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Weekly Matchups: Strong Plays, Weak Plays Week 8

Kyle Fisher

Kyle Fisher

Kyle Fisher writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

STRONG PLAYS

Philip Rivers vs. CLE

While Rivers has improved the last three weeks, throwing for multiple touchdowns in each game, he still ranks just 21st in average fantasy points scored for the quarterback position in standard scoring leagues because of his 11 total turnovers in his last four games. However, Rivers did play great in his last favorable matchup against the Saints, and similar numbers could occur this week against the Browns. The Browns have given up the fourth most fantasy points to the quarterback position and have given up multiple touchdowns (passing/rushing) to the position in every game this season. Look for Rivers to be one of the better plays on the board this week.

Sam Bradford vs. NE

Bradford has not lived up to his lofty draft status in real life or fantasy but has been a very good fantasy quarterback in his two best matchups of the season, averaging 312.5 yards and 1.5 touchdown passes in those two contests. Bradford could put up similar numbers against the Patriots this week. The Patriots have surrendered the fifth most fantasy points to the quarterback position and have given up at least 293 yards passing in each of the last five games. Bradford should put up starter quality numbers and would be an excellent one-week starter for owners whose quarterback is on a bye this week.

Alex Green vs. JAC

Green struggled in his last two matchups, totaling just 100 yards on 42 carries. While Packers coaches aren't happy with Green's performance, the Texans and Rams are two of the better pure run defenses in the NFL. This week, Green faces one of the poorer run defenses in the Jaguars. The Jags rank 30th in the league in points allowed to fantasy running backs, and with the roll the Packers offense has been on lately, Green could get plenty of garbage time attempts to pad his rushing stats and make him a nice flex option in Week 8.

Willis McGahee vs. NO

While McGahee has struggled running the ball in three out of his last four games, he has been PPR gold catching at least four passes in each of his last three games. Regardless of the scoring system, McGahee has a solid matchup this week against the Saints. The Saints have given up the second most yards in the NFL and are currently giving up nearly five yards per carry. Look for McGahee to improve upon his pedestrian numbers in the last four weeks, in what should be a big performance this Sunday.

Antonio Brown vs. WAS

Brown ranks just 26th in averaging scoring per game for receivers in PPR leagues after being drafted to be a solid No. 2 wideout in most leagues. The culprit has been a lack of big plays and touchdowns. Brown has just one touchdown and despite having four games in which he has caught seven passes, he has yet to break the century mark in receiving yards. That could change this week against a poor Redskins pass defense. The Redskins rank last in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers in standard scoring leagues and have given up the sixth most touchdown catches to fantasy receivers. Look for Brown to have his best game of the season and be a strong play this week.

WEAK PLAYS

Michael Vick vs. ATL

Vick ranks 11th in average fantasy points per game at the quarterback position in standard scoring leagues but would be much higher had he not accounted for 13 turnovers in just six games. This week, he faces one of his toughest matchups to date against his old team, the Falcons. Atlanta ranks as the ninth toughest fantasy defense against quarterbacks and has created multiple turnovers from the position in all but one game this season. While Vick may get yards, expect more turnovers and a challenging day against the undefeated Falcons.

Doug Martin vs. MIN

While Martin has yet to break the 100-yard barrier in his NFL career, he has scored at least 10 fantasy points in four of his six NFL games. This week will be a struggle for Martin to reach the 10-point barrier against a tough Vikings run defense. The Vikings are giving up the fourth fewest points to fantasy running backs and have allowed just one 100-yard running back all season. Martin struggled in a tough matchup against the Redskins, and we expect similar numbers this week.

Marshawn Lynch vs. DET

Lynch is one of the more consistent point producing fantasy running backs as he has rushed for at least 85 yards in all but one game this season. However, Lynch has only found the endzone twice, and therefore has not been quite the fantasy stud that owners expected. This week, Lynch faces his toughest matchup to date against the Lions. While as a team the Lions have struggled, their fantasy run defense ranks fifth in fewest points allowed to fantasy running backs despite playing against high level fantasy running backs, Frank Gore, Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy and Matt Forte. Look for Lynch to put up decent numbers, as he should get plenty of carries, but not have the big-time fantasy breakout that one might expect playing the struggling Lions.

Larry Fitzgerald vs. SF

Amazingly, Fitzgerald ranks just 22nd in average fantasy points scored per game from the wide receiver position in PPR leagues. That ranking shouldn't increase this week against a tough 49ers defense. The 49ers are surrendering the second fewest fantasy points to fantasy wide receivers and have been lights out against the five non-elite fantasy quarterbacks/passing games they faced this season. Look for Fitzgerald to continue to frustrate his owners as opponents are forcing other members of the Cardinals offense to beat them, thus limiting Fitzgerald's production.

Vernon Davis vs. ARI

Davis was one of the better fantasy tight ends in the league during the first three weeks as he scored four touchdowns and appeared to be off to having another great season. However, just like with Larry Fitzgerald, defenses have now focused on Davis, and the result is just 10 catches in the last four games with one touchdown, including being shutout in his last game against the Seahawks. The matchup gets no better against the Cardinals. The Cardinals rank as the second best fantasy defense against the tight end and have held tight ends to just two catches for 11 yards in the last three games. Davis will have better numbers than that, but he should struggle to have starter quality numbers even with four teams on byes.

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