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#247 Surprise Announcements, Big Injuries & Top Performances

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In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter we recap 12 interesting takeaways from yesterday, take an initial pass on injuries, and preview Monday Night Football. It's 11/1. Take it away, Peter Overzet…

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We received a Derrick Henry bombshell from Schefter earlier this morning:

It’s brutal news for Henry, the Titans, football fans, and fantasy players. The Titans backfield is extremely thin right now—Jeremy McNichols, Dontrell Hilliard, and Mekhi Sargent are the only healthy backs on the roster. McNichols will be the top waiver add across the board in Week 8. 

The other big story yesterday was Calvin Ridley announcing on Twitter that he is stepping away from football for the time being to focus on his mental health. 

It’s impossible to know a timeline for these kinds of things, so we won’t speculate. We wish Ridley nothing but the best as he takes care of himself. 

The Cowboys-Vikings capped off a weird day of football last night with a pretty entertaining game that concluded with a sick TD pass from Cooper Rush to Amari Cooper (8-122-1). If you didn’t fire off a “Cooper to Cooper!” tweet it’s time to reevaluate your process. 

Here is everything else that caught my eye in Week 8...

* The Michael Carter breakout is here. The Jets rookie RB rushed 15 times for 77 yards and 1 TD and also caught 9 balls for 95 receiving yards. The late season rookie RB surge is a tale as old as time and Carter looks like he’ll be joining the ranks.

* A.J. Brown (10-155-1) and Michael Pittman (10-86-2) traded blows in the Titans-Colts game that went to overtime. Both players are the clear alpha WRs on their team without much competition for targets. 

* There wasn’t too much to write home about in the Steelers-Browns game, but Najee Harris (26-91-1; 3-29) continued to display matchup-proof, bellcow usage. We also need to keep tabs on D’Ernest Johnson, who played the “Kareem Hunt role” (12 routes, 3 targets) for the Browns and scored a TD. 

* Neither passing game could get going in the Falcons-Panthers game, but Chuba Hubbard (25-82-1) and Cordarrelle Patterson (9-35; 5-37-1) held things down for the running backs. Christian McCaffrey is expected to return next week, so the Hubbard show will be taking a hiatus for the time being. 

* It seemed like the Bills-Dolphins game was going to whiff from a fantasy perspective, but Josh Allen ended up connecting with Stefon Diggs for a TD and rushing for one, as well. Cole Beasley (10-110) racked up a nice PPR line, too. It’s also worth noting that DeVante Parker returned to the lineup and led the Dolphins team in targets (12).

* Is it finally happening for Justin Fields? He was fine through the air (19-for-27, 175 yards, 1 TD & 1 INT), but put up a monster rushing line (10-103-1). Elijah Mitchell (18-137-1) continues to serve as the lead back for the Niners and Deebo Samuel continues to churn out big plays (6-171). 

* As someone who was heavily invested in the Eagles-Lions game, it’s hard to dream up a more tilting scenario than Boston Scott (12-60-2) and Jordan Howard (12-57-2) combining for 4 TDs. The Kenneth Gainwell (error loading stat line) stuff appears to have been a mirage. D’Andre Swift (12-27; 5-24) disappointed on the Lions side, along with every other Lions skill position player. 

* To the surprise of no one, the Rams put up big stat lines against the Texans. Cooper Kupp (7-115-1), Robert Woods (3-35-1; 3-22-1), and Darrell Henderson (14-90-1; 1-3-1) brought home the bacon. Also, I should note that what we hoped the Texans backfield would condense around David Johnson and Phillip Lindsay, but...it did not. Rex Burkhead (30 snaps) and Scottie Phillips (15 snaps) were both heavily involved. What a mess. 

* Jerry Jeudy’s return to the offense underwhelmed, but Melvin Gordon (10-47-1; 3-15-1) managed to fend off Javonte Williams for another week with a nice showing. On the Washington side, Jarret Patterson surprisingly out-carried Antonio Gibson (11 to 8). Have to assume this is related to Gibson’s shin injury, though you wish they would just sit him out for a few weeks if that is the case so he can get fully healthy. 

* The narrative has always been that it’s inconceivable for DK Metcalf (6-43-2) and Tyler Lockett (12-142) to both have good games together, so of course it finally happened with Geno Smith under center. Jamal Agnew led the Jaguars in targets with 12. I have nothing else to say about that. I mean, I do, but this is a family newsletter. 

* Austin Ekeler’s instagram confidence proved to be correct—he rushed 11 times for 64 yards and 1 TD, while also pitching in 6-60 through the air. Poor Jakobi Meyers still didn’t find the endzone, but he did lead the team with 9 targets. Damien Harris (23-80-1) controlled things on the ground for the Pats. 

* The Saints beat the Bucs 36-27 in a wild game that included Gio Bernard (2-30) leading the Bucs in rushing, a player named Cyril Grayson scoring a TD, Trevor Siemian throwing a TD to Alex Armah, and Kevin White leading the Saints in receiving (1-38). I’m still not sure where all of the points came from. 

 

🗣️ BUY YOUR LEAGUEMATES A GIFT...

 

🚑  THE INJURY WARD

Here are a few of the injuries that we will be monitoring throughout the week…

* James Robinson (heel), Sam Darnold (concussion), Jalen Reagor (ankle), Rob Gronkowski (back spasms), T.Y. Hilton (concussion), Jameis Winston (knee), Damien Williams (knee), Justin Jackson (quad)

 

🔮  MNF PREVIEW

Tonight we wrap up Week 8 with the Chiefs (-10) hosting the Giants in a game with a pretty nice 52 point over/under. 

Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay have already been ruled out, but both Sterling Shepard and Kadarius Toney are expected to play. 

Over on Sharp Football Analysis—part of the Rotopass network—Bryce Rossler has some interesting notes about tonight’s game, including this nugget:

The problem is that when your team’s success depends on having the best offense in the league, as opposed to “just” a top-five offense, things can get ugly. And ugly the Chiefs defense has been. They rank second-worst in the NFL in Total Points per game on the defensive side of the ball. An NFL-worst 32% of opponent runs are going for a first down, and opponents have thrown for 8.7 yards/attempt against them, the third-worst mark in the league.

The over sounds nice to me. 

 

We’ll be back tomorrow with waiver wire picks. Enjoy the game.

- Pete Overzet

 

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