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NFL Fantasy: Deshaun Watson & DeAndre Hopkins headline Week 8

If you watched the Houston Texans play the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, you saw most of the top performers of Week 8, but who was #1?


The Legion of Boom was reduced to a pack of pop caps by rookie Deshaun Watson Sunday. By the time it was over, the Texans’ quarterback logged 402 yards through the air and 65 more on the ground. Four touchdown passes added up to 32.78 standard NFL fantasy points. He is the first quarterback ever to have 400 passing yards, 50 rushing yards, and four touchdowns in one game. 

And he was only the second-best quarterback on the field.

When Russell Wilson threw his 4th touchdown pass of the night with under a minute to go, it gave him 452 passing yards to go with 30 yards rushing and 35.08 fantasy points. Wilson distributed his passes better, with four players catching four or more passes and five with 50 or more receiving yards.

Three of the top four wide receivers came out of the game, too. DeAndre Hopkins gathered in 224 receiving yards, including a 72-yard touchdown, for 28.4 NFL fantasy points. Will Fuller caught two touchdowns among his five catches for 125 yards and 24.5 points. Fuller has a league-leading seven touchdown receptions among only 13 total catches, the lowest number with seven touchdowns since 1991.

Tyler Lockett led the Seahawks with 121 yards on six receptions, but two touchdowns and 105 yards gave Paul Richardson the 4th-best wide receiver fantasy points total on the day (22.5). Lockett’s 11.9 points were good for the WR-12 ranking.

Seattle’s Jimmy Graham had two touchdowns and 39 yards for the 2nd-best tight end NFL fantasy score.  Houston’s Lamar Miller also scored twice and finished as the fifth-highest-scoring running back with 19.9 points. Seattle’s defense used a pick-six, three total turnovers, and five sacks to take the D/ST-6 position. All told, the teams combined for 251 NFL fantasy points.

Of course, there were other games in Week 8, too: 

RB: Ezekiel Elliott, LeSean McCoy top the charts

LeSean McCoy had more total yards (173) than Ezekiel Elliott (154), but Elliott crossed the goal line twice to cop the Week 8 RB-1 title with 25.4 NFL fantasy points. McCoy scored one touchdown and totaled 23.3 points.

Minnesota’s Jerick McKinnon’s two-point conversion run let him top 20 points for the week. His 122-total yards trailed the Chargers Melvin Gordon (139), but Gordon had to settle for the RB-4 spot with 19.9 points. Lamar Miller of Houston was the fifth-place scorer.

WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster was good advice

If you picked up the Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster like most NFL fantasy prognosticators recommended this week, you are probably happy. A 97-yard touchdown catches usually lead to good fantasy stat lines. Smith-Schuster wound up with 193 receiving yards and 25.3 fantasy points for the night. Whether Bryant is back on the field in Week 10 or not, hold on to Smith-Schuster. He is the third receiver on Pittsburgh and his targets will only rise after a game like that.

Robby Anderson was the best of the rest, topping 100 yards and scoring a touchdown for 16.4 points, edging out Adam Thielen’s 15.8 points for fifth-best wider receiver score on the day. Thielen finally added a touchdown to his weekly yardage totals to take the sixth slot.

TE: Jack Doyle has a big day

Indianapolis’ Jack Doyle finally had the day streamers have been dreaming about all season. Jacoby Brissett fed him the ball all game. Doyle wound up with 121 yards and a touchdown for the top tight end score of 18.1. Jimmy Graham was the only other tight end to top 15 points. Rob Gronkowski (11.7 points) and Atlanta’s Austin Hooper (10.7) used touchdowns to become the only other tight ends to hit double-digits this week. 

QB: Andy Dalton, Josh McCown top distant pack 

Two of the week’s most-recommended quarterback streamers finished as the third and fourth-best passers of Week 8. Their totals paled next to Wilson and Watson, but they were otherwise the best quarterbacks on the day. Each of them topped 250 total yards and threw two touchdowns, but Dalton’s 18.72 fantasy points edged McCown’s 18.28.

Matthew Stafford managed to throw for 423 yards and not score. His fifth-best 18.2 points were slightly better than Tom Brady’s and Case Keenum’s, who tied for 6th with 17.52 NFL fantasy points. 

D/ST: Baltimore’s bar too high for Philly, Dallas

Thursday night’s performance by the Baltimore defense (29 NFL fantasy points) remains the class of Week 8. Philadelphia came closest with their 18-point effort against the 49ers. Dallas’ 17 points might be more impressive as it came against a much better opponent in Washington. Carolina (16) and Buffalo (15) rounded out the top five.

PK: Matt Prater could have had more, but…

Detroit’s Matt Prater kicked five field goals, including one from over 50 yards, to finish with the week’s best placekicker score of 17 points. Coach Jim Caldwell’s insane decision to go for a touchdown on 4th-and-goal while losing by only two points not only cost Prater a 6th field goal, but also a 7th as the Lions trailed by five points by the next time they approached the goal line. If the Kansas City defense does not come through for me tonight, I might have to have some words with Mr. Caldwell.

And then there were these guys…

Drew Brees had a rare touchdown-less day, but his 11.76 points might not have been as surprising as Phillip Rivers’ (10.78) failure to have a big day in New England or Kirk Cousins’ (10.52) weather-affected game against Dallas. But the people gasping the loudest were Dak Prescott’s owners after he provided a season-worst 7.32 day against the Redskins.

Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola combined for 4.0 fantasy points against the Chargers and Stefon Diggs’ return to the field provided only 2.6. Devin Funchess was a top streamer but only came up with 1.1 fantasy points as the “bad Cam” showed up behind center. 

There were quite a few disappointing running back performances this week, but if you are still starting anyone from Seattle, you should ask yourself why. With seven minutes to go in Sunday’s game, Eddy Lacy, JD McKissic, and Thomas Rawls combined put up a negative rushing total. Fourth running back Tre Madden had a 66-yard catch and run, but did not handle a rushing attempt.

I’m sure Seattle’s committee will come back next week. But just in case, check back here at RealSport for continued news and advice, including streamers and sleepers you’ll need to replace those players on bye weeks. It’s good advice

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Pat Opperman

Pat recently retired from real life to watch sports and write. Look for references to games and events from ancient times as memories of an earlier Age of Sport tend to pop into his head.

NFL Fantasy: Deshaun Watson & DeAndre Hopkins headline Week 8

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