMarco Murray was up there as top scorer, although this week Jameis Winston was keeping him company, but much like last week that shouldn't have been the case as Derek Carr was far and away the best player sitting on any bench this week. I have been very fortunate that Murray, as my round 6 draft choice, has been so consistent this season as it has helped carry me to a 6-2 record. If a few more players can step up over the remaining weeks then my team should soar into the playoffs for an exciting conclusion to the season.


JDD 18.80 / FIR 12.68 (+ 6.12)

It was a decent outing from Jameis Winston but overshadowed by Derek Carr's 35+ points on the bench. Additionally, against a terrible Oakland secondary you would have expected at least 20 points from Winston, or more yards considering that the game stretched into overtime. Of course the loss of his third RB didn't help matters, this allowed Oakland to focus solely on the Tampa passing game and Winston struggles mightily in these situations (see the 40-7 stomping they took in week two when Martin went down injured).

Unfortunately for Chris his QB was starting against Denver who love to eat QBs for breakfast. Considering Rivers threw 3 INTs a return of 12 points is not particularly bad, just not enough to help a fantasy team pick up the W.


JDD 36.60 / FIR 11.80 (+ 24.80)

Once again it was my running back duo of Murray and Freeman that helped to carry my team forwards. Murray lead the way with 18.80 points, but Freeman was not far behind with 17.80. This was Freeman's first week as the lead RB in the Atlanta backfield and he made it count against a very tough Green Bay defence. The yardage figures make for some ugly reading but two TDs will help any player push on points wise. DeMarco went off and did DeMarco things, picking up 120+ yards on the ground and a TD. For the first time this season he was limited to less than 10 yards receiving but with San Diego coming up I am pretty sure he will fix that going forwards.

Chris was hoping for some red zone magic from Spencer Ware and Latavius Murray but they failed to provide pretty much anything this week. Murray's fantasy value is surviving off of his nose for the end zone as he struggles to top 4 yards per carry most weeks, in a short, sharp passing attack in Oakland Murray does have value as Carr's check down option but he really needs to up his game from here on out.


JDD 15.20 / FIR 9.90 (+ 5.30)

Michael Crabtree carried the WR corps this week, picking up 108 yards but no TDs. Back to his usual 10 points and 3 catches average Crabtree definitely has value as a weekly option, especially as the rest of my receivers appear to be struggling for consistency. Alongside him DeAndre Hopkins struggled to 44 yards as Brock Osweiler continues to miss his big WR threat in Houston. The Osweiler ceiling limit is really holding Hopkins back, but thankfully they have a bye week to try and figure the issues out before 3 tantalising match-ups against Jacksonville, Oakland and San Diego.

Julio Jones picking up an undisclosed injury in the Atlanta/Green Bay game really limited the points that Chris could hope to receive from his WR. Much like Hopkins is struggling because of Osweiler Chris' second receiving option, Allen Robinson, is struggling because of his own QB issues with Blake Bortles. We will both be hoping that these issues can be worked out before the season ends as an effective WR corps is a sure fire ticket to a big game.


JDD 3.50 / FIR 1.10 (+ 2.40)

I picked up Martellus Bennett on the waiver wire thinking that the big TE would have some great weeks ahead of him with Tom Brady back under center. I also added Kyle Rudolph to my bench so that I would have at least one TE who isn't on a bye in week 9.

Chris had Greg Olsen starting for him, usually very reliable, Olsen just had an off week as Carolina got back to winning ways. I think we can both agree that the less said about the TE position this week the better.


JDD 12.30 / FIR 7.80 (+ 4.50)

Jay Cutler returned for the Bears and Alshon Jeffery picked up his first TD of the season. Hopefully the good times continue to roll for Jeffery and Cutler after their bye in week 9. Minnesota looked unbeatable at the start of the season but after two sub par weeks the knives are out and everyone is questioning whether or not these guys are anywhere near as good as their record suggests.

Thankfully that is none of my concern, but could impact Chris as Matt Asiata was his flex option this week. If a bad Bears team can beat them then there is a chance that anyone can, I'm just glad that Alshon got back in the end zone after a long time away.


JDD 9.00 / FIR 1.00 (+ 8.00)

Matt Bryant continues to tally up the points in Atlanta, and after missing the game winner in week 7 made sure to get all his points this week. The wily veteran is making the most of the opportunities granted to him by the high octane Atlanta offence and a floor of 9 points every week feels about right from the kicker position.


JDD 4.00 / FIR 2.00 (+ 2.00)

I decided to stream the Jets defence against Cleveland this week as LA continue to try and work out the numerous issues holding them back this season. I was expecting Chris to put up 20+ points with the Minnesota defence facing off against the interception happy Jay Cutler but Jay and the Bears surprised me with a big win and Minnesota could only put up 2 points. The Jets failed to impress against Cleveland in the first half, but the second half saw a marked improvement and they would have had six points if not for a late consolation TD for the Browns.

The Bench:

The obvious player I should have started here is Derek Carr, but interestingly Jordan Matthews should have also made the team ahead of DeAndre Hopkins. He linked up with Carson Wentz for his first TD since week 3, and hopefully that will be a sign of things to come as I could really use some more production from my WR position. Travis Benjamin also picked up a TD for the Chargers against Denver, but his low yardage meant that Michael Crabtree still snuck in ahead of him points wise. For Chris, both Pryor and Adams could have improved his WR corps, but the rest of the bench really struggled to get anything going.

Best Possible Lineup, week 8:

QB: Derek Carr (35.82)
RB1: DeMarco Murray (18.80)
RB2: Devonta Freeman (17.80)
WR1: Jordan Matthews (12.50)
WR2: Alshon Jeffery (12.30)
TE: Martellus Bennett (3.50)
W/R: Michael Crabtree (10.80)
K: Matt Bryant (9.00)
DEF: NY Jets (4.00)

Total: 124.52 (- 25.12)


So the top 5 spots haven't changed this week, and a gap is developing between the top and bottom halves of the table. Unfortunately for one team there is only room for 4 teams in the playoffs and this could mean that one team misses out on their shot at glory despite being far ahead of the rest of the field in the consolation playoff matches. Of course with six games to go everything could still change and no one is guaranteed anything just yet. Over the next few weeks we will take a look at how the playoff picture is developing and who can expect to face who as the season draws towards it's conclusion.


This was the first week that I made a clean sweep across the boards when it came to points per position. Usually I could expect my RBs to win their positional match-ups but I would lose out in some other battles so it makes a nice change to see so many positive results. Taking a look at the bench, things could have been even better, but in the end a win is a win and I am happy to keep pushing forwards.

With 4 teams putting up 100+ points I have to settle for the 5th best score this week but I will need to see a marked improvement in week 9, as I take on CFL Sensation who have only failed to score 100 points or more on one occasion this season. In contrast, my team have only put up 100+ points twice this season. With a large number of players on a bye next week I will be heavily reliant on my RBs to put up big points again, and I will be keeping everything crossed for another 200+ yard, and multiple TD, performance from Jay Ajayi.


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