The Playbook: Your fantasy football guide for Week 8

Welcome to the Week 8 Fantasy Football Playbook!

This will be your game-by-game guide to the week's slate of NFL games, featuring score projections, over/unders, win probabilities and, of course, easily digestible fantasy advice for both season-long and DFS leagues. This guide should help you with all sorts of decision making, including sit/start decisions, last-minute waiver adds and lineup choices.

The advice is centered on 12-team PPR leagues with relatively standard scoring and lineup settings (1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 Flex, 1 K, 1 D/ST), although I'll often mention "shallow" or "deep" leagues for borderline starters. The charts show all players who have been projected for at least 6.0 fantasy points this week, as well as all D/STs. "Matchup" is automatically determined using a proprietary metric that factors in both raw and volume-adjusted fantasy points allowed to each position by the opposing defense this season.

(Editor's note: Projections and rankings will align almost perfectly, but sometimes when a projection is close, a player may be ranked slightly higher or lower due to other factors, including upside or risk. This column is subject to possible updates during the weekend, though at the very minimum, rankings will updated on the site and projections will always be updated inside the game leading up to kickoff.)

Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons

Lineup locks: Cordarrelle Patterson, DJ Moore, Calvin Ridley, Kyle Pitts

  • After averaging 23.7 fantasy points during his first four games, Sam Darnold has managed a total of 23.6 points during his last three outings. He has a terrific matchup this week but could be benched again if he struggles, so he's a risky QB2. Matt Ryan has shown a decent floor with 15.5-plus points in five straight games, but has only one top-10 fantasy outing this season. He's also a low-ceiling QB2.

  • Chuba Hubbard has racked up 65 carries and 16 targets in his four games since replacing Christian McCaffrey. That usage is terrific, but it hasn't translated to a single top-15 fantasy outing. He's no more than an RB2 play until CMC returns. Mike Davis' role was diminished after the team's Week 6 bye, as he was limited to four carries and zero targets on 38 snaps this past Sunday. He belongs on benches.

  • Over the last four weeks, Robby Anderson has turned 38 targets (sixth-most among wideouts) into a total of 101 yards and one score on 13 catches. That's unbelievably poor efficiency and makes him hard to trust as a WR3, but we can't completely ignore the heavy volume. Russell Gage returned from injury and was targeted seven times in Week 7. He belongs on benches, but could push for flex value.

Over/Under: 44.3 (11th highest in Week 8)
Win Prob: Panthers 54% (14th highest)