Sunday Scaries: Week 8

Week 7 Update:

Josh Jacobs Vs. Dameon Pierce + 3.5 - Jacobs set the RB season-high for fantasy points in this matchup. Big W.

Ezekiel Elliott vs. Tony Pollard +3.5 - Zeke needed both Rush TDs to eclipse a good game from Pollard. Tough L.

CeeDee Lamb vs. Amon-Ra St. Brown + 3 - Lamb didn't play well, but St. Brown left the game early with ataxia due to the enhanced concussion protocols. Still falls in the L column.


Click Here to Read Week 7's Takes


Running Season Record: 13-8


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Week 8 Matchups:

Daniel Jones Vs. Geno Smith

Perhaps the biggest surprise is the emergence of Geno Smith in 2022, especially after the Russell Wilson trade.

Who would have predicted this Geno Smith breakout? Well, I wrote this before the season regarding Geno Smith:

Geno Smith ended up seeing the tweet and quote-tweeted, saying, "Who’s that? Haters will say it’s photoshop but forget about last season anyway - let’s get to work already." It's been fun rooting for Geno Smith this season, as he ranks 7th in fantasy points per game among QBs, 4th in true passer rating, 4th in QBR, 7th in deep ball attempts, 5th in deep ball completion percentage, and #1 in play-action completion percentage. The former 2nd round pick in 2013 finally has enough of a surrounding cast to succeed.

Former first-round pick Daniel Jones, however, has also found success in 2022, entering Week 8 as the QB9 in fantasy points per game. Jones's mobility has been on full display this season, rushing for 68+ yards in three of his seven contests so far. The difference in the coaching of Brian Daboll to unleash Jones and improve his accuracy gives hints of a Josh Allen-like turnaround. Jones is QB3 in accuracy rating, true completion percentage, and clean pocket completion percentage. His 66.7% completion rate is the highest of his career.


Final Pick: Daniel Jones. In the coin flip, I'm anticipating that the loss of DK Metcalf moves the needle enough away from Geno Smith against an extremely stingy NYG pass defense. My heart goes to Geno, but my head rolls with Daniel Jones against the Seahawks' defense that only two weeks ago allowed 3 rushing scores to QB/TE hybrid Taysom Hill.


Andy Dalton +2.5 Vs. Derek Carr

If you had told me that Andy Dalton would be the starter of the New Orleans Saints by Week 8 even with Jameis Winston healthy, I would have thought you crazy. Even more so, Dalton has sustained rookie phenom Chris Olave thus far as a high-end WR2, even in the absences of both Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry. Derek Carr, however, has disappointed across the board in 2022, and is looking for a change in momentum.


In favor of Dalton is the matchup. The Raiders rank 1st in most points allowed to quarterbacks on the season. In fact, every quarterback to face them this year has scored more than 18 fantasy points and has averaged 275 passing yards while throwing for 2.7 TDs per game. Dalton, coming off the QB2 overall performance for Week 7, sees the stars aligning. However, Dalton's Achilles heel is operating under pressure. Dalton is QB26 in pressured completion percentage (31.6%). So, if the Raiders can generate consistent pressure, it may be a long night for the Red Rifle.


As for Derek Carr, it's all about converting in the RedZone. Daniel Carlson has gotten enough kicks in already this season with the Raiders not completing RedZone drives. Carr ranks QB28 in RedZone completion percentage, limiting his fantasy upside due to failing to convert drives into TDs. This is even more bizarre given Davante Adams' history of RedZone efficiency. Perhaps Derek Carr is due to fall on the right side of variance.


Final Pick: Andy Dalton +2.5. Dalton feels like the contrarian pick here, however, the matchup is hard to ignore. A QB has thrown for at least 2 TDs and 237 pass yards in every game against the Raiders this season. Another spike week is in store for Dalton.


Justin Jefferson Vs. DeAndre Hopkins +3

Both former first-round picks were drafted 7 years apart, and both Jefferson and Hopkins have shown dominant streaks in their careers. Jefferson is the WR3 in fantasy points per game, 3rd in Receiving yards, and 11th in total TDs. Hopkins just returned to the Cardinals in Week 7, immediately posting a 48.3 % target share and 53.8% target rate with Marquise Brown placed on the Injured Reserve.


Despite a cold streak where Jefferson ranked as the WR44 in Week 2 and WR76 in Week 3, three of Jefferson's six games have finished as the WR2 overall or better on the week. Jefferson's 30% target share ranks 7th at the position, but what holds him back (funny as it sounds) is that he ranks 57th among WRs in deep targets. The average target distance (ADOT) for Jefferson is 8.6 yards away from the line of scrimmage, which is 72nd among all WRs. Despite getting a healthy target share, he's been a short-yardage and safety blanket receiver for Kirk Cousins this year. This is strongly contrasted to last year when Jefferson's ADOT was nearly 40% higher in 2021 while leading all NFL receivers with 34 deep targets. It remains to be seen whether the Vikings change Jefferson's role after the bye.


14 targets in his first game back from suspension, Hopkins looked fully recovered from injuries that nagged him all throughout the 2021 season. He finished WR8 with 15.3 fantasy points but didn't score on his only RedZone target. In his matchup against the Vikings, he projects to line up across from Patrick Peterson, who held DeVonta Smith to 1 catch for 8 yards and Tyreek to 3 catches (on 7 targets) for only 36 yards. In what projects to be one of the higher O/U of the weekend, Hopkins will continue to serve as the centerpiece of the receiving game for the Cardinals, with WR1 overall upside.


Final Pick: DeAndre Hopkins +3. The superior target share gives Hopkins an undeniable floor. Kyler Murray has also shown a propensity to target Hopkins in the RedZone, and Nuk should be in line for his first TD of the season.