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Love/Hate for Week 8: 30 facts you need to know

Probably my favorite column to write every year is my preseason "100 Facts You Need to Know." I love the format, I love doing the research for it, I love the lyrical bounce to it, which is a made-up phrase that means nothing to you, but it's just sort of how I try to write, with a certain cadence.

And because we are approaching the halfway mark of the regular season, I thought it would be good to bring it back for a quick, midseason edition of "30 Facts You Need to Know."

As always, some are about players, some are about schemes and not one of them tells the whole story.

1. Doug Martin now has at least 140 yards from scrimmage in three straight games.
2. That's something Martin DIDN'T accomplish in 2012.
3. In 2012, Martin finished as the third-best running back in fantasy.
4. T.Y. Hilton, Keenan Allen and Allen Robinson are among the wide receivers with fewer yards in the past three games than ... Stefon Diggs.
5. Diggs is available in 35 percent of ESPN.com leagues.
6. In three games without Diggs, Teddy Bridgewater is averaging 168 passing yards.
7. In three games with Diggs, Bridgewater is averaging 278 passing yards.
8. Jordan Reed's 16-game pace right now is 112 catches for 1,120 yards and 10 touchdowns.
9. That's 284 points in PPR in a full fantasy football season.
10. Last season, Rob Gronkowski led all tight ends in PPR scoring with 266.4 points.

11. Or 18 fewer than Reed is currently on pace for.
12. Reed is available in 50 percent of ESPN.com leagues.
13. In Todd Gurley's first three starts this season, he has 433 rushing yards.
14. This season, after FIVE games, Matt Forte led the NFL in rushing yards.
15. He had 438 yards.
16. Last season, Ryan Tannehill was the ninth-highest-scoring QB in fantasy.
17. Through the first six games of 2014, Tannehill had 1,423 passing yards and 10 touchdowns. He had four multi-TD passing games.
18. Through the first six games of 2015, Tannehill has 1,628 passing yards and 13 touchdowns. He has five multi-TD passing games.
19. Drew Brees has at least 38 pass attempts and 255 passing yards in each game this season (five straight games).
20. Last season, Brees led the NFL in pass attempts. His longest such streak was three games.
21. Through six games this season, Tom Brady has 2,054 passing yards and 18 total touchdowns.
22. At this same point in 2013, Peyton Manning had 2,179 when he set the single-season passing record.
23. Through six games last season, Andrew Luck had 1,988 passing yards and 19 total touchdowns.
24. Luck finished 2014 as the second-best quarterback in fantasy.
25. Michael Crabtree has seven more targets this season than Amari Cooper.
26. In six games this season, Crabtree has 33 catches for 381 yards and two touchdowns.
27. The best fantasy season of Crabtree's career was 2012.
28. Through the first six games of 2012, Crabtree had 30 catches for 337 yards and one touchdown.
29. Here are Julio Jones' numbers through the first six games of his career: 28 catches for 489 yards and two touchdowns (three 100-yard games).
30. Here are Cooper's first six career games: 33 catches for 519 yards and three touchdowns (three 100-yard games).

Some quick housekeeping before we dive in. First, heads up that Fantasy Football Now will be on ESPNEWS this Sunday starting at 11 a.m. ET because of the New York City Marathon. So be sure to check it out. (I'll be on NFL Insiders: Sunday Edition on ESPN starting at 10; that's also a terrific show for fantasy players to watch. Full of nuggets.)

And as always, please remember this is NOT a start/sit column but rather players I feel will do better than, or fall short of, their usual production. For specific questions on whether to start this guy or that guy, please always consult my flex rankings. Thanks to Jacob Nitzberg and Robert Nelson from ESPN Stats & Information for the help, and away we go!

Quarterbacks I love in Week 8

Matt Ryan, Falcons: Back to the comfy insides of the Georgia Dome, Ryan is looking to make it 15 straight games with at least 250 passing yards (Aaron Rodgers has just 13 such games since the beginning of last season). So we know Ryan will be throwing and he should have a ton of success against a Bucs team that is tied for the second-most touchdown passes allowed, including 620 passing yards and seven TDs in the past two games to Blake Bortles and Kirk Cousins. Bortles and Cousins have played better recently, but they aren't Matt Ryan at home. In fact, those two, along with Marcus Mariota, completed 78.4 percent of their passes against Tampa Bay, with 10 TDs and just one interception. Those three in non-Tampa Bay games? Just 56.5 percent completions with nearly an even TD-INT rate (22 TDs, 20 INTs) in 16 games.

Andy Dalton, Bengals: In his past four against the Steelers he has been good Andy, averaging 264 passing yards with a total of seven passing TDs and only two interceptions. The Bengals are coming off a bye red-hot and they realize the way you attack the Steelers these days is not by running but by throwing against a secondary that is allowing 276.9 passing yards per game.

So you're saying there's a chance: The Raiders allow the most passing yards per game this season and are the only team to allow at least 250 passing yards in each game this season, putting Ryan Fitzpatrick firmly in play this week. ... I'm not a huge Matthew Stafford fan in general this season, but I do like this matchup against the Chiefs and the coaching change is a positive for him. ... If Marcus Mariota plays, I like his chances against a Texans team that has allowed the most passing touchdowns this season, as well as the fourth-most rushing yards to opposing quarterbacks.

The price is right: As always, I like anyone I mentioned above for both season-long and daily, but specifically, for those playing on DraftKings.com, here are a few players whose prices I specifically like. All prices quoted are from DraftKings.

Philip Rivers is my second-ranked QB this week, but just ninth-most expensive at $6,600 against Baltimore's 30th-ranked pass defense. ... Ryan Tannehill is likely to have a low ownership percentage in tournaments, but he now has five straight games with multiple passing touchdowns, second only to Tom Brady (six straight) and I expect him to need to throw in this one. ... Alex Smith is the bare minimum this week ($5,000), gets Jeremy Maclin back and takes on a Lions squad that is one of two teams to allow at least 15 points to opposing QBs in every game this season. They allow the third-highest completion percentage on passes 5 yards downfield or fewer, which plays to Smith's strengths.

Quarterbacks I hate in Week 8

Peyton Manning, Broncos: Even with a week off and at home, it's hard to trust Peyton these days. The Packers have given up just seven touchdowns (compared with eight interceptions), they allow the second-lowest completion percentage and are second in the NFL in sacks. Manning has just two touchdowns total in his past three games.

Russell Wilson, Seahawks: Not a great matchup, as Dallas has allowed multiple touchdown passes in just three of its past nine regular-season games. You may not care for Greg Hardy personally, but you can't deny he has helped elevate this defense. Wilson has exactly one touchdown pass in five straight games, so you're hoping for some rushing here, but opposing quarterbacks are averaging just two rushes per game against the Cowboys dating back (ding!) to last year. He'll be OK, but I see this as a low-scoring game, so he's outside my top 10.

Running backs I love in Week 8

Justin Forsett, Ravens: The Chargers have allowed at least 115 rushing yards and a touchdown to opposing running backs in four of the past five games, so the way you beat San Diego is by running the ball. Pick a stat, any stat. The Bolts allow the most yards per rush, yards before contact per rush and rush plays of 20-plus yards. The Chargers' run defense was better last season, and Forsett ran for 106 on them. With at least 100 rushing yards or a score in four straight games, Forsett is locked in as a top-10 play this week.

Doug Martin, Buccaneers: During the past four weeks, only Le'Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman Todd Gurley and Forsett have more rushing yards than the ... sigh ... Dougernaut. Three straight games with 100-plus rushing yards is tied for the longest streak this season and, incredibly, he has done this while facing eight or more defenders in the box more often than any other running back in the NFL. The Falcons have allowed 10 rushing TDs this season, tied for most in the league.

Jonathan Stewart, Panthers: He has 203 rushing yards and two touchdowns the past two weeks, so I like him at home on Monday Night Football on ESPN and the WatchESPN app (I'm a company man). He'll be facing a Colts team that has allowed eight rushing touchdowns this season, tied for the third most in the NFL.

So you're saying there's a chance: Charcandrick West rewarded the Chiefs' coaching staff and fantasy owners who stuck by him with a strong game last week, and now he faces a Lions team that has allowed 10 rushing touchdowns so far, tied for the most in the NFL. ... It's not a great matchup, of course, but based on usage in the passing game and the injury to Joseph Randle, Darren McFadden is a top-20 play for me this week against Seattle. ... Danny Woodhead is a big part of the San Diego passing game, and Philip Rivers has thrown 42 more passes than any other QB the past three weeks. With the Ravens' solid run defense, expect Woodhead to be on the field a lot as the Chargers attack Baltimore through the air. It's also worth noting the trust factor, as 22 percent of Woodhead's touches have come in the red zone and 25 percent have come in the final two minutes of the half. ... There is lots of risk in trusting a Giants running back, but if you are truly desperate, Orleans Darkwa should get more touches after last week's strong performance, and it's never a bad thing to go against the Saints' run defense, 27th in the NFL during the past five weeks. ... I feel the same way about Antonio Andrews, who should get more work against Houston's struggling run defense.

The price is right: I like all the guys I just mentioned above in daily (Woodhead is just $4,500), but here are some players I specifically like based on their DraftKings prices.

Chris Johnson ($4,600) is this week's winner of "Who gets to face the Browns team that allows the most rushing yards in the league?" It's worth noting that the Browns have allowed an average of 2.18 yards after contact per carry, also most in the league. Johnson has the most yards after contact this season. ... Charles Sims ($3,600) has 60 yards from scrimmage or a TD in four straight, he leads the Bucs running backs in targets, and he gets a Falcons defense that has allowed 64 receptions to opposing RBs (16 more than any other team) and 514 receiving yards to opposing runners (113 more than any other team).

Running backs I hate in Week 8

Latavius Murray, Raiders: We all know the Jets' rush defense is tough, but they are especially tough when you try to run between the tackles against them. They've allowed just 3.3 yards per rush, fewest in the league. Of Murray's 95 carries this season, 89 of them have come between the tackles. Murray is outside my top 20 for this one.

Eddie Lacy, Packers: I ranked him above James Starks this week, but I don't feel great about it. The time-share is a concern, of course, as is the matchup: The Broncos have allowed the third-fewest rushing yards (535) and the third-fewest yards per rush (3.59) this season, which puts the consensus top-five pick this season outside my top 15 at running back.

Wide receivers I love in Week 8

Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, Lions: Is this an excuse to get Jim Bob Cooter's name into the column? Maybe. I do think the new offensive coordinator for Detroit will loosen up the offense and take more shots downfield, which should help, especially against a Chiefs secondary that has allowed the most receptions, yards, TDs and fantasy points to opposing WRs this season.

Stefon Diggs, Vikings: Leading the team in targets and yards per target during the past three games, I'm digging Stefon. (Thank you. Thank you very much. I'll just show myself out.) One out of every 6.7 receptions by a wideout against the Bears this season has resulted in a touchdown, the highest rate in the NFL. Diggs is a solid fantasy WR2, for this week and rest of the season.

Keenan Allen, Chargers: A legit WR1 who's being treated like a midlevel WR2, Allen's already insanely large role should increase with Antonio Gates continuing to be banged up. The Ravens give up the second-most receiving yards and receiving touchdowns to opposing wide receivers.

So you're saying there's a chance: After a nice run, it's been a bit quiet for Willie Snead, but I like his chances to get back on track this week against a Giants team giving up the most receptions per game, receiving yards per game and tied for the most receiving touchdowns to opposing slot wide receivers this season. ... You're already starting the obvious names on the Patriots, but those crunched by bye weeks or injuries could consider Danny Amendola, who leads the Pats in receptions and receiving yards the past two weeks. Now, Brady spreads it around and there's (probably) no way Brandon LaFell is as bad this game as last, so understand the risk here, but you could do worse than having a guy on the field with Tom Brady. ... Malcom Floyd is an interesting name for deeper leagues. The Ravens have allowed the second-highest completion percentage (54.4), the most yards and tied for the second-most touchdowns on deep passes (15-plus yards) this season. Floyd's average target is more than 19 yards downfield, the highest in the league among qualified wideouts.

The price is right: As always, I like all the players above in daily as well, but here are some other names to consider for those playing on DraftKings.com.

A.J. Green is just $7,600 -- 11th-most expensive -- and yet, he's had at least five catches, 80 yards and a touchdown in each of the past three years coming off of a bye. In the past five weeks, the Steelers are 26th against the pass and are allowing opposing quarterbacks to complete 68.8 percent of their passes this season, the fourth-highest rate in the NFL. ... With T.Y. Hilton expected to get the Josh Norman treatment, I can see more love for Donte Moncrief, who is just $5,500 and has scored in every game Andrew Luck has started this season. ... Eric Decker is just $5,300 and gets a mouthwatering game against the Raiders' burnable secondary.

Wide receivers I hate in Week 8

T.Y. Hilton, Colts: You probably don't have a better option, but I'd lower expectations and avoid him in daily. The "WR1" of the opposing team has yet to score against the Panthers this season and is averaging less than 40 yards a game. The Panthers have allowed the lowest completion percentage on deep passes (15-plus yards) this season and they can get after the QB. The Panthers have a top-10 pass rush and when under pressure, Andrew Luck is dead last in accuracy among 30 qualifiers this season. Hilton has the speed to take one to the house any time he touches it, but with that pass rush, it will be hard to let deep plays develop.

Dez Bryant, Cowboys: I know, I know. It's been a rough year for Dez owners. You're excited to get him back and you may not have better options. But with Matt Cassel as his QB, against a Seahawks team that has allowed the fewest receiving yards per game to WRs this season and only one receiving touchdown? Bryant may be rusty, and may not be 100 percent healthy. Randall Cobb is the only wideout to get more than 80 yards against them this season, and he had Aaron Rodgers throwing to him. Dez is outside my top 20.

Tight ends I love in Week 8

Jason Witten, Cowboys: For all the greatness of the Seahawks, they have given up the most receiving yards to opposing tight ends this season. Seattle has allowed double-digit fantasy points to a tight end in four of six games, including three with 15 or more, tied for most in the league. Under Matt Cassel, Witten led the team in targets last week.

Martellus Bennett, Bears: The Vikings are playing really good pass defense (10th-best during the past five weeks) but have been vulnerable to the tight end, giving up more than 100 yards in two straight and allowing three touchdowns in the past five games.

So you're saying there's a chance: Benjamin Watson has played better than 86 percent of snaps this season, is averaging more than seven targets a game in his past three and plays a Giants team that has given up the most receptions to opposing tight ends. They've allowed 75 yards or a score to a tight end in six of seven weeks. ... If Austin Seferian-Jenkins plays this week, I like his chances in a game in which Tampa should be throwing a lot facing a Falcons team that gives up the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.

The price is right: As always, I like any of the tight ends I mentioned above as plays in daily as well, but here are some specific players on DraftKings.com (using their pricing) that I like:

You know I am high on Andy Dalton and the Bengals this week overall, so I'm all about Tyler Eifert ($5,300) against a Steelers squad allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. ... It's not a great matchup, but then again, it seems like Gary Barnkowski, er, Gary Barnidge is matchup-proof, and his price ($4,700) has not caught up with his production. ... Larry Donnell is just $3,300 and gets a Saints team that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. ... Ladarius Green is only $3,000 and is an obvious play should Antonio Gates miss Sunday's game.

Tight ends I hate in Week 8

Jimmy Graham, Seahawks: I'm starting him in the league in which I own him because I don't have a better choice, and I'm guessing you're in the same boat. But I'm avoiding him in daily and I don't have high hopes overall. Seemingly not ingrained in the offense, Graham is having to block more, and the Cowboys have allowed just 35.2 receiving yards per game (third fewest) and one, count it, one receiving touchdown to opposing tight ends this season.

Eric Ebron, Lions: The Chiefs have now allowed 35 or fewer yards to opposing TEs in six of seven games this season. The most fantasy points scored by a tight end in a game against the Chiefs this season is seven. I think this is a big game for the Lions' wideouts, so I'm not counting on a repeat of last week's production here.

Defenses I love in Week 8

St. Louis Rams: Tied for the second-most sacks in the league, the Rams now play a 49ers team that has been sacked 25 times, fourth-most in the NFL. San Francisco is tied for the second-most fantasy points allowed to opposing defenses, too.

Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons' D/ST unit has double-digit fantasy points in three of the past four games, and now gets to face a rookie QB in its house. And Atlanta is available in more than 40 percent of ESPN leagues. Hello, Jameis!

So you're saying there's a chance: If there's ever a game for the Texans to get on track, this should be it against either a banged-up Marcus Mariota or his backup, Zach Mettenberger. The Titans have allowed at least nine fantasy points to opposing defenses in each of their past five games, including 35 points the past 2 weeks.

The price is right: The Jets at $2,900 against the Raiders strikes me as pretty interesting. ... As mentioned above, the Falcons at $3,400 are interesting to me, and in a tournament, I'd think about the Packers at $3,300, too. I'm guessing they won't be heavily owned, and I'm not convinced Peyton and the offense have figured everything out.

Defenses I hate in Week 8

Miami Dolphins: It's one thing to beat up on Houston and Tennessee. It's another to go to New England on a short week.

Cincinnati Bengals: I'm assuming Big Ben plays, and when Big Ben plays at home, you avoid him. The Steelers are lights-out at Heinz Field.

And that's a wrap. That's all we have this week. Good luck in Week 8!

Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- is factually correct. He is a paid spokesman for DraftKings.com and the creator of RotoPass.com, a website that combines a bunch of well-known fantasy sites, including ESPN Insider, for one low price. You also might have heard: He has written a book.