Hopefully, everyone survived ‘Bye Week-ageddon’ last week; even if it was just barely. As fantasy managers creep past the halfway mark for the fantasy season, every decision counts to try and lock a path down to reach the playoffs in their leagues. So where can value be found amongst some of the lesser, sought-after fantasy football players? Here’s a rundown of the key players in the top four skill positions that will play above their value in fantasy football in Week 8.
Fantasy Football Week 8 Value Players
Quarterback: Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
It just seems like every season Kirk Cousins is continuously downgraded as a reliable fantasy starter. Sure, the Minnesota Vikings quarterback isn’t the ‘sexiest’ name out there on Sundays, and he has had his share of bad weeks like many others (too soon, Patrick Mahomes?). Yet, even with two fantasy performances of under 14 points this season, Cousins sits at QB13 on the year, and is averaging just over 20 fantasy points on a per game basis (tenth best in the league).
His 13:2 touchdown to interception ratio is stellar, and Cousins ranks in the top 12 in passing yards, touchdowns, and quarterback rating, as well as completions and passing attempts. Even with Dalvin Cook pounding the ball on the ground continuously in many of Minnesota’s matchups, expect Cousins to be airing it out in a potential shootout with the Dallas Cowboys high flying offensive attack. Cousins is a locked-in, low-mid range QB1 as he airs it out to his efficient collection of pass-catchers on Sunday.
Last year after six games Kirk Cousins threw 11 TDs and 10 INTs.
This year after six games he’s thrown 13 TDs and 2 INTs. #vikings
— Ali Siddiqui (@asiddiqui15) October 26, 2021
Other Value Quarterbacks for Week 7: Daniel Jones; Carson Wentz; Matt Ryan
Running Back: Javonte Williams, Denver Broncos
Javonte Williams is in one of the most evenly split running back committees of 2021. Between him and fellow Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon, their numbers have been close to equal after seven weeks. Each accumulating just over 300 yards on the ground on a similar touch load, their receiving numbers are also eerily alike (15/133/1 for Gordon; 20/122/1 for Williams).
The biggest difference though – and the reason Williams is the preferred back this week – is due to the uptick in the way Denver began to use Williams last week in the passing game. Having his biggest game this past week, Williams received seven targets that he converted into six catches for 32 yards and a score. While Gordon also had a short touchdown reception, Williams was the preferred back through the air. Outside of Gordon’s 70 yard touchdown run in Week 1, Gordon has been less than impressive from a physical standpoint. The rookie running back profiled as one of the most explosive players coming out of this year’s draft and is (slowly) having his role increased in this Denver offense that is searching for ways to use their emerging young offensive players.
Even with the return of dearly-missed wideout Jerry Jeudy this week, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will look to exploit a league-worst Washington Football Team passing attack in Week 8. This presumably pass-heavy game script will include Williams and his continued ascension as a relevant RB2 this week, and potentially, moving forward this season.
FREE JAVONTE WILLIAMS pic.twitter.com/ELQFKMWgxE
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) October 20, 2021
Other Value Running Backs for Week 8: Khalil Herbert; Zack Moss; Michael Carter
Wide Receiver: Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals
Guess who’s in first place in the AFC after seven weeks of the 2021 season? That’s right. The Cincinnati Bengals and their electrifying duo of former LSU teammates Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase are leading the way. Contrary to what’s been seen so far though, there is another receiver for the Bengals that has a path to big-time potential fantasy points this week; and that receiver is Tee Higgins.
Yes, Higgins has not had the best fantasy year so far. Ranking just outside of the top 50 (although he missed two games with a shoulder injury, and was limited in another during his return), Higgins is still an exciting piece of this high-flying passing attack; and the Bengals know it. In Weeks 1 and 2, Burrow connected with Higgins in the end zone once in each of those games. Since his return to action in Week 5, Higgins has seen a whopping 28 targets in the same time frame fellow-wideout and breakout star Chase saw 26. Just last week Higgins led the league with 15 targets and is clearly being sought after by Burrow like he was in his rookie-breakout season just a year ago.
While the production hasn’t quite caught up to the usage as of yet, that is likely to change as soon as this week against a lowly New York Jets team who has been struggling to compete in games this season. Obviously Chase is a set-it and forget-it play each week. However, Higgins and his 27.4% target share (good for eight best in the league), should start to pay off this week, and continue down the stretch as teams migrate towards trying to slow down his rookie counterpart in a system that knows the value they have in both of their young stud receivers.
Tee Higgins is a great buy-low right now.
✴ 27.39% target share (1st, CIN)
✴ 38.46% redzone TGT share (1st, CIN)
✴ 11.8 Exp. PTS/G (T-21st, WR)
✴ 15 Targets at BAL last week
✴ Faces Jets (28th in pass DVOA)
✴ Forgotten man with Chase balling
Buy Higgins in redraft.
— Frank Ammirante (@FAmmiranteTFJ) October 26, 2021
Other Value Wide Receivers for Week 8: Jerry Jeudy; Michael Pittman Jr; Emmanuel Sanders
Tight End: Hunter Henry, New England Patriots
This one was a tough one this week. Usually, players who rely solely on their touchdowns to give any type of fantasy value is not a smart bet. Between scoring regression and lack of other statistical feats to make up for said regression, touchdowns can really make or break a fantasy performance of a player of this caliber. Yet Hunter Henry, the tight end of the New England Patriots, is breaking that pattern this week; well, sort of.
At TE11 on the season (in half PPR formats), Henry has scored a touchdown in each of his last four games. However, in that same span, he has hauled in more than four receptions only once, with his past two games only bringing in two catches apiece. With all of this being said though, two things make him a worthwhile value in Week 8. First, is the matchup. The Patriots travel west on Sunday to play the Los Angeles Chargers, who have allowed the second most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Second, fellow tight end Jonnu Smith’s status for next week’s game is currently in question, after leaving last week’s route of the Jets with a shoulder injury. Even if Smith is able to suit up this weekend, look for signal caller Mac Jones to be looking Henry’s way, particularly in the red zone, until further notice. He’s a low-end TE1 in Week 8.
Hunter Henry is able to hold onto this one for the TD 😤 #NationalTightEndsDay
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 24, 2021
Other Value Tight Ends for Week 8: Tyler Higbee; Robert Tonyan; Dallas Goedert
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