<
>

Fantasy intel for all 32 NFL teams ahead of Week 8

play
Trubisky emerges as starting option (2:13)

Mitchell Trubisky may have been rostered as a fill-in quarterback, but Matthew Berry details why it may be hard now to let Trubisky go. (2:13)

The Fantasy 32 analyzes the NFL from a fantasy perspective, with at least one mention of each of the league's 32 teams. Though efficiency will be discussed plenty, the column will lean heavily on usage data, as volume is king (by far) in fantasy football. Use these tidbits to make the best waiver-wire, trade and lineup decisions for the upcoming week and beyond. Be sure to check back each week of the season for a new version of the Fantasy 32.

Note that data from Monday Night Football may not immediately be reflected in charts.

The infirmary

Patriots RB Sony Michel suffered a knee injury Sunday after only six snaps. With Michel sidelined, James White registered a career-high 11 carries to go along with his 11 targets. Kenjon Barner carried the ball 10 times, but wasn't targeted on 17 snaps. Michel figures to miss time, which helps solidify White as a back-end RB1. Barner should be added to your roster this week, as should the back the team inevitably signs to help replace Michel. If Barner and White share backfield duties against Buffalo, consider the former a fringe RB2.

Bills RB LeSean McCoy went down with a concussion on his second snap in Week 7. Chris Ivory (36 snaps) stepped up and carried the rock 16 times for 81 yards, adding three catches for 25 yards on six targets. Marcus Murphy (17 snaps) carried the ball four times for 53 yards and caught five of six targets for 17 yards. If McCoy misses Monday's tilt with New England, Ivory will be in the RB2 mix and Murphy more of a desperation PPR flex.

Dolphins WR Albert Wilson injured his hip (expected to cost him the rest of the season) and fellow wideout Kenny Stills strained his groin (expected to miss Thursday's game against Houston) on Sunday. Danny Amendola (34 routes run and seven targets against Detroit), Jakeem Grant (27, two), and DeVante Parker (inactive) figure to operate as the team's wide receiver trio against the Texans. Amendola has been targeted 17 times during his past two games and is in the WR3 discussion. Grant and Parker offer some upside, but are risky as anything more than shaky flex options.

Jets RB Bilal Powell left Sunday's game with a neck injury. Isaiah Crowell was the lead back (32 snaps, 12 touches), but Trenton Cannon (22 snaps) made the most noise in Powell's place. The rookie was limited to 4 yards on two carries, but caught four of five targets for a team-high 69 receiving yards. Cannon is worth scooping up in leagues of 12-plus teams, but note that even if Powell is out long term, Elijah McGuire is due back any week now from his offseason foot injury. McGuire is a name to consider adding in deeper leagues.

Texans WR Keke Coutee went down again, this time suffering a hamstring injury against Jacksonville. RB/WR Tyler Ervin and/or Vyncint Smith figure to fill in for him during Thursday's contest against Miami, but neither should be in lineups.

Opportunity alert

Throughout this piece, I'll be referencing "OFP" and "OTD." OFP stands for opportunity-adjusted fantasy points. OFP is a statistic that weighs every pass/carry/target and converts the data into one number that indicates a player's opportunity to score fantasy points, or his "expected" fantasy point total. For example, if a player has an OFP of 14.5, it means that a league-average player who saw the same workload in the same area of the field would have scored 14.5 fantasy points. OTD works the same way, except instead of fantasy points, it's touchdowns.

That said, here is the Week 7 OFP leaderboard:

Vikings WR Stefon Diggs has been limited to exactly 33 receiving yards in back-to-back games, but it's no time to panic. Diggs has totaled 19 targets in the two affairs and has reached double digits in targets in five of his past six games. He's enjoying a career-high 25 percent target share, sits eighth at wide receiver in OFP (116) and is fantasy's No. 10 wide receiver despite his "slump." It's a good week to try to acquire Diggs via trade.

Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky was only in 31.5 percent of starting lineups in Week 7, but it's quickly becoming evident that he needs to be in more moving forward. The second-year passer has finished as a top-five fantasy QB in three straight appearances. His 22.7 per-game OFP is eighth overall in the league and trails only Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes and Andrew Luck at quarterback. Trubisky has accounted for 15 touchdowns and is only 12 yards behind Cam Newton for the position lead in rushing yards. He is a back-end QB1 going forward.

The Steelers were on a bye in Week 7 and yet RB James Conner still sits fifth at running back with a 125 OFP. Yes, Conner has played well (+16 FORP) in relief of Le'Veon Bell, but volume has been the driving force behind his impressive box score production. Conner sports a 6.4 OTD (he has seven touchdowns) and 10 of his carries have come inside the opponent's 5-yard line (second most). Conner is a top-end RB1 as long as Bell is out, but will see a major hit in volume if his teammate returns.

FORP!

Now for our weekly FORP update. FORP is the difference between a player's actual fantasy point total and his OFP (or expected fantasy point total).

First, here are the players who have fallen short of their OFP by the largest margin and are, thus, candidates to see a rise in fantasy production, assuming they see a similar workload:

Ravens WR John Brown has been on this list, or right on the cusp, the past few weeks, but he's back on schedule after catching all seven of his targets for 134 yards and a score in Week 7. Brown leaped to 13th at wide receiver with a 103 OFP this season, which aligns well with is 108 actual fantasy points (15th most). Brown has been a bit boom or bust, but he's seeing enough work to allow fringe WR2 production the rest of the way.

Incredibly, Browns WR Jarvis Landry is still sitting fifth on this list despite exploding for 10 catches, 97 yards and a score on 14 targets in Week 7. Landry's big day allowed him 26 fantasy points, which matched up well with his 25 OFP. Landry is now third at the position in OFP this season, but sits 19th in actual fantasy points. Expect more big days from Landry.

Titans WR Corey Davis has enjoyed his fair share of volume this season, but he also has dealt with some very tough matchups against the likes of Xavien Howard, Casey Hayward, Tre'Davious White and the terrific cornerback groups in Baltimore and Jacksonville. Davis struggled in most of those games, but delivered in a big way against the Eagles (nine catches, 161 yards) and eclipsed 54 yards against Houston and Miami. Davis' 95 OFP (17th at the position) and 29 percent target share suggest better days are ahead following the team's Week 8 bye.

And these players have exceeded their OFP by the largest margin and thus are candidates to see a dip in fantasy production:

Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders is a name to consider fielding trade offers for this week. He sits third at wide receiver in fantasy points, but ranks 16th in OFP. A major reason for the discrepancy is touchdowns. Sanders has found paydirt five times, but sports a 2.3 OTD. He has been targeted only three times while inside the opponent's 6-yard line and his three touchdown receptions have required post-catch runs of 8, 17 and 26 yards. He also has a 28-yard touchdown pass and a 35-yard touchdown run, which mark the only two touchdowns of his career that didn't come after a reception. Sanders is also averaging 10.1 yards per target and has caught 77 percent of his targets, both of which are career-high marks and likely unsustainable. Sanders is a fine WR2, but is a bit over his head right now.

Snap attack

Lions RB Kerryon Johnson went off for 158 yards on 19 carries, while adding two catches for 21 yards on three targets against Miami on Sunday. Johnson, who was in only 38.1 percent of starting lineups in ESPN leagues in Week 7, certainly benefited from Theo Riddick missing the game, but the bigger development was that he out-carried LeGarrette Blount 19 to 10. Johnson was on the field for a career-high 59 percent of the offensive snaps and paced the backfield with seven pass routes. He's now averaging 6.4 yards per carry, which trails only Matt Breida (6.5) for best in the league (minimum 40 carries). Johnson finished Week 7 as a top-10 fantasy back, but it marks only his first weekly finish better than 25th. With Blount still a factor at the goal line and passing-down specialist Riddick's return looming, Johnson's fantasy upside remains capped. Value him as a flex option.

Browns RB Nick Chubb is who we thought he'd be: Carlos Hyde 2.0. Chubb was on the field for 41 of the team's 62 offensive snaps and handled 18 of the team's 19 carries by a running back on Sunday. Chubb showed well, racking up 80 yards and a score. As was the case with Hyde, however, Chubb didn't make much noise in the passing game, failing to catch either of his two targets (though he did run 19 routes -- two fewer than Duke Johnson Jr.). Chubb's confirmation as Cleveland's lead back means he's now a weekly RB2 option, especially in non-PPR formats, so he should be in significantly more than the 38.5 percent of lineups he was in this week when Cleveland heads to Pittsburgh in Week 8.

Cowboys WR Michael Gallup led the Cowboys with 81 receiving yards and caught Dak Prescott's only touchdown pass in Sunday's loss at Washington. Gallup was targeted only five times, but has now led Dallas wide receivers in snaps and pass routes each of the past two weeks. Dallas may have found its new No. 1 receiver after trading for Amari Cooper, which dampens Gallup's outlook, but there's still some upside here. The Colorado State product is rostered in only 8.7 percent of leagues and is a name to consider stashing on the end of your bench after the team's Week 8 bye.

Chargers RB Melvin Gordon was a surprise inactive in Week 7. In his place, Austin Ekeler played 42 of the team's 44 offensive snaps, carried the ball 12 times and caught five of seven targets. Justin Jackson helped out with two carries and one target on five snaps. Ekeler's fantasy day was underwhelming as a product the Chargers posting their lowest offensive snap count since 2007. Gordon figures to return after the Week 8 bye, but if he misses more time down the road, Ekeler will be right back in the RB1 mix.

Titans WR Tajae Sharpe has locked down slot duties and continues to separate himself from Taywan Taylor as the team's No. 2 offensive target. Sharpe led the team in targets (nine), receptions (seven) and receiving yards (101) on Sunday. He was on the field for 27 of the team's 34 pass plays and has out-snapped Taylor in four straight games. Tennessee is on a bye this week, but Sharpe should be added in deep leagues and considered for a roster spot in 12-team leagues following Week 8.

Saints WR Tre'Quan Smith played 50 of 69 possible snaps and ran a route on 21 of 31 pass plays during Sunday's win over Baltimore. Smith, as expected, is filling in for Ted Ginn Jr. opposite Michael Thomas. Smith's role as a deep threat (15.5 average depth of target) will keep his targets in check and makes him a boom/bust fantasy asset, but he's certainly in the weekly flex discussion. Upgrade him in non-PPR formats.

49ers RB Raheem Mostert has carved out a significant role in the 49ers' backfield and should have your full attention on waivers this week. With Matt Breida (five snaps) again battling injuries and Alfred Morris (20 snaps) again battling ineffectiveness, Mostert played a position-high 22 snaps on Sunday. He ran for 59 yards on seven carries and caught all four targets for 19 yards. Mostert's 6.3 yards per carry ranks fourth in the league among backs with 25-plus carries. He is the second-best back to roster in this backfield behind Breida and would be a viable flex option if Breida is out against the struggling Cardinals this week.

Jets TE Chris Herndon set a career high with seven targets in Week 7. A closer look, however, shows that he played a career-low 23 snaps and was limited to 10 pass routes. Herndon had been playing a larger role earlier in this season, but has run a route on 21 percent of the Jets' pass plays each of the past two weeks. He's an intriguing prospect, but not yet playing a large enough role to warrant TE1 consideration.

Rams WR Josh Reynolds led the offense by playing 51 snaps on Sunday, but part of that was due the Rams building a gigantic lead. Reynolds ran only 15 of a possible 26 pass routes and was targeted once in the game. If Cooper Kupp remains out, Reynolds will be no more than a desperation flex against Green Bay this week.

Burning questions

Is Colts RB Marlon Mack now a viable weekly starter? Yes. Mack, who was in only 20.4 percent of lineups in ESPN leagues this week, exploded for 159 yards and two scores on 21 touches. Finally healthy in back-to-back games, Mack totaled 252 scrimmage yards and sits sixth at the position in fantasy points during the span. The Colts' offense is ninth in the league in touchdowns per game and Mack has emerged as the clear top back. He should be in lineups against Oakland this week and is an RB2 play going forward.

Should I drop Eagles WR Nelson Agholor? In 10-team leagues, yes. In leagues of 12-plus teams, he's more of a bench player. After breaking out in his third year last season, Agholor has somewhat predictably crashed back to earth in 2018. He was targeted a healthy seven times Sunday, but was held to six catches for 20 yards. He has now failed to eclipse 45 receiving yards in five of seven games and has one touchdown this season.

Should I bench Redskins TE Jordan Reed? It's a close call, but I can't blame you if you do. Reed has failed to clear 43 yards in three consecutive games and hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 1. That's the bad. The good news is that Reed has racked up seven-plus targets in three games this season, which has worked out to a 19 percent share. Consider him a fringe top-10 fantasy tight end.

Should I drop the Jaguars D/ST? Not necessarily. The unit has finished 13th or worse during three consecutive outings, but was top 10 during three of its first four games. The Jaguars' defense is still loaded with talent, including Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, Malik Jackson, Marcell Dareus, Telvin Smith, Myles Jack, Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson. It will be hard for this unit to slump for very long, though with the Eagles and a bye on deck, finding another short-term option is advisable.

Quick hitters

Trade rumors are swirling around Broncos wideouts Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. If either is traded, rookies Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton will benefit in a big way. Sutton (in most formats) and Hamilton (in deep leagues) are worth stashing on your bench, as trade news could break at any given point between now and Oct. 30.

Packers TE Jimmy Graham has been a bit unlucky in the touchdown department, having found the end zone only once despite a 2.1 OTD and six targets while inside the opponent's 7-yard line. His 17 percent target share in Green Bay's elite offense keeps him in the mid-TE1 mix.

Giants WR Sterling Shepard set a career high with 167 receiving yards on Monday Night Football against the Falcons. Shepard has been working as an every-down player and has cleared 74 receiving yards during four of his past five games. New York's slot man is best valued as a WR3 moving forward.