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Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet Week 8: Ja'Marr Chase hurt, QB change for Colts, starts and sits

So much changes from week to week around the NFL, and we're here to make sure you're on top of it all heading into Week 8 of the 2022 NFL season.

The weekly fantasy football cheat sheet provides a rundown of the best tips from all the fantasy football content that ESPN has posted over the past seven days. You'll find answers to the biggest start/sit questions of the week and other pertinent matchup advice from our team, including Field Yates, Mike Clay, Eric Karabell, Tristan H. Cockcroft, Matt Bowen, Seth Walder, Al Zeidenfeld, Eric Moody, Liz Loza, Daniel Dopp and ESPN Insiders Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano, plus all of NFL Nation. It's all the best advice in one handy article.

Here's what our experts are saying about Week 8 in the NFL:


Chasing WR replacements for Ja'Marr

The Cincinnati Bengals received some devastating news this week as their No. 1 WR Ja'Marr Chase is reportedly set to miss four to six weeks because of a hip injury. Chase is pretty much universally rostered in ESPN leagues, so there are plenty of fantasy managers out there who will now have to scramble to fill a huge void in their lineups. Our fantasy experts and NFL Nation reporters were already doling out solid recommendations at the position prior to the injury news, but perhaps now there's a lot more motivation (at least for some) to act on it.

  • Kadarius Toney has been traded to the Kansas City Chiefs. Unwanted by the New York Giants, he might be worth a look in his new home. As Eric Moody discusses, "Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City will increase Toney's upside, but fantasy managers need to be patient. Getting comfortable with him and getting a full package of plays will take time, and there are plenty of receiver options for Mahomes to target on any given play. Toney is still available in 69.5% of ESPN leagues."

  • DeAndre Hopkins is still available in about 5% of leagues. The receiver finally got back on the field in Week 7 and saw 48% of all targets. Josh Weinfuss doesn't think that kind of volume is sustainable: "Defenses won't let it happen, and Arizona will have Robbie Anderson (26% rostered) ready for a full slate this weekend. But it's not out of the realm of possibility to think Hopkins can have a usage rate around 30-40%, that is until defenses start using more coverages to take him away. Arizona saw what kind of impact he can have on this roster, and the Cardinals won't shy away from using that until they can't anymore."

  • After two productive weeks in a row should fantasy managers turn to Tre'Quan Smith (1% rostered)? "Between the Saints' up-in-the-air quarterback situation and the large number of targets that go to Chris Olave, I wouldn't consider Smith a reliable option at this point. One name to consider for those looking for tight ends, however, is Juwan Johnson, who has become a big part of the offense this year, especially with Adam Trautman currently hurt." -- Katherine Terrell

  • What about in Dallas, where the leader in targets for Dak Prescott's return to action was Noah Brown (5% rostered)? "Brown has never had this much action on offense in his career, so there has to be worry about him holding up for a full season as a full-time player. However, there should be more action for Michael Gallup, Dalton Schultz and CeeDee Lamb as Prescott gets more comfortable in his return from thumb surgery. With 25 catches for 239 yards, Brown already has passed his season highs in both categories and should pass his totals in his four seasons soon, but can he maintain that level of workload, plus continue on special teams? For a down-the-line play it might be worth it, but it's not something to count on weekly." -- Todd Archer

  • Meanwhile, even with a lot of things in flux in Indianapolis, are Parris Campbell (26.8% rostered) or Alec Pierce (30.7%) worthy of consideration? "It's a tough call. Campbell has been playing significantly more snaps than Pierce (though Pierce's snap counts are increasing). On the other hand, Pierce is more likely to be targeted on deep shots and, accordingly, could have more big-play potential. But given Monday's decision to move to quarterback Sam Ehlinger, a quick-throw offense seems more likely. If that holds true, my educated guess is that Campbell will be more involved going forward." -- Stephen Holder


Looking for the latest injury news leading up to kickoff? Check out all of the Week 8 inactives here.


Changing of the guard at QB for Colts

Let's stick with that news out of Colts camp that the team is ready to move on from Matt Ryan (at least in the short term) to see if Ehlinger can give them a bit of a spark. Obviously, the decision to change things up in the huddle was on a lot of our fantasy experts' minds this week.

  • "Ehlinger is in position to succeed in his first career start. He faces a Commanders secondary that is struggling mightily, allowing 0.53 fantasy points per pass attempt. Ehlinger also brings good mobility to the table, having scored 31 rushing touchdowns in his final three college seasons at Texas, This elevates his floor to a 2QB/superflex streamer." -- Cockcroft

  • "The abrupt switch from Ryan to Ehlinger came as a surprise to absolutely everybody this week. That includes DraftKings, which still has Ehlinger's price tag at the absolute minimum. If Ehlinger can total at least 15 DraftKings points this weekend, he will provide amazing value in cash games and allow you to spend up for a correlated ceiling at other positions in tournaments." -- Zeidenfeld

  • "You're still starting Michael Pittman Jr. this week versus the Washington defense. We all understand that. But I did drop the Colts wideout down in my WR2 ranks given the quarterback change in Indy. Now, I can speculate that the Colts run more RPO, play-action and boot to utilize the movement/throwing traits of Ehlinger. Maybe we see that to offset the subpar pass protection in Indianapolis, too. My hesitation here, however, is about the volume for Pittman. With Ryan under center, Pittman saw at least eight targets in five of six games played, with two games of 13 or more targets. I'm going to temper my expectations until I see the pass-game structure with Ehlinger at the controls." -- Bowen

  • "Granted, they've been a bit better as of late, but the Commanders have allowed the ninth-most fantasy points to wide receivers, as well as the 11th most to the perimeter. As noted in previous weeks, one starting perimeter corner, William Jackson III, was benched prior to missing the past two games because of a back injury. The other, Kendall Fuller, has allowed a league-high 514 yards and 95.4 fantasy points in coverage this season. This week, it will be Fuller and either Jackson or Benjamin St-Juste on the boundary against Pittman and Pierce. If Jackson returns and starts, St-Juste will man the slot against Campbell, or else it will be Rachad Wildgoose. The Colts' offensive outlook is tough to predict with Ehlinger replacing Ryan under center, but Pittman and Pierce can, at least, be upgraded in this matchup." -- Clay

  • Finally, the ever-blunt Eric Karabell makes no bones about his feelings toward one of the Colts' WR options: "Colts rookie Pierce is on the most-added list, but he had a quiet Week 7. A quiet Week 8 gets him dropped."


In Miami, it takes Tua to tango

The Miami Dolphins ended their three-game slide last week. It was no coincidence that the losing went away at the same time QB Tua Tagovailoa returned to the team's huddle after missing time because of injury. That said, the Dolphins were only able to put 16 points on the scoreboard in the Week 7 win, so how optimistic should fantasy managers be with Miami against the Lions in Week 8?

  • "I bumped Tua up to my QB4 this week because of the Dolphins' matchup with the Detroit. The Lions will play some two-deep and bring pressure, but they are also a heavy man-coverage team (41.3% of coverage snaps). So, let's focus on Tua, who leads the NFL with 9.6 yards per attempt versus man coverage. Look for RPO reads, schemed in-breakers and crossers -- with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle "running away" from defenders. Remember, Tua is a short-to-intermediate dart thrower who delivers the ball with timing and location. That fits here versus Detroit." -- Bowen

  • "Raheem Mostert has quite clearly taken over as the Dolphins' lead running back, having played 68% of the team's offensive snaps over the past four weeks while totaling 71 touches to Chase Edmonds' 19. Now Mostert gets his best matchup of the season against a Lions defense that has allowed seven different running backs score 12.5-plus PPR fantasy points, the most in the league. Mostert does most of his damage on the ground -- he has 87 rushing attempts and only 18 targets through seven games -- and the Lions have allowed running backs to score 0.94 fantasy points per carry." -- Cockcroft

  • Al Zeidenfeld likes several Dolphins this week for DFS lineups, including one wideout in particular: "Detroit is the second-worst third-down defense, and Waddle has an 81.8% catch rate on third downs. The rest of this team checks in at only 58.8%. The Lions also allow the second-highest rate of slot completions (77.8%). Waddle ranks seventh in the NFL in yards per slot target (11.4)."

  • "Mike Gesicki exploded for a 6-69-2 receiving line on nine targets with Durham Smythe out in Week 6 and, while he plummeted to a 3-27-0 line with Smythe back in Week 7, he still saw a respectable seven targets in the game. Gesicki is a fringe TE1 against a Detroit defense that has allowed the fifth-most TE fantasy points (along with four touchdowns) this season." -- Clay

  • "I'm taking Gesicki over 2.5 receptions. Despite the team's struggles under center, Miami remains the eighth-most pass heavy offense in the league. When playing with a lead of at least three points, that number jumps up three spots (No. 5). Miami's pass-catchers should, therefore, earn plenty of opportunities, as the Fins are 3.5-point road favorites at Detroit this Sunday." -- Loza


Quick hits, starts and sits

  • "I think DJ Moore will have another big game. The Falcons are giving up the most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers. They're banged up in the secondary, they just got absolutely dominated by the Bengals wideouts, and it's clear Carolina wants the ball in Moore's hands. Just because Baker Mayfield couldn't get it there reliably doesn't mean Moore stopped being a part of the game plan. I think last week was the start of a hot streak, and that this week could be even hotter." -- Graziano

  • "Josh Jacobs is on a tear right now, as he has three straight games of at least 30 fantasy points. That'll be nearly impossible to keep up, but there are some wow metrics in his favor that bode well for his value. He is also in the top three of all backs in terms of percentage of running back touches accounted for and overall touches per game, while he has 18 catches over his past four games. Any concerns about Jacobs sharing duties in a Josh McDaniels-coached offense are gone." -- Yates

  • "The Tennessee Titans D/ST (13.6% rostered) had 20 fantasy points in the win over the Colts, which led all defenses in Week 7's Sunday action. This unit has now recorded three sacks in each of its past three games, with a total of seven takeaways and one defensive score during that stretch. Tennessee is really stunting its defensive fronts to create pressure, and the secondary is playing top-down on the football. This is a very good spot to play the Titans." -- Bowen

  • "You should trade away Gabe Davis. The past two games have looked like what fantasy managers who drafted Davis early imagined: 245 yards and three touchdowns between the two contests. If I rostered Davis, I'd be looking to trade him right now, though. Davis has the fourth-worst Open Score of any qualifying wide receiver or tight end with a 35. In some ways this shouldn't be a huge surprise, as Davis is commanding just a 13% target share in games he has played in --13%! That's not good enough for a top wideout, even if his targets are coming downfield." -- Walder

  • "Matthew Stafford is the third-most-dropped quarterback in ESPN standard leagues, behind Washington Commanders flop Carson Wentz and even bigger Denver Broncos flop Russell Wilson -- and both of them are injured. Perhaps Stafford isn't healthy, either. Statistically, which is what matters to us, he certainly is not healthy. Stafford has six touchdown passes in six games, but half came in Week 2 against the Atlanta Falcons. It's his lone performance with as many as 12 fantasy points! He has eight interceptions. He's not likely to get benched anytime soon, but for fantasy purposes, he's on the hot seat." -- Karabell

  • "Daniel Jones deserves kudos coming off of a 107-yard rushing effort. He's now the QB3 in total rushing yards (343) and the QB4 in rushing attempts (58), which is more than Kyler Murray and Marcus Mariota. His Week 7 output, obviously, skews his per-game average, but it's worth noting he has cleared 20 rushing yards in every outing this year save one (Week 6 vs BAL). His next three matchups scream stream: SEA, HOU, DET (with a Week 9 bye)." -- Loza

  • "When Allen Lazard was tackled in the third quarter of Week 7, he heard a 'snap, crackle, pop' in his shoulder. ... The absence of Lazard (in Week 8) coincides with Aaron Rodgers' dissatisfaction with several offensive players. Rodgers' top three receivers against the Bills are most likely to be Sammy Watkins, Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs. It's hard to have confidence in any of them from a fantasy perspective, but Doubs is the one I would choose. He's still available in 53.4% of ESPN leagues." -- Moody