Coach on a Couch Fantasy Football Blog: 2015 Week 8

Alec Grimes

Start ’em

Andy Dalton QB, CIN, has the hot hand as he has had six straight games with a QBR of 65 or higher.  Since 2013 the only quarterbacks with longer streaks are Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.  Dalton is not quite at the level of those two, but he is enjoying a great start to the season as his 14 TD: 2 INT ratio has led the Bengals to a 6-0 start.  Up next for the undefeated Bengals is division rival Pittsburgh Steelers.  Dalton has thrown for an average of 264 yards in his past four games against the Steelers.  In these games he has thrown a total of seven touchdowns and only two interceptions.  The Steelers have been less than stellar against the pass this season, allowing nearly 277 passing yards per game.  Expect Dalton to continue his hot streak in Pittsburgh.

Prediction:  19 pts; 280 yds, 2 TD

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Charcandrick West RB, KC, rushed for a career-high 110 yards and a touchdown a week ago.  While this performance is an outlier in his young career, West should still have a chance at finding success this week against a porous Detroit Lions run defense.  The Lions have allowed an average of just over 23 fantasy points per game to opposing backfields.  The Lions have also surrendered a total of ten rushing touchdowns this season, which is tied for the most in the NFL.  Look for West to follow up last week’s career performance with another solid outing.

Prediction:  14 pts; 80 yds, 1 TD

Stefon Diggs WR, MIN, is a rookie sensation that emerged out of nowhere, just three games ago.  Diggs has been great over the past three games, averaging 12 fantasy points per game while making a spectacular diving touchdown catch last week.  Over these three games Diggs has led the team in targets and yards per target.  This will bode well for Diggs and his fantasy owners this week against a poor Chicago secondary.  One in 6.7 receptions by wide receivers this season against the Bears has resulted in a touchdown.  Watch for Diggs to be targeted early and often.

Prediction: 14 pts; 80 yds, 1 TD

Sit ’em

Peyton Manning QB, DEN, has finally made his way into this category… crazy right?!? Well it’s not as crazy as it sounds since Manning has the 25th ranked QBR in the league and has thrown more interceptions than he has touchdowns, 10 INT: 7 TD.  As if things couldn’t be any worse for Manning this season, his matchup this week will be against a very tough Green Bay Packers pass defense.  The Packers are second in the league in sacks and they have allowed the second lowest completion percentage to opposing quarterbacks.  The Packers secondary has also had eight interceptions against only seven passing touchdowns.

Prediction:  10 pts; 260 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT

Eddie Lacy RB, GB, has totaled a measly three fantasy points while rushing for 30 yards on 17 carries over the past two games.  As a result of recovering from a lingering injury and not fulfilling high expectations, Lacy has lost some carries to backfield mate James Starks.  Both Green Bay runners will struggle this week against a Denver Broncos defense that has allowed the third-fewest rushing yards and the third-fewest yards per rush.  Don’t expect much from Lacy until he is fully recovered from his injury and he once again sees more carries than Starks.

Prediction:  4 pts; 40 yds

Donte Moncrief WR, IND, has had a touchdown in each of his past two games, however he has not had much fantasy value outside of his trips to the end zone, averaging just over 50 yards in each of those games.  Moncrief will struggle to produce much of a fantasy score this week as he is purely touchdown dependent and will face a stingy Carolina Panthers pass defense that is allowing the third-fewest fantasy points and the fourth-fewest yards per game to wideouts.  Unless you strongly believe that Moncrief will reach the end zone for a third straight game, look elsewhere at the wide receiver position.

Prediction: 5 pts; 55 yds

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Top Players by Position

QB

Philip Rivers, SD:  Has had 20 or more fantasy points in four straight games, while averaging 390 passing yards per game.

Prediction:  25 pts; 340 yds, 3 TDs

Cam Newton, CAR:  Has had both a passing and rushing touchdown in each of the past two games.  He will face a Colts defense that has allowed an average of 280 passing yards in each of their past five contests.

Prediction:  18 pts; 220 yds, 1 pass TD, 1 rush TD

Alex Smith, KC:  Has not thrown an interception since week 3 and faces a Detroit defense that has allowed an average of 18 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.

Prediction:  18 pts; 260 yds, 2 TDs

RB

Todd Gurley, STL:  Is off to a promising start of his career, rushing for over 120 yards in three straight games.

Prediction:  17 pts; 110 yds, 1 TD

Devonta Freeman, ATL:  Has been dominant in every sense of the word, totaling over 100 yards in each of the past five games.

Prediction:  16 pts; 100 yds, 1 TD

Le’Veon Bell, PIT:  Totaled 335 yards and three touchdowns in two games against the Bengals last season.

Prediction:  15 pts; 95 yds, 1 TD

WR

Antonio Brown, PIT:  Has QB Ben Roethlisberger back and he will face a Bengals defense that allowed 16 catches for 245 yards and score to him last year.

Prediction:  16 pts; 100 yds, 1 TD

Julio Jones, ATL:  Has averaged 12 fantasy points per game over the past three games and faces a very beatable Tampa Bay secondary.

Prediction:  15 pts; 90 yds, 1 TD

DeAndre Hopkins, HOU:  The most targeted receiver in a Houston offense that is on pace to have the most passing attempts in NFL history.

Prediction:  14 pts; 85 yds, 1 TD

 

Teams on bye week:  Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins

Check out a comprehensive injury report here.

Thanks for reading and check back next week for more fantasy football insights.

Questions about your lineup?

Collegian Sports Reporter Alec Grimes can be reached at sports@collegian.com and on Twitter @GrimesAlec.