There’s an awful lot of NFL fantasy wide receivers on bye weeks and injury lists, but there’s also a whole bunch available if you know where to look. Here are a few I consider Week 8 sleeper wide receivers.
Best Bet: TJ Jones, DET vs PIT
Coming off their bye week against a stout pass defense, I expect the Detroit Lions to shift to a run-heavy approach this week. But they still have to throw the ball occasionally. Marvin Jones has not shown an ability to get uncovered. Golden Tate unexpectedly showed up at practice this week but is no lock to play with an injured arm. Kenny Golladay was not at practice Thursday in an apparent setback of his hamstring injury.
That leaves Jared Abbrederis and TJ Jones. With Golden Tate on the field, TJ Jones saw 13 targets in the Lions’ last two contests. With Marvin Jones blanketed, TJ will be the go-to wide receiver for Stafford. If Tate can get on the field, he and Marvin Jones could be enough of a decoy to open things up more for TJ Jones.
Detroit could find itself in a shooting match with Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers, but they will first try to stay conservative. The best thing about TJ Jones is that he fits into both game situations. Look for him to be the leading wide receiver Monday night and score a touchdown for the Lions.
Good bet: JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT at DET
JuJu Smith-Schuster did enough in training camp to let Pittsburgh trade Markus Wheaton away. Lately, he appeared to be a threat to Martavis Bryant’s target total, at least in the mind of Bryant. This week, Smith-Schuster will be the number two wide receiver opposite Antonio Brown. While we don’t expect him to threaten Brown’s status, Smith-Schuster could benefit from Detroit’s Darius Slay sticking with Brown all over the field.
Pittsburgh’s rookie will get four or five more targets in between Le’Veon Bell and Brown touches. It will be enough for at least one big play and a worthy NFL fantasy stat line.
Not a bad bet: Cole Beasley, DAL vs WASH
Cowboys and Redskins… they really don’t like each other. In what could be the game of the week, Kirk Cousins and Dak Prescott will try to do a little more than his counterpart to bring his team to victory. The Redskins have an advantage though. They have a pass defense. My guess is that the Redskins will do whatever it takes to shut down Dez Bryant and Jason Witten while trying to contain Ezekiel Elliott.
Meanwhile, Cole Beasley will keep slipping into the slot or the flat or streak toward the post where Prescott will find him and deliver the ball for Beasley’s second top-ten NFL fantasy wide receiver day of the year.
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