Welcome into 5 to Thrive, 5 to Dive. In this weekly write-up, I’ll try to predict which players will outperform their weekly FantasyPros rank (Thrives) and those who will underperform (Dives). This isn’t a start-sit piece. It’s simply telling you who has a chance to do what this week. Week 7 was ok. I went 4-5-1 which is one win short of what we’re aiming for. Week 8 is a new opportunity though. Time to get better.
Ryan Tannehill, QB Tennessee Titans
(FantasyPros Week 8 Rank: 14)
First, let me say this: yuck. I, like you, cannot believe that I am calling Ryan Tannehill a Thrive this week. Crazier things have happened I suppose. After replacing Marcus Marioto (shoutout Roger Goodell) in Week 7, the former Dolphins’ QB went for over 300 yards and 2 TD’s against a good Chargers’ secondary. Even better for the Titans’ QB, he gets to face the Buccaneers and their very giving pass defense. On the season, Tampa has given up the 7th most fantasy points to QB’s and the most passing yards/game with over 300. Their pass defense #sucksbutts. Having found chemistry with top receiver, Corey Davis, everything is shaping up for Tannehill to be the streamer of the week at QB.
Todd Gurley, RB Los Angeles Rams
(FantasyPros Week 8 Rank: 8)
Anything with Gurley this season is a bit of a risk. If you drafted him high, it was risky. If you’ve traded for him, it’s risky. If you play him in DFS, it’s risky. You get it. We can’t be, for lack of a better word, pussies in fantasy football. Embrace the risk. Ride it, live it, love it. Sorry if that felt like a McConaughey Lincoln commercial. I understand the fear with Gurley. Last week in Atlanta, he played 61% of snaps (it was a blowout) and hasn’t seen his usual level of production. This week, the Rams will play the winless Bengals in London. That’s great news for TGII. Cincinnati has given up the most fantasy points to RBs and has allowed the most rushing yards/game on the season with 189. Their rush defense #sucksbutts (I know that’s twice). Despite not having his usual point total and production, Gurley still has the 7th most red zone carries in the league and should see plenty of opportunities for more. Ride the risk this week.
Ty Johnson, RB Detroit Lions
(FantasyPros Week 8 Rank: 29)
I won’t lie, I don’t know much about this Johnson. He’s not the preferred Johnson in Detroit, but he’s the Johnson that’s going to have to work for now with Kerryon done for awhile due to his knee injury. What I have discovered about Ty Johnson, the 6th round pick out of Maryland is that his player comparison is Kenyan Drake. Drake is a damn good player; we just don’t get to see it that much because he’s stuck in the shit sandwich that is Miami. Johnson will be given the opportunity to carry the load left by K. Johnson this week in a matchup against the Giants. If you saw what Chase Edmonds just did to New York, this spot should be very interesting for you. The G-Men are giving up 131 rushing yards/game and have surrendered the 5th most fantasy points to RBs. The new Johnson should finish as an RB2 this week.
Courtland Sutton, WR Denver Broncos
(FantasyPros Week 8 Rank: 18)
The second year WR from SMU has had a tremendous first 7 weeks to his season and is currently a WR1 in 12 team leagues. He deserves an award for being able to do that with Joe Flacco as his QB. That dude is an absolute statue back there. He’s tough to watch. Sorry, Broncos fans. Earlier this week, Denver shipped Emmanuel Sanders to San Francisco which vacates even more targets and opportunities for the skyscraper of a receiver. The Colts have been middle of the pack against WRs this year but Sutton has one of the better one-on-one matchups of Week 8 against Pierre Desir on Sunday, per Pro Football Focus. His QB is brutal to watch, but this guy is too good. I think he could crawl into low-end WR1 status this week.
Kenny Stills, WR Houston Texans
(FantasyPros Week 8 Rank: 35)
Surprise, surprise: Will Fuller is hurt again. With Fuller being down for the 47th time in his young career, Kenny “Dollar Bills” Stills will more than likely fill that role. He did on Sunday against the Colts after Fuller’s latest injury where Stills dropped a 4/105 line on Indy. He should have even more opportunities this week against the Raiders. I, mean we all saw what Aaron Rodgers just did to Oakland’s defense on Sunday and more could be in store for their defense on Sunday against Deshaun Watson and company. The Raiders’ pass defense has given up around 290 passing yards/game and the 2nd most fantasy points to WRs. Stills is a volatile play because he’ll need to hit a big play or two to make it worth this call but at least his QB loves bombing it out. I think those big plays happen and Stills will be getting the bills for you and your team on Sunday.
Tom Brady, QB New England Patriots
(FantasyPros Week 8 Rank: 6)
I’m by law required to say this because of who I write for: fuck this guy. Now that that’s out of the way with, let’s get to the fantasy breakdown. Brady is currently sitting at QB9 on the season but hasn’t wowed so far in terms of fantasy production. This Sunday could be more of the same against a Browns defense that has given up a little over 200 yards passing/game and should have a healthier secondary coming off of their bye week. New England should be in charge of this game and should continue to use their power running game and dominant defense to do it. They don’t need Brady to murder the opposition. (Brady proceeds to throw 6 TD’s on Sunday and we all get to hate him some more).
Christian McCaffrey, RB Carolina Panthers
(FantasyPros Week 8 Rank: 2)
Yeah, I’m out of my fucking mind. I say this every week: there’s always a call that scares me most and here it is. The fantasy MVP so far will travel to San Francisco to take on their ferocious front 7. The Niners have given up the 2nd fewest fantasy points to RBs and have allowed under 100 yards rushing/game and that’s the basis for this call. CMC does get it done through the air frequently and could again on Sunday but the 49ers inside linebackers have some speed and coverage ability to potentially slow down white Tomlinson. I’m scared shitless on this one.
Nick Chubb, Cleveland Browns
(FantasyPros Week 8 Rank: 12)
I don’t have much to say here. It’s the 4th time I’ve putt Chubb on this list and he’s beating me 2-1 so far. Those two wins of is are games where he stole my soul and then shit on my remains just for good measure, but we’re about to get even this week. New England’s defense is downright nasty and Belichick will always take away the other team’s best weapon and right now that’s Mr. Chubb. I don’t see the Pats fearing the Browns’ passing attack with Baker Mayfield looking like a less hammered Johnny Manziel and the Browns OLine letting more guys inside than a Kardashian. Chubb doesn’t finish as an RB1 or even a high end RB2.
T.Y. Hilton, WR Indianapolis Colts
(FantasyPros Week 8 Rank: 7)
Hilton looked great on Sunday coming back from injury, ripping the Texans for 74 yards and a touchdown. This call has more to do with the potential matchup of Chris Harris Jr. on Hilton (unless the Broncos go full sale and dump Harris like they did Manny Sanders). Denver has allowed the 4th fewest fantasy points to WRs and the 3rd fewest passing yards/game with under 200. Despite no Bradley Chubb, the Broncos’ defense is still a tough unit that can get pressure on QBs and make life tough on passing attacks.
Keenan Allen, WR Los Angeles Chargers
(FantasyPros Week 8 Rank: 9)
Maybe you’re new here. Something is wrong with the Chargers and their offense. Allen was on this list last week so I’m going to go ahead and plagiarize myself and show you a few things that I said last week.
“There’s something seriously wrong with the Chargers’ offense and it’s their offensive line. Noted father of 1800 children Philip Rivers doesn’t have any time to throw and hasn’t hooked up with his top target as much as we’d like.”
“Until we see a get right game, I don’t think Allen finishes in the Top 10.”
Yeah, all of that shit still stands, especially against the Bears.
Thanks for reading!
Hank Mardukus is a fantasy football expert and the Fantasy columnist with Blitzed Football. You can yell at him on Twitter here.